9/30/2011

The neighbors from hell won

[I try to keep my posts short, but this one might take a while...]

It's been almost two years that we have rented our house. It's really nice and warm and the landlord is nice. The neighbors are not. Click here for more details from a past post.

The house sits on a corner lot. The house behind us has an older couple with their pot-smoking son (I know this because he works with Hubby and they all make fun of him at work.) who looses all sense of decibels when he's high. After several calls to Noise Control, plus one loud, rude call from his daddy to our house to tell us to leave his son alone, he mostly got the idea.

The house beside us is a different story. After many, many calls to Noise Control (NC) for music from the house and from the garage shed, plus a visit from the local Constabulary because he thought I was harassing him with my calls, Numnuts still doesn't understand that annoying the neighborhood is not acceptable.

The latest episode was an excuse for Numnuts to loose the small amount of self-control he ever had. He was working on his car with the nasty lyrics of music blasting away and, with my very low tolerance for that sort of thing, I called NC. Again. Now you have to keep in mind that there have been a few occasions that they were in the shed with music but I had no idea until I went out to hang clothes or put out the trash rubbish. That tells me that they know where the limits are on the noise. Maybe I'm wrong.  But as long as I don't hear it thumping my brain inside my house, I don't have a problem with it.

Anyway, I called. When NC left, Numnuts stood on his deck, which is about 20 feet away from our house, across the fence, and started yelling, 'Come on out, ya b*stards!' which, of course we did not do. Instead I called the police because that's what the cops told us we should have done the last time. [His grown kids were drinking on the deck one weekend and yelling racist things at the house and at Otterboy when he came in with a friend. It wasn't really loud, so we didn't think much about it until the next day when we went to the Stratford Police Department to make a complaint. We were told they have to be called while it's going on.]

So, I give them the details they need and am told that 'a car is on the way'. We waited. And waited. Twenty minutes later, we hear Numnuts with his chainsaw revving and revving on the deck. During that noise (which I really don't mind, btw, because it's not the thump, thump, thump of the bass on his music), he's yelling, 'Ya want noise? Here's some noise!' I couldn't help but giggle at his stupidity.

I call the police back and say that he seems to be threatening us with a chainsaw! I hear the lady writing and she calmly says, 'A car is on the way, Betty. There is no need for you to call us again.' HUH? Isn't it the job of the Stratford Police Department to 'protect'? Hello! It's a BIG chainsaw!

Well, they finally show up at Numnut's house and I watch through the window as two cops listen to him for about 15 minutes. Then they come to our door and 'explain' that he was frustrated with NC coming and that's why the chainsaw (no kidding).

They also tell us that we are the only ones that complain--which I find very hard to believe since the house on the other side of Numnuts is closer to his than we are--and that it's just a matter of our word against his so there's not much they can do.

Hrumph. Now what to do????

I think I mentioned that Missy decided that she didn't like any rules or being told that she's wrong, ever, so she went to live with her mom (H). A little while later, Otterboy decided to live with us. Seemed even, one kid at each house, right? Wrong.

With shared custody, it is even. With one kid at each house, it's not. Each parent can apply for child support from the other, which is based on income. 18% of your income, to be exact. Since Hubby makes a very nice income for his family, that 18% puts us in a bit of a financial bind. We pay about 28% income tax to begin with because of our tax bracket, but with the additional 18% taken out, you can figure it out for yourself that we get just over half of what he works so hard to make. A bit disheartening.

Well, we had been talking about moving to a cheaper house for a couple of months now, but Numnuts was the last straw. It seems that he was the catalyst for our getting on with moving, so we should probably thank him. But that's not going to happen.

Next week, we will be moving to a quieter neighborhood (at least, that's what the neighbor there said). We will be able to have a garden again, so that's a big plus. It will be nice to be outside again.

The neighbor from hell might have won this round, but I think it might actually be a tie.

9/26/2011

Pretty cool


I never knew this would happen...


9/24/2011

Cream cheese cookies

I had an urge just for something different and found this recipe on About.com. It worked quite nicely and the family wants more :) I didn't have pecans or cherries, so I chopped up some dried apricots (about half a cup, I guess) and put them in.


