Not only did I just finish a run of "Joy To The World, It's Christmas!" at our church (the first play there that I actually enjoyed) but I've decided to return to Kohl's to pick up where I left off. The employee discount just kept drawing me back.
And, I learned today that they have caught the guy who kidnapped Christina Morris from The Shops At Legacy. This makes this mommy's heart quite peaceful.
My Christmas shopping is done, my baby girl has returned from her business trip in New Jersey and I even managed to get the lights up on our house. Well, in our yard, anyway. AND ... there are only FOUR MORE WORK DAYS until I have a two week break!
So, Whee! Life can calm down now. And for me, that's pretty darn exciting.
And yet ... of course ... nothing is ever lasting.
I've learned that I HAVE JURY DUTY on my first day back to work after the Christmas break. Of course I do. Where most folks get out of jury duty because there is no need for them on a jury at that time, the courts will have just had two weeks off as well and I know (I KNOW!) they'll find a jury for me. Darn it.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT???? It'll be at the SAME court that Christina Morris' kidnapper is being tried at. Yep, I'll be on that case, I just know it. And if I'm not? Elizabeth's case is coming up, too. Maybe I can be on that case! I'd like that.
Seriously, though, I wouldn't get put on either of those cases. Conflict of interest or something. Know what case I'll probably get? A repeat of the last case I was on ... the girl who didn't wear her seatbelt and decided she needed a full jury to decide if she could hang a cop. Yep, I was on that famous trial.
Do I hear 13? Actually that's the age that I felt when I saw what the hair stylest had done to me when I asked for a trim.
One really nice friend said, "Oh, you don't look 12. You do look like they shaved 12 years off of you, though." Well, I guess that's a compliment. Even though he was saying that I looked 45. Yeah, thanks.
So, Mr. Handyman comes over to my house to do a few things needed doing around my own digs. Once he was here, he mentioned, "I had to knock on your tenant's door, and, by the way, she wouldn't let me in." I said that I knew she was secretive and she usually only opens the door for me just a crack, too. The handyman said, "I think you need to go inside, judging by the smell that I smelled." Uh oh. Turns out, according to the handyman, that he could smell pot, permeating from inside my tenant's house ... from inside MY townhouse. Oh great. No wonder she is secretive. No wonder she never lets me in. And, no wonder that as I was leaving her property after the fence fiasco, I remembered seeing her get into her car and head out to go shopping. She had pulled up to me in my car and asked me if I had to go inside, because she was leaving for an hour. I assured her I wasn't needing to go inside but now that a few things have unraveled, I'm TOTALLY kicking myself for not going in anyway. Although, that wouldn't be legal and I do need to do everything by the book right now.
I suddenly remembered that my tenant has three small children ... and, no, this is not looking too good right now.
Rick and I have been trying to think of a valid reason that I can enter the property ... of course, giving her fair warning. Our brains could only come up with something that a former tenant had warned me about ... in the attic there is a dryer vent that isn't shooting warm air outside. It's shooting warm air inside and thankfully I've never fixed it. So, that is my new plan ... except I haven't gotten all of the bugs worked out of it yet. I mean, WHY would I suddenly need to go check on that? Yeah, I didn't say the plan was brilliant ...
Anyway, there are truly three small children there. I have now poured over the contract and I confirmed that there is a clause saying there shall be no illegal activity within the property boundaries. Yea me! for having that written there. Oh and it's also a non-smoking property and she agreed to abide by that. The trick will be to prove all of this. You don't suppose she'd buy that I smelled smoke all the way over to my house, do you?
In all seriousness, though, I am not only worried about the children ... I'm worried about my own family. Yes, I do fear retaliation. And destruction. True, I have a leg to stand on ... but at what cost? And since I have no proof of anything, I do need to enter the property. And thus, I am no longer anonymous in any report that I file to CPS and/or the police. I'm throwing myself into the mix, now. Into the mess, too. Step one ... I have spoken to my own school's counselor who helped me contact CPS. And she reminded me that not only does this need to be reported ... but it must be. And it's my job to do it. It's part of what I do for a living anyway. I'm not really allowed to close a blind eye. Step two ... Into the property I go. I'm taking support in the way of a "fake handyman."
Step three ... I'm moving to Hawaii right after this case comes to a close. Or before. Or now. I'm already packed. SOOOOOO ... what am I thankful for? I am still thankful for my townhouse. And I'm thankful there are kind folks out there who are watching out for the welfare of small children. I'm thankful for my own job that has taught me so much ... mostly how to appreciate the differences in all children and how diversity needs to be celebrated, not just tolerated. And certainly not shunned. .
So, we had a handyman over to our rental property to fix a board that appears to be missing off of the townhouse back fence. The handyman arrives and sees no missing board and takes it upon himself to fix twelve other boards. He took them down and replaced them with non-painted boards and made the fence look nice ... except I didn't ask him to do that. And now I get to go over and paint the unpainted boards. I'd skip it all together but we've already been warned four times to get it fixed and, uh, I know they're watching us now. New chore for me ... painting a fence. In December. Not that I have anything else to do in December. Not that I'm directing a play or anything. I couldn't yell at the handyman, either, because I thought Rick had told him what to do and fix and it turns out that Rick hadn't. Not sure what Rick did tell him though. Grrrr. While Mr. Handyman was still there, he and I walked around the property and found no missing boards. So, I stopped him from fixing anything else and I sent him on his way. Well, after I paid him nearly $300 first. Then I sat down and wrote the HOA a nasty letter saying that they sent us a picture of somebody else's fence and now look what's happened ... and I expected them to pay for part of this mess. And I threatened that Rick would be calling them today to demand some action. Note to self: It's best not to write nasty letters to the HOA unless you are dead certain that there's no missing boards and completely certain that a missing board is truly what they were talking about. Yeah, best not to write such letters, dear Kris.
BECAUSE ... Upon closer study of my tenant's back fence, I have now realized that the photo I was given, which shows a missing board, is not of the fence on my property, true. But the description of the problem mentioned in my four letters (that I tried to ignore) DOES IN FACT pertain to my fence. There is a board that's broken ... and that's what I should've paid attention to, not just that there was no missing board. I'm hating that I yelled at the HOA. I'm hating that I wrote a nasty letter. And I am especially hating that something's about to come back around to bite me. Yep, something is a-coming. And it's not just an HOA that's gonna be after me... Details tomorrow. Oh, wait. I'm supposed to be thankful. I took a vow, remember? I am thankful for my townhouse. I am thankful for my townhouse. I am thankful for my townhouse. I am ... Actually, I truly am thankful for my townhouse. I bought this rental property outright when my brother passed away in 2008. My mother had just passed away as well and my brother and I were to split her house and share the profits. He died just days after she did and never did get to see his portion of the money. And when I travelled to New Mexico to clean out his house and collect his belongings ... I saw how he had been living and I saw the struggle that he had endured just to survive. And I knew, with the money I was left from my mother's house, that I had to do this for him. And I am forever grateful that I was able to create this in his memory. .