Um, did someone die in this house? Man it smells! (Evansville rental home search continues…)

I am going to be honest, this home hunt thing has really made me a downer lately. I know how boring and blah the posts have been and I am trying to not go on and on about the same crap, it is just hard to swiftly change perspective when nothing is actually looking up or improving.

We looked a two other home possibilities today and both were basically a waste of time. One was decorated like and also smelled about as good as a nasty no-tell-motel room. You know the cheap indoor/ outdoor carpets in the most disgusting color and the wafting cigarette smoke/ someone died in this place smell?

Yep, that was the first place we looked at. We literally walked through the living room, in one bedroom and we’re ready to get out of there as fast as possible!

The next house was much more expensive and looked much newer and more promising based on the listing photos. Too bad it wreaked of cat piss/ spray at the entryway. The living room was bright and open but the kitchen was tiny with limited cabinets and bad decor. The bedrooms were closet sized and had all sorts of nasty stains on the carpet. Basically it was super tiny and had cosmetic issues. Not worth the $1175 they were asking per month.

So we headed back home feeling defeated. We are scheduled to look at a patio home tomorrow that we suspect we’ll be able to settle on. It’s not as big as we would like but we already know we like the floor plan as we’ve toured other homes on the street with the same floor plan. It is $100 less rent per month than we are paying now and the owner is offering a lease/ purchase option on it. We’ll see if it works out for us tomorrow…

Once we got home from our home touring I began working on a family member/ business owners site. If you look at the photos on his site you’ll see some very nice looking living areas (he remodels homes). Looking at those beautifully finished remodeling projects just makes me hate this house more and more!

Also, we just can’t believe how insanely different homes are here compared to those homes in Arizona that we are used to. Things are just so small and old here and most people don’t take care of their homes so they are also pretty much trashed. In Arizona you can find lots of new construction that is both affordable and also a good investment. Here nothing seems to be worth the asking price within our price range and houses are supposed to be cheaper here!

Oh, we enjoyed watching American Idol that we recorded last night. My old choir buddy Scott MacIntyre was on and he had a pretty good performance, yay! We’ll watch tonight’s recorded episode when N gets off work to see if Scott makes it on to the top 12, I hope he does!

N got the power back on in the bathroom, dining room and kitchen today. He had to completely unwire an outlet just to cut power to the garbage disposal. Cutting power to the disposal was the only way to turn the darn thing off. The disposal is so old it’s wired directly to an outlet as opposed to being plugged in to one and it has no reset switch.

So we’ve undone and taped off all the exposed wires from that outlet and have left the outlet plug disconnected. We have power in all three rooms now (just not in that one outlet). Yay for having power again. Now I can use the dishwasher, washer, dryer and bathroom lights!

Well that is pretty much all we have to report here. I am off to make the blog rounds now. I still have like 40 unread items in my reader and I have a feeling my commenters aren’t showing love because I’ve been such a slacker. Hopefully I can get caught up on blog reading today.

The final chapter of the crappy evansville landlord drama.

Today is a good day! For those of you following the rental saga, here is the latest (and hopefully the final) update.

After months of certified letters, emails, phone calls and face to face meetings that accomplish nothing we’ve finally decided to ask the landlords to release us from the lease come May 1st.

We decided that asking to be released from the lease was the better way to go. If we needed to get a lawyer and present all our documentation supporting their breach of the lease we could. It is just that starting the legal battle takes much time and lots of money we didn’t really want to have to fork out if not necessary.

So, N made the phone call to the landlords this morning. He is the professional one who can present things in a non emotional way. I just tend to be blunt and rude about things like this and say stuff like F-you, you are an idiot. LOL…

Anyway, N got a call back about 10 min. before we had to leave for my chiropractor appointment be we figured that would happen and were ready.

During the call he outlined our frustrations with the rental situation. Talked about how paying them rent has been an ongoing challenge as a result of them changing banks and addresses monthly.

He brought up our health concerns over the mold and the fact that we asked them to take action back in November to help remedy the mold issue but they ignored our requests.

He talked about how we’ve sent multiple certified letters that they’ve refused to pick up and he basically said that we would like  to be let out of our lease, penalty free so we find a more stable home before baby Tater comes.

Her response was “Okay, we just need to get the owed rent from February and March first”… She didn’t even care about us wanting to be let out of the lease!

We recorded the phone conversation for our records and we’ll be typing up a letter stating that we’re being let out of our lease by the landlords that she will sign.

We’ve also placed a stop payment on the previously issued checks from February and March per her request and have turned those in to one big cashiers check to give her when she signs the “early release from lease letter”. Thank goodness we are out of here!

Basically we get the keys to our new place on April 1st and will have a month to get out of our current place and to tidy it up before the move out inspection here on May 1st.

We are super stoked and feel like a huge burden has been lifted from our shoulders. We are still trying to be sure we keep good documentation of all of it just to cover our butts but essentially it should be all done and over with now.

We found our new place, got released from our current one and are pretty much on track for getting all this madness taken care of before Tater comes. Yay!

For those of you in similar situations with unresponsive landlords you may find the following posts and references helpful. Read all about our moldy, indiana rental and what we did about it in these posts (arranged from newest to oldest):

You may also find the following external links helpful:

Home buying fun in Evansville, IN- sellers are still greedy even when screwed!

Remember all the times I have talked about trying to buy a home on this blog? Well we are still living the first time home buyer saga. Over the weekend we looked at a place here that was a possible option for us, we met a Realtor that was overly eager to make her money and we once again have home buying on the brain.

The main reason we are looking to buy is because of the economic state, it is a buyers market for sure. Houses on the market are in abundance, home prices are falling and lots of people are desperately needing to sell the homes they can no longer afford.

Plus with President Obama it is likely we’ll see some type of housing market stimulus attempt, you know to get people buying again and to turn the market around. We suspect this will be most beneficial for those who have not been sucked in to the subprime mortgage mess and whom have not lost homes or even purchased them to begin with.

We have worked very hard to get money for a down payment in the bank. Thanks to employer sponsored 401K plans and roll over options we now have a decent down payment in an IRA ready for a home purchase, we are very pleased about this.

