Tuesday, May 27, 2008

work and more work

While there is no news on the home front, today's trip to Bangor netted a nice retainer from a new web and hosting client -- a referral from my first client, Martin Brown... a Maine canoe guide and photographer (MaineCanoe.com, MartinBrownPhoto and Northern Logistics who hired me mostly for search engine work and tweaks to the websites.

My new client will be building luxury condos in Belfast, ME and needs a web site to market them in this "interesting" economy. I am blessed that he is very tech savvy and wants a sexy, high-end site with many videos and, at the outset, virtual tours of the 3D models inside and out. HE supplies the content and all I have to do is nag. Yes, I have been hired as a nag.

So today started out with a 5:30 AM alarm so I could get my Words of Wisdom written and out and meet the new client 1.5 hrs away, at 9. Then, trying to keep Bangor trips to a minimum and part of "paying expeditions" (client meetings) we were off to look into Maine state assistance to help with Kevin's medical expenses. Either we were ill informed or the worker drone who assisted us did not know her stuff as what he is qualified for was very different from what the Council for Aging rep had told us. We will see... she led us to believe that Medicare Part D could be done at the same office... but it cannot... so we will fight that battle online AFTER I speak with her again. She also led us to believe that once signed up for Part D, one could change providers at will, as might be necessary if prescriptions change. I suspect in the next few days I will be sitting in her office, getting all this straight.

What Maine WILL do is pay for Kevin's Medicare parts A & B starting in June, but it will take months for this to be reflected in his checks and for him to get the reinbursement.

Had lunch in a neat cafe Nicky's Crusin' Diner in Bangor, met with Martin and then post office and shopping. We are trying to keep Bangor trips to once a week (not terribly successfully thus far, due to living out of storage and losing stuff in the storage building. It is NOT good when you have deadlines that require something -- like paint -- and you cannot find it 'cause you took it back to storage to keep it out from under foot and then shuffled -- twice -- and are not sure where it ended up. But I had been wanting a flat house paint for the exterior hex signs and now I have a start of that.

Also supplied with cat stuff (if we stop feeding them, will we be able to stop buying litter too?? LOL) and some groceries for the humans as well, along with the "fixings" to mount my "laundry tree" securely in a bucket full of concrete which we can bury so I can use it here and then dig it up and take the base with when we find home. And some additional potting soil for the planters of herbs and a new keyboard for K. His number lock stopped working... and this was on the "spare" kbd that I had got at a geek show years ago for $3. His old one died a few weeks ago...

But it was a LONG (albeit productive) day and we didn't get back in the driveway until after 5, so I don't want to do anything else tonight but relax a bit.. have another glass of wine.. and start again tomorrow.

The list:
more painting on 4 hex signs due out this week
go to the community garden, take the pumpkin plants I was given, plant and catch up news with my friend A
visit a bit with town friend S, whose long-time companion, a Pekenese doggy named Ceaser, who had been ailing for many months finally had to be put down.
work on Jimmy Amspacher's model boat building website
work on minor tweaks for Martin's photo site
being work on the condo site
complete registration on a Maine crafts website
look into info that I got in the mail today about a crafts event on the Bangor waterfront in July
and of course all the usual housekeeping stuff... else we find ourself buried in mounds of cat and dog hair. It IS spring in Maine!
down load the pix from the new camera and post some (it is SPRING in Maine!)

I think I'll keep busy...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

slowed to a crawl

The lender wimped out. Seems that the bankruptcy disrupts things indeed for 2 year... and the date that counts is the date it was finalized -- in April of last year -- so we must wait until April of next year to try.

The "private lender" also wimped out, which gets us out of the contract for the place where we could not get DSL or cable; the 12 acres is likely out on that account as well, but friends are asking neighbors of that place how THEY connect.

All in all, it looks like we are stuck in "the most ghetto trailer park" for now. I am posting "wanted" signs in all the mom and pop convenience stores and any bulletin board I can find; thus far it has generated one call, from a homeowner with a property that was listed on MLS in the $100+K price range. On two acres. Right...

