Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life of a Landlord

Well, the apartment is finally rented. Whew. It's difficult renting at this time. There are a lot of people looking, but nobody has any means to support themselves. We only actually had two people who came who had adequate resources, and one of those is now moving in. According to one temporarily-employed engineer who came to look, the unemployment rate in Elkhart County currently stands at 18%. That even after three visits from the president promising to help when the RV industry collapsed in 2008. The industry has never recovered and the little bit of activity that remained and the support industries that have had limited success since then are starting to lay off again--no doubt a result of the high fuel prices we have been having for the past few months. But, our long days of interviewing and screening applicants has finally ended and we again have all our apartments full. We never go long having anything empty, but this year has been difficult to find the right person for the apartment.

While I have been working on computer backups, lease tweaking and watching the "Dog Whisperer," Terry has been building new wood valances for the motorhome. We have finally decided to get rid of the day/night shades which continually break and require more frustration than they are worth for Terry to fix. The valances are currently wrapped and draped with fabric and while we liked it when we first moved in, we are a bit tired of the colors now. So we are doing what many have already done and that is to put in wood valances and add roll up day/night blinds. Many have gone to the MCD shades. We planned to do that and tried to set up an appointment this spring when we left Houston. The people were less than helpful in setting up an appointment and we ended up leaving Texas without doing anything. Once in Elkhart, we visited United Shade's retail outlet, Window Expressions, to see about getting better day/night shades. It turns out they are now manufacturing the roll-up blinds similar to the MCD, but the quality difference was remarkable. We had looked very closely at the MCD's and saw many frayed edges in the lightweight fabric and a lot of puckering where the bottom hem covered the handgrip. These defects are not present in the United Shade. In addition, the United Shade comes in colors and I ordered chestnut brown for the day shade and cream for the night shade. Terry ordered one day/night blind for one of the bedroom windows in order to establish the right size and fit for the valance. That one is finished and looks very nice. He has finished building the boxes for the remaining windows and will now work at finishing them. We will be ordering the remaining blinds on Monday.

Late Monday or early Tuesday we are headed out for a week or two into Michigan to escape the heat and humidity of northern Indiana.We enjoy Michigan and plan to do some sightseeing and relaxing perhaps along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. It will be good to hit the road again even if for just a short time. We have a busy winter ahead, with our son's wedding in Florida in November. In September we are flying to Florida for a bridal shower for our soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Megan, and ten days later we fly to Houston for Terry's six-month cancer checkup. Whew!

Till next time. . .


Friday, July 22, 2011

Some things just defy explanation. . .

I looked out the window this morning and saw some other campers taking some pictures and movies, but I could not see the subject of their interest. As I kept looking, I caught a glimpse of something neon green walking down the street. ?????? Could we have been invaded by aliens? From what I saw, it might be possible.

Eventually the "subject" came back and posed for some pictures. Turns out he is camped directly in front of us, having come in late last night. I still don't know the deal behind the disguise. . . perhaps it is a "sauna suit" or something like it.

Hahahah. It was good for a laugh.

Till next time. . .


Avion Rally

It turns out that the Silver Avion Fellowship Rally is larger than the Airstream rally that was held a couple weeks ago. There are some antique trailers as well as later model ones. Pretty cool. . .

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is it HOT enough for you?

Man, oh man. It is HOT!!!!! Been close to 100* for several days. One more day, then it's supposed to be a little cooler. Everybody in the campground is staying inside. We're living like hermits. We usually try to get out in the evening and walk a bit, but that is about it.

We have been working at getting our apartment rented. I am amazed at the number of people who don't pay their bills. They want to rent, but don't think the bankruptcy last October should hurt their credit score. . . say WHAT?????? Actually it was probably the first one eight years ago coupled with the new one that is the problem. . . And then there is the applicant who has numerous open collections just placed there this summer. Do they think someone trusting them with a HOUSE wouldn't be scared off by these things? One said. . . "Well, I ALWAYS pay my rent and car payment." I'm supposed to be okay with that? Yeah, well just wait till your wages are garnisheed for those collections and then we will worry about the rent. No thanks. It will sit empty before it's rented to some unqualified applicant. Cheaper in the long run.

Okay, enough of that. Terry went to the oral surgeon yesterday and had two molars pulled. Yep, got those sore teeth pulled. Both had crowns and broke off at/below the gum line and the one had started causing him some pain, so it was time to get rid of it. Fortunately they were able to move him up in the line when it started throbbing. They put him on antibiotic for a few days before the surgery. Yesterday he slept a lot and it did bother him once the numbness wore off, but today you wouldn't know he had anything done. He is up and moving around. He worked on credit reports and printed out some letters for the apartments.

I had a list of stuff to do yesterday while he was sleeping and I got most of it done. I finished up my list earlier this evening, so I feel pretty good about that. I bought airline tickets for the second week in September. We are flying down to Florida because there is a bridal shower for Megan and I wanted to be there. It's a long way to go, but I wouldn't miss it. We are flying down on a Tuesday, shower is on Wednesday, then we are flying back on Thursday. Then the next week we have doctor appointments in central Indiana. The following Sunday we fly to Houston for Terry's cancer checkup on Monday, then fly back on Tuesday. We are really racking up those frequent flyer miles. Then we will make a quick trip north to check on the properties, then we are heading out for the winter. We will visit Charlottesville, Virginia, first, then head for Florida.

