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2014-04-22 - 12:48 p.m.

I am struggling with how not to be judgemental of people who seem to live their lives with inertia, or just going with the flow of what HAPPENS TO THEM rather than making things happen that they envision.

I am in a time of waiting. Only a week more before I hear from the VA Board of BAR Examiners.

SO I am in this slow period of my life and enjoying the time to read a few good books, spend time with the girls and enjoy being home. I have also enjoyed running/jogging and bike riding regularly.

I did just invest in getting work done on my car. It still didn't get through emissions after the work was done. It is back in the shop again as there are STILL problems to be identified and fixed.

Thing is I was pretty resolute that I am not going to deplete my retirement fund to have a car on the road. So I temporarily have a car and turned on insurance so I could drive my car the 100 plus miles to try to re-set emissions. I went to DMV and got a temp registration tag for ONE TRIP ONLY . I decided to make the trip to Staunton VA to visit the Frontier museum and then end the day with seeing Othello at the Blackfriar's theater.

It was our big outing over Spring Break that the girls were with me.

I have to report that while the show was wonderful, the sword fighting that Soren and his BAVPA classmates did in HAMPLET two years ago was much more realistic than the sword fighting in this production of Othello.

Soren told me that his classmates and he studied fencing with one of the best Shakespearean fencing masters who has worked in NYC for years (among other places). I recall the scenes in Hamlet just blowing the whole audience away with their realism. That came to mind suddenly during the Othello sword fight scenes with vivid clarity. I couldn't help but suddenly remember and be struck by the contrast.

Soren does have one professional production this summer which is a Shakespeare piece. He also was cast in another theater production so he has two paid roles once school is out for the summer time.
One of them includes singing and he is rather sure it is his singing voice which landed that part.

So although his conservatory won't release product prematurely until it is ready to hit market as fully matured, like any great company,(for Soren's school this means the company students are not in a public performance until their third year) I will have opportunity for summer road trips to see him perform which I am really happy about.

Still don't think I should keep a car on the road as a rental will be more feasible.

I had to extend my insurance as I got a loaner car from the shop my car is at.

I needed it as I had my girls all with me when I dropped it off. The last time I dropped it off I got a ride there, but then was very proud I biked the 37 miles to go pick it up! It was a beautiful Spring day in the upper 60s which was PERFECT biking weather. I took two different trails some of the way. I then rode into a city to get to the shop the car was at, and it was a challenging ride during that part- but not that bad. One gets used to biking in traffic when you do it often.

After picking it up I brought it into the shop here locally for the emissions test. It was not ready as the computer had not re-set! My first attempt to re-set that was a drive to Middleburg where I enjoyed visiting a lovely bookstore and strolled around window shopping on a lovely warm early Spring day. On the way back I stopped at Unison Pottery and Tile and visited with Joan there for a few moments. She was heading out get ready for the Middleburg Arts Festival so didn't have time just then. I came back another day and was happy to be able to bring Raitlin with me as she loves working on her pottery wheel. She really enjoyed helping me as we picked out more tiles for the newly renovated kitchenette being built in my basement. The cabinet and tile top is done- next is adding the lovely green and earth tones brown and tan tiles of chestnuts and chestnut leaves on the wall above the counter.

I am SO THRILLED to be adding art to my home!

The basement is coming along slowly but it is lovely.

Its a good thing I decided to have work done on it as in the inspection and repair there was an outlet that had been burned out. It likely was overloaded (my former tenants kept tripping the breaker). That definitely needed repair! When I bought my house there was a broken pipe leading to the outside water spigot in the front yard. I had the homeowner insurance company I had a policy from look at it. They sent a plumber or two- who never came back. I think the judged it was too big of a job and perhaps too costly for them to want to do the work ! (Problem with insurance plans!)

Well, my hired guy working on the basement also fixed the broken pipe! He and his son were given go ahead to find the leak and they did so and I now have the inch of burst copper pipe they fixed.
In the past few days they repaired where the wall and ceiling had to be knocked out to find the leaky pipe. I mean really the job was not THAT hard! The plumbers sent were just afraid it WOULD be too much and too hard to find the leak. We just LISTENED when water was on and HEARD where it was. It wasn't really that hard!

They also fixed a broken valve on my water heater which was installed by plumbers that were sent by the homeowner supplemental insuance policy I had that was a good idea the first few years as it covers major appliances and the water and heat systems. I have used it for replacement of a leaking water heater, to fix my furnace once, and to fix a broken dishwasher. So that policy has been a good thing for me to have! The disappointing thing however is that just a couple weeks ago my water shut off. I thought perhaps something the workers were doing shut it off (like cutting a breaker while working on electric- as they pulled wire to install two new ceiling lights downstairs).
It turned out the breaker tripped and it was not related to their work on putting in the kitchenette. The plumbing for the new kitchenette was finished and all that was done was add two new shut off valves and the pipes to the kitchen sink. There was some standing water under my water heater and the worker noted that he thought the pressure release valve on the water heater was not working and it was leaking which it should not have been doing.

HE bought a new valve but had not swapped that out when the water cut out. As electricity was cut out I investigated to find rust under the panels in the front- sign of water leaking, and the top of the water heater had WATER IN IT where the wires were! That was why it cut off! I pulled out sopping wet insulation from there. The guy working for me was able to fix it but he also commented on how the plumber was supposed to do some things that were not done and the sloppy work cause the problems. Sure enough I could see where the ground was touching the wires and melted through the plastic coating of one. It burned right through- I had turned on the water heater initially thinking it was just a breaker not turned back on, and then observed and heard crackling and saw smoke and cut the electric
again until it could be worked on.

So the electric wiring was fixed, the pressure value swapped out, and all the water has dried up and it appears problem solved. I believe the pressure release valve was broken and then rather than releasing pressure it built up and the water had to go somewhere- so it was leaking at the seals.

Good news is that it was all fixed really quickly as the guys were coming here to work anyway !

Basement coming along... slow but it looks great thus far. Tile work on walls, toilet install and some fresh paint and it will be finished. Plumbing and electric, sealing of the completed bathroom tile and some painting are finished along with the build of the new kitchenette.

I had picked up a $5 thrift store towel bar, but of course then had to go find matching items at home depot! I actually picked up a second towel bar and decided to put that in the girls' bathroom. It has white porcelain on it and is really pretty. In picking out a new tub spout and faceplate as well as new bathroom fixtures yesterday I was inspired to also get a new fixture for the girls bathroom sink and our living room bathroom as well. I held off on my room as perhaps that will get painted and re-done someday. They ALL had those horrid plastic tear dropped shaped covers over a simple handle. Those are the ones that pop off all the time, and if they don't they get moldy and yucky underneath and are hard to keep clean! They had to be the uber cheap builder special for this development. I was so happy to get fixtures to replace MOST of those!
This afternoon if I catch up on laundry folding I might install a fixture. I also picked up matching toilet paper holder to go with the $5 towel bar for the girls' bathroom. So much for saving on thrift store shopping !It inspired me to re-do two more bathrooms!

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