Saturday, January 30, 2010

Find a new house...check!

I am a list maker. I'm also forgetful; thus the need for lists. Last week I found in an old notebook the "To Do List for Moving!" list I wrote when I moved three years ago. Everything was checked off except for "do change of address (see next page)" and "Put down plastic on new carpet" and "Figure lunch/drinks for Saturday." I've been getting mail since then, so I must have done the change of address. And I distinctly remember living for at least two months in this apartment with a mountain of boxes in the middle of the living room - perched on a huge sheet of heavy-duty plastic that I kept rolling back and tucking under the boxes. And I don't remember a revolt of my friends who helped load the truck that day, so apparently I remembered the food!
Today I'm working in my bedroom sorting and tossing junk as well as a little cleaning. I've seen it every day for over a month, but there are still items left to check off on the "After Christmas" checklist I created on my full-length mirror (with dry-erase 'em).
  • Still haven't changed the oil in my CR-V
  • Still haven't bought a new battery for the Accord
  • Still haven't made thank you cards for Christmas gifts (better get on that, huh?!)
  • Have barely started on my sister's scrapbook (2009 Christmas present)
BUT, tonight as I went down the list I was tickled pink to be able to check off the last item
  • "Find a new house!"  - Check!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Forever 3

Today, little Daniel David Sutton will be remembered by many friends and family members.  Not that today will be the only day, but today is his memorial service.  A celebration of a life too short lived.

A wife who loses a husband is called a widow.
A husband who loses a wife is called a widower.
A child who loses his parents is called an orphan.
But...there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is.

Monday, January 25, 2010


If he could find it, my dad usually had about anything you could ever need stashed somewhere in his garage. One Saturday when I was in highschool, we were planning to go cut firewood but it had snowed some the night before.  A co-worker of dad's called before any of us were awake and insisted we borrow his 4x4 pickup because he was certain dad's 2-wheel drive pickup wouldn't make it out of the canyon loaded down with wood.  Dad hated to borrow stuff (although he didn't mind lending) but finally accepted the offer and off he and Nicki and I went (and probably our poodle, Toby) to enjoy the first warming this wood would provide us.  If you've ever gathered wood to burn, and not just bought it at the grocery store, then you've experienced that "wood warms you twice - first when you chop it, then when you burn it!"

So, once dad cuts an adequate amount of wood (probably some nice hard ash, his favorite) and Nicki and I stacked it neatly and tightly into the box of Rollie's pickup (I don't ever remember running the chainsaw myself...nor do I remember ever wanting to!), we head up out of the canyon with no problem.  The problem didn't occur until we were smack dab under the transmission line that carried electricity into town. That's when, under the strain of thousands and thousands of pounds of (probably slightly green) firewood, the axle broke on the borrowed pickup.  (Have you ever carried firewood?  I'm pretty sure about 3 armloads adds up to at least 250 pounds, so a whole pickup load is many times heavier)  I mention the transmission line because it practically disabled the CB radio signal, at least for incoming communication.   Thankfully, someone who wasn't sitting under the same electrical currents heard us crystal clear and called mom on the phone to have her bring that worthless 2-wheel drive pickup out to rescue us.

Guess where the replacement axle was found for the borrowed pickup?  Nope, not dad's garage.  In the back corner of our backyard.  At least that's how I remember the sister will probably correct me.  ;-)

This past Saturday night I wasn't so lucky. I spent all day working my way down that silly "sort and purge" checklist and now have a beautifully organized pantry (with only the items I need and not ANY out-of-date canned goods...) and an almost shiny oven (wasn't on the list but it was right beside the pantry and it distracted me) and a much more sparsely populated cabinet under my kitchen sink.  Too sparsely populated.  I got a little over-zealous with that bag I was filling up with yucky looking cleaning supplies and threw away my perfectly good can of furniture polish.  oops!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Break Time

Who knew the emotional roller coaster I was getting myself in for when I started this adventure toward being a homeowner?  I certainly didn't, but then I've never tackled something this huge before! The latest (as of Thursday night) is that I will be able to go with a conventional loan...but I'm not holding my breath.

My realtor Debbee is really excited about my purchase and move, and it's not just because she's making money off of it. She and my lender agree that I get the prize for taking the longest amount of time to buy a house, and  Debbee has been through the entire process.  So I'm letting her be excited for me 'cuz I'm sticking to my routine of not getting excited about something until it actually happens.  Much safer that way!

In the mean time, I'm tackling the huge-mongous project of checking off the little "done" boxes on my "sort and purge" checklist. Today I'm working in the kitchen (pantry is done!) and got sidetracked from the list (bad girl!) to clean the oven (good girl!), which wasn't on my list but I'm learning how to clean those pesky, stubborn blotches of burned cheese (it is a pizza oven, ya know) without suffering from toxic fumes. Google is my friend and I've modified and simplified some instructions it helped me find.  I just sprinkled some baking soda on the spots, then pour vinegar over them. My Pampered Chef nylon scrapper works great chiseling up the stuff the explosions loosen.  It's still not totally clean, but I do have several weeks to work on this.  And I've declared the oven off limits for ANY foods for the rest of my occupation of this apartment.

