My Castle House.

There was snow on the ground this morning.

This is the view from my kitchen window in the morning. That barn roof is normally black. Today it was white with snow!

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Later we got hit with some crazy, crazy sleet while we were at the art teacher’s house. Rosie takes homeschool art class taught by a local artist in his studio on Tuesday afternoons. There are three other kids in her class. She loves it! They do painting, pottery, drawing, basically a little of everything.

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This is Kentucky in April! We may have an occasional late frost, but certainly not snow and sleet. What the heck?

After all of those 60-70 degree sunny days this wintery blast is unwelcome and extra chilly.

I’m still desperately trying to organize my house.

HOW LONG CAN IT TAKE?

It’s just so impossible with Henry crawling around and getting into every little thing. He pulls up and is starting to figure out how to glide around furniture. He eats everything he can shove into his mouth.

Basically I’m spending all of my energy just keeping him from accidentally killing himself.

He has a temper too. Forget blocking him off or putting him in some kind of baby jail. He screams angrily.

He’s so funny though. And hyper. He never, ever stops moving until he goes to sleep.

I can’t work on things while he’s napping either, because the second I sneak away from him in bed he wakes up.

Trapped by an adorable fat baby. What a terrible problem to have, right?

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I’m also suffering from a lot of…this:

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Maybe I need some nice ear plugs.

This is my bedroom. Well half of it, at least. It needs decorations on the walls, but I’m not sure what to put there yet. I have no idea why the paint is uneven up above the bed. It doesn’t stand out quite so much in person. (Rest assured the other half of the room contains laundry baskets and two cluttered dressers.)alt text

This is the girls’ room. Rosie’s bed, in particular. Ada’s is just to the left of it. I want to get them curtains, colorful pillows, maybe a rug, and maybe real night stands to go between their beds instead of that dresser. Eventually…alt textThis is Igor’s room. It’s not organized yet. And by “not organized yet” I mostly mean the girls have been dragging toys in there.

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There’s also a fourth bedroom, which will be the guest room once I buy a daybed to go in there. I’m thinking of buying one from Ikea, but I’m not sure how comfortable it will be.

It’s a lovely off-white room with beautiful windows. Possibly my favorite room in the house! Right now Tyler has his music stuff strewn all over it, but that all fits neatly into the huge closet. I’ll take a picture of it soon. We’re keeping our iMac in there, so it’s sort of like an office area.

I just feel like I have so much going on that I can never catch up. It seems like it shouldn’t be that hard to quickly organize and put things away, but by the time I take care of the children and regular day-to-day chores my time is up. My energy is gone too. I feel like I can’t think straight.

I’ve gotten a lot of organizing done though. Really. This is my attic, which is now the storage area for kid things. Only toys go up there, nothing else. I have them all laid out so that the kids can go up and pick things, then bring them downstairs to play, and put them away back upstairs at the end of the day.

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I’m going to get some clear tubs to replace the boxes, I just haven’t had time to go to Walmart and buy them yet.

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There’s also a whole room of attic that’s empty and not pictured. Isn’t that crazy?!

Here is half of my living room, but this really doesn’t exactly do it justice.

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I’m starting to like living here a little bit. It feels like home. Don’t tell anyone.

Somethings Happy.

Here are some happy pictures from yesterday and today.

These were from a walk around the block yesterday afternoon.

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These are from the cemetery today. It’s beautiful this time of year, despite being a cemetery.

My mom took the pictures with me in them.

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I laughed so hard when I saw Henry’s face here.

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“Dada! That’s my Mama. What are you doing to her!”

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These are just funny. This is what my family looks like at any given moment, basically.

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There are quite a few more I still need to edit and upload later.

I also did pictures of my friend’s family today. They are a challenging bunch simply because there are so many children all moving in different directions! They’re sweet though.

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Nothing about this is photoshopped, she was really sailing through the air…

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Ok, I’m falling asleep and I’m pretty sure that’s plenty of photos shared for now….

The cabin posts are coming!

Now that things are settled with the cabin drama I’m going to post a back log of posts from my private blog over the next few days as I get time. (Hopefully right now if my children don’t stop happily playing!)

I couldn’t really post about things publicly before, since so many people read this and anyone can find it on Google. If you see a huge amount of backdated posts from me this is why!  The whole debacle is somewhat unbelievable.  We just kept looking at each other and saying, is this actually happening?

