Friday, July 25, 2014

When "no soliciting" definitely means YOU!: "You got any kids?"

A month or so ago, Hubs was watching TV on the couch.  K was doing something downstairs and I was doing something in the bedroom.  A guy knocked and knocked on our front door.  He wouldn't stop.  Finally, Hubs answered the door.  The guy's first line out of his mouth?  "You got any kids?"

"Um, no."

Who comes to your door and asks such a thing but a creeper?

The guy had a girl with him and was soliciting for children in the neighborhood to come to his house for Backyard Bible Club.  He gave Hubs the information and after Hubs closed the door, he came to me and said, "You'll never believe what just happened."  He told me the story.  He said that he didn't answer the door because it says "no soliciting" and people generally pick up on that.

Throughout the night and even the next day, Hubs would creep around a corner and say, "You got any kids?"

As we walked that night, we talked about it at length.  We both decided that it would probably be good for me to write a letter to the sponsoring church to let them know our experience.  Here's what I wrote:
A few evenings ago, a gentleman and his daughter came to our home.  Despite the fact that both of our doors have signs that say "no solicitors, please" on them, my husband said that they just wouldn't stop knocking.  (We don't answer the door if it is someone we don't know.)  The man's leading line when my husband finally got the beating on the door to stop was, "You got any kids?"  My husband was taken aback a bit.  We do have a child, but people shouldn't be coming door to door to shop for children.  In this day and age, it just isn't safe for either the children nor the person asking.  My husband said no.  We were given a card anyway and the man and his child pressed on.  When regaled with this story that concerned my husband, my comment was, "Who doesn't that besides a creeper?"  We weren't the only ones concerned.  [Our] neighbor . . .  now has a large "no solicitors" sign posted to their front door.  They are very protective of their child, too and he is even a prison guard.  I fear that this individual isn't bringing people to you, but turning more people away.

We are very active in our church.  I understand wanting to bring children and their families to Christ.  I've directed VBS for many years myself.  I appreciate the enthusiasm and hard work that can be involved with such an endeavor.

The idea of backyard bible clubs being marketed to children and families unknown to your church is a sticky area.  Your parishioner is willing to open up their home to strangers.  That is a huge danger, especially when it says, "parents and guardians are invited to stay for refreshments."  It also opens the club leader up to accusations.  I understand that by spanning out to the surrounding areas to parishioners homes may seem like you are offering a less overwhelming, less judgmental way to lead into getting folks to the brick and mortar church building.  It also opens the church up to a lot of potential liability later on.

We are in the - - - - area.  We wish you and your church well, but wanted to bring our concerns to you.  They aren't concerns of just our family, but of families on our street.  
I realize now that I deleted the response, but the pastor said that it took some days for him to get back to me because he relayed the message to his outreach teams in charge of the BYBC.  It rounded out to the fact that he and his peers decided that "you were bothered."  It wasn't so much that I was bothered.  Yes, we were bothered that we ask that people don't knock, but they do.  Aimee and I were just having a conversation about knocking and not answering this morning.  I understand that social convention suggests that you answer the door no matter what.  However, there are home invasions and people who case houses and whatnot.  It is my option whether I want to answer the door or not.  I don't have to and Hubs doesn't have to.  We've taught K NOT to answer the door if it is someone she doesn't know.  Creepers are out there and it isn't up to me to find out who is and who isn't.

What's your take on the Backyard Bible Club phenomenon?  I understand the basic idea and if they are kids who you know, super.  I'm just not a big fan.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tumble Dry Kitty

-- No opposable thumbed tuxedo kitties were harmed in the making of this blog post. --

Since K was at camp with Hubs this week, I decided that today I would kick around the house and be domestic.  I freed the table of the pile that always feels it needs to live there, dusted, did some dishes, made a delicious dinner, watered some flowers outside, was a laundress . . . you get the idea.

I realized that I hadn't seen Leia for a while.  I looked, didn't see her and figured she'd eventually show back up.  She's an indoor kitty and our house isn't that big.

About an hour after I realize I hadn't seen her, I still haven't seen her.  I looked in her usual haunts and still-- no kitty.  This normally wouldn't be reason for alarm, but this kitty girl has gotten herself in some tight places before.

I started calling for her.  I looked for her.  I couldn't find her.

Then I remembered-- the dryer.  Oh, no.  Maybe she got into the dryer when I was throwing clothes in.  I ran down, didn't hear a thump or meow and started digging through the clothes.  :whew:  No tumble dry kitty.

