Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keeping Down the Underground, Oh no

Here is a zombie fiend coming out of the ground.

Well, the weekend is upon us once again...And what a crazy weekend it could be. I got invited to a backyard fire party for Friday night. I doubt I'll be able to make it, since I have the girls and Coadster has to be at the bus that's going to the state cross country meet to support her team at 6:30 am in the morning on Saturday and Stinky has to be at work by 8.

Here is a head on a stick.

That should give me most of Saturday to myself to do as much cleaning and packing and shoveling shit out of my apartment as possible. I was invited to a chili Halloween potluck on Saturday evening. Depending on my schedule with picking girls up, I'll try to at least do a drive-by. Then I'll hopefully have come up with a costume and head downtown to celebrate one of my favorite holidays ever. Last year was so fun, I hope this year is more of the same.

Here is a skeleton getting a tan.

I still have that bike ride to go on Sunday afternoon. It's kind of snowballed as more and more people have expressed interest in it. We might look like some crazed cycling gang. Maybe we can all wear leather jackets with skulls and crossbones on them.

What are your plans? Will you be figuring out a costume and scaring the crap out of people or riding in a gang of your nerdy bicycling friends?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You May Tell Yourself, This Is Not My Beautiful House

My soon to be new home. I stole this off the realty site. I'll be sure to post the "after" shots as I get things fixed-up.

Guess what, kids? I got a call from the realtor this morning telling me that the loan went through and I got the house. Now I can get excited for real. YYYYEEEEAAAA! I'm so happy. I have a ton of work to do before November 19th, which is my closing date. Mainly, I have to sublet my apartment. I have no idea how tough that will be in the middle of the academic year in a college town, but I plan to be very diligent about that too. I already found someone on Facebook who wants to look at it. Keep your fingers crossed.

Here is part of the living room. I'm planning on painting it a camel color. I'd love to get the floors done, but that will have to wait until I somehow magically get more money.

I'm also spending as many hours as possible cleaning, packing and getting rid of crap. I have a very high-tech system of piles: one for garbage, one for Goodwill and one for saving and packing. I'm in that bad place right now where a lot of things are ripped apart, and not many things are organized and packed. I hope to be in a much better place with it by the weekend.

Here is my soon to be kitchen. I'm going to replace the ugly faux wood counters with black lamanite and sand and paint the cupboards white. I think i'll go with a periwinkle for the wall paint.

I'm at that happy, newly homeownered stage, but quickly moving into the "holy shit, yo! I have so much crap to do, I can't even think about it" stage. Like I always say, I'm a slow and steady girl. I just have to keep trudging along and somehow it will all get done, right?

This the dormer or teen room that Stinky has had her eye on since I started looking at houses.

This was the first house I liked when I looked on-line and the first house I physically looked at when I went out with the realtors. I guess it was meant to be. It has two bedrooms downstairs in addition to the huge dormer room upstairs. (which I will turn into my painting studio once Stinky finally goes off to college) It only has one bathroom, and no basement, but it does have a crawl space. I really just need to know there is someplace safe to hide if there's a tornado. We'll have a big laundry room and an attached garage. I've never had a garage before. There's also a small screened-in porch in the backyard that I'm already calling my drankin' porch. Oh, and of course, there are a couple of garden plots. It's almost everything I asked for and only three blocks off of my running route. So, once again, YYYYYEEEEEAAAA!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Luck's Like a Button, I Can't Stop Pushing It

Here is a skeleton on a fence.

Please see the post below for the back story and Part one before reading this. Here is the second part:

"Get her a bag," the big nurse says to a nursing assistant who is just checking to see what's causing the raised voices.

"What?" the nursing assistant asks.

"A bag. A paper bag. She's starting to hyperventilate!" the nurse says with some urgency. By the time the nursing assistant comes back, it's too late. I'm shaking, but not just trembling. I can't control it and my whole body is spastic. Heather says she thinks I'm having a seizure. The nurse holds the bag over my nose and mouth. My arms are shaking so badly that I can't swat her away. I want to, though. The bag isn't giving me enough oxygen and I know I'll suffocate.

"Breathe, honey," Heather says. She is rubbing my back. "Coadster is fine. They think she broke both her legs, but baby's bones heal really fast. They said you saved her life. You protected her head so she didn't hit it. It was just her little legs dangling down when you hit the ground. So, you need to breathe in here and relax. As soon as you calm down, we can go see Coadster. Okay?"

I nod my head to show that I understand. I've stopped shaking and can now hold the bag by myself. Heather keeps her hand close in case I start spazzing again. The big nurse leaves and the nursing assistant takes care of my paperwork. She makes me sit a little longer until my blood pressure goes down.

