I have, in hand, a set of keys, along with a signed addendum permitting me full access to the new house (insert sound of me tooting a party horn).
Escrow hasn't officially closed yet, but it will the second that last piece of paper comes in. What's been missing is a document from the seller's bank proving that she paid off her loan for the house way back when. I won't name the bank, but for story telling purposes, let's just refer to them as SmellsLargo.
The escrow company tried to get SmellsLargo to overnight the document, and they refused, even when the escrow company offered to pay for it. SmellsLargo also refused to have the document faxed to a local SmellsFargo for the seller or the escrow company to pick up. They only send these things via snail mail. Nice, eh? We're all hoping it comes in by Friday afternoon. Once that form comes in, this will be allllllll mine, baby....
That would be the seller's crap that she left in the garage that apparently she has no intention of removing (she's already turned in all of her keys and security gate codes, etc etc).
More nice, eh?
I find it totally ironic that since November I've been slowly purging my own home in preparation of this moment, only to arrive at new empty homeowner bliss to find a pile of crap with a note on top that says "Salvation Army" with their telephone number scribbled on it.
Now before y'all get in a twist in the comments, I'm not fretting it, okay? So neither should you. She's elderly, and she's nice, she has a broken hip, and if it was you, you'd be happy I wasn't complaining about it, too. I'll deal with it. I will even deal with the computer desk and the dresser on the other side of the garage that didn't make it into the photo LOL.
My agent was totally willing to pursue the removal of the stuff with the seller and her agent, and she's such a sweetie that she even offered to handle removal herself. To be honest with you, because I have been making almost weekly trips to the local Goodwill Donation Station while emptying out my own house, I'm quite used to all this. One more car load aint gonna kill me.
But before I haul it off...anyone in need a TV tray or a toaster oven???
Thursday, May 31, 2007
I have, in hand, a set of keys, along with a signed addendum permitting me full access to the new house (insert sound of me tooting a party horn).
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
So meanwhile....I figured I'd post some photos from the trip to keep my mind off things:
Inside the fire stations is the museum of the history of Ft.Worth, which we spent some time trolling. I love learning about the local history whenever I visit a city.
I saw this building perched on a hill and TheMostImportantGuy drove around until we found it. We didn't get to go inside, but if I'm ever back in the area, I would love to. Here's info about it.
Mouse....just for you:
An R2-D2 mailbox. I love it.
Taken from the freeway...
Me playing dress up.
I was going to just settle for a picture of me wearing it, but when TheMIG's eyes lit up with that big of smile, it had to come home with me.
Oh, the things he could get me to do with that look. I shudder at the possibilities.
Update: got a call from the realtor while I was uploading photos.
It looks like I will get keys today, and paperwork will be signed allowing me access to the property.
Apparently escrow could close without this one missing document from the seller, but both my realtor and the escrow company advise against it (rightly so) as it could come back to haunt me when I sell the house later.
As incentive for the seller to get her paperwork in order, she will be held responsible for the proration of any/all/everything until the escrow officially closes. And she doesn't get a dime out of the escrow account until it closes.
I think it's going to be okay. I should get keys this afternoon, and I can keep all of my appointments this week with people I have coming in to change things before I start moving stuff in.
I'm excited!! *smile*
But guarded. *frown*
But I'm not flipping out (which is unusual for me), and the tension that I do have will go away once everything is finalized.
And now, we return to our previously scheduled program:
Purging and Packing
brought to you by our sponsor--one SeriouslyClutteredHome.
Monday, May 28, 2007
I know you guys know this, but:
This is not, and has never been, a knitting blog....I just write about what's going on...and even though there hasn't been a whole lot of knitting going on, here is actualy time-stamped proof that I actually do get needles in my hands every once in awhile:
Socks On A Plane (DWF to OAK)
Also on my needles is the Urban Bubble Scarf (the scarf is almost fully knit up, but before I bind off, I want to felt the test swatch to see what happens, and then use that info to decide how much longer I should make the actual scarf before felting).
Hey, it's even in Project Spectrum colors...cut me some slack!
See? I am knitting, although only just a little.
Folks, I am in the process of purging my house of 9 years of crap that I'd like to say just materialized here while I was sleeping (it's the little elves that come at night, I just know it!!). I started purging in November, just because I was ready to change my existing home life, but now that I've decided to move, it is required. There is no way in hell one item that I don't want to live with in my new home is getting onto that moving truck.
