Smelling the flowers

Petunia

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The new pier is being delivered today. I am so anxious about getting it into the water. I feel some relief that Taylor and friend will be there to help.

Oh, I don't think I mentioned that the last guests partied hard. Someone in the group vomited and stained bedding, vomited all over the bathroom and left it, and bent a towel bar. The LVP flooring has green stains from jello shots and there was champagne spray all over the dining area (walls, furniture, floor). I've put in a reimbursement request for damages and the guest has 72 hours to respond. I hope Airbnb backs me up on this. My poor cleaners!

Bond had to run to his office this morning to pick up a new keyboard, because he tipped his water over yesterday and some of the keys were unresponsive as a result. Now he has this little keyboard that is so much smaller than his old one. I bet it's going to be quite the adjustment to get used to it.
 

icesong

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Oh that's *terrible* - I'm sorry your house got trashed!!
 

Petunia

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Oh that's *terrible* - I'm sorry your house got trashed!!
Thanks, icesong. The guest paid the fees to cover replacing what needs to be replaced and the extra cleaning fee, so that was a relief.

Sunday we got the new pier past the house, wood shed, tree and well and down to the lake and in. It was hard work. The muscles in my left arm are still sore and I can barely stretch my arm fully outright. Bond's body is aching, too. I haven't asked my son if he's feeling it, but he's young!

Here the guys are standing on the old floating pier, contemplating what needs to be done.
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Connecting the two 20' sections.

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Pier installed and dirty now. We placed one section of the floating pier at a 90 degree angle (well, it started at 90, but then they connected the ramp to it and it got off from that) by the shore. It'll make it easy to get in and out of the kayaks.

I'm so disappointed by the lake shore. It's so mucky and weedy. I really hope that we can clean it up a lot when they draw down the water in the fall.

This was the first time I got to meet my son's gf and she's super sweet, smart, and gorgeous. :) I've always thought he'd end up with a trophy wife, but not just someone beautiful, someone with quality traits too, and she seems to be all that and then some. She just graduated from nursing school and is studying now for her licensing exam. I think I'm going to really like her. My only concern is that it seems she is/was religious. My niece drew that to my attention from stalking her Instagram account. Sigh. I am so against religion.

Last night was date night. I made Thai soup, we ate on the patio, had sex, and then watched two episodes of The Handmaid's Tale. Such an intense show.
 

Petunia

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New pier.
 

Petunia

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We transitioned back to the office this week. It seems odd to be at the office, but also normal. I've worked here for 19 years, so of course it's familiar. It's hard to let the stress of being in close proximity to people outside of my pod go, though. I am assuming everyone is vaccinated, but officially I don't know. It's an educated lot, so just trusting they're not anti-vaxers.

We have an adult vacation planned at the lakehouse June 26-30th. It'll be Bond, B, The Therapist, and Wil. It'll be our first time we'll have an opportunity to use the kayaks. Super stoked about that. I'm letting go of some of my anxiety about guest stays. I cannot fix the shoreline muck at this time and it is what it is. I'm hopeful that the Amish Adirondack chairs I ordered will be ready to be picked up while we're up there.

OMG, Bond got a HUGE bonus yesterday. We've been contemplating putting in a new fireplace (gas) and totally reworking the fireplace column (freestanding), so it should be full steam ahead now that he won't need to touch his savings. Hell, I'm wondering if it also means we can start the master bathroom remodel.
 

Petunia

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With the summer season getting going I've been able to pay down my credit cards with the money coming in from the vacation rental. It's such a relief to watch the balances rapidly drop. By the end of August I hope to have $37K in CC paid off, and a chunk of the personal loan I took out paid off, too. By the end of the year I hope to have that loan done. That would leave the 0% interest loan with Wells Fargo for the appliances and furniture and the personal loan from Wil.

In October I'll have my 20 year anniversary at my job. I'm living for the day when I can quit and rely on income from the vacation rental and my retirement income. I need to wait until my grandson is done with high school and I'm no longer paying child support on my daughter's behalf. (He has 3 more years of h.s.) I need to get the remainder of the parents plus student loans paid off, too. If Bond's ex would go on her BF's health insurance, then I could go onto Bond's insurance and that would speed things up.

So, while I am feeling excited to have paid $9K off in the past couple of weeks, it's going to be a long haul to get to where I need to be.
 

