Smelling the flowers

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
You've created a beautiful vacation home, Petunia. I am within a 12 hour drive and would absolutely consider vacationing here except I usually go south. I'll keep it in mind though :)
Thank you, PP! It would be fun to host you someday. :)
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
Guys, bookings are coming in! I've booked three weeks in the summer, potentially 5-6 days in early March, I have someone staying there right now, and another booking for next weekend! I am a wee bit less stressed now. Although now I need to work on finding an HVAC company to do the A/C, buy a dock, plan a fire pit area and make it happen, and clean up the landscape. And find ways to pay for it all. Bring on the bookings!

Last night we had a mail-in ballot signing dinner with B and The Therapist. We ordered Mexican (and they forgot one of our orders). The Therapist made margaritas. We Zoomed with Wil. Bond will be dropping the ballots off at a polling collection box asap. While we were eating I got a confirmation for a week stay in July, woot! It was happy dance time. :) After they left Bond and I were watching TV and I got an inquiry and this morning they committed to a week in August. Yay!
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
I hope your Valentine's celebrations were nice. We had a really nice weekend. Saturday night we made steaks for the Triad, and Sunday Wil, The Therapist, and B came over and we made wings, B brought two soups, lentil and carrot, and we made homemade ice cream, lemon poppy seed flavor. It was a really, really nice weekend.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
Stress is coloring my world this week. Yesterday Wil went with me to [STR Name]. It was one of those days when I had so many bad things happen, but also good things happened which offered some balance. I don't know why it left me feeling more bad than good. I had wanted Bond to go with me, but it was his hangout day with B, so he didn't respond when I told him I was really anxious about getting everything done if he wasn't along. So I left and hoped for the best. The number of things that went wrong was almost comedic and would have been funny if it wasn't for the stress of it all. But at the end of the day, the refrigerator was delivered and is in the kitchen even though the delivery guys had to carry it up to the house using appliance straps. Thank goodness for young, strong bodies with strong backs and legs! They also took my bribe and moved the old refrigerator down to the game room. Yay! The fireplace surrounds got installed. WP got shit done and so did Wil, and I got through most of my list.

WP got the water line connected for the ice maker, fixed the hatch in the game room that could have fallen on someone's head because he didn't do it right the first time! And he fixed the panel that fell out of the bathroom vanity door.

Wil put up a towel bar, hung a picture, assembled a side table, charged the Ring doorbell, and had a 2+ hour Zoom meeting with colleagues.

I forgot to take the owner's closet keys (Bond made 4 copies and set them on my desk), so my cleaner brought hers over so I could unlock the closet. We had an opportunity to talk and get to know one another better. She is thrilled with the job and told her husband that she is giving me top priority, because I respect her and value her work and input. She has no idea how true that is! In a vacation rental business the cleaner can make or break a business. I'm paying her double what she quoted me, plus paying her $25 for each 5 * cleanliness review. In return I am her first clean of the day, she's willing to pick up treats for welcome gift, and she's fine with treating the water in the hot tub, taking on the laundry, and is checking into local services for various things. I feel like we're partners.

I didn't have time to use the electrostatic fogger. Sigh.

I love the fireplace surrounds! Main Floor Fireplace Surround
I'm ordering doors from someone on Etsy for the wood box space to finish the look off. https://www.etsy.com/listing/643643645/rustic-wooden-barn-doorsshutters-farm

Hopefully the salt on the driveway will do its magic and the gas truck can deliver LP tomorrow. They tried on Tuesday and couldn't quite get up the hill. Fucking hill.
 
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Evie

Strong Woman
Your cleaner sounds awesome!

I think [STR Name] is beautiful, I fantasize about staying there but I don't think I'll ever know enough people in the States who I'd share space with like that. Puck's polycule would not work all under one roof! And anyway, when I finally get to visit the States, I'm gonna want him all to myself most of my trip. But I'm looking on longingly.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
Your cleaner sounds awesome!

I think [STR Name] is beautiful, I fantasize about staying there but I don't think I'll ever know enough people in the States who I'd share space with like that. Puck's polycule would not work all under one roof! And anyway, when I finally get to visit the States, I'm gonna want him all to myself most of my trip. But I'm looking on longingly.
Isn't she the bomb?! So lucky!

