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Illinois/House Hunting Trip

This is the rundown. Pics will come later.

* Missouri is gorgeous. We definitely want to move there.

* The house we originally went to see was somewhat misrepresented. It looks like there's just way too much work needing to be done to make it worth the asking price, and the owner is apparently not as willing to negotiate as she said she was over the phone. We came away from that feeling very sad.

* We came back through and visited three more properties on the way home. One is seriously under consideration, although both the neighborhood and the entire town were awfully littered with trash. I mean debris piles abandoned everywhere and the woods appear to be a favorite trash can for pop bottles and old tires – and worse things at one of the homes. Josh would really like to live in the one nice house we found (10 acre, 3 bd, 2 ba permanent MH with additions), but I'm not sure I can get past the massive trashiness of the general area.

* We will probably be looking online for more Missouri properties and planning another (better prepared) trip out there for viewings.

* So looks like I'll have to up my housing budget if we want any kind of good home. That sucks, because I need money for other things like fixing our teeth and the trailer we do have.

* Grandma seemed much better after we arrived. As Josh put it, she got her rosiness back and a bounce in her step. He's agreed to let me look for a cheap fixer-upper in her area of IL, so I can have a place to go stay closer to her more often.

* She is getting much worse with her memory, which saddens me. Grandma was always so sharp. She still is, to an extent. I don't mind hearing the same stories several times in a row. She has awesome stories.

* Grandma finally admitted that she thinks she had a mild stroke while she was down here while mom died. She described what happened to her, and it broke my heart. I am praying that she recovers better. I'm really afraid of what happens if her memory worsens instead of improves.

* She can tell you anything that happened fifty years ago or more, though. Twice, she told us about some lady who pissed her off sixty-five years ago, and I finally understand where I got my temper from.

* I will never attempt another vacation with my sister. It was actually one of the worst vacations we've ever had, until she went bat-shit for no good reason and caught a plane home. Things immediately improved for us. That makes me sad. She didn't even show any gratitude for any of the stuff we went out of the way to do so she could come. She just bitched and was disrespectful to all of us the whole time. We probably won't be speaking for a while, to be honest.

* On the plus side, my other sister had her offer on a house accepted during the week! She's waiting for the inspection to go through, and then she should be closing early next month. She'll be in Wilmington, but she's always wanted to live at the beach and so I'm happy for her. She's still not happy for me and Missouri, but oh well.

* Babyface, the new outside cat, had her kittens while we were gone. Josh will have to find them. We think they're up under the shed, which means that it'll need to be emptied out and somehow jacked up so he can get to them before they go feral. On the plus side, now that I have some cash, I'll be able to get Babyface fixed just as soon as allowed after having her litter.

* Bikers in Illinois do not wear helmets. It scares me to no end. I kept getting flashbacks of poor Momma's head. Even if I lived there, I would never travel seventy miles an hour with no helmet. I was seriously so scared the whole time, and they were everywhere.

* Some asshole at the knife store (Davis Specialties, I think) in Clinton, Iowa had the nerve to call me a bad mother – directed at Eden! They had each taken one of his lollipops and we were fixing to go eat lunch next door, so I told them they couldn't have a second. He gave one to Ivy behind my back, and I saw her opening one and took it away. She started crying, so I led her out the door, since that's what I do when my kids start pitching a fit in public. As I was heading out, I heard him say, “She's a bad momma, huh?” or something like that (might have been “isn't she?”) I yelled, “Excuse me?” and then hollered for Josh to get Eden, as I would have gone on a rampage and unplugged his oxygen tank and thrown it in his face. Josh didn't buy anything, and he'd been wanting to go back to that store since we found it two years ago.

* Lyz then started shit with me for actually getting upset about that, so then she and I got into a fight. A few days later, Josh convinced me to go back to that store and promised that he would defend my honor and give that guy a stern talking to. He ended up spending 45 minutes browsing and then telling dude on the way out that his wife was mad about what he'd said the other day (without even mentioning what that was, by the way). This caused an enormous fight between us. I still haven't forgiven him, and likely never will. This makes three or four times that someone has seriously insulted me and Josh never defends me.

* My kids, who had been having some behavioral problems in the weeks leading up to the trip, only got worse on the trip. They don't listen for shit anymore. Things did improve though once Lyz left and we didn't have her constant bitching and passive-aggressive whining egging them on. They're both still getting physically violent, though. Two nights in a row I grounded them and we didn't get to swim in the pool they made me shell out for.

* This means I don't want to take anymore family vacations for a very long time. So we'll have to find a babysitter for several days if Josh and I want to go look at more properties. It's hard concentrating on the houses when I'm having to corral the kids and keep them acting half-way decent.

* There were other issues that I may address in a friends-locked post. This was seriously not our best vacation ever, but Grandma asked me to hurry and I went straight there as soon as I could. I don't regret it. Visiting my family really helped recenter me and allowed me to regroup a little bit in ways that I haven't been able to since my mommy was here. I really need to be closer to them. Even when it's bad, being with them so helps my sanity. Grandma means the world to me, and my cousin Cole has been one of my best friends forever. My aunts and uncles are legion and the coolest.

