Between The Lines

Yesterday morning I got out early and got groceries. It gets so hot here and I don't think my stamina is quite what it was before the shingles episode. But I've read it takes quite awhile to get there.

I came home and made taco soup in my electric skillet.

One of you emailed me and expressed concern. That something seemed to be troubling me. Well, I guess there is.

You know I've been at the apartment complex ever since I moved in to fix the fence back. Well, that has never happened. 

Although I did get Israel, when he was still here, to extend my fence into the guy behind me's patio to give the tree another maybe three feet. 

And that was against the rules. But I was kind of desperate and management wouldn't respond.

Well, that was last summer, and the massive tree has already taken up that space and more. The fence is falling over again. 

But what I'm most concerned about is the fence that goes out front. I just realized a few weeks ago that the other tree has started pushing that section over. And I fear my dogs will get out. 

I have things piled up in front of both fences, and I don't think the dogs can get past that. But the trees grow so quickly, and I just can't keep doing that and solve the problem. Sooner or later the fences will just fall over.

We have a new manager. Yes, again. No maintenance man. I went in and talked to her last week and told her something needed to be done now. She said she'd work on it. 

After I got back from the store yesterday, I called her again. I told her I'd have to consider moving if they didn't get on this. She said she'd work on it. She wasn't happy. But neither am I.

Working on it will pretty much mean the removal of the trees, which I hate. But I have to fence in the dogs. 

And the owner so far has not gone for that. It costs too much.

He lives in Texas and a management company manages this 100 unit place.

Problem is, I really don't want to move. And I've looked and looked, and there really just isn't anywhere for me to go that I can afford that would have a fence of any kind. 

I told my daughter that when Andrew gets closer to school age, I might try to move over there to help her. But it's expensive on that side of town. No more in my budget than any place else really.

But the fact that the fence that goes out front could mean my dogs could potentially get out, rather than just go in the back yard of my neighbor behind me, means I can't sit on this long. 

The tree is against the fence about a foot up from the ground. So it's not like trimming will help any.

What to do? What to do? I go round and round this problem and I can't find many acceptable choices anyway.

I don't need much room. But I do need a fence.

Anyway, that is what I'm worried about if you've been able to read between the lines.
Moving on to something else, one of you asked me what brand of sound machine I have. It is Homedics and I got it from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I think I paid $19.99 for it. 

So we'll see what happens around here. Hope it's something positive. And soon.



  1. Oh Brenda, I feel for you. Nothing is more stressful than issues that threaten our sanctuaries and the safety of our family members. Is moving outside the city an option for you? Would housing in a more rural area be more affordable? Or since you like your location, could you be put on a waiting list to transfer to another unit within your complex? I can't think of a solution for your tree issue that you could handle on your own. My fear is that the cracked foundation caused by thr tree roots will emit noxious gases (as you said your neighbor experienced) into your apartment. You have very valid reasons to request the complex transfer you to another safer unit when one becomes available. A temporary fix may be to have your son-in-law staple wire mesh along the bottom of the fenceline. The wire mesh is sold at home improvement stores in rolls and in various widths and lengths. Praying for you and the pupsters.

    1. Rents are very high. At least seems so to me. I've looked and looked. All houses and even duplexes seem to be out of my price range.

  2. I'm sorry Brenda. That tree is causing so many problems. I don't know what I would do. I hope you don't have to move.

  3. Brenda,
    I am so sorry that you are having all these issues with your manager about the trees. I can fully understand your frustration. Is there possibly a way to contact the Management Company to alert them to the problem? I doubt if they will find anyone who will accept the unit, if you were to move, in the current condition, so eventually they will have to do something about it. I hope that they will do something for you very soon. Keep us posted , and have a good day ahead. Thanks, Jackie

    1. They don't seem to care either. I've talked to management. But if the owner will not pay for anything done to the trees, their hands are tied. When something like this happens to one of the units, they seem to just leave it empty. So I can't use that tactic.

  4. How awful for you. I know you like where you are but the safety of the pupsters is top priority. Hoping something can be worked out.

  5. Can you limit the pooches' outdoor space to the back yard only?
    Put the suggested mesh over the open area back there.
    Our neighbor without a front fence uses a metal stake in the center of the lawn to attach a long lead so that their small dog can roam around without getting loose.

  6. It is a dilemma but if you don't mind I will be praying for you. All things are possible with God.☺

  7. How awful to be at the mercy of a man who lives so far away and clearly does not give a hoot about his renters!! Landlords are often awful, so sorry you have to worry about this.

  8. So sorry you're having all this unnecessary stress. I hope your manager does the right thing and gets this taken care of. (((Hugs)))

  9. Brenda, I don't know if this would work for you, but if you could nail chicken wire around the fence areas that need it, it should hold the fence and the dogs. Also, with the chicken wire you could plant some type of climbing flowering vine and that's further insulation and looks pretty too. My grandmother used to plant sweet peas on her chain link fence and I loved those. Hope this might help.

  10. What about purchasing an electric fence that keeps dogs in the yard by sending a small charge to the wire so they quickly learn not to touch it again? Can't remember what it is called. Perhaps w/your small back patio yard, it would not cost much. Maybe your son-in-law could install it for you....

  11. Make a list of your options and take a multi-pronged approach.
    Look for a new place. It costs nothing to look. Many decent landlords would love to have a quiet, caring tenant who is going to stay put, and you might be able to negotiate the rent lower.
    As others suggested, get netting or a screen to close the holes.
    Keep after the property manager.
    Does your town have an ombudsman? They might be able to pressure the owner. On the other hand, if they find structural problems caused by the tree roots, you might be forced to move. Better to move on your own schedule, when you find a place that meets your criteria.
    Good luck!

