Blog | It’s Always Something, Isn’t It?

Hello, friends. I’m fucking cold. Continue reading “Blog | It’s Always Something, Isn’t It?”

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Yet Another Bad Neighbor Post…

Alright, friends. I need advice. Long rant ahead. Continue reading “Yet Another Bad Neighbor Post…”

Dream Journal 7/15/16 | Blood and Mold

He injected something into my arm, and I passed out. He was leaning over me, working on my eye, while the others watched in silence.

[Dream #1]

I was in a large warehouse style store, and I was trying to pull something off of a shelf, and a ton of random stuff fell down on top of me. A bunch of people rushed over to pull me out of the pile, and when I came out, my face was covered in blood, and one of the workers started screaming that my eye was missing. I started to panic, but discovered that my eye wasn’t missing, it was actually cracked open, like it was made of glass. Continue reading “Dream Journal 7/15/16 | Blood and Mold”

An Email to My Landlord

Your move, Yanke Realty.

Hello, friends. I thought I would update you a bit on my current apartment situation, as you all know, is absolute crap.

It has now been over two weeks since I called the company that I rent through, Yanke Realty, about our leaking fridge, and was told (very rudely) that it would “be a while” because there is a lack of maintenance employees. Over two weeks though? No. I don’t think so. Well, the linoleum and floor molding trip are now discolored and starting to warp around the side and back fridge, and I am pretty sure we have mold under the floor, as well as on the wall behind the fridge, where the water has been sitting. I can only mop up the water on the front and right side, as the fridge is too heavy to move on my own.

I took pictures of the floor and wall between the fridge and cabinets, as well as the hideous, uncovered panel that was supposed to be plastered over nearly a year ago. I also mentioned about how we called TWICE last summer about getting some screens on our windows, since we have none, and was told someone would come out to measure. Yeah, that never happened. We still have no screens. I mentioned all of this, and attached the photos, in a very long, polite, email to Yanke Realty, pointing out the potential health hazards, damage, and cost that a mold issue could cause, and mentioned quite casually that I will get legal representation if need be, because I am now very familiar with my rights as a renter. I will only communicate with them via email from this point on, and will document everything carefully.

Your move, Yanke Realty.

Here is the email:

“Hello, this is Janise H. from *** **** ****** **, and I am emailing to remind you about our fridge that is still leaking water from the back. I called several weeks ago, and we are still waiting for it to be looked at. I have not heard anything. The linoleum and floor trim is now discolored  and is warping from the reoccurring puddles (I included a picture attached to this email), and I am pretty sure there will be a mold issue beneath the flooring, as well as on the wall. I don’t particularly like mold in my apartment, especially since I have a toddler, so if someone could please come out soon, that would be great.

I also called last summer about getting some screens put in our windows, as there are only two windows with screens in the apartment, and we are unable to open any of the windows due to the numerous wasps, hornets, and spiders around the outside of building. We were told someone was going to come out to measure them, but that never happened. I’m also hoping that we can get this hole in our ceiling patched that has been sitting like this for over a year now (picture also attached picture)… we’ve called about it several times, and nothing has been done about it. While it does not pose any health risks that I know of, it is quite an eyesore, and really should have been covered when the leak was fixed, over a year ago. I’m afraid that if we are facing a mold issue, and it is not taken care of, I will seek legal representation, for the sake of my family’s health and well-being.

Advice Needed For Dealing With Landlords

** EDIT: For anyone wondering, yes, we did sign a lease. We rent through a realty company, but do have an actual landlord, who we have never met. Our lease is only a half a page long, and is basically a “Dear John” letter, with next to no specifics on who fixes what, other than that the tenant is in charge of “basic” repairs and upkeep. I’m pretty sure that pulling up a toilet, which has been caulked to the floor, and replacing a wax ring, is not basic, right?

Hello, friends. I need some advice. I’ve always rented, and currently live in a not-so-fancy, not really up-to-date apartment. We have had a lot of issues, as many of you have read, but we’ve been dealing with a lot of issues that were preexisting, from before we moved in, that I have been researching. I don’t know how long we are going to be in this place, at least another half a year, but since I have a very mobile toddler now, I want it to be safe.

