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Also in the garden…

Garden visitor

We spotted this guy while working in the garden getting the tomatoes braced up with more twine. Oh, and if anyone can tell us what that scaly crud on the tomatoes is,  we’d be grateful. It appeared after the rain.

Attack of the killer tomatoes

Attack of the killer tomatoes

The house may not have fared so well, but the garden benefitted from the rain.

Chaos and calamity

Just a quick note that we might be a bit out of the loop over the next little while. The remnants of tropical storm Fay brought lots of much needed rain, but also some destruction here thanks to our crappy roof. We’ve got leaks in two rooms and a shelf fell down in the office because the drywall was waterlogged, destroying several statues and other knicknacks, damaging our printer, and smashing the glass of the rock box, among other things. The water is seeping under the wall to the living room so the rug is soaked and we had to disconnect the computer, stereo, and anything else electrical connected to that shared wall.

I’ve got the router ‘high and dry’ and plugged in but we’ve also been having issues with the FrankenDell (our ancient, built-from-junk-parts laptop) so we may be ‘sans Internet’ for a few days. Right now I can still revive it by taking out the battery, ram, and other removables, holding down the power button a while, then putting it all back together, but obviously there is a short somewhere and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a paperweight.

Our landlord is sending roofers out to assess the damage and get the leaks fixed, and we’ll see where it goes from there… I won’t deny that we are very worried about a mold issue (we already had problems with that here) from the waterlogged drywall, carpet, and subflooring, and thinking back to the house we had to evacuate in Hendersonville, from which my lungs never did recover. But we’ll take it one step at a time and see what happens.

In spite of the small scale disaster it caused inside our house, we’re still very grateful for the rainfall. The area needed it very, very, badly and we probably still need a lot more rain to catch up.

Everyone dog lover should watch this

And I will warn you up front that it is hard to watch. It almost made me cry, and brought back some painful memories of Mojo as well. But I think it really brings home some hard facts, and in particular anyone who is thinking of getting a purebred puppy should consider these realities first.

BBC’s Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Someone posted the show in six parts to YouTube and the link above is to the first of the six parts. I am not sure if they had BBC’s permission so the video might not be there long. This is also on BBC’s site but currently you cannot view their online shows unless you live in the UK.

It’s that time again, the end of another rental lease…

Yep, it’s been almost a year since our last move. I am assuming by now that most of our friends and relatives have taken to marking our address in their address books in pencil instead of pen — if they are even still bothering to keep track at all! In just under ten years, we have moved ten times, and this last time we pretty much had to settle at the last minute for the house we are now living in because we just couldn’t find anything closer in to Asheville that would take the pets. Right from the beginning it was off to a rocky start; with the nasty bathtub surprise, the rusty water, and the Canton paper mill smell. Add to that the weird paranormal stuff and the horrific expense of filling the propane tank and it will probably come as no surprise that right from the first month we got here, we were counting down ‘how many months left until we can move out.’

But as we got down to these last few months, we decided that maybe the best thing to do might be to tough it out; moving is so expensive, and we’re just flat out sick of doing it year after year after year. We had contacted our previous landlord a couple of months ago to see if she was going to have anything coming up, and figured that would be the only way we would consider another move, since we trusted her and knew that the animals would not be an issue. When we didn’t hear back from her, we went ahead and put in a couple of gardens, fenced in an area for the cats, and settled in.

So…. last week we got our lease renewal in the mail, with an envelope to send it back in after we signed it… and then the very next day, our old landlord called about a house she’d just purchased that would be in our price range.

Well. This certainly threw things back in an uproar, didn’t it? We went to see the house with her and it had a lot going for it; it was on nearly two acres, in a quiet rural area with no nearby neighbors, it had an area already fenced, an outbuilding, and even a chicken coop. There was more space than we have here and the landlord would be pulling out the carpet and refinishing the wood floors underneath. One of the really cool things was that it was a five minute walk to the bank of the French Broad river. The fact that the paper mill smell at our current house was so intense this past weekend that it set off an asthma episode for me sure added to the appeal. Over the following day or so, we carefully weighed all the pros and cons of whether to jump on this opportunity (which had just miraculously sprang up for us at the last minute!) and came to a decision…

Our signed lease renewal went into the mail this morning.

Yes, that’s right: we are actually staying in one place for more than a year. This must come as a terrible shock. 😉 When we signed the lease renewal Joy commented as she looked over the document, “we haven’t had one that looked like this, before.” and I replied, “I think that’s because we’ve never actually renewed a lease before!”

We’re finally starting to dig ourselves out of the hole that ten years of catastrophes, vet bills, and moving helped us create, and we just can’t justify setting everything back again. If we keep making progress, the next move may be into our own house, which is what we really want. And for all it’s annoyances, this house has it’s positive points as well, and it has been a very peaceful place for us to be. With the economy so uncertain, the ongoing drought, and the unknown future the upcoming election represents, we really aren’t sure what we will be doing long-term, but for at least another year, this is ‘home.’