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Author Topic: The island  (Read 10812 times)

lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #135 on: March 09, 2022, 04:19:02 PM »
The trip to the island wasn't easy getting there.... 24 hours of hard work, struggle, driving through the morning, boating to the island at night with wind and water slapping us for 3 hours till we arrived right at 24 hours after we loaded and got on the road.   

At one point, after I was bleary from driving from 1am t0 6am... brother and I discussed some political topics head on.  Usually I remain stoic and silent while he tells me what I believe and what I think, which isn't very productive.  THIS time I just spoke up without expectation, only curiosity to truly understand what and why he believes what he does.  It was marvelous and we remained level and respectful and be broke off discussions without upset.  His gf is chatty and had been uncharacteristically silent during this exchange....  decided  to jump in with her voice raised, which my Nervous System couldn't tolerate.  I assume my speaking up felt like an explosion to them, bc I usually say nothing... admittedly, I dropped the F bomb, I cannot lie. GF lowered her voice, apologized and we continued a civil discussion which seemed productive, but I had no expectations.  Good as gold, with no more political discussion on our journey.... the trip went very well.

The weather was wonderful.  I fished at least 3 days..... which meant I felt like I had little time to figure out what was what at the cottage.  My ADD made focusing difficult, but I had the cottage to myself a couple days to go through my rituals of settling myself and finding focus, so that worked out. 

The local who works on the roof was available so we determined the weakest points in the roof and did some repairs.  He ground down the AC brackets and main electrical panel and sealed them again.  The brackets and AC units will likely require replacement soon... same with the roof and certainly the sea wall.  I noticed the little wooden bridge he constructed in a broken walkway part of the seawall was still in tact and strong as the day he built it.  The door he built on the tiny  shed was still strong and in place as well.  The exterior doors are a lost cause and we didn't spend a minute on those this trip, outside determining measurements to order replacement hurricane grade doors we can install at the end of the month, hopefully.

My brother is less careful than I am about security, which is likley a by product of my history as a woman dealing with threats from many directions and his being a tall white man with no natural enemies... he's lost the same set of keys twice...once to a vehicle break in in Miami.  A kind person found and sent them back to him.  This time he likely put them down in the sea can or in a golf cart and lost track.... I hope they show back up, but I don't feel it really matters as we're replacing those doors and locks..... I'll add another heavy duty lock to the sea can to stop theft.... there are 4 heavy duty locks now, with a copy of those keys out in the world. 

The simple fact I can speak to my brother without emotion on the subject of security and agreeing who gets what access and how that works is now possible.  Brother doesn't argue or disagree reactively..... he states his issues and makes compromises where i can't..... for example, my "caretaker" isn't to have the keys to the sea can under any circumstances, bc he takes tools and loans them out and won't make them available when I need them and once said he didn't know where something was.... right before my brother told him he needed to pay rent.  THEN the tool appeared magically and I took all the keys and explained to the caretaker WHY he no longer had access to the sea can, which now holds all the tools and expensive fishing equipment.  Brother has been working hard to organize the out buildings while I've been away and when I was last at the cottage. 

OK....another really unexpected pleasure was the sea captain friend of my brother....... I'll call him J and his gf, I'll call R.  Both were calm, practical, hard working, jumped in whenever something required attention, were polite and soft spoken and never brought up anything innapropriate...... it really felt like a dream, esp when I was around my brother and J....... they happily discussed wind, and chop and sizes of other vessels and direction and mechanics and motors and fishing and bait and reels and depths and things my brother's boat can can't do.... J has 3 of the same boat for his deep sea fishing business employing another captain, keeping one boat in reserve for mechanical problems in the other two.  J does all his own maintenance,which is astonishing to me....... that's how brother met J... J did some work on brother's boat. 

So, J bought a ton of food.... GOOD food, so many things I brought HE brought.  His gf R cleaned the way I cleaned.... I had to pinch myself when she said she cleaned her floors by hand, like I do.....and she was all over the white tile floors keeping them clean and mark free during the entire trip.... amazing!  She jumped rigth in and helped determine which curtains needed cleaning and hand washed stains like a lady boss.... she's in cyber security so she made the call to the phone company to report poor wifi signal, which was corrected at the pole.... the wires looked fine, but fell apart when touched, so said AJ the tech.  Wifi restored to EXCELLENT signa strength and I can't say enough about how lovely the company and activities were. 