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
cunningbunny
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
I just relayed the shopkeeper story to Vince, and we are both absolutely appalled at the entire situation! That guy had no right to say anything about your parenting decisions--your kids, your business. (And for the record, that is exactly what we do when Suzu starts pitching a fit in public. We take her outside, make her sit on a bench or in the car--with one of us, of course--until she calms down. I'd think a person would be more grateful that you kept your kid from having a tantrum in their store!) We also agree that Josh was way out of line with his "follow up," and needs to stand up for not only you, but your choices as a parent. It didn't even happen to me, and I'm fuming. Even Vince is majorly offended on your behalf, and if you knew how much it takes to get a reaction out of him, you'd know how right you are in feeling how you do about the whole thing.
ahavah
Sep. 6th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
I really appreciate that! My aunt Linda was with us too, and she was offended by the whole thing. If I'd known Josh wasn't really going to "give him a stern talking to", I'd have honestly done it myself. I'd been thinking about calling. Now, Ivy had been napping in the car and woke up crying, so I pulled up and honked outside to let Josh know. He said he'd just started talking to him when I honked so he hurried out, but he'd been in there for well over half an hour! I was so pissed, and then he got pissed at me because he "didn't cuss the old man out the way I wanted him to", which was not the point at all.

Ugh. Anyway, I think I'm going to make a complaint with the BBB or something. There was no excuse for that. I was livid, and it made it worse that I was livid several different times.
cunningbunny
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
That's just so ridiculous. It's not about "cussing out an old man," it's about not letting assholes get away with being assholes. Not to mention about not exposing your children to that sort of thing! Undermining your parenting choices directly to your child is not only insulting to you, but could be damaging to your interactions with your kid. (Did the whole thing sort of go over Eden's head--thank god for a kid's ability to not notice things sometimes--or was she confused/upset by it?)

Regardless, it's just not appropriate to say things like that. Period. Althea's done things like that, in a slightly less directional, more passive-aggressive sense, and it appalls me.
ahavah
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what we got into the fight about! I actually stopped visiting my own mother after Eden was born, because my evil stepdad would constantly try to insult and undermine Josh right in front of Eden. She wasn't even one, but I still would NOT allow anyone to do that to my family. I put up with years of abuse from that man, but it was his constant disrespect for Josh that made me finally say, "Okay, sorry mom, but my family won't be subjected to the abuse that I was. If you want to see them, you'll have to drive out to us." And I never went back until they broke up. And that's my own mom, and damn, everyone knows how much I loved my own mom.

As for Eden, she is wise beyond her years most of the time. Wise enough not to say anything, but I saw the wide-eyed, open-mouthed look on her face, and she definitely understood what he said to her (and the fight with Josh in the car a few days later). She didn't have a chance to a answer, since I flew into a rage, although I'm not sure if anything was said after I stormed out.

lanternlady
Sep. 6th, 2009 11:57 am (UTC)
I think your reaction was "Good Momma" to be honest. What a twat!

My biological father was from Missouri. I am hoping to make a pilgramage there one day. I believe I have an aunt there still. She's in her 80's! My brother is there often on business.

You'll find the right house hon. Sometimes the wait is worth it. xoxo
ahavah
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I try very hard to be a good momma, so what he said just flew all over me.

I hope we have our farm when you make your way down to Missouri! You'll have to stop in and say hi. :)

I hope you're right about the wait. Having some seriously fucked up girl knocking on our door at 3 am the night we got home is really only telling me to hurry up and get my kids away. I'm afraid I'll rush into it and be disappointed. This neighborhood has only gotten worse, so it'd be nice if I avoided a similar one!
angelofmysoul
Sep. 6th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
When you come to MO and if you can't find a sitter - I'd be willing to watch kidlets while you look about. Just a thought. I know it's hard, espeically with your sis being pissy with you.

As far as "defending you", Guys always chicken out. I don't know what it is, they just don't have that female bitchiness that is us. There is a reason that Goddesses were held on such a high pedastal you know.
cunningbunny
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Well that's not quite true....my husband has shoved quite a few choice feet into mouths over inappropriate things said to/about me. Maybe I have the last knight in shining armor?
angelofmysoul
Sep. 6th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
You do! I can't even get my Hubby to call his father out on treating me the way he does.
ahavah
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the offer, but the car ride was definitely a major part of our reasoning for not wanting to take a vacation together again for a while! lol That's awfully sweet of you though. We're also hoping to do more of a statewide tour next time we look at houses.

As far as defending me, no, most guys have more balls than girls. It's not that I rely on my man to do that, it's that I would have gone in and done it myself if he hadn't promised me that he'd have a talk with him if we went back. For once I finally thought he was going to do it, and it was just a ploy to get me to drive him back there. That, to me, is just as unacceptable as what the old man did to begin with.
angelofmysoul
Sep. 6th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah it does. Plus there are better Knife shops too. :) Josh is just going to have to get over it.

