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.

Advertisements

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.

 

20170709_082658

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.

Houses…

…are a pain. Love ’em but you hate ’em. The townhouse has all these things that need to be done and they just keep piling up. Can’t keep up! That’s what happens when it’s almost 30 years old. The gutters are falling apart (this torrential rain is making that well known…but the squirrels don’t help much by constantly jumping and hanging on them. That’s the back too. The front has a major clog in the corner), the tree in the back is split and is in dire need of being cut otherwise the limb will break off and destroy the neighbor’s deck and fence, and as always the plumbing that is still just existing in the ceiling… Then you have your minor things like exterior paint, cleaning and restaining the deck floor, and what to do about the mulch/draining problem in the backyard. The latter is the least important.

We’ve done a few improvements like newer windows and doors, replacing the HVAC, new fence and gate, visual improvements to the front yard, nice lawn (mostly…when it’s not droughting), new caulk on all the windows for insulation and pollen control, and interior lighting. Too bad the list won’t ever end.

In the words of Mr. Krabs: “Moneymoneymoneymoney!” Yes please, Mr. Krabs! Help a gal out, eh? How are we supposed to afford everything?

So much for yardwork today. This torrential rain…where did it come from? The forecast only said thunderstorms on July 4th. Maybe I should pay attention to the news more. I mean, I’m not complaining much because my lawn was crunchy and yellow, and we did need the water, but yowza this is a LOT of water! Felt good, though, walking in it this morning. The dogs disagree with me, especially Liana, but I felt like I needed that: the water pouring down on me, pounding on my shoulders, pelting my head, making my feet squish, smelling the smell of nature. To feel something other than anger and pain. To feel alive again.

Did you know that leather gets super heavy when it’s wet?

Dang this gutter is going to fall down before my eyes…there’s a big old nail sticking out of it now.

Maybe I should just buy a light ladder and go up myself.

When is it appropriate to go searching for a mate again? I keep saying that my situation doesn’t allow for things right now and financially and housing-wise, it’s not, but something is calling me big-time. I had a dream last night, courtesy of my biological clock, telling me I need to have kids NOW if I want them. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m running out of time. For what, though? I don’t understand why it’s so strong! Does anyone else feel this way? …it IS expensive to date and be in a relationship… sigh. More waiting for me.

Exhausted

I tells you. It doesn’t get much better than physical labor for my house. There’s something about accomplishing something by my own blood, sweat and tears. Starting with an idea and seeing it through myself. So much of this life we live in now it handed to us or automated. If we keep consuming and not creating or accomplishing, how can it continue?

Yardwork, crafting, cooking, training, growing plants, raising dogs, writing…

Getting my hands in the dirt, getting dirty, soil under my nails, being in the sunshine, covered in paint, working my body…

Going to sleep happy, satisfied and exhausted. Knowing that I did something and seeing/enjoying the results of it. To be proud of it, and to have others enjoy it too.

To me, this is life. This is being alive.

Me, my dogs, the earth, the sun.

I am one with nature, with my nature, with life itself. Like the birds, the bees, the grass, the plants.

If only I had someone I can share this amazement, this love of life with. Someone who understands it…no, not just understands it, comprehends it. Like my dogs, who can appreciate a good day of work and sun. Who can sit back on the grass, watch the clouds go by, appreciate the birds flying and the bug crawling on my foot, and ponder our existence in the great scheme of things. No words needed, just awe of living.

Then back inside to cool off and relax with some video games before heading out in search of foods.

I love this house, but our time is short. I’ll have to find another to love in the future.

Will I ever find my man?
Searching for one who can:
Enjoy a day of work and sun
And then when it’s said and done,
Sit back and relax on the grass
Observe as the clouds pass
Watch the birds fly and swoop
Note the bugs passing underfoot
Gaze upon the mountains in the distance
Ponder our role in this brief existence
Retire to bed feeling satisfied,
Forever in love with being alive

 

Grandparents

My grandparents gave me $1000. It’s supposed to be for the beach and to help recoup the funds from when Gable was sick. I was worried because that’s too much money! They’re old and I’m still working! In looking at my finances just a moment ago…I actually need it. The heck. The nice thing is in June I get paid 3x which means that I’ll be able to pay for the rest of the beach trip no problem, and hopefully catch up on the rest of it. Sigh.

