Saturday, April 30, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Last Friday, for the first time since 1934, my city lost a police officer.
He's my (former) boss's son. I'd met him a few times. He has two small children and wife, and he was only 43. I keep thinking about his dad's pain and how utterly unfair this is for him and his family. Completely pointless and unfair. The unfair power that some lunatic with a gun and a single shot has over other people's lives and minds. Unfair. Heartbreaking.
The funeral is today, and I'm going, though I will only be one of likely thousands in attendance. The streets downtown are filled with trees and posts wearing blue ribbons in remembrance of Chris. I imagine that driving past them makes my ex boss proud and overwhelmingly sad.
In other, similarly sad news, my former law professor also died this past week. Like Chris, Keith Aoki died too young-- in his 50s. Cancer did it, and he, too, leaves behind a wife and children-- twin 9-year old girls.
So, in a week of highs and lows, I'm even more so grateful for what I have. I hugged my husband extra tight and told my family I love them. I hope to never feel the tragic pain the family members of those above are feeling, but I do hope they know how much their loved ones were loved by many.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Her royal highness is currently laying morose on the floor at her lack of a royal wedding invitation, with her little royal footsies dragged out behind her.
** No Maddie-dog was harmed in this photo shoot, though she may have been stuck on top the dresser for the shots so she would not be fussy over the crown on her head.
Friday, April 22, 2011
It was built in 1948, has coved ceilings, gorgeous trimwork and lovely floors. Though it's over the 60-year mark in age, it's all ok: It's been completely redone and all energy-efficient upgrades.
- 1.5 miles to both of our works.
- 0.3 miles to the nearest grocery store (thanks to hidden stairs up the hill behind the store, by car it's more like 1 mile).
- Fully fenced, large backyard.
- Terraced front yard with a lot of space but also puts the house NOT smack dab on the street; passers-by cannot see into the house.
- Fabulous schools (not that we have kidlets, but someday...)
- On a hill, with a view, but not too much of a hill that we'll want to die when we come home from work and are biking/walking.
- Chef's kitchen.
- Fully redone bath with door that opens outward (genius. Please tell this idea to our landlords)
- Back alley access, not used much, but makes it nice to get things into the far back yard.
There also is future potential someday. The house is in a great place on the lot for a possible future master bath/walk-in closet. There's also a full bonus room upstairs that has a lot of potential, and rather high-ceiling crawlspace over the kitchen.
And don't even get me started on the windows. Oh, the light!
So now, we're knee-deep in moving mode, just waiting for the moment to start unloading things from the old digs to the new. The critters are confused, but it will all be ok.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Needless to say, we're pretty darn excited. The house is beautiful inside, and boasts a view, a huge backyard, and gorgeous stonework tiers in front.
We're looking forward to more space, a fully fenced backyard, and higher-quality construction. The home feels like us.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
And then there's our house. "Energy efficient" the ad boasted. We saw the topical things, the supposed-bamboo flooring and the front-loading washer and thought "oooooh." Oh, how sad we were, impressed by flashy objects.
Little did we realize that the bamboo was the cheapest possible shitty bamboo you could find. Bamboo that scratches so easily. And oh, the walkways to the house? MUD. Seriously. And there is no entry way at either entrance where you're on tile or anything. Nope. Straight on to the wood. There's no covered porch to leave shoes either. Our floors were doomed due to stupidity of home path construction.
And then there are the windows. So, landlords? Wood-framed, single pane windows are about as energy efficient as thick saran wrap. Actually, less so, since saran wrap would actually SEAL the windows, where as your contraptions have cracks that actually set our curtains fluttering because so much air gets in. And one wall heater per half house is a very inefficient way to heat.
And we shall not discuss our bathroom... half of which, we discovered, is on concrete pillars and so there is no insulation underneath and gets ass cold in the wintertime. And even the summertime if it's a semi-chill day. It may have taken you EIGHT months, but we do appreciate you fixing the heater in there. It's frequent that the heater kicks on at 50 degrees, even though that's technically the "off" setting. Yes, the bathroom is that cold. However, your wiring job and plumbing job in the rest of the bathroom (knowing that the wrong plumbing was used and knowing there are a mess of wires behind the light switch panel) means I spend as little time as possible in there.
And the kitchen. WHO has 4' high countertops? And while there is some decent shelving, my 5'8" self can only reach, barely, the edge of the second shelf (there are 4 shelves). And your drawers underneath the counters are so deep that things get lost and die and reborn down there. It is gross.