I updated the blog theme last night while trapped with poor feverish Henry.  I love it, but I’m having some kind of error with the comments.  I’m trying to find someone to help me resolve it on the WordPress Support forums. (Any advice welcome!)  You can still leave a comment if you click on each individual blog title, but there is no comment box on the main blog page where you view multiple entries at once. Not sure why.  I also do not know why there are two comment boxes on each blog entry.  I’m assuming they work though.  And there’s a line 52 error message at the bottom of each post. I can’t get it to go away.  Let me know if you see any other errors with it.

So frustrating. I hate this stuff. Just work properly, why don’t you!!

Now that we have super fast internet (!!!) I’m planning on posting here more often again.  I didn’t realize how much I had missed working internet until I spent months without it.

Good Enough.

I originally wrote this October 3, 2010. An online friend asked me if she could read it again. I’d forgotten all about this post!  I’m re-posting it here, and now I’m inspired to go back through other old posts I’d made private at my old blog to see if there’s anything else worth reposting.

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What do you think constitutes a “good” parent?
I wonder about this often.  Am I a good enough parent?

It seems as if there are high standards to live up to–a squeaky clean house, healthy (organic?) food, well behaved and polite children, smart or advanced children who only play with quality toys and watch little to no television.

Sometimes I wonder who invented these standards, and why many parents spend so much time and energy trying to live up to them.

Sure, you shouldn’t live in filth and squalor, of course not, but…is it so important for every thing in my home to be constantly organized and clean?  I don’t know, really.  Is it?
I will tell you I have adult temper tantrums sometimes when I look around and see piles of pet fur, crumbs, spilled food no one has bothered to clean up, dishes and dirty clothes all over, toys spread far and wide, etc.  I can’t stand it.  I crave cleanliness and organization, for my own sanity if nothing else.
Then when I’m vacuuming it occurs to me that 10 or 20 years from now my girls won’t remember if there were 1 million black lab furs across the white kitchen floor or not.  What they will remember is me playing with them, us doing fun things together.  They will remember their mom freaking out over messes, or they’ll remember us happily enjoying our day.  Really, when I think about it that way, maybe the cleanliness isn’t such a big deal.  Of course we can work together to tidy up regularly, but is keeping it spotless some unattainable idea I’m wasting away precious moments grasping for?  And the kicker is that even though I freak out over messes and work so hard to maintain things, my house is often still horrendously messy.  (People who know me in real life and have randomly stopped by know what I’m talking about!)

Why do we think the house has to be spotless, anyway?  People do live here, after all.

I worry about my house’s cleanliness, and I worry about my kids.  I do want to be a good enough parent, but I have trouble deciding what that means exactly.  My kids watch TV.  Sometimes, on a bad day, we just hang out in our pajamas and watch TV all day.  Why not?  Little voice in my head keeps squealing about rotting brains and higher standards…sometimes the little voice squeals so loud that I can’t hear Sponge Bob’s laughter.  The little voice also blocks out the laughter of my daughter.
And again I start wondering–10 or 20 years from now will it matter if she watches stupid cartoons or if she doesn’t?  I don’t know, probably not.  She will probably fondly remember snuggling in bed and giggling at cartoons with her family.

This applies to toys also.  I certainly wish we had a small collection of high quality, beautiful, imagination inspiring wooden toys.  But hey, guess what we have instead?  A pretty kick ass Barbie collection, a bag of Happy Meal toys, and some (made in China) wooden food.  And guess what else?  Rosie spends hours playing imaginatively with her plastic toys.  Here I sit wondering if they are good enough, while she’s off re-enacting Tyler and I as Ken and Barbie.  I keep wondering when she’s all grown up 20 years from now if it will matter…and I don’t think it will.  I think she’ll remember the utter joy she felt when picking out a new Barbie.  At least I hope that’s what she remembers.

Behavior…it just gets tougher as Rosie gets older.  Am I a good enough parent in this area?

Sometimes things blow up in my face.  My four year old can be one scary little beast some days.  But is that really a measure of parenting?  Maybe she just has bad days, the same as adults do…except most adults are more mature in the way they handle it when everything falls apart.  Then again, sometimes everything falls apart for me too on a bad day and I yell or do things I regret.  I’m an imperfect parent, but does that mean I’m not a good parent?

