Sunday, August 31, 2008

This and That

I guess I am officially on stay-cation. Or maybe that won't happen until midnight Monday night.

Of course, Gustav is headed straight for my hometown in Louisiana, so it's kind of a strange feeling to think of being on vacation when so many of my friends and family are facing the threat of disaster. Everyone remembers Katrina, but the big hurricane in my memory is Andrew, who tore through Baton Rouge back in 1992. It was no picnic, being without electricity and water for I-don't-remember-how-long. I just hope and pray Mr. Hugh can take care of himself--my mom is in North Carolina and Mr. Hugh is in Louisiana, and my mom is the big contingency-planner of the two.

Speaking of prayers ... I have always thought it so odd that we pray that God will make the food nourish our bodies, particularly when we're about to eat pizza, or, like last night at the Old Time Mountain Music Jam, potato chips and cake and pie and brownies. Seems a more apt prayer would be, "Thank you, Lord, for these yummy foods, and for miraculous bodies that can digest this crap for years before it kills us."

Did I just write "crap" in my blog post? In the context of a prayer? Oops!

Did anyone see the LSU game yesterday? I saw it in bits and pieces. We were in the man cave (yes, our house has a man cave), and the Hubster was in charge of the clicker (as all Hubsters are), and his beloved Ohio Buckeyes were playing at the same time. So I watched back-and-forth clicking between games for a while, then, as both of our teams were stomping their opponents, and since I'm not all that interested in football anyway, I decided to go for a 4-mile run. So I did.

Remember George? Poor, neglected George? Deborah and I counted the other day, and I've had eight piano lessons since January, and the majority of those have been "practice lessons," where I practice and she does stuff around the house and gives me suggestions here and there. "Practice lessons" are what we have when I haven't practiced enough at home. So it's been a horrible year for piano, it has.

Now that I'm on stay-cation, I'm going to do some practicing. I groan inwardly at picking up on the same old things I started playing back in the spring ... even though I haven't practiced them much, I still have that feeling of being in a rut, since they are not difficult pieces and I never expected to still be working on them five and six months later. Oh well, such is life when piano is just one of a million things fighting for your attention.

I've been reading a good bit. I read Gone with the Wind for the first time. Just finished it the other day. Now I suppose I'll watch the movie, which I've never seen in its entirety. I enjoyed the book, though I was pretty ready for it to end once Scarlett married Rhett. It wasn't as interesting after that.

Anyway, I have now become a little more culturally literate than I was previously. Congratulations to me.

I read somewhere that no one reads long blog posts. I also read that no one reads blogs that aren't updated regularly. So I'm assuming no one is going to read this, except for my usual four readers. (Hello, four faithful readers! You know who you are! Two of you are in California, and two are in North Carolina, and ... oh, I guess I have more than I thought, if Donna and Mrs. Shirley are still reading it ...)

(Update: OK, so I have more than four readers. There's one in Florida and one more in North Carolina. And one in Georgia. (A least, I think she's in Georgia.) That makes seven, count 'em, SEVEN readers. Who knew?)

(Update: And I have a reader in Chicago! I feel so ... so popular!)

Have a lovely Labor Day weekend, everyone.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday

Hello, friends! It's so nice to check in with my four readers every now and then. Here's what's going on in my blissfully boring life:

1. I love my new house. I love the fact that I'm a stone's throw from work. I love having a screened-in porch. I love having central air. I feel so spoiled with my central air. It's so nice to live in a house where the humidity is never, ever more than 80%.

2. George is getting tuned today! Don't tell the Hubster. We are broke (two house payments will do that to you), but I have some cash on hand and it's enough to pay the piano tuner.

3. Beau the Cat was outside all night. I called him and called him and called him last night and tried to entice him by shaking the Whisker Lickins jar, but he wouldn't come in. Then he was waiting by the door this morning. When I let him in, he ran to his food bowl and made a pig of himself. Didn't even say, "Thank you, Mommy, for letting me in." Didn't even say "Meow." Kids today.

4. I've been running, but not a lot. I've been very tired lately. I guess all the emotional stress of closing on the house, then moving, took its toll.

