On my last post I was completly exhausted.  Not sure how much it made sense.  We have been living in our rental home since Thursday. That was the day that after I showered I went down and all my furniture and belongings were gone. That was my last melt down.

I have not been back.  My husband has. He does not want me to go back.  I have to go back one more time.  Even if I break down, it is okay.  It is a process.  I get it.

Life is crazy for us.  I don’t even know what time or day it is.  Well, to a point.  I know it is Sunday and I should work tomorrow and I have meetings Tuesday and Wednesday, which I would love not to go to, but have to.

I finally showered today.  Had not cleaned up since Friday when I had continuing eduacation.  No make-up, hair pulled back, wearing the same clothes as yesterday.

Why would I do anything to unpack and sweat?

This is so much work.  This sucks.  I had everything perfect for our world and then it is just taken away.  Funny thing, I was at continuing education on Friday through Kaplin and the instructor told us they had moved locations because a Walmart was going into the strip mall they previous occupied.  I am sure I was the only one in the room who could relate. I didn’t bother to tell my story.

Yes, I am very tired of telling my story. Can’t start from the beginning.  I can continue this.  Which is interesting.  I know that I am getting 3-5 users a day.  Really?   Are you all spam? I don’t know your who you are and why you are signing up.  I know people are reading this, but it isn’t really a forum and sympathy and empathy are certainly coming to me personally, but not on the blog.

So, who is signing up?  Just curious.


The Final Countdown~Update

I have to go retro-spec as I have not had internet service.  My last post was a week ago Thursday. I was going to write everyday execept we had a hiccup. My husband had called our phone service over a month ago, and they pushed out the change as far as they could.  They had told told him to call if we needed the date extended.

So many things to cordinate with a move…

Well, he forgot to call and our phone and computer was shut and moved to our rental.

Transition is hard.  This is exhausting. Then things came so fast.

We have until November 15th, 2013.  That is when the County owns our home officially due to eminent domain.

But, we had to move.  Today is October 25th, 2013 and I am exhausted.  We have been in the process of moving and it is awful.

Yesterday, I woke up to a lot of people in my home.  I showered and then went downstairs, everything was gone.

I went upstairs to my bathroom and cried.  I just cried.

And I thought of the people who made my fate.


The Final Countdown

We are in the final count down.  The past eight years of knowing we would be forced to move have come down to the next thirty days.

On November 15th, 2013 we will no longer be homeowners.  Not by choice, but by eminent domain.  In thirty days Hennepin County will own my dream home.

We are the sixth and final owners of 4020 Shady Oak Road.  I have photos of the home being built in the thirties with completion in 1938.

We knew the son of the original owner and we know his son and grand-daughter.

We know the history and the bones of this house.  Soon, very soon, we will only have photos and memories of the past fifteen years here.

Seventy-five years and six families of memories for the house…


Reaching out

Today I stayed at home to clean out closets.  You know what I accomphished?

Nothing.  Nada.

Sometimes when you have so much to do, it overwhelmes you and you end up doing nothing.  Well, that was me today.

I did do a google search of other Eminent Domain stories.  I read newspaper stories that all sound the same.  I want to talk to the people who have been through this.  I might find a name, but, then I cannot locate a phone number.

I was over twenty pages into my search when I came across a story from a year or so ago that was a follow up from ten years ago.

I had a name and I found the phone number.

I called and she answered.

She is from Ohio and lost her home to a Stadium project over ten years ago.

I briefed her on our situation.  Gave her my name, phone number and blog information.

I didn’t want to talk too long, I don’t know the specifics of her story and I do not want to impead on her life.  She did tell me it was the worst thing she ever has gone through.

We agreed on that.  We agreed that this sucks.

I told her I was trying to connect with people who have gone through this process.  I hope she calls me back.  I understand if she doesn’t.  I am learning that a lot of people do not want to talk about this.

With that said, I do want to talk about it.  I want these stories to be told and heard.

Things still need to change.


Digging up plants, sad for the trees

For the past couple of weekends, we have been digging up plants in our backyard and bringing them to our rental home.  It is a lot of work and we will never be able to save everything.

But, I just cannot bare the thought of my plants being bulldozed to their death.  Months ago I called our landscaper who did our backyard and asked him how much it would cost to dig everything up and he said it wouldn’t be worth the cost.  He wouldn’t be able to guarentee they would live and in the end it is cheaper to buy new plants.

That left us no choice for the plants.  We had to dig them up.  The trees and the shrubs will not be so lucky.  There is no way we can dig up those.

I woke up this morning and could barely get out of bed.  I really over did it this weekend.

Too much hauling and digging.

We had some help on Saturday, which was great.  We did get a lot of plants dug up.  Still a lot left.  We won’t be able to save them all.

Walking around my backyard I feel awful.  It just looks terrible.  It never looks like this.  I want to pull the weeds, I want the grass to be cut one more time and I want to rake the leaves.

Instead, we have been doing our Fall work at our rental home. It feels good to be working outside and making our rental house look nice.

It is exhausting, both mentally and physically.  Between hockey, swimming, soccer and an urgent care visit yesterday, it is amazing what we are getting done.

I noticed something odd today while getting ready for work.  I looked out the bathroom window and I saw our towering Pine tree that is just outside our backdoor and noticed that one of it’s limbs was almost touching our old Oak tree.  It looked like they were holding hands.

Then I went outside and saw that another limb on the Pine tree was reaching toward a younger Maple tree on another side.  It’s like they know of their upcoming fate.