Recently, I’ve been growing more concerned about our toilet. So, the linoleum in our bathroom was quite discolored when we moved in, and there is a VERY large yellow and gray stain all around our toilet. I didn’t think much about it, mostly because I was naive, and obviously they knew about it before we moved in, and I assumed whatever caused it had been fixed, and the floor was just permanently discolored now. Recently, I’ve been doing some research, because I don’t know if it is my imagination or not, but the stain seems to be growing, and I discovered that it probably means that there is a faulty wax ring, creating leaks under the floor. The floor around the toilet also does not appear to be 100% sound, and was also like that when we moved in, but doesn’t appear to have gotten worse. I can see that the toilet is poorly caulked to the floor, and has been caulked for a while, which probably means they haven’t fixed anything with it in a long time, right?

I know that I need to contact them to fix it, because it is absolutely their responsibility to make sure that our plumbing is all working properly, and is not a hazard. Does anyone know if there is anything that can be done about the floor discoloration? The stain is MASSIVE, and hideous. We don’t have any windows in our bathroom, so we can’t get any direct sunlight on the spot, which I read helps, and I’m assuming that nothing can be done until the moisture under the floor is taken care of anyway. Would they have to tear up the floor? How long does it take to repair a wax ring? What if there is a mold problem, would I have to pay an inspector to find out? How should I go about asking them to get this all done? They’ve always been so flaky when it comes to fixing things around the apartment (we’ve been here a year and a half and I still have a hole in my kitchen ceiling waiting to be covered…). Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this before?

Thanks for reading, friends. Any advice is welcome!

Jan

Daily Prompt 3/13/2016 | Incomplete

My apartment is currently a disaster. I’ve been sick for three days now, and my tiny toddler is using up every ounce of energy that I have left in me, which isn’t very much at all. I have a long list of things that I desperately need to accomplish, and just haven’t had the time to do.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/13/2016 | Incomplete

My apartment is currently a disaster. I’ve been sick for three days now, and my tiny toddler is using up every ounce of energy that I have left in me, which isn’t very much at all. I have a long list of things that I desperately need to accomplish, and just haven’t had the time to do.

Fun fact: Just because you are a stay-at-home parent, and spend the entire day inside the walls of your home, that does not mean that you will have tons of free time to get things done, and clean, and make your home beautiful. Nope. Basically the exact opposite, actually.

I thought I would share with you my list of things I need to get done, and share with you my excuses as to why they remain incomplete to this day.

1. The Dishes
I’ve written about my dishes before, and it hasn’t gotten any better. The dishes used to be Kyle’s one chore, even back when I was working full-time, and he was unemployed, I only tasked him with the chore of doing the dishes, and it was such a fight to get him to do them more often than once a week. For those who don’t know, Kyle is my fully grown, adult husband, and not a teenage boy.
After the baby came, I stopped working, and Kyle started working full-time, and getting him to do anything, especially the dishes, was impossible. At one point, and I am embarrassed to even be telling you this, our dishes had gone undone for 3 months. Every few days, I chipped away at the top layer of dishes, but the ones at the bottom… absolutely disgusting. After a few weeks, I was able to get them done, and they were easier to keep up with after that.
Recently, Liam has been in this needy, clingy stage, and will not let me leave his side to do anything. I can’t pee, I can’t cook, I can’t do the dishes or clean, or get on the computer, or he loses his mind. The only free time I get is when he is sleeping, but my apartment is so small that I can only do quiet activities (like sleeping…), which means no dishes. So, they are stacking up again. Ugh. I’ll pay some one to come do them for me. Please?

2. Toddler Proofing
My house is reasonably baby proof. The outlets are all covered, and dangerous items are high up, and out of the reach of my tiny human. However, my apartment is NOT toddler proof, and I am learning very quickly that my 13 month old son is way smarter than I give him credit for. He has started climbing, and opening, and grabbing, and getting into so much trouble. I have a book shelf in my living room, which contains Liam’s baby books on the bottom two shelves, and a miscellaneous assortment of not-for-baby objects on the top three shelves. Well, my toddler is now tall enough to reach all but the top shelf, and keeps getting into our stuff. Same goes for my desk, and the DVD shelves next to my desk. I am running out of places to stack my crap, so I really need to actually clean up my living room, and organize my stuff, so that it looks presentable, and safe. I was prepared for a baby, NOT for a toddler!

