Inauspicious Beginnings


I went to let Charlie out yesterday afternoon and he immediately set up a barking fit. I went out on the patio and saw an arm sticking through the falling fence next to my bedroom. 

You can see the tree beyond the above pots, but it's a bit blurry. It's not only knocking down the fence, but has smashed in my gutter about 2-3 inches.
I go out there and there's this guy, who I swear looked like he'd walked off the set of Deliverance (some of you may be too young to recall that movie). He has a cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth.

I asked him if he was there to look at the fence. He mumbled something around his cigarette. He wasn't doing much of anything but shaking the fence and making things worse. 

I told him I'd open the front door and let him in to look, and he said something I didn't hear and walked off. I didn't know if he was going for supplies or what. 

I left the storm door open for awhile to see if I could see him come back, but I never saw him. 

Then, hours later I'm showered and in my gown and Charlie wants out. I had this funny feeling, so I walk over to where to where he was shaking the fence earlier. 

And he's moved all the wood and such I had covering up the hole.

It was after hours by then, so there was no one to call. I was steaming and fit to be tied. 

I don't walk on the outside of the apartment where the guy was, because it's very rugged over there and I'm afraid I'll fall. 

So I reached through and managed to grab the pieces of wood he'd left on the other side. Why couldn't the fool put them back where they were before he started messing around? 

I covered up the open spot where the fence is falling as best I could to keep the dogs in. 

The next morning I'm fixing to call the manager and let her know that the maintenance mans leaving things was not acceptable. But first I need to let Charlie and Abi out. 

And I see that the patio is covered with debris. I call my next door neighbor Charlie and ask if he knows what's going on, and he says he saw a truck outside and thinks they might be cleaning the gutters. 

I call the manager and she says yes, they're cleaning the gutters. With a leaf blower. Making a huge mess.

I told her about the maintenance man leaving the fence without putting the wood back up to cover the hole. I told her to tell him not to touch that fence without letting me know he's out there. I don't trust him now.

What an inauspicious way to meet our new maintenance man.

A bit later she calls me and says she's sending a couple of guys down to get an estimate for taking down the trees. (I don't think the owner will ever approve of doing that.)

I soon learn they are the very guys blowing crap all over my patio. But I go out with them and we discuss the trees. 

They say there's no way to get those trees out without tearing up some of my stuff on the patio. And they don't even know if there's a way to get them in such an enclosed space period.
What a mess. They too were laughing about the maintenance guy we seem to have acquired. They jokingly said they could send him back over, and I tell them no, I don't want him here. 

If nothing gets done, and I seriously doubt it will, my son-in-law is planning to come Saturday to see what he can do. I'm leaving it to him, though I mentioned chicken wire to my daughter as something he might think about using.

She tells me they will have to hurry because Andrew has a birthday party to go to before noon. 

I tell you, that boy at age three has a much busier social schedule than my girls had even after they'd started school. 

It seems that kids these days are doing things at a much younger age. Shoot, he will start school not this fall, but the next. And he'll only be four! 

Seems to me that little kids are shuttled around to an awful lot of organized activities. Don't kids take a stick and just dig in the dirt anymore?

Oh well, I'm just an out-of-touch grandma.

Meanwhile, I lowered the painting. Some of you mentioned you thought it would look better lowered. Here it is.



  1. Yikes! Thant maintenance guy would have given me the creeps as well! I could not agree more with you about the overscheduling of kiddos these days. I can see both sides, but think the kids miss out in most cases. Love the looks so cheery!

  2. no kids are not just told to go play anymore they are organized like pieces on a chess board from the time they are 6 months old it seems - I have heard of babies at less than a year old having "play dates" crazy - my kids too used to play as I and my siblings did - outside in the dirt, climbing trees and catching frogs and turtles now if it kid is even allowed to do that they are followed by mom with a bottle of hand sanitizier!

  3. I like your picture lowered like that too. No, kids are not allowed to be kids any more. I feel sorry for them & all the fun that they will miss. When our great grandkids are here, we encourage them to play out side and don't be afraid to get dirty.

  4. Crikey, if I saw an arm appearing INSIDE my fence, I'm not sure I would think it was a maintenance man. Your pupsters might get a bit annoying with the barking, but you have good security with them around.

    I laughed when you said, "in my gown." I know from my mother-in-law that this is a country expression for pj's or nightie. Just for a second though, I pictured you sitting at the yellow table with a ball gown like Glinda the Good Witch in Wizard of Oz.

    Your readers who mentioned lowering the painting are so smart. I loved it before, I ADORE it now. Looks even better!

  5. The picture looks perfect! Last night I took my new dog across the street to meet two neighbor dogs that are very small like he is and that play together frequently. While they were getting acquainted, my neighbor who I barely know asked me if I wanted to schedule a "play date" for my dog to come over and play. I said, "oh, that's funny" and she said she wasn't trying to be funny, that we could schedule a date and time for him to come and play with the other two. I used to think that at my age nothing really surprises me anymore, but that most certainly did. Has anyone else heard of "play dates" for dogs? What is this world coming to?

    1. I literally laughed out loud! Never heard of such....but then I'm old(er) lol

    2. Lol, I've heard of play dates for dogs! In fact, my daughter used to work at a doggie day-care where people would drop their dogs off on their way to work for the day. Have you ever heard of that? :o)


  6. Your maintence guy sounds creepy for sure. Sorry you are having such issues where you live. Hope your son in law can help. Have a good day.

  7. There are more durable fencing options than chicken wire. Charlie and Abbi are small, yes, but it's amazing the things they can do if excited, anxious, or determined enough.

    The maintenance man sounds like a kook.

