List Love: Remembering 1223 Park Street

list love

Whelp. We’re moved. There are some repairs that need to be made at our new apartment, but on the whole we are unpacked and settled. All that’s left is to purchase new bookshelves (my flimsy Target ones didn’t survive) and hangup artwork/pictures and we will be done.

Our last few weeks at our old address were tumultuous to say the least. Dealing with our landlord’s son — he is basically the property manager for his mother — was anxiety inducing. He threatened to evict us after we turned in our notice, which makes no sense at all. He was in our yard at weird times “fixing” the lawn (the inside of the house is crumbling, but whatevs). This all culminated on Sunday. We told our landlady we could be out by the first. We paid August’s rent, which meant we were renters until 11:59 pm on Sunday, 08/31. At 4pm on Sunday they wanted to know why we weren’t out. Sam explained that he had to work and we were still moving, but he was coming over after the kids went to bed to remove the rest of our belongings and vacuum. When he arrived at our house — because it was still OUR house — all of our stuff was on the lawn. Sam thought about calling the police because the landlord should not have touched our belongings. He didn’t because we were just ready to be done. At the end of the night, the landlord spoke to Sam and made several comments not grounded in any sort of logic. Sam was told that the landlord “wasn’t a maintenance man.” He was told that houses are different from apartments in that we should have PAID for and made repairs. Then he back pedaled and said basically that this 65 year old house couldn’t be “nice.” I think of non-leaking roofs and basic plumbing as essential, not upgrades.

Anyways we are done. Done with the entire place. It about broke my heart. I’ve cried and cried and cried. I don’t know if it is because my parents lived in the same house from the time I was six years old until I was twenty-five, but I get strongly attached to locations. I didn’t go back to see the house empty. Sam handled all of it. I couldn’t bear to see hollow, empty rooms and garbage bags and that man touching my children’s toys.

I was excited to move, but I wanted to hold on to the positive aspects of our time at 1223 Park Street. Today I present my list of my favorite aspects of living at 1223 Park Street. When I start to dwell on the negative end to our time there, I pull out this list in my journal and focus on the positive.

1. Beginnings: We moved in late May of 2010 to 1223 Park Street. We had just passed our four month wedding anniversary and I was three months pregnant with Atticus. This home saw the beginnings of my marriage, Hope transitioning from a tween to a teen, and two pregnancies and births.

2. Location: The house is smack dab in the middle of the city. Less than a quarter mile from the University and less than a half-mile from the hospital. You wouldn’t know it because the house is on a little side road and surrounded by trees.

3. Wildlife: deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, wild turkey, raccoons, and turkey vultures lived on our “nature preserve.” The vultures were the coolest. They show up to roost late summer of every year. In fact, Sam and I rescued a fledgling vulture on year.

4. The mantel and fireplace: It held my owl knickknackery and looked so lovely at Christmas with all the stockings and lights.

5. Built in bookshelves: My Viragos lived here along with mounds of kiddie lit and toys.

6. Large windows. This home was full of light. There were large windows in the living room. We would sit and watch the deer wander by on early mornings.

7. My study: I had a place of my own. A little blue painted room lined with bookshelves across one wall. It was my own and I could retreat to the study for much needed solitude.

8. The sun room: My favorite room of the house. I put the dining room table in that room . We would east all of our meals with the light streaming in and in the winter the darkness was a blanket enveloping the warmth of our meal.

9. The pantry: I had shelf after shelf after shelf to store so many cans of green beans and boxes of pasta. I had room to stock up and I did.

10. My rosemary bush: I planted it when Atticus was born and it has grown every year. Atticus likes to crush the leaves in his hands to make his fingers smell like spaghetti.

We have some beautiful memories to cherish and we are ready to make our new apartment a home and fill it with new memories.

1223park street

Readerly Rambles: September TBR Pile and a Readalong

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Heather has succeeded in making the creepiest button for a readalong. Hold me, I’m frightened.