3. My Toilet
Anyone else have a man in their house who always manages to get pee on the outside of the toilet? Or on the floor? I find myself constantly wiping up after the grown man in my life, and it drives me nuts. Honestly, I blame the toilet. Our seat has been broken since we moved in, and the toilet is REALLY small. Kyle and I have lived in several apartments together, and this was never a problem. I find myself having to clean the toilet all the time, and I hate it. I also recently decided that I would invest in bleach tablets or something for my toilet, which means I am now a certified adult, right? I hate cleaning the toilet, man.

4. Liam’s Crib
I’ve been avoiding it for a while, but the time has come to drop Liam’s crib down to the lowest level. My 13 month old is just getting too tall, and has been trying to climb out recently. He can’t climb out yet, but I want to be proactive, just in case he figures it out. Where has the time gone? What happened to my tiny baby? I have this nearly 3 foot tall child now. WHAT? I also have a toddler bed sitting in the closet, waiting to be put together, but that won’t happen for a little while yet. Ahhh!

5. Landlord Crap
I’ve never met my landlord. Instead, I go through a realty company, who then relays messages to him. This is a bullshit, awful system, and nothing gets done. Last spring, I called realtors to tell them that none of our windows have screens on them, and thanks to the spiders, lady beetles, and misc. stinging insects that reside outside of my apartment, we were unable to open our windows at all. We also have no central air (which they lied to us about, another story entirely), and did not have an air conditioner at the time. The woman I talked to said she would send someone out immediately to measure our windows. Yeah, that never happened. Almost a year later, we still don’t have screens, and the weather is warming up, and I have to call them. Again.
Not only do we need screens, but our back door is crooked and bugs literally just waltz into our apartment, along with debris and weather from outside, but we have also had a hole in our ceiling, as a result of the leak in our ceiling that we experienced during our FIRST NIGHT in our apartment. The leak was fixed. The hole was not. Renting is just so fun.

Those are just a few things that I need to be completed, that probably won’t get completed any time in the foreseeable future. Ugh. Adult stuff. Ugh. Stress.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

There Is Always Something

Our luck, with most things in life it seems, is awful. I have no idea why. I try to have a positive outlook on things, I swear I do, but it can be really difficult to see the bright side of things, when there is something new and awful happening every other day. When there is nothing you can do, and everything is always going wrong, and there is no one who can help you. It breaks you down.

The last few days have been rough. I’ve blogged a bit in the past about our horrible experiences with apartments, whether it be a slumlord landlord, drug dealing (but very friendly) neighbors, or tiles falling on our heads as our entire living room ceiling collapses, there is always something. Our luck, with most things in life it seems, is awful. I have no idea why. I try to have a positive outlook on things, I swear I do, but it can be really difficult to see the bright side of things, when there is something new and awful happening every other day. When there is nothing you can do, and everything is always going wrong, and there is no one who can help you. It breaks you down.

Wednesday started off like a pretty good day. Despite Liam going through a bit of sleep regression, we all woke up relatively well-rested, had some play time, got ready for the day, and went out on the town. Liam had a WIC appointment in the afternoon, where the lady complimented his development and how much he has grown, and talked to us about life, and how great it is that I read up so much on milestones. We were all in a great mood. We got home pretty late, just before Liam’s bed time (around 6:30). I made Liam a bottle, put him in his crib, and stayed with him while he drank. Suddenly, I heard a loud pop, followed by the sound of rushing water.

There are four apartments in our building, and our walls are paper thin. I can hear ever conversation, TV program, and footstep happening in the building. Because of this, I assumed the noise I was hearing was the sound of our next door neighbor using their tub, which is right on the other side of the wall. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was a little too loud to be coming from next door, so I peeked my head into the bathroom, and was greeted by a waterfall of steaming hot water pouring out from the cabinet beneath our sink, flooding our bathroom, and creeping into the hallway.

Um?!