Cream Cheese Cookies


·         1 cup butter
·         8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         1 egg
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/2 cup toasted coconut*
·         pecan halves or halved candied cherries
Preparation:
Cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add egg; beat well. Stir in the flour and toasted coconut. Drop cookie batter from teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheet then press a pecan half or cherry half into the top of each. Bake at 325° for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove cookies to a rack to cool.
Makes about 5 dozen cream cheese cookies.
*To toast coconut in the oven, spread coconut on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 325°, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

9/20/2011

Just for fun

I was reading over at Belle's blog (click for link)  about designing a 'Dummies' book (who found it on another blog) cover and just couldn't resist joining in!





Click this link to make yours! http://www.images-graphics-pics.com/signs/books/dummies/cover.asp?pic=no-arms&title=Going+to+NZ%3F&text=I+came+all+this+way&text3=Your+mama+never+told+you+things+would+

Thanks, Belle!


9/16/2011

Harden up!

That's what they say around here when you whine about something.

That's what they should have said to the 2000 people who missed the opening ceremonies of the Rugby World Cup earlier this month instead of rewarding them with free tickets to later matches.

Free tickets for those who missed out


Fans who missed the Rugby World Cup opener due to Auckland transport failures may be offered free tickets to an All Blacks semifinal as compensation.
An estimated 2000 people missed some of the opening ceremony or the All Blacks-Tonga match due to transport delays, mainly with the overcrowded trains.
A report presented to Auckland councillors on Wednesday said it was appropriate for the council to compensate those who missed out.
It says those who missed both the opening ceremony and the match should be given tickets to an All Blacks semi-final if they reach that stage of the tournament.
Those who missed the opening ceremony and part of the match should be given tickets to a All Blacks quarter-final.
http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/10255542/free-tickets-for-those-who-missed-out/




Is no one responsible for their own actions any more? Do they think that everything wrong in their life is really someone else's fault? Is the reward for whining compensation worth the humiliation or don't they have enough pride in themselves to know they look like fools?

I'm wondering how many of those that missed out on the opening ceremony arrived at the airport many hours early to make sure they were ready for the flight over here. There were 60,000 people who had enough sense to get to the opening early enough to see everything!

Kinda makes you want to go, 'Hmmm...' 



9/14/2011

trivia rerun 9/08

Some of these 'facts' are personal observation, some was blatantly stolen borrowed from various websites.


In New Zealand you can get milk from Bulls.


Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, has the largest Polynesian population in the world.

There is no tree on Auckland's One Tree Hill, but there was one until a few years ago.

Most native New Zealand trees are evergreen. Not pretty green, but definitely green.

The only accordion museum exhibition in the southern hemisphere is in Dargaville.

This country is the size of Colorado or the UK and would fit into the Caspian or Baltic Seas.

Lake Taupo, the big lake in the middle of the North Island, is the worlds largest volcanic crater.

There are over nine million beef and dairy cattle in NZ.

The Kiwi bird, which is about the size of a domestic chicken, lays an egg that is almost a quarter of its total body weight.

New Zealand is actually some 1,000 miles from Australia.

We have the world's:

largest flightless birds [ the kakapo],
largest earthworms,
greatest timber volume of any tree [the kauri]
heaviest insect [the Weta].

If you live in Gisborne, you are living in the first city to see the light of a new day.

New Zealand has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world, with 2.5 million cars for 4 million people.

We have the first documented case of 'exploding trousers'.

Unlike most countries around the world, New Zealand Pizza Hut offers chips with its deliveries.

New Zealand is one of only three countries that have two official national anthems.

The Wildfoods Festival is held in Hokitika, New Zealand each year. You can sample icky cuisine like possum pate and fried duck tongue.

Bungee jumping was invented here, as were
tranquilizer dart gun,
pavlova,
milking machines,
ear tags for animals,
disposable syringes,
blokarting and
zorbing--
THUS proving that there's not much to do here when it's raining!

We have won more Olympic gold medals, per capita, than any other country.

New Zealand has more punk rock bands per capita than any other country.

Here, same sex marriages, prostitution, soliciting, and brothel keeping are all legal.

Ninety-Mile Beach isn't.

New Zealand oversees two overseas territories, Tokelau and Ross Dependency (in Antarctica). We also keep an eye on the Cook Islands and Niue.

Wellington, the capital city, is windier than Chicago!

New Zealanders consume 4kg of chocolate per capita annually.