Decluttering, the way that I am approaching it for me at least, has been a long a slow process. Every day a do a little area, a drawer, a cupboard, whatever....and just about once a week I go make a donation of stuff at Goodwill. It became very clear to me at the beginning of the declutter that my life was already full, and doing the small decluttering sessions meant that I had to elimate one other activity to make things balance out. There needed to be an even exchange of time/energy flowing in/out.
At first I cut back on writing blogposts. Hated that. Felt like I'd lost a little bit of myself. Then I cut back on reading other people's blogs. Hated that, too. Felt like I'd lost a little bit of everyone else. I tried giving up washing dishes, but that didn't work. So in the end, I put down the knitting needles. I'm not going to like: It has sucked. But I haven't hated going without it in the way I hated missing other things I tested giving up.
So until I am purged, moved, unpacked, and have some new systems in place at the other end that will keep me from cluttering up again....I'm not doing much knitting. For now, instead of knitting, I need to be dealing with stupid shit like this:
That would be seven mustards, people.
Sure, they are all different flavors, so you can't exactly call them duplicates (standard, dijon, honey dijon, sweet-hot, wasabi, chinese, grainy)...and sure, I'm a trained chef, aos I know all about the importance of having just the right ingredient and the subtleties of the variation....but I can't even tell you the last time I have put mustard into anything even to make a vinaigrette or something!!!
I wish I could say that I have this problems with just mustard. Multiply my mustard issues with just about every other thing in this house. I have too much of everything.
Look. Five jars of pickles. FIVE.
I'm scared to death to start working on the cupboard with the oils an vinegars and other various liquid seasonings. I might end up brining myself or something.
This house is full of more stuff than I will ever use. Ever. And going through it and freeing myself of it all is totally worth sacrificing my love of fiber for a few more weeks.
To my knitting readers: I will be back, yarn and needles in hand more often. PROMISE.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
We're in Texas, all right.
We haven't seen too much of it yet. After we checked in at the hotel, and set up base-camp, it was about 8pm. We drove over to a little district called the Forth Worth Stockyards, poked around window shopping and then stopped at the bar pictured above, for some liquid animal ass:
While we were waiting to depart from Oakland airport, a fellow passenger suggested that if we liked Mexican food, we should check out Joe T. Garcia's. He said it was an institution. After a little sluething, we found out it was only a few blocks from where we were, so we headed on over.
The waitress came to our table, asked us if we wanted to start with drinks (yes), and did we want the cheese enchiladas or chicken or beef fajitas.
TheMIG and I kinda looked at each other quizically, and then back at the waitresss, and asked for menus.
Nope, no menus. So which would you like?
Well, he's vegetarian (to which she says, "cheese enchiladas, bean tacos"), and I'll take the chicken.
(did you ever see the Saturday Night Live sketch with John Belushi, where no matter what you'd ordered he'd yell out "Cheeseburger Cheeboorger Cheeboorger. Chips--no fries. And coke--no pepsi."?? It was the mexican version of that).
Anyhow, she came back with our margaritas, and she explained that for dinner they serve 1500 people a night. The place was packed even when we left around 10-ish. They had 3 big parking lots, and all were full. Because of the volume of food they need to produce, they keep the menu limited. And it doesn't ever rotate. Enchiladas. Fajitas. That is it. It comes with nachos, guacamole, rice and beans. They've been in business for 35 years, and it is 5th generation family owned....and the food was really good. Mariachi guys, too. Yay.
After dinner, I wanted to head over to Billy Bob's Texas, but TheMIG looked a little tired (he's actually still alseep and has been so for 11 hours now. I'd tell you it's because of the king sized Sleep Number bed in the hotel room, but truth be told, if he is given the option, he will always sleep 10-12 hours. I don't know how he does it). We might try to go to Billy Bob's tonight after the wedding reception, though. The locals told us it was more fun on Saturday nights anyhow. Hope we make it. I want to try to ride the bronco machine.
I'm always one for a good challenge, but something tells me you might do better with two legs for that.
In other news, I totally kicked ass on that mondo To-Do list I posted the other day. I accomplished everything I needed to (plus 4 or 5 things that were added), and I didn't even blow an emotional gasket.
Somewhere in the middle of everything, MyFavoriteKid took first place at the District Level Science Fair, plus he did three runs of his school play. I am so proud of him.
The only thing NOT going so great is the closing of the escrow. I have done everything I am supposed to do, inlcuding spending more money in one place than I probably ever will in my entire life...but the seller has failed to produce one important piece of paper. It's the one that shows that she owns the house outright with no liens, and is therefore able to sell it to me. The escrow company told her agent to produce it weeks ago, and he failed to give her that message. I'm trying to be irritated with her agent and not her, but it's getting a little a difficult.