Brother has ADD as does our sister and her dd and my girls..... my youngest dd suffers more.  It's a thing and I'm amazed we get done what we get done..... strengths and weaknesses somehow balance out. 

I'm going to put this here..... there was a board vote at the condo association where my dock is.  Apparently the President is the guy with the dock next to me who finds my renters..... he asked me to sign my proxy early and send it in voting for him, of course, which I did.  The next week I began getting phone calls from Miami and answered them to find other candidates asking for my vote.  These guys told stories about irregularities by the previoous board and an FBI investigation with someone from the management company being fired and it wasn't the story I got at all.  I secretly hoped a new board would be voted in and TOLD the guys they needed to call everyone and make sure to keep calling till the vote happened.  I didn't say the President had contacted me and procured my vote, bc he's helpful and it's in my best interest to keep him happy, but I do believe there's some criminal activity involved and that upset me.... DIM thinking, self interest on my part was something I wrestled with.  What if everyone makes choices based on self interest? 

I just learned the old President lost and his response to my text was quite petulent...... his ego quite bruised...... but he's not mad at me.  As he's the only one helpful in renting the dock and will represent me if and when I sell the cottage..... having him as a cabinet member is a good thing.  Him losing is likely a good thing.  Managing both without upsetting any apple carts was a win win, iMO.

We're flying to Miami towards the end of this month, picking up supplies there and my brother and I will boat to the island together.  I want to learn how to do everything, maybe captain the boat on my own..... not sure about that as i don't have the ability to fix mechanical problems on the water.  Will see.  Youngest dd will fly, as will my sister and BIL.  Oldest DDL won't be able to get time away from work, which is a shame... same with my sister's dd..... can't get away from her new job. I hope my brother's son and dd can go.

I've updated prices and details on the Airbnb site for the Cottage. I have more to do since pics of new sofas and TV haven't been added  The bikes are no longer listed as available, which is kind of true.  The "caretaker" hasn't been caring for them and they're in bad shape.... the 2 out of 4 left, anyway.  The kayaks are still there, with paddles and flotation devices so they're still on the site... even if they make me nervous.  I don't even recognize the bikes.  Not sure if they're the ones we brought with us.

Prices are going up so the guest experience needs to be consistent and elevated as I can manage.  That's a conversation for the "caretaker" and housekeeper next trip.  Cameras will be installed, small appliances edited and replaced as necessary...... more lables on switches and such...... and guest information written out and left for them to find without calling me for it.

Updated lists of tours and restaurants and their hours,which is different.  Figuring out access to the Marina pools for the guests..... maybe housekeeper's dh will be available for ray and shark adventures and tours.  I heard his boat requires minor repairs at this time, so...... it might not work out.   It's a gamble to make any referrals, frankly, but people ask for them all the time. 

The raft boat has a hole in it and needs repairs.  I could motor around myself if I can figure that out.  I think the patch stuff is THERE if I can find it.  Sometimes the heat kills things like that and brining new is a good idea.  There's rafting companies at home with those items.  Will see about that.  Will have to check a bag on the plane,but that's OK. 

There's tons of sheets and tableclothes and knapkins in drawers....will edit them and bring bathroom towels, which number fewer than I remember.  We need those. I brought new comforters for the Twin beds, so that's done.  The twin room now has a chest freezer and will hold a commercial ice maker at some point which brings me to arranging that room so guests have somewhere to put their things and luggage.  It used to be the cottage kitchen so has the electrical outlets for big appliances.... that's a good thing.

Brother talks about adding another bedroom and bathroom to take the pressure off the ONE shared bathroom.  I think about finishing the larger shed and moving the "caretaker" ito it so we have the guest house and that bathroom to rent and use again.  Brother likes that idea too.

Building another little cottage would bring some privacy to the situation, IMO.

