Greenfields Plantation

Dr. Samuel Green purchased land on the east bank of the Cape Fear River in the 1730's. His intention was to cultivate rice in the swampy lowland. He named his plantation Greenfields. Located south of what would one day become Wilmington, he also dammed up several small creeks to create a mill pond that drove a functional grist mill well into the 1800's. By the end of the 1800's it was already a recreational destination and by the 1920's the City of Wilmington had taken over much of the land for a city park.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Technology! Yrggghh!

If one more thing breaks I think I'll cry. Last Friday morning my shower only ever reached lukewarm. Checked the water heater closet and hear a hissing sound. Called our gas company and they send a guy over about noon. Sure enough the hot water heater had sprung a leak. It would be $700.00 and MONDAY before they could fix it. It was a l-o-n-g weekend without hot water. Gayle (who hadn't gotten a shower on Friday) went to Mom's Sunday for a shower. I held out until they could get it fixed on Monday. In the end it took them three hours to get the think up and running. Then, of course, we had four loads of laundry and two big loads of dish to get done.

My new HD TV had basically been only showing green/gray for several months. I finally dug out the sales paperwork because I had paid for a FIVE year warranty for "in home" service. There was no way I could haul that thing to a repair shop! So I call HHGregg's service number. Then give me a number for their "maintenance agreement" provider. I talk to them. There is no authorized Samsung dealer anywhere in SE NC. The gal on the phone took my name and number and said that they'd research it and call me back. TWO days later I got a call that they couldn't find anybody so I should call Samsung directly "since it was still under warranty." (My question, is what will they do then it isn't under warranty but needs repairs - but that's for another day)

Anyway I called Samsung and got a gal who was a native English speaker AND who talked me through a number of diagnostic tests that showed that the red side should have been working just fine. She said to call TIME WARNER it wasn't the TV it was probably the Cable Box. Having had more then a few rounds with Time Warner over the past 6 months over Cable service AND Road Runner I should didn't look forward to that.

But, I was only on hold about 5 minutes (very very short for Time Warner and the gal I got seemed to know just what to do. Apparently the FIVE cables that hook the HD box to the HD TV are "data" specific. One of them just sends the RED to the TV. Sure enough I unhooked them all at both ends and put them back in to be sure they were all in tight and low and behold I had red again!

And then there's my computer. It has been getting worse and worse about booting up. Sometimes take several tries to get it to come up. I spend almost an hour trying to get it to boot when we got back from Arkansas and had to actually turn it off - pull the power cable - and then reconnect it to get it to come up on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning NOTHING I did would get it up. After an hour of trying and another hour of studying the yellow pages for computer repair places. -- I even called Demetria who couldn't recommend Chip's from her crash this summer, and Margaret who did recommend Cape Fear Computing from her crash last Spring -- I found a place on CB Road that seemed fairly reputable, at least from the size of their yellow-pages ad.

Anyway I finally got them (Meyer Computers) on the phone and they said bring it in. Of course that meant unhooking it all and hauling the CPU to my car - and it is HEAVY. At least they said they were "mostly caught up" and would should get to it late in the day or first thing tomorrow.
By noon today I hadn't heard anything so I called them. Oh, they'd had time to look at it and couldn't find anything wrong. It boots up just fine for them every time!! They are going to run an industrial strength virus scan but if they don't find anything I can come get it by late afternoon! That computer never has liked me. It's the one that was shipped back to Texas TWICE when I first got it because it wouldn't boot up right out of the box.

Why does everything have to be so complicated!?!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Well we're finally recovered from the long trip to Arkansas - Gayle has much more to do, dealing with the sale of the house and sorting through the papers and stuff we brought back with us but at least we're finally back to our normal (limited) energy levels.

And we're beginning to get some mental space from last week's elections. I continue to be confused, bemused, baffled, and mystified as to the mental state of the "American Electorate." Luckily our "Blue Dog Democrat" Congresscritter Mike McIntyre beat out his opponent who was pretty much a psycho. (Several years ago he went on trial at Camp Lejune for shooting two Iraqis in cold blood -- and beat the rap) I had vowed I wouldn't vote for McIntyre due to his votes against the Matthew Shepherd Bill, the Defence of Marriage Act AND Health Care. However the opposite was so unthinkable I broke down and voted for him again.

Our big disappointment was that Deb Butler lost in the County Commissioners! At least she came in 3 in a 4 person race. We had invested time and money in her chance to make some changes in the New Hanover County management. Sadly two more "No Tax" guys won and it looks like the Library may never get it's hours back, or get Myrtle Grove expanded. Penny wise and pound foolish!

This week's NEWSWEEK has a good column by Ezra Klein about how money has taken over national politics. Great interview with Evan Bayh and why he chose not to run again.
Take a few minutes to read it here. More Money, More Problems. The Soul-crushing life of a senator.

