Saturday, June 28, 2008

Keeping Cool

Swimsuit: $7.99 at Costco
Sprinkler: $1.25 at 2nd Edition Resale shop
Pool: FREE from next-door neighbor
Cool Fun with our daughter: Priceless
(make sure to click on the picture to see the absolute joy on her face!)

Loving the warm weather (At last!)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Won't you be my neighbor? Now where's the fence?

Living in the 'burbs means the chance that you will have neighbors is very high. But if you're lucky enough to live in an older neighborhood, most of the time there is at least a little breathing room between you and your fellow inhabitants. And a good fence.

Last winter during a particularly bad windstorm, a panel of the fence that runs between us and the house behind us, succumbed to its rotten feet, and had it not been for a conveniently-placed tree, would have landed flat on its back. Instead, it stayed propped up against said tree until as recently as this last Monday. This is when HE showed up.

Now about a month or so ago, I noticed the neighbor behind us, in her yard talking to a gentleman, and pointing at the fence. So, I thought I'd walk out and see if they were discussing the fixing of the fence. It seemed only right to at least gather some info, as it was our fence too. I should also mention, we've lived in our current house for six years this August, and up until this moment, we've never met the neighbors who live behind us. I know, we should be more pro-active and get to know our neighbors, but they're busy, we're busy, etc., etc., etc.

Anyway, so the neighbor lady and I introduce ourselves, and she says this is a contractor who's in the process of getting her an estimate for the fence. At this point, they haven't decided whether they're going to fix just the broken panel, or replace the whole fence. I say, "Well, as it's our fence too, when you decide, please let us know, and we can at least contribute for our part of the fence." So we left it at that.

Fast forward to this Monday. I look out the back window, and I see the same man, who has now begun work on the fence. The broken panel has been removed, as well as another part of our shared fence. He's there all day, working away, but by evening, the new panels have not gone back up. And by the way, we were home all day, and no communication from our neighbors about what's going on.

The next morning, I'm inside doing some housework, and happen to look outside. This man is now in our yard. He sees me, and motions for me to come outside. I do, and he says, "Did they tell you I was going to be in your yard?" I said, "No, but I figured you would have to be, as you're working on the fence, and it's obviously not done yet." He said, "Well, when I'm done you'll have a very nice looking fence, because in addition to replacing the panels, I'm also pressure- and oil-treating the old panels so they'll look like new." And then he went on to say that most people don't take care of their fences and should, because treating them is only $2000, whereas a new fence can be $5000. I mumbled something, and then retreated to the house, cringing and seeing the dollar signs multiplying, because I knew he was both treating and repairing the fence.

Today, day 4, and we've still heard nothing from our neighbors, and this man continues to work. Now I realize he's already done some of the work, but I'm really nervous because I haven't seen any quote, and have no idea what our portion may be.

So I'm asking you readers for some advice on what we should do. My mom says, "Don't go borrowing trouble and worry. Just wait and see what happens. I mean, you never even saw a quote, so you could always say, 'We didn't agree to that amount.'

However, I don't want to start WW3 with these neighbors--we still have to live here, after all. And he did do the work, so I want to do the right thing there.

The reality is, we don't have a couple thousand dollars just lying around that we haven't known what to do with. And yes, we could have gone out and gotten our own estimates, but I think if it had been up to us, we probably would have tried to fix it ourselves---Laura VG, Clint does owe David some reciprocal fence/post-hole digging time :-)

Suggestions? Help please!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Back from the Desert (literally!)

Lest you think I'd fallen off the planet as it's been over a month since my last post, rest assured: We're fine :-) It's just that up until this last week, we've had the same old, same old, with nothing really exciting to report.

But now I can write about our recent family getaway to Sunriver! We decided this year to not take a big trip for several reasons: Kyra's 2 1/2, $$$, we went to Hawaii last year, Kyra's 2 1/2, $$$$, do I need to go on? Instead we chose to vacation locally, within driving distance --although this was before gasoline hit over $4 a gallon--EEK!

After looking on Craigslist, we found a nice 2 bed/2 bath house for rent in Sunriver for only $99 a night--a real bargain :-) I admit, I was a little worried, as we'd never rented a house in Sunriver before, but thought if it was absolutely horrible, we could always stay with my sister who lives in Redmond.

Also being early June, we weren't sure exactly what to expect weather-wise, but we crossed our fingers and hoped for warm sun--the house came with pool passes after all :-)

On our drive over, we took Santiam Pass, and encountered SNOW at the top of the pass, which was funny at the time, but was actually a preview of the weather to come :-( As one TV weather forecaster said while we were there, "We're having unseasonably cold weather this time of year. Tonight's low will be below freezing." Below freezing!?!? But being that we are Oregonians, you learn early on that you can't let the weather dictate your mood or what you do. You just adjust your wardrobe accordingly. And that's what we did, including a little unplanned stop at the REI in Bend, as David had forgotten a warm coat...

All in all, I'd have to say this was one of the most fun family vacations we've taken, and now I'll leave you with some pictures of our trip:

Day 1:
See-sawing with Daddy at
Fort Rock Park

Day 2:
The Old Mill District in Bend
to buy a coat

Day 3:
Feeding the fish
Fall River Fish Hatchery

Day 3:
Hanging out with Daddy
Deschutes River

Day 3:
Look Mommy, a pine cone!
Can I keep it?

Day 3:
Down by the Deschutes River
with Mommy

Day 3:
Yes, that's snow on the ground in June

Day 3:
Cascade Lakes Hwy.
Guess we're turning around...

Day 4:
Cousin Tatum's Birthday party

Day 4:
Snuggling with Grandma A
after a long day

Day 5:
Enjoying the Sun (finally!)
Lava Cast Forest

Day 5:
Benham Falls Bridge

Day 5:
The Princess

So there you have it. I promise to not go so long between posts next time, even if I have to write about ho hum things :-)

Happy Monday friends~