Friday, November 3, 2017

The Joys of Home Ownership*

*Today's guest editor is being played by Beverly.

We arrived in Florida to check out Lisa's father's house and it faired pretty well after the hurricane. Lisa's sister met us there and stayed a week with us to help us go through the house and to start cleaning after it being vacant for 4 months. Some things were hard to do, like going through his clothes. In fact it was so hard to do, that we left it to do some time in the future.

We attacked other areas that needed cleaning out. Such as the garage and the shed (which we call the  roach motel). Every time I moved something in the shed, a roach would scurry to other hidden places. It really freaked me out. I guess they are really not roaches. They are called Palmetto bugs.
Palmetto bug.

They are about 1 1/2 inches big. Don't get them confused with the American cockroach.

American Cockroach.
Can you see a difference? We can't. As my wise old father would say" You can put make-up on a pig, but it's still a pig". Not quite sure I know the whole meaning but I think that you can call a roach a Palmetto Bug but it is still a roach. All I know for sure is that Raid works on both.

So I got the shed cleaned out completely and sprayed everything with bug killer. I know it is working because every time I open the shed doors there are dead "Palmetto bugs", aka roaches.

It has been a couple of weeks now and things on the legal front are moving painfully slow, but they are moving. Things on the inside of the house are progressing along also. Lisa has been changing the decor a little. We are finding many things that can be donated or just thrown out. He had so many products that where past their expiration date. Not just by a month or two. I mean we are talking about years past the expiration date. We filled a whole garbage can just with that stuff. We have donated what we can to a Hospice thrift store so even after death he is still doing good.

When we got to his house we knew that there were 3 major projects that needed to get done. 1) We needed to remove a tree that partly fell done during the last hurricane. 2) Replace many sections of fence that blew down during the hurricane. 3) Re-shingle the roof that was damaged during the hurricane. Can you sense a theme here?

So we talked to his insurance agent and we find out that he does have hurricane insurance. Whew! What a relief. That was some great news. Wait for it........Wait........Wait...... BUT.......Florida hurricane insurance doesn't cover 1) Trees that fall down unless they hit the structure. Really?! 2)Fences that blow down. Double really?! Apparently insurance companies would go broke if they replaced every fence that blew down every time the wind blew. 3) During a hurricane your deductible doubles. So now we have to determine if the damage is above the doubled deductible, and then is it even worth putting a claim in. Well bend us over and slap our ass's.

So with little help from the insurance company we will take on these projects ourselves. The first one being the tree. We need to get that removed so that we then can start replacing the fence. I am up in Minnesota as I write this so Lisa is taking care of the homestead. The tree came down and she sent me pictures. Yay! It was good to get that down because it was starting to rot and we thought that maybe it would come down during the next hurricane onto our house or the neighbors.


What am I doing in wintery Minnesota and not in warm, sunny Florida? Good question. I had my doctors appointment in September and I have been having terrible knee pain. So I went to a knee specialist and he thought I might have a torn Meniscus in my knee which the x-rays kind of saw that. Then Lisa's father passed away and we headed to Florida before anything else could be done. The pain got worse and nothing was really going on in Florida so Lisa scheduled an MRI for me in Fargo. So I jumped on a plane and headed north. Having an MRI is truly amazing. The pictures that thing takes are incredible. My knee doctor looked at the MRI and confirmed that I do have a torn Meniscus with some bone damage and of all things, Arthritis. Hopefully they can schedule surgery in December when we get back north for Christmas.

So I have been living in Lisa's mom's basement, (every mans dream I know). Turning it into an old school man cave. I mean who needs modern technology when you can bring history back to life. I set up an entertainment area with an old TV And VCR I found in the basement. For the young readers a VCR stands for "Video Cassette Recorder". Movies used to come on what they called "Video Cassettes".
A 27 inch TV and VCR. That was a giant in its day.
That wooden measuring device is called a "Yard Stick".
Thrift stores and pawn shops have a ton of tapes. How ever the shelf life of VCR tapes is only about 20 years. So you are lucky if you get a good one and the selection is nothing modern.

If I want to listen to some music, I found a stereo Hi-Fi system with and 8 track tape player and a phonograph. Life is good in the basement. Why would I ever want to leave? Maybe someday I will get a Nintendo 64 or something.

The stereo works very well and it has decent sound quality. I had the phonograph working for a little bit before it froze up. I googled how to fix it and am in the process of doing that. 
8 Track tape.

LP record. See how much that cost back in the day.
They stopped making 8 tracks in 1982 so our selection here at Beverly's is limited to polkas and waltzes. LP records died out in the mid nineties and are making a comeback. LP stands for "Long Play" for the younger readers and the records were made of "vinyl". That's totally the "Bees Knees".

Until the next installment of the un-travelling travelers. I head back to Florida in a couple of days.



  1. Thanks for explaining all those antiquey things, I would have had to Google (An internet search engine used by people without VCR's and LP's) them to see what they were

    1. I try to keep my blog interesting, informational and entertaining. I did have to use our dial up internet thingy to find out when they stopped making 8 tracks.

  2. Haha! Sorry to hear about your knee....and the roaches. Definitely sorry about the roaches!

    1. We are not used to all the bugs they have in the south. Hopefully something will be done with my knee.

  3. Ugh, Palmetto bugs. When we worked for the Ocala National Forest several years back I was introduced to them the hard way. We were in charge of emptying garbage bags. Those things would come scurrying out. Yuck!

    1. They are gross and they will fly. Plus they are huge.

  4. I had my 8 track player stolen out of my car back in the 70's in Detroit, so did hold value at some point in time, Dino. It used to frost me when a song would fade out, then fade back in on the next track. That theft was what got me into cassettes, thank goodness.