We'll see what the Republicans can do with the gridlock that is the US Congress.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good News From the Dr.

Made it to Wilmington just at 1:30 yesterday. We came the whole way on good old I-40. Frankly I was so zoned I wouldn't have been able to find the connections through Charlotte. Raced the weather front until Durham and when we turned south at Raleigh we had 30mph crosswinds the rest of the way. Trucks we're all over the road. What a trip! But its done, thank the goddess!

Managed to unpack the car and deal with the mail and that was about it before we crashed. Today more unpacking and laundry and getting the bills and checkbook caught up.

I did go over to the Nephrologist for blood tests and a Procrit shot. It was originally supposed to be a quarterly check by the Dr. but they'd left a message on the phone that he wasn't going to be in. (Found out he had a baby yesterday.) Anyway what I really wanted was to know what my creatin number was. I hadn't had it tested since June. (At least with Diabetes you can check your blood sugar when eve you want!) It was a little complicated but I finally got it, 2.6! That's a consistent improvement for the past 9 months!! A year an a half ago it was almost 5 (1 is normal) In June it was 3.0. It's not supposed to do that. It's supposed to just get gradually worse! They rescheduled my appointment for Nov 29 and I will certainly ask him if he has any ideas of why its getting better?? Dr. Whitesides (Endocrinologist who I've seen for almost 25 years) and I never did think it was the diabetes because I don't have any of the other diabetic problems, nothing showing up in my eyes, no protein in my urine, no loss of feeling in my feet!

On the other hand my hemoglobin was down to 10.3 (12 or above and I don't get a shot) so my kidneys still aren't producing the hormone that tells my bones to produce red blood cells. I surely don't expect it to ever get back to normal but at least it isn't getting closer and closer to dialysis.

Back to work tomorrow. I wonder how much I'll have to do to catch up?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weather Day!

We saw on the news last night about the low pressure over the great lakes but had no idea of just how far south it would reach.

We were both awake by 5:30 and by 6 up and packing the car IN SLUICING RAIN IN THE DARK. Pulled onto the freeway before 7 and drove in it ALL THE WAY. Storm after storm and wind gusts made it tense and scary driving FOR 11 HOURS. We kept thinking we'd get ahead of it but every time we stopped even just a potty stop it would catch up with us. Between Knoxville and the NC line we did get a bit of a break so we pushed on toward Asheville so we would at least be in North Carolina! Problem is by Asheville it was pouring AND windy AND getting dark.

I decided to stay on 40 the whole way as then I didn't have to keep finding new roads or go through Charlotte. Google maps says its 1/2 an hour longer but after today familiar roads will be a blessing.

We finally found a Days Inn at Marion just before 7pm though it was only 11 hours of driving as we lost an hour coming this way. Turned on the TV to try to figure out this weather and they're under a tornado warning until 3am.

Am absolutely too tired to do any more. Should be home by late afternoon if the weather doesn't hold us up too much.

There's no question that today has been the longest, hardest, scariest day I've ever driven.

Monday, October 25, 2010

We're done -- or as done as we can be

First stop this morning was to talk to Mary the postmistress and ask her about someone to haul all the trash off. She called her son and he showed up promptly and took four loads to the dump before the dumpsters were full and the guy told him only 4 loads a day. He says he'll find another place and keep hacking away at it so we gave him $200 dollars and said keep at it as you can.

Finally got a hold of somebody at Mid-Ark Properties and he came right over to look at the house. He then said he had a busy day but he'd do some research and e-mail us about what price he thinks we should put on the house. Gayle and I think we shouldn't take less then the appraised tax value but we'll see what he comes up with. Quite honestly we aren't in it for money, just want to get Gayle's expenses paid back.

The realtor, Addison Adams (how's that for a un-bubba name) says he has someone who will come in and haul off the furniture and dead electronics that were too heavy for us to get onto the dump pile. He also thinks we probably need to pay for a good cleaning once everything is out. At this point he is going to price it as a "fixer upper" and doesn't think putting money into repairs would increase the value enough to be worth it. Just clean it up and see what kind of offers we can get. He also says we shouldn't have to come back for the closing on the house. He's done it with people out of state before. He e-mails us documents and we sign and either scan and e-mail or fax back.

We finally loaded up the boxes of family letters and pictures and other things Gayle wanted to keep, including the Russom (her maternal Grandparents) silver and we've filled up the back seat completely. Not sure howe our suitcases and cloths bags and such will fit in but if we have to we'll empty the bags and chink stuff in wherever it will go.

We plan to hit the road as early as possible tomorrow and go as long as I can stand it. I'd love to get to the east side of Knoxville -- there are bunches of cheap motels around the junction with the road that goes off to Pidgen Forge. That would put going through the smokies as fresh as I can be on the last morning.

