Habits are a funny thing...so easy to slip back into, right? It's very easy to neglect the blog.
We've been (predictably) busy here. A woman at work was having a lot of trouble with her landlord. Her apartment is all utilities included, however the landlord doesn't pay the utilities. She's come home and discovered that her electricity is out. She just got a shutoff for the water. Frustrating when you've got a small child.
I pick her up for work.
I was appalled at some of the things that she said. Landlords amaze me. When I hear a landlord complaining about being regularly ripped off by his/her tenants, I always wonder why. Tim and I have been blessed with tenants, long term tenants. We've had some problems, but those folks are an exception to the rule. I questioned one angry ripped off landlord and was shocked when he said that one of his apartments did not have heat. He also baldly proclaimed that he was not going to fix that. He looked shocked when I said that the reason he was being ripped off regularly was because HE was ripping people off.
Anyway, Tim and I talked about my rider. She's really in kind of a desperate situation. We bought another house.
I took vacation, and we have gutted the house in record time (NOTE: just say no to wallpaper. My gosh. The bathroom upstairs was so very heavily wallpapered...seven layers. The CEILING had cut out designs from the last wallpaper snaking across it, with stenciled leaves to make the flowers more realistic I guess. Ye GODS! Dylan commented that when you remove that much wallpaper you're actually adding square footage to the room. Funny boy, my Dylan!)
The big accomplishment was heat. It had been improperly winterized and the pipes for the hot water heat had burst in a hundred different places. The refrain rang out again and again from the basement: "Okay, I am turning on the water!" Which has answered again and again from various points through the house: "Turn it off, turn it off! We've got a leak." Finally, yesterday, at last, the call came up from the basement, and there was no answering cry. Tim cautiously asked, "No leaks?" and I said in hushed tones: "There doesn't seem to be." There weren't. The next step was firing up the boiler, which had not been used for at least a year and a half. We expected problems. The thing rumbled to life, and within minutes, the pipes began to feel warm...and then hot...and then the house began to heat up. It was a great moment.
Tim is cutting out the stairway today. An open stairwell will make moving easier and minimize the risk of damage to the walls.
Next week, we will put in the new kitchen and backsplash and stainless steel appliances. We will begin painting. The bathrooms will go back in. It will be a little bit harder because I go back to work tonight.
There's a change there at work as well. The first night of my vacation was also the beginning of the scourge. My department was eliminated on third shift. We were the lucky ones. We kept our jobs. The firings continued on for 3 more days, and there are ominous rumblings on the horizon about what happens next.
Tim and I are lucky. We do not financially depend on any company. We do, however, need the health benefits that come with my job. To that end, I will continue to be flexible and do my best to meet the needs of my company as I use them to meet the needs of my family. I'm very grateful to look at this situation squarely, without fear. It's not like that for everyone. No one had any idea of what was coming and there are a lot of people who were taken by surprise, and have no clue what they will do next.
Monday, I'll begin my new shift. Day shift is a different animal. The women are sharp and mean, watching each other closely for signs of 'cheating'. We did not have that on nights. We were a small group and got along. I'll take a book for lunch and break and wait for kindred spirits. I'm sure they are there...just need to find them.
Head over to Bob's. He's found out his grandbaby will be a boy.
Head over to Mrs. Spit's . She could use an encouraging word as she grapples with a new treatment for her MS.
Head over to Amanda's to give her your best wishes. She's celebrating her 50th birthday this weekend. May you ALWAYS sparkle, my friend!
Me? I reckon I'll get back to work now. Tim and William have gone on an adventure to watch the trout stocking and I've got a house to set to rights.