I immediately opened the cabinet doors, and saw that one of the mesh tubing pipe things had exploded. It wasn’t rusted. It wasn’t frozen. It just exploded. What the freaking heck? I wrapped my hand around the pipe to see if I could stop the water, as I simultaneously turned the valve to shut off the water. Then, three things happened: 1) I cut my hand on the jagged mesh around the pipe, 2) I burned my hand and arm on the scalding water coming out of the pipe, and 3) the rusty valve to turn off the water SNAPPED OFF and fall into the water. I freaked out and started calling for Kyle, who was in the living room. Between my yelling for him, and then Kyle’s yelling upon reaching the bathroom, Liam started crying.

While I threw every towel that we own on the floor to try and contain the growing flood (after we had just gone to the laundromat and done several loads of laundry, since Kyle doesn’t have a day off for another week and a half), Kyle ran upstairs to get our neighbor, who is a bit of a handyman, and always helps us out with things (remember my hornet incident? That was him who helped). He came in with tools and tried to help Kyle shut off the water while I comforted Liam, who was now wide awake and upset with the noise. They managed to figure out how to turn off the water to the apartment via the creepy, outdoor storm cellar that the whole building shares, and luckily the water never reached far past the threshold of the bathroom door.

But now, we had no water.

We have a landlord, but we have never met or spoken to him. We pay our rent and make repair requests through a realty agency, which closes at 4:00pm, and we had no emergency number or website to help us out. I called and left them a politely bitchy message, spelling out our situation. Did I mention that we had just re-signed our year-long lease THAT SAME DAY? Yeah.

Kyle went to the store to pick up bottled water and paper towels, and I finally managed to get Liam back to sleep. It only took two rolls of paper towels, and every towel that we own, to soak up all the water, and then it was like nothing had happened.

Except, we had no water.

The realty place got back to me first thing in the morning, and within an hour, our maintenance guy was there fixing our pipe. His name is Steve, and he is super nice. He looks like my dad, which is weird, but he is really nice.

Liam was having a hard time falling asleep for his nap with Steve making noise, so we decided to go out for the day again, since Liam had a doctor appointment on that anyway, but that’s a different story.

Our pipe got fixed, we have water again, and not a single towel (other than toddler towels) to use for the next week. Cool!

I should also mention that I am thankful that our apartment didn’t burn down, considering our breaker box is UNDERNEATH THE SINK, inches away from where the burst pipe was spewing water. Code violation? Yes.

Since we are “celebrating” our one-year anniversary in this apartment, let’s look at all the things that have gone wrong in the time we’ve been here!

1) On the VERY FIRST NIGHT that we started moving in, we were sitting in our empty living room with our friends Joe and Mercedes, who had helped us move stuff, and were enjoying pizza, when suddenly, we heard a crash. Just a few feet behind us, in the middle of our dining area, a river of dirty water was pouring from a hole in the ceiling. It poured for just a few seconds, then continued to steadily drip for, well, the rest of the night. We put a tiny garbage can beneath the leak, since it was the middle of the night and we couldn’t call anyone. The maintenance guy came out the next day to “fix” it. This involved sawing out a HUGE section of our ceiling, and fixing the pipe in the ceiling, which was actually connected to our neighbor’s kitchen sink. It was dirty, dish water. Yum! It took several more weeks before it was able to cut a piece of plaster to cover the hole in the ceiling and drill it into place. It has now been a full year, and he still hasn’t sealed it. And, yes, we have reminded him. See the picture below!
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(One year of having to look at this right above the dinner table!)

2) We had been living here for about a month, when we realized that our wiring kind of sucks. You can’t have anything in the bathroom, kitchen, or back half living room plugged in and running when you use the microwave, or you blow the fuse. Microwave + toaster? Blown fuse. Microwave + space heater in the hallway? Blown fuse. We have to flip the breaker at least once a day. Sometimes, it can’t handle just the microwave running. Super frustrating.