While in Florida, we are going to make a detour to Ormond Beach and have a real expert fix our Datastorm. We have unhappy it has been out of commission for so long. We are going to suspend the service for now, then reactivate when we get it fixed. Looking forward to doing business with DataStorm of Florida. I've heard nothing but good reports on them.

Last week the Airstreams were in here for a rally and this week the Avions are in here. When we get out to walk again, I will take a picture of them.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yikes! We've been invaded!

Looks like the Lone Ranger has been here. . . nothing but SILVER BULLETS!!!!!! Airstreams that is. . . they're everywhere, they're everywhere!

We left camp yesterday morning to run some errands and go over to the apartments and when we returned, our row and the row in front of us was full of airstream travel trailers. They are pretty cool to look at. There are several different models, very few duplicates and about 15-16 of them. They are pulled by everything from cars to trucks and SUV's. Some look a little overloaded actually. Pretty cool, overall. I think they are ALL from Ontario. . . at least the ones in front of us are. Very nice people, very friendly and talkative.

We have been having several camping clubs in the camp. It's exciting to see more activity and to visit with everyone. I, of course, have to pet all the dogs. Things have been slow in Elkhart and at the campground this summer. The price of fuel keeps people from enjoying the RV lifestyle and we know there are more layoffs in the industry. I hate to think what will happen the next time around.

Last weekend, the local airport had a Ford Tri-Motor airplane that flew in and was giving rides. A 45-minute ride was $60. Terry was intrigued, but decided not to go. The plane, however, flew over the campground several times. It was hard to get a good picture of it, but the sound and sight of the old airplane was thrilling.

We were out yesterday running errands and drove past Great Lake RV Sales. Apparently someone had lost control of their vehicle and plowed through the fence and hit a Heartland Big Horn 5th wheel. This beautiful RV was a total loss. The slides were all broken including the one opposite the impact. I have tried to find information out on the accident and all I have heard so far is that alcohol was involved. What a shame.

Terry is feeling puny. He has an appointment for a tooth extraction, but it can't come soon enough. The tooth is starting to throb and he is wanting it fixed. We are going to run by the dentist and see if they can give him something for it. If it is starting to get infected, it will have to be treated.

He is also seeing a chiropractor now. His neck has been bothering him since he finished his cancer treatments and he has some vertebrae out of whack. The first treatment helped a lot, but it will take some time.

Till next time. . .


Monday, July 04, 2011

Interesting sky. . .

Shortly before 10 p.m. last evening, we were treated to this lovely sky. Almost looked like a fire was burning in the distance, but 'twas just the sun going down behind some clouds.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy 65th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

We made it to Goshen last Thursday afternoon, the 23rd. We were anxious to get here because my parents were celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary on the 23rd and we were having a big party for them on the 25th. So we drove into the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds at Warsaw and went down to visit Mom and Dad. When we left there, we went to the condo in Goshen to see Jocelyn and Ronan who had arrived the day before. They were waiting on their luggage because the last leg of their flight had been cancelled and they rented a car in Detroit to come to Goshen. Their luggage had made the planned trip, however, so they had to wait on their luggage before they could go anywhere.

Dinner to celebrate Mom and Dad's anniversary was held Saturday at Mose and Etta Miller's house in Nappanee. They are an Amish couple who fix and serve an Amish dinner for donations. We had a delicious meal with ham, "poor man's steak," dressing, mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, gravy, salad, jello dishes, rolls, spreads, and pie for dessert. It was a wonderful meal and set up in their building where they hold their church services. Mose and Etta did a great job and if you ever have occasion to go to a dinner at their house, you will enjoy it. In addition to Mom and Dad, my sister and I were there with our spouses, all the grandchildren were there with their spouses and all the great grandchildren. Jocelyn and Ronan did not attend the dinner because of their complicated food allergies, but they did come to the "after party" at Nita's house.

So after dinner, we all drove down to Nita's and continued the celebration over cake and a champagne toast. We had some snacks for later. Since the dinner was at 4 p.m., we all enjoyed munching on stuff later on. Hahaha. A group played euchre, the great grandkids played games and music downstairs. We had a really great time. We presented Mom and Dad with a bound book of photographs we had pilfered from their albums and some from our own collections. All of the kids and grandkids signed the book with momentos for Mom and Dad. It was a real treasure and I think they will enjoy reading and looking at it for years to come. We also gave them a new cooler. The one they use to take food/snacks back and forth to Texas is about 40 years old and held together by duct tape. We decided it was time to retire the old cooler in favor of a new one which has rollers! I'm sure they will use it well.

We have been busy trying to get an apartment rented and we were to sign a lease yesterday. The gal called and rescheduled for today, but called as we were on our way to the signing to say she had decided to pass on the apartment. I am glad she felt comfortable enough to make that decision rather than go ahead and sign and then have difficulty making the rent. So we are once again taking applications. We found out another couple who rent from us are moving. They are going into seminary and then to the mission field. But thankfully, one of their friends wants to rent and she will be moving in when they move out.

We are back over at the Elkhart Campground for a month. We will be going to the Brickyard Nascar Race the end of the month and maybe go to the fair for the first time in 40 years. It just depends now on how quickly we get the apartment rented.

Till next time. . .