I was thinking the other day (I have lots of time to think about things during the day and on my commutes) that the very best thing would be if my grandparents either gifted their house to me or sold it to me at a discounted price. I’d prefer the selling to me, because I don’t like free things, but if they were able to see it at a good price to me, I’d have the funds necessary to fix the whole place up. I think it’s a good idea in many aspects because my grandpa loves that house. There are so many memories there. If they sell it, it will have to be as-is and the people after that are guaranteed to gut the house and do a complete makeover. If it was me, I’d have the respect for the history and memories buried there. My grandma’s parents resided there, her uncle died there. Kids grew up there, dogs died there. I remember it from when I was tiny. I closed my brother’s finger in the door there. Location is excellent, it’s detached and has a yard for me to tinker in! It’d be like heaven for me to be able to tinker in and out of the house!

Doesn’t mean that it’ll happen, but what a great thought!

Sibling Day Roadtrip

Interesting that it happened to fall on National Sibling Day! We did not plan it that way at all! The whole point of the trip was really to give my car the chance to run more smoothly, having being driven on the highway….except that my muscles were killing me from fence painting, so my brother drove instead. Plus my sister was coming too and with my driving she’d probably end up barfing because apparently the baby doesn’t like scary driving. The other point of going down was to revisit our old stomping grounds and do a spy-by. LOL. It was pretty neato to see what changed, what didn’t, and how much I remember. I literally hadn’t been back since we left…the only one of us to be like that. Also, it was a bonus to be able to score 5 gallons of my fence cleaner from Home Depot. What did NOT miss at all and what we saw lots of while we were there, were the car crashes. I didn’t understand when we moved up north initially why the insurance cost so much less, but there you go. We passed 3 or 4 accidents, one of which I watched happen in the parking lot of a Burger King, in the course of our trip…Northern Virginia might have really aggressive drivers and lots an lots of traffic, but driving in it 4 days a week for 6 years, I rarely ever see an actual accident…usually I suffer the after effects of them, but I get to see/pass by a wreck maybe once every 3 months or so. One thing they’ve got going is very good reaction speeds. I’ve been in and seen plenty of near-crashes. However, I definitely miss the nice people, the relaxed atmosphere…and the trees. All the trees. Plus, of course, the memories. It was hard to adopt that southern mentality again. Heck, it’s been hard enough halfway north!! I always forget and I zoom around in my car and also when I walk through a store. As well, I miss Kroger, doggone it.

So just wandering around in the car, going to eat at Jiang’s, not only did it take pretty much all day (amazing how quickly time passed), but I ended up spending an amazing amount of money. WHY. One was an impulse buy, I agree, but I still have to buy stuff for the house at Lowe’s todaaaaay…

Yesterday night and today I had/have to cook. Haha. Ironic. My sister went out with her friends last night which left me and my bro-in-law. I made my London Broil and bell pepper skewers with Campari tomato skewers. Easy, tasty, and quick grill. Only thing was I forgot to get the red cooking wine, so I used white, which changed the taste a little, but it still turned out well. He liked it. Tonight I’ll be making my chicken breast rolls with spinach, bacon, cheese and the person’s choice of sauce, topped with breading (in this case Panko, but I usually use the Kellogg’s crumbs) alongside green beans and possibly rice. This is baked. I’m cooking again because my sister won’t get home until around 7pm.

The plan for today is to go to Lowe’s and get the mulch/some soil, more grass killing implements, some phlox to fill in the gaps, 30 stones to ring the tree out front. Then come home, place stones, decide whether or not to lay down more grass killing fiber or use the mulch for plants, finish edging around the trees, plant any plants, dig up the plum, possibly move the roses, and potentially trying to kill the grass at the fence-line.  Very ambitious especially with it being hot today…let’s see how much I end up getting done before I give up. Oh and I need to put down fertilizer this evening before it rains tonight.

Originally I had planned on at least finishing the back of the fence with the cleaner and sealer, but I was so tired yesterday and we got back after 4 so I wouldn’t have been anywhere near done until around 7ish…instead I played Cities: Skyline it was too hard so I cheated with a built-in mod. Haha. Good thing I’m not a city planner.