So what if her clothes don’t match sometimes, or if she has dirt under her nails.  She does bathe regularly.  She didn’t just leap off of a magazine page!  Hand-me-down clothes she (mis) matched up herself, dirty finger nails from digging in the dirt, and a huge grin on her chocolate smeared face…that just might be more than good enough.

I don’t understand why there is so much criticism out there.  A large amount of it comes from within too.  I’m constantly asking–am I a good enough parent?  Am I doing everything wrong?  Is it all going to be ok in the end?  I tend to measure how I’m doing against those mythical perfect standards.

Maybe the voice inside my head needs to shut up and just look around.  Too much self-talk, not enough action.

I mean, yeah, things go very wrong, we have bad days.  Yesterday I threw a bowl and broke it into a zillion razor sharp shards.  The baby was screaming on the floor, Rosie was whining, I was starving, my entire lunch and my drink both got spilled, and the dogs were attacking the spilled food like rabid animals.  I threw the bowl harder than I meant to.  Rosie was so scared she hid in our room!

Am I still a good enough parent?  At least I’m a human parent, who sometimes makes mistakes.

Today I was making waffles for breakfast.  While I was mixing the batter Ada scooted across the room and grabbed her little potty and smeared poop all over herself, from head to toe.  I didn’t realize Tyler had left her potty out in the floor.  Tyler didn’t realize Ada was that mobile.
Does that revoke my good parent status?  At least she had a bath immediately afterward.

Sometimes I get the feeling that my life is a comedy of errors.  Sometimes I sit down a have a good laugh over it.

Rosie had McDonald’s for lunch.  I really might not be a good enough parent!  Run for the hills, the whole world is going to come crashing down.  One kid eats her own poop, the other kid eats food that has a nutritious equivalent of poop.

Excellent.

I worry about it a lot–if I am doing good enough.  Then I lay in bed, nursing my two little loves, and I think about the big picture.  The happy moments, even against the imperfection…and I do think I am good enough.

The more I think about it the more I think those stupid standards we measure ourselves against should be beaten down and destroyed.

What constitutes a good enough parent isn’t what you eat, though healthy nutrition is an important thing to give your children.  A good enough parent isn’t measured by the type of toys you can provide, or how clean your house is at any given moment.  A good enough parent status isn’t proven by perfectly well behaved children. Sometimes I suspect the perfectly well behaved children might be falling apart on the inside.  Real children are not perfect, just as good enough parents can still make mistakes.

So today I am starting over.

I am a good enough parent.  I am the best parent I can be.  

The mythical perfect parenting standards are obsolete, I refuse to acknowledge them any longer.  Instead I am creating a new set of ideals, the set of ideals that applies to the good enough parent.

Is my house happily lived in–Are their toys strewn about from our day of play and pet fur in the floor because I enjoyed my children instead of spending time with my vacuum cleaner, and crumbs on the counter from our afternoon of gleeful messy baking?  If so, then I am a good enough house keeper.  I pledge to straighten up a bit when I get a spare moment, but no rush…we’ll just mess it up again tomorrow.  And you know what?  It’s ok if I’d rather spend an hour before bed with my husband instead of doing the dishes.  If I have dishes in the sink, I’M STILL GOOD ENOUGH.

Did we eat healthy enough today?  As long as we are eating vegetables, fruits, and only a little processed food I think we’ll be alright.  The healthier the food the better, but sometimes fast food can still be good enough.

Were my children perfectly behaved today?  I hope not!  We’re real people who make mistakes, learn from them, and move on.  Not trained monkeys or robots that can perform every action perfectly. Even if my kid screamed in the grocery store and I lost my temper, I am still a good enough parent.  Sh*t happens, right?

And overall, the biggest indicator that I may still be a good enough parent despite my shortcomings?
Their happiness.  The joy.  The moments where I think my heart might burst.

Sometimes it’s picture perfect.

   
But sometimes it isn’t perfect.
Life is messy, and imperfect, and that’s ok.
To myself, and every other parent out there who worries if they are good enough:
You are.  Don’t be afraid of imperfection.  Go out and enjoy each moment for what it is, and know that when you’re busy squeezing every last drop of happiness out of each day that is way more than good enough.
Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person.
-David M. Burns

 

 

Update: Pictures & Cabin.

