Sunday, December 2, 2018

Goodbye Son, Maybe Hello a Possible Homesite?

Tomorrow, we move my son to his grandma's house. He is there now and will come back in the morning to help us pack up the rest of his stuff to go. He was supposed to come back tonight, however, the truck that he and his dad decided he HAD to have has had nothing but problems. Which is not my problem. He will come back in the morning to help us load and move the rest.

The insurance has declared my husband at fault for the accident. After telling us that they do not rely on the police statement for a decision, they informed us that based on the police report, not eye witnesses, he is at fault. So we are liable for all of the damage. 👿 That makes me not happy.

We are not going to buy the land and put the house on it. We were given a quote about a month ago and that is what we were working with. The guy that we were working with no longer works with the company (retired due to health reasons is what he told us when we texted him). When we went back in to talk about the upgrades that we wanted and all that, the quote came in almost $20,000 higher that what we were expecting as the base price was "suddenly" about $18,000 higher than originally quoted. NO DEAL.

We have been looking at some different properties. There does not seem to be a lot out there in our price range. We know what we are willing to pay and so far it is limited. We did find one that we went to look at today. It definitely needs some improvement, but might be within reach. We have reached out to the owner for the questions that we have and are waiting to hear back from him. It is 11 acres of pretty much woods with some living space cleared and a little unfinished cabin on it. There are some pros and some cons with it. We need to talk to him and get some clarification on a few things, but it is a possibility.

What I miss is gardening. I miss being able to go outside and enjoy our yard without yard Nazis telling us what we can and cannot do. It is like having an HOA without the benefit of actually having someone make sure that everything looks ok. Which a garden should look ok. Plants should look ok. What we both really want is to be able to plant what we want without anyone telling us we can't. It's not like we want to plant some weird stuff that makes a place look awful, like bamboo.

We will get out of the trailer park. That is obviously our end goal. That being said, we won't do it blindly or stupidly. We will pursue every avenue available to us. And we will question and second check every option until we find exactly what we are looking for. I know that we both feel that it is really important that we get out of here before it is too late. It won't be by a stupid decision, though.

I want to have a big garden that I can actually preserve a lot of stuff. I want to have chickens so that we can have fresh eggs, and meat :). I want to have some other livestock, be it rabbits, goats or cattle. I want to have to room to spread out when we are outdoors. I want my dog to be able to run around and not in a small fenced in area. I would really like for my husband to be able to shoot a deer off of  the porch. 😀 I just want some land we can call our own and not be dictated what we can have or do.

So far, the last few days we have been at work. My work is having an unprecedented turnover rate so my hours have increased a lot. We have not gotten a lot done here as it is dark when we both get home.

What kind of things do you get done when it is dark outside by the time you get home? Do you have a way of lighting things outside or do you just work indoors?

How are you all doing? What is going on in your life?

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Have You Checked Your Insurance? And the Homesite

Well, this shit is pissing me off. I have been trying to answer comments and am not able to. I have started a post a couple of times and it kicks me out and loses what I have typed and pictures I have uploaded. So I shall try yet again.

We are ok. We have picked out the house we want with the upgrades that we want. We have hopefully found the land that we can get. My son is moving out on the third of December, whether he likes it or not. I am renting a truck and moving all his stuff to his grandmothers and she can deal with/have him. Which now we have to rent a truck since we don't have one to drive out of town. See below...

Oh... And my husband was in a car wreck. He is ok. The gal he was forced into is ok. The guy who T-boned him is ok. The gal he was run in to is ok and we know this because it is a gal my husband works with who was there when I was there. We have both talked to her and she didn't get any injuries. My husband had a bruise on his elbow, but no other injuries. The somedude that hit him, well he said he wasn't hurt, but that really isn't my concern. The truck:

I realize it may not look like much, but the entire truck bed shifted, the frame was bent, and the cab frame was bent. All because somedude was in a hurry and driving too fast. I am just super-duper-over-the-moon happy that my husband wasn't hurt and that somedude hit the passenger side of my husband's truck instead of the driver's side of the car that the gal he works with was in. That might have been really bad. And she is a really good person. Here is somedude's car:

Fortunately, we have good insurance. They have taken good care of us.