But on a more positive note, spring has sprung, the birch and beech trees are sporting new bright green leaves, flowering trees and bushes are ablaze (lilacs! forcythia! and others I have yet to identify) and all it takes for me to feel a wonderful sense of contentment and "I am home" is to go just about anywhere, driving down those country roads. I feel our place is out there, somewhere... just trying to find the right space/time continuum stream to slip into and secure it.

I love the fact that it is warming up in the daytime, and that I have a garden to dig and plant in. Props to my friends Anne and Todd, who are sharing their newly tilled, first-year garden plot. And thanks as well to their unnamed neighbor and his equally unnamed calf, for it was T and A's help in hunting down and capturing the wayward bovine that prompted the owner to bring his tractor along and till the plot as a return favor.

I have planted a bunch of my old seeds from last year, just on the chance they will grow and last weekend went out to some of the local growers and got leaf and head lettuce starts, celery (to try) broccoli and cabbages as well (2 kinds) and accidentally a flat of cauliflower and one of Brussels sprouts. I also planted a few hills of Peruvian purple potatoes and some red Chilean ones... tiny little things, the seed 'taters were. I got some dwarf grey sugar peas that I had hoped would be sugar snaps but appear to be the kinds used in stir fry instead... oh well, we like them too. Sugar snaps seem to be hard to find, but I am going to a field day at the MOGFA
the end of the month, and they will have vendors, including one of my favorite growers, Johnny's Selected Seeds, so I still have hope. I soaked the peas overnight, as I also did the spinach. I am not holding my breath on the spinach giving a good crop as my experience says it likes a plot that has been recently heavily dressed with manure compost. But we will see...

Those are all in the ground. And I have a few packs of tomatoes and peppers waiting for weather to dry and warm again a bit. Tradition here (the old timers) want to plant everything the end of May; I have heard "after the May full moon" for 'maters, but the next few days are supposed to be rainy, at the least, if not cooler as well.

We still have the flannel sheets on the bed, though we had a couple of nights that had me thinking it was time to switch out to plain cotton ones. Of course I am not sure WHERE they are, so the last trip to town I hit Kmart, where the 100% cotton Martha Stewart ones were on sale. I like that brand; they have deep enough fitted bottoms that they FIT my mattresses and do not shrink down badly. Unfortunately queen is a popular size so the color selection was shrunken, but I did managed to find a nice sage green set AND additional sets of both King and standard pillow cases! so we have a complete set that matches, including cases for all the pillows! Now all we need is weather that does not, at bedtime, call for flannel! LOL

I am truly enjoying the cooler nights and early mornings, though. When the sun is out for much of the day it warms enough that I was wishing for shorts and a tank top at the garden last session.

To catch up on other threads, the meeting with the developer went well and he will most likely become my second Maine client.

I attended a workshop for artists and made some good connections that likely will lead to my participation in some local craft fairs, and this evening was the opening reception for the SMBIZ4ME conference, which will continue tomorrow.

And I have a new camera!! After making do with my oldest digital cam, the result of having accidentally dropped my Sony just prior to the move, an outstanding invoice was paid. I had mentally earmarked it for a replacement camera and so there is now a battery for my new Sony a200 charging in the kitchen.

I am looking forward to many wonderful photo shoots as I wander about my new home turf.

Friday, May 9, 2008

slow progress

I was surprised at the result of my meeting with the lender yesterday. We still do not have commitment, but she says that, as a worst case, we will be able to get a mortgage come mid-Sept. NOT my idea of a good time to move, but she also had ideas to get from here to there if the right property presents itself.

I am not yet sure it has, thought I am highly enamored of the 12 acres we found; problem is, no high speed connectivity. But I am continuing to pursue it, as I can with the owner hospitalized in Chicago at present. I do know if this one falls through, it will have been a stepping stone.

On other fronts, when I met with my Bangor client I joked with him about when he was going to hold the dinner party to introduce me to his high-roller CEO friends (he had mentioned that he would give me referrals and that he had a big network of contacts) and that prompted him to recall a Friday evening conversation with a fellow... He was going to give me the number but instead of making me do a cold call, he called and gave me a "walk on water" intro before handing me the phone. I have a tentative meeting with the new fellow -- an architect/developer who is working on a project in Belfast -- on Sunday.

