Oh Hail!

This is a long post.

I'm not in the mood to do any two or three part'ers, in fact I might be downright cranky lately.

If you stopped in today to see the latest dresser I painted you will be disappointed.  My apologies to both you and my sponsors, but you'll have to get over it.  And if you don't want to read a few condensed real life chapters in the book of Bliss Ranch without pretty DIY photos, well then -  auf Wiedersehen, adiós, and sayonara.

Everyone knows that life comes with ups and downs, major and minor crisis's, and then there are the things that are really nothing more than an inconvenience and a pain in the butt.

This is a post about nothing more than inconveniences and pains in the butt.....and maybe a silver lining.

For those inconvenient things that are just more of an annoyance I am pretty able to see the humor and make a little lemonade.  Just not the kind of lemonade Beyonce makes. 

This is where I announce there is no need to leave pity comments like I'm soooo sorry you have to deal with this.  The truth is - no one is more annoyed than me that I have to deal with these messes - it's all gonna pass - and it's not a big deal in the overall picture of life, so lets laugh about this schmidt shall we? 

What I'm about to write is on "stuff".

And it's just that, "stuff".

Inconvenient and pain in the butt stuff, and nothing more.  Stuff can be replaced.

I'm not mourning the loss of any of it, nor losing any sleep, and if there is a bit of weariness in my words it's only because I'm seriously tired of dealing with insurance companies and saying things to our agent like "you're NOT going to believe this but....".

In past times of my life I've dealt with - and probably will again - the real stuff that matters like loss, heartbreak, sickness, you know - the kind of life things that are not about stuff and actually mean something.  We all have friends or know people dealing with issues that are not limited to a passing storm, raking leaves, or a quick fix of purchasing new 2x4's.

So don't anyone reading this for one minute think I need a pat on the back for a blister on my thumb - because I don't.  I take nothing for granted.  Remember I said this "stuff" was nothing more than a PITA and it is preventing me from my daily exercise of getting lost in a DIY project which is something I do for enjoyment and what this blog is usually about.  I don't rake leaves and pick up branches for enjoyment.  If you do, more power to 'ya.

But I do want to have a couple laughs writing about the dark cloud that seems to be overhead raining down annoyances and inconveniences on our stuff almost weekly.  Those annoyances and inconveniences are easy to laugh about when it's all put in perspective, but I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I haven't started wondering what's gonna fall from the sky next.  It's the kind of stuff that eventually becomes sort of comical when it keeps happening.

Also because I haven't had time to create any DIY and before the emails start arriving asking if I'm ok since I haven't been posting, I decided to give that glimpse into my life that I rarely do..... a mostly photo-less post about the storms - actual rain and hail - that keep passing overhead and are the cause of little to no DIY as they monopolize my free time and suck out my mental energy.

Sometime in June a typical hail storm passed over.  I've seen many a hail storm, sometimes they bring so much hail it piles up in the nooks and crannies around the house and looks like a half foot of snow.

This hail didn't seem like anything particular to take note of.  That is till Brawn went out to his six month old work truck and found dents all over it.  His truck and one of the boys cars had been showered with the hard pellets of ice.

Apparently there is hard hail and soft hail, who knew!  (Probably anyone who has ever met hard hail).

This man wears out anything he owns.  The last two trucks he drove for as long as the key in the ignition would turn them over.  One had no heat in the winter, the other no air in the summer, and somewhere around 300,000 miles one was retired to the junk yard and the other sold before it hit that mark.

Making a new truck purchase was something he needed to be talked into. While he has had many new trucks, he is at the age he doesn't want to work harder or longer to pay for them. But he also can't work without one and needs his vehicle to be reliable.

I need his vehicle to have heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer if I'm going for a ride with him.

Not long after his new truck arrived home, a pheasant flew out of the weeds and broke his headlight.  No big deal - he bought himself a new headlight and put it in, but hail dents all over it was another story so we placed our first call to insurance for hail damage to his vehicle and one of the boys cars.