  12. Isn't there a local government agency that sees to safety in housing. I would contact them and tell them that the emitting gases seem to be a fire hazard to you. Ask the fire department about the risk of fire or explosion. This might light a fire under your management.

  13. Have you looked in Jenks? Closer to the antique malls. 😀

  14. this is kind of a shot in the dark here. because I'm trying to picture it by your words only. so forgive me if it's a totally ridiculous suggestion.
    I was trying to think of a way to keep the little guys safe without losing the precious trees. shade when the temps are in the triple digits is almost sacred!
    what if you bought some panels of that decorative fencing at lowes or home depot. I think they come in panels. they're light weight. vinyl in white lath... that criss cross kind. they're pretty and very cottagy looking. your son in law could perhaps help you put them in place. he could maybe fix simple two by fours to hold them in place. they would be sturdy and pretty and you could put pots of plants at the base. to even make it look better and stabilize it and the dogs couldn't get out. their old fence would be hidden by it too!
    and if it falls over it falls over!
    again... not actually seeing it... this may be a ridiculous idea. but I hope it helps! good luck!

  15. My first inclination is to tell you to move - maybe even move in with your daughter to help her with Andrew if that works? Perhaps find a place that is suitable for both of you? I say this because it's obvious "management" doesn't care and doesn't do what they should. We own condos and apartments and all issues are addressed, always.

    If you absolutely aren't going to move, if there are no better options for you, until they do something - for peace of mind, how about buying cheap mesh and placing it where the openings are happening due to the tree. You probably have stuff in front of those areas anyway, the peace of mind will be worth the small expense and eyesore that won't be obvious anyway. You can install that yourself too, no installation expense. Your local hardware store or home depot or lowes should have some options.

  16. I am so sorry you aren't getting any help from the management. I hope something else will become available for you in a better neighborhood and a better apartment.

  17. What a frustrating and angering situation, Brenda. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with it. The stress of something like that is not good for a person's health!

    The first thought that came to my mind when I read your predicament is similar to a number of the others who've commented. Build a fence within the fence. As suggested above by several people there are different materials you could use, depending on cost and ease of construction. That would solve the problem of the pupsters getting out, at least for the time being.

    Then, I would keep looking for another suitable place for you and Charlie and Abi. The "fence" would give you a little time to do that. Then I was thinking that if there is a local newspaper you could contact the editor of the paper and see if they would write and publish an article about your problem with the management company and the owner. That might light a fire under one of them. And, like someone else suggested, contact your local housing commission to see if they have any help or suggestions for you. I do
    think the bad publicity of a newspaper article might help your case.

    At least if you put up a fence inside the outer fence you will have some lead time to get your ducks in a row. I would hate to see the trees taken down, too, but it might have to happen to keep the roots from doing any more damage. That's if the management feels pressed to address the situation. Be sure to mention them in the newspaper article!!

    Keep us posted and keep your chin up, dearie!

  18. would you consider attaching the dogs collars to a lead? My son does this at his house/ He attaches the lead to the collar and the other end is in the ground. The dog goes out but he can't go far

  19. Frustrating situation. You'll have to come up with some idea of your own ,and not rely on the management.

  20. Hi Brenda. I'm sorry you've had this problem for so long. The way I see it, you probably are the only person who has complained about those trees, so the property owner doesn't want to deal with an issue that only one tenant has complained about. They probably figure you will finally move and they can get someone else in that apartment who might not care about the trees. You can take some temporary steps to keep the pups in, as others have suggested, with added wire fencing and so on. But at some point, whatever you do could fall apart since the trees will keep growing. Frankly, I think that if you were to publicize the issue, you probably wouldn't get much sympathy, because environmentalists would be upset that you want to have some trees removed. That sounds extreme but it is true -- if you google Russian Hill Redwood tree you'll find stories about neighbors battling over whether a big tree in a private yard should be cut down or declared a historical landmark. I certainly am not choosing sides in such a battle, just saying that such battles do occur and it would be a shame for you to have to deal with that kind of a headache on top of everything else you have to deal with. I know you want a place where you and your pups can live life independently as you see fit, so, maybe your daughter can ask her friends or co-workers if they know of anyone with rental property or have any other ideas. You might come across something that isn't in the rental listings. Best wishes on a speedy resolution.

  21. I was thinking along the lines of some sort of fence within the fence that is already there, just like some of the other people who commented were. It would certainly be cheaper than moving, even if you could find another place to move to. I would be nervous about causing much friction with the new manager. There is always the concern that the Management (the Main Office/owner) might make it a pets prohibited complex. You are very lucky to have a nice apartment with a walkout patio and small yard space/outside area for your your pups and your gardening. I hope you can get it all worked out.

  22. I am so sorry for this stress in your life Brenda. I concur with the other suggestions, perhaps chicken wire or some other temporary fencing to block these open spaces so that your pups do not get out until something else presents itself.

    Take care of yourself

  23. Management companies are infuriating and when the turnover is high, no one is really invested. I am sorry that you have to deal with this. I hope that a solution plops in your lap soon. Fingers crossed...

  24. I'm glad a reader read between the lines, Brenda, so you could write about this. As someone who is now renting, I count my blessings constantly that we rent from our son. Otherwise, my dear dachshunds would be at the top of my list of concerns when looking for a home. I hope so much that some of the comments above have helped and that you will be able to figure out what to do. Thinking of you and your babies, Dewena

  25. I do hope a solution will be found soon... I have a little "boundary" problem with the field behind Cottage and it's really bugging me as well.


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