Thank you, Evie. :) Can't say I blame you one bit!
 
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Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
Things continue in STR land. The arborist sent me a message yesterday that he plans on taking down the trees on Saturday. I have guests from Friday night to Monday morning! My initial thought was to cancel him, but instead I reached out to the guest and she is okay with it happening, because they're going to be skiing most of the day. I am giving her $100 so they can go out for breakfast, or whatever she wants to spend it on.

Last night B stopped by for a drink and to bring carrots and apples for the rabbits and other wildlife in our backyard. We were cooking dinner at the time and a few minutes after it was ready I asked Bond if he wanted to make a plate for the second time. He snapped at me, because, well, I don't know why he snapped really. I had said something like, "I don't know if you heard me earlier. Do you want to make a plate?" And he snapped back something like, "All I heard was you say that B wasn't going to eat with us, but 'something'." He then said that no he wasn't going to eat, because he wasn't hungry. B got on him about being so snappy, which he then defended/denied. Meanwhile she and I moved to the sunroom and I told her that's he's always snapping at me lately and that I feel like he doesn't like me anymore. She and I tried to talk to him about it when he got in there, but he was over the top rude, so I gave up and said that I couldn't talk about it, because it was going to make me cry and I got up and left the room. They talked for a while and I busied myself on my phone playing a stupid game just trying to numb the hurt and gain some time before having to deal with him. After a while he came to talk and apologize. We're going to work on our communication and he wants B and me to let him know when he's being rude. Wish us luck. I hope we can stop this pattern. It feels really shitty when the response you get for almost anything you utter carries a tone that conveys that you are annoying and you shouldn't have spoken, or what you said is contemptible and open for criticism.

Outside of all of that nastiness some nice things also happened. Bond said that he'd pay for the trees coming down and for a pier that I found.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
Hi all. I needed to remove the name of my rental property, because this forum is not blocked from search engine bots o_O. In my quest to be able to edit my posts I ended up being added to the moderators group for this site.

We're doing an Adults' Spring Break at the lake house this Friday-Sunday for the triad, the therapist, and the professor. Should be fun. I didn't want it to be a working weekend, but in order for it not to be Bond and I are getting up there as early as possible Friday. I have a hair appointment at 8:30 am and should be back home by 9:30. Bond needs to take his boys to their mother and meet me back at the house and then we'll head up. I wanted to go directly there from my hair appointment, but he wants to ride together. Sigh. There are pluses and minuses to doing it that way. He tends to run late and his boys aren't used to getting up early, so that'll push the timeline, I'm sure. Plus, we need to stop and pick up croissants from Costco and that's like letting a kid lose in a candy store with him. My BFF stayed at the lake house from Monday to today and in that time one of the lower level toilet lines started leaking. I feel so bad that they had to keep dealing with it. We have a mini worklist to get through before the others arrive and fixing the water leak is one of the items. We have 10 pictures to hang (2/bedroom) and while not difficult, Bond cannot be rushed. I'd also like to look at the gas grill (finally) to see if it's useable or if I need to get a new one. Other than that, I tried to keep from adding other things to the list.

I'm so stressed about money. I thought I had gotten over the hump, but yesterday WP submitted three invoices that add up to $9,798. It wouldn't be so bad, but he wants to pick up checks for them today. WTF, dude?! I told him via text that I'll need to split it into 3 payments. He hasn't replied back, so I don't know how he's taking that news.

Despite my stress, we're all excited about our weekend away. B is practically vibrating. LOL It's contagious and we're all jazzed. The Therapist is getting his first COVID vaccine today and we're hoping he isn't under the weather because of it this weekend.

I can't wait to see the lakeshore following the tree removals. It's time to start planning a fire pit!
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
Our weekend was really nice. The weather was fabulous. It was warm and sunny. It was so warm that it was easy to see the changes in the lake ice as it melted. On Friday it was open to the west of us by the springs and by Sunday the opening was all the way over to in front of my property, probably a distance of 300 yards. The waterfowl were busy and happy. Wil is a birder and he had his fancy binoculars out identifying them for us.

Wil and I hung artwork in the bedrooms before B and the Therapist got there. We didn't want it to be a working weekend, but we felt that we could do a few things before things officially kicked off.

