Thursday, January 14, 2010

You, Me, plus Three...

On the exterior, one would think that this 'branch' of the Vickers Family Tree is made up of just Bryan and I. The one who would think that would be wrong.

Bryan and I have children. Three to be exact. Are the human children? No. There are furry children. And over the past couple of weeks, I have had some serious mommy moments.
This all started around January 2, 2010. When we started looking for a new house to rent. The house we are in right now is so cute and I love it, but we've outgrown it already... And we can't have Cali here.

This is Cali.
Cali is our first born. She's a good, smart dog that talks a lot of crap to you when she doesn't like what you are saying. (I swear, I'll get it on video sometime so you can see her attitude. Girl is fierce!) We became her parents with a girl that I worked with at Mervyn's found her. She couldn't keep her and I told her that I knew just the person that would love her. Bryan adores German Shepherds. So we took her home the night we met her and she was ours ever since. When she was younger, Bryan refused to listen to me to take her to get her shots. So of course, she got really sick. She was so miserable. I was visiting in Salinas, and wouldn't leave my side. I just held her on the couch until I finally begged Bryan to take her to a vet. He didn't need much convincing. Luckily, she survived and she's our baby-girl. Even if she weighs as much as an elephant and always steps on my feet.

This is Danny.

Danny was born on May 5, 2005. When I moved in with Bryan and Rick in October of 2005, I was so homesick and lonely that I went to the SPCA, looking for a pet that could be a Farpella, with me. I wasn't looking for any pet in particular, my criteria was: cuddle-bug, nice, distinct personality. That's it. Danny's story was so sad. A bicyclist found Danny on an overpass bridge on the 168 outside of Salinas. He or she was passing by and saw a pet carrier tossed on the side of the road. When he/she stopped, there were multiple kitties in the carrier, but only Danny and one other cat was alive. The bicyclist grabbed the carrier and biked to the SPCA (which is miles up the 168, in the middle of no where) and handed them over. Danny was the only one that survived. When I first met him, Bryan was with me and he was perfect. He had such a
personality. He liked to be held, which made me hope that he'd be a cuddler and he played like CRAZY with the toys. I handed over the $65 dollars (which was and IS a small fortune for a cat, but whatever) and Danny became a Farpella. And yes... he is a cuddler......... but only on his terms.

Ps... He just bit me. I think he was reading over my shoulder.

This is Duey.
Duey's real name is Dumbledore. I first met him when Brian, an old high school friend of mine brought him up to Fresno with Denise and I were living together. Brian had found him and was trying to find his home but was having no luck. Duey (at the time called, Duder) was a puppy and I fell hard! I told Brian that I would adopt him if he was unsuccessful in finding the owners. And I did! When Duey has his hair grown out he is white and fluffy, which reminded me of Dumbledore. And since he now answered to Duder and Doody, I decided to call him Duey, since it was close enough that he wouldn't get confused. He is such a sweetheart. He's not very intelligent, but he makes up for it by being completely adorable and a snuggler!

So, now that you've formally met my entire family, I'm sure you can tell why I would have Mommy moments when people treat my animals unjustly.

Which brings me to the real reason for this post.

Bryan and I are trying to find a house to lease for the next year or two before we buy or build. We're looking for a nice house, of standard proportion, in a nice neighborhood. We've narrowed our search to a three bedroom, two bathroom house with a nice background for the pets.

Pretty standard right? And while there are things I would love - like his and her sinks in the master bathroom, I can live without it. There are things, however that I won't live without.


I have been so angry over the lack of houses that allow pets. AND, the budget range that we have set ourselves in is not overwhelming nor is it underwhelming. Its healthy for the area we live in. We're talking $1000-1200. Hanford is a small town folks, you should be able to get a pretty nice house in this area for that much.

Key word being, should. I can't believe the state of the rental houses I have been shown. Buying a home is the BIGGEST investment most people ever make. It is not to be taken lightly. And the decision of renting, who to rent to, and who to have as a property manager is not something that can just be picked out of a hat. It seems that so many people rented to people that should never had keys to a home and those people destroyed the houses.

We went into one house - in a pretty good neighborhood, that had fist holes all over the walls and doors. We went to another area in a very nice and coveted neighborhood that was missing the glassware on light fixtures, had boards missing out of the fences and the toilets were dirty. And the best part - both houses were advertised as $1100. No joke.

I have called every house (that fits our criteria) that is advertised online and in the newspaper. That's at least 50 houses. And I get more and more upset when this dialogue happens.

"Hi, I'm calling on the house advertised in the Hanford Sentinel. Is it still available?"

"Yes, it is. Its a three bedroom, two bathroom on (insert street). It has a two door garage with an automatic door, and lawn service is included."

"Oh, that sounds great. Do you have a pet policy?"

"Uhhh.... uhhmmmm... what kind of pets do you have?"

"Well, we have three rescued pets. A german shepherd, an outside cat and a maltese/poodle mix. And we do have Renter's insurance."

