B is for buddies, bed, beer & blessings

It’s done. I’m in. Well, one foot anyhow.

The studio behind the library on the hill is mine as of 3:30 p.m. yesterday. I wasted no time in beginning the move-in, going straight from their office to the new abode to drop off a small load already in the car (!), then a quick shot to meet my brewery buddy to move the bed.

Bedtime, Bill!

You can tell your friends by who helps you move. As planned, I called Bill, another pub buddy who’d offered to help move the bed, to let him know we’re ready to roll.

Ring ring ring ring ring. No answer. Voice mail. Shit.

So much for help from Bill. He not only bailed on helping as he’d repeatedly promised but he never called back with an explanation or apology. He’s not a bad guy but he’s clearly not to be trusted to keep his word or show up.

Spirit Shows Up

However, Spirit provides. Not only did Justin show up with his truck as promised, he unexpectedly brought along his brother, saying: “Thought we could use another strong young back!”

YES! Thank you, Lord!

The brothers got that heavy dense foam mattress loaded and moved into the new place with nary a blink of an eye!

That’s a load off ! — my only and heaviest piece of furniture cleared out. The rest I can handle myself, carefully and mindful of shoulder-neck-back injuries.

And yes, I absolutely believe that Spirit / God / Universe provided the help required in the form of Justin’s brother when Bill bailed. Thank you thank you thank you helpers above!

Bring on the Beer!

A busy moving day required celebration and chill time. Gotta keep those muscles loaded with the carbs! And what better than dark beer and a loaded baked potato over at the brewery!?

Fueled up, I was ready for one more load up to the new place before calling it a night.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Bugs)

I discovered a few things in the new place through the course of the day.
Beginning with yuck. Like whoever did the cleaning did a less-than-bang-up job.

Now, I don’t expect the identical meticulous attention to details that I give. That’s why upon moving in I always clean a place that’s been allegedly cleaned. Because it never is. I ALWAYS find somethings. So even before I unpack, I get in there on hands and knees and work to the bone scrubbing into every nook, cranny and crevice. Then I keep it that way.

But it’d be nice if they could’ve at least checked the window sills! Lying inside metal tracks is a veritable graveyard of insects! And the dead fly that’s resting, well, dead center on the sill, gross! And totally obvious.

The painted surfaces of drawers and cupboards need attention. I’ll find more as I dig into a deep cleaning.

There’s no drip pan for one stove burner. And the extra oversized one they left resting on the counter, useless. Again, sloppy work. Like cleaning was a hurried or an afterthought.

And the screen on the bedroom window doesn’t fit. Too small. Obviously not the right style. Obviously a on-the-go purchase from a hardware store.

I discovered this when I opened the window to air out the place and returned to a screen half hanging out the window, pushed out by the breezes. That won’t do.

I’ve got cleaning work cut out for me and they their repairs and fixes, definitely.

There were pleasant finds too. Like a good-sized pantry behind the furnace. For a studio, the kitchen storage space is impressive.

And behind the bedroom door lay another happy discovery — cupboards! Which eradicates the need for a dresser or other McGyver makeshift means — read: boxes — of storing my clothes!

Remember, I’ve been without furniture, not even a bed, for 3+ years. Boxes have been my friend! I’m extraordinarily practical and inventive with ’em too. Definitely a think-outside-the-box girl! Or inside-the-box as the situation warrants. 🙂

So I’m looking forward to getting the place clean and at least some belongings outta boxes and into proper cupboards!

All Told …

Well, perhaps not ALL 😉 … but certainly the headline news. I’ve got my new space, the studio behind the library on the hill — officially completing Move #52, give or take.

For the coming five days, I’ll be bouncing between two residences, cleaning there, sleeping here, packing up and lifing boxes here, putting ’em down there a short 1/2 mile away.

In closing, it’s an exciting time, finishing up 2014 with a significant change and fresh start. I just know things’ll only continue improving and that good stuff’s in store in 2015.