Speaking of which... When was the last time you looked over your insurance? Have you checked your coverage? Your deductibles? What is covered in a loss? Do you have access to your information if you cannot get into your filing cabinet? (You do have a filing cabinet to keep track of info, right?)

Life happens just like I said in my last post. Be thankful for what do have while you have it.

Anyway... The house and land. We found two properties that would be acceptable to us. Both are out in the boonies. Like 20-25 minutes from the nearest gas station, let alone a store or anything else. Exactly what we are looking for. One is ok for a traditional loan based on acreage. The other one we are looking at a farm loan because there is more acreage. Which will obviously be our preference. We will talk to the real estate agent and the farm loan folks on Monday to see where we stand. We are really hoping we can make a deal and get the larger plot of land.

We are both really excited to get into our own place. We do realize that the process may make us want to pull our hair out at times, but knowing that we will have our own home and land makes all of everything coming worth it. Our dreams about our future and what we want and what we want to grow and the ability to put up a shed without the shed Nazis coming down on us is a wonderful incentive to put up with whatever is coming our way.

And did I mention having central heat? I haven't had that for years. Neither has my husband. We want to be spoiled again. Even if it doesn't last because of (whatever, SHTF, etc.), central heat will be nice so we don't have to fill the kerosene heaters. I don't even care if it is for a short period of time. I will be glad to come home and the house be warm when I come in. Same for summer. It will be nice to know that the air is running and is constant throughout the house instead of one room is cool and the rest is an oven. We will be sooooooooo glad to get out of this trailer and trailer park.

So far this has worked and hasn't disappeared. Stand by for more updates...

Saturday, November 24, 2018

I am having technical difficulties with blogger. I am trying to post and it does not seem to be working....As soon as I figure this shit out, I will update.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

We Didn't Die

I apologize for the disappearance. We have had a busy, crazy, stressful month (ish). My son got his license and diploma (YAY!!), we got hate mail from the trailer park, had another death in my husbands family, and I have found out that there is some sort of health problem(s) going on with my mom, who lives about 6-7 hours away.

My son finally was able to take his test for his license, after going through hoops and paying fees and fines from all the trouble he got himself into. That is a good thing. I don't have to drive him all over now. He also finally received his diploma. He has "officially" decided that he is going into the Marines. He had to have the actual diploma for that. The army would have just taken the transcripts and called it good. Finally, we have it in hand. Only to discover that he had to have letters of recommendation from all sorts of folks as he has been in trouble for various things and through the court system more than a couple of times. Still working on gathering all of that. As of three days ago, he ships out at the end of November. I dread that, but with his attitude toward me and my husband, I am also happy to see him out of our home. I have a lot of mixed feelings about it.

We also have put finding property and a house into overdrive. We think we might have found the property that we want and have decided to put a modular on it. We have spent a lot of time talking about it and looking at all of our options, but after the hate mail (coming up) we have decided that it is time to bite the bullet and get out of here. We thought about just buying an existing house, but with all the repairs that we have had to make here, we did not want to get into something else that constantly needed repairs and updates. We looked at new construction, but the time it would take to actually get in to it was longer than we wanted to wait. With a modular, we can be in it in just a couple of months. While we are preparing the property, the house is being built.

Now the hate mail:
About a month ago, we received a letter in the mail from the trailer park management. I checked the mail like any other day and saw the envelope. Figuring it was the tax notice, I opened it right up. Not the tax notice. (Since we own the trailer we pay tax on it, not the actual property as we don't own that.) It was a notice, however. Claimed to be a second notice. With option of eviction if we didn't comply. Seeing as we never received a first notice, it's a bit hard to comply with anything. It also looked like an angry 12 year old wrote it. It wasn't even typed. Very unprofessional. Basically, we were told that we could not have the "tents" in our driveway - one of which is where we stored our bikes - and that we were not allowed to have a garden. Mind you, we have had the garden for four years and the original shed for three. We added the second shed about a year and a half ago. One shed we stored things like Christmas decorations and garden tools, the other , the bikes. Also, we were told that we could not have our compost pile, which sadly is very small and pretty much useless anyway. We were informed that "this is not the country" and that we could not have any of these things.

