A CALM BEFORE A STORM?

If I were to have read this book as a kid I probably would have wanted to become a Taxi Driver, it looks like so much fun. However, I became a Taxi Driver anyway, by accident. One day out of a job a friend suggested I apply at Yellow Taxi and that’s where I settled my bones. Over the years Taxi driving was one of the first jobs to become marginalized. There used to be a union, retirement plans and other benefits that could be taken for granted. The 1980’s was the beginning of the era of going from the status of employee to the status of independent contractor (Gig workers in today’s language). Other industries soon followed as employers saw a way to save the expenses of worker’s compensation insurance, and other benefit plans. Employees were then given the false impression that they are in business for themselves, and in a sense they were, but in reality they were only really responsible for themselves. Some worked hard and made money and even saved and invested wisely. They were a very small group. Others worked hard, made money and blew it all away, but the majority who also worked hard and didn’t make much more than a living have become the largest group of all and the income kept on dwindling. At the end of the day, no one has a retirement plan outside of Social Security, including yours truly here who didn’t wise up until too late in the game. If I win the lottery I’ll be fine.

During this pandemic business has really slowed down. The airlines have claimed to have lost 85% of their business, which I can believe. There are armies of commuters who live in one city and work in another and they were catching those planes like the rest of us would catch a bus. Those airline commuters also needed rides to and from the airport.

Luckily I’ve been able to stay home and get unemployment. The federal supplement was great but didn’t last long. As an Uber/Lyft driver now I’ve been able to make that choice myself. I expect I’ll have to pay all this money back someday, somehow but I’m not going to worry about that. Avoiding this deadly disease is more important and I don’t think I can trust the public with all the rumors of it all being a big hoax that has a lot of people confused and over time, complacent. Now that the electoral votes have counted in a new president the roads are as quiet as the shut-down was in the spring. I just went for my weekly lottery ticket and noticed that there was no traffic. The old president isn’t happy that he wasn’t voted back in office and neither are his supporters. There’s lots of shouting about fraud. I expect protesters will be out in force while the new president’s supporters party in the streets. A lot of us are probably anticipating more than just street brawls in the coming days. Businesses are already buying riot insurance and boarding up. That’s right folks! You’re not insured against civil unrest or war. Read your policies and take care. These could be Halcyon days or the calm before the storm. Meanwhile, taxi’s are still in business and there are Uber/Lyft drivers still on the roads, it is an industry that may never go away after all.

WINTER HOUSING

Happy Halloween folks! It’s that time of year again and the snow is already making an appearance. There are people still camping in the city parks even in these cold temperatures. Crazy!

I’ve been thinking about the housing crisis going on all over it seems. It isn’t people moving to the cities from the countrysides that’s creating the problems here. I hear on the radio how the Mall of America is nearly empty with closed store fronts. Online shopping has been effecting the brick and mortar retail shops for quite some time now and the pandemic has made it worse. I hear that small businesses are going under due to the pandemic, but in reality, most of them don’t need to pay the rents anymore, they can sell from their homes or rent a warehouse or locker now for much less. The world is changing. Are people so impatient with the lockdowns or is it the owners of the real estate that lost their tenants who are the ones behind all this crying? We’re so easily duped. The system is rigged against us. Coming from the taxi industry I can vouch for that. I had the raw experience of being duped and seeing the system rigged.

Landlords. I have nothing against landlords especially the small one who made the wise investment in order to have a nest egg and retire someday when working is not an option anymore.

I’ve had pretty good landlords for the most part before I became a homeowner myself. However, I have seen a shift in rental property go from the hands of the individual to the big investment and management companies. Much has contributed to this shift. First I’ll begin with the irresponsible tenant who is capable of doing much damage and making it tough for the next guy. It can take a landlord a long time to evict a tenant these days usually for non-payment of rent. The small landlord cannot afford to carry the burden of a bad tenant. Then there are the justice warriors who cry for tenants rights against the landlords constitutional rights over his own property. As these cries chip away and change things in favor of the tenant it becomes more of a loss for the landlord who eventually will cut his losses and sell out to the big guys who can afford and do know how to deal with bad tenants, usually raising the rents so that tenants without a decent job can’t pay the rent. The philosophy is, if a tenant has a good income then that tenant must be a good rent paying tenant. Make sense? That’s one solution and it seems to be working well. At the same time there are all these cries about socialism. People seem to associate socialism with communism, but in a way that is where all this is going; Communism the government owns all the property. What will we be when the corporations own all the property?