Now we are looking at our home buying options and considering what is truly in our best interest. Obviously we don’t want to remain in a mold filled rental home especially with a baby on the way so we have reinstated our home buying search.

We are looking at unconventional purchasing options at this time. Things like contract sales and owner carry buying options. We are doing this for credit reasons and also because we know somethings are going to change with the new president in regards to the housing market and financing options.

What cracks me up right now is how delusional sellers and agents are right now, they are still trying to be as greedy and shameless a possible even though the number of sellers clearly outnumbers the number of buyers in Evansville, IN.

The place we saw over the weekend was not spectacular by any means, the basement clearly had flooding issues and there were also structural issues on the 2nd floor. The seller made some crazy offer to us that was just a crock and we just laughed about (I don’t want to bore you with the specifics).

What I am wondering is when will people wake up? We are in a recession and greed just doesn’t work anymore. Seriously you selling me your house is NOT doing me any favors. We can rent forever and just keep making interest off that down payment money in the IRA, it’ll be more saved for retirement or whatever. Or we can buy another house, there isn’t a housing shortage you know.

When you have a buyer that is interested how can you honestly make such laughable requests when YOU are the one that is struggling under 2 mortgage payments YOU can’t make? We aren’t struggling financially to pay for our housing because we didn’t get in to an agreement that was impossible to make good on.

When you get someone who is willing to make your payments for you and help YOU out how can you still be so greedy? I know you really want to make your $50,000 profit off the home sale but which is better taking a profit cut or holding out in greed and risking foreclosure?

What kills me is that so many are honestly willing to loose their homes to foreclosure instead of just cutting their losses, learning from the mistake and just selling for what they can get. Those greedy people make me feel like foreclosure is deserved and that we shouldn’t care about their suffering or bail them out, I mean they did it to themselves right?

OMG, we are actually living in Evansville…

Yesterday was my first day in the new house alone and strangely enough it was weird. Normally I love my alone time, it gives me time to sort things out, do what I need to do and I am just better off after having that alone time. Today I am at a loss, I haven’t been alone for more than 30 minutes in the last 2 weeks and now that I am it is weird…

Yesterday was also N’s first day on the new job, yay! He was on both the 5 & 6pm news and he did a perfect jobs as usual. When he came home he was telling me what the expectations were for him and that people were amazed at his comfort and confidence when he was on the air.

We still are feeling good about making this move and are pleased with our decision. It appears we are living in a great neighborhood, we’ve met many neighbors and they are all so nice! We are just not used to nice friendly people.

The house we are living in is older and has some issues (like major basement flooding when it storms and old 2 prong plugs) but we are happy with it. I am also pretty excited that we’ll actually be living in a house for a whole year as opposed to moving every 6 months. I feel like we can unpack and get comfortable now, crap the holidays are just around the corner!

Oh, the other day when we were picking up our rental car I was again asked when the wedding was (N referred to me as his fiance)… The gal looked at me like I had two heads when I answered “we haven’t set a date yet” and that we would probably be married in a few years. I am feeling the pressure now, we need to start figuring out wedding stuff- I get it!

Plus the HR gal at N work said a domestic partnership for insurance purposes was not an option so now we are trying to decide if we are just going to go get our marriage license now and be legally married on paper so our finances and insurance can be in order even though we haven’t actually had a wedding…

In other news the talk was all about how we were hammered by the remnants of hurricane Ike. It was our “welcome to Indiana” event!

We were without power on Sunday like everyone else in the area but many remain without power and some schools are even canceling class as a result of the situation. I guess the power situtaion continues to impact people and many are even turning to the red cross for shelter and meals as a result of the situation around here. We were fortunate.

Finding rental houses (not apartments) online…

I have never understood why finding rental homes online is so much more difficult than finding apartments. When we moved out to Flagstaff, AZ we rented several apartments over the course of 2 years. Apartment complexes just don’t make things easy for multiple pet owners and families with kids seldom want to live in an apartment setting.

Sometimes renting an actual house is better but finding them is never easy! I thought it would be helpful for others if I complied my rental home resources. This is not a sponsored post but I have had the opportunity to to business with several companies on the list and will link you to the posts made when I lived in homes under the particular company’s management. Hopefully this list is helpful to some and our experiences can aid you in finding the right property management company for you!

Flagstaff, AZ Rental House Resources:

  • Pollock Properties ( We leased a home out in Kachina Village through them. Ann Pollock was very good to us despite the unfavorable situation we got ourselves into. We rented a home on a month to month basis, it was on the market and we had to show it whenever a Realtor had an interested buyer. The home owners were sneaky and shady but Ann was honest and helped make things right. We lived in one of their managed properties from about September 2007- February 2008. You can read about our experiences by checking the pollock properties tag (click the link).
  • Coldwell Banker Narico ( or – Again we leased a home out in Kachina Village through them, we signed a 6 month lease, 3 months later we were told the owners wanted to put the home back on the market and that we would be forced to show the house for the remainder of our lease or until the home sold. We lived in one of their managed properties from February 2008 to September 2008. You can read about our experiences by checking the coldwell banker tag (click the link).
  • AZNorth ( – We had never used this company.
  • The Ginsburg Group ( – We had never used this company.
  • Levitan Properties ( – We had never used this company. Specialized (when we were looking for rentals 2004-2008) in pet friendly apartment communities. No additional pet rent, deposits are fully refundable and often utilities are paid. Great for families with pets looking for apartment living in Flagstaff, AZ.

