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2018-07-08 - 3:31 p.m.

I am having a nice Sunday in which I am not obligated to do anything. I love a day of free floating. I am in a comfy chair with my feet up and my laptop in my lap instead of my 2 dogs, who usually occupy that spot when I sit. Dexter has been driving me crazy today. He's very demanding. At the moment he is being good, because I hid the brand new doggie bed I bought for the comfort of these two ingrates. Jax doesn't give a damn about the new bed and Dexter just wants to hump it. He's neutered and he never humps anything else but doggie beds. I had to take his other one away because ... well... just because. I was tired of hearing all the bonka chicka music. I was tired of living in a doggie porn. I have moved into a house with all hard wood floors except my office and the guest room. I haven't yet bought area rugs, so my dogs have no traction on this floor and Jax thinks he can't jump up on the furniture so he needs a soft place to lay down. I saw these big doggie beds for large dogs and thought it might work well for my boys because it's big enough for both of them and too big for Dexter to fold over and have his pervy way with. Miscalculation on my part... Dexter walks around and around it trying to hump it and whining non-stop. He has this wild eyed look of frustration the whole time. I just crammed it in the laundry room to end the ridiculousness.

So... I closed on this house on June 4th, but didn't move in for a couple of weeks. I was staying at my sister's house because my internet and stuff was not on yet and I had to work. I will say this: I almost lost all faith in humanity during the selling of my old house, my move, buying this new house, and all the fine experiences I've had during this first month. It's been a bit of a shit show.

I don't want to rehash the selling of my old house. The realtors did not work on my behalf. They basically took my asset and used it for their own gain and didn't do anything the way I wanted it. I don't think I have any recourse. The movers I used were nice guys, told me everything I wanted to hear, explained how they were going to individually wrap all my computer equipment and make sure no damage happens to that vital work stuff or my precious things that I pointed out for special bubble wrapping and carefulness. They also assured me that every thing they take apart, they have to reassemble. Not to worry! They would put everything back together. I also was concerned about my wine collection, because wine is breakable and probably shouldn't be in the heat for a long time. When I got here and started unpacking, I found that each and every piece I specifically asked them to be extra careful about has been scratched all the way through the finish into the wood. My coffee table is scuffed. My coffee bar has scratches all over the top of it. They broke my hall table, Like - it's ruined. No longer serviceable. My wine collection is straight up missing. It is not here at all. My computers were not even wrapped. Zero bubble wrap. While I was looking, they packed right, but when they were out of my sight, they threw my stuff in boxes toy-box style. Fragile glass stuff, all my hobby ceramics, they just tossed into boxes. My ceramics got smashed to bits. My mercury glass hurricane lantern miraculously came through unscathed. They didn't put all my things back together. They didn't re-assemble my TV console with the power strip and all the things I had in there, like a VCR and a Wii game console. Those things are not connected. They were instructed to keep all my DirecTV stuff together, but they didn't do that so my second TV is not getting a signal. It was lost when the technician was here hooking up my service. None of my computers worked right. I had to have a guy out to fix my work computers and my personal one still doesn't work, hence the laptop's new popularity. My bed squeaks loudly now and doesn't feel really stable, since the guys put it back together. They put the headboard on the trundle bed backwards, with the pretty side facing the wall. They didn't hook up my computers or anything else. I used "2 Twits and a Truck" - The movers who care".

Guess what made it to my new home intact? Everything I PACKED MYSELF.

If you want something done right, do it yourself. That's the old saying. I think I should be able to hire someone and pay them a huge wad of money and expect them to do it right, but that's just me. Crazy talk.

So... moving right along, I moved into this house which is much bigger than I thought. My fireplace mantel is above my head. The ceilings are very high in here. It's a really beautiful home. I have a great view out the kitchen window, my back yard is very private with no neighbors to the rear or the side. There is a wall of trees behind my fence, so the view is beautiful trees and most of them are black walnut trees. I can see the black walnuts all up in there. I'm going to be harvesting those walnuts. There is a waterfall in front of my house that seems just for my enjoyment. Fortunate placement.

But there have been a few problems....