See, when she fell and fractured her hip, her agent asked for a 10 day extension on the closing date. I had a pretty good feeling that 10 days was not enough of an extenstion, and I suspected that they'd come back asking for another one, which I did not want to deal with. I called the seller in the hospital and told her that I was in no rush to get into the new house (because I'm letting MyFK finish out the school year anyhow), so she could have as much time as she needed....but that she needed to pick a date and stick to it, because I have to hire contractors to do the ramp and the floors and don't want to keep resetting the dates. She said the 10 days was enough. And then later complained to all parties involved that I was making her get out next Tuesday, and that I was doing that because I needed to get into the house right away.
I'll blame it on her pain meds.
But see, now I DO have contractors lined up for next week to come in for estimates because I'm supposed to have keys in my hand Tuesday morning when I get back. Instead, I'm getting a call that escrow is going to be delayed because of her incomplete paperwork, and we're not quite sure for how long yet, because she can't produce the document. And now I'm pissed.
Not pissed enough to ruin my trip, or my good mood, or begin stressing out (thank god I dont have to be out of my current house right away or this would be getting ugly), but now I'm in the state of having a very low tolerance for people who can't get their shit together. Escpecailly when I just spent several days busting my ass to get my own shit together.
Unfortunately, since I got the news of the escrow delay, anyone else who has crossed my path that does not have their shit together....well...let's just say I've been doing the "misdirected anger" thing.
If you dropped the ball on something, this aint the day to tell me.
And now, I'm going to go wake up TheMIG and get him to take me to the Waffle Barn.
Monday, May 21, 2007
* Teaching dance class (x2), one of those being a sort of student performance night (a showing of works in progress)
Posted by MsAmpuTeeHee at 9:59 AM
Saturday, May 19, 2007
My apologies to anyone who got to this post early while it was still a difficult read/editorial nightmare. Blogger, in all of it's greatness, with it's new "autodraft save" feature, published the post while it was still it's in very messy rough draft stage. It's still not perfect a perfect post...they never are...but here ya' go:
Ages ago, I wrote about MyFavoriteKid starting guitar lessons. Being that his dad (my ex) is a bass player and was responsible for buying MyFK the guitar, the lessons were supposed to have been a father/son thing. Of course, it only took about a week before I got roped into being the one who did all of the shuttling to and from class. Since it was only a 30 minutes lesson, there was no point in my trying to go anywhere, so I ended up hanging out on the studio couch during MyFK's time there, listening and usually knitting (yes, I still knit...I'll get to that one of these days). I am so glad it worked out that I got to be there for those lessons, because in doing so, I got to learn a few things myself, and I got to meet one really awesome dude.
Doug is amazing. Besides being an extremely talented musician, he's also an extraordinary teacher. I am well aware that just because someone can do something well or is an expert in their field, this does not mean that they can teach it well. Teaching requires an entirely different skillset, and in my (not so humble) opinion, it takes an even additional skillset to be able to teach to a multi-level student base...and then an even different set of skills to be able to teach to kids. Well, Doug has proven himself beyond capable of doing all of these things.
Week after week I sat there doing the knitting-and-eavesdropping-trying-to-be-invisible-even-though-I'm-sitting-right-here thing, and was consistently amazed at what I saw. Doug had this way of talking to MyFk that wasn't like he was talking to a kid, it was like he was talking to another musician. He never got frustrated with MyFK when he had to repeat things a kajillion times (which was often), but didn't let MyFK off the hook, either. He just kept at things until they were picked up.
One of my favorite Doug moments came while MyFk was learning a basic blues riff. Doug was jamming along with him, and every time MyFK missed a beat, his inclination would be to start over a the beginning. Doug just kept on playing and yelled out, "Time waits for no one, my friend!" I totally cracked up at that.
The other thing I'd hear often during lessons was Doug saying, "I saw that!" (or some version of that) which he would say every time MyFK would make a mistake, but try (and even sometimes succeed) at making a quick recovery. Doug never said it in a nitpicky way, though. For me, when I am learning something new, and I get corrections like that from the person that teaching me, I feel like the teacher is present, I feel like I am seen, and I feel like the bar is being raised high for me to do my absolute best without skating by....but I feel supported by my teacher at the same time.
Have y'all noticed yet that there is a lot of "past tense" going on here in this post??