The realtor guy, who has the dock next to mine and isn't the president of the condo assoc any longer, has sent potential buyers to the cottage and made it known he'd like to purchase the entire property or vacant lot..... not sure what that's about, but he has a boat and spends time on the island.  Maybe he's serious.  Maybe not.

When I go back, the local contractor will have me scheduled in.  I'm bringing roofing materials and epoxy and sealants with.  I always bring safety gear for him.  Hopefully I'll have the exterior doos to install too.

That's the update.

Lighter



 






lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #136 on: March 17, 2022, 06:08:45 PM »
I'm steadier bc I don't stuff my feelings anymore.... much.  I'm less reactive around SO many things and people....but my kids are still a sticking poing.  Sometimes reactivity pops up.... I get thrown but recognize I'lll be better off asking for help.


With that said, I head back to the island this weekend and I have zero anxiety.  Once I stopped stuffing feelings and biting back my truth..... life got easier....there was flow and ease and ability to BE and remain in the present, which is a joyful thing.

I'm experiencing a few hiccups with regard to youngest dd and what I've modeled for her......the patterns she's formed........ stuffing feelings and letting things build.  It's caustic.

My anxiety went trough the roof as she's talking about her feelings.... and I think she can, bc I'm stronger now..... I don't think she saw me as strong enoough to carry what I carried AND her stuff too.  So, I was reactive then my T helped me calm myself and SEE what was really there and things continue getting more productive and less reactive for me, but more raw and difficult for J.  I can be the compassionate witness, validate her experience, share my own similar experiences and give her permission to HAVE them, to honor herself as a priority....which is something she can't quite put into focus yet,but understsands.... just too diffucult to SEE all the moving pieces at once and make sense of them, IME.  It will come.

Yesterday we had a very productive conversation, sort of around the island,  and she said I'd let her down regarding a very paiful situation and it felt "twice as painful" to her bc I was the one who she trusted to protect her and keep her safe....and she felt I had victim blamed. 

::Knife to the heart::., but she needs to know she is the one who will keep herself safe.  She needs to trust herself to DO that.  I COULD never keep her safe once the courts decided her father and his side of the family had rights to prey at will, or  until I could prove harm, which came to pass.... just as I said it would.  I really get tired of being right.  J says that SAME exact thing... a lot.

We're riding the ripples of the harm done during the girl's childhoods..... L had Wilderness Camp and Therapeutic Boarding school to work hers out.  I remember J saying.... "Aren't you glad I'm not a problem, Mom?  Aren't you glad?"   The really stoic people take longer to reach their breaking points, IME. J is so so strong,but once she gets it....things will roll along for her.

DDJ will learn to feel safe being vulberable.... she's not 20 yet.  She can still learn.

As I said before, I dont' think her T is very proactive with regard to implementing tools and tricks to calm her brain and biochemisstry down.  I present the information over and over, as it was presented to me when I was learning and figuring out my own distress and chill...... implementing measures to STOP the old patterns, create new ones and build on them, choice by choice.

DDJ is so smart.  So capable, but that biochemical hijack is a force to be reckoned with.  She's SEES everything, but there are so many pieces and they're moving and shifting and going in and out of focus for her.

I'm just glad wer'e having the discussion and it's getting calmer and more productive as we go.]]

Lighter









lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #137 on: April 06, 2022, 06:04:04 PM »
Wonderful trip to island with sibs and niece and nephew and lovely BIL. 

I'll update cottage website soon.  I have guests in cottage now at the updated rate. They arrived this morning to a power outage and seemed perfectly happy about it, the cottage and early check in process.  The power plant does ebb and flow, like the water plant.  It's a different, very slow way of life.  Rolling with the flow isn't for everyone, but cottage guests seem very good at it so far.

Will go back at end of month to finish painting buildings.  Things look so good!

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: The island
« Reply #138 on: April 06, 2022, 07:28:11 PM »
I remember how thrilled I was to discover any trick or tool for better communication. In therapy and other settings, I practiced "active listening" or "mirroring" or "empathic listening." All the same, and it was revolutionary to me.

Anyway, when my D was about 10 I began demonstrating and presenting the information...and one day she blew up and said, "Don't use your skills on me!"