I was pissed to say the least. I took a picture of it and sent it to my husband. One of the gals that he works with and that we are friends with is married to an attorney. He talked to her and asked if we could call them that evening. They were available so we called them. We asked if they would be willing to look over the lease, which I read with a fine tooth comb when we signed it, verify that we were not breaking any rules and that the letter I would draft was acceptable. The lawyer husband agreed. In my anger, it took a while to draft a letter that didn't simply cuss her out. After all, we do have to have somewhere to live for now. I emailed the letter the next day for them to review. (His wife is quite knowledgeable about law the same as her husband, as she is married to him.) I knew, based on the lease, that we have not violated any of the rules listed. I knew based on our actual property that we could not put a shed anywhere else on our property except the driveway. And why the hell would we put a shed in the back yard for our bikes? Neither of us wants to drive through grass to put the bikes in a shed in the back yard. Talk about a dump waiting to happen.

They took the weekend to read our lease, read the letter and get back to us. In the meantime, we had to search for a storage facility where we could put our stuff. We did find one, thankfully, as in our area apparently they are hard to come by. So, out come the bikes and we start taking the bike shed down. We had to go and buy a bike cover so they would not just sit out in the weather. We load up the parts for the first shed and take it over to the rented storage shed. The following week, as I am outside sorting the crap that my son had put in the second shed to pitch whatever I could, the manager of the trailer park comes driving up. She has a new letter in hand and wants to talk to me now. NOW. As if her hateful, looked like a 12 year old wrote it letter wasn't enough for conversation. I was not completely rude, but I definitely was not pleasant. She was so sorry. We were not supposed to have a "second" notice, but she has two other families in our park with the same last name and she got confused. She just sent it by accident. She was so sorry that it took her so long to tell us that we can't have a shed in our driveway. She was sorry that she didn't tell us we couldn't have a garden. Well, we could have a garden if it was very small and in our back yard. Which does not exist. Which I pointed out. I also pointed out that there was no where in the back yard for us to have a shed, either. There is a septic tank in our yard so there is no way to put one back there. Which she also acknowledged. And changed nothing. She thought we had a good relationship, we had always gotten along. Translation: we always paid the lot rent on time and she never had to hassle us over it, like the majority of folks out here that she has to track down payments. I didn't have to send a letter, I could have just come talk to her. Yeah, right. Not happening, I will have a paper trail of everything. I learned that a long time ago. So, she hand delivered the follow up letter apologizing and telling us that we did have time to comply as long as we did, and so sorry that she sent us the wrong notice information. I have that saved now, too.

We have dismantled both sheds now, dug out everything but the peanuts since they were not ready just yet (they are now, we just need to get them out), dug up the plants and put them in pots. Fortunately, I work at a garden center and we could take all our potted trees, roses, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc. to my work and drop them off and leave them for however long I need to. We brought in the lemon tree and lime bushes, mostly because of weather, and will have to figure out where to put a couple more plants we took to my work since they will not do well just sitting out in the cold. It will look like a jungle in our house I think. I don't think that will be a bad thing.  :)

I am immensely thankful that the seeds that we purchased were not planted yet as we have to get rid of the entire garden. I can save the seeds and hope that they sprout when we get to where we are going. I think they will. Seeds do seem to do okay if stored properly.

Through all of this, we got a phone call about a death. My husband's cousin that he grew up with and has spent a lot of time with, his wife died. Not an expected, oh she's been sick for a long time sort of thing. She had battled cancer and won. Twice. Then something totally unexpected hit her and in a week, she was gone. Unlike mine, most of Husband's family is close. These things hit everyone hard. Knowing that his brother could not go, we knew we had to pick his mom up. She is not capable of driving as far as needed to go to the memorial. We make plans, we drive to pick her up - an hour and 45 minutes the opposite direction - drive back the other direction four and a half hours, stay at a hotel, and repeat the same the next day. I don't know about you, but we do NOT sleep well when not in our own bed. Which means after a pretty full day driving, emotion toll of the memorial, not sleeping and then repeating the trip down, we were not worth much the next day. I am not sure my husband would want to share this. ( I am going to put this down and will remove it should he ask.) His mom is showing signs of dementia. The time we were all together was showing us this. She mostly is okay and when she is home, it does not seem to be as much of a problem, but there were definite signs of it. A lot of confusion, a lot of not understanding things, the morning after the memorial she couldn't find things while we were at the hotel, confusion on the way home when we stopped to eat,
signs of damage on her car. I think she needs more help than she is admitting.

