2020 Happiness Project Weeks #19-21

Blue and Gold New Year Social Media Post

Hello My Dear Darling Friends!

Just like that, we are already nearly halfway through the month of May!  These past 3 weeks have been a little stressful, but also very productive.  Remember how two weeks ago I was upset about the fact that our water ran out for a 5th time?!?!  Well, 17 days later our renters txted us to let us know that the water system was making a strange noise.  Sure enough the water ran out a 6th time.  I felt upset, but was not surprised because they had spent hours doing their laundry a few days ago.  So we ordered a water delivery for a 6th time which cost us $150.

I want to specify and say that washing hands, washing dishes, showering, bathing, flushing the toilet, and doing reasonable amounts of laundry is just fine. But, when your water system depends on rainwater (which is free) it is not a good idea to let the kids play in the sprinkler for 45 minutes, or to wash your car once a week, or stand with the hose washing legos for 40 minutes. Also, leaving the hose slowly dripping for 2 months will also drain the water.

It has been a little dry, but we are still getting a daily rain and usually you try to use water accordingly (carefully).  I am glad that they have their own house now.  My boyfriend cleaned the house on Thursday afternoon and packed up the car and insisted that we go on a mini vacation.  Hawaii is still under quarantine and practicing social distancing and we figured this would be a safer time to go anywhere.

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It has been months since we have been near a sandy beach.  Most of the beaches are still closed to the public, but we were able to quickly find a deserted beach.

We left the cats fully supplied and were hoping that our friend would be able to feed them, but we didn’t hear back from him.  We ended up asking our renter to watch our cats for 2 days since she agreed to return the favor after I watched her cats for almost a week in January.  I wasn’t surprised to see her taking large loads out of our washer and dryer when we got home.  As of this afternoon, those renters are finally moved out!

I wrote the above paragraphs about a week ago and 2 days after they were moved out we were already almost out of water a 7th time. I just have to say that 5,000 gallons of water should last more than 12 days. Before those renters, we never ran out of water even in the midst of a summer drought. I know I ranted a lot, but that has been causing a lot of unnecessary stress lately. We are good landlords and I am not upset as much about filling the water as I am about all the little contradicting lies they would tell us over and over again.

Right after they gave us the keys back we received a txt asking how they would receive their deposit. Back in March we made a very clear deal that if they left the bedframe that they built (we were trying to buy it from them) and we didn’t have to return their ($450 deposit) then in exchange they would not have to pay April’s rent ($900.) I was there when my partner proposed it to our renter and he also spoke with her partner about it and he agreed. They waited until the 5th of April to txt us and let us know that they still wanted to do the bedframe deal in exchange for April’s rent. In the txt she omitted the part about the deposit and we never responded to the text. Instead we talked with them in person about it and they said it was a good deal.

I was honestly shocked when we received that question about the deposit and we said, “Before the text we specified it was the bedframe and the deposit.” She said, “At one point you were saying it was worth that much between supplies and time spent building. Oh well, we don’t want to waste time so we will just come tomorrow and get the bed and Venmo 350 for April rent. The kids will be excited to have their loft back! We actually predicted at the time you guys were going to go back on the deal that’s why we specifically put it in writing. It’s funny!”

We said, “We just had a misunderstanding. I’m sorry if you think we are intentionally going back on a deal, but its just the stars not aligning. I believe there was a miscommunication between multiple links, but if that’s how you feel half rent is 450 send it first.”

My partner and I both felt a little shocked that we were having this interaction at all. It was a very clear deal that we had confirmed multiple times. It honestly felt kind of scammy and really yucky.

After that she said that it was disappointing, but they would pick up their trash in the morning (they had left 25 bags of trash and recycle under the house and the lease says that tenants are responsible for their own trash removal.) We said thank you and let her know that we moved the trash to the front to make it easier.