Evansville, IN Rental House Resources:

  • Evansville Homes For Rent ( – I called them and they seemed very friendly and accommodating, I told them I had emailed them and would like an email response. I also emailed them prior to calling them to ask if anyone would be able to assist us by taking photos of homes we are considering renting since we wont be able tour the home prior to move in. Nobody has responded to me via email or phone.
  • Fetter Property Management ( – I emailed them to ask if anyone would be able to assist us by taking photos of homes we are considering renting since we wont be able tour the home prior to move in. I also called and left a message asking for a returned call or email. Nobody has responded to me via phone or email.
  • Lowe Realty, Inc. ( – I emailed them to ask if anyone would be able to assist us by taking photos of homes we are considering renting since we wont be able tour the home prior to move in. Nobody has responded to me.
  • Given & Spindler ( – I emailed them to ask if anyone would be able to assist us by taking photos of homes we are considering renting since we wont be able tour the home prior to move in. Nobody has responded to me.
  • Corrier Press Newspaper ( – Displays listings for rental properties and contact info but did not have property photos or extensive property information. Not a good resource for those looking for rentals from outside the state.
  • F.C. Tucker Emge ( – Displays listings and property info on their site. Homes are nice and the staff DOES respond to your emails, they are willing to help.

Hopefully this list provides some help to those searching for rental homes in Flagstaff, Arizona or Evansville, Indiana. If you have a site you want to add please do so in the comments field!

Another week draws to an end… Coming up on 37 weeks pregnant!

<-  Look what I’ve been working on!!

It is not the greatest but I needed a blog button for a new writing gig I have going on. It looks like I’ll be one of the contributing editors to Sited and Blogged sharing coupon finds and deals! I know, I’ve always got a million things going huh? LOL.

The other exciting stuff happening is that next week Tater will officially be FULL TERM and we’ll be just 3 short weeks from her due date.

This is very exciting for us although it is going to be hard to be away from N for so long. In 2 weeks he is dropping me off at The Farm, he’ll stay the weekend and then he heads back home on Sunday. He has to work (no paternity leave) and be at the house to feed and water the animals until labor starts.

We had previously hoped to have someone staying here at the house to look after the pets so that N could return to The Farm every weekend to visit with me but it doesn’t seem like that will be happening.

My mother will be staying with me out at The Farm so I wont be completely alone while I am there waiting for little Tater to make her entrance.

I am kind of worried about N getting himself from Evansville to Summertown in time for Tater’s arrival once labor begins, that is another reason I’ve been having so much “has labor started” anxiety.

He’ll be 4 hours away and will have to drop everything at work, get a rental car, find someone to look after the animals, grab all his stuff and get himself to The Farm in time for the birth once he gets word that labor has begun. *sigh* Stress (but excitement too)!!

Time flies… When it Rains, it pours… We have some more news too!

Is it strange that vacuuming was enjoyable for me this last week? I got a wild hair and was having a good ole time with our vintage Filter Queen vacuum. It might have been the warmer weather that got me all motivated or perhaps it’s the prospects of getting out of this place and in to the home we just looked at. Either way, I was cleaning and even packing stuff up. Woho for motivation!

The last few weeks have been filled with all sorts of crapola and it’s made us grumpy at times but we are glad to have gotten so much accomplished. Here is a recap complete with links in case you missed something or a bored and want to read our drama.

We got our taxes filed and our returns are on the way, we got our February rent check mystery solved with the bank, we got our march rent paid and sent off in this certified letter that still hasn’t been picked up!

We looked at so many home options, decided on and bought Tater’s nursery bedding, we rescued a bird from the wall of this house, delt with and remedied the broken garbage disposal, we finished Boners homemade cage but he managed to mate with Maybelle anyway and we are expecting baby bunnies in a few weeks now!

In the next two weeks I’ve got 2 prenatal appointments (one at The Farm with Pamela and one with the local OBGYN), I have a chiropractor appointment and my 27th birthday is March 20th.

Then we have the end of March and all of April to pack and move, again. In May I’ll be nesting and unpacking and then I am off to The Farm to have Tater in June! Time is just flying these days, unbelievable…

Oh wait, I skipped over the big news… We found our home!

Saturday we entered a verbal agreement and hashed out all the terms, now we are going back and fourth drafting up a contract. On April 1st we are making a down payment, moving in to the house and will have 12 months to take over ownership of it.

We are super happy and also pretty excited about it all. The place is just what we need right now! It doesn’t need major work to be ready for Tater’s arrival, it is in our price range and it is a pretty good investment for us. Here are some more photos of it from the weekend:

I think we will be very happy there and it is something we can call our own. After 5 years we’ve finally managed to find the right house at the right price and terms. I’ve always wanted to be in our own home before we brought home a baby too. It’s funny how it all works out in the strangest of ways!

Like I’ve said before the last six months have been quite the roller coaster ride for us! We went from making no life progress over several years to making tons of progress all at once within like 6 months. When it rains, it pours!

Oh and I am entering to win a Bumgenius over at, you can too. Here is how:

Win a free Bumgenius 3.0 Diaper! This is a valuable All-In-One cloth diaper that you can use for yourself or give as a gift to someone expecting a baby! Go check out Hot Belly Mama’s Blog for details on how to win this wonderful All In One Cloth Diaper. Hot Belly Mama will announce the winner on March 30th, after her 30th birthday!

We are holding our breath because we may have found OUR house…

Hopefully I am not jinxing us here but I just wanted to spread the upbeat news. With all the crappy happenings a bit of good is always nice, even if it is a bit premature…

So, we did look at a home we liked today! I mentioned it yesterday briefly (I was trying not to get my hopes up). Well today we saw it and loved it. It is actually a home similar to ones we have already toured. The catch is this one is $200 less that those other homes like it AND the owner is offering a lease purchase option.

It is smaller than we would like but it is newer, clean and could possibly be OURS! Here is a photo of the front of it.

The layout has the master bedroom upstairs, loft style overlooking the kitchen.

See that round window at the peak of the roof? It shines light in to the master bedroom.

There is a master bathroom upstairs also, then there are two rooms downstairs in addition to another full bathroom, the living room and the kitchen.

The other great feature we love is the sun room. We’ll use it as an office. Yay we could have an office and a nursery for Tater!

All in all we like it, it’s not the 4 acre farm house we have always dreamed of owning but it is a good first time home that is livable immediately and gives us the possibility to gain some equity for that future purchase of acreage and a farm house.