5. Life is good. We don't have TV or Internet yet, so I'm missing the Olympics and the news, but life is still good. Hub and I have a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard (OK, the bed). And a very happy piano who is going to be tuned today. It doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Home

We've moved into the new house but won't have internet access until tomorrow. Meanwhile, I've been unpacking boxes and cleaning and sitting out on my front porch with the cats. Pretty good life I'm leading these days. More later. Just wanted to check in and let y'all know that, YES, we've made the move. Finally!

It is good to live in Work Village.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

WE ARE HOMEOWNERS!

We closed on the house!



The nice kitchen is now mine!



I'm a happy girl. No more cuteness for me! :)

Is Today the Day?

Hubster is confident.

"I asked the lender, 'Is there anything, anything at all, that can get in the way of our closing at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday?' The lender said 'no.' Wifey, he's confident that nothing will stop us this time."

"He was confident on Monday," I replied. "Then again on Tuesday. Then yesterday, he all but swore up and down that we would close at 3 in the afternoon."

"But this time is different."

Whatever. I'll believe it when I see the signed papers.

We spent some time at the house--the one we want to buy--yesterday. The only sense of ownership I have right now is of George, who has already been living there for a week.

"Where do you want to keep your silverware?" my mom asked. "And your coffee pot? And your dishes?"

"I don't want to think about it," I said. "I'm not going to mentally or emotionally move into this house until I know I can move into it physically as well."

I'm not usually such a pessimist. It's been a rough week.

But still, today might be the day. I sure hope so, because the movers are coming tomorrow!

P.S. If you enjoyed my previous post, be sure and check it out again. I've been updating it like crazy and have added a beautiful picture to boot.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Madness Continues

The lender says, "Jump through this hoop."

So I start to jump, but then he says, "Whoops, not that hoop. This hoop. Over here."

So I try to get a running start and am just taking flight, when ...

"Oh, wait. It's the first hoop. Here, I'll move it for you so it's closer."

"Thank you," I say meekly, stumbling over my own feet and I head back for the first hoop. I jump ... and trip over the hoop. I'm so tired from jumping through hoops that I apparently do not have the energy to jump through any more.

The lender laughs. "But there are still more hoops! The next one is ... at your bank! An hour away!"

(Horserace music begins.)

"Hurry! Go to the bank! Get there before they close and put all the hoops away!"

I start running. I run and run and run. Then ...

"Just kidding! The hoop is really over here. I promise, this is the very last hoop! Really!"

I jump. I sail through. Before I land, I see another hoop. It's too far away ... no way will I be able to clear it on this jump.

"Just one more hoop!" says the lender. "Just one more! You can do it!"

Can anyone guess what I'd like to do with those stupid hoops?

Update: I just talked to the lender. Guess what he said.

"Remember that bank hoop? You need to jump through it! Hurry! Hurry! Go! Go! Go!"

"Um," I say, "The bank closes at 5:00. It's 4:45 right now. The bank is 30 minutes away. There's no way. And it doesn't open until 9:00 tomorrow."

So I'm sitting here in my cubicle and I can't stop crying. I hate this.

Update #2: The lender has called back. There will be a hoop waiting for me at 9:00 tomorrow. We're going to close tomorrow afternoon ... supposedly.

Update #3: So I stopped by the realtor on the way home and he got to see me cry. And wail. And stamp my foot. Then I came home.

Hubster said I am cute when I'm angry. If that's the case, must be an absolute knockout today.

Update #4: The Next Day: I'm probably not as cute as I was yesterday, but I must still be pretty darn cute.

Yesterday afternoon, the lender said, "I know of a bank that has a hoop you can jump through. It's on your way from your old house to Work Village!"

I replied, "But that hoop may not work for me. I don't have an account at that bank."

Realtor says, "Oh, it will work for you. Believe me. I've talked to the person who will help you. She'll be expecting you."

So I shrugged while he blindfolded me and told me to bend over and said OK.

This morning I showed up at said bank, looking for hoops. The lady holding the hoop was very nice, only she said ...

"Sure, you can jump through this hoop. But see, you have to jump through these other hoops first. Your lender said you were planning to jump through these other hoops. But I can't give you the big hoop until you've made it through all these others."

"But ..." I said, "Why can't I just go to my bank? I have an account there. They won't make me jump through all the pre-hoops."

