Very productive time off

I missed work on Friday because I just couldn’t do it. So, naturally, I spent it playing video games. I managed to finish Dragon Quest Builders on Saturday and proceeded to spend Sunday (starting around 2pm) building my childhood home in the sandbox mode. Very pleased with myself but I can’t believe it took me 5 hours to do it. Wonderful, wonderful game, btw. My brother has been gone since Friday around noon, down South to wait for my modem to arrive, since I ordered an upgrade plus phone service for that house (why phone? because it’s cheaper than just the internet and since my cell reception is pretty bad there, it’s nice to have a backup. Not to mention the security system ppl need the landline for a good connection, once again because cell is spotty there) and it was set to arrive soon. With my brother gone and my mom at work pretty much every night except Saturday where she works day, I’ve essentially been home by myself, which is awesome. The dogs seem to like it too and I’ve noticed that when there’s just me here, Liana doesn’t act up as much about her food pickiness. Silly pup, taking advantage of people. I like the intermittent interaction with people, but I love the time by myself quite a bit. At least I can pretend I’m on my own for a little. Plus, with my brother effectively living down there for a bit (the modem got delayed due to weather and we finally got notice it will arrive tomorrow), it’s good experience for him to be on his own in his own place, responsible for his own meals and working and all that. Another bonus is that it turns out my kitchen sink hot water pipe froze in the deep freeze we had, so it was really nice to have someone there…this is exactly another reason why I need to sell…the onus of a vacant home on me with the countless disasters that can befall it with no one the wiser is absolutely massive.

Now that I’m starting to feel better, plus with the weather warming up again, I’m feeling productive! We’ve been having issues with the front door latch and lock being crotchety, so now’s the time to fix the locks on the sliding glass doors (both keyed locks are completely inoperable, which, technically, is a great security feature) so that there’s more than one way to get into the house. Now that it’s warming up, it’s less of an issue than it was during the super cold (think 0 and negative degree wind chill), but still needs to be addressed nonetheless. I ended up fiddling with the sliding door locks and started my warrior project of DIY fixing them. That’s how I spent a good chunk of yesterday. Then today I got the new key cylinders in the mail (!!) and proceeded to mess up one and finally after a lot of finagling and frustration, figured it out and replaced one lock! Whoo! All outlined on Stuff! Blog, in case anyone is interested. Just need to order yet another one since I messed up one of them. POWER TOOLS FTW. Still doesn’t address our door problem, since that’s the deck lock, but hey. Practice is better than messing up the real security-concerned door. Not only does it help solve our problem, finally (a few years back, my brother and I both messed with the same locks and I think that REALLY messed them up), but I learned how these locks (super simple concept) and key cylinders operate. All around the time we figured out a trick to the front door.

So many things around the house that need to be fixed/replaced, but getting around to them is kind of just MEH until it really needs to be done. Light some BUTT FIRES.

On that productivity train, I took down all the Christmas decorations since yesterday was the Epiphany of the Lord, meaning the season is officially over. Then I made a roast chicken I’m very proud of and was very nummy, drew out a sketch idea for RW, and decided on the next artistic project I’m going to have. Oh, and I managed to contact the cable peeps to ask about that modem, got groceries, gas, salted the porch, trash and recycle. All in one day! I didn’t spend much time sitting, and brain rotting today. The rest of the weekend saw lots of home cooking by me (dogs love that…), laundry (*shudder*), and hacking my lungs out.

I feel much better now, although I still get into coughing fits. Cough drops and cough medicine loading up tomorrow! That Claritin-D this morning seemed to work well, too. I may have lost weight from this sickness. Lucky!

Next week is only a 3 day work week and since it’s going to be, hopefully, above 50 degrees, I’m going to try my darndest to take advantage of it and try to at last do some fence work or digging. I’ve got to sell that house!!! Even if it means my vacation home and Liana’s playground will be gone forever. Honestly, my siblings have benefitted as much if not more than I have from that house.

I hope all that hanging in and out of the house doing that lock isn’t going to give me another illness or make the current one worse…

Let’s see if I can make it through tomorrow’s work  without scaring anyone away or dying. -_-;;

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Happy New Year! Welcome 2018!