When I'm finally calm enough, they let me leave the ER. On the way out, we almost run into the nurse who has been attending to me. If I were a more gracious person, I would stop and say thanks for all of her help, but I'm not. I can only feel embarrassed. I look away and Heather pushes me past her. I just hope the nurse doesn't ever come into the business office with questions about her bills.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lady Be Good, Do What You Should, You Know It'll Be Alright

Here is a green goblin from the Halloween barn pics I took last year. I hope you like them, because you'll be seeing a lot of them this week.

I still don't have a lot of time to write, but I figured I'd at least keep my foot in it by pondering how I want to fix my old stuff. I'm going to put another excerpt from the horse and buggy accident story I showed you earlier. I'm still trying to figure out if I want to keep it in first person or not. I once had a writing exercise where we were supposed to write about something that we were either really embarrassed or ashamed about and try to be as honest about it as possible. This portion of the story would probably qualify for both. I had a concussion and I was trying to make sense of what happened to my baby. I'll just warn you, this won't be pretty.

Heather is the girl who's parents owned the acreage where the accident took place. At the time I wrote this, I was working in the business office of the hospital. I saw everything from the back end - after people already dealt with the physical and emotional pain, they then had to pay the financial price. It was another heartbreaking job for me and I wanted to incorporate that into the story too. Here is the first part and the second part will follow tomorrow:

At the hospital I am difficult. They want me to pee in a bedpan. I can't. There is a big open sore on my foot so I'm not able to walk to the bathroom. They tell me if I don't go soon, they will have to use a catheter. I was cathed when I was in labor with Coadster and I know I don't want that again.

"Where is my baby?" I'm together enough to know that I have one now, but no one will tell me where she is.

"She's with her father. She's okay," A big matter-of-fact nurse says. "You just concentrate on going tinkle."

"Coadster is fine but you really have to go in the bedpan." Heather is standing beside my bed in the emergency room. The fact that she's seeing me like this makes me hysterical.

" I can't. I just can't, okay?"

"Then we'll just have to cath you, ma'am," the nurse says. She says the word "ma'am" with the same emphasis I use when talking to pain in the ass patients - like it's another word for bitch.

Okay, I'll end here. This post is already WAY too long. I'll finish it tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We Rarely Practice Discern

Here is the bar right before the end of the game when we were still losing.

Another weekend is ending and I'm doing my little wrap-up post. Friday night was nice and mellow. The girls and I all decided to stay home and hang out together. It was great to have a few hours where we weren't all running around trying to get things done. We actually had time to talk to have real live conversations. We get along so much better when we can get downtime together. Ahhhh.

...And here it is a few seconds later, when we actually won the game.

The big news on Saturday was that Coadster made All-State for the third year in a row. It should help her get scholarships for college. Yea! The tricky part about it, is that it takes place in Ames, the Saturday after I'm supposed to close on my house in November. Whatever. I guess we'll just work it out, and I'll have all my friends with trucks come by that Sunday and help me move the big stuff.

Here is my friend B. driving people to distraction.

Saturday night started out really well. We beat Michigan State in the last seconds of the game. I've been calling them the Heart Attack Inducing Hawkeyes this season, because they keep winning at the end of almost every game.

The rest of the night was hit and miss. (literally) I was plagued by guys I wasn't interested in, hitting on me. Every woman knows that it doesn't matter what you look like or how heinous your personality is, if you go down to a bar, you will get hit on. I don't take it personally. I know it doesn't mean I'm special, it just means I'm there. I'm usually pretty good at dissuading guys without hurting their feelings or pissing them off, but last night things were a bit more challenging.

The first guy who bugged me was in the Writers' Workshop. He started dropping names of authors he was sure I wouldn't know in order to impress me, I guess. I'm a big book nerd, so normally I love to talk about literature, but this guy was so profoundly pretentious and condescending, even I couldn't be bothered. He kept trying to buy me drinks, but I already had my few drinks and was done for the night, so I told him to buy my friend G. drinks instead. That's what a good friend I am. After many, many times of me telling him I wasn't interested, he finally got the hint and left me alone.

After that I was having a fun conversation with some of my bicycle riding guy friends. They had been trying to get me to ride with them on a weekend, and I just hadn't had the time in the last month or so. I told them things were letting up and I'd be into riding next week. They knew I was trying to train for a triathlon, so they were giving me all these training tips, even though neither of them had ever done a trathlon. I still appreciated their advice, though.

