Sunday, March 30, 2008

When theres a note on your door...

The Joys of Home Ownership
volume three

So, I arrive at the house on tuesday to work on it, and theres a note on the door. *crap, what now*

The note is from the City of Fresno, and it states "Notice and order to remove public nuisance violations". It also states "The condition of the building upon this property constitutes a "Blighted Building" and it is required that you correct the violations upon the property. The violations must be removed by April 13, and the building cannot be vacant past April 25th."

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the city says we owe them $85 for having to come out & serve the paperwork, $185 for having an unoccupied building, and by the way...we'll owe another $85 for them to come out & inspect the property after the "violations" have been taken care of. *pulling hair out & screaming*

I called the city & spoke to our inspector. Apparently he's seen a lot worse & feels bad for us, but someone in the neighborhood complained & he was required to act upon it. Apparently, us over there working on the house every day just isn't fast enough for them. *Grrrrr*

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Day At The Beach. Part II

Our first stop was a a vary popular seaside town call Pismo Beach. EVERYBODY from Fresno goes to "Pismo", as we like to call it.

Pismo is nice because it's got a great pier for fishing, a lot of beach for playing, quaint "tourist traps" for shopping, and finally it sports the most award winning clam chowder in the state! The line to place your order always is out the door and around the side of the building. I have been going to The Surf Shop just for clam chowder since I was a kid. There are times my sister and I have made the drive just because we were craving it...and we're not the only ones!
So here is a picture of baby Bella hanging out, while Tracy and I chowed down on clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. Yummy!

Luckily Tracy & I are pretty laid back about the day. It was quite the challenge having the 4 kids between us & trying to order food, find tables, get everyones drinks, cut up food, go to the bathroom, watch the baby, stop Kiernans constant crying (I don't know why), and handle the "I don't want this", "I dropped that", "That's mine", "Can I have yours?", "Are we going to the beach yet?", and "I don't want to sit here" comments. Seriously, we really were having fun.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Day At The Beach. Part I

Last week was spring break here in California. I worked all week & started to feel a little bad for the kids as they told me about all of the things that their friends were doing for the break. Finally at the end of the week I decided to take a day off & do something fun...a trip to the beach!

The weather was perfect. I called my friend Tracy to invite her & her kids Trevor & baby Bella. They were all for it, so a plan was set. I met Tracy & her kids on the other side of town to load up all of us into my car for the drive. It's a 3 hour trip...2 1/2 the way I drive. (2 hours if I'm by myself.) We started transferring her stuff to my car at 7:30am, about 30 minutes later we had managed to fit into my car:1 baby w/ carrier, 2 hyper boys, 1 cranky girl, 3 bags of clothes, 2 bags of food, a giant stroller, purses, books, beach toys, DVD players, 2 surprised moms, and one giant kite.

It then took another 15 minutes to load the DVD player, hook up the ear phones, set up the Ipod movie, get out the snacks, find the cell phones, buckle everybody in, pull out the baby toys and actually START THE CAR! That would be a grand total of 45 minutes in a Carls Jr parking lot trying to leave.

While it was a slow start to the day, the kids were great in the car. The baby slept & the moms got to chat, so all in all it was already a good day by the time we got to the beach.

To Be Continued...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Jacob!!

This weekend we celebrated Jakes birthday...for the 4th time! Apparently I haven't figured out how to coordinate all of the friends, family, acquaintances, Bobs, Jims & Joes that I thought needed to be invited to celebrate. This may take me a few years.

I sent out handmade invitations thinking, "Hey, I'm crafty!" Okay, while I may be crafty, apparently I'm not so smart. The very next day the calls started rolling in...somehow I managed to not only get the date of the party wrong (everyone wanted to know if it really was on a monday at 2 in the afternoon?), but Jakes age too. He came home upset because his friends were teasing him about turning 6 years old, when really it's 7. But hey, they looked fabulous, in spite of being completely innacurate.

This is Jake with the cake I made for him, it's a "Chinese Dragon" since he was having his party at a Karate studio. He was thrilled with the cake & wanted to eat it in immediately after I frosted it. Sorry kid, after all that work (2 cake mixes & 4 cans of frosting later!) I wanted somebody to see it besides him & I. Everybody had pretty much the same response when they saw it.

"Humph! You made that didn't you" (insert accusational tone of voice here)

This studio was a total birthday bargain! The guy running it had tons of games planned, from some crazy dodgeball, to beating each other with giant foam bats (the boys were in heaven), and a great obstacle course with hitting, kicking, rolling & hopping among other things.

All in all, a good time was had by all. The kids were exhausted...

the moms got to chat...

And everybody left happy!

Cutie nephew, Baby Luke!! Sweetest baby ever!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This, is how you do it...

The Joys of Home Ownership
Volume Two
Mike Coleman, 5 hours. One Spot.
Shelby Coleman, 3 hours. One corner.

Terry West, one hour. Three rooms.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

And So It Begins....

The Joys of Home Ownership
Volume One

At 2:00 Friday afternoon we got the keys to our (not so new) new house.
At 2:30 we went to go look at our new house, because now we could do it without breaking any real estate laws. We couldn't really do anything there, and we'd seen it a dozen times already, but this time we actually owned it & could stand there staring at it for as long as we wanted, and the Nazi Regime also known as Countrywide Lending couldn't say a dang thing!
At 2:45 the City of Fresno stopped by to welcome us to the neighborhood (that we'd belonged to for all of 45 minutes) and then cite & fine us. Apparently the real estate company (note: see afore mentioned Nazi Regime) illegally turned on the water to the house.

Volume Two

12:00 Saturday afternoon Mike went over to the house to "work on it". Yay! Getting things done!
3:30 I took the kids to go & see how it was going. I cruised the house to find the project he chose to work on...since there are so many to be done.
Hmmm, maybe he scraped the popcorn off of the bedroom ceilings, then I could paint the kids rooms. Nope. Okay, maybe he started power spraying the moss off of the outside of the house, better curb appeal...that would be good. Nope. Well, he must have started pulling down the wallboard in the living area so that we could get it floated & textured? No. Cleaning up the backyard? No. Scraping up the linoleum? No.
So about this time a friend shows up & gets the tour of the house. Mike & I show him around & finally end up at the garage. Mike takes him in and excitedly explains about the power washer my dad loaned him & what a great job it did of cleaning up THIS SPOT on the garage floor.
"Right here the oil was so thick it was like tar, it took me awhile, but look at that! It was layer after layer of grease...but look at it now!"

5 hours later it's just a regular oily spot on the cement floor of the garage, instead of a big, nasty one. Whatever that means.

I think we need to have a discussion about priorities.