Catch up

Let me catch everyone up on what’s going on.

The realtor came over. He gave me a discount on his fees (1/2 of a percent) and told me that even in its present condition, I can get a lot more than I thought for this place. MY SON IS GOING TO BE ABLE TO PAY FOR COLLEGE! I am very happy about that. He is coming to take pictures on Tuesday and I have to get anything personal out of here by then. That is a bit difficult for me because where do I put this stuff? My car trunk has to remain empty for clients walkers. My back seat is for the clients to sit in. My moms house is nowhere near ready for me to bring my stuff over. I also will have to take my dog with me if he brings someone to see the place. That’s not good. At least she rides well in the car!

I have had 4 female clients have birthdays in the past 2 months (August and September). I delivered 2 cakes already and I still need to make 2 more. I will probably do that in between taking this man to work and picking him up since that’s all I have today. Here are the first 2 cakes. Since I have found most elderly people don’t like too much sweet, i drizzle the cake with the icing and then use a carrot scraper and put white chocolate flakes on the top. I made one for my sons teacher in 5th grade and all of the teachers told me how good it was (she shared).

This is for the woman in the couple that I drive. I also let her daughter know I took her a cake because I keep her daughter posted on everything going on. She and her daughter said that’s great and it looks beautiful and nobody else cooks special for her anymore. Her birthday was on Tuesday and I had to take them to get their hair cut on Thursday so it was a surprise for her to get a cake 2 days after her birthday.

This went to my original cranky client. She wanted a second cake because the first one was so good. That’s a good sign! So I let her son know that she asked for more cake and sent him a picture. He is afraid that she won’t be with us much longer so he was happy that she asked for that!

I had a call on Monday from a client that hasn’t been calling much lately. I called her back and got her voicemail. She hasn’t called me back since. I need to call her again today. Maybe I can work today more than just driving! Of course, that would put off baking but I’m okay with that!

Miss Priss called and demanded a ride on Saturday morning to take her to Target and to put placecards at the place where she is having her birthday dinner that evening. I already have a job at 9am Saturday morning so I can’t take her at 10 like she wants and she’s afraid to go at noon because her guests will arrive at 2 and she needs time to get ready. Her birthday is on Monday and I thought I would take a cake to the club to have them present to her at her dinner. I’m still going to even though she called me last night to say, “Julie, since you can’t take me until noon on Saturday, I’m just going to wait and put the placecards in place when I get to the dinner. I already went to Target too.” Umm, good?

Mr. 95 year old is still awesome. I’m taking him to work this morning. Then pick him up again this afternoon. My mom’s cousin text me last night around 9pm to call her but I was already in bed and didn’t do it. She’s 76 and calls me for computer help all the time. I will call her on my way home from the airport this morning. Most of the time, she just needs to be reminded how to restore a window screen size.

Yesterday was a somber day thinking about my Dad. I’m okay now though. I just have to get that stuff out and move on as best as I can. At least that’s what the psychologist in me tells myself. I love having a psychology degree. I do not use it professionally but I feel like I use it in everyday life. Dealing with my son, clients, mother, and these HORRIBLE drivers!

I’m telling you, Houston is like anywhere else. We have really bad drivers and some very angry drivers, and the normal people. After the hurricane, you really saw how people can be driving. Imagine being in a HUGE traffic jam and people are honking anyway. Umm, dude? NOBODY can move so what is the point in honking? And be careful of truck drivers! One van seemed to piss off a truck driver so bad that the truck driver shot out the windows of the van on the tollway! 6 police squad vehicles were there when I drove by. The truck driver was surrounded and made to drive and park the truck somewhere not on the exit ramp. I never saw the van driver. Who knows? He may have been shot too. When I passed the caravan of cop cars on the exit ramp, I saw the van. Bullet holes in the side of the van, windows shot out, yeah, it was that bad.

Just be careful out there! And be happy it’s Friday!!!!

Sunday yet again

Off day. Finally. I worked hard this week! I was able to catch up on all my bills, nothing is due until October 1st thanks to the hard work this week. I was a bit worried because of not making much after the hurricane!

I’ve been watching movies this morning. I just watched a foreign movie called The Wave. Good movie although a few parts were definitely unbelievable. Most movies have those parts sometimes! Now I’m finally watching Cloud Atlas. I love Tom Hanks as an actor so I figured I would finally watch it.

My son is still asleep. His Dad called around 10 and tried to wake him up but that didn’t work either. That was almost 2 hours ago! So I’m letting him sleep for now. I keep turning on lights and talking to him hoping he will get up though!