Then a friend of mine came down with her new guy and his friends, who just happened to be from the town where I went to high school, and were about my cousin T.'s age. They were all very nice and one of them decided he was interested in me. Unfortunately, I had nothing in common with him and he wasn't particularly funny or interesting. Plus, he kept interrupting my conversations with my friends to get my attention. He and his buddies bought rounds of shots that he constantly badgered me to drink. I wasn't having any of it. If his friends weren't hanging out with mine, I probably would have been a little less polite about it. I finally got annoyed enough, that I decided to go home. I really just wanted to hang out with some of my friends and talk, and I could see that it wasn't going to happen. By that time, it was close to midnight, which is when I normally go home anyway. The good thing is, that the guy doesn't live in town and I won't have to deal with him again.

Triathlon training:

Ran 30 miles. No swimming. No biking. (hopefully, that will change next weekend).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First, When There's Nothing but a Slow Glowing Dream

Here are some photos I took last year at the Halloween barn, on Scott Blvd.

Okay...I finally got news on the FHA appraisal and inspection. The lender was great and emailed me a copy of the report and called me right away to tell me over the phone. The house appraised at about $4,000 more than I'm paying for it and it passed the inspection with flying colors. Yea! I talked to the lender about what I should be fretting over next (you know there's got to be something). He said right now, the underwriter is going to look at it. They could see something we didn't catch, but the chances are pretty slim. He said for the most part, the only thing that could trip us up now is if the seller has any serious liens against the house. About a month ago, I Googled the address and saw that the city council just dropped a lien against the house in August. Hopefully, that's the only one. Anyway, according to my lender, I should feel free to get excited and there is really only a 1 % chance that I won't get my house. So, here's me getting excited: YEEEEEEE HAAAAAAW!...And here's me calming down a little, because there is still a 1% chance that something will fall through. He said I might know for sure, for sure by Monday.

The lender guy did say to me that he wished all his clients were as well-prepared and diligent as I was, and that really cracked me up.

Here is a shot of most of the front of the barn.

So, yeah. It's the weekend coming up here. I'm not sure what I'm doing on Friday. There's a big RAWK! show at Kandyland. The bar is closing and this is their last live gig. I probably should go to that, because a lot of my friends will be performing and I haven't gone out to support them in forever. The only thing is that Coadster has All State auditions on Saturday. I have to have her at the high school at 6 am. I just don't know if I can fit it all in, and my girls always come first.

I should be very ready to go out and celebrate and have a beer on Saturday night. It's one of the first weekends in forever when I don't have friends coming in from out of town. I'm hoping for a nice mellow evening at the bar with a few close friends, but who knows how things will actually go down...Oh, and I'll spend my days cleaning and packing and organizing and running as much as possible too.

What about you all? Will you be celebrating some aweome news, or will you be rising at an ungodly hour to make sure your kids get where they need to be?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Here is my sister and myself climbing around rocks in Tonto National Forest when we were kids.

Sooooo, no more word on how the FHA inspection/appraisal went yet. I know I say this all the time, but I hate not knowing a thing one way or the other. I do NOT need any room to create scenarios in my head. From an early age I've been way too familiar with the worst case scenario, so when I'm not sure, that's the first place I go. As a way to stop doing that, I thought I might just take my mind off of it all, by doing a little writing exercise. I decided I'd write about the first topic I read about on a blog today and that happened to be Tara at Eclectic Spaghetti where she talked about snakes.

It's not something I think a lot about anymore, but I grew up in Arizona where I often came in contact with poisonous creatures. One of my first memories was with my family being in the Superstition Mountains. My dad was holding me, so I had to be 4 or under, if he was still around. All I really recall was being terrified of snakes and not letting him put me down. He was really annoyed and tried to calm me down, but when that didn't work, he still held me and didn't make me walk around where the rattlesnakes could get at me.

Once when I was around 9, a rattlesnake wandered (or more accurately, slithered) onto our street. It must have been after work, because all the dads were home. All it took was for the kids to go home and report the snake finding, and suddenly there were 5 or 6 dads out on the street with bats, sticks and one even had a hammer. They wailed on that poor snake for what seemed like hours. It couldn't have still been alive, but from what my mom tried to explain to me, it was still moving because its nerves were somehow still functioning. It was so horrible and brutal, but none of us kids could stop watching it.

When I was 19, I dropped out of college and moved to California to do environmental work. Mostly, I worked on the Salmon Restoration Project, but once in a while we'd get pulled to do wildland firefighting or cut fire lines to prevent said fires. One day we were cutting fire lines in a park that was closed due to a rattlesnake infestation. We were told to be very careful and stay on trails and make sure we traveled in packs so we could all keep an eye and ear out for snakes.