We finally got a resolution by the end of the night she said: “Cool thanks. I’m bummed that this bed transaction ever took place because I fell like it’s destroyed a friendship. We are very strapped for cash and we are extra bummed over the lost in translation bed deal. Sorry that this is all turning out to be icky. I hope you realize that we are not people you need to worry about screwing you over or stealing from you or anything crazy. This is now behind us and life is all good. Thanks for giving us an amazing sanctuary to share with our children. “

Additionally, they did not disclose to us until after they signed the lease agreement that they had 2 cats ( and adopted a 3rd one while they were here.) We told them it was fine for their cats to be here and we did not charge any pet deposits. Overall, I feel like we have been very nice, fair, and went above and beyond to treat them well. We repaired and resolved all issues, always brought them boxes of fresh fruit whenever we got some for ourselves and were thoughtful.

It has now been just under a week since they completely moved out and I am still upset about the fact that we have barely had any water left all week (because they must have used it non-stop during those two days that we were out of town.) Thankfully, we have been able to conserve and make the water stretch. I really don’t want to buy another $150 water delivery unless we have to. There are many people in our neighborhood who have large families and the same size rainwater catchment as we do and I haven’t seen them getting water deliveries.

I’m sorry that I went on and on about this, but I really needed to get it off of my chest. We have been landlords for the past 5 years and most of the time it is not a bad experience. This was a good educational experience for us and we are going to invest in more water efficient washing machines. Additionally, we have made revisions to the lease agreement and we know that the space is not suited well for more than 2 people. If it was a vacation rental, it would probably be fine to have a family in the space, but long term 2 people would be more optimal.

It is honestly kind of ironic that May’s area of focus was supposed to be on kindness. I felt like I was not feeling as kind as I could have. I am usually a very good natured person, but there were so many renter related issues that added so much stress.


“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others, for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

-Audrey Hepburn

  • Be Present. I am trying, but it has honestly been kind of challenging to be fully present amidst the stress. We did go on that 2-day vacation and it took me a while to compress from the stress.
  • Be generous. Also, usually very generous too, but it was hard to feel a sense of generosity when they would ignore a txt from us for days. She had been offering to let us borrow their vacuum and when we asked to borrow it she kept forgetting to bring it from their new house and once she finally did bring it it was a broken vacuum. My partner had heard her bragging on the phone about how they got a brand new shop-vac that worked so well and they brought us the broken vacuum.
  • Don’t gossip. This month has felt gossipy, but really I have just been talking about what we have been going through for the past 9 months.
  • Write letters. I wanted to write letters and have penpals and I have one so far, but I do not currently have a mailing address yet, but once I do I will be writing those letters.
  • Give back. I’m trying ❤

So there you have it. I hate the fact that I allowed all of that to destroy my peace for the last month, but that is what it did. In the future, I am going to do my best to not let things like this get me so far down.

We have been doing lots of amazing things lately, like gardening, building dome greenhouses, planting my dream garden oasis, cooking good food, feeding ALL the chickens, I also got the ohana table of my dreams, and our later adventure happened a few days ago when we adopted 50 egg laying quails!

We have decided to move into the backhouse and it has been an absolute game-changer. This house encompasses that whole tropical island experience. We have panoramic windows everywhere with the most beautiful views and a very nice bathtub and under the house space. These houses are definitely not mansions, but they have more space than we need and we have found our slice of paradise here.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting me. I am sorry that there have been so many gaps between my posts. How are you doing and what is new and exciting in your world? Please comment below to share. I would love to reconnect!

❤ Alana

4 thoughts on “2020 Happiness Project Weeks #19-21

  1. When you first shared your happiness challenge I wrote down a bunch of it in my monthly planner. I haven’t been following along like I had hoped but it’s nice to read your posts as a reminder. I’ve been working on creating a garden too. Take care and enjoy the beauty around you!!

    1. Hi Tanya! It makes me happy to know that you enjoy these happiness challenge posts. It has been kind of a strange time for blogging lately and I have not been following my monthly goals and weekly posts as closely as I would like, but it is hard to be inside when things are so beautiful outside and the garden calls 🙂
      What are you growing in your garden? Thank you for stopping by and I hope you are staying happy, healthy, and safe.

      ❤ Alana

      1. I have veggies, herbs, and flowers planted. Love to keep is easy and try to grow something new each year.

      2. That is wonderful and such a great goal to plant something new each year. I am still fairly new to gardening, but am loving it. I just read your post about lettuce and your salad greens look so healthy!

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