Speaking of his Dad, he will be here this afternoon and is spending the night here tonight. We have child support court in the morning. He asked me what I thought would happen. I answered honestly and I don’t think he liked it. Worst case scenario – they arrest him on the spot. Best case scenario – they tell him that if he doesn’t pay a certain amount in a certain time that he will be arrested. He is very behind, hence having to go to court. He wants me to drive and said he would pay for half the downtown parking fee.

This also means that I can’t work tomorrow. I don’t know how long this will take and so I cannot book any jobs. BUT the couple I drive told me to call when I get out of court and then come get them to go to the grocery store. They didn’t want to take my one day off from me. Sweet of them!

You guys have a great Sunday! I’ll be dealing with this and catching up on paperwork while I watch Netflix!

Crazy day today

Happy Monday morning you ya!

Today is my sons first day of school. Pushed back 2 weeks because of hurricane Harvey. He said he is waking up at 5:45am which means I had to wake up before him so I can have my quiet time. At first he asked for eggs this morning but then changed his mind and said he doesn’t have time. We don’t leave until 7am so why doesn’t he have time? He showered last night!

I will take him to school at 7 and then I have a fun morning going to fight my house taxes in court. I have a 680 sq ft condo. I am charged over $2000 a year for my place. My argument is this:

  • My name was just put on this place in November so why do I owe 12 months of taxes? Yes, technically I lived here all of 2016 BUT my name was not on the place until November!
  • This place has foundation issues and window issues. The management company said I don’t have foundation issues and the window leaking from the outside is not their problem. Yes it is! You guys installed the windows and it is leaking from outside and outside my 4 walls is your problem not mine!
  • The surrounding apartment complexes are not nice, not very safe, and looks bad. Not saying my street is in bad shape, it’s just the people and crime all around this area. I have gone to walk my dog and there will be a homeless person asleep in my laundry room. I walk outside the gates here and someone asks me for money. Just not what you would think for the area I live in.

Do I have a chance? I really don’t know.

I took pictures of the foundation issues and will take pictures of the crappy surrounding apartments as we leave today. We shall see what happens. I am a bit nervous about that.

Then I have to pick up my guy at work at 2pm. Then pick up my child from school at 3:15. Then go change my moms air filter. Whew! It’s going to be a long day.

My caregiver finally made it home from Africa so I want to go over to my clients home and say hello and see pictures. She’s from Tanzania 🇹🇿 and she said she would take pictures. Today is her first day back. I’m just happy she made it home!

Foundation pictures.

  1. My floor in the middle of my unit along a wall between my bedroom door and a closet door.
  2. The ceiling that was just fixed in January 2016 has already cracked. Shoddy workmanship or foundation?
  3. The crack in my patio. The concrete slab is like an inch or two away from the sliding glass door!

Update:

They sided with me!!! Yay!!! I met with the Harris county appraisal district and I guess you could say it went well! The value of the property is now lower where it should be and I can still make a profit when I sell. Yay!!!

Labor Day

Small business owners, retail workers, even some city workers do not get today off. Yes, it’s Labor Day! I will be working for 4 hours. I’m going to do laundry and bake a cake while I’m over there. It keeps me from going insane just sitting there.

Woke up to realize that I am out of energy drinks. Since I’m broke, I will not be buying any either. I’m having a Pepsi instead. SO not the same though!!! I prefer Full Throttle. It tastes like Mountain Dew and works well. Everyone gets on me telling me that I shouldn’t drink them. I’m sure those people will be happy now! So I have my Pepsi, I ate flavored rice with cheese for breakfast (yes, I know that’s not a normal breakfast), and now getting moving to go over there.

I looked at my calendar for this week and I have one job a day. That’s one more a day than I had the past week and a half so I’m okay with that! My man needs to come over and fix the commode. He thinks it is leaking due to a broken ring. I think it’s just a cheap toilet (only 2 months old) that only cost $80 and it’s broken somewhere underneath that we can’t see. I guess we will find out!

My son has another week off school. He is now supposed to go back on September 11th. I see irony in that. Let’s change that date into a good thing. Yay for school starting!!! His school district here has flooding at different schools and therefore will have to crowd the other schools so they can start. The state gave us 4 days and we will have to make up 6. My son is worried that it will cut into his next summer vacation. 😂

He had a friend over yesterday. They watched videos, ate, and seems like they had a good time. I hope the kid wants to come back. My son, with his aspergers, loses friends at times. The kids Mom said thanks for having her son. I think that’s a good sign!