That’s the mighty Mississippi frozen under that bridge.

Soon it will look like this in Minneapolis. That’s the Washington Avenue bridge going to the East Bank campus of the University from the West Bank. Just downstream from the 35W bridge, the one that collapsed in 2007.

I was once told that commercial property was a money maker but the world changes for everyone. Uber disrupted the taxi industry and the internet disrupted the retail industry which in turn is disrupting the commercial real estate. The moguls are now scrambling for another money maker, housing. Most of us couldn’t fathom buying a commercial building, the purchase price and upkeep was way over our heads and most of us never learn about it anyway. The American dream was always to own your own home. That’s still possible but getting more and more out of reach. I own my home with a partner and this partnership is what made my home ownership possible. Maybe everything isn’t perfect but it’s not so bad. I could do worse, I could be a tenant with a bad landlord. One who doesn’t fix anything and demands higher rent every lease renewal. That is becoming the norm and most people are stuck with it. We’ve been enticed to spend our money rather than save it, beginning with the credit card instant gratification mentality and all the new and shiny things advertised on the television every five minutes. We gotta have it, all our friends have one! We gotta fit in, look alike and be accepted. Being in debt is just a part of life, normal! With all the political correct talk going around, we’re brainwashed and frightened to not even think for ourselves. We’ve also been taught to get a job with benefits, let the company take care of you, better than the government. Is this what capitalism was supposed to be for you and me?

Partner up my Friends. None of us can make it alone.

I just met the guys who bought the house on the corner. It’s a duplex and the two guys are young and good friends. I think they’ll make it and I think I will see more of this as time goes on. It’s a good thing to do because there are so many obstacles to home ownership and the thieving fees hidden through out all that paperwork. Many fees don’t come due until certain conditions are met. Here’s one example: EHCO loans. What is that? I don’t know, it appears to be a fee that only grants permission to buy the property. Hmmm! That didn’t come due until my partner and I refinanced the house and took out a loan that got worked into the mortgage so we could replace the roof. (My partner is not a saver). Because we remortgaged at a higher loan than what we owed, instead of taking out an expensive equity loan, that ECHO loan came due. It started out at $3000 and was up to $4500. So we had to borrow more to pay that off or not get our loan at all for the roof, otherwise it would’ve come due when we sold our house. Well, at least we won’t owe it at the time of sale. These moguls just can’t live and let live!

Try not to look like this guy.

Buying a house shouldn’t be so scary and going in on one with a partner may have is drawbacks, but it’s foot in the door. There are tenancy in common agreements that can clearly spell out the rules and expectations and cost very little to create and file with the county. $246 is all I paid. Don’t let the commercials tell you what you need to fit into society and have friends and save your money. A little at a time goes a long long way! The moguls all started out with partners, none of them got rich all by themselves. It takes trust and mutual respect, not such a high price. Who knows, maybe you’ll be happy after all!

Happy Juneteenth!!

Pandemic Read-athon

Juneteenth is well on it’s way to becoming a National holiday and well deserved too. It not only celebrates the liberation of African Americans from slavery, but it also represents those who are the last to know. Hopefully there will be some positive changes that includes our country’s diverse community into the education system and mainstream. Confronting the uncomfortable history may just be the medicine we need to heal. This book sat in my Amazon box of books for sale for many years and has only just sold. I even forgot that I had it. Ralph Ellison had died before he finished writing this book but his family stepped in and brought it to completion and it was published a few years later. Like most people, I had to go to college for the literature and history classes about our diverse cultures that was missing from my elementary and high school years.

Waste Tide is a Chinese Sci-Fi: “She’s a waste worker on Silicon Isle, where electronics from cell phones and laptops to bots and bionic limbs are sent to be recycled. These amass in towering heaps, polluting every spare inch of land. On this island off the coast of Chin, the fruits of capitalism and consumer culture come to a toxic end.”

I wrote a little before about Junkyard Planet, another good read that takes you on a tour of the scrap trade from the scrapyards of America to the recycling factories of China. Has anybody noticed the disappearance of old junk cars that could be seen abandoned in swamps and ditches around the country over the years? Anyway, I look forward to reading Waste Tide. Sci-Fi is more about the present and preview of things that may come. This book looks promising, an alternative insight into the world of recycling, one that we don’t seem to notice. We know what our side of the story is, this will be the other side. It makes me think that in times like these we should all be more careful about how we spend our money and perhaps not be so picky about buying from the used marketplace or hanging onto what we already have a lot longer if it still works or can be repaired.