During all of this, we are dealing with removing the sheds, garden, changes at work for me, getting all the shit that my son needs so he can join the military. And sorry guys, I will give you some warning: skip the next paragraph!

Through all of this, my hormones get all out of whack. I am exhausted, crabby, moody and every function is off kilter. My time of the month is screwed up, pms won't go away, and with my IBS my guts are trying to kill me. I feel really bad for my husband. I am trying really hard not be crabby to him. I am sure that I am, but I do work at not taking my emotions out on him. Too much eating out and yucky food messed up my guts, stress has screwed up my cycle. This is why men are head of the household and women are the heart. These last couple of weeks, I wouldn't trust myself to make a sound decision. I would figure whatever I decided was emotional. Yet, through all of this, he has been supportive to me and I am trying to be as supportive as I can for him. He will tell you I am, I feel like I am not as supportive as I should be. The exhaustion is the worst part I think. I am always tired and ready for a nap or bed. I am hoping to get things back on track soon. I hope.

OK, guys, welcome back. With all that has been going on, I talk to my sister. I wanted to tell her our news of finding property and picking out our house. We hadn't talked for a while, so there was a lot of catching up to do. This is when I find out about whatever health problems my mom is having. I have not been to see my mom or sister in almost a year. There just never seems to be the time or money. As I am sure you all have had happen in your life. Well, apparently, I should have spent the time and money. My sister and I are going to talk again Monday or Tuesday to discuss some options, but an intervention is now needed. My sister lives about an hour from my mom and won't be harsh in what needs to be said. I live hours away. I can say what I want, and would any way. My mom is showing signs of confusion and inability to function in some situations without guidance. That is totally not my mom. Apparently she has put on a LOT of weight, her blood pressure is out of control, she has confusion sometimes and just seems not capable of doing some of the things that need to be done. I can't be there all the time, but I can make sure that the doctor knows what he needs to be looking for. If she isn't telling them, I will. I will also say what needs to be said to my mom. What can she say? Go home? I don't want to talk to you? She doesn't see me regularly, I can get by with a lot. My sister? Not so much. So I will take advantage of my situation and deal with what needs done. Plus, I don't have four kids with another on the way. I can take some time and take care of things. I will make sure that some tests are scheduled, blood work done and pressure put on my mom to admit what is going on and the doctor to take the time. I am not sure with her blood pressure that she has not had a TIA. I don't think it is dementia, but also won't rule that out. We will find answers, the same as we will for my husband's mom.

Through all of the everything going on, the cats are doing well. The dog is doing well. My husband and I are doing well. We know that we can rely on each other through anything; We do rely on each other through everything. That is something that I wish everyone could have. To have a partner that you can count on to have your back in life, that's something. An important something. We will make our plans to take care of all that needs done. That said, at the end of the day, we will take care of each other. Please don't forget to take care of your loved ones. They may be family, friends, or just your neighbor you like, just look after them. If you don't like'em? F#($ them. Take care of you and yours.

There always seems to be something in life. Be it a health issue, a financial issue, familial issue, there is always something. We can strive to be anything we want, we can strive to go anywhere we want, and that is something that we never forget. You should never forget that, either.

Share what has been going on in your life. How have you dealt with it? What choices have you had to make? What words of wisdom can we share with each other to make it through the tough times? Are there any?

Friday, September 28, 2018

My Husband, The Gunslinger

As I alluded in a previous post, there have been some wild stories floating around about us in the trailer park.