Roughly three weeks after that, while parked at a job site, a man with a revoked drivers license talking on his cell phone said he was trying to avoid a squirrel, and he drove his girlfriends car into the back of the new truck at about 45 miles an hour.

Strong enough to bend the under belly of the truck frame like an accordion and send all the contents of the truck bed out onto the street.

Not five minutes earlier my husband and his brother had been at the tailgate of the truck.  They would have been cut in half.  And that detail puts all the annoyances and inconveniences of summer into perspective.

As far as I know the supposed squirrel survived.

A $328 tow later and now in August the truck is still sitting in our yard and the insurance of that guys girlfriend is paying for Brawn to drive a man-van to work every day for the past four weeks.

Mini vans hold a lot of stuff, but scaffolding is not one of them.  Hauling tools has been a challenge to say the least, but if you knew my husband you would know he always makes the best of a situation and he is pretty impressed the way all the seats of the van fold down right into the floor.

He warned the rental place their brand new mini van was destined to becoming a work truck, but that's also the other insurance company's problem, they couldn't find him a truck with a topper that seats at least three people, but after two weeks without any vehicle he was happy to have the man-van.  As a bonus it gets great gas mileage.

Oh wait, that's right only two people need a seat right now because one of the guys dislocated his collar bone the week after that jumping out of a plane.  Sky diving that is.  I happened to have given birth to that guy, and he will heal, just another bump in the road of our summer.  In an ironic twist the vehicle he and I share died after spewing fluids on the highway while he was driving himself to the emergency room.  WTH????  $200 for a tow because we no longer had a truck to pull it home ourselves.  Sheesh.

I distinctly remember saying when he called me, "you have GOT to be kidding me!".  Hours later we picked him up at the ER in his brothers hail pelted vehicle.  That's now two vehicles down.

I thought then enough is enough.  HA, it was really just getting started.

To clarify on vehicle insurance.... Minnesota is a no fault state.  That means in most cases your own insurance carrier pays for accidents.  But not in an instance such as the truck, when it is an at fault accident.  No one was in the parked vehicle, and duh...... that guy was clearly at fault!  So instead of our own insurance company being involved the claim is completely handled by the at fault party and I have a new title.....I am now The Negotiator.

I must not be doing too well with that new title, it's 6 weeks later and we have not yet negotiated or settled the claim.  That's probably because they never call me to test my negotiating skills.  Today I am placing yet another call to them and mentioning things like "insurance commissioner", supposedly that gets their attention.

It's sort of a blur, but I think we may have had one week in July that nothing costly happened, but the equivalent of house ambulance chasers were paying us several visits a week asking if they could replace our roof.

Yeah, I didn't mention the roof on the house yet because I was on the topic of vehicles.  Seems in the first hail storm that was heavy and hard enough to damage two vehicles, it also damaged our roof.  If you are a farmer, it also damaged your crops, but if you live only 2 miles to the North or two miles to the South of me, you received a nice soak for your lawn and nothing more.  I should apologize to the neighbors in our immediate vicinity for my dark cloud that is engulfing them as well.

What, you noticed I said the "first" hail storm?  Yup, seems another doozie was coming our way and I've lost track of when that was, a month after the first, but between the truck getting rear ended or was it after the truck but before the dislocated collar bone?  Neither?  Hail if I can remember anymore without looking at the calendar.

Besides what's going on outside, inside the house we were getting ready for company from California.  Recall the goal of getting the toilet hooked up in the remodel of the Jack & Jill bathroom so they would have a pot to piss in.  You can read about pillows and pots {here}.  On the bright side, really my whole summer was spent looking forward to what August would bring and that week when my BFF would be here.  I scheduled not one thing during that time so we had the option to do whatever we wanted without juggling my schedule.