Then I thought about the possibility that the screen fell out.  I checked the screens and they were all intact.  :whew:  No escape kitty.

Where is she?  I called and called.  Finally, I heard the ting of a tiny bell.  She squirreled herself away in a place in K's tiny room that I didn't check.  I don't know where she was, but she hopped over the baby gate and all was well.

I about had a heart attack when the thought that I tumbled her dry came to mind.  I was listening to Jane's Addiction and I wouldn't have heard anything.

Double check dryer.  She likes to stand and watch me throw clothes in.

Don't give mama a heart attack like that, kitty-dear.  Mama can't handle it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ye ole property line dispute.

I should start with the fact that we live on a quiet, dead end street with wonderful neighbors.  The boys across the street and the man a few houses down are a bit nosy, but they mean no harm.  The neighbor next door can be a little over zealous with his motorized things in his garage, but he quickly and apologetically shut those down when he realized that there was one more day of school and I had a child trying to sleep.  The people on the corner can be reclusive, but the husband is a prison guard, so I get it.  The folks catty corner to us across the street are young and quiet, though he has a voice that carries.  We, well, we're the ones who sometimes plays music a touch loud (I try not to, but sometimes it happens), we have a child, but we try to be polite.  We all try to be mindful of each other and watch out for each other.

The neighbor on the other side of us is lovely.  She is on PTA with me and her daughter is a friend of K.  It is her husband that I would be happy to go without.

When K was about 6 months old, we put a fence up in the backyard.  Before we did that, we had surveyors come and plot out exactly where our property line was.  The surveyors were a retired city civil engineer and a current city surveyor-- for the very city that we live in.  They came with city maps and appropriate measuring tools.  They measured from the middle of the cross street, a property down, and all the way down to nearly the end of the street.  They surveyed frontages until they got to our property where they surveyed the entire property.

This was 10 years ago.

The neighbor's husband has asked every year for the last four years where the property line is.  Every year we've told him the same thing.  "Your railroad tie is on the property line."

Again the next year.

Again the following year.

This year, Hubs and I were outside doodling around with something in the front flower beds when M asked again, "Hey, Amy.  I have to ask you a question."

"What's that?"

Standing on the railroad tie, then stepping off to show me a measurement he says, "Where is the property line?"

"For the love of God, M, we tell you every single year.  Your railroad tie is on the property line."

"But where IS the property line.  Showing me the area in front of his feet, "We said that the property line is here, right?"

"No!  The property line is where the railroad tie is."

He had stepped back at this point and was standing on it.

"Where is it?"


He then prattled on about taking the arborvitae down between the properties-- the only shield we have to not see everything going on at their house.  I nodded my head and went on into the house with Hubs.  To ask him not to remove them would only confirm that he would take them down right away.  I get his psychological game.

Hubs stops at the door way with the door open and I looked and said, "We are replacing them, right?"

"With 10 more."

"Good."  I started in.  Hubs was so mad and knowing that M was within earshot, "He's such an ----."

Yup.  Hubs did it.  M took him to the breaking point.

Hubs texted me yesterday.  M is having someone in to measure up this boat pad that he wants to have put in for a boat that doesn't float.  (It was given to him and she is not sea worthy.)  Hubs said that then M takes the guy to the property line to look for the pin (which is under his railroad tie) and then to the next property (it's under the concrete driveway.)  I was boiling.  He's fighting over a space about 2' wide or less.  He has never mowed it or even attempted to mow it.  It isn't his.  His MIL owned the property before and confirmed that it has never nor is their property.  His wife grew up there yet he won't leave it go.  His daughter comes and hassles K about the dumb strip of lawn.

It's not like we had Backyard Bob's survey service.  They were folks that Hubs knew, so they came and surveyed for a homemade lunch and a pound cake to take home.

The fact of the matter is that this individual is someone I've had to deal with more and more in regards to PTA.  He is manipulative.  He is hateful.  He throws a fit if you don't give him his way.

I am not backing down.  Hubs is not backing down.  If he takes the trees down-- fine.  They are his.  If he builds something on my property, I will dig it up and dump it back over.  If the trees go, a fence will go up quickly, right next to the railroad ties and right on the property line.  We aren't working with a ton of space here.  It's not like it is acres and acres.  Our lot is 40' x 120'.  It is small.