Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Housing headaches

Sooo... I'm in a crazy place!

Here's a look at the ups and downs as of late:

Our house has been listed for something like three weeks. Maybe four. I can't keep track.

We've only had one couple come see it, and that was after we lowered the price $5K, and thankfully, right after Hubby painted the bedroom and kitchen, both of which sorely needed it.

My house has never looked this good. It's so clean and organized. That takes a TON of effort, all day, every day. I try to get the boys out of the house as much as possible. Plus, I can't really get to anything I've packed away without some digging. My storage tubs are all labeled, but there are a lot of them to wade through to find the right one.

My garage is piled with boxes people have given us for if/when we need to pack up the rest of our stuff.

I fell in love with the sixth house I looked at. I wasn't even out of the subdivision when I called Hubby and said I didn't even want to look at any more. I just wanted that house. It was the third house he looked at. He fell in love with it, too. Turns out, he had been looking at that neighborhood for years, wishing we could live there.

We made an offer on that house. It was countered. We countered back. They accepted, and gave us 90 days to find a buyer for our house and then another 40 days to close.

Within a day or so of listing our house, our freaking ROAD WAS CLOSED for construction, probably until October or something like that. Thanks a lot. Now if anyone wants to drive by this house, they have to go the long way 'round. I'm sure it deters plenty of people.

Logan starts kindergarten Sept. 7. If we stay here, he'll go to one school. If we move to that other house, he'll go to a different one. If we end up in some OTHER house, who knows? The not-knowing part is killing me. I really didn't want to have to make him move schools right in the middle of his first year, but it very well could happen.

Now, all of a sudden, someone else has made an offer on the house we have the offer on. That means we have 3 days (well, 2 now) to remove the contingency (that we sell our house) and choose that house for good, or move on to try to find something else. So, what to do? We could try to deal with both mortgages for a while and keep this house on the market, we could try to rent this house out, we could take ths house off the market and stay here and lose that house we both decided we really like.

One thing that really scares me is that if we were to stay here, we would own this house free and clear before Logan even graduated from high school. Other than that, the only debt we have is my small car payment. I feel like we're so close to living debt-free, and that would be sooooo amazing. It bothers me that we would be digging our hole quite a bit deeper. Would a bigger house be worth it? I mean, we COULD live here. It's not a bad house at all. I think Hubby really wants to move to a new place, though. He always has. He never wanted to stay here permanently.

I could use a crystal ball right about now!

Anyway, that's what's been going down here. Tough to say at this point what will happen.

Scary stuff!

And yet, I have to realize that I am SO VERY fortunate. There are so many people out there that would love to have these kinds of headaches, these choices to make. There are people out there who would view my current house as a palace. We are so lucky to be able to consider moving with the economy the way it is.

Got to keep that in mind!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy belated blogiversary!

My one-year blogiversary passed on Aug. 4. Can't believe I've been writing here for a year. This is my 457th post (!) so I guess I average more than once a day for posting (well, except lately.)

Anyway, happy belated blogiversary, Musings from Mom School.

Something's missing

It's like I lost my best friend

or chopped off my hand

or forgot to put on pants.

I don't really know how to blog, to live, to function without my camera.

It's been a week and a day since I dropped it in the sand and broke it.

The guy at the camera store said it would likely cost me in the $100 region to fix it, but it's only a pocket camera AND it wouldn't cost much more than that to replace it completely.

So, that's what we're going to do, but we're debating what kind of camera to get. I want a certain style and Hubby wants a style, and once we hammer that out, we have to pick the brand, and the model. We're not going to spend beaucoup bucks getting a new camera. Not right now while we're trying to sell this house and buy a new one.

But I simply cannot live without a camera. This week has been crazy. It's like I quit smoking or something. I keep reaching for that camera and it isn't there. Or rather, it's there, but it's dead. I have phantom camera syndrome and it's sad.

I never realized HOW MANY TIMES a day I use it. I photograph EVERYTHING!

So, yeah. I miss it. A lot.

I have contemplated getting some film and a battery for my good old 35mm, but I must admit I am kind of (OK, not kind of, very) spoiled by the instant gratification of digital. Being able to take and retake the shot as many times as necessary to get what I want. Film seems like a grand waste of money at this point! Especially when it comes to developing.

It's kind of like DVR. I don't even know how to watch TV anymore if I can't pause, rewind and record at will. If it wasn't for DVR, I would never get a chance to see anything I like on TV because all my watching is done at very random times, and mostly in ten minutes bits and pieces!

I digress. I'm not talking about DVR. I'm talking about my camera.

Which I miss.



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Love them!

I don't have much to blog about these days. Not inspired. The whole house situation's got "my mojo" all wrapped up elsewhere.

BUT... I just wanted to say...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these guys!

Aren't they sweet?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Just me & Joe

So, Hubby kicked us out.

Well, not really, but kind of. My mom was going to drive down from the U.P. to pick Logan up for one more stay before school starts. She was planning to come get him Tuesday or Wednesday, and she was going to bring him home early next week. But on Sunday, at dinner, Hubby said "Why don't you and Jordan go up north, too, so I can paint the kitchen without you guys in the way?"

I told him we weren't invited, but I thought about it and suggested I take Logan up, drop him off at my parents' house so Mom didn't have to drive down and pick him up, then I'd take Jordan to visit my grandparents for a day and then come home. So, Hubby took Wednesday off, and on Tuesday morning, the boys and I set off for up north.

The six-hour car ride up was pretty typical. Some screaming, some yelling, some laughter, some messes, a hamburger-and-french-fry fight I don't even want to talk about, etc.

