Don’t parent

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There is SO MUCH that could be unloaded here as background. If you have been following this blog for a while (or have gone back and read the archive) then you know there is a family member and his children living here at the house now. Tragedy (he is a single dad now), poor choices, crappy circumstances…yeah, the situation for this person and the family is not ideal, to say the least.

However, they are here in the my home (not living in a trailer in the yard like last time). MY home. While this place may have been his home at one time, it isn’t his and it certainly hasn’t been his kids’. For all intents and purposes, they are guests here while he/they (hopefully sooner than later) get back on their feet.

But, there is constantly tension. Aside from some state food assistance, the adult staying here temporarily provides no sort of help. I am supporting eight people. My spouse is ill and physically incapable of doing much of the daily chores inside the home. She is definitely incapable of providing childcare beyond anything longer than about an hour. She wants to be helpful but frankly just isn’t able to the level she would like. So, much over EVERYTHING is left to me.

They (my spouse and her son) were having a discussion yesterday because she noticed he was frustrated (seemingly all the time). He doesn’t want to be here and feels stuck. (Frankly, we don’t really want him to be here but also feel stuck because of the situation.) He has been here for over a month now and we, obviously, have observed and heard a lot.

He doesn’t appear to want to get a full time job because he wants to get is handyman business off the ground (not a great time to get that started!). He doesn’t have a discipline strategy (constant yelling/screaming at them and repeating himself umpteen times) that works for his kids. He doesn’t have any place for the kids to go to daycare so he can work or at least work on finding work. Honestly, his life is the definition of insanity because he is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

In the discussion with my spouse yesterday he said part of the tension in the house is because he doesn’t want us parenting his children (our grandchildren). She tried to get clarification about what that meant to him but he couldn’t really explain what that meant. We are pretty sure he is talking about discipline but he wouldn’t actually say that. We have a different philosophy than he has. But honestly, his philosophy doesn’t work and it plays out every day in our home. We are trying to respect his wishes but he got mad at his mom the other day for suggesting that maybe it was time to spank one of the children. Mind you, this was AFTER he had screamed at the child all morning for blantant disobedience, attitude, disrespect, etc. The yelling is of no consequence to these children because they have heard it all the time and still hear it all the time.

“Don’t parent my children.”

So, what are we to do? They don’t obey, respect, listen, follow directions, behave, etc., when we talke to them.

But, he accepts the parenting of his children when we provide daycare, prepare and feed them meals, bathe them, helpe them with their homework, get dressed in the morning or for bed, get up with them in the middle of the night, change diapers, make bottles, help get their teeth brushed, do all their laudry, make their beds,…you can see how this is going, right?

Where exactly would you like us to “stop parenting”?

Sorry, if you are going to live under our roof for free and use all our stuff, there is gonna be some damn discipline. You don’t get to have exceptions. I don’t care if you’re the adult parent of the kids.

There has to be a better way.

The chaos is terrible. It’s like constantly living in a tornado. The “eye of the storm”? That currently doesn’t exist in this universe.

I actually don’t even look forward to returning home after leaving. I don’t want to be in my own home. The only reason I do is for fear that my spouse is the one having to do everything. I am afraid it might actually be making her worse.

Don’t parent.

We are having to parent our adult child while parenting our grandkids at the same time. It friggin’ sucks…and there is honestly no end in sight…

Don’t parent.

Like hell, I ain’t stopping. There will be peace in my home again. If it causes him and the family to move out, so be it. That’s his choice. There will be peace, one way or another.

Just chill

OK, no, I don’t wanna chill.

Seriously.

It is damn cold outside (for the NW) and it is freaking chilly inside the house.

This week the low temps up here in the Northwest corner of the US is going to be in the low 20s. That isn’t typical for us so when it gets down in this range, we tend to just break out the sweatshirts and insulated jackets and try to avoid the out of doors. Last night the low was around 27 degrees.

So, the furnace has been acting funny and last night I was pretty sure there we were headed for a breakdown. Sure enough, this morning the house was 58 degrees when it should have been 66 when I got up. The furnace has in “lockout” mode – meaning it tried, it didn’t get lit, and then it gave up…for the next three hours.

When I got up to let the dog out at 5:00am I was like, “Crap. This is rather irritating, and cold. Dang, it’s cold in here.”