THE GREAT PANDEMIC FREE SALE

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People have more time for Spring cleaning this year but don’t know what to do with the stuff they want to get rid of.  Thrift shops are closed and not accepting donations, the used book shops aren’t accepting stuff, yard sales are cancelled, estate sales went online,   and no Flea Markets! However there are lots of curbs full of free stuff.

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I finally got my Little Free Library finished.  I named it “The Happy Shaman”. I used an old fish tank stand for the base and that was easy to sink into the ground and stabilize.  The bottom is a shelf I’ve been putting jigsaw puzzles for the taking.  I redid the roof from what you see here.  People have been using it too.  One puzzle went and the books have turned over too.  This are great ways to share with your neighbors and it’s open 24/7. IMG_0205

This photo was taken a few years ago at a very popular neighborhood yard sale festival.  Every weekend in May there are these yard sale festivals in the various neighborhoods around Minneapolis and St. Paul, a different neighborhood each weekend, not all at the same time.  This is one that has food trucks and canoe raffles and even their own T-shirts.IMG_0415 I Posted this picture before

 

IMG_0416The food trucks were nearby but I didn’t get any photos of them.

IMG_0407These guys were having a good time.

So while the yard sales have been called off for the season people crowd together at the Walmarts and grocery stores.  It’s easier to practice social distancing at a yard sale so I wouldn’t be afraid to have one or go to one.  If you’re afraid to touch the cash then wear gloves.  I think this year would be a great year for yard sales.  People want something to do and finding a bargain at a yard sale can be very satisfying and fun.

I posted on Next-door about the Free Library and was criticized then I posted how this year would be great for yard sales and was criticized again.  The Naysayers and critics will always have their say but that doesn’t mean we have to believe them or cave into their vortex. IMG_0408

In place of the neighborhood yard sale festivals maybe go shopping for free stuff on the curb.

Under the CoVid19 Lockdown

 

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Though dying is something we don’t often think about, nor do we want to, it is something that happens to us all someday.  “No one gets out alive!”

So now that the majority of us have a lot of time on our hands and are confined to the house we can occupy ourselves with somethings that we should consider while we’re still alive and well.  A book like this is a handy guide, it has 60 pages of things to consider while we still can.  I’ve been going through it and creating more pages of my own in addition to what’s already in there.  The Table of Contents will start you off with; Personal Information,  Contacts (family & friends), Pets.  Don’t forget your pets.  It’s a good time too to begin a trust fund for their care should anything happen to you. Important Documents, Subscriptions On and Offline, Social Accounts, Passwords, Where Things  are and what to do with them.  I added “Secrets I won’t take to the grave.”

This is great scrapbooking material.  Photo collages of people and pets in your life, Memories and mysteries to reveal.  Instead of letting your beneficiaries fight over the antique sideboard and family heirlooms in your possession, now is the time to give it all some deep thought and record your wishes.  I would recommend writing it all down in a notebook or on the computer so that when you make your entries in your book you are satisfied with them and can make a tidy entry. This is also a good way to take stock of what you have and inventory for insurance purposes.

 

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After reading this I probably quit driving the public around before any of my colleagues did.  I decided it was not worth the risk of contracting the virus or spreading it more widely.  I been saving up to replace my car but now I’m dipping into those savings to pay my bills.  Hopefully I won’t have to dip too deep.  Being self-employed is a lifestyle of feasts and famines so you learn to save during the good times because you know the bad times always come again.

I’ve read a lot of David Quammen, he’s one of my favorite Science and Nature writers.  He’s published a lot in National Geographic and his writing is clear and easy to read and understand.  You don’t have to be a genius to get it.  His other book, “Song of the Dodo” is another good read.  Anyway, this book was published in 2012 and this Corona Virus was predicted even before then.  In fact it should be no surprise.  With the population growing to 8 million the human race outnumbers any other animal species on the planet.  Think about that and then think about the “tent caterpillars”  he writes about in the end, or any other pestilence that rises in catastrophic numbers and then collapses.  Yes, we will too.

With that last thought in mind, I still hesitate calling this virus the big one yet, but we’re getting close.

One last word.  Does anyone think there’ll be many yard sales this year?

One more lady word. Remember, you can’t take it with you. (Your stuff that is).