Well, as it turns out, Doug has become extremely busy on a professional level. A few weeks back, he decided to retire from teaching privately. MyFK was incredibly sad. So was I actually, and my sadness sort of snuck up on me...I mean, he's not my teacher...but after a little checking in with myself, I realized that I was getting something from Doug while sitting in those lessons, too.
Doug popped me an email last week to let us know that he would be performing at Jemstock. I had to surf around a bit to figure out what the hell a Jemstock was, but as it turns out, this year it was to be an event celebrating the 20 year relationship between Ibanez guitars and one of their biggest endorsees, Steve Vai.
Now, this was going to be a BIG DEAL for me. Back in the days of two-legs, I choreographed multiple solo performances for myself that included Mr.Vai's music. I like to call my style fo choreography "Bellydance as Ritual Performance." Most of my solos are created to honor a major life transition, and as I result of processing my life through movement in this way, I develop a pretty deep relationship with the music I work with. The solos with Steve Vai's music include my celebrating my 30th birthday and being pregnant with MyFk, grieving the loss of a subsequent pregnancy, and the celebration of my graduation from culinary school.
Needless to say, I was damn excited about the notion of having an autograph moment with someone whose art has had such a tremendous impact on me. I really wanted to let him know that, and thank him. I spent the drive over to the event thinking about how on earth I'd ever be able to explain my sincere thanks succinctly in the 17 seconds of autograph time that I'd probably have with him (especially since, as we all know, I'm prone to rambling). I am also prone to getting completely starstruck and stupid, which I prove time and time again, the last big case of that happening at the YarnHarlot's book signing (I become such a dufus when I have brushes with greatness). I was also trying to be a good mommy about this....I didn't want to suck up the 17 seconds or myself, because helloooo...the whole reason or going to this thing in the first place was for MyFK to check out the event, and if he was going to meet Steve Vai, I needed to make sure he got to have his own brush with fame (I still kinda hogged it though).
Great. So now I'm realizing that I probably need to express my thanks in under 4 seconds. Hrmph. Realizing this, I began to fret. Which I suppose is a bit of a pun.
As I kept on driving to the event, I found myself thinking about the people that came up to talk to me after all of the Dandelion Dancetheater shows during the tour last summer (one-legged dancing). There were quite a few people that wanted to share with me their thoughts and feelings about what they had just witnessed...and I appreciated knowing that my dancing impacted people....but there were a few folks that actually took the time to write to me about what seeing the work had brought up for them. I was really blown away that people would actually take the time to put their feelings on paper and gift it to me. The written word is just that special to me.
So there I was, driving to Jemstock, and I realized that I needed to give a thank you card to Steve Vai. I pulled off the road, bought a blank card, and took a few minutes during a break in the day, to write a thank you card to him.. I gave it to him, and then he signed the CD that I did all of my dancing from.
I have no idea if Steve Vai will actually ever read the card or not. I kind of have this vision of it getting being left behind on the table or lost in the shuffle or completely forgotten about...but whatever. It really feels good all on its own just having written it and passing it along.
The big kick of the day though, was seeing Doug play. I hadn't seen him actually perform yet. I'd only seen him noodling around and riffing over my son's basic rythyms during lessons, and a few snips of his instructional dvds. Seeing him live totally exceeded my expectations.
sorry, I'm not geeky enough to make one of those tiled photo collages, and I couldn't pick which photo I liked best
After Doug's set, some guys hanging out near us were talking about how blown away they were by him, and one of them turned and asked MyFK if he played guitar and if he liked the set he'd just seen. I can't tell you how proud MyFK was to be able to say to the guys, "He's my teacher!" and watch their jaws kind of fall open a bit with envy.
I'm hoping Doug has the greatest of success with this next phase of his career (he's touring with Michael Schenker, and I think he's got lots of studio work, instructional peformances, endorsements, and lord only knows what else). I wish him nothing but the best. But I'm crossing my fingers that maybe some day his dust will settle and he'll resume teaching. Even if it's just the occasional lesson. We'd totally settle for scraps.
Sheeit, if he did, you might even see me picking up a guitar to see if I could get anything by osmosis ;-)
Friday, May 18, 2007
You guys are so very cute in defending my honor on the "Does-Taking-Time-Off-Make-You-A-Bad-Mommy?" thing. But seriously. No need to do that on my behalf. You are totally preaching to the choir here, kids.