Bedroom #1
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Bedroom #2
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Bedroom #3
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Bedroom #4
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Bedroom 5
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I was worried that by adding artwork I might mess up the aesthetics if I did it wrong, but I'm really happy with my choices. I think they add to the look instead of jumble it, so it's a win. B loves the parrings and that delights me.

Bond worked on a leaky shutoff valve on one of the toilets. He didn't have the right tool to do the job, so we called a plumber on Monday and he had it done by noon.

I mentioned that I couldn't wait to see the shoreline after having the trees removed. We thought it might be possible to put a fire pit by the lake, but after walking the land it just isn't in the cards. The hill has too much of an incline to be able to set chairs around a ring without changing the grade and putting in a retaining wall - all which would no doubt draw attention from the lake association and the DNR. So, instead we're putting it much higher up the hill closer to the house where it'll still need to be leveled and will need a 3-4' retaining wall, but it's 75' above the high water line and will not be an issue with the powers that be. In order for us to build it we'll need to bring the machinery in via the neighbor's land as the hill makes it impossible to reach the lakeside of the property by going around the house on the sides. The neighbor is okay with this if we can do it before he has landscaping done on his yard sometime in April.

I learned from talking to the neighbors that the lake is likely mucky in front of my place. That makes me sad and very concerned that I'm going to have unhappy guests this summer. It's going to take a lot of work to improve it and it won't be a quick thing either. It means that the pier should go out quite a ways, too. The lake is quite shallow with a gradual slope until you get out quite a ways.

The arborist took down three trees and trimmed a few others up on Saturday. I talked him into chipping most of the tree tops and smaller limbs that they had piled two weeks ago when they did the majority of the work. They were unable to drive their tracked scoopy vehicle over to one of the brush piles, but they could get to two of them via the neighbor's yard. It cost $600 extra, but it really helped bring those brush piles down so that all that we have now are logs that can be burned by guests in the future fire pit.

I need to schedule vacation time so I can work in the yard. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to be ready for summer.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
I was able to schedule an appointment for next Tuesday for a COVID vaccination! I'm so jazzed. It's the Pfizer vaccine and they'll schedule the second vaccine when I'm there on Tuesday. Finally being overweight is paying off! LOL. Thank you, BMI of 26!

I had a little cry in the shower this morning just thinking that once vaccinated I'll be able to see my kids and grandkids. It's been over a year and I miss them so much. I gifted Josh a lakehouse stay for his b-day in early May. He and his GF are so excited and now I'll be able to spend time with them indoors when they're here. I'll get to see my granddaughter! She's grown so much in the past 15 months.

I'll finally be able to meet my youngest son's GF. I can't wait. She's so gorgeous (and that can be intimidating), but more importantly, she's incredibly sweet. From something Tay said, I think they've been holding off on getting engaged until she and I have had an opportunity to meet. I can hear wedding bells already. Geez, I better drop some weight so I look decent in my mother of the groom dress. She graduates from nursing this May. He's earning a crazy amount of money, and is about to purchase his second multi-family property, and she has money to buy a property of her own. Yeah, they'll be moving forward quite swiftly, I'm sure. They have a bright future and they're so focused and inline with one another. I'm terribly excited for them.

Oh, the financial pressure is being relieved by Wil offering me a personal, no interest loan to bridge the gap. I can sleep again!
 

PinkPig

Active member
That's great news, Petunia! I'm with you on the weight loss for a wedding. My oldest, Ruby, is getting married this fall. I want to lose at least 15 lbs before the wedding.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
That's great news, Petunia! I'm with you on the weight loss for a wedding. My oldest, Ruby, is getting married this fall. I want to lose at least 15 lbs before the wedding.
That's nice that your daughter is getting married. Good luck with the weight loss. It's hard to start, but almost easier than procrastinating once started.

I'm so happy it's Friday. I have to work, but it's only 8 hours and the sun is shining. Wil is heading home today. Before he leaves I need to ask him how we're going to do this loan thing. We're taking a road trip to Illinois tomorrow for some green. I'm not sure what we're doing on Sunday.