…I think the chicken’s still got something for me. Tet isn’t until very close to my birthday. Starting out the year with a bad sore throat. I was feeling kind of bad on Saturday and yesterday was bad, but today is full throttle. Not quite sure what it is…might honestly just be bad allergies since these days winter “dust” is what I’m very much allergic to, but it also could be a minor cold on top of that. I’m feeling overall OK, just upper respiratory problems that no doubt will and is turning into sinus involvement as it always does. Yesterday saw my heart rate increased and subsequently my blood pressure, so maybe it IS some sort of infection. Well. I blame using that toothbrush and toothpaste at the other house. Or even the old food and ingredients. Could’ve been anything, but I’ll stick with the dental products. Learned my lesson. Will always bring my personal own. FIGURES that I have to go into work tomorrow which they hadn’t planned on until the very last moment. That’s going to be fun. Not.

Wow. Starting off on a negative note. That’s a great way to do it.

Let’s see…usually I do the resolutions for the year and compare to last year. I’m too lazy to look it up, so I’ll just state my resolutions for the year.

  1. Physical Fitness: This subject will always be on here and will always be a roller coaster ride! The good news is that in the last few weeks, I’ve been successful in reining back my 6 months of inactivity…still a ways to go to lose the gut, but my strength is doing well. So well, in fact, that my shirts! Are tight! The muscle strength is what’s keeping me in the game. It’s always so hard without results to show for it. My goal this year is to maintain, upkeep and lose some gut weight! This time, however, it will be for me and only for me, not anyone else in the event I lose the motivation again.
  2. Mind Power: My brain is complete mush these days and it’s embarrassing and horrifying. I NEED to fix this! Books, books and more books. I’ve focused so heavily on the body that I forget about the mind. When was the last time I actually read a book? I live close by to TWO count them, TWO libraries. Less tech, more books. I started a thing in 2017 where I promise myself the instant I wake up until I’m done with the whole bathroom routine (about 30 minutes) there will be NO technology involved. Magazines, books, the sky, the dogs. I’ve been successful in doing that and I like it. It helps focus in the morning without the buzz of electronics. For this year, my goal is to try and incorporate that into the night time schedule too. That’s going to be a toughie….
  3. Spirit/Soul: If I have body and mind, I need the last one. Last year was a haze for this one, but I’ve come out of it with much resolve. My spirit health is much better now than it has in the last 2 years and I’m reminded again of who I am and what I believe. Now, for 2018, it just leaves me with maintaining this status and feeding it. It’s amazing how lopsided and lost I feel when my soul health is lacking.
  4. The Heart: Ah. What a sore subject. I can’t believe it took 6 months to get over my relationship, but finally I did. I guess it was the very first serious relationship I’ve ever had, so I can’t be too hard on myself, but it’s absolutely amazing looking back on it all and seeing with opened eyes how it all came about, played out and who I became. I still will not allow myself to view it as a regretful decision, because what better experience is it then, well, experience? I know now what I want, and a better idea of how to go about a relationship, what to look for and such. I’m still going to try, but I won’t be actively looking until I can settle the whole house thing. What really gets me is how weak I became when I lost my independence. As a single individual now, it’s easier to me to respect myself, and it opens my eyes up on how others must feel too.  Ha ha…that’s why I became so weak, though…what man would want such independence and power in a woman?

And there you have it. I have a feeling all of my resolutions from here on out will center around the big 3, and for good reason!

I spent Friday to early Sunday morning at my house down South. I hadn’t been back in so long, I was terrified to be there and kept putting it off. I was allowed the whole day to myself before my brother followed me, of course, and I displayed all the symptoms of dependence on familiarity up until I shaped up. I…love that house. Maybe not the physical house, but what my own house means to me. I freaking love that yard, but all because of how it makes my dogs feel. Liana is like a free spirit when she’s out there. How can I fetter that? What I do know is that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get that again up here unless I win the lottery (hah!) or settle in Manassas and braving all that dumb traffic. The garage, the yard, the huge kitchen…All I need and want is 3 beds 2 baths. Heck I’m good with 2 beds, 1 bath, as long as that yard is awesome. She is free as a bird when she’s running; that’s what I live for: that pure happiness.