I'm a (close to full time) single-mom, of an (almost) 10-year old boy, who is a bit of a drama-king, and is very high-maintennance (wonder wherever he gets that from). He's also a gemini, and I could swear sometimes that I am parenting two kids (and one is the evil twin). I know damn well that if I don't take time off to recharge the mommy battery, you'll find me either doing a really shitty job of parenting (which I am not), or over there in the corner killing the pain with strong liqueurs (which I also am not doing...although I am reserving that as an option for getting me through his teen years). When I don't take enough time for myself to power-up, I end up having days when I am "there," but not, "reallllly there," if ya' know what I mean. I try to avoid those.
Now, obviously he's my kid (although I will never follow that with, "and he can do no wrong," because he does), so telling you how great he is seems like a complete waste of words. But I'll do it anyhow. He's pretty damn great. In pretending to view him as if he were someone else's kid, I see a real good kid. He seems well-rounded...doing the absolute best he can do when he can do it, and fucking other things up royally, just like he's supposed to (I try to remember that fucking up royally is actually in his job description). MyFK's degree of well-roundedness is the measuring stick that I use for myself, in part, to make sure that I am doing a good job as a parent (and I am also doing the absolute best I can do when I can do it, and fucking up royally, just ike I am supposed to, because it is in my job description).
Oh hey...as as total aside.....remember that flight he took last weekend? My mom and dad sent him up there with their camera and they just got the photos back. MyFK took these shots of the town of Napa and the surrounding valley (dudes....this is like 10-15 minutes from our new pad...I cannot wait to go exploring).
Okay. So back to blathering on about my kid. MyFK is one great kid. He's at the top of his class, and has scored high on his district and state tests. He has pushed past his own stagefright and will be performing in the school play next week. And his Science Fair project landed him a 1st Place ribbon for his grade level, and he is moving on to the district finals next week. Good kid.
MyFK is also right on track to with his pre-teen emotional development. He is a text-book example of a tormented pre-teen, thereby fulfilling the request that MY made parents made to the universe so many years ago. This may sound familiar to some of you. It's the prayer parents send up through gritted teeth that sounds something like: "I only hope someday you become the parent of a kid just like you." You know. That one.
Well, thanks, mom. It's working.
Ok, so I suppose it's probably not only my mom's mojo that's causing this. Karma would have bit me on the rump anyhow. But mom: I know you read my blog, so do me a favor. Please. Retract. The Mojo. Just in case. (and I've already said I was sorry, but...I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry...oookay??) hahaha
MyFK is so on track to be the same pain in neck that I was, that he's already jumped on TheAngstExpress, which at age 9+3/4, seems to be leaving the station a little early. The first signs of his buying a ticket to AngstLand (and let's hope round-trip ticket...because I'm screwed if it's one-way), are in his choices of music.
I don't decide what kind of music my kid likes, nor did I ever forcefeed him certain styles of music in an attempt to preset his preferences. I have many tools in my parenting toolbox, but the big fat wrench over there is the one marked, "Pick Your Battles," and I decided very early on to conserve my energy for the big ones. For ME, what music he listens to is not a big one. Sure, I have a couple of rules about it. Nothing with parental warning stickers due to obscenity/adult content (and even that I can budge on, but I have to hear it first); if you gotta have it now, pay for it yourself,; and if I'm not in the mood, that's what headphones are for. I have similar feelings about clothing. Wear what you want, but it will be a cold day in hell before I pay for baggy-ass jeans that show off your underwear. You want a purple mohawk?? Fine. But I hope you find a job that likes your dooo because that Aquanet gets pretty expensive. I think you get the idea behind my philosopy. I'll save my energy for creating and enforcing policies about what I think (to me) are the bigger things. I'm okay with my kid being allowed to express himself through music and clothes. Maybe because I was allowed to walk out the house with big hair and spandex pants, and I really enjoyed at least having one aspect in my life I was in control of. My policy is sort of to do your absolute best in everything you do, especially your work...and while you're at it, pick up your dirty clothes and put away your breakfast dishes.
So the soundstrack for the AngstLandExpress is currently dialed into Linkin Park.
Now, I've turned my kid on to some music, for sure. I mean, this kid was never listening to Radio Disney. I'd have gone nuts. Mom was listening to Radiohead. So kid was listening to Radiohead. He liked that. He does not like everything I listen to, nor I do like everything he listens to. I didn't turn MyFK on to Linkin Park. Lucky for him, I actually LIKE them...which is cool for him because he can blast it in the car, and I'm hoping to take him to their concert this summer...but I'm sure in a trainstop or to, having your mom dig your music is going to be extremely un-cool.