SPRING CLEANING?

fullsizeoutput_36eMarch 2020

If you live in Minnesota then this is the time of year you begin to pull out of the long months of winter and look forward to the snow melting away and warm weather coming.  People start getting in the mood to clean out the house and mop up all the slop that’s been tracked in all winter.  Open the windows and let the fresh air blow through.  Yes, Spring cleaning!  I’m a reader so I’ve had lots of books to sort through and have managed to haul numerous boxes of books off to Half-Price Bookshops located around the metro.  Bit by bit I’ve been reading them up and sending them on.  Lately I’ve come across a few about the trash and second hand trade and became keenly interested.  It’s good to know that the next generations are working out solutions to clean up the mess the previous generations (including mine) are leaving behind.   Technology has made some fantastic breakthroughs but have also created some problems, fraud being a big one.  But those things all get worked out as time goes on.

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I really enjoyed these two books. Adam Minter is a good writer that is easy going and will keep you reading and awed at all times.  He opened my eyes to another world economy that’s making billions and right under our noses and feet.  It’s good to know that our waste is finally going to good use but we still ought to be less wasteful just the same.  One interesting thing he wrote about China buying up our trash by the fully loaded containers is that this trash has changed the whole country of China.  People leave work on the farms to sort through this trash and make more money doing it.  Imagine that, stuff valued over food!  There are some sad facts that need to sink into all of us, but then we knew that all along, didn’t we.  Another thing Adam made clear is that we didn’t dump our trash on anyone, they came here looking to buy it because they knew the value of it.  Recycling metal is better than mining it, etc. Those bone pickers you see walking the streets picking up trash and collecting it in bags just might not be such the poor sods they look like.   Cities are fazing out the landfills and burn trash that is used to generate energy to power the city.  The old days we went to the dump with our dads who had a trailer full of junk to get rid of while us kids had the time of our lives digging on the heaps looking for treasures and sometimes we found them.

Meanwhile, my neighbors have been busy.  I think the Health Dept. gave them an ultimatum and now my backstairs are cleared off.  They haven’t looked like this in 30 years!  One good thing coming out of this mess, because the great grand kid who’s under six years old tested high levels of lead the health dept. is going to replace all the windows throughout the house, and it won’t cost us anything!  Wow!  Most old houses have lead all over them and ours is no exception.  So if you live in an old house that’s something to think about, it’s not healthy for adults either.  Radon tests were done too.  The city of Minneapolis has begun requiring these tests, disclosures and abatements to be certified  before anyone can sell their house.  We’ll have that in our hands too.  Hoarders are usually not bad people, they can be very likable even but very difficult. And when cleaning day comes along. . .  At this time it’s her and her family cleaning out the house, which is better than someone else doing it, therapeutically good, that is.  However she’s renting a lot of storage lockers now and that’s not good.  It’s draining her much needed money for one thing and later all that stuff will makes it’s way back here.  I can only hope that changes or else we get a hell of an offer on this house before one of us pops our perch.

With that best wishes to all and have a good Spring season.

Beware, What You Don’t See

fullsizeoutput_25eIf you look close you will see a horse in each of the squares.  By Bev Doolittle

I was at a sale recently that was in a luxury apartment building.  The building was a huge complex located in a prestigious part of the city.  The grounds were meticulously kept and the whole look of the place was nice and had an expensive sense about it.  However, as soon as I went in through the common entry door there was a smell like that of a really bad hoarder.  I live upstairs from a hoarder and the house never smelled like that even on a bad day at it’s worse.  The hall was clean and no sign of anything like a hoarder anywhere.  I went to the apartment where the sale was and that was clean and didn’t smell and I soon forgot about it.  I found numerous things I wanted to buy but when I looked in the closet at the bottles of cleaning stuff I saw a can of bed bug spray.  I got out of there fast and forgot about buying anything.  Later after I got home I got a little paranoid that I might have picked up bugs on me when I was in there but not really positive about that, so I looked up bed bugs on Google and learned that the smell from the halls in that building did not come from a hoarder, bed bugs leave a smell.  I will never forget it.

I look at all the new luxury buildings going up everywhere around me and can’t help but think what they might be like someday.  Luckily I don’t live in an apartment building and the hoarder I live upstairs from doesn’t have bugs and I rarely see a mouse.  The cats usually take care of the mice.  This is definitely something to keep in mind though.  And no, I didn’t pick up any bed bugs.  I didn’t sit down on anywhere in that apartment or try on any coats or such.  I think the bed bugs were eliminated but the smell in the hallway is there to stay awhile.  If you like going to sales and thrift shopping, it’s a good idea to Google up bed bugs and read through the materials that tell you how to look for them.  One of my other neighbors advice is to put whatever clothes you buy from a thrift shop or sale in the dryer for awhile because the heat kills them.  Putting something in the oven for awhile should work on other items.

