It looks like fishing poles sprouted up in the yard next door. The bamboo plants are now over 7 foot tall.

We are waiting to see how long it takes the city to do something about it. They cut the grass, bill the owner, but have yet to come by this year.

I was told by a neighbor that I would have first dibs to buy that house from the city for back taxes being that I live right next door, but I don’t have the cash to make an offer.

I was like ahhh… so I looked it up on the auditor’s website and, sure enough, the owner is listed as “address unknown” and the city tacks 600 a year onto his unpaid tax bill to maintain the yard.

So, to sound a bit like Mr. Rogers… who wants to be my neighbor?

There is a very good possibility that the city would consider an offer as low as 5,000 considering the back taxes are racking up to about five grand with the yard maintenance fees and all. I told the kids about it, but they don’t want to live that close to mama.

It could be a nice little house… 3 bedroom ranch, full basement, nice size yard, decent garage. Roof looks fine, newer style windows, siding needs washed and painted. And, it is located in a racially diverse South side neighborhood, near St. Matthias on a quiet little street of mostly owner occupied homes, within a half block walk to the nearest WRTA bus route.

I’m not a Realtor, have nothing to gain if someone buys it…. except a new neighbor who will hopefully keep that bamboo under control. I’ve read that it will eventually die off if you keep it cut down due to lack of photosynthesis (sunshine on leaves) but who knows? I just don’t want it spreading to my yard.

Thanks for reading!



Marmion Crickets

Photo snapped before my son-in-law cut the grass.

“Grandma’s House” (Photo snapped before son-in-law cut the grass.)

The sound of crickets making rub legged songs to each other greets me when I flip off the porch light and slip outside for a smoke at night. I survey the freshly cut lawn and newly installed solar lights, and then look beyond, to the dots of solar lights accenting well kept lawns of tidy houses lined up and down the block, hoping the little bit of yard work will make my own little house less of an eyesore. It will blend in better next year, after the exterior is painted.

If other neighbors are outside at night, they are as quiet and motionless as I am.

Still I feel watched. I’m the newbie here, so I feel like they waiting to see what I do to this place, if I will blend in or disrupt their neighborhood. The first to introduce herself was Ms. Kravitz (not her real name, think nibby neighbor on Bewitched years ago). She seems to be running her own little block watch by keeping tabs on everybody. She talks to M more than me, shares tidbits about different neighbors.

M watches me, chuckles to himself while I’m fixing things. He’s not the handyman type, so it kind of amazes him when I come up with a creative way to do something that would otherwise be physically impossible for me to do. He’s learned not to argue over my homemade gadget tools.

He tells his friends that he’s just staying with me until I get used to my new environment, that he doesn’t want me to be here by myself until he’s sure my neighbors will look out for me. On days he has gone back to his own place for awhile, my daughter has stopped by, so I really haven’t had more than a couple hours alone in my own house yet. He’s really good at watching football in another room while I am busy doing things, but it is not exactly the quiet solitude I occasionally need. I find myself getting up in the wee hours to write or to just be alone with my thoughts.

Well, here is a photo of the back yard after cutting down baby maple trees that had rooted in untended flower beds. Most were seedlings. The tallest was ye 14 foot. As for the angel, she was there when I moved in… it makes me wonder if a pet was buried there.

The house definitely needs painted. What color should it be?

The color palette must go with browns… brown roof, brown gutters, brown rain spouts, and shades of brown of the stonework facade that covers half the front. I want to go with something different, maybe gingerbread it up a bit, yet still kind of blend in with the neighborhood.

M says, “Why do you ask? You are going to do whatever you want to do anyway.”

True… my house, my decisions, but I do value input from others. I may like a suggestion, or someone’s suggestion might lead to something else… thinking is a process and I have all winter to decide.

Speaking of time, I’m almost out of time… M will arrive on the next bus.

I’m really trying to make a go of this relationship thing, more often just learning to go with the flow of it, take it as it is, roll with what comes, if that makes sense. I’m not used to anything.

That may sound odd, but you have to consider… 34 years of my adult life has been lived as a single woman on my own.  None of this couple stuff comes easy; my “normal” is alone. I’m also kind of selfish and set in my ways. I ain’t right, so he says… oh well.

Thanks for reading.






20160921_114251.jpg“I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key…”

Okay, I said that I would tell you what song lyrics pop into my head when the key to the house landed in my hand.  Bit silly, eh?

Of course, that’s the old key.  Locks will be changed when I go over to evict a few spiders. Now I don’t mind little dust spiders, but there was a wolf spider in the kitchen yesterday and some kind of big scary looking thing has taken over the mailbox with webs that would do justice for a Halloween decoration.

The house is a little smaller than I remembered, but that is okay.  It feels like home. I walked the yard, too. There is one corner that speaks to me, says sit here, so it needs a bench or something there. Maybe a table and two chairs.

I bought a used fridge on my way home to be delivered on Saturday. It comes with a 90 day warranty, so it should be fine for a least 90 days. I still need a gas stove, washer, dryer, dehumidifier, smoke detectors, mortar mix, and long list of little stuff.

Well, I should get packing again. There is a box waiting for this computer. I’m trying to get as much done as possible before 6 as I’m going to Coil Pot Thursday tonight just to glaze the pieces made last time, then doing laundry so I don’t have to move dirty clothes.

I still feel like pinching myself… never anticipated that my “leap in leap year” would land me in my own little house on the upper south side of Youngstown.  Thanks for reading!


P.S. to the winds, please whisper a breeze on the 23rd:  happy birthday RD, wherever you are.