Posts Tagged 'the hood'

Spring is here….

Spring started off with a lovely party with friends, food and drinks. We could have not asked for a better start. Right now it’s about 30 degrees here and well I think spring is on hold for another week.

A little catching up – the house – not touched – nope – not one thing. I am struggling to find a reason why we should do anything more here. Our neighborhood looks for the most part like shit, a ghetto.

The neighbors next door think that our drive-way apron has an “enter” sign on it as they are driving up and across to their part of the side yard. I guess side yards and driveways are one in the same because it is trashed with tire tracks now. Lucky for us we have very big rocks that will be placed as landscaping material – cough, cough – to stop them from driving on our part of the side yard and trashing it. The neighbors across the street – silent! However, I have learned that when one neighbor starts to behave and get a clue – that someone else in the neighborhood must – there has be a “Ghetto Code of Ethics” somewhere written – pick up the slack. The award for ghetto-ness now goes to the next door neighbors.

I walked the dogs for the first time in a very long time around the neighborhood Monday night and imagine every part of your being just shaking because you are being stalked by 2 hoods and one dog. Not because I’m scared, no, because I am pissed off. Minutes prior to the run in with these two there was a group of 3 males and a dog on the opposite side my street that we passed. This was not a leisurely stroll with Fido, Fido didn’t even know how to walk on a lead. Most people do not walk their dogs here and for the few who do, you can painfully tell that they are not looking for (fill in the blank).

Back to the the disrespectful youths, they are now walking in the middle of the street, the one youth is telling his dog “get it” (meaning us) over and over which is causing the dog to get really amp-ed up. They were gaining on us and Lena is feeling the need to protect due to the out-of-control dog and Stella wants to run like hell and then thinks well I need to protect my human. Rage does not even begin to describe how I felt. I don’t think that there is a word for it. All I did was shake and try like hell not to pull on the leads. I have no tolerance for this. I have no tolerance for a couple wannabe hoods with a dog playing a game of intimidation. I have no tolerance for people who dishonor a certain type of dog breed and were doing it at that moment to me. I don’t think so little man-child!

I had to get control of this situation. I stopped and turned around, faced them, and confronted them. I stood my ground and waited for them to make a move. I know I was glaring at them because I don’t hide how I feel very well. I probably looked like a crazy lady to them, I’m okay with looking like a nut job when I need to. I was firm with my words and loud. I was hoping that some neighbors were watching. They made a wise decision and walked away. Yes, I always carry a cell phone with me for those who are wondering. I know I put myself and my dogs at risk. I realize that this could have gone a very different way. I will be damned if some disrespectful man-child thinks that intimidating people with a dog is a good idea and that this is a tool that they can use. I’m not easily intimated and I have zero tolerance these days. I continued our walk making sure I wasn’t being followed and headed for the main road. I’m not really sure if I did the right thing and yet I’m really not sure if there was anything else that could have been done. Socialization class is on Saturday, we will see if any damage has been done by this incident.

There is stuff going on in our neighborhood – again, what would appear to be normal to some is very much the opposite for us. I don’t like the vibe here, I don’t like it at all.

We will always out-last them I keep telling myself, we will always out-last them.

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Absenteeism, Dog Rehab and Small Projects

I should apologize for my absenteeism but I haven’t been in a real good place and as I would try to write – my words were so negative. So, I have kept silent and just been a voyeur at other blogs where life is happier. I guess I needed some time to sort some stuff out. Not that all is so depressing because a couple of things have been done at the house and well, Stella has been in rehab and by proxy – so have I.

Here is a catch up of what has gone on in the rust belt.

Life is energy….this is our philosophy about life. This works on many different levels from where we live, all the way to a dog named Stella and everything in between.

Stella as a baby….damn cute and was Satan’s spawn.

I made the decision to take Stella to the next step in her rehab, when you’re stuck you’re stuck (I was so stuck) and she was showing interest in some dogs (calm ones only) anxiety with others, and she still wasn’t digging men however. I felt it was finally time and made the call. Scott doesn’t know that when I left our first meeting I cried – I do not recommend when driving. I finally found what I have been looking for, I have hope, I have relief that this dog would finally just be “a dog” over time.

The last 5 weeks have been a journey, for her and for us. For this dog to meet her first dog and to have a positive experience is like watching a child take its first steps. My heart could of burst, but the fact that there were used condoms on our sidewalk rained on our moment. Thank You ghetto people for showing us you know how to use birth control – now how about a trash can?

Stella has been to a pet store which is something we could have never done in the past with her. She was in a room with 8 other dogs off leash and not freaking out. We learned to how to manage her fearful behavior, how to set limits and boundaries with her, claim our home, how to catch her at the start of fixating on men, new commands and was on a treadmill. There is one thing that for the husband and I that stood out the most was participating in a pack walk after only 2 weeks. This is the most spiritual thing I have ever done. There is nothing like 13 dogs and 10 owners hiking and not one single peep out of the dogs – it was heaven!

Stella will continue with socialization with Versatile K9 once a month and we will continue to do the pack walks with them. I would love to get some folks together to do pack walks in our neck of the woods on the offset weeks. Our goal with her is to walk downtown of our city with many people and for her not to have anxiety about it. I should also note that yes you can teach an 11 year old dog new things. Lena has gone along for the ride and has learned a new command or two along the way. We had suspect that she might even be a part of some of the issues that Stella was showing. Needless to say our home is much calmer as a whole. A friend remarked last night that you can really tell that the dogs are being worked with because Stella has so much more confidence. If you are looking for a dog trainer/behaviorist Scott and Kaethe from Versatile K9 I highly recommend.

