Friday, July 1, 2011

And that's why I had to wash the dog in the shower

Seriously, folks. It's been THAT kind of month. By now, you all know that crap just happens. It is unfathomable, even to me living through it daily, how anyone ever manages to get ahead. Maybe it is luck (good and bad.) Perhaps I just always do things in the wrong order (and so my life doesn't follow predictable patterns either.) I'm sure some would say I've been cursed, but it can't be THAT horrible because I get plenty of joy and laughter to balance out the pain and tears. All I know, is that my life is...INTERESTING. That is the best word I can think of. Here's a run down of the last month:

June 7 - Followed up with the local Dr. He doesn't think I have a kidney infection. In fact, my kidneys look great. (Yay!) He thinks my back pain is due to a bad back. (Boo!) It's probably a slipped disk. Or two. Maybe even three. In different locations. (crap.) I'm to get an MRI for my back and see a GI dr who will probably set me up for a scope and make sure the old ulcer isn't big, bad, and worse. (Please shoot me.I hate the scope.)

June 9 - A house around the corner is for sale and  it is everything I have ever wanted in a house and more. I even talk to the realtor and take a look inside. When our lease is up in another few months, THIS is where I want to move. I make a mental note to check my credit score to see if it is high enough yet.

June 14 - Happy 10th Birthday Melody! (When did I get old enough to have a teenager AND a pre-teen?) Waitaminit...didn't I have an appointment yesterday? Oh, crap. I did. Well, I guess I can reschedule.

June 15 - Why are the cell phones off? Oh...because the auto draft info isn't valid since we cancelled the card because it was hacked. Ok. I can see that. But why is the water off? The service guy told the kids they were replacing the meter and it would be off temporarily. After being without water for three hours, I find out that it was cut off for lack of payment. It SHOULD have been cut off three weeks ago, and as soon as the clerk at City Hall found out that the meter was broken and couldn't be shut all the way off, she ordered a new meter to make SURE it gets shut off. Yeah. I thought it was a little crappy, too. Digging through my mail, I find the latest "bill" which is only a 5"X3" note card that was stuck inside a circular so I missed it and totally forgot. Now it is two months worth of bill plus a disconnect fee. Ok, so we  will just wait a week until pay day to turn the phones back on, so I can pay the water today. Ok, tomorrow (because the office is now closed for the day.)

June 16  - At 4:00 in the afternoon, I finally get the water back. I swear the woman at City Hall put our reconnect order at the bottom of the To Do list because she just doesn't like me.

June 17 - Notice to Vacate?!?!? Yes, I am late on rent, but I have been in contact with you. I have paid every last stinkin' late fee you charged me in the past and I will pay all of these too. Our lease isn't up for another two months. I'm sure they are just being nasty. It doesn't make financial sense to evict someone who pays (even though we are some times late) for being less than 10 days overdue. DH agrees to talk to them on Monday morning.He and I agree that we can pay the cell phone when this whole ordeal is over.

June 20 9:24am - DH comes back from the landlord's. He is so mad  he is kicking things. Yes they DO mean to make us move. We have until Friday. Yes, THIS Friday. Like, in four more days. Oh, but if we pay them everything (including exorbitant late fees) we can stay another week, until the end of the month. Holy crap! Can they DO this?
June 20 10:00am - I'm freaking out, I'm desperate, and I could very likely be homeless in four days. As far as I can tell, they are claiming that the lease is broken because we were late. I'm not sure they are legally able to do this, but I don't want to deal with these f-ers any more. I send a note to the realtor I spoke to last week to see if she has any leads. I have been looking at houses in town and I know there isn't anything for rent, but maybe she knows something I don't. If a miracle doesn't pass,  we will have to pack up and move back to Irving where DH's parents live because they are about to retire and we could take over the payments on their house so we don't have to sell. Please God, do not make me move back to the city when I just fell in love with this little country town.
June 20 - 11:00am - The realtor does, in fact, know of a house that is not only available, but it is vacant and ready to move into. She warns that it is small, but the owners would be happy to let us pay month to month until we find something bigger. I agree to look at it. Any choice other than a dumpster would look good to me right now. The house is owned by the realtor's son and has been in the family for years. They moved out about six months ago and have tried to sell it but they haven't had any offers. At this point, they will be happy if someone helps to cover the payments until it does finally sell. It is about 6 blocks from where we currently live so the kids wouldn't have to change schools. If we agree to fix the fence (they already bought the parts,) do the cleaning to get it ready to move in, and let them keep it on the market to sell while we live there they will waive the deposit. Yes we can bring the dog and no we don't need to worry about a pet deposit either. Of course, I am scared now wondering what tiny trashed out, hole am I getting us into.

June 20 11:30am -  As we turn down the street, I'm really nervous. Most of these houses are tiny and so old they are falling down. Then, we pull up to the house and at first I think it will  be way too small. Then we walk in. Not only is it roughly the same square footage as the house we are currently in, it has been completely rebuilt in the last three years.Everything is new. All the appliances come with it - even the washer and dryer (how did they know that my own washer broke a month ago and I've been doing laundry at WP's since then?) And also, there is a dishwasher. (I almost cried for joy right there!) Everything is beautiful and modern. The paint is tastefully neutral but still not white or beige. They have blinds and curtains in all the windows. This place looks like the show houses in new home neighborhoods! Pergo  floors in the living areas, carpet in the bedrooms, a HUGE backyard with a deck and a privacy fence, and ceiling fans in every room (with remotes!!!) "Does your husband like to grill? We were planning on leaving the gas grill. I know there is only one bathroom, but it has a double sized shower AND a garden tub. We had three big dogs, so your one dog should love it here."
I wanted to pinch myself. This is more than I could ever have dreamed of. The "mess" that they wanted cleaned up? a few dust piles that were swept but not put into the trash bags. The reason they thought it was too small was because we had three bedrooms before but this one only had two and two living areas. The thing is, we were only currently using two of the bedrooms AS bedrooms. The third was an office anyway. The rooms were all bigger here anyway. The very best part of all of it? Besides waiving the deposit, they said we could move in as soon as we wanted. "Don't worry about rent for June. We already paid it anyway. Just give us July's rent on the first and we'll be good." Plus, the dishwasher runs like a dream.