Petunia

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Two things I'm pleased about: 1.) got a midweek booking for three nights in September, and 2.) I got a six night booking from 12/26/21-1/1/22. The holiday booking has a handsome payout, but I'm a bit disgruntled that I had my settings wrong and they were able to end their stay on NYD and not on Sunday, the 2nd. Now I'll miss out on booking that night, I'm pretty sure and it's priced for the holiday at $850/night. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I set it up wrong and will be missing out on some revenue, I'm trying to shift my thinking to how lucky I am that someone even booked so many nights and that 3 of the nights are at the high holiday rate. Those 6 nights alone will cover the expenses, plus some, for the entire month. I'll be super stoked if I book the 4 night block the week preceding this.
 

Petunia

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Yesterday was our triad's 5th anniversary. Bond and I picked up flowers for B and another bouquet for at our house. We fell in love with these Pride colored roses and got them for both houses.

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Petunia

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A few more hours of work and then it's vacation time, or at least vacation prep time. We're leaving tomorrow around noon for the chalet. Returning on Wednesday. I hope to be able to telecommute on the 1st, I have the 2nd off, Monday is the observed holiday, so I have that off, which means I won't be in the office until the 6th. Whoohoo! Happy dance time!
 

Petunia

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Vacation was nice. Too short, but nice. Saturday after getting back I got the flu and didn't recover until Tuesday afternoon. This is the price of not wearing a mask when shopping. What a bummer to spend a holiday weekend like that.

We're going to Polycocktails tonight. It'll be our first time to attend since the before times. It really feels like there is rain coming, so that dampens my enthusiasm.

Naya is on vacation for two weeks and for the first time ever, the kids are going to keep their schedule between the two houses. They are definitely old enough to do so. S1 is 20, S2 will be 18 in 5 weeks, and S3 recently turned 15. I'm so stoked. I'm actually encouraging Bond to encourage them to skip their time at our house. Time for them to adult for a bit, and time for us to pretend we're empty nester.
 

Petunia

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I'm in such a great mood, and have been since yesterday and it's all due to adding up the gross income the vacation rental has generated so far this year (bookings from 2/1/21 to 12/31/21). Once I pay off the credit cards and personal loans the income from this one rental will be enough to supplement my retirement income. My plan is to buy at least one more STR and then retire. I may be able to do that next year! Oh, the joy I am feeling over having the finish line in sight is wonderful.
 

Petunia

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Saturday I have to go to the lake house, because I'm getting a new washer and dryer delivered. I put them on the Wells Fargo account so it's 0% for 18 months. That's how I did the new furniture and appliances when we were getting the house set up. My cleaner is taking my old washing machine. I asked her if she knew anyone that would want it and she said that hers was broken, so that's perfect!

Bond and S2 went to visit UW-Whitewater this morning. S2 is accepted there and will start this fall. I think something like 4 of his friends are also going there. I'm excited.
 

Petunia

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Woof, I'm tired! I barely got any REM sleep last night and I have a wicked headache right now. It's been a week of poor sleep and it's taking its toll. I need a clear head for lots of brain work today and now I'm stressing that I'm going to feel fuzzy and muddled all day instead.

Today my coworker and I are going for lunch. We're debating two different restaurants with outside courtyards/dining, but man, it's hot today - super muggy. I should have worn a skirt. I'm probably going to melt. We may need to switch to indoor dining. Kind of hate to do that, though. We're both vaccinated, but she's in her 60s and we're both concerned with the Delta variant. We're not over the top concerned, but we're watching things.

I miss B. I haven't seen her or heard much from her this week. :(
 

Petunia

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I did melt.

Wil is visiting through the weekend. We need to make a lakehouse run Saturday to install a replacement smart lock on the door, and we may also be meeting with a guy to get a quote for replacing the driveway - and going with a heated driveway. Bond said he'll cover the cost, but I think he means that I will need to pay him back.
 

icesong

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Ha! Southern me had no idea heated driveways were a Thing.
 

Petunia

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Ha! Southern me had no idea heated driveways were a Thing.
They are not that common. It's going to be wonderful and hopefully I will no longer need to pay someone for snow removal. We're really tempted to buy heated mats for the deck that leads to the house entrance, too. We'll be able to scan the snow situation via the security cameras and turn the heat on via a phone app.
 