I know this is going to shock the hell out of all of you, but I have a bit of an impetuous nature. Weird. A group of us girls were heading to a new site, and I didn't really feel like taking a trail that wound all around a hill, when I could just run up it that much faster. So, as I bounded up the hill, all the girls in my group started screaming. Like an idiot, I stopped and turned around to see what all the hubub was about. I looked down to see that I had just jumped over a nest of baby rattlesnakes. Baby rattlesnake are that much more dangerous than adult rattlesnakes, because they haven't learned how to control their venom yet. When they bite you, they give everything they have. I was inches away from the nest and very carefully continued up the hill. I never left my group or the trail for the rest of our job there. Wouldn't it be cool if I didn't always have to learn the hard way?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Your Satin Tights, Fighting for Your Rights

Here are two of my Halloween costumes of yore. Last year I made a last minute decision to go out on Halloween and was stuck with the default girl Halloween costume - the witch.

Today I called the lender to ask about the FHA inspection/appraisal. He said it did happen on Monday, but it usually took a couple of days to get the info. Because he's still kissing my ass for screwing things up last week, he told me he'd call the guy and see if he could get some basic info right away. Sadly, the guy didn't answer his phone. The lender guy said that he'd let me know what was going on as soon as the guy got back to him. Needless to say, I'll call him again on Wednesday if he doesn't call me first.

The realtors told me they thought the loan was supposed to be okay'ed by October 30th. God, I hope so. I just want to know one way or the other so I can deal with it. I guess Halloween could be interesting. I'll either be sad that I didn't get what I wanted or super excited and ready to celebrate.

Two years ago I went as a zombie Catholic school girl. unfortunately, I couldn't find the picture that showed my awesome slit throat scar. Damn.

Which leads me to my next thing - my Halloween costume. My friend K. keeps telling me I should go as a superhero. My excuse the last few years is that I would only do it if I were in excellent shape. This year I finally feel like I could get away with wearing tights with superhero undies over them...Well, maybe if I wore a REALLY long cape anyway. I'm kicking around the idea of being Wonder Woman and making the special bracelets and everything. I just don't know where the hell I'll find an invisible jet, is all. My lame-out option is a flapper - which is kind of the other default girl Halloween costume. It looks like even my Halloween costume will depend on whether I get that house. I doubt I'll want to be a morose Wonder Woman. Wait. Does anyone know if Wonder Woman had a Goth twin sister at all?

Monday, October 19, 2009

These Two Sides of My Brain Need to Have a Meeting

Here is a creepy face. Mwuaahahaha!

Hey, you know what? I forgot to tell you about the road race Coadster and I did on Sunday. It was a lot of fun. I got to talk to people I haven't seen in a while. Coadster kind of faded in the middle of the run. I'm not sure what happened, but she just really slowed down. I told her I'd keep her pace and then she picked up again at the end. It felt really good. I hadn't raced in years and years, and I forgot how much I loved it. I might start doing them on a more regular basis. Some of the girls on Coadster's cross-country team hung out with us at the starting line and were giving me the names of races coming up in the near future. Who knows? If I like the triathlon, I might start doing those on a regular basis too. I suppose all I need are more obsessions, huh?

After we got done running, Coadster and I walked down the street by the finish line and cheered on all of the people we knew coming in. That was probably the most fun. I'm such a big cheese ball about that kind of thing.

So, tonight the girls had a choir concert. It was very nice and I sat with some of my neighbors who I like a lot and don't see very often even though we live a block away from each other. I should start being better about hanging out with my neighbors right now... Especially since they may not be my neighbors for much longer.

Speaking of that. I haven't heard much word on the house stuff. The realtors changed the language in the remedy request. The lender said he didn't think the FHA people would like the idea of us needing a remedy to the house, since they want it all up to code before I move in. So, we just added the money on to the closing costs that they were going to cover. The lender told me he thought that the FHA appraiser/inspector was going to check out the house today, so I was on pins and needles all day at work. I never heard, so I think I'll call him tomorrow to see what went down. I'll let you know, as soon as I find out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Bet You Got It All Planned Right

My friend C. was in town from Chicago.

Wow. What a crazy weekend...But good, for the most part. On Friday afternoon, Coadster called me to say she wasn't really into going to the football game and wondered if I was going to be home, because she wanted to hang out and watch movies with me. Awesome. That's all I needed to hear. I never take it for granted when my 17 year old wants to hang out with me.

We watched Adventureland. It takes place in 1987, so Coadster kept asking me if people talked like that back then or listened to that kind of music or whatever. I wasn't always all that helpful. I was in college in 1987, so my memory of that year is a little hazy.

G. and fun kids from the conference.

Saturday was almost as blurry as 1987 is for me. After we got back from Ottumwa, I dropped Coadster off at her babysitting gig and Stinky off at her friend's house. I stopped at the cookout for a minute. The guy I took as my date to my friend's R and E.'s wedding last year was in town for the bike ride and cookout, and I hadn't seen him in forever. Of course, I was there for about a half hour before G. called and a woman, C. who was in town for the weekend called me right after that. So, I didn't get to talk to him for very long, but it was nice to catch up a little.