    And I love the yellow rose painting!

  8. The maintenance man gives me the creeps just from your description (I do remember Deliverance). I hope something good happens. Little one's are so busy these days but it's because there aren't so many stay at home Mom's and for kids to play with other kids they have to make play dates. I just had to step out my door to play with friends. Sad but it is the way of life now.

  9. Your maintenance Dept ticks me off. They are just too cheap to care about their renters. I'd of been freaked out too seeing an arm coming thru the fence. Love the painting.

  10. Yes, we did play in the dirt somewhere with a stick, but the "somewhere" isn't safe for our kids and grandchildren anymore. Even the backyard is probably not safe. So watching TV isn't healthy. Any suggestions?

  11. Not sure I would have invited that maintenance man to come through my apartment. I am old enough to remember Deliverance. I am so sorry you are having these issues where you live. I read your posts almost daily. Although I do not always comment, I do feel for you. I am not one to say why don't you just move, because I know how difficult and costly a move can be and I realize it's not that easy for everyone. I wish the owner would have a change of heart and invest in the property. You seem so content there and I pray they fix what needs to be fixed and allow you and your pups to live in peace. Best wishes.

  12. Your rose picture looks right at home now. Brava! As for the fence problem, I'd be tempted to take a roll of the smallest holed chicken wire and a staple gun and go to town. You can always trail something lovely on the wire, and the pups will be safe.

  13. Ha! That maintenance man sounds like a real winner and I wouldn't want anything to do with him either.

    What one reader said about children being pawns on a chess board hits the nail on the head!!

    The picture looks so much better lowered and the photo you posted today of it really highlights the color of the table. Great job!! Still can't see you with that picture but like I said yesterday -- it is your home and you are the one who's opinion counts the most. Enjoy the new look and don't even think about that maintenance guy, I bet he doesn't stay around long.

  14. I like the picture lowered.
    Don't let anybody in unless you have confirmation from somebody like the manager that he's legit. And even. Let the manager know somebody is there.
    When I was a kid, it was the height of the '60s and '70s drug boom and there were druggies everywhere. Yet we had free rein. Still, not so long after, I saw the terrible effects of a de-hinged society where certain men (because it was never women) felt free to abuse little kids. And so, everywhere, parents kept a tighter and tighter eye on their children. Who can blame them? Even though it was so good for them to be free and take chances and sometimes get (mildly) hurt.

  15. Be careful about that maintenance man. Make sure that the apartment complex has a rule that they will call and notify you if he is ever going to be letting himself into your apartment. It could cause major problems with your pups if he came there sometime when you were out running errands.

    When we used to live in an apartment when we were first married, the maintenance guys would come in without notification and do stuff in the apartment while we were at work. One time the maintenance guy came into our apartment and worked on our glass shower doors. We noticed that he had been in there when we got home, but really noticed it big time that evening when I showered and all of the water from the shower door groove ran out onto the bathroom floor and made a small flood. That talented maintenance man had put the shower door frame in with the drain holes on the outside instead of opening toward the tub.My best friend who lived in the same apartment complex was sitting in her bedroom drying her hair, and saw someone out of the corner of her eye. It scared the sh..tuffing out of her. It was the maintenance guy, who had let himself in without prior notice to do some work in her apartment.

    I hope they won't destroy your beautiful patio plantings and arrangement. But I especially hope they won't let your little dogs escape. Maybe you could get one of those doggie playpens to keep the pups safe until those guys are done dorking around with the tree. I hope everything will workout well for you.

  16. Be careful--I see news items about guys like that all the time. Good dog, Charlie!! You get a Good Guard Dog Star.

  17. Oh, for crying out loud! That maintenance man sounds quite creepy and maybe just stupid! Where on earth did they find him? Maybe there weren't a lot of applicants! I hope your son-in-law can put something in place that the maintenance man can't figure out how to destroy.

    Personally, I liked the yellow rose painting higher. But if you like it lower, that's just fine. It looks just right with the table, for sure. I went on Wayfair today looking for your painting, but couldn't find it. I did find several ocean/coastal pieces that I've been wanting for my bedroom. They have a huge selection of artwork. And pretty good prices, too.

    Yeah, do be careful about that maintenance man. I do not think maintenance people should have access to a person's apartment or townhouse without any notice. That is infringement on one's privacy. They should not have keys. I'd raise a ruckus about that if it were me!

    Hope your weekend is pleasant and without incident!

  18. You should put in writing that you want a phone call before the maintenance come to work on anything, and that if they think they need to come in to your patio or your apartment without notifying you in advance, the landlord tenant wall in all states requires them to give you at least a 24 hour WRITTEN notice prior to ding so and in some states I believe it is 48 hours. I retired from over 30 years in property management so I know the law.

  19. I'm sorry, I really do know how to spell, I do not know what happened!

  20. my daughter has 4 children and they eat organic this and organic that all the time. My son ha two boys that eat whatever. Guess which kids are sick all the time? Yep, my daughters. My step son said her kids need to eat a little dirt to keep them healthy. I agree!

  21. And I thought we had problems with our sort-of maint man ;- LOVE that rose painting!!!

  22. It hunk your painting looks fabulous!!!

    I concur with the other comments, 1. do not le the maintenance man in your apartment. 2. He seems rather incompetent so if I were you before I let the pups out I would always look at the hole to be sure they cannot escape. Maybe you could put them on leashes to go out, like a long lead attached to an eye hook.

    Take care of yourself Brenda!


I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time.

Please be kind with your comments. We all need kindness in this world. That's not to say you can't state your opinion! Everyone should be able to state their own opinion in a kind and thoughtful manner.

I appreciate each and every one of you!