I tried resetting the furnace by turning off the power and then back on again. The stupid thing gave a good effort but after three cycles of trying, I gave up and went back to bed where it was warm. After warming up a bit, I was awake. So, back out of bed I went and out to build a fire in the wood stove. I was trying to be quiet so as to not wake the others in the house. Quiet, I tell you. Only to have one of the smoke detectors decide to CHIRP for a new battery. So much for being quiet.

Anyway, fire started and going and the warmth is starting to fill the room.

I called into work and let my manager know I was going to have to deal with this issue today and took at least half the day off. (Thank goodness for flexibility!)

I disassembled the ignitors, cleaned them with sandpaper, and reinstalled them. Furnace back on, cycled through the startup process, and still nothing. So, out comes the shop vac and vacuuming the pumps, the fans, the gas feed tubes (not sure of the technical term), etc. How did I know to do this stuff? I had a tech here once who we called because this happened like 6 years ago and we had no idea why it wasn’t working. He literally came out, cleaned the stuff, and charged $125 for 15 minutes of work. He was like, “Look, you don’t need me or need to pay me for this stuff. You can do it yourself.” He showed me what to look for, where to clean, and how to take the ignitors out and clean them.

VOILA!

Everything is back up and running. “Let there be heat!”

The fireplace is all fired up (see what I did there?) but the furnace is now doing what it is supposed to. I’ll keep the fire burning so as to not drive up the gas bill while the cold is here this week, but we are back in the warmth.

Holiday decor

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Call me Scrooge. Call me The Grinch. Call me grumpy. Call me whatever.

I hate holiday decor. Like, seriously.

If it were up to me, there would be very little done in the way of decorating for the holidays. It would be simple and wouldn’t take hours to set up, or tear down. It would be quick and easy and not require the rearranging of the entire house.

It would also not involve Christmas lights hung on the house. Talk about a waste of energy (literally and figuratively)!

No one enjoys putting the damn things up. No one relishes the idea of climbing a ladder over and over again. No one loves the idea of climbing around on the roof of the house with impending disaster just one slip away. No one likes untangling lights, running extention cords, replacing light bulbs, or being in the cold for long periods of time while putting them up and taking them down.

What a stupid tradition. Really. Who came up with this idea? Never mind that. I don’t really care.

I have the day off today. Guess what I have been tasked with? If you need me I’ll be outside, climbing ladders, dangling over the edge of the eaves, and cursing my existence for the next several hours.

Bah-humbug, I say!

Roofers

architecture build building construction

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The sun is out.

It will be for (at least according to the fairly inaccurate Weather App) for the next two weeks. Of course, weatherpeople can be wrong 80% of the time and still people look to them to provide answers.

Anyway, the roof still hasn’t been done and, as of writing, I have no idea if I am on the schedule for anytime over the next two weeks. Supposedly, two weeks ago, my house was slated to be done the following week when I reached out to them, but that was weather dependent, of course. I understand that part.

Its rather tiresome that the tarp on the roof of the house has been there since mid to late November. In that time, I have contacted 12 roofing companies. Five have come out to give estimates. Two have had signed estimates returned to do the work. One ghosted me. The other is still pending…

I was hoping it would be done before the end of the month, but I guess what little optimist is in me (I am 94% pessimist) is growing tired of waiting.

Tired of the run around. Tired of climbing on the roof to check the tarp. Tired of worrying about water destroying the house. Tired of worrying about ants.

Tired.

Sometimes, not owning a home would be nice.

 

Windy

shallow focus photo of two brown lions

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Roaring like a lion.

Two nights in a row I have been awakened in the middle of the night with wind that sounded like a freight train running through the house.

Two nights of laying in bed wondering if a tree will fall on the house, or the tarp covering the leak in the roof will blow off and end up somewhere else in the county.

Two nights of hearing the whistling of the wind as it flies past the corner of the house in swirling chaos.

Two nights of hearing pine cones and branches bouncing off the room. Two nights of listening to the rain. Two nights of staring at the ceiling as I listen to things go crash and bump in the night.

Two nights of not as much sleep as I would like.

My only solace?

Two more wake ups and I’ll be enjoying the sun in AZ and the popping of balls in gloves and the cracking of bats.

But for now, the stormy PNW will continue to keep me awake for portions of the night.