The old Oak tree was here before the house was built in 1938, so it has to be close to a hundred years old.  The towering Pine that must be about a hundred feet tall was not in the photos when the home was built, but was here in the sixties.  I would say somewhere between fifty and seventy five years old.

The Maple was small when we purchased the house fifteen years ago.  I would guess under thirty years and closer to twenty something.

I am going to miss all of them.  Especially the towering Pine.  Over the years we have named the tree “the Pee tree”.

I have boys, I don’t think I need to explain how we came to name it.


Interesting Day

Yesterday was interesting.  We went to our condemnation hearing.  We are not the only ones involved in this process, but I think we are the only homeowners left to settle.

There are building owners, business owners and other tennants involved.

We went to observe the process.  That was it.  We thought we could just watch and view the process.

Apparently, the Judge wanted to know who everyone was and started going through the list of everyone affected by this project. If you were present, you had to tell her. We acknowleged who we were and she didn’t ask any questions.

After a while, we started to feel like some of her comments were being directed at us. Not to quote directly, because I didn’t take notes, but she was making it very clear on how complicated the process is and if you are not represented you have to follow the rules and laws and she held up handbooks etc.

Finally, I nudged my husband and whispered, you have to tell her.  He put up his hand and told the Judge that we are represented by an attorney.  I thought I saw a sigh of relief, but then she called him up to the table with the other attorneys and asked who and why our attorney wasn’t present

My husband replied our attorney was out of State on a case and knew about the hearing.

Well, that was that.

You would have to know my husband.  He does not speak in public, much less to people he does not know and certainly not when it is unexpected.  I was very proud of him, I knew he was nervous.

I do not speak “legal speak” and certainly not on this matter.  This is new to us. After we left, I updated our attorney’s assistant and I pretty much had most of what I thought I heard wrong.

I will not be writing about the legal process.  This needs to be left to the experts.

On another note, I am getting through rooms and drawers.  Still a lot to go through, but everyday is more progress.


Between two Houses

We got the keys to our rental home this week.

We are now officially between two homes, our dream home and our rental home.  One of my Fab Four, who is renting based on other circumstances, told me to have the time to move.  Thank you.  It is nice not to have added stress of having limited time to move.

We even met one of our new neighbors today.  He is originally from South Bend, Indiana.

Interesting, we bought our first home in South Bend, Indiana.

We have been making our rental home ready for us and our son’s. We need to make it feel like home.  Home is where the heart is right? Just don’t tell that to someone who is losing their home to Eminent Domain.

I will make it our home.

Over the past few days I read a book, “Little Pink House”, about an Eminent Domain case out of New London, Connecticut. The main person is a woman named “Susette Kelo”.  I knew her as Kelo vs. New London.  People have been telling me about that case for years.

I read the book and now know her story.  I cried. I feel for her. She is the face of Eminent Domain and did not want to be.  She only wanted her house.  We have so much in common and yet our circumstances are so different. I hope to  maybe someday meet her.

One thing in common we have forsure, is that we both just  wanted to keep our house.  I would rather keep my house and so did she.

I am so sorry for her and everyone else in her neighborhood.  I do feel I need to do something. Even if it is just telling my story.




“One of these days, Alice…”

I am probably dating myself.  But, the title of this blog is from the TV series “The Honeymooners”.  I am not that old, but know of the series and the quotes.

Last week I was sad, this week I am mad.  This is like mourning, which my Fab Four keep telling me I am going through.  I am really, really mad.  Actually, I am pissed off that I am going through this and more so for those who cannot fight it.

This is good.  I now know my purpose and have a reason to talk about what we are going through.

Last week I reached out to a few people that are in the eminent domain arena.  Most are attorneys and I am trying to get in touch with their clients for emotional support.

Today, I spoke with the Executive Director of the Minnesota Chapter for the Institute for Justice.

He had the time to listen to my story and give me advice.  He told me that what I am going through is common with those who go through eminent domain.  He said to make sure I take care of myself because those who are older, in their 60’s and 70’s this kills them.

Literally, emient domain kills people.  Like in, they die.

I have heard those stories.  I have come across those stories.  Heart attacks, suicide…all because of eminent domain.

He said it is a psychological thing that no matter what your property is, the fact that someone else is deciding your fate can be so stressful that is can take your life.

I never have experienced anxiety like this. Never.  I am a strong person who has been through other major life events- this is worse.  I so needed to hear that validation.  That this pain is real, that this is not a joke and that this process kills people.

Okay, that is so wrong.

I believe in fate.  I believe things happen for a reason. Now, I know that I have a purpose to this blog.  I do not want anyone else to die because of eminent domain.

I can do this.  I can tell our story.  I have a degree in Journalism, I freelance write from time to time and have been paid for my work.  I can tell my story with a purpose to help those who cannot tell their story.

I have said it before, I will say it again, this is not about the money.  No amount of money will ever pay me or my family for what we have gone through.  How much money would you want to get to cover the emotions of your children that you hold at night and tell them everything is going to be okay?

My children are age 12 and 8.  This has been going on for eight years.  Yes, my youngest was one month old when we realized we might lose our house.  His whole life has been spent knowing that he would be moving.

Our house blew up tonight.  Emotions are intense.  Our youngest is being intolerable, our oldest is emotionally sad, my husband is on edge and I am trying to write…this is eminent domain.

We are a family of four, our kids are young and this is our story.

This sucks…