I picked up G. and D. and headed for the Dublin. There was a conference in town for a particular academic area of interest, and all the people from it came down to the bar. Some of them were playing pool and one of the girls looked really familiar. I couldn't quite place her, so I didn't say anything, but then G. came up to me and said, "Hey, that girl M. says she works with you." Doh! I felt so rude. I went right over and apologized to her for not saying hi, but she was super cool about it. One of the guys she was with started talking to me. He was also with his "it's complicated" girlfriend (his words). He talked about what he did and where he was from and asked me where I was from. I never know how to answer that, so I said I went to high school in Ottumwa.

"Oh, do you know our friend, S? She's from Ottumwa..."

"Um. I doubt it. She's probably a lot younger than me."

"No. She's in her late 20's," he said. I'm sure to him, that seemed really old.

"Yes, well. I'm much older than that."

"How about 'some guys name I can't remember'? He's like 36..." I assured him I was even older than that. He then started talking about his relationship with his girl in intimate detail, very loudly and right in front of her.

"I'm not sure you want to go into all that detail with someone you don't even know..." I said.

"No. You're exactly who I want to tell all this to. Since I don't know you, it's perfect...And you're wise."

"I wouldn't go assuming I'm wise, just because I'm old. I make more mistakes than anyone." (my new mantra)

"Are you married?" He asked.

"Nope. I'm divorced. See what I mean? Another mistake."

"I don't care. I want to talk to you about it anyway," he said and went into his whole history with his "it's complicated girl". That woman didn't seem to mind either. She listened for a minute and said she was going to some party and took off.

As I've said before, a lot of my girlfriends talk to me when they are having boy problems, but I don't seem to have a lot of male friends who are all that open about their relationships that way. It was actually very refreshing. Mostly, his girly was pushing him away, and then pulling him back over and over again. I didn't try to tell him what to do, I just listened and told him I understood how confusing and frustrating that could be. After he got it all out, I told him I had to go home so I could get up early and run. Then we did that thing that people do in this day and age: We said we'd friend each other on Facebook and I promised to tag him in the photos.

Triathlon Training:

I ran 34.1 miles this week. No biking. No swimming.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

She Gets Out of Her Head and She Talks to the Ceiling

Well, whatd'ya know? Another "cute little kids in Halloween costumes" photo. It must be October.

I know it's weird. At first I wouldn't talk about house stuff at all, and now that's all I ever do on here. It's just that I don't have anyone else to pester about it, and you all are very handy. If the subject bores you to tears, skim the post and avoid any paragraph that has the word "house" in it. Deal?

Today I called the woman at the bank who's name is on the paperwork. She was very helpful and told me there were some papers for the FHA loan my realtor didn't sign yet. I called the realtor and she said they were never given said papers. She said she'd take care of it. Right before I was supposed to get off work the loan officer guy FINALLY called me back. He was as befuddled as usual. He said he was sure that he had sent those papers, then actually checked my file and saw that he hadn't. Then he asked me if the inspections had gone through and should he send the appraisor in. I told him the inspections had been done for a week. Oh, he didn't realize the realtor had sent that info to him. Grrrrr. I try to be very forgiving with people. After all, I make more mistakes than anyone, and if the people in my world weren't forgiving, I wouldn't have any friends. But I'm on a very strict deadline and if I don't get my house because he keeps dropping the ball, I might have to go slash all of his tires. He did finally admit to me that he and his wife just had a baby, and he's very sleep-deprived. I understand that, but then maybe he needs to give my loan to someone who can take care of it. Did I already say, grrrrr? Good.

Okay, it's the weekend again already. It just keeps sneaking up on me. There are so many things going on, I'm going to REALLY have to prioritize. Basically, my girls and my family always come first. So, I have no idea what I'm doing on Friday night. I usually try to stay home, but I'm open to going out if someone invites me and there's something fun going on.

Saturday during the day we're going to the big O to see my family. Mostly, I like to go and harrass my 6 year old nephew and four year old niece. They think I'm really funny because they are young and don't know any better. I like to get them all riled up and then leave for my sister to calm down. It's great.

I also got invited to a bike ride and Cookout to follow that same day. I obviously can't do the bike ride, but I might do a drive-by of the cookout when I get back. I also may or may not stop downtown and have a drink with some folks. I'm just going to see how I feel. After dealing with my more extended family, I might really need a drink. You know?

Of course, I have to get home and go to bed early so Coadster and I can do the Run for the Schools roadrace on Sunday morning. I just hope I'm not left eating Coadster's dust and getting embarrassed in front of all of my friends.

So, what are you all up to? Will you be getting a drink after dealing with your extended family or be left behind while your kids run away from you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And You Can Trust Me Not to Think

Still gearing up for Halloween. Here is a photo of the girls playing in the cemetery when we lived right by it. That's a totally appropriate place for young children to play, isn't it?