I’ve been having a rough few weeks. First I got terrible mastitis completely out of the blue. No idea why. 2/3rd’s of my left breast was hard as a rock, hot, and red one morning. There wasn’t any warning beforehand, no plugged duct or anything!

I got an antibiotic, but it didn’t work. Finally I went to the ER over the weekend with a 102.5 (f) fever that wouldn’t go down, completely miserable. Body aches, nausea, the whole shebang. They gave me a different antibiotic and I was better in 24 hours.

So that wasted a week of my life. Whew.

I managed to get the house somewhat back in order and now I have a cold. Dishes, laundry, and trash are piling up while I sit here. Rosie had mild sniffles and a sore throat for all of three days this past week. I’ve had a fever of 100 since yesterday, and a ton of snot on top of that. I think my immune system must be taking a hit due to all the stress of the cabin situation, moving, unpacking, and worrying about Igor. I’ve also been eating way too much sugar, which has been known to cause my immune system to crash in the past.

Gotta get this back under control!

I feel like complete crap today. It’s going to snow yet again, so at least I’m not missing nice weather. I am so, so ready for spring. This has been the longest winter in all of eternity.

My cat Willow went missing this past week too. I’m so worried about her. Two people said they saw her down by the river, about two minutes from my house. One person on Wednesday and one on Thursday. I’ve searched and searched, but I cannot find her. I wonder if she’s trying to find the cabin again, which is why she’s gone down to the woods and the river near our new place. :(

Surely she wouldn’t be able to travel the whole way back to the cabin by following the river. It’s nearly an hour and a half drive!

I was planning on hanging up lost kitty signs this weekended, but alas: Man Down! SOS. This seems to be a man cold. Call the whambulance, play me the world’s tiniest violin, and sing me Soft Kitty.

Sniffle.

I’m on call to photograph a birth any day now. Fingers crossed I’m all better before she goes into labor.

It’s a VBAC. Her c-section was traumatic. I’m really rooting for her to get the vaginal birth she wants. She’s doing Hypnobabies and using a doula I love working with.

I am moderately obsessed with attending births. If I didn’t have three kids and no free time I would totally pursue birth photography as a full time career. I wish I had more time to pursue photography as a career in general. There’s just not enough free time in my day. :(

As for the cabin update everyone has been looking for:

Well.

We found an awesome lawyer. We were going to counter sue them for every. little. thing.

They definitely owed us the $1200 from February rent and our deposit. But by the time we payed the lawyer’s fees and any court costs, what would be left? We could sue for those payments too, but it’s iffy as to whether we would win them or not.

And then I got surprise mastitis and thought of the stress this whole legal battle would continue causing for weeks, or months.

And you know what? It’s not worth $1200. It’s just…not.

Maybe for the principle of the matter it would be. I would love to see them embarrassed and forced to pay us money. You have no idea how much I would love to see that happen.

But…

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These kids.

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They deserve my full attention. Those horrible people already stole money from us. Forced us to be cold, caused an astronomical amount of stress for my kids. The loss of pets, upset parents, unexpected packing and moving, and being homeless.

Is it really worth letting them steal more months of happiness from my family by dragging this out?

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No.

No, it’s not.

What’s important is being present for my kids. Settling into our new lives. Enjoying our days together! Fundraising for Igor to come back, praying desperately that Ukraine doesn’t break out into a full on war with Russia. All of these things are what we should be doing. Not wasting another precious second on The Landlords.

So we paid our lawyer to spend an hour writing a certified letter stating that we did not agree with their false accusations, however we would agree to just walk away.

They can think they’ve won. Good for them.

I know the truth though. They are hypocritical, liars, bullies, and the very worst kind of “Christian” there can possibly be. God has to know this as well. Even outside of Christianity everything they did was despicable, and they should be completely ashamed of their actions as human beings.

This man stands up in front of God and his church and preaches with a smug grin on his face, while he himself cannot possibly be right with God in his heart.

He’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

It’s sickening to think he leads a church and they have no idea how he treats others behind their back.

I’m dying to post his picture here, but I don’t want to be accused of slander or something.

You could happen to google “America’s Expert Enthusiator” but do so at your own risk.

Whatever you do, don’t buy or rent this place!

