Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Neighborhood

Changes are coming:
Let me tell you about my neighborhood.  Normally its a nice, quiet place to live.  Not a rich neighborhood, just a simple tree-lined street with old 2-story homes that are kept reasonably nice.  Remember back in the day when neighbors chatted in their front yards or on their porches?  When everyone knew everyone else?  That's this neighborhood. 

A family with teenage girls, a few retirees, a couple single guys...and the house from hell next door.  Yep, next door to me is a house that the whole neighborhood shutters over.  From the day I moved in here, 7 or 8 years ago, there's been people in the house that seem intent on causing one problem or another.  And it's not just me that feels that way.  It's the steady, long-term folks who have been here for years that cringe at the comings and goings over there. 

When I moved in, it was owned and lived in by the neighborhood drunk.  Though he usually kept to himself, he was friendly, but he did love his beer...a little too much.  And his pot.  But he didn't really bother anybody though.  He had a good job with almost 30 years seniority.  He had a fishing boat he took out often and a nice truck.  Then he decided to help out a friend, let the friend move in, and she brought her crack and her customers.  And it became the "crack house".  She got him hooked in less than 6 months, had constant traffic coming and going and the ever-present visits from the police. 

My dog chased a few of their customers out of my yard when they would cut through from the alley on my other side.  A few of them woke me in the middle of the night pounding on his bedroom window wanting to make a buy.  I got vocal a few times ("he's not the only one you're waking up!!") called the police a few times, and cringed when the big white Cadillac from Detroit would show up (their big-time suppliers).  Long story short...he eventually lost his boat, his truck, his job of 30 years...and when he finally went to prison for 2 years, he lost his house too. just two years he lost everything he'd worked 30 years for...all because of crack.

Then the new owner of the house spent a lot of money fixing it up and rented it to a young girl who let her brother turn it into a party house with late night loud parties, fights, broken beer bottles and lots of visits from the police.  They were gone in less than a year. 

Thankfully, he now has another home. 
 And then....the owner rented to my present neighbors.  These are the same ones that had Bronson, the dog who was so badly neglected and the same ones who's bored 2 year old would throw all the toys out the bedroom window into my yard on a daily basis.  They have broken the windows, damaged the privacy fence between our yards, had numerous domestic disputes...aka... more police visits.  On one occasion, this mother of 6, climbed on her husband's car and jumped up and down on it screaming at him before locking herself in the house (with the kids outside and watching) while she screamed profanities at the police through the window.  They are now divorcing, she collects welfare, has an old man/boyfriend living with her and has trashed the house.  According to the landlord, the walls are damaged, the carpet needs replaced and when the toilet backed up...they pooped in buckets...yes, in buckets...before calling the landlord for a plumber.

She was given until the end of July to move out.  In August the landlord went to court.  Four days ago the police posted a notice on her door that she would have to vacate.  She's still there and she's not going easily.  They will drag her out kicking and screaming (she's known for that) and her kids will be the ones to suffer all this humiliation and either end up with their dead-beat dad or be homeless.  I feel bad for the kids but I have to admit that when she's gone, we can once again get back to our quiet, friendly neighborhood. 

And now the landlord's going to have to put a lot more money into this house to fix it up again...but, hopefully, in the future, he'll be more diligent about who he rents to.  He's a first-time landlord and I think he's learned his lesson.  He's even talked about selling but with the economy as bad as it is, I doubt it would sell quickly. 

So if you've ever considered being a landlord of a rental, please be careful who you rent to.  Do all the background and reference checks and know who you're renting to or you could be in the same position this poor guy is in.

The 2 neighbors across the street and I have all expressed our desire to do "happy dances" in the street the day she's gone.  Hopefully this doesn't make us bad people...just extremely excited ones to have our quiet street back again. 

And that, my friends, is my neighborhood.

Another Change:
This change is a happy one and also makes me want to do a happy dance  :)  I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to lose weight.  I tried blogging about it on page called "My Personal Track Record".  It was also where I was charting my struggle with smoking.  But both were going so badly that I ended up deleting the page. 

But I never stopped trying. 

Now please don't ask me how my smoking is going.  Even though I've cut it in half, I'm still not proud that I haven't been able to quit.

But my losing weight?  Well, that's been a slow and steady progress and I'm very happy to say that I've lost 20 lbs!  That may not sound like much over an 8 month period, but its sweet success to me.  I have never deprived myself of what I enjoy eating...I'm just not stuffing myself or eating my late night snacks anymore.  So for me it's all about portion control. 

And I swear, the work that goes into running the concession stand burns up bukoo calories, so that helps.  Plus, I'm walking Maggie a little more.  The arthritis in my hips makes long walks a little difficult but Advil helps some. 

Now for those of you who are scoffing at only 20 lbs...imagine a gallon of milk.  One weights about 4 lbs.  So that would be 5 gallons of milk...try lifting that.  Or two 10 lb bags of potatoes!  That's a lot of potatoes and I lost that much!  Now I'm not going to tell anyone what I weighed before but I have dropped a size in my jeans.  Hoping to drop another size by Christmas.  So happy we go!

Quotes of the Day:
A bad neighbor is as great a calamity as a good one is a great advantage. ~ Hesiod

Good fences make good neighbors. ~ Robert Frost

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. ~Author Unknown

The Diet:
A blonde is terribly overweight, so her doctor puts her on a diet. I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you will have lost at least five pounds. When the blonde returns, she's lost nearly 20 pounds. "Why, that's amazing!" the doctor says. "Did you follow my instructions?" The blonde nods. "I'll tell you, though, I thought I was going to drop dead that third day." "From hunger, you mean?" asked the doctor. "No, from skipping." ~ Ray
(Sorry for the blonde just copy and paste...I don't make these up.)  

No comments: