Where have I been?

I’ve been so busy I don’t know what I’ve been doing. Life has a ring in my nose these days.

My husband was feeling sick, a weird on and off nausea that would come over him suddenly, maybe after some chores, or after a meal. He worries about his blood pressure, so we have a test kit. It seemed a little high, and he was due for a check-up, so we took him over to Immediate Care for a quick exam.  My husband likes to have a blood test every year or so to keep an eye on his white blood cell levels, ever since he had appendicitis.

The technician listened to his heart, breathing, etc. When he took my husband’s blood pressure,  it was even higher than we’d found it at home. But the technician wasn’t concerned – he said my husband has a virus? “I’m pretty sure it’s not the flu,” he opined. Then he said he’d call a prescription in for us, but only if this virus didn’t disappear within a couple of days.  We thanked him, paid about $180, and headed for Rite Aid.

Welcome to Obamacare. My husband felt better, but I didn’t.

My husband had been sick for almost a week, so we went straight over and got the pills. I can’t say as there’s been any improvement. My husband still functions somewhat, but every now and then he gets very pale and has to lay down. The doctor said he’d call if there was anything unusual in the blood tests, so my husband is careful to carry his cell phone wherever he goes.  I wondered out loud yesterday how long we’re supposed to wait.

Luckily a friend came over and when my husband told her what was going on, she said she recognized the symptoms as something she’d experienced after a cross country trip by air.  She’d had it for a couple of weeks, and noticed others around her getting sick. We’d seen her husband a couple of weeks ago – could he have brought it over? My husband assured her he didn’t care where he got it – just knowing it was probably really a virus and not a lingering heart attack perked him right up. 

We’ll see – he’s only taken a few doses of the antibiotic so far.

Meanwhile we’ve been trying to find tenants for our empty rental. We’ve had a couple of possibilities, but we had to stand hard by our rules. One rule, No Pets.  I know my dogs are offended, but they’re not the ones who have to clean up after other people’s pets.  People say, “he’s only an 8 pound dog!” Wow, you would not believe what an 8 pound dog can do to wood, carpet, even vinyl. We had one who repeatedly jumped up on a bathroom vanity – 6 – 8 inch scratch marks that don’t wash out. Cats too – we had a tenant who locked his forbidden cat in our stairwell – the smell would have knocked over a tank. We had to replace the rug, sanitize the stairs, paint – we thought we’d never get that smell out.  We had to move in after that one!

A new rule we’ve come up with over the last couple of years is, No More Parent Guarantors, experienced renters with good landlord references ONLY. Over the last month we’ve had to turn away a couple of groups of young people who had no rental experience. That rule came after a group of Dr. Jekylls whose parents even sucked. One dad, being told he would have to pay for the door his son kicked to pieces, told us “it was just a crappy old house anyway!” Yeah, it was over a 100 years old, and that door had been there, looking great, since it was built. Previous tenants had always remarked how nice it was to have original fixtures, even the old doorknobs were still intact. The boy had reduced a wooden door to splinters over an argument with his roommate. See the kind of stuff I’m supposed to put up with? 

Here’s a rule I came up with just a couple of weeks ago – no couples who fight right in front of me while they are viewing the house. Well, that’s not the actual rule, but it’s a good tip-off.  The woman came up on the court records with a felony assault charge against her former husband, just recently!   No wonder they tried to get in without having her fill out an application – our rule has always been, all prospects over 18 fill out an application, but we get a lot of people who try to sneak in a boyfriend/girlfriend, or just another roommate who doesn’t want to fill out an application for what we usually find to be very obvious reasons. Sometimes it’s just because they have no good references, maybe have bad references even. Other times it’s because of court problems, usually lawsuits or bankruptcy, but here it was something every landlady should know before she ends up the next assault victim.

I worry, the rental sits empty – but all our landlord friends are backing us up. “Take your time,” says our girlfriend, “I’ve been through this with you before, you guys are doing the right thing…”  Thank Goddess for friends!

The other day I spent the whole morning watering my trees. Rain is nice, but it takes a long, steady pouring to penetrate the ground when it gets so hard and dry.  We are losing a couple of big trees in our  tenant’s front yard, an 80 foot cedar and a Douglas Fir about 60 feet tall. I didn’t water aggressively enough last year, I  was intimidated by Cal Water rates. I should have been thinking how much it is going to cost to have these two trees taken out. 

So I’m moving up my watering schedule, and if I catch that Cal Water man on my property I’m going to unload a string of profanities that will make his scrotum crawl up his asshole.

I know, I’m crabby today.  It must be the coffee. Or lack thereof. Arthur! More java! 







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