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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I have a renter in my US house while I am in France. One of the dangers of renting one's house out is that you just don't know who you'll end up with and what they will do to your home.

I've been lucky. My first renter took care of the house and everything looked good from the road driving by. Flowers planted along the front porch, the lawn was mown, garage looked tidy. She has now moved out and has to do the walk-through this week.

I stopped by the house Monday to pick up some things I had left originally that I'm now taking back for my son to use...a law mower, weed wacker, vacuum cleaner. So I did a quick walk through myself, everything was pretty much in order. A few paint issues where it pulled off when she removed hooks from the wall, but nothing really major.

Then I went into the back yard to check the garden and see if any raspberries where ripe.

This is what my garden used to look like :

Now imagine it completely filled by 4 ft. tall weeds, completely over-running the beds and mulch, the plastic that was underneath the mulch now sticking up everywhere, most of the raspberries dead and just sticks, some of the beds broken apart...I couldn't bear to take a picture.

All of my work just...gone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNCHD05 7/31/2014 11:49AM

    That is so hard to see your yard looking like that but I have to agree with a few others...I would rather it be the back yard than the house or front yard.
And I do have a comment about renters...when we have rented I still felt like it was my home and I looked after it totally. It is just different people and how they live.

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/30/2014 8:13PM

    On the bright side, that can be remedied easier than if she'd trashed the house. Still sad, but fixable.

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SAFARIBABE 7/30/2014 7:40PM

    OMG! It was such a beautiful garden. Such a shame!!!

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ADRIENALINE 7/30/2014 2:02PM

    Renting is such a double edged sword. Nobody takes care of a home the way you would. I hope the next one will treat you home better.

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TRAVELGRRL 7/30/2014 12:53PM

    Renters can be tough! We had a family that TRASHED our house and the woman actually said to me, "I would have taken better care of it if it had been ours."

I'll never forget that.

Sorry about the loss of that BEAUTIFUL garden!

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MCJULIEO 7/30/2014 10:35AM

    Oh NOOOOOOOOOO! Not your beautiful garden!!!! I weep for you, my friend....

But, you know, if I knew that I were moving out midsummer, I wouldn't have invested all the time and energy into it either (I don't think). Some people just don't have the know-how or the energy to pursue gardening...

But all the same, I'm sorry...

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GARDENCHRIS 7/30/2014 7:51AM

    wow..... sorry to hear it.

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CATHYGETSFIT 7/30/2014 4:18AM

    Oh no, that would be heartbreaking. Renters aren't going to care for your things like you do. Sorry about your garden and all of the hard work you put into it being gone. I guess the one good thing is that at least the house was left in fairly good condition.

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FROSTY99 7/29/2014 9:18PM

    So sorry. No one cares for your stuff like you do. I had a renter who trashed my house. I cried when we got in-new bathroom was a mess, broke the dishwasher and microwave and the garage was filled with trash-2 1/2 car garage totally full of trash!!! Took us weeks to get things into shape!!!

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IMPROVINGME 7/29/2014 9:18PM

    S-C-R-E-A-M !!!
Maybe the next renters will be interested in gardening... Hope so!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Here comes the rain again

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

And just call me "The Rainmaker" emoticon

We didn't actually "go to court" yesterday morning, it was more negotiation between our lawyers. Somehow the PEH found a decent one this time, instead of the incompetent he had for the divorce. I "won" 2 of the 3 main points, which is really just a reinforcement of the original custody order. I went for full legal custody as well but we will have to have an actual hearing for that in a few months. In any case, no more Ms. Nice Lady...back child support is going to be collected, along with future, for a good long time. Karma's a beeyotch, PEH.

Now that the immediate PEH stress is...not gone...but shifted into the next stage where I have a little breathing room the sun is starting to emerge from the literal & metaphorical rain clouds. Last blog I mentioned everything seemed to go wrong at once. Nothing too major thankfully, I am luckier than many, but enough little things were piling up that are resolving themselves.

My US house payment increased b/c of escrow but the rent couldn't increase to match..and then the renter gave notice she was moving out. My BIL's cancer returned with a vengeance and he passed away July 5. My cat became ill while I was in the US last month and had lost 8 lbs...half his body a 2-3 week period. Right before I came to the US last month the PEH ramped up his verbal abuse of my DD and DS (against DS for sticking up for his sister, DD b/c she is female and PEH is also a sexist/ racist bigot) and yanked her off the couch, force walked her into the kitchen and shoved her into the counter - twice - while getting right in her face, screaming obscenities. They didn't realize this warranted a 911 call for assault, they thought it only "counted" if she was hit. By the time the police were called on him too much time had passed and it was his word against theirs...and guess who authority figures are going to believe when there is no physical evidence?