MyFK found Linkin Park all on his own when he went to YouTube to watch episodes of his favorite anime, Naruto. He discovered that several people were making little music videos out of Naruto clips, set to Linkin Park tunes. Here's the first one he found. I think he watched it 458 times. I should know, because the computer is the same room as I am. Then he found more videos and decided to save up his allowance and buy the CD. Which I have also heard 458 times.
He does have a CD player is in his room, though. Here are some exerpts of Linkin Park song lyrics, just to give you an idea of what MyFK is listening to in his room when he's in there belting it out, thinking that I cannot hear him (cracks me up, especially to think I grew up doing the same thing in my own to Van Halen):
Sometimes I feel like I trusted you too well
Sometimes I just feel like screaming at myself
Sometimes I’m in disbelief I didn’t know
Somehow I need to be alone
To find myself again
My walls are closing in
(without a sense of confidence and I'm convinced that there's just too much pressure to take)
I've felt this way before
I don't know what's worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream
I don't know why I instigate
And say what I don't mean
I don't know how I got this way
I'll never be alright
So, I'm breaking the habitI'm breaking the habit Tonight
See? AngstLand, or Bust. I am fucked. That should probably have a capital F.
So the real reason I launched into this whole Linkin Park topic, actually, is beacuse they did this really cool thing this week. For one night only, and for only one showing, they aired very current live concert at select local theaters. I think footage was shot 4 days before they showed it. The showing was on the eve of the release of their new album (their first with explicit lyrics...lovely).
The show was great. Not just them, but the whole concept of seeing a concert in a theater. It wasn't exactly the whole live concert experience, of course, but you know when you are at a really big concert, and you are way back in the general admission zone, and you watch most of the concert on the big screens they have up? It was kinda of like that. It was produced in that style, so it was pretty easy to forget you were in a move theater.
yes, mom is dorky enough to have taken a picture of a movie screen for her blog
It was so much like being at an actual concert at times, that people in the audience were even yelling stuff at the screen and clapping between songs. As if the band was going to hear them. Hilarious. But it was great. I hope the trend is to produce more concerts like this and show them at these special theater events. It was very close to going to an actual concert.
Only with popcorn.
And no mosh pit.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
MyFavoriteKid was slated to spend this weekend at his dad, and actually...that's just fine by me. I'm one of those moms that thinks the best Mother's Day is the kind that she has OFF.
My perfect Mother's Day scenario:
breakfast in bed
a handmade card
a big fat hug and kiss
...followed quickly by the gift of peace and quiet.
This year it went a little different.
We celebrated with my Mom a day early, by taking her out to lunch on Saturday. After that, MyFK's Dad picked him up, so I had last night and today free to myself. MyFK went to the beach today with his Dad and Grandma, which is now becoming their annual tradition. When MyFK and his dad get back from the beach (which should be in any minute, actually) they are taking me out to dinner. How great is that??!
One time another mom told me what kind of mom she thought I was for not spending the whole entire day with my kid.
Personally, I think that this mom gets the best of both worlds.
Let me share about what we did yesterday with my folks before taking my mom out to lunch!
One day, when MyFK was visiting my parents, they took him to the local airport (general aviation/small craft/private planes) to watch the planes take off and land. This is a big deal in my family. It's totally in our blood. When I was a kid, my dad had an airplane.
Dad and I in Mexico
When MyFK and my parents were watching the planes, the three of them got to talking, and MyFK expressed that he'd really like to go up in a small plane sometime. My mom told him that she'd talk to me about it and look into it as a possible gift for his 10th birthday this June. My mom and dad went into the airport to scope things out this week, and discovered that they were giving kids free airplane rides this weekend! Can't beat free (but we did find out that they will give a one hour session for $60...30 minutes on the ground learning about the plane, and 30 minutes in the air...quite a deal).
MyFk loved it. As did we, just being on the ground and watching. What a great experience.
Apparently this organization called the EAA has a Young Eagles Progam. It's all volunteer run, and they do this event several times throughout the year in various cities.
Check it out!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I see that during the era of computer problems, I really fell off the Project Spectrum bandwagon!
Here's my attempt at getting back on it before the April/May - Greens/Yellows/Pinks totally pass me by:
This is a house in my (current) neighborhood. These folks moved in a little less than a year ago, and the very first thing they did was paint the house green. A few days later the car appeared. It makes me smile every time I pass by.
I think maybe it's part of what prepped me for living in Disney/EdwardScissorhands land....
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
So some of you have been asking about the new house.
Here she is!
(hmmm....the new inanimate objects in my life are female. innnnnteresting.)