Harvey victims are still cleaning up here. We are having other cities come in with garbage trucks to help get rid of all the water damaged property people are cleaning out of their homes. We as a city thank all others for everything they did to help. Y’all have a good day and I hope you’re off!

Is it really over???

The rain stopped around 10pm last night. Thank God! Maybe it’s finally over for Houston! Now we have to pray for Louisiana since the storm went that way. Hopefully they will not get it as bad!

I woke up to sunshine. A VERY welcome site! It was at 7:21am today that a “Mama” woke me. I jumped up, ran into my living room, and saw my son is still asleep. The man is still asleep as well so where did that come from??? Maybe the cat meowed and I thought it was Mama? I don’t know but it woke me right up!

I have someone checking to see if I can work tonight. I want to be able to take my 95 year old to his country club like any other Wednesday evening, plus I haven’t worked in a week and am broke!!! I still have to pay the bills, even in a disaster. We all do. We need to work. If it wasn’t for bills piling up, I would relax about it more. I heard people can apply for lost wages during this time and I hope it applies to me too. I only need what I would have made this past week, not much. I haven’t done it because I don’t want to take money away from others that have lost everything! It’s a moral dilemma. I probably won’t do it though. I have friends that don’t have a home and they need help more than I do.

My ceiling is fine. My neighbor is ecstatic that it stopped raining! We are now waiting for our property management to have someone come out and fix everything. That could take a while. She has covered her ceiling with plastic so she can stay there and stay dry.

My friend went to the grocery store at 7am today. She waited as the 15th person in line for the store to open at 8. When she got in, they had no regular bread but had fresh baked, only a little milk, and not much else on the shelves. I think I will avoid going to a store for a few more days. It will give the stores time to get supply trucks in and for us to eat all that I cooked too. My clients son asked me about his mom going to the store. I told him she should wait a few days. I wouldn’t want to see an 86 year old trying to get food and wait in line just to see there’s not much available. That would break my heart! She just had her birthday yesterday too. My plan was to make her a cake but, you know, Harvey. So, as soon as I can get eggs and milk again, I will bake her the best birthday cake ever! I will make it even better than the one I made for little man for during the hurricane!

So that’s it. I am going to shower and then try to venture out for a bit today to check on people and see how our entire area fared as well as check on my mom. Talk later!

Cooking

Well, I was so stressed that I ended up making a lot more than I thought I was going to.

Biscuits – Pillsbury canned ones

Cornbread – From a bag

Banana bread – recipe on AllRecipes

Brownies – from a box

Burgers (one neighbor gave me a purple onion and another went to Whole Foods and brought me a jalapeño and a bell pepper!) – I put my recipe in another post

The spicy cheese crackers (OMG they are SO good) – recipe in this mornings post

So yeah. I was a bit stressed today. Thankfully my man is cooking the burgers, I just put them together with all the ingredients I like. I also did laundry. The line of water on my ceiling has dried mostly so it’s just a round circle now. I guess that means my neighbor has controlled it, yay!

By the way!!! There is SUN outside now! Woo hoo!!! Now if it can just stay that way, we will start getting back to business here!

The grocery stores opened today at 11am. There was a line around the block of each store starting at 8. They would let 2 people in at a time. We walked down to Valero and even their shelves were sold out. No chips, barely any candy, lots of beer though! Now hopefully trucks can get through and refill our stores. We don’t need anything. Hell, I cooked enough for a week. People here are in need though, bring it in!

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. Now it’s time to hope and pray that we don’t get any more rain for a while! It’s usually 100 degrees here in August so having temperatures in the 70’s is nice. I’m sure it will get hot and muggy tomorrow though. I’ll take that over rain!

Day 4 of Harvey

Well crappola. All this rain has not only devastated so many people here, it keeps coming!!! Wtf?!? You know that song “Rain, rain, go away”? We are singing it all the time! We are safe, we are dry, I am even cooking right now (cheesy pepper crackers).

My house, eek! My toilet started leaking a few days ago. Last night, my neighbors ceiling collapsed.

It’s now twice as bad and we are having a hard time controlling the water coming in to her place. My ceiling this morning started showing water stains and a little bowing too.

We are working on her place so hopefully no more water will come down here!

My window started leaking yesterday as well. I contacted the management company and of course they are no help since everyone in this city has problems. We are stuck figuring it all out on our own. Thank goodness for Google!

