Saturday, April 30, 2011


I'm ready to schedule my first class for license renewals! My State of Michigan approval was June of 2010; it's time to get moving.
I can't believe that nearly a year has passed and I've done nothing with it, but it's ok. I kind of view the last year (which was my first year doing this) as my "intern period." Teaching individual property owners at colleges & universities has given me a lot of confidence. Even better, those experiences are what qualified me for the state approval.
Today I'm taking a circle tour of Michigan to check out a couple rooms at community centers. It's been a long time coming . . .

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I don't remember ever seeing morels for sale in grocery stores before! At that price, I'd think you would get the correct spelling . . .

Friday, April 22, 2011


I love trying new things, so I tend to have experiences rather than ongoing hobbies. Maybe it’s a lack of focus or ADD (as I’ve been repeatedly told), but I love my long list of experiences.
One of the things I used to do was make pies for a market. When I told my mom I got the gig, she, who knows me all too well, said, “Good, honey! Get it out of your system.” Unflattering, but completely true . . .
I found a deal on disposable pie tins, so I bought 100 of them; Mom and my cousin laughed, knowing that I would lose interest before I’d used that many. They were right. It was gratifying to know that my creations were good enough for sale, but this was a very short-lived endeavor.
Nonetheless, I still make great pies. My family knows it and doesn’t care for my near-entire rejection of the kitchen over the last few years. I don’t know what it is, but only harvest season will have me doing anything like cooking.
My cousin has ordered me to make pies for dinner, though. I’m going to make one of my favorites, coconut cream, of course. I’m also trying a new one this year, Sour Cream Raisin pie. Doesn’t it look great?
What's on the Easter menu at your place?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


My last class had a visitor who holds a state office in a real estate organization. I want to celebrate his attendance, but I’m suspicious of people whose knowledge is clearly beyond what the class offers. When I sign up for classes like that, I have an angle.
This guy has been renting for 25+ years and owns over 60 properties. He is not part of the audience for which the class was designed. During introductions, he claimed to simply be “an education junkie.” Perhaps, but this guy just put me on edge.
Full-time, professional housing providers are having a rough time right now. There are plenty of places to buy, resulting in plenty of places to rent. Average tenancies are half the length they used to be. Vacancies are killing the pros and competition is stiff. Toledo’s biggest, most professional and longest-lasting landlord has branched into additional areas – property management, receiverships and cemetery management. How much different can things be a few hours south?
As the class proceeds, bits come forth from the education junkie. He’s looking for additional streams of income. He asks if I’m a member of his organization and doesn’t like my answer about a preference for online communities; he insists that I take the number of the contact person at my local chapter. Finally, he reveals that he wants to get paid for his knowledge by teaching at the college. I must be stepping on his toes, since that’s what I’m doing.
There are always a few people in my classes who are scoping out the scene to see whether or not they should get into rentals. At the end of the class, he approaches one of them with his business card. He tells her that he “mentors” new landlords for $75 an hour!
Sometimes, you just know there’s a wolf under that sheepskin . . .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The flag's as big as the billboard!

My mom was the site nurse during the 4-year construction period of a coal-burning power plant on Lake Erie, so she knows a little about construction sites. She claims that a flag is placed on a crane when the job is complete.
I’m not sure if that’s true, but I love seeing how construction workers use cranes to prevent the theft of their equipment. Have you ever seen a 1500-pound cement mixer dangling 300 feet in the air?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Perks of Tenure

Tomorrow will be my 10th anniversary with my employer. It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve been here that long!
We have a fabulous time-off policy and this anniversary will increase my time-off accruals to over six weeks annually! Oh, I have so many trips planned . . .
The first is Boston with my friend, Becky. I’ve wanted to see Boston for so long and it will be fun to be there during the Fourth of July celebrations.
I also suddenly have four new-found fellow travelers. Four! Single folks know just how valuable travel companions are; most of my friends either go exclusively with their spouse and kids or can’t afford to travel at all. How lucky am I to learn of four friends who can go, just at the time that my vacation accrual increases?
I’m planning on Boston in July, rafting the Grand Canyon in August or September, Orlando and Tucson.
So many places, so little time . . .

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

German Village

A friend and I recently wandered deep into the heart of Buckeye Country and spent a weekend in Ohio’s capital. Columbus has an historic neighborhood which was settled by German immigrants well before Ohio was a state.

German Village has a distinct European feel, with brick homes and streets, walled gardens, and former brewery buildings with old-world styling. Sadly, those who settled this previously-uninhabited territory were squeezed out with the anti-German sentiments of The First World War.
The Village still retains its charm and is now a desirable neighborhood and popular visitor area. Just wandering the streets is fun!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Watch Eagles Hatching!

Babies will be hatched at any time! Tune in here: