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.

Advertisements

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.

 

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