We are going to get in to hashing out the nitty gritty details with them soon. For those of you just tuning in we couldn’t get financed thanks to some credit report errors and a student loan that is almost back in positive status (1 month to go baby!)… So we’ve been looking at lease/ purchase options in case something fitting comes along. Renting and throwing your money away is just sucky…

Anyway, the gist of it all is that we will have to make a big down payment on the place upon moving in, then we’ll be allowed to lease the home from the owners for a set period of time. During the set period of time we are working like crazy to get our credit in order and to keep it all looking good for the mortgage company, then we will apply for a mortgage to buy the home at the end of the lease term.

The cool thing about a lease purchase option is (a percentage of) the money you pay while renting, plus any down payments made come off the total purchase price of the home once you do get your mortgage and buy the place.

It is nice because then you are leasing a home but not totally throwing your money away since some (or all of the money paid, depending on the contract terms) will come off the total purchase price of the home.

Say we agree to lease/ purchase a home for $112,000 and the owner agrees to apply 100% of our $5,000 down payment towards the purchase of the home, that brings the home’s purchase price to $107,000.

Then if we are given a 12 month lease option and $775 of each month’s rent goes towards the purchase price of the home we’ll be paying another $9,300 towards the total purchase price during the 12 months of leasing.

This knocks the price down even more to a whopping $97,700 when it is time to get that mortgage. Pretty sweet huh?

So, yeah we are pretty happy that the owners like us and are willing to consider the options with us. It is looking like the possibilities are good with this one but it is not set in stone yet.

Oh, we still have no idea about the status of our current lease but are basically just planning to leave anyway. I am almost certain our crappy landlords have voided the lease with their failure to address issues we’ve notified them of. If we need a lawyer to prove it then we will get one!

So yeah, that is the news. Yay for positive prospects (it’s about time)! Oh and my choir buddy, Scott MacIntyre made it through to the top 12 on American Idol. I am so happy for him, he deserves it! Way to go Scott!!

And…. it seems we should be getting ready for those “easter bunnies” afterall. Our rabbit, Maybelle is building her nest and is acting funny. I’ve got the camera ready to capture those little baby bunnies, now who wants one? Seriously I can’t keep them!

The Filter Queen, a cute country home and more landlord drama…

Today was an early and productive day for us. We woke up and headed to our bank to discuss getting some legal documentation against our landlords.

You see they closed their accounts prior to the beginning of February and our electronic bill payment to them (for rent) wasn’t paid since their account is no longer… So we needed to get some proof of our payment being sent and thus returned as a result.

I know it just keeps getting better and better with them huh?

Anyway, we spent like 30 minutes at the bank tracking down some proof about our payment. Then we pushed off to the post office to get our certified letter in the mail to them detailing why they have broken the terms of the lease. We also included our March rent payment in the letter, who knows if they’ll pick this certified letter up…

Then we went by the freecycler’s house to pick up that older vacuum that was offered up the other day. We also got a stack of cute cow plates and bowls from another freecycler for my cow kitchen obsession. Sometimes freecycle is so great!

The real focus of the day was to tour a slew of rental/ lease purchase homes though. We saw 3 homes today 2 rentals and one rental with a lease to own option. N and I fell in love with one of the rentals. Here is a photo of it.

We love it because it is on five acres of wooded land, it has an old country house feel and just seems like it will be a good fit for us. We weren’t able to see the inside of the home today as the owner was away but we did peek in the windows as the owner suggested and looked around the property.

It has some real potential with it’s garden beds, planted bulbs and even some fruit bushes and tress. Deep down we are both hoping it works out as a rental and is something we can maybe buy later down the road.

We are excited about the house but know we’ll just have to see how everything pans out. If it’s meant to be it will be.

Oh and by the way that vacuum we got free today freaking rocks! It looks old and beat up as you can see from the photos but works great.

It is a Filter Queen (model number 937241) and apparently it is a work horse and was/ is a pretty expensive vacuum (you can read more about it here)!

It is over 20 years old and still works great as opposed to our newer Eureka Altima Upright vacuum that was just over a year old and melted itself up. Oh and did I mention it has more suction and better filtering than the Eureka?

We are pretty impressed with the vacuum and can’t believe someone gave it away for free, how fortunate were we? So, now we can have clean carpets again.

We do want to try replacing the hose on it since it’s currently wrapped in duct tape… It still works great just looks a bit ghetto. N was even thinking of trying to donate our broken, crappy Eureka to a vacuum repair place in return for a discount on a new hose for the Filter Queen, barter style. It’s worth a try.

So all in all we had a super productive day and are pleased with all the progress we made. Tomorrow if we get a wild hair we’ll take the blanket from Tater’s bedding set and go compare it to the furnature we liked at Baby Depot to see if it goes. Window shopping could be fun if we have the energy. We also hope to see the inside of the cute country home too, if possible.

Bubbling with anticipation and watching the world blow by…

Tomorrow is our big ultrasound appointment and we are excited about it. We are dying to know if Tater Tot is a boy or girl and we know you are itching to know too…

Also, we called a local lender today and are waiting to hear if we are pre approved for a mortgage. We are either buying a home in the next few months or we’ll be hunting for a 2 year rental, either way we are preparing to get out of our current lease. Here is why:

Mold is natural everywhere that is why an outdoor control test is done. See all the black mold with a spot of white and a spot of yellow on the control test?

When you look at the two basement tests you can see much less black colored mold (that is naturally occurring in our area as shown by the test) and more yellow and white looking mold growth that is not present as much outdoors as proved by the control test. It looks to be a sign that we have some additional stuff growing and polluting the air within our home that isn’t abundantly present outdoors.

Seems to me like an obvious sign that the air quality within the home is worse than the air quality outside the home, what do you think?

Oh and it’s been raining for less than 24 hours and our basement is filling with water again. Took some more photos to document it all for our landlords.

Now we are having majorly high winds and rain. The power is flickering and turning on and off. I better get off the computer now. Keep your fingers crossed for us and subscribe to this blog so you’ll be the first to know when we share our Tater Tot news!

Brain Spew: Bullet Point Thursday. Bun in the oven edition.

I could be long winded and thorough about all these things but that is just a tad boring and seriously nobody cares that much right? So here is my brain spew for you in the form of an infamous bullet point post. Enjoy!