The Maori name of New Zealand is Aoteroa, which means "Land of the Long White Cloud."

Here, the driving age is 16, the consensual sex age is 16, and the drinking age is 18.

New Zealand has 6000 kilometers of coast line and nowhere is more than 120km from the coast.

There are no native predators here--no snakes or lions or tigers or bears, oh my!

New Zealand has every climate in the world.

Each year, New Zealand has about 100 to 150 quakes that are big enough to be felt. The last fatal one was 1968.

The longest road bridge in New Zealand is the Rakaia River Bridge and is 1,757 metres long.

The population of the city of Sydney, Australia, is greater than the entire population of the country of New Zealand. 



The city of New York has twice as many people as the whole of NZ.

We have one ski resort called The Remarkables and one called The Aspiring.

Ernest Rutherford, who is known as the father of nuclear physics for his orbital theory of the atom, was from New Zealand.

9/08/2011

rerun 5/08

I amuse myself a lot these days by doing things I never thought about before.

I had my little boring routine in Holton, Kansas, and it served me well since I had no one else in the house to worry about or work around. I cleaned when I wanted, I washed and dried my one or two loads of clothes each week, cooked and baked when I felt moved, slept as long as I desired. It was perfect for one person.

Today, I hung clothes out in the rain. The fact that I actually hang clothes on a huge, rotating station in the back garden ['yard' for you yankees] is something that never crossed my mind in Holton. I just put the clothes in the washer and then the dryer and then put them away like everybody else, I assume. But here, I rarely use the dryer--mostly because not much is that urgent to be dried plus the dryer is in the shed ['garage' for you yankees] because laundry rooms don't usually have outlets for dryers, so it's not exactly convenient. But, since I'm a lady of leisure now, I really don't mind hanging clothes out. The slower pace of life allows for the time it takes and they get that 'fresh' smell to them.

And now I shall explain why I'm not crazy because I hang clothes in the rain.

Rain here is much finer than any I have ever encountered in the States, whether it was Georgia or Kansas. It is so fine that, most of the time, it doesn't even make raindrop puddles in the pond or any sound at all on the plastic sunroom roof. The patio deck being wet is a dead give away, but sometimes, I only know it's raining because I look up at the trees and see it falling against the dark shades of the leaves and I'm amazed at how much rain is really falling without notice. So I find that, even with the rain coming down the clothes will get dry in a few hours.

We do have stormy rain with pelting drops on the odd occasion, but that is usually at night. And thunderstorms are very rare here. I'm told it's all because of the mountain being between us and the ocean, but I will just take their word for that.

9/05/2011

Bill's Recipe Book

Click this link for the blog with recipes collected by a friend. They are definitely different.

9/04/2011

Happy Feet is home!

Happy Feet

Two months after he washed up on a beach north of Wellington, Happy Feet has been released into the Southern Ocean.
The emperor penguin was freed earlier this morning just north of Campbell Island, from the stern ramp of the research vessel Tangaroa.
The boat left Wellington on Monday, with Happy Feet housed in a specially-designed crate filled with ice.
The journey south was hampered by rough conditions, but overnight the Tangaroa finally made it to the drop-off latitude of 51 degrees.
Sea conditions were too rough to release Happy Feet by hand, so he was released down a tarpaulin 'hydro-slide' from the boat's ramp.
Wellington Zoo vet Lisa Argilla, who has been looking after the penguin onboard, said he needed some "gentle encouragement" to leave his crate but the release had gone well.
"He slid down his specially designed penguin slide backwards but once he hit the water he spared no time in diving off away from the boat and all those 'aliens' who have been looking after him for so long."
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research team and boat crew were all on deck to say goodbye, she said.
"It's an indescribable feeling to see a patient finally set free!"
Voyage leader Richard O'Driscoll said apart from a few nips at feeding time, Happy Feet had been a well-behaved passenger.
"It's been a pleasure to have Happy Feet onboard.
"We are just happy to help him on his journey home."
Happy Feet has been fitted with a tracking device so the team and public can follow his progress back home.
The wayward penguin was found on Peka Peka beach in late June, exhausted and hungry after journeying 1000km north of his normal habitat.
He was treated at the zoo after swallowing large amounts of sand.
The Tangaroa research team will now continue its month-long survey of southern blue whiting stocks.
-The Dominion Post