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Trucking Right Along

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Lordy, but do our lives seem to change and warp and become something new with each week that passes!

School Has Begun

My teen's charter school has begun. Well, officially Jumpstart has begun. But Jumpstart is graded and considered a preliminary to the year, not to be confused with summer school, that is.

I feel old - in my day there was just school. If you really screwed up, you went to summer school. Now there's summer school for everyone if they want it (where they PAY kids to do weird), Jumpstart, and regular school in the fall and spring.

In any case, it is weird, but kind of nice. We have gone from homeschooling to schooling from home, and Em's desk in currently in our living room, just a few feet away from where I sit. I get to hear her intermittently as she goes from one Zoom meeting to the next. A few minutes ago, I heard her talking about budgets (apparently it's time for math class) and she not only understood them, but could use examples of how they were helpful.

I can't help a flush of pride at that. As part of her education, she got to see one of my budgets in action. In fact, when she saw the line item for cell phone costs, she immediately stopped asking for one. We were lucky enough to get a phone for free that we could then add a line on for just $15 per month, but until she saw the whole amount we had been paying for what was three phones at the time, she had no idea just how expensive cell phone service can be. Granted, we were also paying off the purchase of three different phones at the time, but I was grateful that she saw the amount and realized it was a big one and expensive for us.

EVERYBODY is Here Today

Our foster daughter's daycare is closed for teacher in-service day. After a particularly sleepless night with our newborn foster son, a large bat swooping through the house, and a dog deciding that midnight was the perfect time to take a dump in the art room, I had to cancel my cleaning and focus on kiddos and house while my poor sleep-deprived husband struggles to make it through the day. So far, everyone seems to be doing fine.

I like having the family around. They are, after all, some of my favorite people.

Cottage South Is a Go!

There were moments when I wondered how nuts I was, saying yes to a newborn in the midst of working on getting our house in Belton ready to go as our second short-term rental. It was crazy-making at times and I was thankful that a neighbor came by and offered his handyman services.

We opened for business on the 5th of August and our first guests arrived on the 7th.

Whenever you try something new, like taking a 3 bedroom, two bath rental house and turning it into a short-term rental, you never know what will happen. Honestly, though, we are off to a great start and I couldn't be more pleased.

The property is perfect for those who don't need to be front and center in Kansas City. And with easy access to the highway, all KC Metro destinations are easily within a 15-40 minute drive. And despite my low opinions about the builders of the house (as my husband says, "It was builder-grade so they decided to do a really bad job of it on top of that") we have managed to fix most of the house over the years and it is in a lovely area.

I've already sent several wannabe partiers packing. I'm sure they can find a place where the owners don't give a shit about their neighbors, but that's not me. Keeping the neighbors happy is #1 in my book. After all, they have to live next to the house, so I want it to be as good an experience as possible.

If you know of any folks who would be interested in staying at Cottage South, send them to the listing on Airbnb. I'll soon have it listed on other platforms as well as our website that is currently under construction. Check out the listing here: Cottage South

We will be replacing the decaying wood garage doors soon with metal ones. And we might expand into the basement with a 4th bedroom/bath and entertainment room, but we aren't pulling the trigger on that yet. I'd like to see some significant business before I toss out any more thousands of dollars on improvements!

Next Up? Airstream and Planning Cottage East Interior Demo!

Now that Cottage South is done and in action, I am hoping that the Airstream will soon be ready for us to bring home. Before we do, I need to finish the Airstream pad, two pathways, and weed the heck out of the yard. I've set aside the next three Saturdays to get that done as well as dabble in during the weekdays when Mr. Fartypants is napping.

I'm waiting to hear back on exactly how long until the Airstream is done, but I'm telling you, I doubt I'll be recommending the folks working on it to anyone else. We dropped it off in January, waited until March to hear "we tried calling you over and over" (they didn't, we checked the phone records) and then forked over money to wait for three more months to get a "well, we aren't sure what else you wanted done" (when the damn thing was stripped down to the bolts and unable to be moved). It's kind of like that Jay person we hired to work on Cottage East who spent more time trying to save Crazy Dale next door from himself and far less doing the job she was being paid to do before taking off without any decent reason given.

HOPEFULLY, it will be done by the end of this month and we can get it in service and listed on Airbnb and other platforms by mid-September at the latest.

Six Saturdays in September and October have been set aside as "demo days" for Cottage East. We need to remove everything from the property and also begin demo'ing the interior walls so we can re-do plumbing, electrical and insulate it properly. Do it right the first time! It will likely still be mid-2023 until we have managed all of the renovations and gotten it on the market. Who knows, if I manage to learn the marketing side of my writing biz, it might be far sooner (more money from writing = more money to spend now instead of later on renovations)!

Smoke and Steel - Beginning Soon

I hope to begin work on Smoke and Steel, book 2 of the Benton Security Services series next Monday. I might put it off one more week, but then again, I might not. Only time, projects, and small demanding babies will tell on that.

All in good time - in order to be creative I need the income in place to reduce my stress over not bringing in a steady amount of money. I hope that, as Mr. Fartypants gets older, he will be more inclined to sleep through the night. And speaking of the little devil, he is awake and I have to go hold me a baby!


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Join my group General Malcontent's Grumbles and Scribbles on Facebook and get plenty of weird memes, the opportunity to read my newest releases for free, pics of the family, and other author news. I look forward to seeing you there!

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