In just about 2 hours I went from Panic, to Hopeful, to Thankful, and now I was in Planning Mode. The nasty landlord could take my deposit as the last month's rent. I'm not paying him a penny more than I have to. And I have four days to move. DH looked at the house on his lunch break and he was more impressed than I was. I managed to land us a  great house, in the same town at the same rent, ready to move  into, for no money out of pocket, and I managed it in TWO HOURS. Yeah, I was pretty proud of myself, too. And Thanking God for His miracle (and the dishwasher.)

June 21 - I rent a storage unit a mile or so outside of town. The only one IN town was owned by the Nasty Landlord. We get a great deal on a huge unit and I go home to start packing the first load to go into it.We secure a truck, a trailer, and a buddy for Saturday. That meant not paying for a moving truck. DH and I  both agree that we can't be out any sooner than Sunday. We also agree that we will not wait until the last minute to do anything. We start packing, Anything non-essential goes to the storage unit (this is easy, because all our non-essentials were still boxed up from the move 10 months ago.) The stuff that we need for the house gets packed up in bins, baskets, and the few empty boxes we have. We take them to the new house, empty them, put the stuff away, and take the bins back to the old house to use again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. We did this several times a day through Friday night.
DH is working from home, so he spends his lunch hour packing and making one trip to the storage unit. Then, as soon as he logs out at work, he packs, loads, and delivers at least two van loads every night before going to bed. I still have pain, fatigue, and three kids home for the Summer to deal with. I try to do as much as I can, and I enlist the kids to help out as much as they can, but I still have to rest and nap at least twice a day.

June 25 - Technically, we were supposed to be "gone" by yesterday, but the Nasty Landlord hasn't showed up so we put him out of our minds and focus on moving out. Our friend shows up and helps us move everything we can fit in a van. By 4:00 our other friend shows up with the trailer and we can move the heavy stuff and anything too big to fit in a van. The trailer is only 4'X8' so this means moving one piece of furniture at a time. Thankfully, we have only a few blocks to go between houses. By the time he leaves at 9:00, all the beds are moved to the new house so at 11:00 we all crash hard. This is the first night in the new house.

June 26 - Mother and Father in law show up to help finish up the move. I have no idea what I would do without these amazing and wonderful people. By 11:30 that night, we are completely moved out of the old house and it is cleaned. In fact, it is in better shape than when we moved in.

Today, a week later, we are still unpacking and I'm not quite sure where everything will go. A lot of our craft stuff and most of our books and movies are in storage. The second living area is really big so Little Heart gets to have it as her bedroom as long as we can have our essential craft stuff in there, too. We are going to rig a pretty curtain across the doorway so she can have a little privacy, but it isn't totally necessary. The younger two get a bedroom to share and it is big enough that we could break down their bunk beds and let them sleep on separate sides of the room for the first time. In spite of my trepidation, we hooked up a TV in there so that they can watch movies and stuff while DH is working. With the door closed, you can't even tell that there is a TV in there. The front room has a desk for my computer and my bead work. The owners left  this awesome big desk in there and it has room for everything I need it for. DH set up a small desk for his work in our bedroom so he has the extra noise reduction of the bedroom door while he is on the phone.Even our pet seems happier! Earlier this week, I had to give the BBD (Big Black Dog) a bath so I could give him the monthly flea treatment. I t was really hot outside and I really didn't feel like squatting and leaning over him so I brushed him really well and walked him right into the shower. I used the detachable part of the shower head, sat right on the shower floor next to him, and was able to wash him with the door closed so he couldn't jump out. It was the easiest bath he's ever gotten (he might have a different story though.)

Is it perfect? No. Is it amazingly better than I could have ever hoped  for? Absolutely. Everyone agrees that this is the prettiest and nicest house we have ever lived in. No one feels cramped. We all have our own spaces now. The kitchen and dining area are set up to make the most of the space they have. We even put a rolling "island" in the middle and we can still move around with no trouble. The kids haven't complained even once about the dishes because, of course, we have a dishwasher.

I even think this place is better for my health. Since moving in, I haven't had as much pain, I haven't had to sleep as much, and I have gone to bed every night with a shiny sink and a swept floor. In spite of the curve ball we have all been thrown, things actually seem more peaceful, calm, and altogether happier than I remember feeling in a long time. DH and I have been throwing around the idea of not moving out when we get our credit repaired. We might just stay here and use the money we would have spent on a bigger house to build on to this one. This house was built in a way to make adding on a room very easy. The front and back yards are both so big we could add on rooms, work sheds, and maybe even a garage and there would still be plenty of room left to breathe. Besides that, the whole house is new and in great condition. There isn't another house in town that we can say that about, except for the newly added on subdivision across the highway. Those houses are much bigger - too big - and MUCH more pricey (TOO pricey.) We haven't made the final choice yet, but not having to move again sure sounds good to me.

Today was our first real "day off" since we found out about the move. DH and I took the kids out all day. We went window shopping at IKEA and we finally got to the eye doctor so DH could get new glasses (he has only been putting it off for 8 years or so.) We ate dinner at a real restaurant (for a change) and we laughed so loud at dinner that the waitress thought we were crazy.  I feel more relieved and stress free than I feel I have a right to.

So, tonight I am going to bed and sleeping well.

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