I’m blessed and grateful for the good that’s been bestowed upon me in the (short) eight months I’ve lived in this town. A fine time it is too to make this move, on the cusp of Thanksgiving. And lest I don’t forget, thanks and praises to all above who helped this happen! I am grateful.

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on candles, complainers and cooperation

A lotta bucks flew past me yesterday.

And I don’t mean the four-legged sort. Rather, the sort in the bank.

The deposit for the studio on the hill behind the library is in, which both holds the place until the lease is signed and removes it from the rental market. A considerable sum it is too. Ouch. Moving into apartments is not cheap, what with the deposit and non-refundable cleaning and administrative fees.

Speaking of cleaning, this property management company does something new to my ears. The clean team employs a black light in cleaning carpets between tenants. I first thought: “Wow, that’s intense and exacting cleaning.”

Then the reason came clear upon reading the lease. “Extra charges may be assessed for stains, wax removal, pet odors, etc. upon vacating.”

Ahhhh!

Best not spill any coffee or wine there! And since the place is carpeted, save for the kitchen & bathroom, I’d best designate the kitchen with its linoleum floor the room of activity!

A buddy rents from the same property manager, that’s how I found out about them during my search. He’d said that they’re very strict and the fees quick and high for late rent payment, violations and such.

My experience to date confirms that. They don’t mess around. The paperwork, including the lease that I’ve reviewed (but not yet signed), spells out everything clearly. I’s are dotted and t’s crossed, that’s for certain.

Not complaining. It’s how it should be and I like that the conditions and terms are clearly defined and documented, likewise the consequences of violations. You can tell this large property management company has been doing this a long time and likely is no stranger to attempted lawsuits. The handiwork of lawyers is evident in all the documentation.

What isn’t on the lease — which is as equally important as what is — is a ban on candles. I actually checked on that before I committed to the space.

My current lease bans, in addition to smoking, “incense and candles and anything else that could damage carpets or walls.”

Incense I can understand; the odors can be very hard to remove from walls or carpet.

Candles on the other hand …

I’m intelligent enough to know not to place a burning candle beside a wall. Intelligent enough to know not to leave a candle burning unattended.

Early in my tenancy, I got rapped for burning candles. These were the tealights inside votive glass holders set on a window sill. They were neither near a wall nor carpet, therefore endangering neither, and therefore did not truly violate the lease.

However, in the eyes of the landlord and subset of tenants with whom he has friendly and/or long ties, I was already being branded an uncooperative troublemaker.

The truth contrary was irrelevant. My immediate and cooperative corrective action to any admonition or information from the landlord (i.e., no candles allowed including tiny ones inside votive glass, after which I immediately switched fully to LEDs) was not regarded or appreciated.

Perception is everything, they say, even when it’s a lie or untruth. The landlord and few tenants had it in their mind that I was an uncooperative troublemaker.

Outside the landlord, not one knew me.

Not one had met me.

Not one approached me for my side of the story.

Not one stepped forward on my behalf. Not one — namely the landlord who did have the power to change the course of events — put in a good word for me to the absentee owner who no doubt heard nothing but complaints about me.

When I requested the owner’s phone number so that I could share my experience and side of the story, essentially speaking up on my behalf, I was denied.

That’s when I knew that the only solution was to proceed with the move.

Legally I could’ve fought it. When I asked the landlord several times on what grounds my monthly lease (leases here are month-to-month) was not being renewed, he had no answer. Merely repeated: “We’re not renewing your lease.”

It was personal. I knew it was personal. He knew it was personal. And personal doesn’t stand up in court.

But why take on that legal battle?

Why take on that stress and high costs? Even with law and right on my side, why invest in a battle to extend my stay in an unfair and unwelcoming environment with chronic complainers who’ve displayed no interest in meeting in the middle and genuine problem-solving? Tenants & to great extent a landlord who’ve displayed zero recognition or appreciation for my character and immediate responses to ANY problem or complaint?

I don’t belong here. Don’t want to be in this climate. Don’t feel it’ll ever support me, listen or care to hear what I have to say.

Groups — even small groups of two or three — are more powerful than one individual. That can be good when the cause is positive and bad when used for ill or directed against another(s).