That’s what I value most in life. To be happy. Free. Not backed into a corner with no escape. The ability to truly enjoy life. Will a relationship give me that? Will children give me that? Will a higher position and higher pay give me that? Or will they all back me up into that corner I fear so greatly? I don’t know what others live for, but I know what I live for. That’s my secret of life. My life. So that if I died tomorrow, I’d be perfectly content and ready to go, while in the meantime I continue to do what makes me feel fulfilled.

I hope I kick this illness soon. One thing 2017 did afford me was good health. 2018 you’re already giving me flak? Or maybe it was 2017’s last parting shot. Oh! That’s right you didn’t get sick, WHAMMO! That’s low, 17…cheap shot…tricky tricky. It’s all OK when I’m home, but when I have to talk to patients and cough like a crazy person, it is not fun at all.

November!

Halloween is over and November is here. You know what that means? Well, I woke up late, for one, because it was so dark out. I walked out with the dogs in the dim light and I heard, smelled, and saw the leaves blowing around in the wind. You only get those sensations this time of the year…just like the sky looks like this only one time a year. Even the cloudy days in the autumn-time are gorgeous to me. Everything about Fall is great.

Is this what late middle-age will be like?

Liana was going bonker-dog yesterday. She was super excited about all the kids on our walk and also at the door. I walked them with their bumblebee and pig costumes.

I remember loving Halloween every year, and honestly, I miss living in a place where people get very excited about holidays. Around here it’s like people don’t want to appear over-the-top (I got that vibe from my patients who seemed to look down on those houses that “look like Halloween threw up all over” them. Words from my patient) for any of the holidays. The lights and few decorations that I put up were liked by many of the kids and even parents and probably only one of a small percentage. My childhood was being filled with joy and anticipation of seeing cool, spooky homes and then dreaming of being able to do the same when it was my turn to own a house. We’re talking, scary decorations, laughing motion sensing devices, strobe lights, fog machines, scarecrows that were actually people, being chased by gorillas and people with live chainsaws. Around here and in this day and age? Someone’d get the cops called on them.

Well. I still enjoy the excitement and want to pass on that thrill to others. I won’t go super tacky, but I want to decorate. Speaking of which, I’m trying to think of a different configuration for my Christmas lights this year.

Lighten up, people! Similarly, I’ve found while talking to my patients that everything around here is kept on the downlow in an attempt not to draw attention or offend anyone? Is that it? I’ve let out on occasion that I’m Catholic and more people than you realize are. It’s just that no one will disclose that. Coming from a place where people are proud of going to church and it’s a commonplace thing, it’s so weird here. I’d say our patients are probably 80% churchgoers but you wouldn’t know it. The sense of community around here is non-existent. Seriously.

Sister Trouble

Remember how when this whole business started I hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t strain our relationship? Well. There you go.

So last week I sent another e-mail to her about moving out. Mind you this is October. I sent the e-mail back in January telling her she had one year to leave. It wasn’t a nice email but then again I didn’t mean it to be because guess what? It’s, well, October. 10 months from the original notification. While yes I did tell her that she had until January, there has been plenty of time to move out. This was before even the whole baby thing. When they came up and announced they were having a baby back in April/Mayish, I took the opportunity, in person, to recommend they really think about moving before the baby arrived because there’s no way anyone would want go move with an infant around. Their response? Oh but we don’t want to change doctors. We’ll move right after the baby. Already a dumb decision. Then I started on to recommend if they can’t afford a house yet then at least rent. Oh no, we won’t rent. It’s a waste of money. We want a garage. So on and so forth with excuses and unrealistic wants. “I only want to move once.” Stupid things like that. At the time I had given the 1 year time frame and I was seriously regretting having been so generous but hey, I had stuff I still needed to do before selling anyways.