"Oh, yeah. No, no pets. Sorry."

"Ok. Well I hope you trip and fall down."

...Okay, I don't really say that last part. But I think it. Its house, after house, after house. It is very frustrating.

I understand that pets can be messy. They can have accidents. They make mistakes. But guess who else does? PEOPLE. Children! I say, if you allow families that have children you should allow pets. Its pretty much the same thing. And if they do chew something up or ruin something? Guess what - the renters are LIABLE. That is why there is something called a deposit and a pet deposit. Because if something should go wrong, you have an extra thousand or so dollars to fix it. And, the lease should state that the house should be returned as it was when it was leased, beside "normal" wearing over time. That's like... worn carpet on the constantly used paths.

So, the house hunt is pretty horrible. And I'm super discouraged. But Bryan is trying to be a little ray of sunshine by telling me that it will all work out.

I sure hope so.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weekend Recap

A couple of nights ago, Bryan told me that one of the guys from the band he has been playing with lately invited us to go out to Jimbo's with all of them and their wives on Saturday. I'd never been and I figured it would be fun. It would also give me a chance to get to know the guys since Bryan has been and will be spending so much time with them. We accepted the invitation and looked forward to it.

When Saturday came around, Bryan worked and I fixed up my blog. (Did you notice?) I decided that I needed a change. I'd really like to dedicate more time to SSMM but its hard. I often think to myself that I should take pictures of whatever we happen to be doing at the time, but then I chastise myself. I have to remember to LIVE my life... not just capture it. It's a tight rope, but I hope to do a better job of balancing the two. I would love to be able to look back on this little diary of mine, and revert back to these moments.

Anywho, my sister, Kari and her husband, Adam, came by the house to bring my wedding bins, a end table and a few other things. Bryan arrived home a few minutes after we were done looking at everything and we decided to play a few rounds of Mario Kart on the Wii. SO MUCH FUN. It was nice being able to hang out with them... They are hilarious. After they took off, I went to shower and ready myself and we ended up leaving the house around 6:45. I begged Bryan to stop by Starbucks. I am loving those Christmas gift cards! It was a nice little treat to keep the chills away - not to mention it pepped me up for what I knew would be a late night.

I haven't had In-N-Out in forever so that is where Bryan and I decided to eat. When we were done, the VZ Navigator took us out to Timbuktu instead of where we wanted to go. It was kind of hilarious... We ended up WAAAAY out in the country on East Bullard where there was no 'night life' in sight... besides the coyotes that were hanging around, I'm sure.

We finally arrived at our destination. Jimbo's is a pretty cool place... With a lot of different characters. The band ended up being pretty good and one of the wives we were with managed to get Bryan on stage.

It was a great time and even better was the fact that we had made plans to go Garage sale shopping when we woke up on Sunday. Except that we didn't. We made it home late, and by the time we were up and around it was too late. Instead, I threw all the fixings into the crock pot for Taco Soup and we went out on the town.

We drove around a bunch of local neighborhoods that we would want to live in. Our lease is ending at the end of this month, so we'll be moving. Its stressful and exciting all at once. Then, we went to return Christmas stuff at Target and FYE. Bryan had gotten me hot rollers, which I wanted super badly) but they didn't work on my hair. He also bought me Bones: Season 3 and 4 for Christmas, except I already had season 3... and one of the discs for season 4 didn't work! We exchanged the season 4 for a new one,
and I chose Dollhouse: Season 1 instead. LOVE. THAT. SHOW. I was really happy.

We spent some time in Game Stop and Borders since we both had gift cards but we left empty handed. They didn't have the book that I wanted and Bryan couldn't find anything he wanted so we decided to wait. I succeeded in getting Bryan to let me go to Ross because I've been looking for filler for a vase that I bought at Big Lots (for ten dollars! Love that place.) and I found some that matched perfectly! It was a successful outing!

Rick, Bryan's Dad, came over for some Mario Kart and dinner. We decided at the last minute to go see Up in the Air, the new movie with George Clooney. Folks, it's a dud. Totally not a good movie to pay for. At the end, you feel empty. It gives you no feelings of happiness, sadness, retribution, excitement, mystery.... absolutely nothing. Its not horrible... its just a flop. Anna Kendrick (known recently for her part in Twilight and New Moon) did a pretty great job though. She's a promising little actress.

Today marks the end of a four and a half day weekend for me, so its off to bed so I can work tomorrow. Hopefully the day flies by and I'll be on my way to the gym for Yoga and then off to Kari and Adam's for dinner. Seems to me like it'll be a great day tomorrow!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


This year, Bryan and I decided to have a couple of friends over the house to play games and hang out. Since our lease is up at the end of January, we decided that it would be more frugal then going out on the town. It ended up being us and Denise, Anna, Colleen and Jordan.

It was fun and laid back! Next year though, we're gonna party! Maybe.... Vegas? Who knows!

Here are a few pictures of our night!