I’m going to pretend that August never happened. By the time this is posted it will be the dawn of a new month, September. I can ignore the fact that I disposed of 400 books and didn’t complete a single book in August. In fact, I went most of the month WITHOUT READING. I’ve thought a great deal about reading and I miss it so much. So here it is Friday, 08/29 and I’m writing about books instead of finishing up all the packing and errands for the move tomorrow. I feel like I should point out that I’m only moving a 15 minute drive away, but the downsizing from a house to an apartment is exhausting.

But I digress…. books…. let’s talk about books.

September marks the start of my favorite challenge, Carl’s R.eader’s I.mbibing P.eril challenge (RIP) right now the challenge isn’t posted, but I know it is on the way. I’ll be choosing mostly “Gothic literature, horror, and all things that go bump in the night” in keeping with Carl’s challenge. I’ll also be participating in an Estella Society readalong of the Shirley Jackson horror classic The Haunting of Hill House. And then there’s Trollope…. I must catch up on Trollope.

Without further ado may I present to you my TBR for September:

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (audio)

The Collected Ghost Stories of M R James (Kindle)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (my Classics Club spin!)

Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope

The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats

 

September will be an exciting month: settling into the new home, an exciting Autumn project I will be sharing soon, and the start of autumn baking season.

And books…. many, many, many books!

Happy Reading!

Norman Strikes Again and Other Insanity

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The past few days have been insane. Literarlly insane, complete with yelling shenanagins. I just have to tell y’all how nutso things are at the moment. Before I begin, keep in mind that work has been insanely busy. I worked a 14.5 hour shift on Saturday, Sunday was church and visiting friends, and Monday I worked a 10 hour shift that was crazy because we had a library open house for the faculty and staff. I spent my day hauling chairs, answering questions, setting up displays, and I was the person in charge of the rare books room and I had to talk to at least 50 people about rare books. So know that things may seem more stressful than usual simply because I am tired and depleted.

Monday afternoon I receieved a call from the leasing office. Last week we toured a newly renovated apartment across the hall from the one we will be renting. The leasing agent said that the person who who intended to rent the apartment we toured decided to get a town home and the leasing agent asked if we wanted to go ahead and move in rather than wait until September 9th. I told her no, we gave a notice, work and school made us busy, and we were waiting on Sam’s financial aid to come through. 

A few minutes later I find out that Sam will be getting at least his Pell Grant on Friday the 22nd. Interesting.

After the library party I went home, had dinner, and noticed the sky getting dark. We normally bathe the kids at 7:30, but we decided to bathe them at 7:15 before the storm hit. As soon as their booties hit the water it started thundering. We washed the kids quickly and got them out. Then — the bottom fell out of the sky. Come to find out the winds in that 10-minute long storm got up to 40 miles an hour. Water blew under the front door, toys scootched across the yard, and then WHAM a giant limb from our tree outside fell on the power line attached to our house. Our power was only out for a few seconds. I should point out that while all of this is going on Atticus is still naked and dancing around. 

I call the power company and they said to call the fire department. Trucks were deployed all over town, but because the line was attached to our house the power company wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fire hazard. So I call the fire department.

About two minutes later the rain abated to a sprinkle, the winds died down, and here comes my landlord’s son — let’s call him Norman — running into the yard. He looked like he is freaking out over the tree so I poke my head outside and tell him that I called the power company and then called the fire department as instructed. 

Then he starts screaming, “WHY DID YOU CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT!!!! YOU NEED TO CALL THE POWER COMPANY.” I explain, a second time, why I called. He starts laughing, shakes his head, and yells you are an, “idiot.”

Gurl, hold my earrings.

I popped outside and told him to leave the property. I said, “just go” about a dozen times and then the redneck Georgia girl in me switched to, “get the fuck out of my yard.” He came up to the porch and told me I didn’t need to live in a house and I should be in an apartment because “this house is only worth 65,000 and y’all keep wanting it to be nice.” Okay, if by nice you mean no raw sewage, adequate plumbing, and absense of roof leaks, and repairs made then yes, I would like a nice place to live. I called him a slumlord, he called me stupid. Sam called Norman’s mom to tell her to call him off and that we were going to call the police. All this time he is grabbing branches we were told not to touch and yelling at the top of his lungs. I go inside.

