Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Aftermath

Note:  Sorry for the long post.  It started being about my dog, and then I wanted to add in the rattlesnake story, by then I had to vent about my lousy real estate agent, and then I got a phone call that turned my life upside down, and then my daughter delivered some upsetting news, and it just kind of ended up being a really crazy day.  Could we have a do over, please?


I had hoped that upon moving to the desert, it would help my Corgi's neurosis regarding the thunder caused by dynamiting snow on the mountains to trigger avalanches so that skiers don't get caught in them.  There should be no snow around here thick enough to dynamite.  I knew I would still have to deal with some thunderstorms, but figured they would be few and far between compared to living in the mountains.

What I didn't bargain for was the 4th of July.  In Nevada, fireworks are illegal.  People still would sneak in setting off a firecracker now and then, but they would then run and hide so as not to be arrested.  Here in Arizona, fireworks are sold from roadside huts to the general public.  Along with licensed fireworks shows, we also have private fireworks shows going on off to the side of us.  The firecrackers continued to be set off every night for several nights afterwards.

Our dog Midge became a nervous wreck every evening as soon as the sun set, running around the house, looking for a pair of legs to hide between, digging around in dark corners for other places to hide, and refusing to go outside to do her business.  We strong-armed her outside on a leash and she bolted in all directions until she hit the end of the leash.  She tried to wiggle out of her collar to run away, and she always refused to do her business.  Her anxiety would build up to the point where she couldn't hold it any longer, and next thing we knew we were scrubbing pee stains out of the carpet again.

I'm willing to tolerate, and even enjoy, the fireworks one night out of the year at my dog's expense, but to allow people to continue celebrating for days afterwards just seems cruel to the animals.  All the dogs up on the bluff have been barking nervously, so I know a lot of pet owners are affected by it.  All I can figure out is that perhaps the people who do continue this noise pollution don't own animals, or they are all kids who don't have to suffer the consequences of caring for an animal that loses its mind every time it hears the pop of a firecracker or gun.


Following up on the rattlesnake incident, my husband had buried the rattlesnake's head, but left the body out to see what kind of wildlife would come and get it.  I actually considered getting it myself and cooking the meat for dinner like I do with the fish that we catch, but was busy and just didn't.  My bet was that an owl would carry it away, but it turned out that a pack of coyotes found it.  My son heard them whooping it up and fighting over it.

My horses seem to be handling the wildlife around here pretty well.  Some afternoons I walk outside and see a dozen bunnies, about 50 quail, and a handful of rodents and lizards scatter in all directions from around my porch.  I haven't had any incidents where I had to get up in the middle of the night to settle the horses down.  Of course, with this mare motel I never hear them kicking walls like I did with the wood barn every time the deer came to visit.  That's one of the pluses of having railings instead of walls.  I don't lock them up at night so that they can run away from something, if needed.

One neighbor on the bluff owns a Pit Bull and they let it run wild, so I've been worried that it would head down here to chase my horses around.  It can't get under the fence, but it can enter the paddock through the mare motel -- one of the minuses of having railings instead of walls.  When we can afford it, we will put up mesh netting around the outside of the mare motel.  These people actually allow the dog to chase their own horses around.

I did spot a dog coming up out of the arroyo the other day at the far end of the paddock, and I went over to chase it off.  As soon as I got close enough to see that it was an Aussie, I left it alone, and it went on its way without bothering my horses.  I suspected someone was hiking down there on our property with the dog off leash, but I was too busy to go investigate.


My real estate agent hasn't been in contact with me, and his contract is about to run out.  I contacted him and suggested that we drop the price on the house to get it back to the top of the MLS listings and gain new interest.  I just read in the local paper that home values have risen quite a bit in the past few months and the demand is greater than the supply in our old neighborhood.  There shouldn't be any reason for him to not sell our house under those conditions, yet all I get from this guy is silence.  I'm used to working with real estate agents who call me at least twice a week to update me on the activity around my house, but with this guy, I have to contact him and ask questions.  He never volunteers any information.

He had the nerve to write back and say that he didn't want to drop the price on my terms, but wanted to drop it much more (25 times the amount I wanted to drop the price) and he wanted me to extend his contract for another three months.  Say what?  Gawd.  It astounds me how slimy some of these real estate agents can be.  He made it sound like it wasn't worth his time to draw up the paperwork to drop the price on my terms unless he knows I will keep him as my agent for another three months.  How dare he refuse to represent me while he's still under my contract unless I extend his contract.  Who does that?  It's like blackmail.  He should be stepping it up to work for the privilege of having his contract extended.  That's something you earn, not something you demand.