In my case, presenting information "over and over and over" backfired into her rejecting a lot of things (tools and tricks) that could have helped her so much as she went through her painful passages. I over-taught her out of anxiety. I wasn't a "helicopter" parent so much as a highly highly anxious one. Not helpful.

Good for you for loving them so steadily and holding hope for them, Lighter. They've come a long way and may do most of their maturing after they're on their own.

hugs
Hops
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sKePTiKal

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Re: The island
« Reply #139 on: April 07, 2022, 08:12:14 AM »
Quote
... and may do most of their maturing after they're on their own.

Yep; most of us do. There are some, that for various reasons, simply don't mature. Or engage in the constant battle of trying to have their cake & eat it too... being self-reliant, but not being responsible or able to manage emotions or set themselves on a life path of their own choosing.

The in-between stages - between being actively parented and maturing - is where people's life stories come from, I think.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #140 on: April 07, 2022, 10:34:55 AM »
Ahhh, Hops....it seems I have presented information to me girls out if anxiety and it's IN their heads, but not always what they choose...a reflexive shunning on youngest DD's part happens.

The only message I've repeated with my niece and nephew is I'll love them no matter what and it's ok.  It will always be safe and love will always be unconditional with me.

Maybe less is more.

Amber:

You provide new perspective on the importance of stepping back and allowing children to adult.  At once, there's comfort and some small anxiety in that.

Thanks Hops and Amber for your lessons and wisdom.

We may not travel to the island this month....is up in the air.  We bought 2 fantastic beach cruisers, one black/ one lavender for the cottage.  I can't wait to zip tie milk crates or better to them for hauling groceries. 

Last night the gay, Irish event planner booked a long weekend for himself and his dog next week.  I was at once drawn to him and repelled by his energy, colorful language and vigor for engaging life ....meaning he stymied the locals who fed him rum till he should have fallen down, but didn't ( a favorite local past time on the island.). He also attended " house parties" on the Southside and spoke of feeling at home with the trash in the streets and everyone trying to make a buck. Hmmmm.  He knew both Southside bars well.....walked both N and S with his HUGE dog said to look like a Pitty with Doberman legs.  Everyone was lovely to him but for one native who screamed the dog needed to be leashed on the beach, which is desolate in front of the cottage all the way to the marina and beyond.  I think it was a mental health issue, not a property owner issue,and J,other guest, is fond of yelling F+ck you and Fock off,vwhich makes me squeamish, but I admire his indomitable pluck.

So, J rented cottage last Christmas and left halfway through, bf's mother felt ill, so I gave J a deal he was happy with, bc he paid for entire stay.  That's where I leave that.

Lighter








Hopalong

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Re: The island
« Reply #141 on: April 07, 2022, 12:12:19 PM »
Oh, the Irishman!
I think I'd feel two things:

He'd embarrass me.
I'd like him.

Very funny.
I'm going to re-watch NANETTE, Hannah Gadsby's Netflix special, with a dear friend who's never seen it. Maybe a second will join us. Can't wait. Gadsby blows my mind and brings me joy. Only comedy special I've ever watched that also made me weep.
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #142 on: April 07, 2022, 09:37:43 PM »
Love Nanette!  Such a smart comedian. 

Hopalong

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Re: The island
« Reply #143 on: April 07, 2022, 11:09:44 PM »
Brilliant to the point of astonishing, imo. More and more layers in more interviews. I really think Hannah Gadsby is a culturally transformative genius.

Can you tell I'm a fan? :)
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #144 on: July 12, 2022, 10:17:28 PM »
Current guest having trouble with Wi-Fi, the AC unit in main living area, the power going off tonight at bedtime and likely a little fright when handyman showed up to help with AC and sturdy up boardwalk with new screws....and these 2 guests are like 20 yo sweet very quiet young women.

I'm frustrated by " caretaker's" dropping the ball on AC repair while prior guest was there asking for help.....it was promised but never came.  " Caretaker" didn't care to check if repair made it if repairman showed....like a child, he doesn't think or care.

Grrrrr.

I'm feeling better now.  I've talked myself out if 2 trees.

I hear lightening.  A storm is coming.