  • My tap water gives me diarrhea.

Yep I know that is TMI huh? It is serious though. About every 2 weeks it happens and oddly enough it is coinciding with my water intake. Any time I drink more than my 2 jugs of water it just runs right through me. Someone remarked “wouldn’t you just pee the water out?” and I thought to myself, “why yes I should”. Problem is that is not what is happening. Then my mom reminded me that her water has some unusual levels of minerals that cause them stomach upset among other issues. Our bodies really can have problems with the levels of stuff in our water and if my body can’t process whatever is in it and sees it as harmful wouldn’t it just eliminate it as quickly as possible? We are putting this theory to the test, I am now only drinking water that had been distilled first. Hopefully that will do the trick, I can tell you after 2 days I am peeing way more!

  • Our OBGYN never called about our appointment that never happen.

We were planning to have our ultrasound on the 29th of January but since the town was literally shut down as a result of the storm our doctors office wasn’t open. They didn’t call to inform us of this either, this makes us a bit annoyed. We’ve been expecting them to call us to reschedule the missed appointment but I guess they really don’t care. I called them today and got booked for an appointment next Thursday, 2/12/09. We should be finding out Tater Tot’s sex then. *fingers crossed*

  • I am still researching genealogy, now for Tater Tot’s sake.

Remember those silly family tree projects you are assigned as a kid in school? I never had fun doing them and always kind of despised them because we had no info on our family history at that time. In my baby book in the family tree area my parents and grandparents are filled in but nothing else. Where it says great grandmother/ grandfather someone wrote “dead”… Nice huh? Anyway, I am still loving the site and would encourage each of you to sign up there (it is free) and record all the info you know about your family. It may help others later on down the road and you never know when you might want to reasearch your own genealogy further.

  • Our residential roads are still iced over, the city doesn’t plough them- ever.

Flagstaff had 12 ploughs in operation, the same number of ploughs are working here in Evansville… Funny thing is we had better snow/ ice removal in Flagstaff, which is was smaller than Evansville and gets way more winter storms. Things are ass backwards here with regards to winter weather response/ management, big time!

  • Scott MacIntyre did advance to the next round on American Idol.

I recorded it and fast forwarded thought all the commercials and annoying drama girl parts but did see him in many of the filler shots and the show did indicate that his group made it to the next round. Of course he wouldn’t be featured in the group night drama episode, he is nice, cooperative and does well with others. I am sad that they didn’t show his groups performance though.

  • Tater is crazy active and we are in the planning for baby phase now.

Tater’s kicks and punches continue, I am used to them now. Shoot! We’ve only got about 5 months left to this pregnancy, almost half way through and we have tons to do! [cue anxiety]

Here is my “perfect world” scenario brainstorm: We’ve got to get out of this place and in to another rental preferably before May (even though our lease doesn’t officially expire until August 31st). Any ideas on how to nicely get us out of our lease?

This means we only have 3 months to pack, find a new place and move in to it. Didn’t we just do the moving thing? *sigh* Once we are moved we’ll have the month of May to unpack and nest before any chance of early labor. We don’t want early labor folks!

Then I’ll take it easy for 2 weeks before we drop me off at The Farm (around the 2nd week of June). Then I’ll wait at The Farm for labor to begin while N is back in Indiana working and caring for the pets (I could end up being there until the 2nd week of July if baby wants to come later).

I’ll call him when I feel like it is time for him to make the trip down to be with us for the delivery (but who will care for the pets?). We’ll hang at The Farm for a few days after labor to get breastfeeding support and to make sure baby is doing well, then we’ll head home and adjust to being new parents.

See? Told you this was a brain spew post! Oh and we sat down and got our baby registry lists semi updated too! We still haven’t added gender specific stuff like bedding and clothes but all the other junk is on the registries now! You can check out the registries by using these buttons:

My Wish List

So basically that is it in a nutshell, sort of… Stop diarrhea, find out Tater’s sex, genealogy research, clean, pack, find new home, move, buy baby stuff, unpack, nest, rest, go The Farm, squeeze baby out, rest more, learn to breasfeed, bond with baby, enjoy, adapt, head home. The end (for now).

Weekly Winners January 12th- 18th

Here is this weeks Weekly Winners post, as with last week all photos were captured using my new Kodak Cd-1013 Digital Camera.

Here is Alexandria-Maybelle, the bunny. We have had her since way before the move to Evansville. We ended up buying her at the feed and tack store one spring while my mom was visiting us in Flagstaff. We had a bunny, Baby Bunny, prior to Alexandria-Maybelle but because of living situations (the landlord forced us to remove our unauthorized pets from the rental) we had to send her and the cats down to The Ranch to live with my mom for a few months.

Anyway Baby Bunny died (from eating apple core and seed we suspect) and we went several months, almost a year, without a bunny in the home. Then we spotted Alexandria-Maybelle. Here she is in the bottom of her giant cage near her litter box. We aren’t sure what her breed is, probably mixed.

Well, N has been talking about this bunny that was found hippity hopping through the grocery store parking lot that someone he worked with had taken in but could not keep. They were keeping it in a plastic storage bin like this oneand were not able to keep it.

It caught his eye because it was a lop ear and he has always wanted one, plus they weren’t providing it with proper living conditions. Oh and we are also suckers for rescuing pets…

We make our pet decisions together normally and during last week he brought up taking the bunny in again. I was trying hard to not get sucked in to the cuteness of the bunny or any of that because once you do you are screwed.

Don’t get me wrong having a bunny isn’t that difficult, the key is providing it with the proper cage that will both keep your home clean and also keep your pet healthy and safe. Bunnies are cute and cuddly and appealing which is why so many people try to keep them as pets. The thing is they are also animals with needs and should be considered life long additions to your family if you choose to adopt one.