I did end up having to fit in an unscheduled trip to the orthodontist for my son during her visit.  His mom threw out his retainer the week before while he was at camp when she cleaned his room prior to the guests arriving.  We dug in a weeks worth of kitchen trash just in case the retainer had sprouted legs, walked the stairs, and put itself in the kitchen trash instead of the bag I threw out from his room.  His old retainer was camouflage colored which worked well in eluding us, he picked bright orange for the new one.  Smart choice.  Lesson learned mom.

So back to the hail.  Home one afternoon along with her car #2 Daughter and I watched as a storm blew in that we didn't know was coming.  Then we heard it...... ping ping tick tick THUD.  Ping ping tick tick, THUD.

I knew what ping ping tick tick was, but this thud sound had me concerned.  In the driveway was a fresh vehicle for hail to take aim at.  Sorry daughter.  Not only did it damage her windshield, but the meteorite of hail must of landed on her roof leaving a nice size crater dead center.  And her brothers car that hadn't yet recovered from the last storm received new dents from being pelted again.

I don't know much about weather cycles, but I wish whatever one is swirling over my house would head on out so I can take my insurance agent off of speed dial.

I'm sure the smashed truck also received some new dents, but who cares about that!

At least there was one thing I wasn't worried about - the roof on the house - it was already scheduled to be replaced, so what's a little more damage.

I asked my daughter to forget about getting a concussion and run out to get me a hail.  I assumed she would look around for the largest one instead of yelling "ahhhhhhhhh" and dodging ice chunks as she was drenched with the rain.  Clearly not everyone cares as much about blog photos as I do.

So she didn't grab the largest of the hail we received which were tennis ball size, instead she presented to me something between golf ball size and tennis ball size, which of course are plenty big if you get hit in the head with one, specially when they are the hard as a rock style hard hail and not the soft hard hail.

Not near as impressive when you only see one, but picture that hail having a bunch of friends that fell from the sky with him.

I didn't even want to call our insurance agent again.

I was pretty sure the home office wasn't going to find another claim amusing.  And they didn't even know about the truck because that wasn't on our personal insurance!

I'm happy I can call an insurance company where everybody knows my name, but I wish I hadn't become an office name all in the matter of two months.  Good people sure help make lemonade out of the lemons though don't they?  We've had the same insurance agent for 30 years and we love the staff.

Of course we're not the only people having repeated bad weather and tornado warnings.  Some folks in other areas have had their homes blow away, so I'm pretty thankful for the inconveniences and annoyances of this all.  A neighbor had his roof put on, then had to have another one done, and I wonder if yet another roof is in his future after the last round.

I keep announcing the obvious, "the grass is green".  We're not having a dry summer that's for sure.

This leads me to what is hopefully the last round of destructive weather.  If you are able to make sense of everything I've typed so far, we are at 5 claims - 4 from Mother Nature and one by an idiot on a cell phone avoiding an invisible squirrel.

I'm tired of picking up branches and raking leaves on the weekends.

They say the strong survive, well, I'm here to tell you our concrete patio table is among the strong.

Concrete Planked Top DIY Patio Farmhouse Table

I posted about this farmhouse table {here} and my quest for some affordable chairs {here} and I told you how the table wouldn't blow over and Brawn and I joked that the table was so tough that we bet it could survive a tree landing on it.

We were right.

Early one morning while our California company was visiting, the sky once again grew dark.  It started out like a typical rain, and the next thing we knew that rain was flying through the sky like millions of bullets - completely horizontal rain which brought wind as it's partner.

It let up, then let loose again.  We had seen a storm like that before; eighteen years ago one blew by that left 20 trees on our land down, some roots and all so I debated getting dressed, I didn't want to be the lady they interviewed on the news wearing wonky wet pj's. 

Like I said before I wasn't worried about the roof, I guess it's a blessing the new one hadn't yet been put on, but I really didn't want to deal with hail damage to the rental man-van or anything else that didn't get hit one of the first two times.  I was starting to feel like no insurance people would believe me, and the recurring thought of "you have GOT to be kidding me" played over and over in my head.