Lighter

lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #145 on: July 23, 2022, 03:02:20 PM »
Housekeeper is on top of AC repair, if it can be made at all.  The wifi was spotty or out on the entire island, it wasn't anything to do with my billing.... or the wires at the road.  It could still be the wires into the house, but my "caretaker" continus to ghost me when I ask him to check on that.

Housekeeper said AC will be checked before the next guest arrives, and if it doesn't, we already have a secondary AC unit set up and working... just have empty the bottle as it fills with condensation.  Details.

I'm contemplating going for a couple months or at least one month, particularly if my go to handy man is available to help me renovate the guest house bathroom.  I can handle painting and detailing...... but not sure what I'll do to replace the walls... it;'s that melamine stuff and it's falling down and apart... just awful. 

I think about tearing out both showers and doing them all at once bc getting a plumber out is like scheduling major surgery on the island.  Maybe running hot water to the outdoor shower, which would be SO LOVELY, but then I might be providing hot water for everyone on the island who cares to shower on our patio and electricity is SO expensive.

IF I'm getting the plumber out, why not put in another bathroom or at least a half bath?  Or a half bath and a full bath?

The journey continues.

Lighter


Hopalong

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Re: The island
« Reply #146 on: July 23, 2022, 05:46:06 PM »
Plumbers and new bathrooms!

I don't have much to offer but am glad this happy pursuit continues for you.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #147 on: August 03, 2022, 05:08:52 PM »
My "caretaker" took some guest items after they left them behind..... it's maddening to be responsible in a situation where I'm not on site, can't ask someone living FOR FREE on my property to simply be helpful and not undermine me..... maddening, I tell'ya.

I sent many texts givng "caretaker" a way out asking him to put the items back "if he put the items in the boat shed", bc they're clothing items for boating.  JUST the hat showed back up, which puzzled the housekeeper, who I don't want to spook with any suggestion things were taken, bc she's OUT if her brother "caretaker" is taking things.  She doesn't want any part of the situation if there's big trouble.

Speaking of trouble... today she texted that the last guests had pooped into the bathroom trash can...... and left it for her to find. Not sure what that means. I don't know if it's children or an elderly person or a drunk..... just..... the trashcan and it's contents, along with the guest review I've begun but not been able to finish.  This really is the first time something like this has happened. 

Would you guys contact the guest or leave a less than steller review?  This guest also immediately went into the "owners" pantry and asked to eat things out of it, which is fine, but it's just odd and I don't understand when guests contact me to say they have to wear their shoes inside the cottage, which isn't supposed to happen or go ino the pantry, which isn't supposed to happen BUT HOW WOULD i know if they didn't tell on themselves?  I wouldn't, but poop in trashcans is problematic.  I'm just not sure in what way.

I suppose it's possible the wifi went out enough that pooping in the trashcan seemed like a ligical way to express discontent over the circumstances..... that guest wrote her review already, so will see when I submit my review.

The largest split AC unit officially died and needs to be replaced.  My brother is going and will pay housekeeper and handyman and AC installation guy.  His lovely gf said she'd bring the cleaning items the housekeeper asked for. 

That's the update on the island. 

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: The island
« Reply #148 on: August 03, 2022, 07:00:47 PM »
Got no good advice on B&B reviews.

All I know is that task, of being in charge of something so far away that is an ongoingly needy and discomfiting property, would not be on my list of joys.

But different strokes! You love to have property to be responsible for and I am contemplating my wee issues here. Avoiding as much "subcontracting" as I can.

Hope it all gets sorted soon, with no more tightrope moments. Sounds so stressful.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: The island
« Reply #149 on: August 05, 2022, 07:21:21 PM »
I have 14 five star reviews and one 4 star review, which was odd, bc that guest was SO very happy with the cottage and everything about  it.  I think maybe there was some garbage on the beach bringing the score down.  The "caretaker" is supposed to pick up trash but I think he sometimes leaves more trash tan he picks up..... SO frustrating.

About having the cottage.... it wasn't my dream, but there came a time when I had to decide whether to let the cottage fall into the Atlantic or save it.  It's not an ideal paradise, but it is paradise. 

Here comes hurricane season again.

Lighter