I know, this isn’t good for business.  I still strongly support the reuse economy. We just have to be careful out there.  After all, even the posh hotels get bed bugs.

 

NEW TRICKS FOR A SUCCESSFUL YARDSALE

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Free House Plants, but the cat stays.

Last week I put these plants on the curb for anyone who would like to take one or more home.  They sat on the curb for two days and no takers.  The weather is changing fast around here, I couldn’t let them stay there for long and I didn’t want the city rubbish collectors thinking I was throw them out.  So, what did I do?  I posted them as free house plants on an app called “Nextdoor”.  It’s a free app for nearby neighbors to share information and community events.  It looks like a little green house. It’s a good app to have.  It didn’t take long for these plants to find new homes.  A week later I posted more.

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These too went fast.  I even had people ring my bell, (I invited them to do so) and come up for more I had inside.  I felt very good about the people who came for these plants, they weren’t just out to grab free pots or do anything destructive.  I wouldn’t do this with animals though.  I cringe when I see free kitten ads and such.  Anyway, this plant experience gave me an idea.  I live in a part of the city that’s hard to find, it’s a little corner behind hospitals, colleges and institutions.  People don’t look beyond those blocks and see there’s a neighborhood, so I’m hidden.  It’s definitely not a good area to have a yard sale.  The app allows you to expand your area and reach out to other parts of the city and suburbs, that’s where a lot of these people came from, many on their way home from work downtown.

Well, to begin with, I had one successful yard sale since I lived here and that was a number of years ago after my next-door neighbor died and his family hired an estate sale company to sell his belongings.  I realized that this was an opportunity not to be missed and had a pop up yard sale and I was out there early.  People will come from all corners for an estate sale and they will find the address no matter how difficult or well it is hidden.  Yardsales are different, people don’t normally go out of their way to look for a single yard sale.  People will come early to an estate sale too.  They take numbers and wait in line for a good hour before the doors open so a next-door yard sale gives them something to do while they wait. They’re treasure hunters and pickers and love a sale!   Be ready by 8:00am for that one!  My yard sale did very well.  I didn’t just pile the stuff around the yard, I somewhat mimicked the estate sales I’ve been to and worked at in the past, where items of likeness, like kitchen stuff, linens, etc. are organized together, clothes are hung on racks or folded neatly, it’s clean, tidy and displayed for attraction.  There’s room to move around and get a good look.  I didn’t have much left to sell after that sale.  I didn’t have to advertise it either.

As much as I loved my plants, I’m so relieved that I don’t have to drag them all indoors for winter and crowd the spaces in my house.  This spring I intend to fix up some garden vegetable starters from seeds.  I got the space now.  I’ll have the few I want for myself and the rest I’m going to put up another free plant ad and yard sale on Next-door.  Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t.  We’ll see.

EEUWW! WHAT’S THAT SMELL!

fullsizeoutput_145.jpegThis is what the basement looks like.

I was out in my part of the garage one day and there was a very strong smell that I can’t even describe.  It was awful!  Later I saw my neighbor and told her about it and she said she knows, it was the dog.  Her daughter that used to live in the loft in the garage had a dog, a pitbull.  I don’t know what happened to the dog, I just hope it’s not what I suspect, but the dog and the smell have since been removed.  This made me think of Jeffery Dahmer.  Remember him?  He was the guy that lived in an apartment building in Milwaukee that picked up young gay men and took them back to his apartment and murdered them.  It was a grisley.  He cut them into pieces and kept them in plastic bags.  Anyway, his neighbors who also lived in that apartment building commented that there was always a bad smell that came from Jeff’s apartment but they basically ignored it.  Yikes!  Well, if something did happen to that dog, I would blame the daughter and boyfriend and not my neighbor.  Chances are she didn’t know the dog was in there and she didn’t have the key to the lock her daughter put on the door.  I don’t think for a minute she’d have let something bad happen to that dog or any animal.  Not that kind of person.  I think I’d have known by now.  Anyway I guess the moral of this story is bad smells probably should not be ignored.  Minding your own business is one thing but there are times when you do have to step in.  I would also keep this in mind when buying a house or moving into a new place.