Even if they did just drop the price down a whopping $2,000…

Bring Back Igor…Again!

For awhile the hosting group wasn’t taking deposits for hosting, but the US embassy in Kyiv has put out a statement saying the issuing of visas should continue like normal, therefore: IT’S TIME!

Igor is looking forward to spending the summer with us. We have a whole room at our new house just for him. I can’t wait until my boy is in that room sleeping. Our family constantly feels like someone is missing when he’s not here.

At least for two months (July and August) I can know he’s safe and loved.

I’ve received so much wonderful support from my community of online friends throughout our hosting journey and we are very, very thankful.

If you would like to continue to support us on this crazy journey I’ve made a YouCaring page to collect donations. All of the money collected goes straight towards the cost of Igor’s trip for this summer.

If you can’t afford to donate prayers, good thoughts, and moral support are also much appreciated. You can also share the YouCaring page on Facebook and blogs! We really would not be able to host Igor without your support! <3

Here’s the link.

We’re hosting Igor through Children’s Cultural Connection. You can view the photo listing of available kids, or make a larger tax deductible donation towards Igor’s hosting fees from their paypal link on the website. (Please label it for Igor and the Amos Family!)

I got scared there would be a dull moment.

Tyler is going on a business trip to Japan for all of June.

How exciting for him, right? sigh

I was upset about it, even though it’s good for his career. Then the perfect opportunity dropped into my lap!

The hosting program I work with to host Igor is starting a small pilot program in Uganda for hosting. (The kids are ADORABLE, but the program isn’t ready to be shared publicly yet so you’ll have to take my word for it.)

The Ugandan kids are coming in June. Igor will be coming in July. (God willing, between fundraising and wars.)

I feel like I am 100% dedicated to my Igor at this point. I don’t want to try and take on another child because I just don’t have the extra money right now in my budget for shoes, clothes, food, etc. But…this happened:

 

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I volunteered to host the Ugandan chaperone for the month they will be here. I’ll have fun company while Tyler is away!

I hope the program works out. I’m reallllllly excited.

Updates about Igor and my ridiculous landlords to come later, when I have more time to type. :D

“The kids at this school are hungry.”

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The orphanage director explained to a friend who is currently in Ukraine adopting from Igor’s orphanage that due to the conflict going on the government hasn’t been providing enough funding. They don’t have many food staples, medicines, no more toilet paper, or soaps.

They only eat watered down soups.

My kid is asking me to send him food because he’s hungry.

Heart is breaking. Luxury items for them are basic foods and a roll of toilet paper.

What do you say when a room of Ukrainian orphan boys FaceTimes you to beg for food?

Did you know under normal circumstances the government gives 59 cents a day for each child to eat in the orphanage? 59 cents a day or less to feed a growing 10 year old boy.

Mailing packages there is so difficult. It’s extremely expensive and takes at least three weeks. It’s also rather unreliable, especially right now with the instability.

Amazon Global doesn’t go to Ukraine, only Russia.

I wish I knew of someone who lived in the Cherkassy region of Ukraine who would take money through Paypal and buy food for them.

Lawyer Up, Buttercup.

I don’t even know what to say. I feel speechless. (You might know I don’t feel speechless very often…)

Jaw dropped, mouth flapping open, drooling out of the corner of my mouthspeechless.

My landlords at the cabin are honest to God insane.

I mean really, I don’t know what is wrong with them. I can’t even begin to guess what in the world they are thinking.

You all have followed along with this entire Cabin debacle, right? From the beautiful outdoors, to the lack of necessary repairs. I’ve posted about a lot of it here.

I’ve been flabbergasted at the landlords’ response to all of it. Their cavalier carelessness when it comes to the well being of my family, and how they were not upholding their part of the lease they wrote and signed.

But now it’s just gone too far. I have reached my breaking point.

This afternoon the door bell rang, waking the baby from his nap. It was the mailman. he had a certified letter for me. I had to sign in multiple places. I’ve never gotten certified mail before.

I felt a bit of dread because I knew it couldn’t be anything good. I was pretty sure I didn’t win a sweepstakes or anything awesome like that.

I closed the door and ripped open the envelope.

Sure enough it was a letter from a lawyer informing me that…get this: The landlords are suing us for damages to the cabin in excess of $3,000.