We're coming kitties. We promise. Just as fast as we can!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sort of a rest day!

We slept in this morning and I got to watch Meet the Press which was good because Rachel Maddow was on his 2nd half panel. It was mostly all the election which I'm so sick of but it was good to get some news commentary for a change.

We headed out to the house about 10:30. We have passed the sign to Toltec Mounds State Park every time we drive to Keo so we turned off to see what it was all about. Three BIG mounds like you see at Fort Ancient on a curve in the Arkansas River. Their visitor's center is designed as if it was built into a mound which was interesting to see.

We have found a CASE of maybe 30+ church hymnals and 10 or so of another song books so we drove down to England to the church they used to go to. Wanted to see if they could use them or knew someone who could. Turns out their service is at 10:30 and everyone was long gone by the time we got there. We'll try to call the church office tomorrow.

We spend another 3 or so hours bagging stuff at the house. Finished the first pass through everything but there is all kinds of stuff we've set aside because we didn't know what to do with or it was too big or heavy for us to move it. We have got to find somebody to haul away all the bags that are now stacked over 6 feet high in the carport and someone to come in and take all the old electronics and heavy stuff, too.

We quit about 4 because we ran clean out of trash bags and drove up to Lonoke to the Wal-Mart to get more for tomorrow. There's still plenty of odds and ends that have to be bagged as well as dealing with the stuff in the china closet which might be of some value. We may pack up the dishes and silver and bring them to Replacements Unlimited to see if they want them.

Got back at the motel by 5 which is a very good thing because a really severe thunderstorm with some small tornadoes in them blew threw soon after we got to the room. They apparently have a tornado siren because we kept hearing it go off. Lots of people in the motel jumped in their cars and drove away though I have no idea where they went. For a bit we thought about where in the room to hide but it eventually all blew over with just lots of rain and wind.

Tomorrow we have to find a realtor and somebody to haul the trash and somebody to clean the place from top to bottom. And any more trashing we can get done. Our minds are just numb to making decisions; do we pitch it? do we keep it? how heavy is it and how do we get it to the dump? Sometimes I look at things and just want to scream "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care!"

This truly has been one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life. Dirt and mold and mildew along with mid 80's and high humidity have just worn us down. Gayle has been amazing at keeping on even after I just want to quit. And without John and Mariana we would never have accomplished anything like what we have. People don't ever do this to your family!
deal with your STUFF now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another day, another dollar -- actually $1.25.

That's how much cash we found today. Total we've found is something over $20.00 all in small bills and change. Oh and some Korean money. Anybody know what that's worth?

Gayle and Mariana met with the lawyer this morning and signed the paperwork to get the legal stuff going. Something has to wait 45 days though I'm not sure what. Anyway the ball is rolling. Couldn't find anyone at Mid Ark Properties though we left several messages on several machines. I guess they don't have to work very hard on a beautiful Saturday when the Razorbacks are playing at home. When we went to England to lunch we drove around the neighborhoods and Mid Ark is the ONLY realty who has any signs out. Surprisingly there were actually very few for sale signs in England and we haven't seen any in Keo. Don't know if that's a good sign or a bad sign.

Went on out to the house and with the four of us working steadily we got ALMOST done with the pitching. Gayle and I can finish that up in a couple of hours tomorrow! There are still all the things that won't fit into a garbage bag to be dealt with like the stuff in her her china cabinet and the furniture and old/new electronics. We found TWO manual typewriters today! Also more letters, as well as another batch of Christmas presents wrapped and then squirreled away with not tags on them to say who they were for.

John and Mariana have to head home tomorrow morning. He has to be at work on Monday. I wish we could pull out too but we are so close to being done we just want to finish. We hope to find a realtor first thing Monday morning and ask them for suggestions on finding somebody to take the rest of the bags (something like 300 more) and other junk to the dump. Also if they can recommend someone we could hire to come in and clean the place up as best they can. Neither Gayle nor Mariana could face cleaning up the bathroom that Eileen died in so I bucked up my courage and did that this afternoon. I've got all the junk out but it will need a really thorough steam cleaning to get the last traces out.

It's been HOT here. All we've worn is jeans and t-shirts. Supposed to be thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully it will be cooler after that. At this point we hope to head for home Tuesday morning or mid day at the latest. I have A Dr. Donner appt. at 8:15 on Thursday.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another long but productive day

I'm almost too tired to type so this will be short. We left the motel at 7:30 and went down to England to pick up the papers with Eileen's obit in it then back to Keo to work at the house until 12:30. John took 4 or 5 trips to the dump and though there is still some left and more in the house to bag up and get to the dump it was a relief to see the pile go down. I worked in the same bedroom and Gayle in another. Mariana finished the kitchen and she and John took a load of the better kitchen stuff to a mission in Lonoke. We stopped working at 12;30 and went back to the motel to get cleaned up for the rest of the day's activities.