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Petunia

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My mother's heart is down to 14% function. My sister thinks that at some point in the next 6 months she will fall asleep in her chair and never wake. I agree. She's going to be 86 at the end of this month and she's had very serious heart disease for the past 20 years.

I'm counting down the days until vacation. We're heading to the lake house on the 14th and we're there for a week. B will likely only be there one night, with kids. Her youngest is starting school on the 16th or 17th, so she can't stay the whole time. Franki & Smatch, and Michelle and The Drummer, are coming for the weekend. I don't care if some of those days I'm there by myself. I think Bond will be there the whole time, but if not, I am fine with having time to myself. There are tasks I need to get done there, but mostly I want to relax and enjoy being off of work.
 

Petunia

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It's been raining a lot here this week, and even more at the lake house. My cleaner sent me a message saying that our road has some washed out areas that make passage almost impossible. I am feeling bad for my guests, because they seem to have drawn the short straw for weather. When the weekend rolls around it's supposed to be ideal and they'll be checking out and heading home. The good news is that I'll be arriving for a week of really great weather.

My work project is moving along well, with the exception that I am struggling to get myself to tackle things. Like I want to do them, but cannot propel myself forward. I'm really wondering if this is ADHD.
 

Petunia

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The week of vacation went well. The weather was perfect from Sat to Wednesday and then the dial got turned up to hot and sweltering. Of course we had tasks to accomplish on the days with the muggy weather. Example One: these super fun Edison light strings! Bond activated an exterior outlet that wasn't connected to anything we could identify. We are guessing that they installed it when they were building the house, but then never did anything with it. We have two light switches in the lower level that were mysteries, too, as they didn't seem to do anything. So, Bond used one of the switches to turn the exterior outlet on and off. And now we have a light string that can be controlled via a light switch. We hung the lights so they rest against the wood rather than hanging below it to keep from blinding people using the patio. I'm so thrilled with how it turned out. The light string throws enough light to help people see when traversing the hill in the dark. Like when you're enjoying a fire and your drink breaks and you need to go back to the house for a refill. :)

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Bond returned to Madison to work on Monday and I stayed at the lake. That evening the neighbors took me for a pontoon ride and it was a great opportunity to chat. I was especially grateful to hear that their apprehension about having a vacation rental nextdoor was unfounded and they've found the guests to be really nice families. They specifically mentioned how nice it is to hear children laughing and playing. Whew! They also relayed that the produce stand at the end of the road had good things to say about my guests, too. :)

In other news, my middle son got a great job that pays well and has great benefits. It's a total game changer for him and now he'll be sitting pretty. Last night he messaged to say that daycare had them pick up his little girl because of head lice (again). His GF had the day off, so she took her to the doctor. While there, the doctor said that my granddaughter's mother is a poor mother and how good his GF and my son are with her and that if they were to take the mother to court that they'd testify against her. The mother's former bf's mother said that she'd also testify against her, and daycare also discussed some issues they're having with baby momma and how much better [granddaughter] is with my son and GF. They also said, and this is so sad, that they can tell she doesn't like her mother. That breaks my heart. She is only 4 years old. The doctor and daycare both said to only let [mom] have [granddaughter] every other weekend after she completes parenting classes. My son contacted a lawyer.

My youngest son has started the pre-approval process for his next property. He's thinking duplex again. Eventually I'll get him to take the short term rental plunge.

Right now I'm working my way through analyzing what it would take to create a glamping site. I found a piece of land (14 acres) near an area of the state that is the ATV mecca of the Upper Midwest. The land I'm interested in is basically a big hill which would be fabulous for safari tents and geodesic domes on platforms. The views are spectacular. Bond says he'll go into business with me, so that's cool. I have made him a believer in this short term rental stuff, I guess. I would like to act asap on purchasing the land, but I should slow my roll. I have things to pay off still to get my debt-to-income ratio in a sweet spot. I would like to get a HELOC on the lake house. I think I'll be able to access over $100K.

This is my inspiration geodesic dome: Luxury Glamping Dome
Pacific Domes

Wil is visiting on his way back from visiting his family. He arrived last night and he leaves on Thursday. Tonight we're ordering Indian takeout. It's so delicious my brain is threatening to short circuit just thinking about it now. LOL
 
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