Then Sam goes outside. I see the veins on Sam’s neck pop, I hear him bellowing for Norman to leave. I call the cops and Norman runs up the road. I tell police dispatch that he ran back to his mom’s house and ask what I should do. Police dispatch says that if he comes back yelling and aggressive we should call the cops. Excellent.

Fire department shows up and determines that there is no fire hazard and that the power company can take care of it. The hospital’s power was down and they were running on a generator so the emergency folks had to go. We go inside, get the kids in bed, and wait for the power company. 

The power company repairs the line — and takes down our power for a bit — around 9:30. Norman runs into the yard and yells orders at the repairman. Repair man ignores Norman and talks to Sam. The repairman tells Sam that the last down line is a cable line. it is cradling the tree branch. He tells Sam not to touch it, but to get our cable/internet provider out there to take care of the line.

We woke the next morning to water streaming in from the bathroom ceiling — again. 

After all was said and done we decided to take the leasing agent’s offer and get the hell out of this place. Tuesday morning we signed the lease, we pay our first month’s rent on Monday and take possession of the apartment. This weekend we are having a yard sale and we will move into our new digs on Labor Day weekend about 15 days sooner than planned.

I’d like to say that the rest of my stress is from taking off of work the rest of the week and sorting, organizing, packing, and planning. That accounts for my physical exhaustion and perhaps some mental fatigue, but what is really exausting are the antics pulled by Norman yesterday.

Let me back up for a minute. When we gave our notice, we knew that a condition of our lease was to give 30 days notice, but the that notice also had to embrace an entire rental month. Example, when we gave her our notice for September 15th, we knew we’d have to pay rent on the 1st for an entire month. That’s cool. We planned our finances to do that. Then yesterday happened.

Yesterday Sam went outside while the ATT repair guys were there fixing the cable/internet line. BTW — Norman had effed with the tree branch, knocked the entire line down, and took out our internet. SO, ATT are making repairs. Norman looks at Sam and asks him to move away from the repairmen so he can talk to him. Sam refuses and tells Norman he can talked to him in front of the repair men. Norman gets up in Sam’s face and tells Sam, “I’m gonna evict you, I’m going to evict you and you’ll go to magistrate court and pay $110.” What. the. Hell. Sam tells Norman to go ahead and evict us. I don’t really know how you can evict someone who is moving in less than two weeks and has paid rent on time for four years. But whatever, dude, evict us. Sam turns around and walks back in the house.

At this point in time — after Sam tells me what has transpired while I was at work, I make a decision. We are leaving by September first, she can keep the security deposit, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give her another cent. I wrote another letter. I told her she can keep the security deposit, we would not pay another month’s rent, we would be out by the 1st, law enforcement must be present during the walkthrough, and if Norman is aggressive again we will call the police. She was angry and had excuses, but I don’t care. You’re already threatening to sue me for … what… using the “f” word? Having a tree fall in our yard? 

Sue me. Go ahead.

I’m exhausted and my nerves are raw. I have so much to do it freaks me out. The apartment is lovely and I cannot wait to move. I just need to focus on the good and not Norman. 

I’ll be on a blogcation until September. Wish me luck lovelies!

5 Things I Loved About This Week: 16 August 2014

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1). We got the apartment! We went through the awkward task of telling our landlord we are leaving and why. The yard sale is scheduled, my books are culled, and we are on our way. I’m actually looking forward to downsizing (this might be a bit of cognitive dissonance) and I think having a fresh space with thought put in to what we value and what we want to keep is a good thing. Our apartment is being renovated, but we viewed the apartment across the hall. There are plenty of outlets, large windows, a closet in each room plus three more throughout the apartment, all my appliances will be new, and we are on the ground floor – one floor above and one below – so we only have three stairs. Yay for not trudging up flights of stairs with a tot and my groceries. I pulled this from the website, but if I stand on my balcony this is my view to the right:

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Hello, Autumn mornings outdoors with a mug of coffee.