Found the Crematory with only one wrong turn (it is right in downtown but between my maps and John's GPS we found it.) Then over to the west side of town where Gayle and Mariana met with the lawyer. It looks like they've done things okay so far and made an appointment to meet her again tomorrow morning to sign some papers that will get the legal stuff rolling. She says we should find a realtor NOW and get the house sale moving forward so we will try to find one who will take a look at the place tomorrow. We will ask their advice about whether we should try to give it a quick fix up to look better or just sell cheap as a fix-er-up-er.

We then found Marijo's house in a beautiful neighborhood west of town. They have a wonderful balcony/porch over a running stream so we all sat out and waited for people to gather. All kinds of cousins and their kids arrived and they brought Ruth from her apartment to be the center of the festivities. It meant a lot to Gayle to see all the cousins she remembers from childhood trips again as adults with kids who are adults. I tried to get some pictures but it was dark by then and only a few turned out. Things broke up around 8 and we threaded our way through the freeways back to the motel.

Tomorrow Gayle and Mariana meet the lawyer at 9 to sign some paperwork that needs to be filed at the Lonoke Courthouse and then we'll see how far we get on the house. Mariana and John go back on Sunday as John has to be at work Monday. We'll see how close to getting done we might be and if there's any chance we might finish before we decide when to come back. We're both pretty beat and the 16 hour drive is still ahead.

Another day down.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Long Day

Mariana and John pitched in like troopers and we made some more progress today. I worked on the "storage bedroom" and got about half of it done. The most interesting find was letters and cards from Bob and Alice Jane, Grandma Keresey, Kathleen, Mariana and Gayle. Also some pictures from the early 70's. We've now found mail from every decade since the 1970's. Tomorrow I get to open the trunk Eileen had at college so we may find mail from the 60's yet.

I would estimate we're maybe 40% of the way through the stuff that can just be pitched. Mariana did about 1/2 the kitchen today and Gayle finished the family room for now. We still have 2 bathrooms, 1 whole bedroom and 2 partial bedrooms and several large closets to go. This house really is good sized. The rooms hold an amazing amount of stuff. We've pretty much decided to pitch all the clothes. Everything smells of mold and mildew and is mostly only of use to some movie costumer looking for stuff form the 60's and 70's and the really really ugly 80's. We're afraid to look in the attic!

We worked from 8-12 and then sent John and Mariana off to the nearest Wal-Mart for more plastic bags. Gayle and I rode over to England and ate lunch at Sonic and got more water to drink. You just have to take a break every 4 hours or so or your brain just goes numb. This afternoon we were so tired and filthy that we just came to the motel and crashed again. Cheese and crackers for dinner again. I couldn't summon the energy to even order a pizza.

Unfortunately John found out that the dump is only open M-W-F so tomorrow morning will be for shuttling the 200 or so bags we've done so far over there. He found it today and says it isn't very far. I wonder what they'll charge us? We only have the morning to work tomorrow as we have to go by the crematory and then the lawyers in the afternoon and then go to Gayle's Aunt Ruth's 92nd birthday party in the evening. That leaves Sat and Sunday. If there's any chance we might finish we may stay through Monday. If we'll have to come back we may bug out for home when Mariana and John leave on Sunday. Just depends on how things look by late Saturday.

People throw your trash away NOW don't leave it to your loved ones to find!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It was a long long day.

What a sad sad day. We spent 8 hours at the house bagging up papers, mail and junk. I did the dining room and living room while Gayle got through about half of of the "family room." We've used about 75 trash bags so far. Will have to make a run up to Lonoke where there is a Wal-Mart to get more sometime tomorrow.

There were piles and piles of mail dating back as much as 10 years but mostly about 3-4 years old. Other boxes were various generations of junk that seems to be just shoved in a box to get it out of sight. We still have the kitchen, washing machine room, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths to tackle. My estimate is we're now looking at as much as 250 or more bags of trash and then have to deal the furniture. The house apparently pretty much sat empty (and un-air conditioned) for a number of years, while the roof was leaking as well. The house reeks of mold and everything is covered in dust and mold. I've told Gayle we aren't taking anything from the house into our house!

Mariana and John are here. Gayle found him on facebook and Mariana came down to visit for a bit. He knows his job tomorrow is to haul garbage bags to the dump.

As I said, it all makes me sad to wade through the detris of two lives that pretty much went nowhere. It seems to just make Gayle mad. Not sure which is a better coping emotion. At least tomorrow we'll be four working instead of two. Hopefully twice the progress.