Yes, these dimwits are SUING ME for the busted pipes.

Seriously!? IS THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENING?

They are claiming that the pipes burst because the air filter was dirty.

1) I changed the air filters regularly. 2) Anyone in their right mind knows that air filters do not cause heat to plain ol’ not work. 3) I informed them in writing multiple times that the heat was making weird noises and not functioning properly and they needed to call someone.

Also, there is no ductwork in the bathroom where the toilet froze. None. Not a single vent. No insulation. Clearly the fault of that pesky (not) dirty air filter, right?

They also made a little list of lies for reasons they are suing us.

I mean these things are actually bold faced lies. I cannot believe it. This is the part where my mouth is just flapping open in the breeze.

Nonpayment of February 2014 rent We paid them $576 out of $700 in the form of repairs they gave written permission for, which was to fix busted pipes in January. We were not able to live in the cabin for the entire month of February, by the way. The cabin hasn’t had running water since January. We have a copy of the check we used to pay the repair man, and an itemized receipt for the repairs he made.

Nonpayment of electric utilities I have absolutely no clue what this is. We’ve never not paid the electric bill, which is obviously backed up by the electric company’s records.

Substantial damage to property including screens and burst pipes Ok the screen on the kitchen door is damaged at the bottom, but it’s just a roll of screen that cost less than $10 and is stapled to the wooden door. I put it up myself in five minutes. Nothing else was damaged. The pipes, well we’ve already covered that.

Property left uncleaned THERE IS NO RUNNING WATER OR PROPER HEAT. Yes, mud got tracked in during the moving process. Please explain to me how to mop the floors when there is no running water and all liquid you put on the floors freezes to ice. I would like to see them try it.

Abandonment of your personal chattel, including a piano 1) We just explained to them that the moving truck has gotten stuck in the snow/ice/mud for the past few weekends in a row and we have piano movers coming yet again this week. It’s not exactly easy to move out of a dead end gravel road in the dead of a snowy winter. (And upon receipt of this certified letter the piano was already moved, that was successful a few days ago.)

2) How are things considered abandoned when we saw the landlords just four days prior and told them we were doing our best to move everything in the winter weather and we would be done this week? And since when can you sue someone for abandoning personal property…which is basically only a piano and some boxes in the shed?

Violation of the agreed to prohibition of animals anywhere on the premises without consent Say what? WHAT? Luckily I have in writing where I asked her if our cats, dogs, ducks, and chickens were ok. They visited the cabin while we were living there and petted our animals, told us they loved that we were using the land. I have a written conversation where we discussed types of fencing and she wanted to know if we were going to get any kind of livestock. So I’m really unsure what they claim I violated here…

Failure to furnish written notice to Lessor within 60 days of vacating the property We notified them by phone that we could no longer live at the cabin due to their neglect unless they were going to make immediate repairs. That was on 1/26/2014. Unless I’ve stepped into some kind of time warp I’m pretty sure that was not more than 60 days ago. You can bet I will be sending them a certified letter with notice of vacancy now! I’m just laughing at this one. Have they ever looked at a calendar? Can they count? What the heck?!

Failure to notify Lessor of your abandonment of the property I’m pretty sure desperate attempts to pack and move out during rough winter weather with no heat and running water and three small children really counts as abandonment according to a legal definition… We kept them informed of what was going on the entire time too, there was no mystery here.

Property damage resultant from failure to change furnace filters I am hardcore wishing I had saved receipts for furnace filters right now. Also, what the eff…does the whole premise sound absolutely silly to anyone else? Does property damage actually occur somewhere in reality from failure to change a furnace filter?

Failure to inform Lessor of your absence from the property for more than 14 daysWhat? When? We informed them of all the issues in writing (FB messages with time/date/read on them) and on the phone via voicemails, since they never answered.

Failure to leave the premises and all items within in as good condition as received by you Oh Lord. The paint on the walls isn’t even marked up.

Failure to allow Lessor their right to inspect the property or allow workmen their right thereof No clue. No clue at all what they are talking about. We begged them multiple times to make repairs. The kitchen door doesn’t even lock, it doesn’t latch due to the crooked doorframe and they refused to fix it. It’s not like they couldn’t get in at any point in time ever during our stay at this cabin.

They have straight up lied about all of these things. If it wasn’t so stressful it would be pretty funny.

