Another interesting week.  But, why wouldn’t it be interesting when you go through this process of eminent domain?  I guess I thought that once we handed over the keys I would have some time to basically chill and get use to our new normal. It was a week ago last Friday that we handed over the keys to 4020 Shady Oak Road to the county.

Last Saturday we took the boys out to see the tribute to Queen, “We will rock you” at the Orpheum in Minneapolis.  They loved it.  We promised them, that once we moved, things would be different.  We wouldn’t be so “tied” to our house, we would stop taking them to open houses every Sunday (something we did regularly when we found out we would have to move) and that we would have time to have fun and do things.

I do think of all of that time and in the big picture, I hope it was not wasted.  I don’t think it was.  I think I have a pretty good grip on the concept of “community” and “comparable” in my world.  However, my world is not law or legal in anyway.  That is the problem.  We are only another homeowner that lost their home for a road project and do not feel we were anywhere near compensated for what we had.  I know there are so many of us, I hope we can connect.  Too many people do not want to talk about what they went through. I am thankful that I do want to talk about it.

I am thankful we found a wonderful rental home and the owners are so accommodating to our situation.  The owners of our rental home were here last Sunday and our coincidences and our common connections seriously can only be a miracle in itself.

Things happen for a reason.  I have always believed that.  For some reason I am suppose to go through this.

I am thankful I have such good friends.  We celebrated Thanksgiving today with one of my Fab Four and her family.  Such a good time, good food and good conversation. Very thankful.

Last Monday we did go back to 4020 for another walk through.  The next step is the “commissioners hearing”.  Being in the insurance world, it would be like going to arbitration.  We did not agree with the offer, so now a panel of “commissioners” will take another look.  The commissioners are court appointed and will come up with another number.  They needed to see the house, they needed to see 4020.  We didn’t have to go.  But, why wouldn’t we?  We have been at every meeting, every event, everything connected to our house and eminent domain.

We went to see the commissioners and for them to see us.  We went, again, to see the process.  The kid’s have not been back and now will never be.

I am thankful our kid’s are okay, that we are healthy and for all of the people in our life that have made this process bearable.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Feeling Numb

Not sure how I feel.  Weird for sure.  Last week was a blur.

One of my best friends, yes, one of the Fab Four, was back in town for a family funeral and after spending a few days with family came here to our rental home to be with us.

That was Thursday evening.  We stayed up too late and drank too much wine in anticipation of Friday’s events.

Friday, yes, last Friday.  Well, we first went downtown to pick up the “check”, the last written offer from the county.  Then we picked up lunch for the office and had to type a letter to our mortgage company.  We then headed over to 4020 Shady Oak Road to do a walk through with some other county people and hand over our keys.

Next we overnighted the “check” to our mortgage company.  Then my friend and I went to our new home to get ready for happy hour with some of my old work group (changes within my company, can’t even get to that at this point).  After everyone left early, we stayed and had dinner and then went home (new home) to make sure the kid’s were okay.

They were.  Then we went out to the casino to meet up with my Brother in law. Yes, my husband was with us for all events.  Again, stayed up too late.

My Fab Four first visitor twice now, left Saturday and we had another party to go to in the evening.  Babysitter, I should say Tweensitter, came and we went out again.  Had a great time, just got tired of telling our story.  Most had been to our home.  Yes, we moved, No, we didn’t find a house to buy…

The usual conversation for us lately.  But, hey, we are telling everyone.  Check out our story.  Yep, could happen to you.

Spoke to a representative from X-cel energy today to make sure the bill was correct and to forward the next bill to the county.  He was very nice.  Told him our story.  Interesting, he bought his home three years ago and there is some plan to put a road in the woods between him and his neighbors home.  Believe me, I had some advice for him.  If it is on some plan it is only a matter of time and money.

Too busy to really “feel” the end this past week.  Probably good, only I am thinking about it too much now.  That part is over.  We moved, we handed over the keys, we found a place to rent and so far, the kid’s are okay.

Mortgage is hopefully paid, you never know, the “check” may bounce.






Sad day

My husband and I went over to 4020 today to get our remaining items. I thought I would be fine.  I wasn’t.  I broke down right when I walked in.

I know it is almost over, I understand.  I walked around the backyard and thought about all of the landscaping we had done.  I looked out at Lake Dimple and saw all of the ducks that have not flown south yet.

I went through the house a few times, opened all drawers and closets to make sure we had not forgotten anything.  My husband loaded the van with paint and miscellaneous items the packers could not pack.  He took down a custom valance we had made for our family room.

I started sweeping the kitchen and wiping the counters down.  I didn’t know what else to do.  The kitchen was my domain.  It was my space and I planned every inch of it from the pantry to the recycling bins.  And then I just started crying.

All that time we spent planning our remodel, living through the renovation, picking paint colors, picking out light fixtures etc. All to be just taken away for a frontage road that was added to a bigger project.  It is just so sad.  We took an old home that needed work and added quality and brought it back to it’s luster.  We re-did every room.  We had the original oak floors re-done, we repainted every wall and ceilings, we gutted the kitchen and enlarged it with custom cabinets and italian porcelian tile, I could go on and on. It doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter.  That is what is really sad.  Once condemed, it is the governments property.  4020 will be owned by the county on Friday.  The day after tomorrow.