The house is in a little town called American Canyon, which makes me feel very oddly patriotic. I guess a name like that is supposed to make you feel that way, but I still find it odd that it has that effect on me.
American Canyon is billed as the, "Gateway to Napa Valley." Because it is. When you are coming from the East Bay to spend a day winery hopping, American Canyon is the little blip you pass through on the way into wine country (if you know the area, think Marine World). Being very close to the Napa Valley, it's a region full of culinary superstars and resident foodies, which will make me very happy. American Canyon is only about 20 minutes farther north from where my current house is, so I don't believe it's going to be all that big of a deal to get back into the Bay Area or San Francisco for activities and events.
The schools in American Canyon are great, there is less crime there, there are still a few wide open spaces, it's quiet....and my house....it's accessible, and it's within my budget. It's going to be a great place for MyFavoriteKid and I to live while he gets through school. Oh. And one more big thing about the American Canyon house: it's close to my folks, whom we are really looking forward to being close to again. We've missed them!
Escrow was set to close on the 17th, but on the day of the home inspection, the homeowner took a tumble and landed herself in the hospital with a hip fracture. I am feeling sooo badly for her. Because her hospital stay is estimated to be 10 days, her agent (in all of his convertable BMW, gold chained, Hawaiian shirted, infinite wisdom), asked us for a 10 day extension.
Now, I don't know about you...but if I had lived in the same house for 16 years, and if I was planning on packing everything myself, and if I was downsizing to an apartment (so I wouldn't have a garden to tend to because I'd already fallen twice while weeding), and if I was actually LYING IN A HOSPITAL BED at the moment my realtor was proprosing an escrow extension so that I had time to get my shit together....well, I'd be asking for a whole lot more than just a measily 10 days. Just me.
here's one section of the yard that she has NOT fallen in: 3 of the 7 fruit trees (front to back: babcock peach, asian pear, and some sort of crazy grafted apple tree that grows multiple varieties simultaneously). Not pictured are two cherry trees, a lemon tree, and some species of orange that makes for good juicing. Nope, no avocados, John...and that is sad. I have an avocado tree at my current house, by my evil neighbor climbs my fence when I am not at home and steals them all ...and he's even had the audacity to tell me so.
So back to the seller and her broken hip. I had met her on the day I first toured the house, and she was also there during the inspection (her fall was later that afternoon). I really like her. Maybe she's never really injured herself before now, and maybe she really only does need just 10 more days to compensate for her 10 day hospital stay....but I think she's nuts. Ok, not nuts. Just doped up on pain meds and not thinking straight. The other times I met her, she seemed to totally have her wits about her.
I did something a little strange, being that buyers and sellers usually don't have contact during the escrow. I called the seller at the hospital to say hi. Not to talk about the house stuff, but because I happen to really like her and I am worried about her! Honestly, I think she has no sense of the scope of her injury yet. In my experience, being in rehab is a horrible measuring stick for what life will look like once you get home. I have a feeling that once she is discharged and she is hobbling around her home with a walker and trying to pack, she'll be asking for another extension. Whaddya think?
I'm actually okay with giving her a bit more time if she needs it. A bit. Although I haven't figured how much more time "a bit" is. At some point though, I am going to need to set a limit to how far out I can push my own moving date. I do need to get moved and settled in over the summer so that MyFK can get start the new school year up there...but to be honest with you, there really isn't a huge need to close escrow in May. I wasn't going to move there immediately after the closing date anyhow. My plan is to let MyFK finish out the school year where we are. I was kinda thinking we'd move during the first couple of week in July.
I figured I use the time between closing and moving to change a few things about the new house.
Like the white carpets.
I mean, really. Plush white carpet. Let's do the math:
White Carpet + Wheelchair User + 9 Year Old Boy = Stupid
I'm thinking installing wood floors are definitely in order before we even set foot in the joint.
Along with the change in flooring, I'd like to put some color on the walls. Yeah, you heard it. Color. Color color COLOR!!! As you recall, I'm forty years old and I've had either white walls or wood panelling my entire life, including the home I am in now, and I OWN it. I've had 9 years here where I could have painted the place any color I like, but I haven't.
So the closing of escrow on the new house....right now it's set to happen on the 29th. We shall see. I'm not holding my breath. But I'm also not sweating things, either. That's a switch. Usually I'd be tweaking on the not knowing. I must be getting more relaxed.
Okay. Let's get back to the uber-suburban topic.