My husband called me to the kitchen and pointed out the window, and I said it outloud......."you have GOT to be kidding me!!!".

Between hail storm #1 and hail storm #2 we had a creaking tree that was split so we cut the darn thing down before it could fall and smash something.  You can see the remnants of it in the brush behind the playground.  Guess we should have also cut down the one next to it.

For storm claim #6 a double trunk tree sent it's better half crashing down on top of the playground, patio, and missed the house by only a couple feet.  Really????  Again?  "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!".

Tree Smashed on Patio

Under all those leaves, that of course have to be cleaned up, the concrete table stood tall.  Really?  "You have got to be kidding me, something didn't get wrecked"!?!?.

The table will be missing a few chairs around it.  There are some crushed solar lights, a mangled umbrella, a tree that smashed the back fence and of course the adjacent  playground and once again we have an inconvenient mess to clean up, but really all we could do was fire up the chain saw and laugh!

Left in our yard is still a playhouse, a little shed and a big shed that haven't had any damage this summer, but I feel like I should knock on wood writing that.

Remember....... I said it was all stuff.  No one has been hurt, our house didn't take flight, and Clementine the duck has been as happy as a pig in mud with all the puddles to float in.

We used to have a dog named Capone.  As Capone grew older and became a senior dog he started to have this fear.  First he was afraid of thunder.  Then he became afraid of rain.  Then lightening.  Eventually he was terrified of just an overcast day, I suppose because a non sunny day could bring the dreaded rain with thunder, lighting or hail.

I'm becoming my old dog.

But of course every cloud has a silver lining, and last weeks rain didn't stop the stork from flying over the house of my daughter and son in law.

And just look what that bird dropped out of the sky two miles north of us.......

Baby Ike

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  1. OHMYGOSH!!!! and i apologize because i was dying of laughter about the concrete table... i couldn't help it. babies certainly help make things better though. wow. i won't give you the sympathy you don't want but i will say that cloud was over here for a couple weeks- i shared the chicken story but there was so much more to it also... so i get it. i kept wondering what i had done to have such bad karma. i hope that holy hail is over for you for good.

  2. Holy Ship girl! When it rains, it HAILS. Like literally.
    I am sooooo sorry. I know we can only take so much.
    Thank God for that silver lining.
    Thinking of you and wishing you an uneventful rest of 2016 dear :)))

  3. I'm almost speechless.. I'm so sorry for your catastrophes one upon another! More than your fair share for sure.. But am thankful that your husband and BIL are safe and congratulations on your new grand baby! Thank you for sharing and reminding us all that it is just stuff..Great perspective..Tho it is maddening sometimes when we have to deal with the mess, I appreciate your sense of humor about it all..

    Best wishes to you and your family!

  4. Okay, that grandbaby is nothing short of beautiful. I certainly hope I don't have to go through all your crap before mine arrives. Because I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have as good a sense of humor about it or handle it quite as stoically. Look on the bright got two quarters out of the deal! (Or is that the same quarter in both photos...)


  5. Oh my gosh! Over here on the other side of the cities I haven't seen a single chunk of hail yet this summer (knocking very loudly on wood as I write that). I must say I am most bummed about those chairs. After you found such an amazing bargain and you ran all over to gather them up! I'm glad they weren't all wrecked. Here's hoping your personal foul weather season is over!

  6. What the HAIL??? Weather is so unpredictable (which is how weather people get to keep their jobs.) Can I have that baby?

  7. Oh, but that baby... sweet, adorable baby!

  8. have got to be kidding!!!! Sorry I couldn't resist. I'm glad you can laugh about this because I hate to say this you had me laughing. Wow, when it rains it pours literally at your house! But oh, that baby is just beautiful! Congrats!!

  9. All that and then this gorgeous newborn! Don't you just love how that beautiful top lip looks like angel wings? ~ Christina in FL

  10. As a retired insurance agent in another state, NO INSRANCE COMPANY wants the comminisor after them, stick with your guns, always disliked no fault states when one of our insurers would have an accident .....what a beautiful blessing the stork dropped off!

