Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee this weekend in Tucson I would invite you to relax with some iced tea and chocolate covered dates stuffed with walnuts. I scored yet another 20 pound box of Medjool dates at my produce pick up this morning. I have been giving dates away for weeks, and now I have about 30 pounds. They are perfect for winter, and will last a long time. I am looking for new date recipes. Sit down and tell me how your week has been. I hope all of those who have been hit by the storms are safe and dry. Our national recovery will take a long time. My heart goes out to those who have been displaced.
The week went quickly for me, with not much writing. I worked last weekend to make up for the day had to miss for grand jury. I was excused. The people who manage the process, from the registration staff, to the bailiff who guides you and tracks you by your badge number, to the judge, are all extremely professional. The judge was very clear in all his explanations, and the entire mega situation, with people reporting all day long, is handled super efficiently. We all had bar codes to track us, which I suppose enables a smooth and accurate accounting of all that happens. I was impressed with this little corner of government function. It works really well for all involved.
I am extremely glad not to have to dedicate 2 days a week to the court until the middle December. This morning I got the good news that I have an offer on the lot I have for sale across the street from my home. I accepted the offer and now have until October 19th to clear out my possessions from the lot and the barn. I had begun the job, but now there is a solid deadline to finish organizing and decluttering. I hoped to sell it before I had to pay taxes on it again, and it looks like I will meet that goal. I can’t wait to be finished downsizing. It is liberating to jettison unneeded stuff.
I wrote a short piece of fiction this week that was related to getting rid of family heirlooms. I am sure this came from my effort to relieve myself of the silly burden of files and papers from my dead parents finances, etc. This is the theme in my life at the moment. Marie Kondo has worked her magic into my very soul. I believe that tidiness is true happiness. I am out to prove it. By 19 October I will be a much lighter being. I think it will inspire my writing to be free. Stay tuned, and we shall see. This deadline is the best gift for me now.
Thanks for stopping by for a chat today. This moveable feast and digital coffee klatch is hosted each weekend by Diana at PartTimeMonster. Please join us to read, comment, or write your own coffee share post about what is happening in your life and writing.
If we were having coffee at my house this weekend I would serve you iced tea while trying to convince you to take some of my extra artful objects home with you. I am either giving away or selling as much of my superfluous (high quality) junk as possible. On close examination, I find most of it has become useless and redundant. All of the closets and cabinets in my condo contain gear I do not use. I own a small barn on a lot across the street which is full of things that nobody has seen in years. It is time for me to take an inventory, make appropriate adjustments, and sell the real estate I own across the street. Once I made the decision it was easy for me to sell my big 4 wheel drive Beemer which is all wrong for my lifestyle now. I bought a tiny, darling and sporty Mini Cooper that zips around town. It is perfect for my current needs. I don’t need to become a total minimalist, I just need to carve away the excess from my burden of ownership so that it makes sense today.
The big car is going to be sold to a friend for his son who will take it to college. I made wonderful use of the car. It has served me well, but I am happy to let it go. It will be a safe and functional vehicle for a college student in Utah. Maybe he will use the 4 wheel drive. After the BMW leaves for Salt Lake City my partner will be able to fit his Mustang into our two car garage. The lot across the street has only been serving as a parking place for his car, and a place to store things we don’t really need. We enjoy the fruit we grow over there, but I pay property taxes that are higher than developed land just to have an urban orchard. I can let that go easily. The next owner will enjoy the fruit…and pay the taxes.
We will have to move our firewood storage to the small backyard of the condo, but this is not a terrible sacrifice. We will acquire wood in smaller amounts and when we want to feed the fire it will be right outside the back door instead of across the street. Once I started the chain of events I started to feel very liberated. I can accomplish the give-away/shift in possessions with little effort. The money from the sale of the land will support me for years, so it will be well worth the effort. I will list it right away in hopes of selling it before property taxes are due in October. That would be dreamy. A property tax bill for less than half my current one would be a fabulous way to end 2017.