Guess that’s all I have to say on that today.

On a positive note, I’m moving in a matter of days. I’m anxious because I’ve been stung and somewhat traumatized here. I’m anxious because of the unrealness of this residence. Even my writer’s imagination wouldn’t have come up with this!

However, the next setting IS a better one. For starters, it’s a triplex rather than an enclosed complex of 18 residents and each tenant’s door opens into the outdoors rather than shared hallway. Better setup from the get-go and hopefully bodes well for positive tenancy.

This writing reminds me that I need to keep letting go and to keep forgiving these tenants, the landlord, myself and this situation. Better lies ahead. I just know it. I just need to clear the inner space and prepare to receive the good that awaits and is promised with this move. In four days and counting! 🙂

Door closing in Adventures in Moving #52

I’m in!

The studio behind the library’s a go! Got the call from the property management lady this morning announcing that the references checked out, everything’s good to roll.

Now it’s all about the money, paperwork and signing on dotted lines. Lease to be signed Monday 3 p.m.

In these next couple days, it’s a mater of getting the deposit in, which’ll remove the rental from the market, and toe-tapping as I wait for Monday to arrive!

I’m so ready to roll! Since I live out of boxes and in perpetual readiness to move, packing is minimal and manageable. Plus I’m moving only 1/2 mile from my current location, making my customary super-air tight and uber-organized packing unnecessary.

If I could simply lift everything as it is onto a magic carpet and have it land in the new space and bypass the packing, I would!

I keep “trying” to feel really bad about leaving this space but it ain’t happening. I feel deeply sad and angry about the unjustness and unfairness and unneighborliness in the coalition of landlord and marginal subset of tenants that drove me out.

I feel stung by the experience and unhealed. I definitely need to continue forgiving them, the situation and myself; therein lies my release and freedom.

Anyhow, I’m out and movin’ onwards and upwards! Literally. I know I’m gonna love being atop a hill — think small hill in residential area, not soaring hill or bluff. It’s hill enough to offer an overlook of my town to the northwest. This’ll help create a sense of space in an apartment that’s small and kinda cramped.

There’s a kitchen window with a view into the distance, sky and treetops. It’s perfect for a tall bistro table, laptop and morning coffee! I’ve already started looking around but haven’t found anything within my budget.

Once again, it’s one of those occasions where having no furniture except a bed and patio chair works in my favor. Any furnishings I do get can be chosen to accommodate the peculiarities and particulars of the new place.

A tall bistro table is a priority and a must for greatest enjoyment of the view the space affords. A regular table ain’t gonna cut it.

I’m excited. And nervous too. I don’t know who my neighbors above and in the single apartment beside me are. I recognize that a good measure of the anxiety is due to my current situation (bad neighbors, complainers about every little thing, petty & uncooperative sorts). Yeah, I’ve been stung and it still smarts. That I’m leaving doesn’t alleviate that, only removes it from my life, which is greatly welcomed. Yes, gotta keep doing the forgiveness; it’s truly the best and only way out.

On that note in closing, the daily prayer/reflection I receive by email is particularly poignant and fitting:

A Time to Think

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you”? –William A. Ward, author

Thank you God, Spirit, universe, all etheric helpers and beings for bringing me to my new place and answering my prayers! Thank you thank you thank you!

from outta the blue another space to view!

Goes to show, ya just never know. And things can change just like that {finger snap}!

My search for new housing has been full-speed ahead in the past couple weeks.

One place I was keen on viewing based on the ad got rented before I had a chance to see it.

I remember it well since the rental lady and I played phone tag and by the time we did speak, the apartment was taken.

Some 10 minutes ago I get a call. It’s that rental lady. Am I still looking and interested in seeing the space? The person who was gonna take it fell through.

Oh my. Am I interested in seeing it? Yes.

Am I still looking for a place however? Dunno.

Here’s the thing, I tell her. I’ve got an application in for a rental behind the library. I see no reason why it won’t go through but ya never know. Ain’t a done deal until the fat lady sings.

Soonest I could get the green light on it is today. Just depends on how fast that property management company does its thing.