The backstory: (Caution: a bit of language...)
When my son first moved back in with us about four years ago, he was one messed up puppy. He was very angry, depressed and had a rather disturbing outlook on life. He had lived with his dad for a number of years, not because he or I wanted him to, but his dad had more money than me and it is a good ole boys network in the county he lives in. So, I lost. I kept trying but didn't succeed in getting my son back until his dad finally fucked him up enough that he couldn't handle him anymore. My son was unruly and argumentative. He was angry at me for not getting him back sooner and angry at his dad for not letting him come back sooner. He was angry at the world. We knew he would need some help. Lord, I tried getting him some help. I made dozens of phone calls. Our insurance wouldn't cover the help he needed. Of course, never mind the fact we had paid in thousands in premiums and never used the insurance for anything, but they didn't cover anything except once a week counseling services. Since I was married, I didn't qualify for help through the state. Too much money, dontcha know. If I had stayed single, I could have gotten him all the help he needed. Alas, that was not the case, so my husband and I did everything we could think of to try to engage him in a positive manner. It seemed nothing was getting through to him. He was doing drugs and drinking. We had to lock all of our stuff up in the vehicles because we couldn't leave it out where he might be able to access it. He wouldn't come home when we told him to. We called the cops several times because of his behavior hoping maybe we could scare him straight since being nice wasn't working. That only made him more angry.

Then one night he came home so drunk he couldn't tell us where he was and could barely speak. I called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. I don't remember what they told me what his blood alcohol was. I was a bit distressed that night. I do know it was high and I was surprised he was conscious at all. I asked the cop if they could get him the treatment he needed at the hospital and then take him to juvie. He suggested to skip juvie as all it would do was connect him with kids that were actually bad and would probably just make things worse for my husband and me. Not to mention the cost. Did you know, if your kid goes to juvie, you have to pay for it? I didn't either until then. So, I bring him home and ground him for life. I tried to take his electronics away. He just got more from "friends" and the rest of the stuff I didn't find.

All of that leads up to the good part. The gunslinger part.

Of course that night was a spectacle. The neighbors all had to be outside watching the scene. We were both in shorts, no shoes and tank tops. Our guns were right out there for everyone to see. That wasn't really our biggest concern, what with my drunken kid and all. So the ambulance hauls him off with the promise that as soon as we are done with the cops I will be on my way. We talk to the cops about our options for my son, the cops talk to the kid who brought him home (which is a whole 'nother story) and issue him a citation for providing alcohol to a minor, talk to us more. Finally with all the formalities taken care of, the subject turned to carry guns. What the cop was carrying on duty, what his off duty carry was, what my husband was carrying. Through the entire event, not once did they ask us to remove our weapons, nor did they make any attempt to unarm us or take our guns. My husband never reached for his gun, never pulled it out of the holster when talking to the cops, never even acknowledged he had it until the end of the conversation when everything was dealt with.

OH, but the stories that were passed around the next day!! My son was in no shape for a couple of days to even speak to anyone with his hangover and misery. Which he totally deserved as far as I am concerned. Once he was feeling like he was going to live, he heard some very interesting tales. According to the rumors, my husband pulled his gun on the cops! Obviously not or he would have gone to jail or be dead. However, the story going around was that he pulled his gun on the cops and didn't even get into trouble! The cops just let him pull a gun on them and didn't care. Who must my husband be if he can do that?

I never did get all the details as we really don't speak to anyone out here and after this event more people avoided us. I just found it quite amusing that people would think that there was any truth in the story at all. When was the last time you heard of someone, anyone, pulling a gun on a cop and not getting tackled or shot (or at least shot at)? I haven't heard of that. Ever. Apparently, my husband can!! 😁 He's the Gunslinger!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Woohoo! School's Out! and Other Random Thoughts

This past week has been fairly eventful.

The "new journey" that didn't happen. Our anniversary. The visit with my husband's mom. Drying some red onions. (Onions take a long time to dry.)

OH! and one more thing! My son turned in his last assignment for his high school diploma. We should find out what his final grade is sometime this week. Then they send his diploma and he is officially a high school graduate. And it's about time. They saved English for last, which is his least favorite subject. After helping him, I see why. What a bunch of useless crap for the average person. After days on end of reading and writing about things that will never matter in his life, I can see why he wanted so much help. I love to read and write, he doesn't. Even at that, I found it taxing. Hallelujah! It's done.