About the house and small improvements.

We had this old non-closet (the kind where a coat hanger doesn’t fit correctly) in need of some love. After I took out a stud or two and well all the framing stuff we did some drywall and just left it.

We always had other plans for the space but just never got around to it. Rain gardens to build, cold frames to build, fence staining the endless list of stuff. It is only part done for we need to go and do a fabric run but it’s much better than it was. A place for coats, the dogs stuff, hats, shoes and boots.

The other small project we did was to utilize a 50 plus year old shipping crate that is just too cool it sit in the basement. We have no storage in our bathroom. No closet. No place to put a closet. Taking out walls to utilize the room between the studs…not even going to go there.


The closet cost like $40.00 in materials and the bathroom cost pennies for the screws. Not bad!

The holiday's have come and gone and well…. I am glad it is over. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone on New Years and I find it quite an accomplishment when one can tell the difference between fireworks and gunshots. In this hood it was more gunshots accompanied by a couple very nice, colorful firework displays.

The neighborhood is semi silent this week. We had huge hopes of the neighbors across the street had moved but as I have said once before when the bills come in people stay with friends and family and return when they have money. I wonder if Mr. Landlord is still collecting his section 8 monies?

The reality is that our neighborhood is going down the drain faster than you can say home for sale. There are more rentals than owner occupied and due to the city's lack of everything it is a matter of time before it looks like the other really bad sections of the city. You see this is part of my funk, my frustration. I have to be honest I am so close to outing where I live I can almost taste it. When you read in a city official report that no matter how much money you throw at the people problem it will never be solved until you solve the economic problem it begs to wonder why?

So you see where we live is sucking the energy right out of us. I would say more me than the husband. I live, I work within a 1 mile radius. The husband and I will go to different parts of the city and walk the dogs looking for something good about where we live. Every single time we see some major screw up of where bad planning has graced us once again. A nice neighborhood, a developer who ran out of cash and not so nice housing is what is left because it becomes rentals and not the good rentals but the ones with the sheets as curtains. The best sign I read on a persons home was "Smile you’re on camera".

We need rain….

It’s HOT, HUMID, and Oppressive up here. One of the joys living so close to the lake. It’s like living in Florida. So a fast recap since last I posted.

A little trip out of the city to another Greek Festival. The food was amazing and the company even better.

Fathers Day…was just very special this year. There is something about a toddler making a young 70-something smile when the word “Train Obsession” is mentioned. I don’t put photo’s of Littleman on the blog because I don’t think his dad would approve….and that’s okay.

More weeding with the privet hedges getting a buzz cut. We took no photo’s of the 13 foot high hedges getting buzzed because trimming hedges is just that trimming hedges.

The husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary, how cool is that. What was so special was that the stone from our property was finished the same day. This stone had been set aside back a couple years go just for this purpose. To have our address engraved and to become a part of our landscaping – a perfect day.

This last photo is just worth it’s weight in gold….who would of thought that one of our neighbors, from this neighborhood, would be so bold to put this on his front porch. The man who lives in this house – the husband and I call him “Jesus Blogger” – because every week he has some saying that refers to the bible. This saying just blew us away. I asked him if I could take a photo of it which started a conversation. I had never spoke to this man before – interesting. I did tell the man that he has officially got himself “Black Listed” – he just laughed and said, “I know”. It’s amazing what will get people talking to one another.

So, for those bold enough to leave a comment what do “you” think of this message?

So today we are off to a graduation and one fundraiser……so if any blogger’s out there have some extra rain they don’t need…please, please send it our way.

The Neighbor – HOOD

How do I describe this rust belt neighborhood, it didn’t always look like this.

We live on a main road in the hood. The last 10 years this area has changed and not for the best. We accessed the neighborhood when the husband moved back here 12 years ago. The thought of purchasing the house hadn’t even crossed our minds at that time. It was at the tipping point so we waited and watched.

The house needed to be cleaned out, the yard was so over grown that one could not tell where flowerbeds started and ended. Now as naive as this may sound we started to do some major landscaping in the front yard and side yard – we thought “we’ll set the example and see if anyone follows”. They did, yards were getting cleaned up, people were fixing up their homes and the street/ neighborhood was starting to look good. So a couple of months after we became married we decided to purchase the house and keep it in the family.

What the hell were we thinking! This beautiful relationship with our neighborhood lasted for about 2 years and then all hell broke loose.

Satan’s spawn moved in next door (have a special post about him) which would be the foreshadowing of things to come. From that day forward we coined our neighborhood as the “Hood” and she still hasn’t recovered.

We have 9 vacant houses on our block, which consist of about 31 houses, 10 of the homes are rentals and 12 are owner occupied – this is just one street. The neighborhood in which I reside has 7 streets in all, shows the tell-tale sign of economic loss. Lack of home ownership, increased rental properties with no garages/garages falling down, boarded up vacant homes with jungles of vegetation, and building code violations galore. Nothing beats a nice relaxing walk in the neighborhood. Watch out for the broken glass.

There is one thing that is very cool here, is that this neighborhood is multicultural. This is the only positive (some of the time) aspect of living here.

I know some are wondering why doesn’t the city do something – that will be a discussion for another time where that stiff drink will be in order.


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