This new place I’ve been invited to see is too available for immediate occupancy (following of course approval of the application).

It’d be a hoot if I like this curve ball of a place as much as the space behind the library — and with that one days if not hours away from final approval! I’m all packed up and ready to roll soon as a lease is signed. I’m talkin’ like a move in 5 days!

Whose lease will it be?!

Obviously I can’t know whether it’ll come down to a choice between two spaces until I see this new offering . I may love it. Or go belch. I’ll know in an hour.

However, does go to prove that ya just never know and how things can change on a dime!

And thus the wild ride in Adventures in Moving #52 (give or take) continues …

Days 2-4 in the Adventures of Move #52 (give or take)

And so the search for a new place rolls on.

Though my heart’s not in it, I’m looking at roommate shares — SHIVERS! — in addition to the far-preferred small single solo spaces. And an adventure it has certainly been!

Knock Knock

Who’s there?
Evidently no one.
It’s a room share, modified. The guy’s seeking two roommates for his apartment. One room, however, is off the main house. Got its own entrance, loft bed, closet and bathroom. Kitchen use is in the main house. It’s compromised solo living but affords some of the privacy I seek so worth the look-see.

Ring bell. Ring. No answer.
Call the dude.
“I’m sorry. I forgot.”
{That’s the second no-show in this search.}
Shit. Bummer. Oh well.
“We’ll reschedule,” I offer, then drive off to enjoy a gorgeous autumn afternoon.

Outcome: Still haven’t rescheduled and not sure why.

Clutter King

It’s the first thing you see entering his apartment. Stuff stuff stuff computer stuff office stuff music stuff stuff stuff and stuff stacked haphazardly on two giant dusty desks that nearly fill the living room.

It’s not just that it looks like a guy lives here — and that it does! It looks like a messy guy. A not-too-clean guy. By the looks of the living room and inside kitchen cabinets, it’s borderline hoarding.

No way is this gonna work or happen. Not the room (modern bland). Not the arrangement (three roommates). Not the boxes and boxes of papers and god knows what else that swell beyond the holding capacity of shelving at the front door.

Plus it smells unpleasant.

“Nice meeting you,” I say. Beyond the door, I practically fall into the clean fresh air. I feel suffocated in that place. Suffocated by stuff.

Outcome: It’s clear to any reader. And clear is how I like my space. 🙂

Pillars Please

Built in 1915, with its painted green brick and thick white pillars, the Pillars building displays an impressive solid stately handsomeness and singularity on the residential street lined with aged determined elms.

I love classic historical structures!

The studio reflects its 99 years with the wood flooring, high ceilings and ample built-in shelving in the kitchen. Definitely need a high ladder to reach the top shelves and curtain rods!

Also true to its era, the single closet’s skinny and somewhat deep. The tired walls could use fresh paint and the kitchen a deep cleaning.

Its got its charms for sure. Feels nice in here.

Drawback is its shower only. A huge drawback to this baths afficionada. I love ’em like the Japanese love ’em and in fact the baths — the sento (public baths) and onsen (hot springs) are among the few things I dearly miss in life in Japan.

The living space in the small studio would accommodate little more than a bed, table, chair or two, you get the picture. The natural light’s ok. It’s affordable and the thick brick walls afford some sense of space and boundaries from neighbors at side and above. I hate feeling crowded.

Plus I’ve been stung by current tenants and landlord who haven’t been nice. They’ve actually been kinda mean, bullying, unjust. Yeah, I’m still feeling the hurt and the anger.

Anyways, moving on:

Outcome: It doesn’t exude yeah! but it’s doable. Lack of a tub could be a dealbreaker. It’s a Maybe, a plan B, worth keeping in mind. I pick up an application and keep looking.

Woodya Couldya?

Cool. Totally dig the dark wooden exterior. Like coming home to a rustic mountain cabin. Though of course there’s nothing “cabin-y” about an apartment complex with 30 residents!

Two 1-bedrooms are available. Identical floor plans circa 1980. You know the look with the laminated countertops and cupboards, dated dishwasher, basic tub. Yey it’s got a tub!