In any case, a lot of his behavior over the past year has since been exposed to me, and the kids also told all of his family members they could reach. In response to DS ratting him out to the family the PEH kicked him out. DS was sleeping in his car when I arrived last month, he refused to appeal to the family again since they had all basically either defended PEH (calling the kids liars in effect if not actual words) or flatly said they didn't want to get involved.

So my "vacation" last month was busy with finding DS somewhere to live and making arrangements for him, taking care of DD's admin stuff that PEH wouldn't do (bank account, physical, getting her the moped & her license, taking her around to put in job apps), and starting the legal proceedings. Not very relaxing! Then retuning home to my sick cat and job stress and a month of rain!

Needless to say self-care slipped greatly!

But things are retuning closer to normal. The PEH is being taken care of. DS is moved in and managing things, and helping his sister as he can. Gandalf is recovering and has gained some weight back. Turtle (the cat), who was once timid like her namesake, has become a mighty serial killer of mice and birds (we are still working on the whole "you don't need to bring me presents" thing). I have a new renter moving in this weekend, with the rent increase to better cover my new payment. Several years of unpaid child support will now be collected, probably monthly instead of lump sum, I survived the Warrior Dash despite having not exercised for a few months now. And much of the company in France takes their vacations in August so I will be able to catch-up on a lot of work (I hope!), in addition to being able to re-start running.

So I say umbrella...who needs an umbrella? I'll be "singin' in the rain"!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 7/30/2014 7:46PM

    The thing about does bring out the rainbows! Hopefully you have a large, bright one! You deserve it!!! emoticon

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CATHYGETSFIT 7/30/2014 4:09AM

    Yikes! You certainly haven't been lacking of stuff being thrown at you. Glad things have calmed down and your PEH is being held accountable for the crap he's been doing. Your poor kids have had a lot to deal with from their dad. I hope no more stuff will get thrown at you anytime soon. Hopefully you'll be able to start taking care of yourself better now.

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IMPROVINGME 7/29/2014 11:20AM

    You are strong and you have a good positive attitude, and I'm glad to read that things are going somewhat better for you.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law.
Hope you can find more time to take care of yourself now!

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LYNCHD05 7/29/2014 10:52AM

    Wow, your life is sure not boring. I really am happy to hear that you have managed to get things calmed down and your PEH is being accountable for his actions. I feels foe the kids having someone like that to contend with. Thank goodness they have a sensible Mom!! Way to go for taking care of things!!!

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GARDENCHRIS 7/29/2014 7:37AM

    a whirl wind of things! glad some things got worked out. emoticon

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    Wow - you have so much on your plate. Make sure you take a few minutes for yourself

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Where's my umbrella?

Friday, July 25, 2014

As in the literal it has rained more days than not for the last month, including a cold and gloomy 10 day straight stretch.

As in the idiomatic "when it rains, it pours"...when everything seems to go wrong all at once.

As in the "WTF?" category..."I got the cash, I'm bringing the rain" which was the actual text message I received from the PEH back in March when I refused to cancel DDs cell phone. I live in France, she is in the is how I stay in touch with her, especially since the PEH doesn't have a landline & I am supposed to trust that he will provide her a phone when in the very next breath tells me he intends to lock her phone down so she can't make calls at all? So he threatened to take me to court to force me to cancel. I wished him luck with that.

But back to court we go anyway, this time at my initiative. Not feeling really confident right now because he has the better paper case, even though in real life his behavior to DD is morally reprehensible...proving it is much more difficult. This could backfire on me.

On the brighter side DD won 2 entries to the Warrior Dash this weekend and since I will arrive Saturday we will do it together. Or at least start together. I haven't really run in months, just a few times here and there, so my finish time will be pretty bad. But I will finish!

Last weekend DS called several times with crock pot questions. He was making Cowboy Stew, from the recipe book I gave him last month. I do believe this was the first time he actually cooked anything from scratch, not just heating something in the oven or microwave. Another milestone! I will give him the chili recipe I recently made, it is the most awesome chili on the planet. It is a vegan recipe and is equally awesome as vegan or with meat. I didn't even miss the meat when I made it without. I will try to share it later.

In the meantime I am traveling for work with the resulting inability to sleep and longer hours than normal. I get back to my home in France very late Friday night and leave for the US very early Saturday morning. And I still have to pack, take out the garbage, make sure the cats have their food/water, change the sheets, everything else that needs to get done before leaving.