3) A month and a half after moving in, our fridge and freezer stopped working overnight, and we lost quite a bit of money in dairy and meat that had to be thrown out. The maintenance guy brought us a “new” fridge from storage, which contained NO shelves. Not even the glass/plastic shelves that go over the drawers at the bottom. This fridge, despite taking up less room in the kitchen, was actually larger on the inside that the previous fridge, and the shelves did not fit in it at all. We had to pile our remaining, unspoiled food at the bottom of the fridge. It took a few days, but we finally got shelves. But it took over 3 months to get rid of the broken fridge. It sat in the middle of our eating area the whole time, so we didn’t even have our table set up. Our guy always had an excuse for why he couldn’t pick it up, and since I was very pregnant, I couldn’t even help Kyle drag it outside. Eventually, he got a friend to help him drag it to the porch. Two days later, some scrappers in a pick-up truck asked if they could have it, I told them they could, and then it was gone.

4) This one is something that we could probably fix ourselves, but I haven’t gotten a chance to after the first time I attempted. We have two doors that lead into the apartment. Our “front” door, is connected to the living room, which goes out into the building’s hallway that the 4 apartments all share. This door is solid as a rock, well insulated, and makes a very loud suction noise when you open and close it. The back door, which leads to the porch, and is in the back hallway where the bedrooms are, is not so sturdy. The outside storm door is completely crooked, leaving a half inch gap along the top of the door. We’ve had spiders, ladybugs, and hornets building nests live between our two doors. There is also a large hole at the bottom of the door, which was covered with duct tape by… someone. The door to the apartment is also crooked, and there is a gap between the door and the door frame. The gap is so bad, that you can see straight outside through it. I’m not joking. Because of this, the back of the apartment is freezing in the winter. We tried to get strip insulation, but it was too thick, and I ended up not being able to close the door at all. I had to pull it all off, ruining the door frame. It is now almost November. Gotta fix it, or we’ll be in for a VERY cold winter this year. Again.

5) When we did the initial tour of the apartment, the woman who works at the realty company told us that his apartment had forced heating, as well as central air. That is the main reason we chose this apartment over our next top choice. But when it started warming out outside, and we tried to turn on the air, nothing happened. The thermostat has settings for the fan and air, but we couldn’t get it to work, so we called the realty people. The man who called me back told me that none of the apartments in this building had air. They never have. Those are just universal thermostats. WHAT? We didn’t have enough money for a window AC unit, and couldn’t even open our windows, because NONE of them have screens. I mentioned this to them, and they promised to come out and measure the windows for screens. That was in… June, I believe. Still no screens! The reason screens are so important? The bugs. Continue reading!

6) The bugs. Oh, the bugs. Every day, since the day we moved in, I’ve had to kill a minimum of 2-3 cellar spiders a day that have crept into the apartment. They don’t bother me too much, but Kyle hates them. So I squish. One day, the corners will be free and clear of webs, but by the next morning, there are webs in every corner of the living room. We get a couple garden spiders, or jumping spiders, that wander in as well. We’ve also had a few silverfish and carpet millipede sightings. And, of course, ladybugs. But the worst? The yellow jackets/wasps/hornets. There is something about the outside of this apartment that attracts all the worst kinds of creepy crawlies. During the day, there are flying, stinging bugs all around the building. They build their stupid nests everywhere, and the exterminators keep having to come out. By night, the outside of the building is covered with big spiders, who magically appear and rappel down the siding on their butt string. They are awful. Yeah, yeah, they’re harmless. But I don’t like them. And since our windows don’t have screens, we can’t open them at all because of this. Have you read my story about the time a fuck ton of angry yellow jackets burrowed into my apartment while Liam and I were home alone? You should read that. Good times. >> CLICK HERE TO READ <<

There are more things I could list. Like the lack of parking for all the people living here, and how our Mustang got stuck EVERY day last winter. And the time a giant tree branch fell on Kyle’s head when we were trying to dig out the car, because no one trims the branches. Or how shitty my neighbors across the hall are, and how her demon children wake Liam up several times EVERY night, despite me asking them to keep it down (now I’ve just started pounding on the wall angrily). Ah, the joys of living in shitty apartments because you’re broke!

Now, does anyone have any towels they can loan me for the week? Haha… no, but seriously. I’ll be air-drying all week.

Happy Halloween, friends! Stay safe, stay spooky.

Jan

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