Well. They bought new cars. One was practical, a RAV4, the other completely dumb luxury hybrid. A want, not a need. He drives a car given to him for work why would he need an expensive car? They have no money for a down payment right? What about the baby? Student loans? A mortgage??? Then they wanted a dog. What are you going to do, subsist off ramen and pancakes? Owning a home is freaking expensive. Cell phone bills. Utilities. Personal property tax. Internet. Things go wrong. HOA fees. Owning a dog is even more unbelievably expensive and we’re not just talking money. Time. Patience. They need food. Vet bills. What are they going to do, dump the dog on me when they want to go somewhere? Dump the baby on my mom? They have no right to be picky about anything at all. They only sometimes pay me anything to live there and even then it’s not even half of the mortgage.

Do they have no consideration for others? How am I related to her???

I ask them to do me favors since I’m not there. For instance, I asked her to do the fertilizer for me since I already bought it but didnt have time to do it. Her answer (to my face here) was, “no you’re going to have to do it.” I asked her from the very beginning multiple times, in person (to both of them), in email, in text, to call someone about the siding. I will pay for it. She says, oh yeah, or doesn’t even acknowledge it. He says, “yeah yeah yeah I know.” Nothing happens. I asked him to do the mulch in the back for me. His mother does it instead. His only job is to mow the lawn. Now my neighbor is doing it. I HATE being indebted to people. I dont care how nice he is (and he is). What THE HELL does my brother in law do. Seriously. I buy a new fridge like a good landlord the day it went busto (which I still think was their fault but that’s not the point here) and all they do is complain about it. I don’t even know if they change the air filters for the HVAC once a month.

You know, I felt bad, ok, when he was being a deadbeat and they were subsisting solely on my sister’s wages. They had to buy generic everything. I felt awful. I asked him a couple times why he didnt apply for a part-time job at least and he would say boredly, “Oh, I applied at Best Buy….” Is that it? Just one place. Now he has a job. Ok then, take charge of your family and chop chop let’s go. Nope. Lots of excuses and I still don’t see much to show from it all. Just poor buying practices.

I really feel like I’m being taken advantage of by my own sister and they’re very ungrateful. It’s not my house anymore. It doesn’t feel like it. The only place that feels like mine is the backyard which I love so much. Heck, none of us want to go down there anymore. We used to go all the time and now it’s just excuses to not go. I hoped so badly when everyone warned me in the beginning (friends, coworkers, patients, relatives) about this arrangement that it would never become this because she’s my own sister. God knows that I would never dream of doing this. If I was down on my luck and needed to, you know I’d be grateful and out of their hair as quickly as I could. I just thought that because I was helping her out that she would think of me too. In the beginning it was mutually beneficial but not anymore. Hasn’t been for a year now and the more they make poor decisions and act entitled the more resentment builds within me. It shouldn’t have been this way. Now I know to never rely on them ever if I can help it.

They’re stubborn, demanding, and unreasonable given that they literally can’t afford to be.

And now she’s upset at me although she has no right to be. They have no leg to stand on. And she wants me to be able to talk to her? The one who is so easily offended by everything? Yeah that went well the last time we were in person. They told me they’d get a realtor in September. Guess what darling, it’s not September anymore.

The resentment keeps growing and of course their birthdays and the holidays are creeping up. She hasn’t graced me with images of the baby in a week now. Ooo she’s mad alright. But my mom is still getting them.

She knows I’m right. Even if they won’t and can’t admit it. Any 3rd party can see it. The only people who can’t are them.

I said it before, but I’m tired of taking care of people and getting nothing in return. When is someone going to take care of me? I’m grateful to my mom and brother for their help and support. I guess it’ll always just be me. At least I’ll always have myself. These one-sided relationships are not all that fun.

I’m not looking for repayment. I don’t want their money even if I’m in debt myself. Heck, that’s why I agreed to all of this in the first place: to help them out financially. I just want to be able to finally think about my own future again. Great you started a family. So act like one and take responsibility. Let my life move forward too.

It’s petty, negative and depressing to deal with this. Can’t wait until it’s finally over.