Now, he can go enlist in the Marines. Right? Ummmm. No. He went round and round about joining the Marines. Or maybe the Army. Well, maybe the Marines. Or maybe the Army. He doesn't have the diploma in hand to physically sign the line yet, so I think it is still up in the air. For now, however, it is the Army. He says that he can get better career offers and more advancement and money if he goes with the Army. He is young and money talks loud, so I am thinking that might be his final decision.

Since we are not buying the camper, we now have more decisions to make ourselves. We do not have enough for a down payment that we find acceptable, so buying land right this minute, so to speak, is something that we feel is not a good choice. If we had found the right camper, the campground would have been a good choice. For now, we are staying where we are and saving until we figure out what the right move is. Who knows? By the time we figure out the right move, we may have what we want for a down payment. We are not keen on staying here, but are not willing to take the wrong path. The right path will present itself when we are ready and looking for it.

In the meantime, I have ordered more seed for our fall garden. We are getting some peas, greens, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips. We also have seeds already purchased for beets, spinach, Austrian peas. We finally received our order for onions and garlic. We paid my son to move a garden bed as he is looking to earn a bit of money while he is waiting and we won't just give it to him. Since we are now not moving, we will be planting this week. We will be eating good. :)

Speaking of eating good, for our anniversary, we had smoked pork chops, baked potato and salad with home made blue cheese dressing. Which, by the way, was better than IHOP.

My son is off to take his driver's test this morning. Since he is 18, I do not have to take him. His aunt and uncle picked him up this morning to run him down there and take the test. He learned to drive at 14 and has been studying for the written exam for months, so I have complete faith in him that when I see him this evening after work, he will officially be a driver. Then he plans on going to his dad's house as they found a little truck that he wants to buy. I will be glad for him to have his license as I am getting a bit tired of him needing a ride all the time. Which I really don't do that often, it will just be nice to not need to anymore. I guess until he joins the Marines/Army, I will be trying to find odd jobs for him to do for gas money now.

It has been raining off and on for several days now here. Too bad I didn't get the garden bed moved sooner and all the seeds planted. The rain would have been great for the new plantings. The thunder shirt that we got for our dog has been great. It also seems to help to get him outside when it's raining since he won't normally go out then. Maybe because the rain gets on the shirt and not directly landing on him.

Too bad I have to work today. With the rain, it would be a good day to stay inside and get some stuff done. Oh well, more money to put into the savings bucket. Or pay my son for whatever work I can find.

So how did your week go?

P.S. Supper tonight is navy bean soup with smoked ham.
P.P.S. I am thankful that my son is finally done with his school and that he is following through with the plans that he has been making all year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Anniversaries, Doctors and Firsts

My husband and I share an anniversary with his parents. By lucky happenstance, we picked our date for getting hitched that was the same as his parents. And let's be honest, how many of us can say what date our parents got married? I know I can't!

Our anniversary was this past week. We went to his mom's house and stayed overnight to spend some time with her and take her to her doctors appointment. We had a few questions we wanted to address and she had some questions to address, and as we all know, you better take someone with you to make sure you don't forget something or miss something. So that is what we did.

Then we went to IHOP to eat. It was the first time we have ever been to an IHOP that had good food and good service. It was also where his mom wanted to go. Would not have been our choice. That being said, it really was not bad at all. I love breakfast any time of the day.

Unfortunately, this was his mom's first anniversary without her husband. He passed away at the end of last year. They were married for 64 years. I only wish we had that long. What a wonderful life to have to live your entire adult life with the one you love like that.

We were glad to be able to spend the time with her. We were glad to be able to be there for her for this first. The first year of everything after the death of a loved one is the toughest. It is the year of firsts for everything and hard as hell. And it sucks. It sucks for my mother-in-law, my husband, his brother, my husband's kids. They have all had this year of firsts without this leader of the family. I am glad that all of my husband's family is close and all help each other out. I am also glad that I can be here for my husband, his children are married, as is his brother, and all have a support system. With that support system, we can all be there for his mom.

We did have a good visit, the doctor appointment went well and she didn't have to be alone on this anniversary.