May 28, 2009

Has anyone seen where my month went?

Goodness! Here it is May 28th, mere hours from May 29th, and I can't quite figure out what happened to the rest of the month. I know I'm not alone in this, but it seems like the last month of the school year fairly zings on by, but this year has been worse than most. I've attended umpteen soccer games (is it rotten of me to admit that I almost cried tears of joy when Savannah's soccer coach sadly announced that they wouldn't be making up any of the games that were cancelled because of snow?), three retirement parties, doctors and dentist appointments, school appointments, school races, birthday parties, found homes for 3 kittens, and oh yeah, officially became a mother-in-law, all while working my normal 40-hour-week and feeding real meals to my family!

There have been many things that have happened, but honestly, I'm so tired at this point I can't remember most, but I'll at least give some of the highlights.

May is the month for birthdays of three of my most favorite and treasured people: my Aunt Lois (who turned the big 5-0), my daughter Savannah, and one of my best-girl's, Dawn, whom I've been friends with since 5th grade (let's just say that was
quite a few years ago!).

A few weekends ago I scored MAJOR cool-mommy points by taking Savannah to see the new Hannah Montana movie. I have to say that I dreaded going more than the last root-canal I suffered through, but I was pleasantly surprised. The movie was really mostly decently done, without all the horrible canned laughter and lame jokes that the TV show has, and really had a good message to little idol-driven kids about remaining true to family and friends. And I have to say that I really like the "Hoedown Throwdown" song. Who knew?!!

Our family celebrated the whole Memorial Day weekend by re-shingling one-half of our poor, rotting roof. In the pouring rain. With lightning, although I was finally able to talk the boys into a retreat from the roof when I reminded them that I
personally know two people who have been struck by lightning. With our luck, those are just not good odds in our favor! The weather turned sunny on Monday, and we were able to finish up around 3:00 p.m., just in time to barbecue a few steaks with friends who had helped us before we all collapsed from exhaustion. In between helping with the roofing (I was the shingle cutting girl - at least I have a fall-back skill now if I ever lose my job!), I spent hours weeding my little garden spot, trying to prepare it for the many tomato plants that are waiting to be planted, washing and folding laundry, doing the dishes, and feeding all of us so that we had steam enough to keep going. Needless to say, I started off this week feeling completely exhausted, and I still haven't caught up!

Josh and his lovely bride Jess tied the knot on Friday, May 22nd in a small ceremony with their Pastor in Tennessee (Woo-Hoo!!! We love you guys!) and then spent their honeymoon weekend moving into their new home (which I haven't seen yet, because **cough**cough**, Josh won't ever send pictures!). They will be coming home for a visit mid-June before Josh leaves for Iraq in July.

To top it off, Savannah's birthday was this past Saturday, and she turned the ancient age of 10. My baby is 10! The big 1-0. Double Digits. And yes, we celebrated by doing the roof. To be fair and to prove I'm not quite the world's worst mother, I did let her have a sleepover with a friend on Friday night. They stayed up until 3:30 a.m. fueled by pizza and Mountain Dew before finally crashing, only to wake up again at 7:00 a.m. Let's just say that she was a
teensy-weensy bit ornery by about 1:00 p.m., so much so that I finally made my newly-minted 10-year-old baby go take a nap, just like in the old days!

Anyway, it has been my intent to do a special "birthday" post for all of the kids on their birthday, but with the month I've had, I just can't do it justice, at least not yet. So, I promise to write my "all about Savannah" blog this weekend, but in the meantime, I'm going to bed! In looking back at it all, it's no wonder my head is spinning (gotta love that Meniere's too...)

Welcome summer! (Doesn't it look like we're having fun here? Well, at least Evan was... :-) )

May 7, 2009

Lien On Me or "Can They Really Do That?!!"

In early December of last year, several people in the small town we live in had some problems with their water lines. In the midst of fixing these problems, they (the town bigwigs) decided to update the aging pipelines while they were at it. I left for work one day with the street in front of and to the east of us surrounded by equipment and guys in hard hats working away at replacing said pipe. Later that same day, when I returned home, there was a small pyramid of pipe placed near the edge of the road on the eastern-most side of our property. It wasn't bothering us any, so we never said anything. After all, it was on top of snow and the job was going to be done soon.

Zoom ahead to mid-February. I made my weekly jaunt to pick up the mail and was mildly concerned when I found a notice of a "certified letter" in the stack. I don't know about you, but whenever I've received mail I've had to sign for, it is NEVER the long-awaited Publisher's Clearinghouse notice that I've won a million dollars, or notice of some long-lost relative who's left all their earthly belongings to me. No, in MY household, certified letter always means one thing: T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

I mentally racked my brain to think of all our bills - had I forgotten to pay one for months on end? Don't think so... The last few years have been banner ones for racking up family medical bills, but I'd been paying on all of those, so I knew it couldn't be that. Hmmm.... Well, I guess I'd better just see what it is.

I ran into the main post office area and signed for the thing, pretty certain it couldn't be anything bad: NOTICE OF MECHANIC'S LIEN read the fancy lettering at the top. What's that? I've got my own mechanic, thank you very much. I even sleep with him, so I don't think he'd be suing me! I read further. "Blah, blah, blah... owed by S_*#Head and Sons, Inc., Blah, blah, blah... Lien placed against homeowners at (insert our names and address) owe $8000 plus "reasonable" attorneys fees, blah, blah, blah...

Right about there my heart stopped beating for a long moment, then my blood pressure shot through the roof. You have got to be kidding me!!!! After I'd calmed myself down, I called the "information" number listed at the bottom. Obviously there had to be some mistake as we hadn't had ANY work done on the house for many years, and we'd paid fully for everything ever done. The charming "lady" I spoke with on the phone had all the personality of Atilla the Hun - she obviously relished her job of sticking it to innocent people and wouldn't even pretend to care about the situation. She explained to me that the lien was placed against us because that was the "physical address" where the pipeline for the city's project was delivered. It didn't matter that WE didn't order the pipeline, or even that it didn't get buried in our yard, or even our side of the street. "That's where we delivered it, so basically tough #$*( for you. Have a nice life."

So, long story long (as is always the case with me!), we've spent the last several MONTHS of our life trying to get this seemingly obvious mistake cleared off of our names. Who'da thunk it would be so hard? After numerous phone calls back and forth between us and the mayor, the mayor and the company, the mayor and the recorder's office, and Tom and the company AGAIN because they still hadn't removed it like they said they would, and Tom and our lawyer, it has finally been taken care of.

A good friend of mine at work gave me a sign for my bulletin board a while back that simply reads "Because nice matters." I've tried to use it as a reminder to myself of who and what I really am (really, just ask me!), even if I occasionally have to deal with "not-so-nice" people. However, after this experience, I think I've learned a new lesson: the next time anyone so much as places a piece of paper on my property, I'm going to call the police and have them arrested for trespassing. But I'll at least do it with a smile...

Now we just wait to see if it's hit our credit rating, otherwise we're off to battle again. Ackkk!

May 13, 2009