You know what else sucks?  They do not have to pay us or our mortgage.  That was my issue yesterday.  We were trying to have them pay at least our mortgage by Monday so we would not have to pay double again (lease and mortgage), but they will not wire funds.  Apparently that method of payment is not in the rule book.

When you do not accept the offer, they deposit the funds (the last written offer received) with the courts and then you (your attorney at this point) request how the funds should be distributed.  These things move very slowly.  Our attorney has worked with the county to get a check to us on Friday and everyone made it very clear this is probably an exception.

Doesn’t matter at this point, funds will not clear in time and we have to make this months mortgage payment.  Not fair. In fact, we have to go pick up the check and then over night it to our mortgage company, more time off work.  Then our mortgage company has reimburse us the difference.  I guess we are learning the meaning of “red tape”.

When we picked up the kid’s from school today we asked them if they wanted to go to 4020 one last time, they either had tonight or tomorrow night.  They want to sleep on it.  Our oldest asked me what it looks like, I told him it looks nice, just empty.  Then he asked about his room and I looked at him and saw tears rolling down his face.  Not fair.

This is just not fair. Very sad day.


Crystal, porcelain, tea cups and china

This Thursday will be three weeks in our rental home.  We are pretty much moved and settled in.  I unpacked and set up everything in the basement this past weekend.  A few boxes here and there are left.  The garage is pretty full, but will be emptied when our shed is moved over.

The shed was supposed to be here by now, but the day it was to be moved it snowed.  Yes, we do live in Minnesota. These things happen.  Hopefully, in the next few days the shed will be here and we can clean out the garage.

Some boxes are just being stored in the furnance room and other closet space.  I have boxes and boxes of china, crystal, porcelain and tea cups.  They have been stored for years.  We use to have all of these boxes in our eves at 4020.  I packed up my antique breakables when the kid’s were born and was never able to unpack them because we have known we would be moving.

I love antiques.  I love old things.  I have been “antiquing” since college and there are some things I just cannot donate.  We acquired a lot of antique furniture when we lived in Indiana that I am not ready to part with.  I guess it will go into the shed.

I have always liked fine china and porcelain and have a collection of tea cups.  I have also inherited pieces that I cannot just give away at this time.  I want to use these pieces, or at least put them out, but our circumstances will not allow it, so they will stay in their boxes.

We also have so many photographs that need to be organized and put in books.  I have boxes of mementos from our parents who are all deceased that I need to organize and put aside for our children when they are older.  I never organized it because each year was wait and see if we have to move.  It was a wait year by year thing because of politics and money.  We were in limbo for eight years, waiting on the powers to be to tell us when we had to move.  I cannot believe the things I put on hold, like going through these boxes.

Time goes by so fast, yet the process seemed so slow.  Can’t blame one person, it is the whole system and process.  The county is the entity that condemed us, but it was the city who approved the project in the first place.

Interesting, our youngest, who is eight, can pronounce “eminent domain” perfectly.  He keeps asking me when I am on the computer if I am writing about “eminent domain”.  I tell him I am.

Then, one day recently, he asked me when he would be able to meet “Eminent Domain”.  Okay, now what do I tell him?  How do I teach this?

One of my best friends, that I refer to as one of my fab four, told me that when she was young, her parents told her that her Grandfather sold the farm for peanuts.  She said for years, she literally thought her Grandfather got bags of peanuts for the farm.

We are not settling for peanuts.  Just not sure how to explain this to my kids…




One week left

One week from today, the county will own our home.  Wow.  This is so real and unreal at the same time.  I know I said it before, but I cannot believe this happened to us.  I cannot believe this happens to anyone.

A week ago I came across another story about eminent domain, this one is being told by a young man who I believe is a high school senior.  His email was on his website and I sent him a brief email to try to connect and learn more about his story.  He replied this morning and we will hopefully connect and I can learn more about what his story is and what he has gone through. He did tell me his family is loosing their home within the year.

Our rainbow playset was moved over from 4020 this morning.  Shed should be moved Monday or Tuesday.  I cannot believe what we have done and had done in the last two weeks. This is insane.

Soon, I will not be writing on a regular basis, but rather going into the background story and writing under that tab.  There will not be much to write about once next Friday comes.  I am sure I will have updates from time to time, but soon it will be about the past eight years that will lead up to now.

Frustrating today about our mortgage.  I can’t even get into details, but too many people not knowing what to do, trying to figure it out.  Bottom line, not sure our mortgage will be paid by next Friday.  I gave all of the information to our attorney who submitted it with the county attorney.  I could say so much, better not.  I can handle this myself, very frustrating.  I have my documentation.  Again, who pays me for my time and frustration?

Yep, no one.  How many hours have I spent on documentation?  Eight years of hours.  I basically have been off the past two weeks besides going to continuing education and meetings.  Who pays me for my time?

Exactly, no one.

Enough for tonight.