2). My long work day. I worked my 40 hours this week on the university budget. Now I am working a 14.5 hour day at the library to supervise the building while a yearbook camp is here. It pays about $10 more an hour than what I usually make and this is my first bout of Christmas cash. I’ve been adjusting building temperatures, helping lost students, directing people to the bathrooms, and protecting our artwork. When I’m not busy I’m still being productive. I made yard sale flyers, worked on stuff for Sam’s art opening, journaled, read, and now I’m blogging. I miss the kiddos and my eyeballs are screaming, but other than that I’m golden.

3). Sam’s art. This past week was the first week of Sam working part-time. His school year starts August 25th, but he has been using his time off to paint new works for an art show coming up in September. He is so talented and I’m so glad he has a chance to share this talent with others.

4). Sleep. Persy Jane is sleeping more! The little ones have been going to bed around 9pm and Persy usually only gets up briefly once or twice. Typically, she just wants a hugs or to cuddle for about fifteen minutes and then she is asleep again. I’ve had more time to myself in the evening and I’m actually getting sleep, which does wonders. I feel rested, positive, and downright cheerful (most of the time).

5). 16 days. Or really, 15 and a quarter days until it is PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE SEASON.

 

Good News!

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Good news! Today we found out we get the apartment we wanted. The apartment is being renovated and will be available on September 9th. We gave our landlord notice. The Little old lady was sweet, but Norman Bates was screaming and belligerent.

As you can see we are amassing a bunch of stuff for a yard sale next Saturday. We are losing just over 650 square feet of space so lots of stuff is going.

Okay, off to order celebratory pizza!

List Love: Bust A Move, Part 2

list love
I am very happy to report that I finished everything on my Bust a Move list last week. On to this week’s tasks!
  1. Visit the leasing office to check on our application and tour the apartment underneath the one we want to rent. The one we will be renting is being renovated.
  2. Finish getting the money together for the rest of the deposit, which is due on 08/20
  3. Pick out furniture paint colors. I cannot stand apartment beige. We’ll be painting our furniture to liven things up. Check out my No Place at Home Pinboard to see my decor inspiration.
  4. Sort through holiday decorating boxes. Right now we have four tubs of stuff and I need to get it down to two.
  5. Finish culling my loose paper recipes and put them in my recipe book
  6. Declutter the hall closet
  7. Declutter the kids’ closet
  8. Declutter the bathroom closet
  9. Declutter the kitchen cabinets
  10. Make/Distribute advertising for our yard sale
  11. Inventory pantry. I need to make meals that use up some of our pantry and freezer items.
  12. Collect boxes
Sam has been such an amazing help. He is cleaning out our basement and running errands. Today he sold Hope’s trumpet (yes, sadly, she gave up band), taken many of his nerd dolls action figures to a consignment place, and other general hauling and organizing.
We’re a little nervous that we haven’t heard from the leasing office yet. They said it will take up to two weeks for all the back ground checks, credit checks, and reference checking. I know it has been just under a week, but I want to know NOW.
Cross your fingers, legs, and eyes, folks!

Readerly Rambles: Book Vacation, Culling, and a Classics Club Spin!

readerly rambles

I’m writing a Readerly Rambles post despite NOT reading this week. I took a self-imposed one week break from reading. With too much going on at work and with potentially moving I found myself distracted. I picked up book after book and my eyes would glaze over and my brain didn’t even try to keep up with plot, character, and language. During my week of non-reading I did do some bookish things.

I culled 96 books (91 books, plus five cookbooks). I am going to force myself to cull four more. I also packed up my first box of books I’m keeping.
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While I was flipping through cookbooks I started watching The Barchester Chronicles. It is perfect; absolutely perfect.
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I also decided on some reading goals. If all goes well we will be moving the week of September 7th. My goal is to read The Black Count (which is a book I borrowed from a friend) and then read A Clash of Kings on my Kindle. This will be prime reading material and I can go ahead and box all of my books.

Oh yes, the Classics Club spin was also announced this morning. Book number 17 on my list is Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper and I’m excited to read that book once everything is settled on the home front. I read The House at Riverton in August of 2010 when I was pregnant with Atticus and I adored it. I’m glad to get the chance to read more Morton.

Happy Reading!