Take a look at the house again:
It is not your normal construction home. It's a modular home. It was built almost entirely off-site, and then one fine day, it (and all it's neighbors) just sort of landed where it is. Kind of like a whole bunch of houses in Kansas got sucked up into a tornado and landed in American Canyon (except we don't have tornadoes in California, and it's not Munchkinland. But close.).
The set up for living in this community is a little different from owning your own freestanding home. The best way I can describe it is that it's more like living in a condominium complex (there is a clubhouse, and a pool, a HomeOwnersAssociation, and a monthly property fee), but all of the houses are freestanding. All of the houses here are set back the same amount of space from the street. All are painted in HOA approved colors. All have HOA approved landscaping. The neighborhood super organized...super tidy...super clean....and normally I despise this type of environment. Usually a place like this would feel manufactured and sterile to me. But there is just something so charming about this place, and I have a very difficult time articulating it. I guess it's just so far over the top dollhouse looking that it's totally working for me. I love it.
I'd gone with my agent to see homes in four different neighborhoods before narrowing my house hunting down to this particular community, and the environment felt so contrary to who I am, that I was needing more analysis about why I loved it there so much. I had a discussion with TheMostImportantGuy about it, and he said, "You like it because it's like Disneyland."
The Disneyland moniker became a major point of reference when talking to friends and family about my house hunting. For weeks, if I went and looked at a new home anywhere in the American Canyon, they'd ask, "is the house you looked at in Disneyland?"
Why yes, Walt...it sure is.
Except my mom. Mom saw something entirely different than Disneyland. She came with my realtor and I one day to look at a couple of places, and we weren't 30 seconds in the gate when she got all excited because it looks like the town where Edward Scissorhands lives.
And personally, I have no problem living in a Tim Burton movie.
But I'm still calling it Disneyland.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
The new laptop.
She hath arrived.
I got her Wednesday, but being the non-geek that I am, I was afraid to even hit the power switch without The(QuiteGeeky)MostImportantGuy looking at her first.
I just this very moment I am realizing the laptop is a she. That is interesting.
So I've been tinkering with her since Thursday, and it took me until yesterday to figure out how to set up the printer and hook up the camera (which was as difficult as just plugging it in...duh).
I have gotten very used to life without the computer.
For many many weeks now, I have been using my old dino (the one with no usb ports. the one whose fan made this grinding sound that reminded me of a wet saw) to just do the absolutle bare minimum:
chat via instant messenger so as not become a complete hermit
Clearly, you all can see that I wasn't logging on to create a blogpost. Although, lord knows I tried. You only need to go a few posts back to see that I tried to reinvent the big fat blog wheel in my mind and make a commitment to post everyday...but for some reason the wet saw noise and blogging didn't go together.
I also was not reading any blogs, either.
This has been a very sad thing.
See, I thought I'd get the taptop and I'd catch up.
On Thursday, when I sat down with my shiny new toy, my bloglines reavealed that I had over 1400 posts to catch up on.
So I didnt read any Thursday.
And it was yesterday that I realized that I'd created a monster than I would run screaming from. With a task that massive to attack, I'd flee.
So I clicked a couple times until the big scary number went down to zero.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. That felt much better. Sorta. I still have this horrible feeling like my friends have been talking to me and I haven't been listening. I'm not quite sure what to do about that. I'm sorta hoping that in keeping current with everyone's new posts, that it will sorta be like watching a soap opera. That you'll turn it on after missing it for awhile, and the characters are still the same, and it's not taking too long to catch up on the story line. But the truth of the matter is that blogs I read....some of y'all have become friends. Some of you....well, we've been commenting back on forth on each other's blogs for awhile and I feel like I know ou. Some of you....I haven't met in peson, but we've exchanged many many an email, and maybe we've even chatted online. And some of you are actually people I HAVE met in realtime, or you are even people that I DO know well, even before reading your blog. So I'm not quite sure what to do about this crummy feeling of being a flighty friend. I'm hoping that it will go away now that I have my computer telling me I have 4 posts to read this morning with my tea, and that I can actually manage that.
Lots and lots has been happening in my life since the computer blew up, and its a dilemma similar to the bloglines overwhelm. I've been mulling it around in my brain since the laptop arrived. How can I very cleverly catch my blog up? Asking myself that question has only put me in a place where it has taken me five days to be brave enough to even log in to blogger. So as with the reading of blogs, I'm doing the same with posting.
I'm not even going to try to catch myself up.
If there is a topic I missed that seems relevant going forward, well...I'll cover it.
And if I feel like going over something I missed, I'll do it.
But I think if I feel like I have to, I won't.
So I aint.
And there you have it.