My man went home yesterday and hasn’t come back. His entire bathroom is flooded in his tub but nothing else yet thankfully. I wish he would come back soon though. It worries me that he is across town in his Jetta trying to drive here!

So I’ll keep y’all posted. I’m a bit nervous about my ceiling and feel so bad for my upstairs neighbor with her mom and 2 year old nephew being there in that mess! We have to stay here too and make sure our places don’t get completely devastated as well. This is nerve racking!!!

Thank you AllRecipes for the great ideas!

Day 3 of Harvey

We are still here, safe and sound. Last night a couple of my neighbors invited me to a hurricane party and I got a bit drunk and probably said too much (I tend to do that when drinking). I had some awesome Louisiana boudain too so it was a good time. We watched crazy people try to drive through the water and watched the rain bands as they rolled through, all while under the carport sitting at a table with the grill going.

My man decided to drive to his place yesterday to check on it. He only took Westheimer. It took him over an hour to get there (20 minute normal drive time) but he did not go through any high water and stayed safe. I was going crazy while he was gone with worry. He finally made it back after 3 hours and told me basically his house is ruined by water. It did not flood in his neighborhood, the ceiling just started caving in as a result of all the rain.

Houston is definitely devastated. Some freeways are completely under water. The news even called one of our main thoroughfares Lake 288. It is that bad in places here. No, we did not evacuate. We were told to stay at home. Nobody could predict how bad the water would be. Harvey did not hit us but it has caused chaos in this city. We have had more rain here than Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 which devastated the city too.

I have checked on my friends, family, and clients. Everyone is safe. That’s the main thing for me. Everyone needs to stay safe. I am worried for anyone that has water in their home or surrounding their home. One of my friends had to be boated out of her neighborhood because the water was up to a foot inside their house. Thankfully they were able to get out and get to safety. I feel for the thousands of people here that have now lost everything. I hope people will open their hearts and wallets to donate and help the victims here. Our convention center opened for victims of Harvey and they are completely packed. Thankfully our city always comes together like no other to help each other. It’s one of the good things about being here.

Everyone else please stay safe and if you can, there are tons of places to donate to help everyone here that needs it.

Red Cross

Salvation Army

United Way

Pet shelters too! Can you imagine how many people have lost pets right now??? I don’t know what I would do if Amber got out in all this!

Day 2 of Harvey

Well, we are flooding all over the city.

My man and I walked down to the closest bayou to check on the water level. Yesterday it was maybe 6-12 inches (normal height). Today, well, look for yourself!

My street flooded last night but it went down overnight. We walked from my house down to the major intersection just to check on everything. No problems walking. Whataburger was packed. The local gas station had a few people and they are completely out of gas.

It started raining hard so we walked back to my house. We shall see how the rest of the days go. We finally got internet back and only lost electricity for about 30 seconds yesterday.

I saw the news this morning where they are having to do rescues of people with a foot or more water in them all over so if you live here, PLEASE stay safe!

Day 1 of Harvey

I’m in the Galleria area of Houston, about 9 miles from downtown. It started raining sporadically yesterday. The storm hit down south really hard as a category 4 hurricane. It’s really bad down south according to the news and I feel for those people.

My man and his cat are here with us. My dog and his cat have barely smelled each other and are staying away from each other. My allergies are going nuts with his cat but I am dealing just fine. The cat is in bed with me and my dog is freaking out from the floor. It’s actually pretty funny to watch them get near each other, sniff, then run away.

We have gotten some rain and NO flooding near here. It has flooded in other parts of Houston. Our mayor was on the news this morning telling us to stay at home because this thing keeps coming in waves and will get bad in the next few days. We are staying here.

I have text my friends and neighbors and everyone seems to be fine so far, even in flood prone areas. We are bored because it seems that xfinity decided to shut everyone down last night as a precaution so we have no cable or internet so no Netflix! Thank goodness for cell phones. And of course we still have power since it’s just rain so far.

Last night my man and I went into a neighbors home to check on it since he passed away last year and I haven’t been in that place since I found him dead on his floor (not a good day). The ceiling is covered in mold, it’s black and everywhere in the living room! There are dead roaches everywhere (kitchen and bathroom) and his children that came to clean it out left a desk and the bed in the apartment. At this point, they will have to have all of the drywall removed from the ceiling. I’m even wondering if it will affect his upstairs neighbor since it’s on the ceiling. I feel bad for that guy! The furniture will probably have to go too, even the nice bed. So that’s what’s happened during this storm so far. I will check in later or tomorrow depending on what we get up to today.