Well, kids. It looks like I'm still sleep deprived and I think by now you know what that means, don't you? That's right. Another random post.

1.) They have this great program in our town where high school kids can take classes at the university that will transfer to their college. And get this; it's free. I know. Anyway, Coadster decided to use it to take an Italian class next semester. Cool, huh?

2.) I know I've ranted on here before about the inappropriate email addresses with which kids use to apply to our Big 10 university. I'm not a prude by any stretch, but dude. Seriously? You should refrain from using an email address with the number combination 69 either preceded or followed by the name of a sexual organ or practice. One of my favorites was the girl who's address was bleeding wh*re. Do you email your mom with that? So, my coworkers have heard my rant a time or two. Yesterday Coadster's application came through and one of them said, "Wow. Have you seen your daughter's email address?" As far as I knew, Coadster's had the same email address for years, and it is the name of a Van Morrison song. My co-worker then said, "Hmmm. Well, the one she used on her application is" I asked her to let me see that and she started laughing and said, "Sucka! I was just kidding. It was the one you said it was." Damn, I hate being so gullible.

3.) I called the banker guy and he blew me off. I think he's kind of a putz. He got the initial amount of the purchase wrong and he always gets me confused with some other potential home buyer. Today I called him and he told me he was in the middle of something and would call me right back. He lied.

4.) The realtor called me to talk about how we would arrange for our $1,000 remedy money. I asked her if she knew what was going on with the loan. She said she was under the impression that it had to be all approved by the end of this month. She said she'd try to contact the lender and if I don't hear from him by noon tomorrow, I'm going to call the underwriter person. I only have a few questions and it would take him about 5 minutes to address them. I realize we're all busy, but how hard is that? I need to know whether this is going through as soon as possible so I can try to sublet my apartment. See what I mean about the hurdles?

5.) I've been running a lot so far this week. Yesterday I ran my 7 mile route, which is a little more hilly than my normal one. I tried to run it at a faster pace. It was the last harder run I'm going to do before the "Run for the Schools" Coadster and I are racing in on Sunday. Today I just did a nice relaxing 6 mile route. My iPod decided I needed to listen to a lot of late 80's/early 90's music. Sure, it still played old stuff like Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips Part 2" and newer stuff like Coconut Records, "Nighttiming" and The Go! Team's "Ladyflash". But mostly it gave me The Breeder's "Cannonball" and Jane's Addiction's "Been Caught Stealing", Pavement's "Cut Your Hair" and The Gin Blossom's "Hey Jealousy". It was a pretty damn fun mix to run to.

6.) Okay. I'm going to try really, really hard to finally get some sleep tonight. It would be so cool to find me one of those attention spans I've been hearing about.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It Helps to Write It Down, Even When You Then Cross It Out

Guess what? I'm out of current photos again. It's a good thing it's the time of the year for old Halloween costume photos. Coadster is Storm from the X Men here and Stinky is a fairy godmother.

I know I've been saying for a while that the first rule of house buying is that I do not talk about house buying, but I've had a change of heart. For one, I hate talking around about things. I try to be as open and honest as possible, and so I think I can divulge some info. For two, I would love your knowledge if you have it about the difficulty of obtaining an FHA loan based on the house.

Sooooo, here we go. I found a house, made an offer, they countered then we countered and we all countered for the purchase until we came to an agreement. Then there were some inspections and a remedy request to ask for money at closing based on the inspections and they just agreed to that this week. Now, I have to sit and wait and as you can imagine, I'm not much of a sit and wait kind of girl, which has gotten me into trouble many times in the past. But we all have our faults. (unfortunately, I have mine and probably most of yours too)

I like to call the two photos on here the Superhero years.

Anyway, the big thing now is to wait for the loan to go through. Since I'm getting an FHA loan, I have the obstacle of another inspection and the fact that they won't approve of the house if they don't feel like it's worth the price. I went on-line today to see how likely these things could be as problems and from what I can tell, it all depends. Some people said their inspectors were super uptight and others said their inspectors drove by and said they thought it looked fine. I'm hoping for the lazy man or woman who doesn't get out of his or her car and approves it with a wave of their hand. If you have had any experience with getting a house approved for an FHA loan, I would be ever so grateful for your wisdom.

I also sat down tonight and looked over all the paperwork the realtor and loan people gave me to try to make sense of it. You know me, I need to write things down to sort them out and process them, so I wrote stuff down, and made lists and stopped short of making a pie chart. Hey, it's good to know I have at least a little self-control. So, tomorrow I'm going to check with the realtor and the lender to make sure everything is still on track and if there is something I'm forgetting that will come back to bite me in the ass later. Okay. That's probably more than you wanted to know.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Well, I've Been Afraid of Changing

Here are some flowers growing out of a wall.