Let us not also discuss your utter and complete disregard for all things liability and also human decency. You're required, by our rental contract, to maintain the backyard. After not being able to use said back yard because of your lack of maintenance (logs.stumps.branches. trash, all hidden in high grass), we finally dragged so much shit out of that area and put it in a pile. Now we can use the backyard. Now you want US to drag that pile to a dumpster? NO. Your yard maintenance, as you've tried to tell me, is not limited to blackberries and mowing. You do shitty jobs at those things anyway. The rental contract says tree trimming and maintenance. NO further limitations. And no, I don't plan on hurting myself in the yard, but seriously. If I have someone over, I don't want to have to keep myself glued to their side to make sure they don't hurt themselves. My godson has already fallen tripping over shit you were supposed to pick up out of the yard and scratched his face all up. I don't need that happening again.
I'm ticked off at you and really have a half a mind to go after you for partial lost rent since my rent is the rate it is because I supposedly have use of a half acre back yard. That's with the rental contract in mind that YOU are supposed to maintain it. Last year? You mowed ONCE and then left all the grass rotting on the ground. Your yard maintenance guy sprayed one blackberry patch and left all the dead vines right there. He weed wacked the other patch and left most of the vines on the ground, which, for blackberries, is essentially causing a blackberry population explosion (since blackberry cut vines root).
There are so many small things in the house that we have had to fix ON OUR OWN DIME since your cheapness would potentially not have fixed larger things if we had also asked for smaller things. I mean, you are the people who argued with us over whether we had the right to request reimbursement for a $10 carbon monoxide detector, even though Oregon had JUST PASSED A LAW requiring carbon monoxide detectors in rental units. Oh, that's right, the law did not become active for another 6 months, which is why you were trying to cheapen out of paying $10.
I know the history. I know the front house a few years ago had a plumbing explosion which supposedly (if rumors are true) caused raw sewage to leak from floor 2 down to floor 1. I also know that our house is connected and there was a back up here, causing damage to all the floors in this house. But you know what? Shit happens when you own a home. Just because you had a financial hemorrhage a few years ago does not alleviate you of all responsibilities currently.
And you know what? The yard guy? He thinks that the stack of debris in the back yard is a liability too. And the maintenance guys? They may smile to your face, but behind it they are shaking their heads. They can't believe how cheap you are, and they can't believe you're making the decisions you're making. "It's going to cost him a fortune if he doesn't get this small problem now fixed," they tell me. "We won't be here when the house falls down," I tell them.
So. That's that. All the above and more make it very pleasant for me tomorrow when we turn in our 30-day notice.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Thank you for running around like such maniacs this morning. I appreciate your enthusiasm so early in the morning. Truly. Having to leap over squirming bundles of fur really helps me wake up.
Also, super kudos for managing to knock my internet modem charger off the power strip. Those 15 minutes I spent trying to figure out why my internet wasn't working were special.
Hugs and kisses,
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
But, in the meantime: Let us ride the chaos train.
Having heard rumors from a reliable source (the next door neighbor who rents from the same person) that each pinhole in our home will cost us $1-$8 (I remember him saying $1, he remembers being told $8), we're sweeping into gear.
Patching: yay caulk!
Painting: yay matching paint!
Purging: if we don't need it, let's sell, trash, or donate!
Packing: if we don't use it frequently, let's box it. If it's going to be stored in a box, let's get a nice bin.
It's been a fun few weeks.
The yard has also been 100% cleaned up. New seeds have been cast to cover areas that were bare, so the yard looks exactly as it did when we got it. We're leaving garden boxes in the corner that was a garden when we got here. We're leaving the yard in better condition in that case, so that makes us feel positive about the yard.
The chickens have their new portable coop (which I've been meaning to post about, but sigh...). They also have a cage. So, they'll be easy to cage up and move.
Needless to say, it will be a fun month....
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I was blown away by what changes were in store for her when she announced a while back that she was pregnant for the first time. She and her husband were expecting... TWINS! I remember thinking "Wow. Twin babies in a first pregnancy. WOW."
She happily posted photos as the weeks crept by. 15. 16weeks. 18. Then 19.
At 19 weeks, 4 days, she had a routine appointment. Everything ok! No red flags. All well and fine.
At 19 weeks, 5 days, at 3am, she awoke. Something wasn't right. They went to the hospital, only to find out nothing could be done. The girls were coming, nothing could stop the labor, and they were too young to survive.
So, on March 30, 2011, Lyla and Kate were born. She described them as perfect babies, just small. Both lived for a few hours, both were baptized in that time.
And so, then also on March 30, 2011, Lyla and Kate died.
I'm so saddened by this. I can only imagine how much hearing of pain like hers will be amplified when someday I am a parent. I can't imagine what they are going through. I can't imagine what it's like to have your world calmed by doctor's appointments where everything looks normal and perfect, only to have this shattering thing happen.
It makes me so sad. I wish I could be a better friend right now, but I know my friend has a lot of good people around her. She sounded strong in her letter to her friends. I hope she and her husband gradually heal and are able to start a family.