While I was eating lunch I spotted a newspaper account of an event to be held at a nature center a bit south of Bangor on Saturday -- celebrating Migratory Birds day or some such -- that includes not only bird walks but also a native plant walk and sale and I am going to try to attend. The afternoon/evening will likely be taken up with working on a collaborative garden with a couple of sets of friends, if the rains holds off. If not, who knows. I think, though, I am learning that the best bet is to have the beds for the early garden prepared in the fall, before the first snowfall! That way, with little spring prep you can get the earliest crops in rather than waiting for the soil to dry enough to do a major soil prep.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Off to tilt at windmills

I have a few minutes before I am off to the city to see the financial maven for the realty company for which the sales agent with whom we have a contract for the property we DON'T want works. Got that? LOL

Anyway, I will be using her for info, feeling her out, playing spy, mole.. whatever you want to call it... weaving other webs. And then, after that, a appt with my Maine guide client. While I am in town I will take the non-deposit recycles by the recycing center in Bangor, as Milo doesn't. Everything except the non-deposit #1s which no one seems to take. Or at least I have not found them yet so they just keep adding up, even though I do my best to avoid getting any of them. And the Post office (hoping for the payment from the Park Service) and grocery store.

We have yet to get in sync with the once-a-week shopping, once a month MAJOR shopping, but we are trying.

It is raining today, and will be off and on the rest of the week, but warmer. We have not had the heat on, even in the evening or morning for a bit, for a couple of days. Just add a layer of clothes, which works.

I signed up with the state Arts Council and in my inbox yesterday was notification of jurying by a crafts org. for inclusion in a new, large, visitor-oriented educational and sales venue, due to open this fall. I had heard about this organization and about this project and decided the time was NOW to join and apply to be juried; professional membership perks include no jury fees for their exhibits, etc and mention/link from their web site... etc. Art, the only endeavor for which folks willingly pay $$ for the privilege of allowing so-called experts to tell them they are not good enough. LOL Well, at least I get something else for my bucks.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

crazy, land-hunting, want-to-be-settled blues

I know it will be in their time and at a place of their choosing, but I SO MUCH want to rail at the Universe at Large… I don’t WANT TO WAIT… I NEED SETTLED NOW. I want to binge on chocolate and get drunk and cry.

One things leads to another, and at each step I think “this is it” and so far each time it has not been, but has lead to another, apparently a better one which in time has (frustratingly) proven to be not so… Can you see why I want to rail and cry?

I have been neglecting blogging on account of I figure those who read will either get tired of reading “this is it!..... no it’s not” or think me wimpy and undecided or something… maybe it’s because I get tired of the YES… no… I dunno.

We have an offer in on a place that I was willing to settle on, that in many ways I liked but K was ambivalent about… and stand to loose $500 if we back out under the wrong circumstances. But truth be told it MAY not finance, as it does have issues. But then anything we buy will, I am sure. This one is newly built, but not completed (an issue… for the financing folks we were first talking to) and the septic is not completed and the tank is sitting with its top several inches above ground (an issue though the realtor says not) and has only .6 acre.

In the process of talking about this with a friend who lives kinda in that area, it came to light that her brother in law knows the property and verified that all of K’s concerns were indeed valid. He, however, has a deal going on 12 acres with a trailer her was refurbing that .. well it’s a long story but the actual owner is dying of cancer and a good friend of the brother in law. This is less expensive, more land, and has a very good feel, but no cable nor DSL and the dying guy is not even around to talk to at present, as when I called yesterday I found out he and his wife were flying out to Chicago for medical stuff…

Is this “it?” Can we get financing? Or is it just another step, as we would NOT have found out about this had it not been for the other one.

Adding more to the mystery, K has been dreaming (again…) of a situation that he dreampt of before we moved to ME…where we were living “over the shop”… with the shop being Vision on one side and a gallery on the other, with two apartments over, one that we are in and other having come with a tenant. But he sees no garden there…

And we have not seen anything at all like this in our looking.

Can I ask at least that the Powers That Be make up their minds and settle us? This is making us both crazy.