My Blog

Hey, look! A new blog post!!

Wow, it’s been a long time since I wrote a  blog post.  It’s not that nothing’s been happening, but I often find myself without the time or energy to write after dealing with the silly stuff that life throws at us.

I’m now on my long break from work, so I’ve got some time to catch up on things.  Here’s what’s been keeping me busy, in no particular order.

Friday, we saved our new house from a sheriff’s sale.

Our house had an old water bill that was never paid.  My attorney should have caught it at settlement, but because I get my water from the City of Wilmington (not the regular water company) it was missed.  I contacted the city sometime in December, letting them know that I was the new owner and that water bills should be sent to me at the service address.  I was told that there was a previous balance of about $1000, and I asked them to send me that bill as well.  I then called my attorney and explained what happened.  I figured that I was done with the process at that point, and that the attorney would pay the old bill with funds from the seller.

In February, I received a bill for $78, which I promptly paid.  I was a bit surprised when the check was returned to me last week with the explanation that they were not allowed to accept a payment because the legal department had my account.  I immediately got on the phone and found out that my house was scheduled for sheriff’s sale for the unpaid water bill.  It would cost me about $1500 to clear everything up.  Note: about $800 of that was penalties for the long-unpaid bills and $175 were costs involved with the sheriff’s sale, neither of which should be my responsibility.

Friday, I brought cash (they wouldn’t accept a check) to the city’s Delinquent Accounts office and paid up.  I had no choice, as the city would happily have sold the house to recover the $500 in water (and $1000 in costs and penalties).  After that, I drove to my real estate attorney’s office and gave him copies of all of the stuff.  He told me that he would recover the money for me from the seller.  He has been assured in December that the seller would get right with the water company and was disappointed that they had not.  So, we saved our house, but we’re out some money for a while.

We’re working on the downstairs bathroom.  I’m thinking of putting ceramic tile on the floor, so it was necessary to strip the floor down to the old tongue-and-groove sub floor and repair the soft spots before putting down 1/2″ exterior plywood.  We screwed it down to the joists through the old floor with 3″ deck screws.  I’ve got a pretty solid floor now – just have to add the cement backer board and then the tile.  We have a window just above the tub.  It isn’t a problem unless you want to take a shower, then you’re naked and wet – standing right next to a window.  We’ve ordered a new vinyl replacement window (with opaque glass) for that space.  I am planning to install cement board and ceramic tile right up to the edge of the window.  Lots of work, I know, but the alternative is to hack a hole in a plastic tub surround for the window – and that just looks dumb.  I’ve got the insulation for the outside wall, and after that’s up, we’ll get the tub installed and then start on the tile (both floor and wall) –  much work to do…..

We’ve been looking at sheds again.  I received a little unexpected money from my employer ( a bonus) despite that our refinery has been closed and 500 people have been laid off.  Go figure!  It was enough to buy us a backyard shed (need one for the motorcycle), so we’ve started looking.    We almost bought one in November, but the refinery closing was announced just after we found one that we liked, so we didn’t get one then.  Of course, the City of Wilmington now has about half of my shed money….


We’ve laid off about 500 people ,and our oil refinery is all but shut down.  We’re keeping steam and basic utilities active to allow us to decontaminate and continue to clean up closed process units.  Valero is keeping the truck loading rack open, so there are some folks that will continue working at the facility – I’m not one of them.  I was last scheduled to be laid off February 26.  I found out on the 24th that I would be working for another 6 weeks.  I can’t really complain, as at least I’m still working – lots of my friends are not.

There is talk of our refinery being purchased from Valero and re-opened by a new owner.  It looks like there’s a pretty good chance that it’ll happen.    If it’s done before the 16th of April, I won’t miss any work!  We’ll see what happens there.  It would be nice to get back to productive work again.

Kate had a birthday this week – she’s 22.  Happy birthday Kate!  I’m proud of my daughter – she’s an independent and capable young woman and I’m sure that she’ll be successful at whatever she does – her Navy service will likely end this summer.  I almost grabbed her Facebook picture to put here – probably not a good idea…

It has rained here all weekend.  It should stop soon.  Our three-day rainstorm seems to have chased the cold weather away.  Last week, we were below freezing every night – looks like that’s done now.  We get a lot of entertainment watching the antics of our recently returned robins.  Add that to the time change this weekend and the rising gasoline prices, and you can be sure that spring is almost here.  It’s about time to get Bonnie clipped again – she’s still wearing her shaggy winter coat.  Of course, I’ve got to find a new groomer….

That’s all for now.






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