August Wrap-Up

August.  The month from hell.  The heat was fine, it was all the other stuff that totally. fell. apart.

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So.  August.  Good riddance.

  • Elderberries are now fair game.  The neighbor helped us pick a crapload and even aided the de-stemming process.  5 gallons of wine are fermenting in the carboy and I’ve got plans to make a small batch of port out of the berry remains.
  • Prickly pears.  I want to at least try some prickly pear juice, but I’d love to make wine out of it.  Right now all I’ve done is make a tiny amount of juice out of one pear.  It was not sweet.  It was not very good.  I did not die (or get really cold) after drinking it.
  • Buy a flippin house.  Ugh.  Can we not talk about it?
  • Car oil change.  Done.  By Kyle.  Because I find it impossible to make it to normal 9 – 5 businesses within normal business hours (hint:  I tend to work that same schedule).
  • Bus work.  Hey, that’s done!  We did some of it and another place did some of it and hopefully when we get home it’s going to be awesome.
  • Enjoy the pool more.  I went down to the pool a couple times.  It’s pretty great unless there are kids.  There, I said it.

I feel really defeated right now, so I’m not even going to bother with goals for September.  I’ve already done some pathetic venting on facebook, so I’m going to try to give the cliffnotes here.  We’ve found two foreclosed houses that we’ve wanted to buy, but they were both being sold by super-sketchy online auction sites.  After doing research (the seller limits their liability 100%!  They won’t turn on the water and electricity for an inspection!  It’s not a scam, but it’s close enough!) we’ve decided that any home being sold by these sites is off our table – as a first-time home buyer I’m not interested in taking on that kind of risk.

But our lease is up, so we’re looking for a new apartment with a competent landlord.  We found one we both really liked, and kept trying to set up a showing with the current tenant.  We really wanted to see it before turning in our notice to our current landlord, and after two weeks of failed attempts I finally was able to see the house the morning before I flew out for a business trip.  Right down to the wire – I wanted to give notice before the first of the month and the day I flew out was the last day I’d be around in August.  It’s been stressful.

While all this was going on, Kyle’s vehicle overheated and died.  The mechanic quoted us $7k to put a new engine in it, which is about the value of the car.  Kyle ended up selling it as-is, although the money he got for it barely covered the $1200 mechanic bill just for taking the engine apart to see what would need fixing/replacing.  So that’s been a huge loss of assets, which is why the bus is currently in the shop – we’re lucky enough to not NEED a second vehicle but it sure is nice to have.  Plus we want to use the bus!  But losing the Escape has been very hard on both of us.

We scrambled to get all this figured out before last weekend, because we both had business trips this week that ended with us both in Michigan to say goodbye to someone who might not be around next time we make it north.  So while trying to squeeze as many hours from the day as possible, I’ve also been dealing with the emotional ramifications of contemplating death and what I should say to someone I might never see again.  Not to mention the thought of someone I love suffering.  It’s been hard.

I know all the right words – we’ll figure it out, things will work out eventually, this will pass.  Just do what you can today, tomorrow will be a new day.  

I feel like I’m barely recovering from yesterday’s bruises before today starts swinging.  I’m actually writing this on the 24th, as I don’t know how much time I’ll have this week whilst traveling.  I’m really looking forward to this week.  I’ll finally have some downtime where there’s literally nothing I can do about my situation, which means all I can do is enjoy exploring a new city.  There will be no work-life stress and minimal home-life stress.  And at the end of the week I get to see my family.  So by the time you read this, I’m sure I’ll have recovered from August a great deal.  Right now I’m still pretty black and blue.

And as always, photos from my month.  Starting with hiking on a rainy day.

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The scenery is a little different than hiking in Michigan.  The spiders are bigger, too.IMAG3171_Sophia

I love it when it rains here.  It is a quick, intense storm.  The temps drop a little afterwards.  The sun comes back out.  

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We stopped at the favored taco truck for some tacos al pastor and the horchata that inspired this post.

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We tasted Kyle’s first homemade Belgian – and approved.

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And, you know, this happened.

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And life goes on.  The photo at the top of the post is from pinterest – my mother-in-law just sent it to me a few minutes ago.  I may not feel better today, but I know after this month, I can handle just about anything.  Except the ridiculous comma that I edited out of the image before I posted it here.

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