I told him no and no.  It's expensive having a house on the market for several months.  I have to pay the mortgage, the utilities, the gardeners, and the insurance even though I'm not living there.  All he cares about is that he gets his commission before his contract runs out, and since it doesn't look like that is going to happen, he has to start strong-arming me to lower the price drastically to make his job easier, and to extend his contract.  I've always said that if I lower the price far enough on the sale of a home, I could easily sell it myself.  I prefer to select a fair market price and get an agent to help.

He told me that the price point we chose was way under the property's real value.  I'm learning that is what all the real estate agent's say before the contract is signed, then they suddenly change their tune once you're locked in.  Also, he informed me of a bunch of criticisms that people had of our house that were completely stupid comments, as if that was supposed to influence me to come down on my price because my house is suddenly being perceived by the general public as crap.  That's another game real estate agents like to play.  Your house is perfect, wonderful, beautiful, etc. right up until it doesn't sell and then suddenly it's not worth beans.  This guy said on the day we signed the contract that he "would not have any problem selling my house for the price we set it at."

He also assured me that he would check the gardeners' work often and let me know if they were slacking off.  He claimed that he drives past my house every day, and it's not a problem for him to check on it often.  Yet, each time I ask him about the condition of the yards, he has to get off his duff to go investigate that day, because he doesn't know what the condition of my yards is.  I don't trust this guy for as far as I can spit.  I can't wait to move past him, because he's been more of a barrier to selling the house than anything else.  If we could get that house sold, it would buy me a little more time before I have to get a job, and I could continue taking care of things around here.


Life continues to be rough.  Long story short, I'm scrambling to avoid being sued by my own brother.  I've been trying to take care of him and look after his best interests since our mother died, but he's suffering from paranoia and thinks that I'm infringing on his rights. I can't reason with him, because some doctor put him on a new medication for his bipolar disorder that makes him more aggressive and manic.  My brother also claims he broke his leg, though I'm not sure if I can believe him.  Sometimes he makes up stories to try to get money out of me.  I made the mistake of sending him money when he broke his hip, then his knee, then his shoulder over the period of a couple of years, so now his broken bones are starting to manifest like clockwork.  I'm hoping I won't have to fly to Washington to check on him, because I can't afford anymore expenses. 

On the heels of us losing our well water, now our air conditioners are on the fritz, and tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest day yet of the year:  113 degrees.  We had the air conditioners serviced while the house was in escrow, but apparently everything waited to quit on us in our presence. 

My daughter received heartbreaking news that two of her friends and another young man she hadn't met yet were in a rollover accident when their tire blew out.  One was killed and the other two were severely injured.  Though I never met them in person, I really liked these guys.  They were very talented, traveling around the country to promote their band and live their dream.  My daughter told me stories of things they did and said, and I was amazed by their kindness toward others, and their delightful senses of humor.  She'd share their music and videos with me, and I was in awe of their intelligence and drive.  So many people who start bands let their egos get out of hand, but these guys were humble and appreciative that they could do what they love. 

You may remember me posting one of their videos a while back that they included my daughter in.  With each new project they completed, their work matured at such a rapid pace that I was sure they were destined for fame.  I often thought about what I could do to help them along, because I really wanted to see them to succeed.  My daughter is going into the city tomorrow to support some grieving friends.  Here is the band's latest video.  I promise it will make you smile.

Link to "Someday" Video by While We're Up


strivingforsavvy said...

I loved the video . I am so sorry to hear about their tragic accident.

fernvalley01 said...

So sorry to hear about this wonderful group of young people!

sydney K said...

Thats really sad. Im sorry

lilyrose said...

The video is really fun. So sorry to hear of that awful accident.
Actually, the laws here in AZ are weird. You can buy fireworks-but they are illegal to use in most areas. Only a few towns around here allow them. AJ is not one of them. I guess the police turn a blind eye to them because there isn't much they can do.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Word got out that the two boys who survived are going to be okay. Prayers to the family of Zach.

Here's an article about the accident:

achieve1dream said...

That's so sad about the wreck. And your brother trying to sue you. :( I hope everything turns out okay.

I'm with you on the fireworks! So annoying!!! They shoot them off for weeks here in July and January. I always pray for rain, but it doesn't stop them from doing it as soon as the rain stops. Even when we had a burn ban and they couldn't shoot them off for the fourth of July they waited two months until the burn ban ended and then shot them off. Who shoots off fireworks in September????? So annoying!