GardenGrrl's WunderBlog

US Flags Made In USA

By: GardenGrrl, 10:19 AM GMT on May 15, 2011

Was happily surprised that Walmart had a display of American Flags Made in the USA.

We needed a new one for Memorial Day and were carping about having to buy an American Flag that was made in China. Absolutely tickled Walmart actually bought an American made product.
Sure the flags cost a bit more and we had to buy the made in USA pole to go with it, but it's our Flag and I really wanted one made here.

To all the Men and Women who in their own ways gave their lives so we could be free;

This Flags for You with heartfelt appreciation.

It was a banner day for birdwatching. Although the air was chill carried on stiff breeze, we got up at 5am for breakfast then headed to the Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area (LLELA). It is at the Lake Lewisville Dam/Trinity river basin.

Today was guided birdwatching through the trails of the vast wooded wildlife management area. Wildflowers were abundant with fields of yellow daisy-like Rudbeckia interspersed with white yarrow and pink primrose.

Could not believe we have these kinds of birds mere miles from our home. There were Orchard Orioles which I first mistook for robins until seen through binoculars. Electric blue Indigo buntings! The yellow sparrow sized birds called Dickcissel were singing from the trees. Willow seems to be the most popular tree for the colorful song birds to perch in.

We saw an Osprey fly over the dam. They have put in telephone poles with nest boxes mounted on top in an attempt to entice the Osprey to nest here instead of moving on.

Took many so-so grainy pictures through digital zoom. Am definitely getting a better camera with more optical zoom now that we are not buying a house. Have some okay pictures of a Prothonotary Warbler (horrible name for such a beautifull bird). Also included a picture taken at my house a couple weeks ago of a mockingbird singing on my roof peak before a big storm...just cause it's cool.

Updated: 10:15 AM GMT on May 29, 2011


Blue Skies and Oatmeal

By: GardenGrrl, 10:09 PM GMT on May 03, 2011

Today after several days of unseasonable cold and damp there are blue skies. It is beautiful out there.

While I am grateful to have a good job, boy a day like this just begs calling in to lounge under the blue canopy over head. As a gardener, the ground is perfect for weeding and preening, there is very little wind.

But, it is a work day and there will be no calling in. This , however, makes the avian creatures in my house happy. They KNOW when it's a work day. For them it is Oat-Meal Day!

Yes, the birds love fresh cooked oatmeal. Even the finches. It started out as heart healthy but now it's a shared joy. Okay, eating plain oatmeal is not much of a joy for the human pallete, but watching the birds get excited and fluttery on oatmeal days is.

Roxie gets the left overs and what Syd knocks off his "buffet" table.

Simple things make life simply happy.


Vote For This House

By: GardenGrrl, 6:54 AM GMT on May 01, 2011

O-kay, the spouse and I are frankly quite speechless at the last letter we received from our realtor.
Rather than write the sellers a hasty, "go jump in a lake" letter, we thought we would vent for awhile and maybe let others laugh, fume, be dissappointed or sensible along with us.

Ladies and Gentlmen of WU, Vote For This House;

The house in question is a three bedroom single story in relatively good shape, especially now that it has a new roof. The interior will require several coats of Kilz to cover the, ahem, interesting and bright
palette on the walls. It will also need new carpet.

The yard needs some serious landscaping, the lawn a mix of St Augustine, bermuda and weeds vying for supremacy.

Cosmetics aside, with lots of sweat equity it could be beautifull. We decided rather than insulting the seller on their taste and asking for paint/carpet/lanscape allowance, we just decided to concentrate on structural-mechanical things.

Just recently we found out it may or may not be in a flood plain. We were aware that it borders one as it is near a creek. Behind the home is woods a walking path and creek. The neighborhood is quiet and well kept.

All was going well until the inspection. Apparently the seller was totally insulted that anything could be wrong with his house. Nevertheless a new roof which their insurance would cover was agreed upon.

Here's where the wheels start coming off...
We wanted our own HVAC guy to come look at their system. It has a tripped flu-spill switch and was running a bit warm on the a/c side. The seller so insulted by the previous inspection agreed to have our tech show up Friday. Then he left before we got there and refused to allow the realtor to let the tech inside without his presence.

The seller was about three miles away at the mall and would not come back. Finally he agreed the A/C tech could come back Saturday morning. Amazingly, he was there and let the tech go to work. He berated us over our choice of home inspectors.

The tech said it needed a bit a freon but no leaks could be found (the system is the homes original). The seller would not pay for the freon.

We almost terminated the contract then. But, it had potential to be a wonderful home with wooded back yard.

Next, right after the roof was put on (to our specifications), the mortgage lender informed us we would need flood insurance because the home was in an AE flood zone. The sellers realtor has been working frantically to get what is called a LOMA letter for the property. This would make it outside the flood zone and subject to much cheaper insurance.
The letter is not in yet but looks promising that the home is 2 feet above the flood plain and will get the LOMA.

So, in the original contract the sellers were going to lease the home from us for three days at a daily per diem of our new mortgage. They need three days after the sell to get their lease going with their new property.

Today they sent over a new closing contract where they want to close on the 13th but have us let them live for free in the house until the 23rd when they can get people from their church and family to help them move. (That was in the contract wording).

This seemed like the last straw and we said so to our realtor. Next, we get a pleading letter from our realtor that both he and the sellers realtor will pay the per diem that the sellers do not think they should pay. Now we are speechless.

What do you all think? Keep going and get the house or tell them to jump in a lake?

Vote now, vote often.

Signed, Gardegrrl and Spouse


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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