Huh

I just remembered that we haven’t repainted our windows. Remember how last year I was busy re-caulking the front windows? The back ones don’t need it. I also chipped off the peeling off paint but never did get around to repainting anything. The to-do list just keeps growing, though, of course. Now the deck can be resealed, so I need to do that and we bought marble chips to spread around the backyard patio. Speaking of the backyard, since the tree is gone now, we’re planning on a big overhaul back there. Since there’s no point in trying to grow grass with the dogs, I figure we should just make it all one big garden. My little landscaping 1-2 years ago is not working because every time it rains, the waterfall from the deck just washes all the mulch away, so the plan is to extend the gravel portion to cover the washout portion and then see what I can do with the rest of it. That means that the plants need to be moved. The weigela we bought for back there is in fall mode and at this point, it’s too late to plant anything in the hopes that it will take winter. Fall shows early in all of our plants. The blueberry went autumn about a month ago, and my tomato is dying off even though it still has about 10 green tomatoes. Even the peach/plum is going; it has done really well since I took it out of the ground in the summer and stuck it in a pot. It’s massive! Yes! Yardwork!

Now if only I can get off my butt and do something. But costumes call to me! And Halloween is drawing closer. Nothing like a deadline lighting a fire under my butt to make me move, eh?

I HATE this HOA

What the heck is wrong with these people? REALLY!!!?!?? First off, remember I misunderstood their poorly laid out calendar of events about their crack sealing and line painting and ended up parallel parking for the first time in years? Ok, fine, misunderstanding, I didn’t read it well. I’ll take that. So we’re in the sealing week and I’ve looked closely at the calendar to make sure this time we got it right. OK. Our street is being done on Wednesday. Check. They just did the section they said they would today. Check. I went by this morning to snoop and make sure they actually were going to do anything this time. A couple years ago, they did concrete work and kept threatening towing all the cars if not removed by 7am, except that they did literally NOTHING all day long. Anyways, this morning was good, my mom asked if we need to move the cars, and I’m like, no the calendar clearly says our street on Wednesday August 30th. I even circled it with a pink Sharpie. Around 3:30-4:00pm, I find myself feeling extremely restless, like I need to walk the dogs, like, NOW, but why? It’s not even remotely close to 6pm and the earliest I walk them is 5pm. So I go out at 5:30pm, still early for a Monday, and I see to my alarm that they’ve set up a sign in our street. I go to read it and it says, “Paving tomorrow, Tuesday the 29th. Move cars by 7am.” Rage fills my heart and rush back to get m brother to move my car because it’s 5pm and everyone is coming home from work and the first day of school. He rushes out the move it to my immense relief. On the way home, I stop by the area they sealed and painted, and lo and behold, they’ve not removed the barricades yet. So. Allll those cars have nowhere to park now, coming home from work and mixed in with the cars from our street. I go inside after the walk and clear as day it says: Wednesday, August 30th. For our street.

The original street they were going to do are all townhouses with driveways, which means less cars, less surface area, and they don’t have to paint any lines or numbers which equals less time. Thinking about those logistics, that would make more sense to help the clogged spots on the street. They made a plan, so stick with the freaking plan. WTH is wrong with you?? I’m sure they have their reasons, but wth. The cherry on top of everything, is that it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, PLUS, it’s trash/recycle day. So cherries, I guess. So, the rain date is the original date which is Wednesday. What that means, is that we all have to stay parked on the street possibly through Thursday and possibly nothing will be done tomorrow.

Speaking of HOA. We finally got approval for the tree. The one week before our trip that we can’t do anything because of all this road work. And you know they didn’t even acknowledge the application until we sent the paper, physical copy? OK, I understand that legally speaking, yes, paper is the legit way to do it, but you could have at least let us know via email (btw. My HOA down South accepts via email or at least very responsive by email because, well, we live in 2017, and they’re reasonable humans). And then this cow poop where on PAPER they say one thing, but in real life, oh, haha, fyi, change of plans. LOL. We’re doing your street first. Because we HOA and can do what we like. BTW, why won’t anyone in the neighborhood volunteer for the HOA? No one cares about their community?

HOAs are supposed to help communities, not detract from them. Or threaten constantly. TOW YOU. FINE YOU. EVICT YOU. I TOOK A PICTURE OF YOUR OFFENSE. HAH. At least that was my understanding.