First apartment is on the top floor. Sunlight pours into the bedroom — niiiiice! And beautiful tree nearby. But oh is that major thoroughfare, noisy! I stand and listen, listen, listen.

Could it be done, living here?

No. As a sounds-sensitive, I’ve tried that before and more than once, living along a busy noisy street. The answer was no then. It’s still no.

Plus the rent is just beyond my budget.

We move on to the second available apartment. Niiiiiiice too: the back sliding glass door opens into a woodsy area. The faint ripple of a creek can be heard when you stand quietly and listen.

The rest of the apartment is dark dark. But the nature outside the bedroom almost makes up for it.

The rent’s how much?! Considerably more than the other apartment even though their floor plans are identical. The woods at the back door bump up the price.

I find my way out through the front door and despite persistent efforts on the part of the landlord to get me to reconsider, the answer’s the same for both apartments.

Outcome: Wouldya couldya make the higher rent work? Uh-uh. But still dig that rustic cabin-y exterior!

The Waiting Game

Sooo excited to see this place!

An affordable small 1-bedroom that’s (a) on a hill — I loooooooooove the bird’s-eye views of houses on bluffs, hills, etc.

And (b) is smack behind the library! Literally! How cooooooool is that!!!

It’s 5 p.m. I wait for the property management lady to show up.

I wait and wait. And wait. Finally at 5:15 I call her cell. Voice mail.

“I’m here. Waiting. I know you had a really busy day. Please call and let me know whether you’re coming.”

I keep waiting. It’s cold so I move from the apartment into my car to wait.

It’s 5:25. No call and no show.

I call again. Voice mail again.

I leave a message informing that I waited 25 minutes and am leaving. I’m angry — at the no-show, yes, moreso the lack of a call.

I wash my hands of the mess. Ball’s in her court. If she wants to call, she can.

Voice message awaits me this morning. It’s her forthrightly and genuinely apologizing. She mans up with an explanation, no excuse.

That goes a long ways with me. Her apology accepted, we reschedule for this afternoon. When she promises that she’ll be there, I know she will.

PLUS, separately, one more viewing in a super-quirky location early this evening.

And so rolls on the search for my new place. It’s been all over the map in a way. On the other hand, traveler that I am, I like being all over the map.

Plus it’s really fun to see other places, be they repellently awash in clutter and dust or rendered unseen behind tightly-drawn blinds and a one-time no-show property management lady.

The right place is a-comin’. Sure as the sun rises and sets every day. Sure as that train whistle ’round the bend streams through the air. She’s a-chuggin’ her way into my life, my new place. After all this adventuring, I can hardly wait to see what that train’s is a-deliverin’!
trainaroundbend

Going … going … gone at the Gardens

There’s no growth sprouting at Prescott Gardens Mobile Home Park.  Not for me.

Tuesday. 5 p.m. I’m waiting for Bruce to arrive to show the mobile home available for rent.

I wait and wait. Then eventually call.

He confesses he can’t make it but is dispatching his daughter. While I wait, I’m free to use a hidden key to have a look inside.

Except there’s no key.

No Bruce and no daughter.

The viewing is rescheduled for two days later.

Thursday. 1 p.m.

I pull up to the mobile home whose exterior I’ve come to know well during long waits during to date two no-shows.

This time, I’m scheduled to meet with his wife.

No one here. I wait and wait. Then again call Bruce.

“Your wife’s not here.”

“Oh. While you’re waiting, you can let yourself in with the hidden key that she set {here}.”

I check. Double check. Triple check. Nothing.

“No key,” I inform him.

“What’d she do with the key? I’ll call her and call you right back.”

I wait and wait.

No phone call. Ever.

Discourtesies and disregard trouble me. Those notwithstanding, if they’re this unresponsive for a showing, imagine when it’s a home in need of repair.

I’ll never know. Because I’ll never live there. So completes this day’s search for new housing.

I get in my car and drive away, never to try again. Why bother. It’d be a dog barking up a wrong tree inside the Gardens mobile home park in Prescott, Arizona.