Hey, kids. This will be a really quick post. I've been doing the sleep-deprivation thing and I need to try to get to bed at a decent hour.

So, house things are percolating pretty well right now. I still can't talk about it until I know for sure one way or the other. There so many things that can go wrong and it seems like I keep jumping over one hurdle after another. There's one more big hurdle, but if that works out, then I should be golden. If it doesn't work out, then my house dreams are kind of shot for now. Hopefully I'll know in the next few weeks.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Can't Find Any Place That I'd Rather Be

A crowd gathers to watch the mulleting.

Wow, kids. It's the weekend again. This week was barely a blur. We got a lot accomplished, but I can't wait for everything to be completely done, so that things will slow down enough for my life to actually be in focus. Until that happens, the actual writing on this old blog will definitely suffer. But I hear it's all about priorities, right?

Trying to capture a mulletee.

For you viewing pleasure, I thought I'd throw up some photos of the random mulleting that happened at the senior cross country banquet. Watching it all happening while I laughed my ass off, I wondered why we never did anything that fun in cross country. Then I remembered that when I was in high school, everyone already had mullets. Oh yeah.

Mullet making in progress.

I guess I should talk about this weekend. Well, I'm not all that sure. It's Homecoming for the University and so my first impulse is to pull down the shades and hide in my house. The only problem with that is that my girl crush is coming into town with her husband on Saturday. So, I thought I might just go out for a little minute and make it an early night instead.

He could put an eye out with those.

As far as daytime activities are concerned, I will continue on my cleaning and organizing and packing of things I haven't used in many, many months. I'm sure I'll try to run as much as possible too. It's that time of year when I have to try and remember to dress in layers, because it's cold when I start and then it gets too warm and if I hit the wind the wrong way, I'll get cold again.

The finished product of the bowl-cut mullet.

So, kids. What's on tap for all of you this weekend? Will you be hiding from the drunken hordes, or clearing your life of unwanted clutter?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When I'm Breathless I'll Run til I Drop. Hey.

Coadster's decorated locker. Please notice the embarrassing kid pic.

Hi. How's it going? I'm doing alright. I was in a weird little funk for most of the day. It wasn't like anything was really wrong, I was just feeling kind of lost and lonely for no particular reason. Do you ever have those days? I usually try to keep to myself when I'm like that, because I know it's stupid and other people have real problems. So, I retreat to my lair.

My friend G. generally emails me like instant messaging throughout the day, but like I said, I was lying low and we were out of contact. Finally, right before lunch she sent me a message that said, "Wow. I miss you." It was pretty cute and did make me feel less lonely.

Coadster pretending to run and making a cheesy face.

I really wanted to go running the second I got off work and then hibernate in my house and not have to deal with the world. As I stated yesterday, that was not to be. I went to the high school and decorated Coadster's locker. She loved it and was so glad I was there.

Coadster and her best friend.

Then there was the senior banquet. The food was pretty bad, but the entertainment factor was high. The kids all had a great time and Coadster was so excited that her dad and I were both there to walk up to the stage with her.

I did get my run in around 8 and had some time to chill out. The crazy thing was, that hanging out with Coadster and seeing her so happy helped me out a lot. How can I be sad or lost or lonely when I'm busy doing stuff with my girls? Please remind me of that tomorrow when I'm standing in the cold and rain at her last home cross country meet.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I Stretched Back and I Hicupped and Looked Back on My Busy Day

Here is another bucolic Iowa shot.

Oh, kids. I'll apologize in advance. This will be one of those, "I'm so busy posts". As if I'm the only person who has ever tried to buy a house as a single parent and still had to work all day and go to all their kids' functions. The whole process is dizzyingly overwhelming, and I have even less time than before, but duh, how great is it that I might actually get a house out of all of this? Pretty fucking great. So, please pardon my spazziness about stupid details, and know that I feel very lucky to be able to have this kind of stress in my life.

Soooo, blah, blah, blah. I did some house hunting related stuff tonight. Whatever it was went pretty well. I promise to give you details once things are solidified one way or the other.

Tomorrow night is senior night for cross-country. It is the first thing where we publicly recognize the fact that our kids won't be here next time this year bugging us for rides home from cross-country practice and to buy them desserts for team dinners. I'm supposed to go at 5:30 and decorate Coadster's locker. I'm making Stinky go with me, so she can show me how all the cool kids' parents do it. I don't want her to be the only kid with horribly embarrassing baby pics plastered all over her door, while all the other runners have signs of encouragement. (Although, I do think it would be funny to put some of those photos up along with the encouraging posters) Then we'll eat and I'll very uncomfortably walk up to the front of the room with Coadster when she gets her letter and probably some kind of certificate. Then I'll finally get to go home and go running. Ahhhh.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Coming Out the Woodwork, Through the Open Door

Here is a chair and some pumpkins.