Maybe I should just stop saying things

Remember how I said I’d stay home this past week I had off from work in an attempt to limit how many bad things could happen to me? Well. Bad Luck still found me anyways, where I’ve been: at home.

  1. We had lots of rain and wind and stuff this July 4th week and I mentioned that I was just waiting for the gutter to fall down because it was. So I hammered it back in and tried to reset the part that  the squirrels keep knocking off.
  2. The tree in the back of our house has a major split in it and so I ended up calling some tree people to come and take a look. They did and told us that given the crackline, it’s better to just take the whole thing down because the prognosis is poor to hopeless for survival. After looking again at the tree…he’s right. If the crack went a little more left, it’d be more possible to save the tree, but it’s not. It’s going right down the midline of the trunk. Not only that but after he left us an estimate, we were discussing it all and I realized that the tree has probably been dying since at least last year. The leaves have been coming down more and more in the summer and not only that but the dying AND living leaves all have brown spots on it. Furthermore starting last year-ish our own plants on the deck have been developing infections/diseases and ultimately either dying off or showing very stunted growth. More than likely, there is a connection to the dropping leaves and progressively sickly plants. Even the split in the trunk looks diseased and it’s amazing the speed at which it’s been cracking. The tree is giving up. I wonder if it’s Gable and his toxic pee. Either way it needs to go before it takes out our neighbor’s fence and deck or our roof, especially with hurricane season quickly approaching.  20170709_091633_HDR
  3. This morning, after taking the dogs out to the park, I took a shower and found it to not have any hot water. My mom had the same issue so I had this awful feeling and ran down to the water heater. Pilot light not lit, so I try over and over to try and light it, but to no avail. Plumber called and he comes (this is a Sunday, mind you) and what seems to be a straight up and easy fix…you guessed it…turns out to be much more serious. Replace the whole water heater. I read people, remember? He tried really hard to fix it too. I kept trying to read him to see if he was just playing it up, but I don’t think so. He’s coming back tomorrow to replace the whole unit. He really didn’t want to try and fix it, I could tell, like the water heater itself wasn’t worth it. Then in talking with my mom, we remembered back when the HVAC was replaced the guy had mentioned that we should think about replacing the water heater too. At the time it had just been replaced by the previous owners and we didn’t have any problems so we just forgot about it. Boom. Now we wonder why he would have recommended that given the HVAC was replaced in 2011 when we bought the house and the water heater was placed either 2010 or early 2011…both men seemed to think very little of the unit. Ugh. Once again the previous owners screwed us over.

This is quite a bit of money. QUITE a bit. No more taunting this chicken. I need to find Boubar the Chicken statuette to put on our porch. This is the reason I decided to not go to the other house; I’d just spread my bad luck even further and I literally cannot afford that.

Took my dogs to Bull Run this morning, a park that they have not yet been to! Gable was adorable, my big trailblazer dog. It has been a while since I’ve seen him that excited. Unfortunately there was lots and lots of mud, so I wasn’t able to enjoy my time as much as I usually am able to, because I was busy picking my way around the muck. Made the poor decision to walk down a muddy slope against my better judgment and I should have listened to my gut. Nature’s slip’n’slide  that’s for sure. It’s amazing how 4 legs make navigating that kind of terrain much easier. Going back up was crazy hard and while I was scrabbling awkwardly on 4 appendages, my dogs were perched goat-like on the muddy slope like, what are you doing? Yaaaa. At least gnats and mosquitoes aren’t big fans of mud. Toughing it out in nature is still enjoyable to me, though. If I had used DEET bug repellent and waited for a drier day, I might have been able to go further, but we turned around. Still very enjoyable. I’ve been trying a natural bug repellent and found that not only does it wear off quickly, but you need a thick layer of it otherwise the bugs find the thin spots and start the feast.

 

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My most valuable and dear belongings

 

I’ll be spending yet another day playing video games as we wait for the installation and the advent of hot water. You know, with all this talk of moving, we keep updating/replacing everything. Why are things made better before you move out of a place so that someone else can enjoy your hard earned money? Bah. Houses.