We stopped off in Indian River at the Cross in the Woods shrine so I could get a statue of St. Joseph in the gift shop to bury in the yard to help sell our house. Of course, we walked back to see the cross. It's pretty big, and Logan asked in a hushed voice, "Mom... Did Jesus die here?!"

Nope. But it's an interesting place to visit.

We headed up, over the Mackinac Bridge, which usually has spectacular views but that day it was so foggy you could barely even see the bridge towers when you were on the bridge.

Got to Mom and Dad's and visited for a while. Spent the night. The next morning, Jordan splashed in puddles in the driveway and Logan rode his bike, turned cartwheels and asked repeatedly when Jordan and I were leaving.

We took the hint and headed up to Grand Marais. (After a stop to buy diapers! I had good intentions of using my Flip disposable liner diapers, but Jordan pooped all over the 3 covers I had as soon as we got up there, so I ended up having to get some regular disposables.)

We drove over to the Lake Superior Campground on H-58, east of Grand Marais, and were lucky enough to nab a nice little camp site.

I set up our backpacking tent and put in our sleeping pads. We didn't need much. It was simple camping at its finest!

For lunch, we had some cheese and crackers. And made faces at each other. And laughed. And got eaten alive by mosquitoes and black flies.

Then we headed down to the beach to play in Lake Superior, which was really warm! Usually, it's so cold it makes your feet numb. We played with rocks and got wet.

After a half hour or so, Jordan's lips were purple and he was getting crabby because he was cold, so we headed back to camp, changed into dry clothes and headed back into Grand Marais.

We got sidetracked when I cut down the road to the Blind Sucker campground and discovered that both sides of the road were lined with the thickest patches of blueberries I had ever seen! I was in awe! I pulled over and it took me maybe 3 minutes to fill Jordan's little sand pail with a sweet, sun-warmed, super-healthy treat! The taste of wild Michigan blueberries is sooooooo much better than those tasteless huge globes you get when you buy blueberries at the grocery store. These were so yummy!

After that, we went to Grandma and Papa's house in Grand Marais and visited with Papa George for a while. Grandma was at a day outing, but was expected back later.

Jordan had ice cream, sat with Papa, made some funny "George faces" for him and got very dirty. A good day for a little boy!

In the later afternoon, I took Jordan to go visit the Au Sable Point lighthouse. I don't know what's wrong with me. I thought you could drive all the way to it, but I couldn't for the life of me find a road to get there. I drove all the way to Hurricane River, and then turned around and headed back toward town, where I stopped at the ranger station. Turns out, you have to park at Hurricane River and then hike 1.5 miles to the light, then hike back to your car. Wish I'd known that ahead of time! Dummy! Instead of driving all the way back out to Hurricane River with a baby who had fallen asleep in the car and was kind of cranky, we decided to visit the Log Slide and Sable Falls instead.

The Log Slide is the location where there was once a log chute to slide logs down the S-T-E-E-P dune to Lake Superior. Every year, some idiots break their legs trying to run down the dune. I wouldn't dream of it. Trying to climb back up would be really rough, even if you didn't break your leg.

Jordan kept wanting to hug trees. Literally. He'd point out trees he wanted to hug and if I walked over to them, he'd hug them and say "Awww, nice." (Grin)

I've been going to Sable Falls since I was really little. You used to be able to actually get in the waterfall, but it's all fenced off due to massive erosion from people getting in there. It's still pretty though.

Hubby and I stood in that waterfall in September 2000. He had just given me my engagement ring out on the beach and I surprised him there in the waterfall with an engagement ring for him, too. I'd had a sneaking suspicion he was going to propose, and I was prepared!

After that, we went back to Grand Marais and had a quick shower and then had dinner with Grandma and Grandpa. Jordan was a good boy and really liked the cantaloupe!

After dinner, we went back to camp and got in the tent. Jordan was WOUND UP and would not go to sleep. Finally, a little after 9 p.m. I decided to take him for a drive to get him to settle down. It did the trick. I read for a little while and turned off my flashlight around 10. Woke up at 4 a.m. and it was so windy I thought for sure a storm was coming. Made my way through the dark to the outhouse (A scary thing, for me. I'm kind of a chicken in dark woods!) and then went back to sleep til 7:30 a.m. Slept pretty well to the rushing of the the wind and the lake. There's no lullaby like it!

We got up the next day and went to the beach for a few but it was too windy and the waves were big, so we decided not to play there very long. Jordan was cute in his jammies on the beach, lit by the rising sun.

Looking lovely after a night in the tent. Slept in my clothes and everything. Woo! Happy, though!

Right about here, I dropped my camera in the sand and it hasn't worked since. Grrr....

Went back to take the tent down and some crazy lady PARKED HER BUTT at our campsite because she and her husband planned to camp there. I'm not kidding. They parked their truck right by my car at the camp site and she sat at the picnic table and poked at Jordan and looked at the rocks in my trunk and waited for me to take the tent down and leave (her husband stayed in the truck). It was extremely rude.

She also informed me that I had missed the Northern Lights the night before, which made me really sad. I LOVE the Northern Lights and have only seen them a few times before.

So, we left camp around 8:30 and drove for a few hours and stopped at Lehtos on US-2 to get pasties to take home for dinner and then stopped at the St. Ignace Big Boy for breakfast and a diaper change and then stopped in Birch Run to get gas and have a taco at Taco Bell and another diaper change and then finally made it home at 4 p.m.!!! What a long day of driving! Jordan slept for 3 hours straight in the car, though, which was a blessing.

Anyway, it was a fun little adventure with my baby boy.