And there will be more literal rain so the lawn will be a jungle when I get back. Which will at least rack up some impressive fitness minutes as I try to mow it back into some semblance of a lawn.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SVELTEWARRIOR 7/26/2014 11:17PM

    Sending you positive energy for your court date with PEH. Travel safe and have fun with your DD

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JERSEYFLOWER 7/25/2014 9:41PM

    Ugh, long stretches of rain just make everything dreary. Best wishes, friend.

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FROSTY99 7/25/2014 8:46PM

    Hope you and DD have a great time. Safe travels.

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GETSTRONGRRR 7/25/2014 5:40PM

    It sure does pour!!! Good luck with the crazy travel schedule....plug in and zone out on the plane so you can get back to the US somewhat rested.....sounds like you'll be in crazy-ville during your visit.

Just focus on DD, DS, running and all the good, healthy stuff you can muster...

...and oh yeah, do some pushups!

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/25/2014 3:11PM

    You CAN do this and have it all work out as it should. BELIEVE!

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IMPROVINGME 7/25/2014 1:07PM

    Hope everything goes better for you with your trip back to the U.S.
Have a great time with your DD and a great run!

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LYNCHD05 7/25/2014 9:00AM

    You are in a whirlwind. Hope it all works out for you! Your kids sounds like they are doing just fine in spite of him!!,

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GARDENCHRIS 7/25/2014 7:12AM

    good luck with the difficult ex....I feel your angst.

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SAFARIBABE 7/25/2014 5:48AM

    emoticon Good luck with PEH!! He really does sound like a total nutter. I'll hold my thumbs for you. In the meantime, enjoy the Warrior Dash with DD & tap into your inner warrior before dealing with PEH.

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CATHYGETSFIT 7/25/2014 5:24AM

    Boy, you really do have a lot going on. Sorry about thing with PEH. Good luck in court against him. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/25/2014 12:24AM

    Wow, you have a lot on your plate. Good luck winning against PEH.

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

I actually had a nice dinner of sushi so this guy was safe...this time emoticon

I have been seeing these huge snails all over the place lately, including one who thought my cilantro plant was his dinner.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SVELTEWARRIOR 7/8/2014 11:22PM

    wow that is one big snail!!!

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MOMMACASSEY 7/7/2014 12:00PM


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TRAVELGRRL 7/7/2014 8:21AM

    YUCK! I'd freak out if I saw that in my garden!

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FLORIDASUN 7/7/2014 7:44AM

    Ekkks...the snail that ate Manhattan! emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 7/7/2014 6:07AM

    Turn about is fair play....make him YOUR dinner! LOL

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GETSTRONGRRR 7/6/2014 5:35PM

    Hmmm....a little olive oil, some lemon, a dash of salt.....

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FROSTY99 7/6/2014 4:22PM

    That is one good sized snail!

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Today I had planned to go for a bike ride after breakfast, mow the lawn (and after 3 weeks it is sorely needed!), finish weeding the "garden", maybe trim some more hedges and go for a walk in the evening.

Mother Nature decided is nice and rainy. Although I did get the walk done, to the post office & back, in the misty drizzle between showers.

Time for plan B...napping emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 7/7/2014 7:45AM

    Good plan B's come in PERFECTLY on a rainy day! emoticon

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ALICE_TENNIS 7/6/2014 4:59PM

    Rainy days are great for napping.

There will be sunnier/more enthusiastic days ahead!

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SVELTEWARRIOR 7/5/2014 11:49PM

    it is always wise to have a plan B

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IMPROVINGME 7/5/2014 1:50PM

    Exactly my kind of a plan!

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FROSTY99 7/5/2014 1:47PM

    Yep, I think Plan B is a great idea-heading there myself!

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SERENE-BEAN 7/5/2014 1:43PM

    Excellent alternate plan! I did that today, too, even though it didn't rain. emoticon

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LYNCHD05 7/5/2014 10:13AM

    Plan B sounds good too.....the grass will still be waiting for you tomorrow!!!

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GARDENCHRIS 7/5/2014 9:50AM

    there has been to much rain this summer!

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SAFARIBABE 7/5/2014 7:43AM

    Sounds like a perfect plan for a rainy day!

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GETSTRONGRRR 7/5/2014 6:24AM

    I love a good plan B!

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GHOSTFLAMES 7/5/2014 6:11AM

    emoticon emoticon

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