OMG, I keep laughing at this one (TikTok): dollyholly86
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
Yesterday Bond and I went to the lake house so he could fiddle with the Nest thermostat to see if he could make it function properly and I power-washed the deck. I wasn't able to complete the entire deck, so the patio below is quite the mess right now. The next guest is WP and family, so I'm not too concerned. He's going to install the doors to cover the wood storage openings on the fireplaces on Friday and then they start their stay, checking out Tuesday morning.

Bond was able to get the Nest working properly, so yay! He also hung the hot tub rules sign I ordered from Amazon, fixed a baby gate that someone janked, and painted some of the handrail on the spiral staircase (which I ended up touching, twice. 🤣)

The guests left a bunch of hard seltzer in the refrigerator, so we brought some home and left one of each flavor for the house cleaner. One of their party left a blouse so we need to get that in the mail to her.

I was scrolling through Instagram last night and realized I was looking at a group of people standing in front of the fireplace at my lake house. That was pretty cool. She had tagged the account/house and everything and said it was their Inaugural trip. She also messaged me to ask if it were possible to book direct as they'd like to return in the fall. She also left a 5* review.

The boys were up late last night and making noise and woke me. I am so damn tired today and my head is killing me. It's going to be a long day.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
I get my first Pfizer vaccination this afternoon. This morning we were able to get Bond an appointment for tomorrow! Someone canceled and he got their slot. The intake person told him to go buy a lottery ticket, because he was so lucky. B gets hers on Thursday. Now we need Wil to get his, but he doesn't qualify for 1c, so it'll be a bit longer.

Tonight is triad date night. We're ordering takeout from North and South. I wonder how I'll be feeling. I am anticipating a sore arm and maybe a bit off later in the night, but I'm not too worried about the fallout from the vaccine as it's only the 1st shot.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
I didn't feel too badly from the first shot. My arm was a bit sore, and mostly noticeable if I stretched my arm out. I did get tired and I had a worse than normal headache yesterday afternoon, so I took the afternoon off of work and listened to an Audible book. Bond's arm is slightly sore, but he's doing well otherwise. B and her son get their first shots in a couple of hours. I believe Franki is getting her first shot today too. Naya's BF got his first this morning and Naya is scheduled for next week. This all makes me so happy.

I wish my parents would get vaccinated.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
My mother called me today as they passed Madison on their way to my brother's in KY. We didn't talk long and they didn't suggest we meet up, thank goodness.

Earlier this week I had a crappy night of sleep due to their laxness about covid. I have a Facebook friended that I'll call K. She and I used to play together when we were kids. She lived on the farm next door to my parents' hobby farm. We used to ride our ponies together and catch frogs in the small pond across the road from their driveway. Her pony's name was Jimmy and I either rode Floppsie or Flicka. Her mother was a nurse and her dad was a generational farmer and had inherited the farm from his father. Her younger brother took over after college and the farm is still in the family, and the lady he married is a nurse. K also became a nurse, and I believe she married a doctor. Because we're Facebook friends I see her posts and I just don't get it. Her parents were hospitalized with Covid this fall/winter and her mother nearly died. So it's rather startling to see photos of the whole family together celebrating things in their homes and also in restaurants. But what kept me from sleeping was seeing a post about her father's 80th birthday party. It looked like they held it at the bowling alley. One of the comments was that they were expecting 50 people, but 100 people came. And of course, there are photos of my parents visiting with people. Not a single person wearing a mask. WTF. It's possible that many of these people have been vaccinated, but if you were a medical professional, would you host an event that would bring people together indoors? It flies in the face of the CDC recommendations.

I talked to my sister and brother, and they saw the pictures too. All I can say is that at least my brother knows what he's getting himself into. He probably feels somewhat safe because his wife and my nephew both had covid around Xmas. He didn't catch it, so now he thinks he's special.

Friends left and right are getting their vaccinations. It makes me so happy. I'll be really happy when they open it up to 12 and up, because we have several kids that are younger than 16. S1 and S2 are getting their first shots May 2nd. Yay!

Oh, S2 has been accepted at his college of choice. Woot! I was bracing for him to take a gap year and I'm so relieved we'll be sending him off to college this fall.

I have a guest checking in tomorrow that has not responded to any of my messages on the platform. I hope she has actually read them, because she won't know how to get in the house without having done so.