  11. I have taken to calling 2016 the year of he** while our issues haven't been weather related I've been feeling like I have a target on my back for problems this year. Sadly it began with the death of my beloved grandmother and most recently a house full of fleas. I'm glad you guys are all ok and congratulations grandma!

  12. Oh, hail no!! Thank goodness for that sweet baby at the end of the post! Congratulations!

  13. Wow. For a few moments I thought you lived here in Texas. But you're up in Minnesota with my relatives. There was a huge hail storm here in May which, thankfully, we escaped. We were on vacation at the time and our friends let us know they were beat up with softball sized hail. It claimed three vehicles at their house as well as windows. The golf course had $800,000 worth of damage, with some hail stones coming through the roof and ceiling to damage what was inside the clubhouse! As a gardener, you don't want to see hail beat up what you have worked so hard to keep going, especially 4 years of drought here. Another friend had her home and yard beat to pulp, but she's very matter of fact about it and goes on. Like you, we had a huge ancient mesquite tree come down on our patio. It was the middle of the night, we didn't hear a thing. I think it just slowly sunk until it rested on all my planters and racks of plants. I didn't have one casualty, it was crazy. I hope having all this happen now means that you won't have anything buy sunny skies for the next ten years!

  14. Just...GOOD GRIEF!!!!

  15. OH the baby is beautiful!!
    And you are right, is is just stuff...albeit BIG PITA (I love that acronym, Bliss) stuff. We kept wishing that hail would get us a new roof. Hope our crazy Minnesota weather skips you next have had enough.

  16. This deserves a Netflix Special!

    But you have to include the interviewed lady in the wet, wonky PJs... you know, for realism...

    Goodness... but what a sweet cliff hanger at the very end...

  17. I feel bad Bliss, I was snickering while reading this post. You may want to fly to Jersey and belt me. couldn't help it because you are a great storyteller. I had all these visuals going thro ugh my brain.

    Who knew soft hail or hard hail??? I remember I just came home with my brand new car and John and I went for a ride. We rarely get hail and BAM the skies opened and my car was getting pelted.

    I pulled over and went into some trees for cover. I guess from reading this was oft hail, no damage.

    It's helpful to get it out of your systems at times unfortunately, you have to go back and face the same old S..t


  18. Forgot, at least the sky paid another visit and dropped that bundle of joy


  19. Oh for Crisis Sake! I won't even attempt any comments about weather we have and haven't had up here! 1. The baby is gorgeous; 2. Glad everyone is safe; 3. You're invited to drive up and stay over, for a night of drinking and commiserating ... SERIOUSLY, whenever ya need to get away :D

  20. AND the invitation extends to BOTH of you!!!

  21. my oh my! What a beautiful baby! Happy the stork wasn't bothered by all that weather!
    ps so thankful that the men folk had walked away from that truck.

  22. OMG! I had to laugh with you. No one would believe it just keeps on coming if they hadn't lived through it. I thought we were targets when both my husband and I were hit from behind by people on cell phones this summer, but you have a big bulls eye on your house too. Hope it gets, I'm not saying the rest of that saying.

  23. Where do I start? Thank the heavens I wasn't reading this up in bed next to my sleeping hunk... Oh my, tears filled my eyes as I laughed -sadly at your unfortunate experiences. I'd like to recommend getting rid of your off spring, I'd guesstimate 75% of your issues dealt with them so just be done with them already-except the one who gave you your beautiful granddaughter-she's a keeper! Second, no idea where you live, but put the For Sale sign up already! If you're truly attached, build a gigantic garage for all them vehicles! Good golly! Take yourself on vacation while your roof is being replaced! Hang in there chickie-the sun will come up tomorrow .

  24. That little bundle of joy negates everything, for sure, but a nice venting session was definitely deserved. Can't believe the size of that hail!!!


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