Sometimes bunnies can spray pee outside the sides of a typical rabbit cage, which can in turn stain carpet or dirty walls. Plus, they need a means to get exercise if they are solely indoor rabbits and a cage should provide that unless you plan to take your bunny out of the cage every day and let it play and run. Oh and you’ll also need to supervise it while it is running the house it to insure it doesn’t chew through any power cables on on your walls or something. Lastly, just because they were once wild animals does not mean you can just leave them outside in freezing or smoldering temperatures to fend for themselves, this is just cruel.

So when N brought up the bunny thing I explained that there was no way we could afford another $100+ multilevel cage for a second rabbit. Besides sexing young rabbits is hard and putting two together that are not the same sex (and also unfixed) is just bad news. Every heard the phrase humping like rabbits? They are prolific breeders folks!

I told N that if he was set on taking the rabbit in he would have to construct a cage for the thing that was sufficient for indoor use and also that allowed for exercise. And that is had to be done within days of bringing the new bunny home. Well, let me introduce you to Boner, the bunny.

You are probably wondering “well how does she know it is a he if sexing rabbits is so hard?”. Let me just say that we slowly introduced the two rabbits yesterday and he climbed right on top of Alexandria-Maybelle and started humping her head. When I grabbed him off her his penis was hanging out which very quickly told us he is a male. Plus he has these, balls.

Young rabbits are hard to sex but once they become sexually mature it is a bit more obvious, as you can see. So Now we are keeping Boner and Maybelle separate to avoid baby rabbits, we’ll also have Boner fixed when we find a vet and get some extra money. In the meantime the rabbits will just stay close but be kept apart.

Oh and all the household members are now friends with Boner, here is a video of everyone hanging out last night. Crazy huh?

We love to travel (even though it is always insanity) and can't wait to get away this weekend!

After spending most of the morning cleaning like a mad woman I think it is time for a nap! One of N’s coworkers is watching over the house and the pets while we go to our prenatal appointment at The Farm so I wanted to have the house clean, you know since an outsider would be in it and all.

Plus, I am real particular about the state of the house when I return from trips. I like to have vacuuming done, dishes washed, laundry done and everything straightened/ decluttered. I want to leave the place super clean because I know that while we are away the cats are going to go crazy.

Every single time we go away the cats tear the house up. They’ll knock over plants, vomit hairballs and food all over the carpet, they even find people food to consume (like bread, chips or cereal) and of course everything that was left on a flat surface finds it’s way to the floor before we return.

The pets make quite a mess for us to deal when once we return from our trip, this is why cleaning the house before we leave is important. It means less crap to deal with when we return.

So we cleaned a ton today, picked up the rental car and are ready to depart for the appointment this weekend. I am actually kind of excied to spend a weekend out and about. Back in the day, oh about 7 years ago, N and I used to travel ALL the time.

One month after I started dating him he took me on this romantic trip to San Diego that he compleatly planned. I had no idea what to expect from the trip but he sure had it all worked out. We stayed in a room with a giant whirlpool tub (of course we had champagne and goodies while in the giant bubble bath), he took me to a location where one of Maralyn Monroe’s movies was shot, it was this beautiful hotel on the beach, we did lots of fun stuff on that trip and best of all he arranged it all and surprised me with it.

That was the start to our love for traveling. Since then we have done all sorts of other traveling. Some notable times were the week long road trip to move out here oh and we’ve camped up the pacific coast highway and were almost attacked by a bear.

Speaking of that week long road trip, while I was looking back at the archives I was amazed at how much was going on during that trip! Did you read the whole 2 week series of “edge of your seat” drama? Here is a recap for you. We loaded 13 living beings (5 cats, 1 dog, 2 birds, 1 bunny and 4 people) in to our 1970’s Winnebago for a 1500 mile trip from Arizona to Indiana.

Anyway, I am totally looking forward to this weekend. I doubt it will be as eventful as our road trip to move out here was but it will be so nice to get out and to see some new sights! Got any suggestions about waht we should see along the way from Evansville to Nashville? Hope you all have a great weekend.

In Indiana breathing mold is okay but home birth is not, just an FYI.

Yeah I know the title seems kind of odd huh? I have been tying all sorts of weird things together these days like posts about a ladies hoo-hoo’s and mold. This is just the way my brain is working these days… Hopefully it is mildly entertaining for you cause this mold thing is making me beyond pissy! This is a pissy post by the way.

Yeah, so in Indiana having a baby in your home with certain midwives is bad news but you can be exposed to any level of mold spores by your landlord because there are no defined limits on mold here! Nice huh?

Yep, I found out that there is no regulation on mold growth here. We talked to the Indiana department of health about it today. Really just goes to prove how much the laws truly protect us.

DEM (direct entry midwives) and CPM (certified professional midwives) are not able to legally practice in Indiana simply because their training did not include licensed nursing. They are thoroughly trained and know their trade but they are considered unlawful by the state, the reasoning is that law is “protecting us”.

Yet mold safety limits are not set in Indiana and the presence of mold is not a health department or code enforcement issue (we’ve called both organizations) here despite the CDC’s statements that “If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present.” and that all forms of mold are bad and should be removed. Where is our law that protects now? *scratches head*

Oh and our landlords did allow that certified letter and rent check we sent to get returned to us. The post office held the letter and left them notice to come pick it up, the letter waited for for 18 days but the landlords just couldn’t be bothered with it… So now we are waiting for it to appear back in our mailbox so we can determine what to do now. Good thing we wasted like $5.00 to send it. I am just so damn mad about all this rental drama today!

Thanks for all your well wishes. Yesterday I was feeling a bit better but today I am back to feeling like a cold is coming on. We have our air ducts in the bedroom closed off and I have a humidifier with vicks vapor stuff in it that makes my breathing less painful but my head still aches and so does my body (like I am running a fever).

It is confirmed, I am breathing in mold while in the house, the mold tests are beginning to show mold growth on them so that proves it. Now we just need to see if the mold presence on the indoor tests proves to be more that the control test we were instructed to run outdoors. The tests have another day to incubate.

If there is more mold in the house than there is in the air outside that is considered bad news. I am certain the air quality is impacting our health and the health of the pets since we are all having respiratory issues.

Here is what those petri dishes are looking like today:

This first photo is of the outdoor air sample, the control test that determines what amount of mold growth is normally in the air surrounding the house. Click on the image for a larger view.

