Saturday, June 08, 2013

Liars, Tolls and Raccoon - Oh My

The last two weeks have been action and adventure packed. Almost a Chevy Chase comedy. It started on the 23rd – with the Movers being MIA. Yup, took the money and ran. Luckily I am inherently suspicious and implemented plan 2 early. When it became apparent the movers would no-show I ran to U-Haul & rented a truck. Fabulous friends picked up the closest available tow dolly (in some town near Harrisburg that I had never been to) and brought it to me.

On the Lebanon end – fabulous friends gathered to help me schlep, carry, and load. We banged it out in short order in repulsive heat and humidity – sans AC.

Early the next morning I started the tedious drive home. Hampered by a vehicle that could not back up, had a speed limit of 55 mph, and got a smashing 12 mpg. Add to that the fact that it classifies as a 2 axle vehicle and the tolls came to almost $200.00 – not EZPass applicable. Oh joy. My adorable little car followed behind me, giving glimpses of her little mirrors & making me mourn the lack of Radio/CD/Bluetooth/cruise control in the truck.

Hot, tired, crabby I arrived at the LoveGrotto on Saturday afternoon to solo unload until nightfall when poor TAO could come help. We banged out the unload, dropped off the truck, got some fast food & decided to go home. Honestly, I don’t remember the trip or the evening at all.

We lolled around part of Sunday, until the To-do list worked our nerves too much; then we headed back south to start trying to put the Grotto in order. And the trouble began.

TAO had gone through the singlewide on the lot, but it wasn’t connected to any utilities. Once they set it up in the mobile home park we discovered that there were a LOT of mechanical issues. Hot water? Nope. Heat? Nope. AC? Nope. Electric? Sort of. Entry? No Stairs & the doors don’t work. AND

Turns out the park is in The Boonies (despite being 5 miles from work, and directly off a major highway interchange.) So no cell signal, no cable (who cares), and the only internet being Dial Up with a usage cap & a $100 a month bill. (picture me clutching my laptop, saying But All My Friends Live in this Box).

Amazon to the rescue – ordered faucets, ordered a cell phone booster, got the internet people out there. Also – got a great mattress from Amazon. TAO wants me to bring it home & swap it for the old one. “Sorry, won’t fit in my car.”

So rather than a week to unpack and settle in, with some serious drunken patio knitting; I spent the last 10 days having stairs built, getting heat (the furnace guys initially lied – stating that “it worked just fine, needs a cap that is all”. Turns out the CO levels fluctuated between 196 & 475 – normal is 15 to 20. Luckily the thermostat didn’t work, or Coleman says the CO levels would have killed the dogs and possibly me.), getting hot water, getting electric, getting faucets, AND

Fixing the raccoon damage.

What? What?!? Yeah. The seller had the home on the lot for more than a year. When the home first arrived the hot water heater failed, dumping water into the subfloor and rotting the bottomboarding. A mama raccoon found the egress into the home, and discovered that with some ingenuity she could move into the space under the bathtub in the middle bathroom. So she made a nest and proceeded to have litters. Then one day, TAO comes, buys the house, and they move it 6 miles away. Mama raccoon was apparently out foraging. But TAO kept hearing rustling and chirping. So he gets up under the house, and lo! The move had caused the FIVE raccoon babies to leave the nest, and to burrow through the insulation into the kitchen at the front of the house; where they became trapped for a couple of days and created quite the mess. TAO cut them out and they were returned back to the woods surrounding the sales lot. But that left us with a huge indoor nest to access & clean, a dumpster load of urine soaked insulation, and a fortune in bottomboarding to replace. So I got to spend a quality weekend with TAO, feeding the insulation hopper to blow in new insulation and then lying prone head to feet doing Pilates exercises under the house applying new bottomboarding. I made TAO share a Mojito at dinner.

Less troublesome, but for some reason almost MORE annoying is the fact that a drunken aardvark painted the place. They pulled off all the wall trim and the window treatment hardware. And didn’t replace any of it. They didn’t cut in the edges, and only seemed to use painters tape on areas that could pull the finish off the wood trim. It’s not something that HAS to be fixed, but is irritating as all get out. I’ve got window coverings up in all but one of the rooms, and used an awesome SteamMaster cleaner to get rid of the mold that was rampant in the window frames.

I’m moved in enough to go to work every day, have a library card, and am lazy enough that I may never unpack anything else, or settle in more. It’s no longer like camping and I’m tired; but warm, safe, dry. TAO is incredibly busy but he says he’ll come down in a few weeks and get the ladder, huge wet/dry vac & tools out of the living room/bathroom, and install the back door. I have the kitchen set up enough to eat, just have to get back into the habit of planning cooking & shopping. First I have to find a decent grocer because the local one? Ick.

The dogs are a little unhappy. Scooter spent the first week racing to the car every time you let him out because he wanted to go home where it’s quiet and warm. At least he’s stopped doing that. But he doesn’t like to be outside as much as “curbing” requires. And Bond doesn’t like being “curbed” and misses endless hours in the fenced backyard with his pool.

So I have fulfilled my camping and adventure quota for 2013. Time to knit. (Which box is the yarn in?)


melanie said...

You have TOTALLY earned that knitting time....

ChelleC said...

Oh. My. God. I cannot believe the crap you have been through lately. And so well. How do you soldier on? And to think, that when a racoon burrowed under our porch step a few years ago, I thought we had a racoon meance. Nothing like your story. So sorry for all that honey. No show movers, liars who sell you a mobile home that is a dump. And racooon mamma leaves you in a mess. Wah!! Makes me want to hide under the covers at just the thought of all that.