Recycled houses, boats aground and more...

Janet is working with this company from Victoria that recycles houses! She has bought two that will be planted on her property soon. So when two arrived by barge the other day, I quickly emailed the local paper and asked if they had anyone covering the event, which of course they didn't. Small town, small staff. So Patrick the editor gave me the assignment. Now I did NOT do this for money. What they pay will maybe cover the gas driving back and forth, but it has given Janet some good exposure. Here's the link to the story online. First is one of the pix and then scroll down for the story. It was such a fun one to do and I do love doing things like that. It's fun being able to pick and choose what I write about - only things that interest me! I get such a kick out of it!

My next one is about the dredging project here in Bridgehaven - it's been going on for nine years, trying to get all the government agencies to agree that the place needs it - this pix should tell the story! So I am trying to get all parties to respond to my phone calls! But this is bureaucracy at work and they all have their little empires to protect.

Today we start the big project of lassoing the pilings that make up our bulkhead and anchoring them to huge cement block to prevent them, and the house, from disappearing into the canal. We have had to trim back the fruit trees and will have to move one of the rhodies and maybe even take out the old apple tree to make room for the track hoe to come in. Charlie is going to run it so we have to keep an eagle eye on him as he tends to be rather ham handed and we cannot afford to have one of the pilings break. That would mean going through the same process as the dredging committee and would take years and our house would be in the drink before we got approval to replace anything!

The environment is critically important, but sometimes its protection can get way out of hand. If we had to get a permit to fix a piling, we would have to go through about five government agencies and we all know that one never knows what the other is doing. And the restrictions are growing. Not only government agencies, but the Indians also have a say and they have their own "sovereign" rules which everyone bows to. Ridiculous!

So needless to say, we will be very careful!

Once the pilings are secure and the old concrete removed, or buried, we will level the ground and get it ready to put in a flagstone patio. We also have to design some sort of screen so our neighbors are not peering down into our garden! Then we have the contractor coming in a couple of weeks to start the process of replacing the front of the house with big French doors and windows. I will also add a bay window upstairs with a window seat where I can sit and watch the birds and other wildlife.

Real estate is slow and for me that's ok. I find I have really lost interest in it and am not servicing my clients as well as I should be. I would much rather be writing. But until I can actually get a gig that pays real money that probably isn't an option. The other way I would like to do real estate is by buying a lot and putting one of Janet's houses on it and then fixing it up myself and selling it. I miss working with my hands - I know typing is working - but actually physically doing the work (within reason) and seeing a project from start to finish. I remember doing that when Randy and I did the real estate thing back in the 70's. I enjoyed it - painting and tearing things out, even doing electrical. And we made a lot of money doing it and I think I still can. But of course, have to get it by Chris who is a bit skeptical still.

With our beloved broker in flux with his life - one day I'll write about that, it is a real soap opera! - we are really in limbo at the office. To top it off, the office was broken into on Monday night. Meth headers - or tweeters - broke in and took only cash. There was $1200 there from rents for Michael's properties. They trashed the place but didn't even take digital cameras (not mine) that were lying out in the open, or binoculars we have close at hand to watch eagles and other birds that cruise there. So right now, I don't feel any loyalty towards him, he is hardly ever here, spending most of his time in Santa Barbara. When he is here, he isn't really here and very seldom in the office.

Obviously this is a time of flux.

Ryan's magazine is coming along beautifully - it should launch in a couple of weeks and they have been working very hard. I am still getting submissions but have not had time to do much editing. Maybe today while the "boys" are out playing with tractors.