Another day

Okay, it is another day.  I am near the count down of loosing home ownership to eminenent domain and I am okay. What does that mean?  Saying your okay is like saying you are “fine”.

My Fab Four and I have had many conversations of the “meaning of fine”, it’s like the mathamatician talking about pi.  Fine is, well fine is never fine.

You either get it or you don’t.

Fine is what it is and simple is what simple does.

And life is what you do about it. What you make of it and how you deal what is dealt to you.

Yesterday, last evening, before my dinner (I was at a work meeting), I went outside of the hotel, a very nice hotel by the way, to call my husband. I was talking on my cell phone when a homeless man sat on the bench next to me.

Memories of when I spent a week in Chicago with one of my Fab Four working with the homeless over Thanksgiving Break in the eighties in Chicago.

We were so smart and so naive.  However, we learned so much and we still talk about it.

I hung up the phone with my husband.  I looked at the man on the bench.  I asked him if he was sleeping outside tonight.  He said “yes”.

I gave him $20.00 and walked inside.

Wow. I am only loosing my dream home to emient domain,. It could be worse.

Getting settled

We have been in our rental for just over a week. We are getting settled.  Most rooms are put together and functioning.  I unpacked and put the kid’s rooms together first.  I needed to make sure they felt at home.  Their posters are on their walls and everything is out of boxes.

After their rooms, it was the kitchen.  We need to be able to function and cook.  Living room, dining and family room were next.  Our room took a while because I had to go through my clothes a second time.  I donated a lot prior to our move and got rid of more clothes while unpacking.  Too many clothes and shoes.

We get together every year with two families who are close friends for halloween.  This year we hosted and made dinner.  The kids went trick or treating in our new neighborhood.  We also had a out of town guest overnight on Saturday.  One of my fab four had a layover in Minneapolis and had a day to come over.  We actually went over to 4020, since she will not ever see it again.

It was really weird.  I had not been there since the movers came a week ago Thursday.  I did okay and did not break down.  The house doesn’t look so nice.  It’s hard to leave it like it is.  It’s a respect thing, take care of what you have.  If I had time, I would go back and clean up the yard.

My husband was over at 4020 on Saturday with a few of his buddies finishing up things.  They had to take a section of the fence down so the shed can be moved this week.  They also had to cut down a large shrub that had been there since before we bought the home.  That was sad.  Inside, the carpet going downstairs has a large stain from when they moved the basement refrigerator.

Moving is hard no matter what.  Moving because you want to and moving because you have to, are two different ballgames.  It is hard to believe the end finally came for us at 4020.  Believe it our not, I feel okay.  It is somewhat of a relief to move on.  It is like my stress and anxiety melted away when I left.  Our friends who have been over to our new place said I look much better.  I am trying to be positive and I really do feel okay.

Our shed and rainbow playset will be moved this week.  A few things are left to pick up such as paint and things the movers could not move.  My husband will do the final walk through with the County on the 15th of this month.  I will not be there for that.

Probably need to go back one more time.  Our youngest blurted out at dinner last night that he has to go back to give the “pee tree” a hug.


One week in our new house

Wow.  I do not know where the week went.  Packers came a week ago Wednesday, movers started last Thursday when I had my break down and I had continuing education last Friday for half a day.

Movers were done on Saturday and in between everything I have been unpacking and putting rooms together.  The movers were suppose to unpack us, but there is only so much they can unpack.  We had to tell them to stop because there was no room to put anything and we didn’t know where it was going to go.

So, we have been unpacking and putting things away.  I would guess at least for 10 hours each day. I also had meetings for half of Tuesday and half of Wednesday.  We are getting everything put away and donating a lot.  I thought we donated a lot before we moved, but now at a second chance, we are getting rid of more.  It actually feels good to lighten the load.  We all have too much stuff.  It is amazing at how much stuff we accumalate.

I haven’t been back to 4020 Shady Oak Road, my house until the 15th of November, since I came here last Thursday.  I feel good and have keep occupied with putting this house in order and going to my meetings for work.  Actually, I feel better than good, I am finally ready to move on. I have a new attitude and it is all good.

I loved my house.  My heart and soul went into my house.  We did so much work to our house and we were not offered anything near what it would take to buy a comparable or to build a similar size/quality/lot that we had.  But, the end finally came and I know I need to move on.

And, I have.  I really needed to get out of my condemmed home to move on.  I cannot believe how my anxiety went away by walking out the door.  It is crazy what this process does to you.  I do not wish this on anyone and I feel for those who go through this.

So many emotions over eight years.  So many people that shared our home during Holidays, dinner parties and events.  Two exchange students and their friends, all hanging out at the home everyone knew we were loosing.  People from around the globe have been at our house…

I know that I have only been able to do this because I have the best employees keeping my business up and running. They have been great and know that I have to get my house in order for me and my children.  I need to plan an awesome Holiday party for the office.  I can’t imagine if I was not self-employed.  The stress, the time, the move, all would have made me probably loose my job if I was working for someone else.

Okay, three of my “fab four” have called tonight.  I was on the phone for a while. Long enough for my husband to go to bed.