Maybe I'm just more agressive, maybe it's the IRish/Cherokee mix?
ahavah
Sep. 6th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Apparently dude does wholesale or something and sells things for way cheaper than he can even get from the supplier's direct catalog. He hasn't found a store so cheap, which is why he really liked it. Oh well - customer service and basic respect are worth the extra money for me.

As for the aggressiveness, I go with Irish. I'm half Irish, and Josh is part Cherokee, so I think the Irish would have it. ;)
plastrickland23
Sep. 6th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Well, it was good to connect w the fam....but yeah...Kids are real high maintenance and can spoil a trip real fast...esp when you think about how much time and money you put into making that trip happen, and no one appreciates it. My 16 yr old still has the potential to trash a vacation...to the point where it's no vacation...More like torture in a locked car for hours! It's like walking on eggs around her sometimes.
Hang in there!
P.
ahavah
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Will do! Hm, and here I was thinking that it would improve once they're older. Wishful thinking? I was such a goody goody kid, I did anything I was told. It really boggles me that mine just ignore me and don't care. Ha! So much for my insisting that I'm a good momma. :P

Good luck with your teen! At least she's old enough to be left home alone. *hugs*
plastrickland23
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
That ass-wipe was totally out of line and not his biz to infer anything wrong about your parenting...It's not like you were punching a kid out...Yeah...removing the kid from the site is the thing to do...Doesn't spoil it for the other people.

It does get better...even when they grow older...The incidences go down. I just have one who is VERY emotional and ultra-dramatic. P.
ahavah
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
Sounds like my sister. She always has a lot of drama and swinging from perfectly sane to bawling or screaming for no reason. I hope your daughter at least grows out of it.

And thank you! I think I did everything *right*, to be honest. What kind of asshole goes and gives a 4 yr old candy behind momma's back and then insults me for holding my ground? Man, I really will have to call the bastard or something. Every time I think about it, I get pissed off at both him and Josh again. >
peaonix
Sep. 7th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
I'm sorry the house hunting was such a bust :/ Have you thought of contacting a realitor in the area you're looking at? That way they do all the leg work and simply send you pictures of property.

I hate to burst your bubble, but, after spending 26 summers in missouri, you don't ever get away from trash being dumped all over. It's gross, but, some places are worse than others.

I hope the perfect house finds you guys soon, you all deserve it! ((hugs))
ahavah
Sep. 7th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I hope you're wrong about the trash though. That would be far too sad.

We did meet up with a realtor on the way back down. She showed us three properties. I'm going to try to contact several whenever we're able to plan a trip back there. We'll do like a statewide tour and have a look at many, I'm hoping.
times_suspended
Sep. 7th, 2009 06:28 am (UTC)
I'm glad you are home safe & sound. I think it's the full moon - my kids have been horrendous the past week or so. Above and beyond the previous horrendousness, even!

I hope your home finds you soon. I always looked for "next homes" without kids whenever possible. If nothing else, it makes it much easier to concentrate on important things.

I would say more but I'm tired and my brain is sore. I'm sorry you didn't have a better time. I'm really sorry our timing didn't work out better for us to meet up. Soon, I hope. Get a forever home. We'll help you plant an orchard & a garden!

xoxo
ahavah
Sep. 7th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Ah, that would be so incredibly awesome! I do hope we'll meet up. I was excited about it, but I know family things come first. We ended up staying fairly busy with my extended family all wanting us to come over. It was loads of fun.

I'm sorry your kids have been horrendous too. I've given up attributing anything to the stars, since they're just like this all the time. >
times_suspended
Sep. 7th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, we will. I fully believe that. Right now, our time is being sucked out by my photography commitments, school stuff and our ever looming immigration things. Add on that I get a specific amount of vacation time per hour worked (4.62 hours per two weeks worked, to be specific!) - and every hour I do get is being used for non-vacation purposes. Fun!

We are hopeful that by next summer, we'll have the majority of the INS things settled and a calmer photography schedule. And (having had all winter!) I'll have several weeks of time built up.

So all you have to do is find & buy the perfect home by next summer. Then we can show up with shovels and seed packets. ;-)

No pressure!
ahavah
Sep. 7th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
We'll make it happen! I'll manifest for you since you're manifesting for me. :D I'm really hoping that we'll be able to find a place and move before winter. That's the goal. We've peeked around online and found several we'd like to go see (and another one in particular that we really like the looks of). After labor day, I need to take the bikes to get serviced. If we can find someone who will watch the kids for a few days, we'd like to make a bike trip out of it.
alycewilson
Sep. 12th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Personally, I think it would have been bad parenting to allow a stranger to give her candy.
ahavah
Sep. 12th, 2009 10:21 am (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, he was quite the assmo.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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