Lately, not much has happened around here.  I haven’t seen the inspector for awhile.  The last time he was here he said something about his boss has been after him for taking too much time here and wanted to free him up of this for other things.  I haven’t heard dicky bird from the health department either.  So, all I can do now is just shut my door and stay in my own corner of the zoo and hope the developers come along and make a good offer on this house soon.  Yes, I’m in a neighborhood that is trying to gentrify somewhat, it’s only beginning.  When that happens, and I believe it will, I’ll take that money and run.

SUMMERTIME, SO SOON TO END

fullsizeoutput_1d.jpegTent city in the backyard. None of it mine!

This lush landscape is about to change.  Last year temperatures reached more than 50 degrees below 0, Fahrenheit!  It’s been a cool kind of summer but there were a few hot and muggy days and I did get the air conditioner out of the attic and used it a couple of times.

Saving the environment is one of the classic excuses hoarders use to justify the junk they collect.  They want to convince everyone that they’re doing their bit to save the landfills from filling up while turning their own home into a landfill.  A friend of mine had bought a house about 30 years ago that was previously owned by a hoarder.  After all this time his house still has that musty smell and closed in feeling.  I’ve had home improvement developers tell me that the only way to properly clean up a house after a hoarder is to gut the place all the way to the studs.  Tear out the walls and ceiling and even the floor that usually gets bowed under the weight of all that storage.  The property itself is usually neglected.  As you can see by the photo there is much work to be done here, the roof is 32 years old.  That’s well overdue and it’s getting replaced this year before the snow flies.  Needless to say I’ve been too lax around here and allowed my neighbor and house partner to talk me into putting things off so she can clean things up around here a bit first.  Ha!  Obviously I was in for a long wait.  Then her kids came along and made things worse.

 

fullsizeoutput_2a.jpegNotice the attic door of the garage is open and you can see the fan

The daughter who’s in her 50’s has been living in the loft of the garage with her boyfriend for many years.  What had started out as giving them a place to stay until they find another apartment has become more of a permanent residency going on about 10 years now.  The grand daughter who’s in her mid to late 20’s was pregnant when she moved into a small room in the basement.  Her kid is now going on 3.  She too has a boyfriend and the father of her baby living like that with her.  This is dysfunctional  and not temporary.   When the first inspector came to look at the new boiler I had installed he had to go into that little room in the basement to check the gas meter.  I don’t think he saw it.  He stepped out of that room immediately with a look on his face like he just saw something from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  He didn’t say a word, he just quietly picked up his tools and left.   I received the first letters from the city inspector in February.  When that inspector  came and saw this and he was horrified.  He kicked them all out and got them into a hotel for the rest of winter.  The garage and the basement are not fit for habitation for humans or animals.  Fortunately my neighbor is not an animal hoarder and she does take her garbage out to the bins.  So at least I’m not crawling with bugs and rodents.  I’ve got 3 cats so whatever mice do show up they are on them.  There is a difference between a hoarder house and a garbage house, though the two are often combined.

As you can see by the photo that as soon as the weather broke the kids came back.  They thought they were clever putting up tents, there’s no law against having tents in the yard.  Well the city wasn’t fooled and had to kick them out again.  And again when they snuck back.  Sympathy is draining fast.  Can’t find affordable housing?  Ha!  A friend of mine recently moved back here and stayed with me after living on the West Coast for nearly 40 years and he found a job and an apartment in three weeks!  The apartment was small and the job didn’t pay a lot but he didn’t have much trouble getting it together.  My attic that is my space is a lot more habitable than the garage and the basement but he wasn’t interested in making that permanent.  So it can be done!  Yes, rents and property has sky rocketed in the past few years and people need to learn to pool their resources and work together more than ever now.    We see immigrant families doing this all the time and eventually they become very successful and independent.

So this is not good for business especially my business where I take people on tours to estate sales.  I’ve worked sales in the past and would see someone come in on the last day and make an offer on all the books.  They’re a big wheel on Amazon, so they claim.  I don’t recommend doing that.  I’m an avid reader with a Bachelor’s degree in English and I do have a lot of books and I too sell books on Amazon and I can tell you right now, not everything sells.  I’m just a small seller, I limit myself to one box of books listed on Amazon and the rest I take to 1/2 price books.  I used to put them on the retaining wall out front for anyone to pick over for a few days then I’d take the rest to Savers.  I now have a Little Free Library that I’m painting and getting ready to install out front.  I’m naming it “The Happy Shaman”.   I’ll definitely feel like a happy shaman if I can get this house cleaned up and in shape.

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