First, the builder did not complete the repairs on my punch list. He just didn't do it. The house is missing a few things: There is no towel bar at all in the master bath, there is a vent missing in the front bedroom closet, there is no shower curtain in the guest bath.

Bigger problem: The pergola.. the beautiful pergola that I partially chose this house because of... was removed and a shitty cheap pergola was put back in its place. I threw a fit, so they removed that one and built another one that is nowhere near as beautiful as the first one, but not as bad as the second one. I'm not happy. To make matters worse, I got a notice taped on my garage door by the city inspector saying that the pergola violates a setback law and must be taken down because it's 1 or 2 feet too close to the property line. The setback laws are there so people won't build their houses too close together right on the property line, but there is a forest behind my property and there will never be a house there. But noooooooo... pergola cannot stay. So the builder at first told me this is my problem and not his. I demanded $3500 from him to replace my illegal pergola with a retractable awning. He has opted to apply for a variance, asking the city inspector to allow the pergola to stay.

New problem: A neighbor came over to welcome me, give me a loaf of bread, and inform me that the HOA requires a sprinkler system in every yard. So I let my realtor know that the house was not complete and the builder needs to install the irrigation system before the HOA starts threatening me. Builder said this is my problem and he is not installing it. So now I have a house with an illegal porch and an HOA violation.

THEN... I was in the fabulous jetted tub when I heard the toilet start going "glub.. glub... glub". I got out and saw that the shower pan was full of water and concrete bits and dirt... maybe sewage. The entire plumbing system was backed up. I called the emergency plumber from my warranty papers and they worked all day trying to dislodge the huge amount of construction debris from the pipes where the feckless bunch of assholes who built this house crammed things down the pipes instead of using a trash bin. Incidentally, the plumber had to root up my front yard to clear the pipes. My front yard was completely dug up. The plumber also discovered crushed pipes under the driveway where the feckless band of idiots didn't know what they were doing when they installed the plumbing. So, I made an appointment with an attorney to see if I could sue to reverse the contract and make the builder buy the house back. The builder, whose response has always been "That's your problem, I'm not helping you" decided he would install a sprinkler system after all. Not because he has to, you understand, but because he is such a great guy. That's 1 win for me.

THEN... I took the grates off the huge professional looking stove and discovered the glass underneath is just shattered. The stove is substantially broken. Guess what the builder said? "That is not covered on your warranty". My problem. Not his. So I went through the appliance company that supplied it and they are going to fix it. They fixed the fridge that was not dispensing water or ice cubes. That was an easy fix. It was just a switch on the back that was not in the "On" position. I decided to lay low about the things I want to make the builder do until I get that expensive sprinkler system in place.

So last Thursday the sprinkler guys came and tore up my yard some more to bury sprinkler pipes. They were not shy about ringing my doorbell before I was up in the morning, but at the end of the day, when they did not complete the job because of something I could not read on the note they left me, taped to my door, they were too shy to ring the bell and tell me like men would do. So tomorrow I have to call the number on the note and find out WTF I have to do to get these ladies to finish the job.

People, the struggle is real. I was seriously considering suing the builder and moving, but now I think I can work these bugs out and have a nice home here. I've had people showing up more days than not, and someone rings my doorbell before I am up almost every single day. I've been dragged to a 4th of July party against my will and all my new neighbors already know all about my pergola issues. Apparently I've been a bit of a topic around here. I have a good friend who lives in this town and she knows my neighbor, so they conspired to make me go to the party. I was glad I went, but I sure didn't want to go before hand. I had firm plans to miss it.

It's great to be close to my family. We've been getting together a lot. The weather here is blowing my mind. This won't mean anything to anyone who lives in a decent climate, but I've been living in the deep south for a lot of years where it is hella hot and humid around the clock in the summer time. Like, 95 degrees at midnight. That sucks so bad. Opening the door in the early morning and getting hit in the face with wet oven air drains the joy out of me. In this wondrous place, it is cool in the mornings and cool at night. Even after a hot day, it cools off. That alone is reason enough to move here. I think this climate is going to be just right for me. I love it.

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