"Oh, you should go to your own bank," said the Nice Hoop Lady. "Why did you come here anyway?"

"Because Lender said you had a special hoop just for me, and that you would hold my hand as I jumped through it."

"Well, I would ... but there are all these other ..."

"OK," I said. "Thank you."

So I went to my bank. They held the hoop down nice and low and I skipped right through it. It only took a half-hour.

I'm sure there are a million more hoops to jump through. My legs are getting tired. I hope this thing gets "squared away" (as my father would say) this afternoon as planned.

Update #5: Nope. Not today. I think I have reached untold levels of cuteness. I may even be cuter than the Hideaway Cat by now. I never dreamed it possible.





Update #6: I just asked the Hubster if I would ever be as cute as Hideaway. He said "no, never." Oh well. I tried!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Today is Closing ... Supposedly

I have my doubts. I think our lender is more focused on getting everything done at lightning speed than in providing quality service to the buyer (me), who is getting ready to part with a large sum of money this afternon.

I have never felt so out of the loop in my life. It seems the realtor, the lender, and the attorney all know what's going on. But nobody tells me anything.

I worked in a mortgage loan department at a bank for several months before I started writing my hiking guide. That was back in the days when interest rates were around 4% and people were buying and refinancing like crazy. I know what a madhouse it can be, getting all those loans taken care of, getting all the paperwork ready in time. Even then, I felt sorry for the poor buyers.

OK, I'll stop stressing now. I need to get to work anyway.

Update: Closing has been postponed an hour. Not all the paperwork is in.

I hate being stressed. Stress is no fun. If people would do their jobs right, fewer people in this world would be stressed.

Update #2: The lender screwed up. No closing today. Maybe no closing tomorrow. "Maybe by the end of the week."

Only one time in my life, before today, had I ever been so mad that I could feel my hair standing on end. I had to come home from work--that's an hour drive--to get some documents ... that it turned out we didn't need.

So here I am at home. Ho-hum. I really don't feel like driving A WHOLE HOUR back to work, since I've already been on the road for TWO HOURS today.

Will we close this week? I sure hope so. The carpet-cleaner company is supposed to show up Wednesday, and the movers are showing up first thing Friday morning.

So frustrating.

Update #3: So, the lender got confirmation from the VA that they've received the documents we sent (yes, the ones I didn't need to drive home to get). Said lender is going to call me ASAP once the VA calls to tell them they've processed everything. That will take 24 to 48 hours, "but we'll try to get it done today." Since it's 5:16 p.m. and I haven't heard any more from the lender, I'm assuming it will be done within the next 20-44 hours.

What a waste of my time, effort, and gasoline today has been. So let's focus on the good things that happened today.

1. More time at home = more quality time with the cats
2. Editing at Panacea is much nicer than editing in my cubicle
3. Lender's fees: WAIVED!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Some Things I'll Miss after We Move


Create your own word clouds at Wordle.net.
Hat tip: Ms. George

Packing for the Big Week Ahead

For the four of you who still read this blog, I have big news: We close on the house this week! We move this weekend! (We still haven't sold the old house yet ... it'll happen. Someday.)

We've been packing all weekend. We still have a lot of work to do, but the majority of the packing is done. I can't believe how many boxes it's taken.



I'll be so glad when we're moved in. My life has been on hold for too long. I've been away from piano, writing, my e-friends, reading, and baking for months and months and months. I've barely even written in my journal--and when I do, I'm generally fantasizing about being able to step outside my door and go on a four-mile run, after writing for two hours and before going to work.

I will practice George in the evenings, after dinner, which I will have cooked because I'll have had time. I still plan to spend my lunch hours during the weekdays practicing on Xan the Grand. I haven't been there in weeks, thanks to a new scheduling issue that will disappear once I live in Work Village.

See? I've started fantasizing again.

I need to quit fantasizing. I need to get back to packing. The boxes are waiting for me.



Dan had to go to work today. So I guess that leaves Beau to help me pack. As much as he loves testing out the boxes, I'm afraid Beau won't be much help today.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Are Other People this Happy?

I just wonder. I feel like I'm walking on air when I'm with my Hubster. Do other married couples feel this way? I never dreamed I could be so happy.