Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our "cabin"

Well this past week has been interesting, to say the least.....

On Monday, I was starting the morning with my usually phone calls to any place that I could find for rent to see if we could find a place. I called one lady who had 2 rentals about 30 miles south of Bemidji. She told me right away that both of them are rented but asked if I would like to leave my name and number and if something fell through, she could call me. I declined and said that if I couldn't find anything in the next couple days, I'd call her back and check the status since I didn't really want to live there anyway because they were trailer houses. Well, she called me back a few minutes later (info taken from the caller id) and said that she called the people for one of the rentals and found out that they had broken up and didn't need a place anymore, so she had one available. I said I would come look at it.

Well, long story short, it became our rental. It's a older 2 bedroom trailer house. It's actually a bitter-sweet thing. It's exactly what we've been wanting and praying for...close(r) to Nathan's work show up, it's south so it's closer to home and shaves about 35 mins off our drive time (not to mention gas money!), and it has a large, beautiful, secluded yard for the kids to play in. The few things that it doesn't or does have that we didn't exactly pray for is that it seems to have a big mouse problem (which has been really gross), it's not exactly clean or even close to, and it has no air conditioning. But it does have a (modern) one stall attached garage with 6 huge windows in it which makes it great to play in when it's raining and it gives the kids a big extra area to ride their scooters. It also has a cement patio in the back with a big picnic table that we can use...which is on the side of the house that faces the yard and the woods, giving it a super peaceful feel out there.

When we moved in on Tuesday, I vacuumed and wiped down all the floors, counters, cupboards, everything with rubbing alcohol so I could feel a little disinfected. I actually felt a lot better before going to bed that night but then was very disheartened when we woke up to find mouse droppings all over the kitchen counter, two holes in our bread bag with 4 pieces of bread eaten from, droppings all over the clean dishes in the dish rack.....yuck! Well, we learned quick to put everything, even crackers, in the fridge so it is safe from the mice :) We set out traps last night where we thought they were coming onto the counters, only to find more droppings this morning so we think they are coming in through the stove. We rigged the whole place with traps and hope to find them all full when we come back after the weekend :)

We get a kick out of the landlord too. She's an older lady, I'd guess in her early-mid 70s, but sometimes I wonder about her. For example, when I was checking out the place, she was sure to tell me about the 2 switched on top of the stove... “One is for the light by the microwave and the other is a safety switch for the oven. The oven will not lite if this is flipped.” So making sure I understood her... “Okay, so all I have to do is turn the temp dial and it should turn on”. “Yes, and if it doesn't, it's because this switch needs to go the other way.” “Okay, got it.” Well, in the evening when I was trying to see if the oven worked, after I found out that the stove didn't work, I flipped that switch, only to find out that it was the oven light! Hahaha...ok, switch...try oven light! :)

Another thing she told me was about this water softener that was in the 2nd bedrooms closet. She says “Oh, and we still need to plug that in...” But then later when her daughter was there (who also takes care of the rentals) says “Don't worry about that softener in that closet, we need to come and get that, but whatever you do, don't plug it in or it will clog up all the pipes.” Then the older lady pipes in “Yeah, and we think it's stolen!” Uh...ok....

Then, again when she was showing me the house, she notices this device that's plugged into the wall in the living room “What the heck is that?!?” she asks. “I'm not sure...looks like some sort of serge protector or something?” “Well, I'm sure it's Dougs (guy who lived there before us), I'll hold it ransom...he still owes me $100.” And then a different time she was over she asks “What is that?? We need to get it out of there.” I told her “It really doesn't bother me, it's fine if it stays.” Then when she was over (yeah she stops by a lot for various reasons) with her daughter, she goes, “You know what that is? (pointing to it) That's the thing that they use for the internet to go from DSL to whatever it is now. You know how I know??? Because I have one in my house too.” WHAT?! You just asked me for the last 3 days what it is and now you're saying you have one?? Ok..... :)

And then probably the funniest thing she said was when she was talking about how she doesn't allow animals in her rentals, cats especially (which is probably why there are so many mice!). So she says about cats... “Yeah, if you see one, and you're good with a gun, kill it.” Haha...just picture an old lady saying was funny. :)

A few “incidents” already....
Not even 20 minutes after I picked up the keys and was unloading the van, I looked at my phone and saw that I had a voicemail from the landlord. I listened to it and she said that the neighbor next door had called her and said that some kids were trying to open her door and were playing in her bird bath in her lawn. Oh great! We haven't even been here a half hour and I'm already getting called about my kids! Well, it was Caedmon and Ariella who were the culprets and I think it was just that they figured that that was our place too, they were just excited to finally have some space! So after explaining that that was the neighbors and not ours, they haven't gone back over there :)

And yesterday, we were outside playing when I realized that Tiernan had gone in for something and shut the door behind him (which is ironic that I think of it because he never shuts the door at home and we are constantly on him about that). Well, they have those knobs where you can turn them from the inside but they are locked on the outside. And yes, my keys were inside. 2nd day, we were locked out. Thankfully I had my phone so I didn't feel completely helpless but when I called my landlord to come less us in, she wasn't home. Maybe she just didn't hear the phone? Since she only lives 2 doors down, the kids and I walked over and yes, she was gone. wouldn't matter if Nathan got home because he didn't have a key anyway. What to do, what to do....I know! The windows were open last night...lets try them! No luck...front door locked, all the windows have screens on them and I coudln't get the screens out because of those black tabs were on the inside and I couldn't pop them out. Finally on one of the windows I noticed that the black tabs were on the outside, someone had put it in backwards! Yes! I whipped the screen off, only to remember I had locked the window in the morning after we closed it. Bummer!! After about another hour and lots of “I have to go potty”, I noticed that the window next to the window with the tabs outside that the frame on the screen was bent so I was able to get my finger in there and pop the screen out. Then I slowly tried the window, praying that it wasn't locked. And it wasn't! I slid it open a little and called for Tiernan. I lifted Tiernan up and her went thru and opened the front door. (Remember last time we did that in the camper?) I'm glad the neighbors next door had left, not sure what they would have thought about that!

So we are on the drive home, peace and cleanliness for 3 days, 4 nights...can't wait! I've never been so ready to take a shower! Yes there is a shower there but once you see my picture of it, you'll see why I just wait to get with no a/c we get all sweaty anyway.

I guess I'm starting to think of it as our own little cabin...we are there 4 days a week, and only 3 nights, we have to plan meals, put away our food so the animals/rodents don't get it, we go to sleep with the fan on full blast right next to us, it's up north in the middle of nowhere, it's by a lake (not on though), we live next door to some indians, we have no washer or dryer, there's poison ivy everywhere (which Brayan is covered in and Caedmon also has his fair share)...but the best part, we are all living under one roof. :)

Funny quotes from each of the boys at this place so far:

Brayan...”Mom, why does it smell like poop everywhere?” ...good question Brayan...

Caedmon to the landlord...”We don't really like this house because there are mouses everywhere.” ...couldn't have said it better myself...I was a little nervous once he started that sentence...didn't know where that one was going!

Tiernan...”One thing that's really weird about this house, there's no kitchen table!”. Nope, there's not. The kids sit on the floor and eat off of the top of the cooler and I stand, and Nathan sits on the cooler when he gets home. We have yet to eat on the picnic table but I'm thankful for it anyway!

So what do you think this week will hold?? Well, stay tuned and find out! :)

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