Sprung

blue clean clear dew

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Drip.

Drip.

What is that? That sound doesn’t sound like it should.

Drip.

Drip.

Nope, that isn’t a normal sound. Yes, it is raining really freaking hard outside and, yes, there is the typical sound of rain going down inside the vent pipes. This drip is different.

And there it is. Inside the furnace. In the arch way of the back entry.

Damn.

There is a leak in the roof. It is in the most troublesome section of the roof. Somewhere between the ending of the sloped house roof and the beginning of the flat garage roof. This is the spot I have worried about since I moved in. This is the spot I was planning on having fixed in the next three years knowing it was only a matter of time before it causes an issue.

Now, the rainy season is in full force and the prospect of a quick fix is null.

Now, not only a roofing company has to be involved, but likely a contractor too since we might as well work on the structural issues at the same time and do it all in one fell swoop. Oh, and on top of that, now likely a bank will be involved with a home equity line of credit or something like that….

Awesome!  **in the most sarcastic tone ever known to man**

Stiff and sore

grayscale photo of man

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All that work on the house and in the yard yesterday has me moving much slower today. Age isn’t just a number, so don’t listen.

I suppose if I did this stuff on a regular basis, I would be less sore. But, climbing up and down a ladder repeatedly to put up gutter guards and using the shears to cut down bushes aren’t something that happens regularly, so that little piece of advice goes in one ear and out the other.

OK, OK, being more physically active would be better, I know.

But today, just let me wallow in my tired, stiff and sore irritation. It’s just best for everyone.

 

Relatively needy

adorable animal cat close up

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As you may have read yesterday, there are some relatives staying with us. I have to preface that with the fact that these are in addition to the relatives who have been staying with us in the camper in our yard. So, needless to say, there are quite a few extra people around.

Well, yesterday when I got home, it seemed everyone who doesn’t have permanent residence IN the house needed something. Things they couldn’t take care of themselves or needed assistance with, or even just didn’t take care of themselves even though they caused the issue.

One relative needed help gathering supplies for a campfire in the backyard. Not a hard task, but since I didn’t really want a fire in the backyard pit it was rather irritating. It was just assumed it was OK rather than asking. So as to not make waves, I just did it.

One relative didn’t pick up their crap. So I put it away.

One relative broke a light switch. I went about repairs, only to find that it can’t be fixed and will need to be replaces.

One relative had to tell me, immediately about the day even though she could see that I was busy with other things. She literally followed me around talking while I took care of other stuff.

One relative complained because my face “said I looked like I was irritated.”

All of this was within the first 20 minutes of being home.

I’ll tell you what…some days it just doesn’t pay to go home. Perhaps I’ll not go home for the rest of the week…

Invasion

person giving keys on man

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Have you ever experienced an invasion?

Not of rodents. Not of insects. Not of a military kind.

But of the family kind?

Relatives have been in town this last week (and one more to go) and it feels a bit like an invasion. Everything in the house has been adjusted for them, the food, the fridge, the sleeping schedule, the bathroom, the furniture, the accommodations, the entertainment, the seemingly openness to communal living…it’s tiring.

It’s an invasion really.

Suddenly life as I have known it is thrown upside down and normal day to day activities take on a new, additional challenge. It’s not good. Really.

I love them. I’ll admit. But they’re tiring. Really tiring. They live life so differently.

The only bright spot in this invasion? They’ll leave.

This invasion will end and they’ll go home. Far, far away.

The normal (whatever that is) life will return.


 

Anyone else not really enjoy house guests? Family or other?

Don’t be that guy

green trash bin on green grass field

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Don’t be that guy.

Or that one.

Or even that one.

What is with people and leaving their trash cans or recycle cans (or all their cans) out on the road after pickup? I mean seriously. Is it that much work to put your cans away?

I drive through the neighborhood and there are four or five people in about 4 blocks that have had their cans out since the last pickup day…5 days ago…

Don’t be that guy.

Take in your can(s).

If you’re out of town, arrange for someone to do it for you. Otherwise, you really have no excuse. You have to drive or walk by it when you return home so take care of it!

Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t be that guy that lets the animals or birds spread your garbage all over the place either. That’s just irresponsible and lazy.


Do you have any neighbors that do anything that drive you nuts? What do they do to send you over the edge?