Spring Break

BEGIN.

Or really, began, by waking up late, leaving late, and then finally starting my fence project. Then I managed to Bleach my face and my hands, ran out of solution, wasted 2 hours wandering around fruitlessly searching for more, came back and OMG the sealing portion took FOREVER. Instant regret, too, for not doing this as soon as the fence guy recommended I do it, because now the wood is so far weathered it will never ever look like it used to unless I replace it. Not to mention the smell of cedar… I managed to go back in time to 4 years ago when the fence was new and good gracious it was gorgeous — absolutely gorgeous — and I remember all the neighbors ogling and complimenting it in the beginning. The weathered cedar look is pretty at the beach, but dang it, it’s not here. I’m also now wondering it I should’ve chosen the cedar CWF instead of the transparent. You’ll find the post on DIYCAT. Yeah I probably should have. Either way it looks better than it did. Really brightens up the property. Now I’m at a standstill, though, because I ran out of the cleaning solution and need more. And of COURSE it is available 50 miles north and 50 miles south, but not in between.

As I was deep into the mind numbing task, the kids were out in full force screaming and playing and riding and laughing all around the neighborhood. It reminded me of my childhood, and it occurred to me that I am an adult and they’re in their own childhoods now. It doesn’t sound like much now that I’m typing it out, but it was an interesting thought. My time 20 years ago was carefree and full of playing and fun on a beautiful spring day, shaping my experiences and memories forever, and now, here’s my experience now, to carry over 20 years into the future. It was kind of like those hall of mirrors where you keep seeing those images within an image within in image, etc. It falls within the same vein as my previous post where I decided I need to just do things even if no one is doing them with me. 20 years in the future what will I want to remember? Me sitting around playing video games when I’m still healthy with no real worries at all? While certainly those aren’t bad memories because I have lots of those as a kid too, I want it to be varied…that I accomplished something with my hands that I can be proud of, that learned this new skill never to be forgotten as long as I live, that I met this person, or went to this place. That I afforded my dogs in their short lives, happiness, companionship, love and adventure. That I didn’t spend it all within the confines of my house, tethered to technology. That my muscles were used and sore, like they were created to be. That I soaked in nature before I can no longer do so without worrying it will kill me.

Carpe that diem, eh? DO IT.

With it, however, is that annoying reality again that I can never truly enjoy things by myself, but honestly I’ve complained so much about it I swear I’ll regret it when it finally comes to me. My dogs love the company of others and I should learn from them. Relationships, like life, is fragile and fleeting. I should understand that by now and not take them for granted. Enjoy them while I have them, squeeze every last minute out the interactions (to a logical sense, of course). If I don’t, it’ll fly by me before I realize it’s gone.

The plan today is our sibling Richmond trip. Then on the way home I’ll pick up some soil, mulch and start doing that. Then tomorrow I have the whole day to do whatever is left over. If I can find the cleaner today down there, I’ll try to finish the back portion of the fence or do what I can. Looks like I can manage about half of the fence line in one day, so it’ll take another 6 days this year to finish up the rest of it. I need to edge around all the plants, dig up my plum tree, move the dying roses, and finish extending the back covered area to kill the grass. That project must be done soon. Then edge the front of it, and eventually order enough mulch to finish it off. Oh and I have to gravel around the drain, and kill off the grass on the edges of the fence to seal it all off. Then figure out what to do around the stepping stones. PHEW!!! Lots of work. I CAN DO IT. I’m sure of it and I have the rest of the year to get it done.

Liana ran around like crazy dog yesterday, as she is wont to do, but it broke my heart when she appeared obviously very tired and possibly with sore muscles. She used to run around like that and more and was never so tired…that along with the white spreading noticeably on her face, and my girl is definitely growing old. She resisted for so long, but I guess that’s what happens when you finally decide you’re happy and content. She no longer has to fear us leaving her and she fully and truly trusts me. That started the end of last year and the progression was evident. Still so full of energy and attitude, my little girl.

OK I guess it’s time to go down and placate my darlings.