Triad land is going well. We're all relieved to be getting vaccinated and we're eager to have some freedom to socialize with other vaccinated friends.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
It is sunny today, but chilly. This weekend it's going to be in the 70's! I'm excited. I have guests tonight until Monday. I am excited for them to get such lovely weather. I am antsy and want the days to pass quickly between now and the 13th. I have a work presentation to do on the 13th and then I'm taking several days off of work to work on outside projects at the lake house. Wil is going to join me, and I wouldn't be surprised if Bond does, too. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate.
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
My cleaner, who happens to be the most important person in my rental universe, left these cute baskets for my Easter guests. I knew there would be kids and it turns out they are younger school age, so she nailed it! I'm sure they were super excited to walk into this surprise waiting for them.
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Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
My middle son got his first vaccine and is scheduled for his second vaccine three days before traveling to Wisconsin for his birthday weekend at the lake house. I'm so glad he managed to get it all done prior to his traveling, but it's too bad he will need to travel so soon on the heels of the 2nd shot. I'm after my youngest kid to get vaccinated and my daughter says she's too scared, so I doubt she will. Sigh.

I'm getting nervous about getting the outside things done at the lake house. So much is riding on it. I have guests there now that asked about using the gas grill. I've had "checkout the gas grill" on the to-do list so many times, but it never seems to happen. Well, now I have guests that want to use it and we haven't gone through it to see if it's functional. My cleaner took it out of the little lean-to that was built specifically for it and cleaned it yesterday, but she didn't check the tanks or try to light it.

I'm going up there next week, Wed-Saturday, to work on things and hopefully Bond will also come along. I plan on coming home Thursday night, because I have a hair appointment Friday morning. WP is supposed to start the fire pit work next week (and hopefully finish it). That's so important for him to get up there with the bobcat before the neighbor's landscape their yard and cut off our easy access to the lake side of my property. Nothing like building a house on a hill and not having a way to bring equipment to that side of the house! It'll be a busy week at the house, because my cleaner is planning on doing yard work, too. I asked her if she knew of anyone that might be willing to take on the job and she volunteered. I was expecting her to ask her adult son, or maybe someone in the area that does that kind of thing, but she volunteered herself and family. It'll be more money in her pocket.

It was date night last night and we ordered takeout from a new BBQ joint that opened nearby. They knocked it out of the park. The weather was fabulous and we ate on our patio and then hung out there. When the sun went down and the temperatures dipped Bond turned the new patio heater on low and it was perfectly comfortable. Before it was time to pick up the food we were sitting out there with cocktails and a "wild" turkey came right up to the birdfeeder, not 10 feet away from us. It was crazy pants.

I'm really stressed with work stuff right now, so I need to turn my attention to that, although I'd like to avoid it. Later, gators!
 

Petunia

Moderator
Staff member
I'm so tense over the guests I have currently have. So many things haven't been perfect for them. She inquired about the gas grill. I don't have it listed as an amenity, because Bond hasn't examined it yet. It was there when I bought the house and he laid eyes on it, but that's it. My cleaner cleaned it, but never tested it to see if it lights and heck, I don't even know if the two gas tanks are full.

She reported the the hot tub was making odd noises and that they quit when she shut the jets off and back on. I have no idea, unless the water level dropped.

The A/C has not been installed yet (happening in May) and the weather turned warm so she was asking about that. I suggested they open the windows, but if they did it took hours for the house to cool. We were checking the house temp via the Google Home app and it wasn't until this morning that it was in the lower 70's.

I relaxed for a bit when she inquired about extending their stay. It wasn't something I could accommodate, because someone is checking in the same day she checks out. But I felt that they were enjoying themselves if they wanted to extend their stay.

Then she let me know that the hot tub didn't seem to be heating properly. Turns out they left the lid off and she had the temperature set on 1 and 3 and didn't notice a difference when she turned it to 5. Hot tubs don't respond quickly. I told her she could add more water and to run straight hot, so hopefully that solved the issue.

I feel frazzled. I'm worried that I'm going to get a bad review. But mostly I'm worried they are having a less than stellar stay. I feel like a mother hen hovering and worrying.

I'm very tempted to drive up there tomorrow to check some things myself before the next guests arrive.

Bond gets his second Pfizer vax on Saturday. It seems like the days are dragging now that there is something to wait for.
 
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