I can’t believe a minister went to a lawyer and just…lied. My favorite part is that the lawyer’s letterhead has one of those Jesus fish on it, and below that it says the lawyer’s slogan: Serving Jesus through serving you.

I don’t think any of these people worship the same God that I do. This is why people hate Christians.

I have pictures of every little thing. The rotten floors, the thermostat reading 42 degrees when it’s set at 73, the frozen toilet, frozen water in the floor, the ductwork not up to code, all of it. Tyler also made a video of the frozen bathroom. (It’s still not repaired, by the way.)

Almost every communication I had with the landlady was via Facebook Messenger, so it’s all date and time stamped with names attached. I’m going to have to print it all out and highlight the relevant bits. I’m going to get all of the pictures printed also.

So here’s another one of my favorite parts: At the end of this Certified Letter of Lies they said in legalese that we have lost our right to do the walk through in person with them, and if we just forfeit the deposit and all paid February rent then they won’t sue us.

Basically saying, We are going to screw you over one last time!

I think they were hoping this letter would scare us away and we would just let them keep $1200 that rightfully belongs to us.

Well they have messed with the wrong angry redheaded mama this time.

No. Way.

I lost all of my chickens and ducks. I spent hours comforting sad children. We froze to death. Dealt with huge rats, lack of plumbing, and begged them to fix major issues without any response. Now they want to keep the rest of our money?

Tomorrow I will find a lawyer. A really good lawyer. One who doesn’t send certified letters that look like a 12 year old’s Microsoft word created book report tag linedServing Jesus through serving you.

Then without any mercy I will sue them for whatever the lawyer thinks we can–moving costs, suffering, January and February rent when the heat didn’t work, our deposit, and legal fees.

I hate all of this drama. I just want to move on with my life. I never in a million years thought I would be sued by someone.

I cannot let these people get away with $1200 on top of everything else. They make me sick.

 

Meet Hans and Kristoff.

I called the property manager and told him how the ashes exploded out from the fireplace. Except I didn’t mention I pulled off the pink foam board…I sort of glossed over that part. Ahem.

He said he didn’t mind if we had the chimney professionally cleaned and unblocked as long as we paid for it and didn’t ask the owner to pay.

I’m down with that.

Exciting! It’s the end of the season, but I will have a functioning fireplace next fall. I can’t wait to schedule the cleaning. I need my tax return money…

I’m afraid it will need a lot of extra expensive work though. Which we cannot justify doing to a rental house. Fingers crossed it only needs the typical cleaning and unblocking.

Everyone wanted to see a picture. You guys are crazy! I wasn’t about to take my expensive camera or my iPhone into an avalanche of ashes. However I did take a picture when I was partway done with the clean up so you can see the amount of ashes.

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The trashcan is entirely full of ashes that I scooped up with one of those flower pots. You can still see more ashes in the fireplace that aren’t cleaned up yet. sigh

The bag was so heavy that we couldn’t lift it out of the trashcan. Who knew ashes weighed so much!?

We tied off the bag, then Tyler and I lifted the trashcan together and dumped it into a big box so we could drag it outside to the curb. I hope the trash truck took it.

Yesterday on our local homeschool group I saw a post from a woman whose veterinarian’s office had guinea pigs they needed to give away. Apparently someone no longer wanted them and left them at the office. They had three females and two males, plus two large cages.

Meet Hans and Kristoff!

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Aren’t they adorable? We’ve never owned guinea pigs before. They seem pretty similar to rabbits as far as their care goes.

Rosie is so excited. She’s taking care of them all by herself. I do most of the bunny care, since the bunnies are a little hoppity and tricky. The guinea pigs are much tamer and a little smaller than our cat-sized bunnies. The bunnies live outside and the guinea pigs are living in the playroom so far. If they get too stinky they will move to a hutch in the barn next door to the buns.

This vet’s office was awesomely Kentucky, of course. It was up here near our new Castle House. They had chickens too!

I took the girls’ pictures outside of the vet’s office before we went in.

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Despite the sun it was so cold and windy outside!

Their cage is huge. It almost didn’t fit in the van.

The brown one, Hans, is more friendly and much larger than the other one. The vet had no idea how old they were or any information about them. I’m sure they’ll be fully tame and friendly in no time with all of the attention they’re getting.