17/52 – May

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​May.

May Day, my mother’s birthday, Mother’s Day, visits to Grandma’s, Cinco de Mayo, Free Comic Book Day, my name saint’s feast day, retreats and writing, and the April showers have brought the May flowers.

As I get ready in the mornings, I look out the window. I like to check the sky and the breeze, and smell the fresh spring air. On many of these mornings, I’m reminded of one of the reasons that we bought our house, and that I do love many parts of it despite our buying and maintaining experience.

The beautiful garden.

Parts of it really come alive in May. May is when we looked at the house, before the lies and the problems that lie ahead. Our first view was of the forsythia trees in front of the house, the bread and butter hostas, the lilac tree in the expansive back yard. The smell of spring was everywhere. All the natural aspects of the house, the ones you can’t fake, you can’t improve other than weeding, what will remain indefinitely after the sellers leave and we stay in our new home.

The row of forsythia trees that line one side of our property in particular. The bloom opposite the pine trees on the street border. Along the upper garden are three other forsythia trees, not to mention the four in the front of the house. I call it the upper garden because it is a two tiered planting space that comes alive every year, hiding the broken pots and decaying fall leaves. We always mean to get rid of them, but fall turns into late fall, and the first snow envelops them in a pile of white fluff. The garden is separated by a small stone and slate boundary wall making it one of the more unusual gardens in our neighborhood.

We really do have a beautiful backyard.

The forsythias are blooming their bright yellow petals, and shine in the sunlight.

Adjacent to one of them is a lilac tree. It may be a bush, but it seems too tall to be a bush, and so I call it a tree.

At the moment, it is barely budding; the green poking out of the bare sticks of branches that will soon be weighed down heavily with the purple petals that gather themselves into natural bouquets.

It is the one time a year that I grab my chair and sit out in the backyard, close enough to smell the fragrance that is overpowering in its appeal.

I would estimate the purple, lilac color to begin in about two weeks.

May is most colorful and bright.

It will fill out the tree, and brighten the yard, but unfortunately will only be present for the month of May, maybe the first week of June.

I’ll go out with my camera, and post to Facebook and Instagram. I’ll look out of the window and smile every time my eye catches the hint of lilac color, and even though I’m far away from the tree itself, I can almost smell it.

So many senses alive, and to think it’s one little tree at the top of a two tier garden.

But it’s also May.

Book News – House – Fraud?

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​What exactly is fraud?

What’s the difference between wanting your house to be in the best saleable condition and defrauding the buyer?

Some of the problems we had did have to do with our “professional” buyer’s agent. By the time we looked at the house we ended up buying, I could tell that she was a little done with us. We had only looked at three houses, so I don’t know if she thought we’d take the first one and she’d be out with her commission or if she was having a bad day or if we were just too needy. I don’t know. I can definitely be needy, especially on something as big as buying a house. Continue reading

Book News – House: Inspection

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To our amateur minds, the house looked great. It’s amazing what you can do with primer and shelf liner. Seriously, but that’s probably another chapter. This is about the home inspection.
One of the things  that I found most upsetting about the home buying experience, and you will see there were more than a few was the inspection. By the time the inspection rolled around, we were certain we’d made a mistake. There were just vibes that were off since we signed the contract and put our bid in for the house. On the surface, everything seemed mostly okay, but the inspection changed that.

It wasn’t just what was discovered during the inspection that upset us, and it wasn’t just the misrepresented about parts of the house that came to light at the inspection (and after moving in), but the inspection itself and what is and isn’t inspected. Continue reading

Book News

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​Book News is a new series that is for sharing, for sounding board, for feedback, and for my own accountability. I’ve mentioned several times in the past about the two books that I’ve been “in the middle of” for what seems like forever. I feel like my Wales book is a reward for when my House book is finished. The problem with that is that writing the House book is extraordinarily emotional and I have a hard time getting through it for several reasons that I need to address within the pages of the book.

I don’t know if it will be a monthly or a biweekly feature (I’m leaning towards biweekly) , but it will be on my calendar, and so I will need to set goals based on my outlines, and begin the research for some of their aspects.

Book News will let me keep a log of those things that aren’t necessarily post-worthy or essay/articles, but that still need to be accomplished in order to publish.

I think this will work for me, and I appreciate your support as I make changes and grow as a writer.

Quick Intros Continue reading

50-39 – My Music Studio

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I think when we’re young we think we can do anything. We can fly and run and draw and sing. We sing in the shower. We sing in the car. We sing as long as no one is watching.

We had half a finished basement in our house. Coming down the short staircase, to the left was the bar area. My parents almost never drank, but they collected really. nice bottles of liquor. Most were gifts from friends, visitors to our house, and “tips” from their office.

Chivas Regal, Johnny Walker Blue, Canadian Whisky, and about a dozen more that have left my memory. Oppposite the liquor shelf was a counter, and beneath the counter were the glasses, probably about a dozen of a variety of shapes and sizes.

On top of the counter was a stereo. Big and burly. It was only a turntable with a clear plastic cover and two very large speakers on either side of it. We had a separate eight track player somewhere else, either in the basement or the den, but that was used by my mother mostly.

We had a pretty decent record collection; mostly oldies and showtunes, but for my birthday or Chanukah I was gifted The Beatles Greatest Hits. It was a red album and I think it had four records in the set. We called them records, not vinyl.

I put the record on and set the needle to play. Sometimes I would skip a song by moving the needle carefully to the next groove or the second to next, looking for whatever my favorite song of the day was.

Michelle.

Please, Please Me.

Nowhere Man.

Octopus’ Garden.

Yesterday and Hey Jude.

So many more that if I named them all it would take all day.

If the record sounded a little off, I’d lift the arm and pull the lint off the needle with my fingernails. Then I’d blow on the record to make sure that there was no more dust, and usually the record would play fine.

I had headphones that plugged into the stereo and I would sing along. I had a beautiful voice. At least I thought so. No one else was there to boo or cheer me on, but I sang as if my life depended on it. Maybe I could be the next Beatle. Who knew?

That was how I spent many an afternoon. After school, I’d run downstairs and pull on the big black and silver headpohones and I was in the recording studio, practicing for my upcoming tour.