We finally found a house that we could rent to own and despite all of the promises to help us move into it, we did most of it by ourselves. (Special thanks to Christy and her kids, the Bruce's, the Johnson's, and my parents who DID help!) So we got the keys on a Thursday and excitedly came over after dinner only to flip on the kitchen lights and find it covered in roaches. Now, if you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that if I have one phobia, it is roaches. These weren't the flying, 2 inch long variety that caused us grief in Texas, but rather the relatively tiny yet still disease infested ones known as German Cockroaches. To say that I flipped out would be an understatement.
We had planned to move in that weekend, but instead I spent the next 5 days researching these squatters online and then eradicating them. After we determined that they were living in the dishwasher, we ripped it out and had the owners replace it. Having eliminated their nest, I set to work to kill off the stragglers and prevent them from ever returning. With the help of a good friend who is almost as bug-phobic as I am, I meticulously cleaned every square inch of my kitchen. I then used expanding foam insulation to fill in every visible crack and crevice around the plumbing. I emptied about 3 gallons of Ortho Home Defense Max both inside and outside of my house spraying every window, door frame, and baseboard as well as the outside walls from three feet above the ground. I did spot checks after dark every day. When we started to see them outside of the kitchen, I determined that we were pushing them into other parts of the house. So I did what any other partially insane, bug-phobic person would do -- I bought about 10 pounds of boric acid and diatomaceous earth and got to work. I removed the light switch and outlet covers and dusted inside and behind all of them. I dusted the entire attic and garage. I dusted behind and under the stove, dishwasher, and fridge. Then, because I HATE bugs, I drilled holes in the interior walls between every stud and dusted inside the walls. It sounds extreme, but after a few days, no more bugs. Now we could move in.
Throughout the bug elimination, I was able to meet all of our neighbors (since we live at the end of a cul-de-sac, we are literally surrounded by them). Everyone seemed nice and fairly normal except for one -- my immediate neighbor to the right of my house. I won't post his name, but we call him "Richard" (for obvious reasons). Our first encounter went like this:
Hi! We're your new neighbors!
Are you renting or buying?
Both! We are renting until --
Did you have a survey done?
Um, well, no. The owners didn't want to pay for one and the fence was already up, so --
Well your fence is 2 feet onto my property.
Oh. Well, did you want the owners to move it?
No. I just want you to be aware that YOUR fence is on MY property.
Oh. Okay. Well....nice to meet you...
Encounters after that were equally as annoying -- he let us know all of the problems with the Target shopping center behind our house, he nosed his way over to investigate everything that we unloaded into the house (which led to some label changes on a few of the boxes to things like "Bomb Parts -- EXTREMELY FRAGILE" just so that he'd have something to stare at), and then, when he found out that my husband had a motorcycle, he let us know that he had put quiet pipes on his own motorcycle because it was more polite. My husband said that there is no way that he's putting "quiet pipes" on his Harley. And sprinkled among all of the nosiness, and judgement was some outright bigotry. He kept telling us everything that was wrong with our house and why it had not sold before now and pointing out all of the problems that he had had with the owners, (who happen to be Chinese) by referring to them as "those damn Orientals." I REALLY do not like this man. So, as soon as we were about halfway moved in, I had my Puerto Rican father-in-law, his business partner, and my brother-in-law, all show up on their respective not-so-quiet Harley's early one Saturday morning and hang out on my front porch for an hour or so. We haven't seen much of him since that.
All 936 boxes, all of our furniture, pictures, etc. were in the house in just a few days, but I am still trying to get everything put away. I have almost decided to just live with the last 15 boxes or so though because I don't know where to put the stuff inside them. After we got everything here, we discovered that the roof has multiple leaks. Not "Oh look, there's a wet spot on the ceiling" leaks, but "Holy crap get a bucket" leaks. Since we are still leasing and not buying yet, we contacted the owners. They said that they would send someone out to look at the roof. They told us that the roof was new. Well, it IS new. The problem is that they hired some fly-by-night guys to do the roof on the cheap and they did it wrong -- like ALL wrong. They put the new roof over the old roof, which although not "forbidden" it is not a good idea. Then they just sort of slapped the shingles up there without laying them properly, so we have exposed nails, misaligned shingles and, of course, leaks. So now we are waiting to see if they are going to fix the roof. If they don't, then I get to move. Again. I REALLY don't want to move again.
We moved into the house about 4 days before school started so I was really scrambling to get the kids registered and get everything lined up for the school year. The first week, I was driving them to and from school every day. They had to be on campus no later than 7:35 every morning and they were supposed to be released at 2:40. After a week of fighting morning traffic and then sitting in the car pick-up line for 30 minutes every afternoon, I agreed to let the ride the bus. The only downside is that the bus picks them up at 6:45. In the morning. I LOATHE early mornings. I am a nocturnal person. My ideal school schedule would probably be 10-5. But, I have been doing okay -- they haven't been tardy or missed the bus. I don't think that I am going to have any issues with the teachers at the kids new school, but me and the cafeteria ladies may have to go a round or two. See, my 5 year old daughter started school this year. I make my kids lunches every day -- they include everything that they need (actually MORE than they need) and yet, I was sent home a stern letter stating that my kindergartner owed the lunchroom some money. I asked my daughter about it and she said that she really likes their applesauce. While that totally explained why her fruit cup was coming home unopened every day, I didn't understand how she was getting their applesauce without any money. She said "Oh, I just tell them the magic number and they let me have it." Great. My kid's lunchroom was teaching her a lesson about credit and helping her rack up debt. In this letter, I was reprimanded for not sending my kid with lunch money, I was told that "Charging is NOT allowed," and I was told to pay the balance promptly. So I did. I sent in a check with a little letter of my own explaining that there was absolutely no reason for my daughter to be in the lunch line since I send her lunch in every day. I pointed out that allowing her to charge items was their fault, not mine, since I am not there when she eats lunch. And I asked who was watching my kid at lunch that they weren't aware of the fact that she had a more than adequate lunch packed for her. My husband accused me of picking a fight, but seriously, they started it.
And now you are up to date (more or less) with the shenanigans of the past month. As soon as we settle back into a somewhat normal (for us) routine, I'll try to post a little more regularly. I am certain that I will have more Richard stories to share, and hopefully I'll get good news about the roof issues. In the meantime, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the brief updates.