The next photo is of the basement test. This one was placed on the floor near the area that water seeped under the bar and in to the tiled area of the basement. Click on the image for a larger view.

So far it looks like more mold was present in the basement air test that in the outdoor air test. Just to be sure we did a second basement test today and N is also planning to run a HVAC mold test to sample the quality of the air from our heater and AC unit.

Honestly I am at a loss as to what the next step is. I do not have the physical or emotional strength to move right now nor do I think I will throughout the course of this pregnancy.

I know we are going to have to either way as our lease expires before I am due. Obviously we don’t want to remain in a home that has moldy air while I am pregnant and I am certain we can get out of the lease if we want to despite the lack of mold regulations in the state…

We are looking for a place to buy right now because quite frankly we do not want to be moving every year for the next 3 years while we are here for N’s job, especially with a child. But buying a home is also something you don’t just rush in to. If we rushed we might end up owning a dump that also has mold issues except we would own it and have to spend a ton fixing the issue.

I am just exhaused and can’t find a solution. In a perfect world we would already own a home, I would be decorating the baby’s nursury, things would be calm and I wouldn’t face heath risks as a result of my home’s air quality… Reality has presented me with the exact opposite of perfection and we’ll just have to find a way to make it work, as usual. That just pisses me off today, I am going to eat a corndog now.

Divide your peonies and enjoy a date night! It is good for the soul.

Holy cow you guys had some great advice and thoughts on wedding planning! I was initially worried about blogging about our wedding planning, didn’t want to bore you to tears but you all had some great tips and thoughts for us. Brainstorming as a group is always easier so thanks for sharing you 2 cents it helped a ton! We came up with some good ideas that I can share here if guys want.

As for our date, it was well overdue and extremely enjoyable. We went to bonefish grill here in Evansville, it was suggested by some of N’s coworkers. The food was mediocre but the service and atmosphere were nice. N’s was recognized by two different couples which surprised us. They were polite enough to not intrude on our meal but they were staring and whispering which gave it away. He has only been on the air for a week and we just didn’t think people would start recognizing him for awhile. It is crazy!

The next day N and I checked out wedding books out at the Library, went grocery shopping and for dinner we did a mystery shop at a local restaurant which was also nice because it was basically free and we are poor right now!

N didn’t have a work phone ringing off the hook the entire weekend, he was not expected to drop everything to cover breaking news and he was not mentally drained from the previous work week so we could actually do fun stuff on his days off. This new job is really working out for us!

Today N went back to work and I started tackling the bed of peonies. Remember how I dug up all my bulbs and boxed them up for the move? Well they need to be planted big time and I want to plant them in the ground as opposed to pots since we are going to be in this rental for a full year. The back of the house is lined with a 2 foot wide bed that is over grown with peonies.

Today my goal was to cut the peonies back, dig them up and begin dividing them so there would be some room in the planting bed for all my un-planted homeless bulbs. Too bad the bed is filled with huge peony clumps that are buried under some very solid, rock hard clay soil that will not budge.

I was only able to cut back and start to dig the peonies today and it was back breaking! I watered the clumps and now the water is soaking in to the soil. I am hoping dampening the soil will make things easier when I go to dig tomorrow. I thought the soil was supposed to be richer and in better shape out here… Oh well.

So, does anyone want some peonies? I am not sure what color or breed they are but I’ll have tons to give away since they are growing on top of each other right now and should normally be several inches apart. If you want to pay shipping costs I’ll send you some!

Days 7-11, We are here but the chaos continues

We are here in our new home and off the road but the chaos continues… It’s been almost 2 weeks since my family joined us to make the 1500 mile trek from Flagstaff, AZ to Evansville, IN. We have had our ups and downs like any family over the course of the two weeks. We are close but also very fiery, that’s how we roll!

The day after we arrived at our new home my brother was having some anger issues. Actually we were all at wits end and were ready for some quiet calm time. Unfortunately he broke his cellphone and that made him upset the previous night.

The anger had also carried over from one day to the next until it erupted. When he lashed out on my mom we stayed out of it but when the rage was directed at us we were not willing to allow the behavior in our home especially when he became physically aggressive. Lets just say my brother and I got in to a full fledged brawl.

I still don’t handle physical aggression well and am prone to respond likewise. I suspect it has something to do with my abusive childhood. Anyway after N and my mom broke up the fight my brother aimed his anger at my mom and then stormed out and then called the police on us.

We retrieved him from the Evansville juvenile detention center on Wednesday morning, obviously the first three days in our new home were not relaxing or calm with my brother being detained. Today he was released and we are fine, tempers just flared big time.

Thursday was somewhat low key once we had my brother home we were all able to relax a bit, we hung around the house and tried getting stuff done. The truck was completely unloaded and picked up by the moving company. We nursed our awful mosquito bites and wondered if the folks just built up an immunity to the nasty buggers after a while. We were being massacred that is for sure, we can’t detect any bites on the natives though. WTF?

Yesterday we got a rental car to drive my mom and brother to Louisville, KY so they could catch their flight and head back home. We left Evansville at noon and arrived in Louisville at about 3pm, had a fun lunch at a quirky place called Lynn’s Paradise Cafe.

After our lunch we went around the corner to the airport, stood in line at ticketing for an hour and learned they had canceled my family’s flight! It only took us 1 1/2 hours to get out to Louisville to learn that. Turns out air traffic control in Chicago (where their plane change is) called for the cancellation of flight as a result of severe weather.

The nice airline ladies booked my mom and brother on a flight for Saturday out of Evansville instead of Louisville after we explained that we drove almost 2 hours just to get to the airport. Now we are just crossing our fingers that weather doesn’t cancel their flight again since it doesn’t appear to be improving as a result of the latest hurricane.

Too bad as of 11am yesterday morning her rescheduled flight has been canceled, again… It doesn’t look like they will be getting out of here until after the hurricane weather has come and gone. They have her resecheduled yet again this time she will change planes in Dallas as opposed to Chicago. Want to take bets on when that will be?

