Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Still here!

So, with the crazy weather over the weekend, I thought I'd take a moment to say that the storms went around both the farm and the rental- for the most part. Steve cleared out the cupboard under the stairs yesterday in preparation, but we didn't need it. I filled my Instagram account with videos of rain, and then of the local creeks higher than we've ever seen them. Not that that's very impressive, but they were also higher than anyone's ever seen them which is much more impressive.

Please keep Texas in your thoughts, though. There are a lot of people who have lost everything, lots of people missing, and a few have died. If you are able, please donate what you can. This website is a good place to start to find out what you can do. And if you're not in a position to donate right now, just keep us in your thoughts.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sometimes anger is justified

I am angry.

I am angry because when we contacted Progressive Insurance three months ago to let them know that we were in the process of buying a farm and would need to alter our insurance, they said that would be fine. I’m angry that when we signed all the papers and money changed hands, Progressive Insurance told us that it was all set up, the property was insured, and payments for the insurance were lumped into the mortgage payment. I’m angry because the form I got in the mail on the 7th of May came with a letter dated the 24th of April saying that unless we signed and dated the form within 10 days, our policy would be cancelled. Ten days from the date on the letter or ten days from receipt? Mostly, though, I’m angry that it was that letter that led us to the knowledge that Progressive Insurance had every intention of cancelling our policy regardless of what we did, but they weren’t interested in giving us much notice and no way to appeal the decision.

They had several reasons why they were going to cancel the policy on the farm. One was that there is a metal building on the property that could “blow away.” It’s difficult to get a straight answer from them, but they seem to be referring to a corrugated metal equipment shed that has been on the property for a while and is very solid. They also hinted at a handrail that was missing. We were confused as the only stairs on the property that are high enough to require a handrail already have a hand rail! We eventually worked out that what they meant was the guardrail around the back deck, the one we informed them we would be replacing as soon as possible. Another reason was the tree branches that are over hanging the roof- the same ones that we informed them the entire tree would be removed shortly. All these reasons for questioning the policy, asking for clarification, I could respect that. But they didn’t ask for clarification, they threatened.

The most appalling reason for cancellation, though, is non-negotiable, ridiculous, and an absolutely mind boggling example of what is completely wrong with Progressive Insurance’s company. One of the out buildings they required to be torn down is a chicken coop. When we questioned why, their response was that if there is a chicken coop on the property, we may be tempted to have chickens. It’s a farm; of course we’re planning to have chickens. Progressive Insurance cannot insure a farm property that has farm animals. If we have a single chicken on the property, our policy is void. One of our reasons for moving out to the country was to have chickens!

I am angry that this is the system. I’m angry that Progressive’s response was, “You should get quotes from other agencies.” We took their advice, and are collecting a few other quotes. The interesting thing is that even the “expensive” companies are coming in very close in price to Progressive’s bargain.

I strongly urge anyone who has Progressive Insurance to start shopping for better insurance now, before they decide to cancel your policy for an illogical reason that they have no obligation to inform you of.

Question everything!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


The rental we're currently in is haunted. If you don't believe in ghosts, don't come to our house. Steve didn't believe in ghosts either. Now he does.

There have been a number of times when unusual occurrences have happened here, and for the most part we're used to them, but occasionally it still gives us goose bumps, like last night.

Last night the cat was going to sleep in bed with me until Steve and I both refused to get up to turn off the light (we really need a clapper or remote or something) which turned into a tickle war that I won but he barked at me which startled me, but it scared the shit out of the cat who jumped off the bed and wanted out- the door was closed. Steve told her no, and I called her back to snuggle with me, but she was pissed so she stalked into the bathroom, I assumed she slept in the closet, because she never came back to bed.

When the alarm went off at 7am, the cat meowed at the door like she does every morning. I was still half asleep, so I thought, "For fuck sake cat! No matter what side of the door she's on, she wants to be on the other side!" And then I realized she was on the other side; she wasn't in the bedroom. Steve also looked a little freaked and asked if I had let her out during the night. No. Did he let her out during the night? No. Who let the cat out of the bedroom?

Then Steve says that she was in the room at 4:30 am when he got up to use the bathroom because she was stretched out on the bed next to me. Except she's not a stretchy sleeper, she ALWAYS curls up when she sleeps. And she always wakes me up when she curls up to sleep with me because she has to check that I'm breathing first, at least, that's what I assume she's doing. So, whatever slept next to me in bed last night was not our cat. And someone let our cat out of the room.

What the hell was sleeping next to me?!?!