A Chaotic Summer with a Bright Spot

The summer of 2017 has been chaotic. The massive box homes that are being constructed, back to back and all along my property line, have essentially stolen summer from us. It's hard to go outside and enjoy some quiet space with construction noise. We've also had problems with the builder not being a good neighbor....several times.

Mega House #1..you can see how tight the space is between our homes and peeking from behind Mega House #1 is Mega House #2.
A better view of the tight space between homes. The next fight we are preparing for is the construction of a fence along the property line. We've already caught the builder using incorrect survey maps. It's so stressful to feel like you have to be prepared to battle, that your land will be stolen from you, even by the inches. Not being able to trust this builder has been extremely disappointing.

The neighbor on the other side of us has also engaged in a lot of noisy outdoor projects. We have felt bombarded by noise on both sides.

The garden itself took it's first blow in late June when the nasty, Tree of Heaven, in our backyard had a particularly heavy, bloom year, and dropped so much pollen.  Needless to say, the permit to cut that damn tree down has been approved with the city...bye bye nasty tree! (A side note..we've always planned to cut the tree down..but the kids loved swinging from it.  However, this summer has put us over the edge.)

The new, extra large, sized homes being built next door, have dramatically changed our backyard privacy. (To be more precise...our privacy is literally gone.) It's caused us to wonder if we can stay in our home and still enjoy our space. There is a lot to ponder. It's been a stressful summer. Not the best time for making big decisions.

The kids have tried to enjoy the pool space with all the construction next door..oh except for the days the builder parked a diesel generator right next to our fence (by the pool)  and the fumes flooded our yard....trapping us inside our house. Let's say we had a disagreement about that.

July found a little escape to the far reaches of Eastern Oregon to experience some peace and quiet for a week. We found our little spot of heaven near the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.

Sunset in literally the middle of No-Where...Bliss!
Sunsets and Pine trees....a peaceful place

It was hard to come back to the construction noise and massive new homes looming over our once private space after visiting such a peaceful and wide open place.

The weather this summer has been hot..then hotter and then blistering with temps up to 105 for a week. What has made it nearly unbearable..has been the smoke. Up north, in British Columbia, Canada, hundreds of forest fires are burning and the smoke has descended south. To be fair..our neighbors to the north in the Seattle area have it worse..but our air quality has been worse than cities you would associate with horrible air quality like, Beijing or Mexico City. The heat coupled with the smoke has made the last two weeks utterly miserable.

But there has been a bright spot in all the crud....a little puppy has made her way into our lives.

Tillie the Wonder Pup

It's crazy how the world can be tumbling down around your ears but if you have a puppy in your life..it's all just white noise. She is a wonderful dog. She is a rescue that we fostered to adopt. She was pretty skinny and had kennel cough when we got her but we've loved her up and she is doing awesome! We completed the adoption last week after she was spayed.

We were told she was a German Shepard mix, but as she's grown and her personality (and voice) have emerged..it appears we have more of a Coon Hound mix. Ha! The cats are slow to embrace our new bundle of joy..but they are coming around.

I'll post updates on blooms next week during August Bloom Day but for now let me end by saying..as much as I adore summer blooms....I'm ready for the season to change. We need rains to damped the wild fires burning and cooler nights to regain some sleep/sanity. Plus...when it's hot...snuggling with a puppy is a bit warm. Cooler weather and puppy snuggling would be better.

Cheers, Jenni


  1. As I write this, I am hearing reports of rain coming in off the Pacific. So another bright spot is coming. I'm glad you have a puppy and I hope the kitties learn to love her as much as you do.

  2. Unfortunately here in the UK houses are more often than not too close together.

    1. I totally recognize it's all perspective and we're spoiled. We've gotten used to wide open spaces and they are closing in. It's really more of the size of the home that I object to. They don't fit in with the existing neighborhood and they tower over everyone else.

  3. I'm sorry for the intrusion of the big houses! That looks WAY too close for comfort...I don't blame you one bit for being upset. Enjoy your puppy...they do have a way of wrapping themselves around us and bringing joy in the midst of chaos!

    1. Hi Alica! Puppies are the best!! Hope all is well on that wonderful farm of yours!

  4. The intrusion into your quiet little neighborhood is hard to take. Here's hoping the new neighbors will be less obnoxious than the construction crews.


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