What a weekend!
So... where to begin?
The squirrel saga continues. Only this time, it's over so much more than just squirrels.
The new heater was installed this weekend, but not before it puffed white and blue clouds of smoke through the house and gassed me, Beans, M, and her children. Oh, that was fun. Especially when everyone started to feel icky and J's reaction was to send me and Beans to a hotel in Delta Junction for the night and call the landlord and ask questions.
Oh, boy. Let the fun begin.
Long story short, after everyone was in a tizzy, it ended with the landlord (husband part) calling and asking if we wanted to get out of our lease. (Well, DUH! Of course we do!) And with me making a two hour trip to Delta Junction to get absolutely NO sleep, since Beans thought hotel life was incredibly exciting. The good thing that came of it? J, being the best husband on the planet, made sure that a Hagen-Daaz chocolate almond coated coffee ice cream bar (and a few other "necessities") were in the room waiting for me.
Just when I thought life was good again, Beans decided to do a flying headbutt kick flip into and over the coffee table (that's a crazy kungfu ninja kick she knows, seriously, the girl has mad skills). This ninja warrior move ended with blood spraying from her mouth and her screaming baby-obscenities (and me screaming grown-up ones) at the coffee table. Poor girl decided right them and there that NO, mommy CAN NOT AND WILL NOT look at the owie, and mommy CAN AND WILL nurse me RIGHT NOW. After about 5 minutes of that, both Beans and my boob were covered in blood and it looked like a war zone in the hotel room. She split the inside of her lip pretty good, but eventually decided she was all better,and went back to practicing her ninja moves.
This morning, I followed up with the landlord and the offer to get out of the lease is not without strings. *sigh* I KNEW it was too good to be true. Without getting too in depth with it, the long and short is that they need to get new tenants before we leave, as they can't afford for the place to sit vacant. Hmmm... well, while I don't really feel like that's MY problem, we agreed that they could try to find another tenant. If so, they'll give us 30 days notice. We DID say that we will NOT move after October. If they haven't found another tenant by then, we'll just finish out our lease where we are, to avoid moving through snow, sleet, freezing temps. Yeah, we're PEOPLE, not postal workers. (Although if I don't shoot that squirrel soon, I might consider a winter move after all.)
This decision was not reached without some considerable, um, what's the word I'm looking for? Hmm... argument. Lots of stressful argument. And several, "I'll have to call you back in a little while because if I keep talking, my head is going to explode and I'm going to tell you how stupid I think you are" moments.
Hmph. I returned home to find my landlord still working on the heater. The house smells like a gas station, you know, like near the diesel pumps. Oh, and smoke. Like exhaust smoke. And I sort of feel the way I used to when I was smoking dope in high school. Very, very, very high. But he (the landlord) assures me that it's safe to stay here.
I'm (almost) sure he's telling the truth and not trying to kill me. After all, if they kill me, they still won't have another tenant, right?
Oh, and the wife portion of the landlords is not speaking to me. For the record, I am TOTALLY OK with that.
So, for people who don't actually personally know me or have reason to be concerned with the fact that I have been fumigated out of my own home, the day's lesson is this: Never ever ever ever ever ever ever sign a lease without seeing a place first. And asking lots of questions about how repairs and maintenance will be handled. And whether or not there are squirrel-huggers in the family or neighborhood.
And for anyone relocating to Fairbanks/North Pole... I know a rental that is available. If you are interested, just send me an email. I'll happily forward your information along to my landlord.
For Family and Friends (who do actually know us personally): Seriously, folks, we ARE ok. We are not homeless, not going to be homeless, not being evicted or anything crazy like that. We are not going to have to live in an abandoned bus or cardboard box in the middle of winter here. We are seriously relieved that we were offered. We will send a forwarding address (to most of you, anyway). No idea who, what, where, when, why, or how... but y'all know us, we always figure it out. If God is for us, only the squirrel huggers can be against us, right? Really... we're going to be fine. We'll probably be heading down to Delta Junction, closer to J's job, even though I have been forbidden to do so by my friend M, and I know she's secretly (or not so secretly) praying that God makes it work out so that we have to stay in North Pole. (And you thought I didn't know! Teehee!)
In other news:
Most of my other news is scenic... I've never driven to Delta in the evening time until last night. And even through my annoyed state and diesel fume headache, the drive was really stunning. I passed a handful of moose, including one momma with a baby who looked like it was still trying to get used to his walking legs and not his womb legs. Seriously, this poor little thing looked so gangly, awkward and new, I just wanted to go kiss his cute little moose nose. Obviously I didn't, because the mother would have trampled me to death, but this little guy was just adorable.
In other Moose Watch News, I was greeted at the hotel doors by one, standing not more than 5 feet from the entrance, happily munching on grass. (Um, I avoided the moose and the very dumb, very drunk tourist taking pictures WITH a flash, and used the back entry door for the hotel.)
And then another moose on the drive home today had me cracking up. As I was driving down the road, I noticed a weird shaped "log" in a roadside pond. Getting closer, I discovered it was NOT a log, but a moose, neck deep in the water, taking a bath and watching the cars go by.
The mountains were MOST spectacular. I felt like I was driving somewhere I had never been before, as many of the mountains have lost their snow caps and are lush, green, rolling hills now. Until I got into Delta, that is, where the mountains in the distance still look like the drawings of glacier mountains you see on water bottles, icy and snow covered.
The clouds were low and gray last night, casting a "twilight"-esque hue over the mountains. An eagle flew over head near the Tanana River, and as much as I would have liked to stop to watch, I pressed on to the hotel, exhausted.
Speaking of twilight... um, we still don't really have any. I caught a very tiny glimpse of what ALMOST looked like a sunset the other night, but it still stayed too light out to really "set".
AND, I saw something the other day that stopped me in my tracks. For the first time since I've moved to Alaska, I saw the MOON! Granted, it was in the daytime sky, but its presence surprised me, and reminded me that fall and winter will soon be approaching.
For those back in the lower 48, we have a little over 18 hours of daylight still. The sun "sets" around 11 or 11:30 these days, and rises around 4 or 4:30. I'll have to pay attention to the Great Loss of Daylight announcement on the news tomorrow for a more accurate time for you.
I do have to say that I am really looking forward to a "normal" day, where the sun rises at a "normal" time, and sets at a "normal" time, and where we actually have a sunrise and sunset. I know, I know, it will be short-lived, then I'll be in the dark and craving daylight again, but I AM looking forward to the longer nights!
Speaking of nights and dark- I have been told that aurora season is coming! From what I've been told, the Northern Lights get very active in August, though you do have to stay up pretty late to catch them (because the days are still long). But I am SO excited!
OK. That's my news from OUR moose trails. Beans is now protesting bed, and I'm going to go kiss her poor little swollen lip.
Until the next adventure...
Happy Moose Trails!