If we were drinking iced tea I would tell you the monsoon here continues. My rain collection barrel is overflowing. It has been raining every day, but no damaging flooding has taken place. Fires in the forests are contained. My writing is on schedule, more or less. I skipped my fiction post for Friday yesterday in the excitement of trying to get rid of all my possessions. I have enjoyed writing the memoirs, and will continue on Mondays with that theme. I just found a picture in a book that sparked a story idea for next week. What is key for me is keeping the memoir short and time specific. Maybe someday I can expand that range through practice. I also want to “cross over” to historical fiction eventually. How has your muse been treating you lately? Have you been productive? Creative? Ingenious? In my own case the muse is feeling sluggish and lazy from all the humidity. She is around, but kind of flat. I hope yours has been lively and helpful.
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The Latin phrase caveat emptor means let the buyer beware. This concept is a warning to all consumers that they have less information about the product in normal circumstances than the seller. Common law provides that the seller must deliver the goods, free of encumbrance by third parties, and that the goods must be suitable for the intended use. This applies to real estate contracts, where the seller may hoodwink an unsophisticated buyer into paying more for the property than it is really worth.
Once the deal has been closed there is very little the buyer can do other than regret the purchase. Property sold with obvious concealed flaws is difficult to return, and will involve legal fees and court costs. A couple from Europe bought their first home in our condo village and learned after the closing that the place was full of toxic black mold. I felt really bad for them because they were stuck with the home and the costly mold removal fee because they could not prove that the seller knew about the mold before the sale. A good inspector could have saved them before they signed that contract, but after the signatures, they were stuck. To prove fraud after the fact is much harder than catching it before the unfortunate purchase has been made.
In real estate sales it is common for both parties to employ agents to represent their interests. The buyer needs to be wary of the true intention of both agents, which is to make a sale from which they will cut a commission. The first time buyer can be confused by appraisals, financing, points, insurance, inspections, taxation, and by the contract itself. Emotional factors go into home buying that make this important decision very tricky from a financial standpoint. For many people the investment in housing is the biggest single investment the family makes. After the last housing meltdown and mortgage fraud this reality became clear to many who lost their homes.
If you consider purchasing a home that is governed by an HOA I urge you to fully investigate the corporation and its standards before you buy. Some are overly strict and micro manage. I live in a condo village that has had no management, standard operating procedures, or enforcement of our deed restrictions since I moved here. The governing board has drained the value from all the homes by neglecting the common areas and failing to properly manage and maintain our assets. This puts a real wrench in the works for shareholders who have pride of ownership. I would avoid buying any property that is governed by an HOA in the future. The system leaves much to be desired. I have learned this lesson the hard way. Have you ever made a disastrous investment due to factors beyond your control, gentle reader? It is a drag. Inform yourself. That goes for elected officials too.
In Tucson and around the country damage from mold is a serious issue. This health hazard can be dangerous to humans and pets. It is most devastating to real estate value because insurance companies rightly treat it like the plague. Mold that is rampant must be treated and removed to avoid spread and contamination of the entire area. Since the property with an adjoining wall has been used to collect donations for a decade, the water has been leaking profusely for months, and everything points to heavy duty mold damage I have repeatedly asked the HOA board that collects the donations from the public to hire Rocky the Mold Dog, who appears on TV. He is a beagle with a nose for mold. He sniffs the property and helps the humans identify problems so they can be treated. All health department code has been violated in this building for more than a decade. The unsupervised food collection, storage, and preparation in a leaky environment is a very likely contributor to the growth of mold. There is probable cause to believe the building is completely infested with mold which is damaging my home every day.
There is much more than a conflict of interest between the HOA board members who run the charity scam collecting donations, and the property owners in this neighborhood. I had some work done on my home recently and was informed by the contractor who did the work about the level of danger to my structural integrity posed by the neglect of my next door neighbor. He took some pictures of the rotting roof piled with debris, and explained that the load of all that garbage was a serious threat to my home. He taught me a lot that I did not know about the dangers and damage that mold represents. I read my insurance policy and spoke to my agent who explained the complex and very depressing details of mold, what it does, and what happens to your insurance policy once it is discovered. I am officially freaked out about the physical damage the charity scam has done to my home. The donation traffic has slowed to nothing, the water leak was repaired a couple of days ago after leaking for at least 6 months. I need the people who took advantage of all their neighbors to begin to acknowledge reality and the neighborhood by getting a mold test to confirm or deny the presence of a very hazardous material. Their behavior suggests that they do no believe in cause and effect. Believe it or not, every action will continue to have an equal and opposite reaction.