Road trip day 1 – Arizona to New Mexico

Well, it is 3:02pm and we have finally left Flagstaff, AZ are en route. We had a major delay in departing today thanks to our property manager. We were all set for an 11am inspection appointment and we woke up all early to finish the last minute tasks. We got all our cleaning done in time and were waiting around the rental house for the property manager to do the inspection and give us written conformation stating the amount we would be refunded.

After about 30 minutes of waiting we began calling to find out what the deal was. We did have a schedule we had to keep and waiting around all afternoon wasn’t really an option for us. I was aiming to make my appointment in Gallup, NM before 5pm to do my first mystery shop.

The people who bought our rental also pulled up and were also waiting for our property manager to show up. After awhile N went over to their car and introduced himself. The new owners were also quite upset about the property manager not showing up. N and the new home owners decided they would do the walk through together despite the absence of said property manager. This was well after 12:30 pm but we were glad to get the inspection over with and get on the road.

The property manager conveniently called N while we were doing the walk though. Apparently he was having a family emergency that kept him from making our appointment and from picking up the phone to inform us of his situation. We turned the keys over to the new owners after getting approval from the property manager and also got a signed paper from them stating they took possession of the home and inspected it.

All I am worried about is getting our full $1,100 security deposit back. We cleaned the house from top to bottom and even paid to have the carpets cleaned…

Right now it is 5:13 and we are still in Arizona as a result of the afternoon delays. It doesn’t look like I’ll be making my mystery shop and I am kind of ticked, what can you do though? These sorts of delays are bound to happen during our trip and while they are irritating they aren’t going to ruin the day.

Our winnebago is driving great, we have all the animals loaded up. All my special plants are in the Amigo we are towing behind the Winnebago. N calls it the rolling greenshouse, hopefully we aren’t breaking any agricultural rules bringing all the plants across 6 states! We strapped some stuff to the top of the Winnebago also… All in all the trip is going well and we are excited to be on the way!

Our destination for the evening is the Albuquerque Central KOA where we’ll hook up the RV and enjoy free Wifi (that is how I’ll add photos to this post). It is about another 2 1/2 hours away.

We have passed through Winslow, AZ, Holbrook, AZ, Gallup, NM, Threau, NM and Grants, NM on our way to Albuquerque. That adds up to about 330 miles for the day. Fun, fun!

Here are the photos I was able to upload, enjoy!

Check out the next posts in the series:

or you can checkout the previous posts in the series:

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Woho, got a house and some travel ideas…

After weeks of excessively emailing property management companies, banging my head against the wall when they don’t respond and after much hair pulling it appears we have found ourselves a house! I posted a few “housing wanted” ads on craigslist and several property owners responded to me. After viewing photos of homes we have found one we are comfortable renting once we arrive in Evansville. We are just waiting for the lease to be faxed over now. Having this taken care of is a huge relief for us!

Now we have a motor home and a rental place in Evansville! These are probably the two major things we have been working the hardest to get squared away.

This weekend it appears I’ll be seeing my whole family! My mother is visiting to help out with the yard sale and she is bringing my two brothers and my little niece (who I talked about in this post last week). It looks like it will be a fun/ busy weekend for us, I hope to have photos to share once it is all over.

As you know I have also been looking at places to visit on the way to Evansville. Here are some odd-ball yet interesting places I came across in my research, clicking on the titles will bring up images of the sight, admission info is link to more info on the site. Enjoy!

Apparently the site is great for finding offbeat attractions, I found much great info via their site!

Okay, now that I have wasted 2 hours compiling and researching this info I need to get busy on clearing out the spare rooms for our weekend company. Happy Tuesday everyone, you think I’ll be productive today?

Amazing weather rocks! People who don't respond to inquiries from their site suck.

We have had cool, humid, rainy weather this whole week and I am loving it! Sure the humid weather makes my hair go nutty but it makes my skin so happy and it is cooler than normal when it rains!

Besides stormy weather just calms me. On stormy days I may even curl up with a blanket and pillow on the couch for a lazy day and that is not common for me!

So, I am enjoying the nice weather and I am sure the garden also has been enjoying it! Don’t you just love a stormy day?

In other news, WordPress 2.6 is available Please update now. What? Didn’t we just update like last month? WordPress updates are beginning to remind me of all the Windows/ Microsoft updates. *sheesh*

Oh and can I just say one last thing, don’t make a business website if you have no intention of responding to potential customers via that site’s contact info…. Mkay?

I am so over the Evansville, IN property management websites! I have sent several emails to each of them and I even left messages on their business phone numbers yesterday to receive NO responses from anyone today! What is the point of even having an email if you aren’t going to check it and respond?

Luckily we have received some helpful responses from in Indiana so we at least have something to work with in our search for a rental home! I just hope we find something we love.

How is the weather in your neck of the woods these days? Any fun summer storms or great plans for the weekend?

The gardening days begin…

I am turning to the garden to get my mind out of the gutter (not the perverted gutter, nice try!) these days. I don’t know what is going on with me but I am just not as perky as usual these days.

We are still waiting on the second offer from Evansville but we are trying to be patient since Indiana has had some severe weather this week and we know the news station is swamped right now.

We have a little over 70 days here at our current rental before we have to move out and find a new rental here or in another city so long term gardening is out of the question still. I can plant, grow and enjoy any thing that will bloom or fruit within that time frame…

I got some peonies, lilies and anemones in march that I planted in pots that are getting ready to bloom right now. I snapped some photo of them to share with you, the first photo is of a peonies, second photo is of a lily and third photo is of an anemone/ windflower.

I also spotted some purple and yellow pansies that sprouted up in a flower bed here, they survived there despite the harsh winter!

Create your own puzzles at!

This vine-like plant that grows from pips is sprouting up everywhere and trying to take over. I think it is morning glory? Got any clue what it is or how to keep it out of the vegetable garden?

We are growing radish, broccoli, sugar snap peas, zucchini and pac choi in our very young vegetable garden right now. I think the garden will keep me busy for a while, what do you think? Can you tell which vegetable is which in the photos?

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