I'm sure everyone else has come up with this analogy a hundred years before me, but I was joking around with my friends on Saturday night about how much house hunting is like dating.

You know? How you have to decide if you want something shiny and new or older and with a little more character? When you first start looking, you're worried that someone is going to be able to offer up more than you and you'll get rejected. It's okay, though. Like everything else, it's all about timing and maybe it wasn't meant to be, or else maybe things will fall through with the other buyer, and the house you want will become available to you a little later...When you're both ready.

If your offer does get accepted, it's not like you're free and clear. Hell no. There are dates scheduled for inspections. And in those series of meetings, you have to figure out if those are corner cracks that come from settling and can be lived with, or if there's something fundamentally wrong with the foundation and you need to run away screaming, before you waste anymore time and energy on something that will only cause you pain and heartbreak in the end.

Finally, after all is said and done, you want to find something that you can live with and feel an emotional attachment to. Of course, even then there are no guarantees. At some point, after you put years of money and time into it, you might outgrow your house and you'll both be on the market again.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

When Everybody Keeps Retreating

Coadster's Homecoming group. She's the one in the back with the side ponytail.

I tried to calm things down this weekend. Last week was so crazy, I needed a break from a lot of things. On Friday night my friend G. tried to bribe me to go out. Apparently, I can't be bought. My girls were at the game and then at a friend's and I REALLY needed some mellow, alone time. My sister suggested I watch the Benjamin Button movie and she was so right. It was like reading a novel, without the eye strain. I liked the message too: You never know how long you have with anyone - so appreciate the hell out of them while you have them. I've been saying that for years.

Stinky at her pre-Homecoming photo shoot.

Saturday was a whirlwind. At one point, I thought I'd try to do some serious cleaning, organizing, putting things in bags and boxes and quickly realized, it wasn't going to happen without me getting really, really stressed. So, I decided I needed to go on a nice relaxing run and came back feeling a million times better.

Most of the day was spent running kids and picking up kids and going to the store for a last minute boutineer and finally dealing with my girls and their friend getting ready for the Homecoming dance in our only bathroom.

It's just sparkling grape juice, so don't freak out.

The big dilemma of the day came with the picture taking. Both my girls were scheduled to have pictures within 15 minutes of each and on opposite sides of town. There was no way I could do both and since their dad didn't have a car, he couldn't help out. I asked the girls how they wanted to handle it. Coadster said she'd give this one to Stinky, if I took photos of her at prom, since it's her last year. So, that's how we did it. I do feel bad about not being able to be two places at once, but until I get to choose a super power, I have to work with what I have.

Always making with the jazz hands.

I picked up my friends around 10 and headed to the Dublin. It was kind of nice to talk to people who didn't talk in text speak. As in, "OMG! I can't find my hair straightener. WTF!" I got to talk house hunting and remodeling with some friends who bought their house about 5 years ago and then were flooded out of it for a while last Summer.

Later in the evening, there was a little drama that went down. But as my friend G. said, "As long as it isn't my drama, I can deal with it so much better." Amen to that. Finally, I drank my two beers and about a pitcher of water, and I was ready to go home. I offered anyone else a ride, but they were all out for the duration, so I head home without taxiing anyone else. The end.

Oh yeah. I hope everybody was able to watch the moon come up tonight wherever they live. It was a sight to behold.

Triathalon training this week:

I ran 30 miles and that is all. I'm putting it on the back burner until I get the house hunting taken care of. Then I plan to be back cross-training.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Find a Place to Call My Own and Try to Fix Up. Start a Brand New Day

Here is an old tattered flag stuck to a utility pole...With amber waves of grain and all that behind it.

Egad, kids! This has been one hell of a week. It's been good, just insanely busy and I feel like I've been on overdrive trying to juggle everything. I'm not going to talk about what's up with the house hunting until it's been pretty well decided one way or the other. For one thing, I don't want to jinx it, for another, it's such a weird, exciting, stressful rollercoaster and I need time to process things.

Soooooooo, I guess it's the weekend now, huh? My plan is to start cleaning, organizing and getting rid of shit. Even if I don't end up moving, it would be nice to have that done.

It's also Homecoming at my girls' high school. What that means for me is that I will probably drive kids places, on Saturday take some photos of dressed-up girls and then have both Friday and Saturday night to myself. Right now, I don't have any definite social plans. I think I'll see if anyone contacts me to do something, and figure it out as I go.

How about you all? Are you planning anything definite, or flying by the seat of your pants this weekend?