Break time's over. There are many bottles/cans under the kitchen sink that are gonna find themselves in my big black trash bag in mere moments...

Friday, January 22, 2010


I woke up a little bit ago an just laid there in the silence wondering what woke me.  I was on my couch (where I've slept since Sat night because it doesn't hurt my back...go figure) and couldn't hear the coffee pot or the radio in my bedroom (it goes off around 5am). Then I heard a *slight* beeping and thought maybe it was my radio and I just hadn't turned it up last night.  I finally turned my head to look at the clock: 2:11am.  Not my radio.

So I keep listening.  My fridge is running (gotta bring the freezer temps down from its 18.4degree peak during the night!) so it's actually hard to hear/distinguish this beep, although I'm not surprised it has awakened me because what some people think is "silence" actually wakes me up.  Because it's really not silent, there is a faint noise somewhere and I won't be able to go back to sleep until I know what it is..I think I've always been this way - had this thing about unidentified noises.  

The beeps continue. Almost like the reverse alert on a truck? Maybe it snowed despite the forecast and they are clearing the parking lot already?  No, the beeps are too close together and too rhythmic.  Then another noise hits a whistling chirp between the beeps...and there are four beeps together.

My foggy brain decides this is some sort of emergency vehicle and a jump off the couch and open my front door.  No flashing blues and reds reflecting off the buildings.  I hear another chirp, a different noise than I'd heard inside (and not loud or piercing enough that'd I'd have heard it inside) and decide maybe it's a police car and so I creep down the breezeway to see what's going on.  

Then it finally registers in my brain that this had been a car alarm going off.  I hear someone rushing through the breezeway on the level below me and a guy in a red shirt and jeans runs down the steps and across the grass and I hear another chirp like it's shutting off the alarm (which had already quit).  "Did you get it?" he asks?  "Yeah" a girl responds, "but I don't know why..."  and then she's able to start the engine.

At first I think it's my neighbor across the hall, then realize I didn't hear him running down from our third floor perch.  So either it's one of the ever-rotating new neighbors or a visitor that had tucked a few too many under the belt and couldn't get her car to start to go home.  Maybe I should go check on my car to make sure she got out of the parking lot ok.

Then I realize I just walked out of the relative safety of my apartment in the middle of the night when a car alarm was going off. What if someone was actually trying to steal it?  Why didn't I grab my not-yet-conceal&carry-weapon-permitted handgun?  ha  Maybe I should move back into my bedroom where I'm safe from these types of least from our parking lot.  I can still hear the car alarms in the apartment complex across the creek (and bass music vibrating up through the walls), but then they are a direct shot to my cheaply made aluminum frame, single pane windows that let in sound, cold air, and yucky smells.

Just over two hours until my alarm goes off...dare I go back to 'bed?' I went to sleep thinking of (and I think I dreamed of as well) little Daniel, a sweet 3yr old boy who died yesterday afternoon, and of his grieving mother and father (I think I've met him once), and his 5yr old sister who as of 8pm last night didn't realize her brother was gone. "He got caught in the window" is what she told my friend when the police brought her to my friend's house. A horrible, horrible tragedy of which I don't know all the details, just that he was strangled by (and possibly hanging from) the cord from the window blinds.  I can't imagine what his mother is going through.  It was naptime so his mom wasn't worried about the silence.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New - Now Enjoy All Year!

I am in sooooooo much trouble!!!!!

Where do I sign?

...oh, I did that last night. And, thankfully, the seller signed as well and accepted my offer AS IS which includes them paying closing costs and throwing in a 1yr home warranty.

Then I got a headache when I listened to my Edward Jones dude try to explain that withdrawing all the needed money will have severe tax consequences.  What about the $8,000 tax credit?  Gotta check with my CPA to see if I may get penalized for not paying the tax now rather than waiting for that credit to cover it.  Ugh!

To top it off, as of tonight it looks like the condo complex is NOT approved for a conventional loan.  Jennifer is still looking into it, but...  We do know it's approved for an FHA loan, but that means I'd either pay mortgage insurance or pay an even higher down payment.  That would be painful.

Inspection is set for Tuesday.  Closing is set for 2/24.  Crazy 5 weeks are ahead of me, no doubt.

In the mean time, I'm not going to start packing...yet.  Last night I created a list (aww, man! I should have created a SPREADSHEET!!!) of places that need to be sorted through and purged before I pack so I'm not moving junk I don't need/want/LOVE.  Seriously, it's two pages long and has little check boxes by each location and reads like this: "Pantry - top shelf" - "Pantry - 2nd shelf" - "Junk drawer" - "Silverware drawer" - "Linen closet - top shelf" - "Linen closet - 2nd shelf" - "Dresser - top drawer" - "Dresser - 2nd drawer" - "Dresser - 3rd drawer" get the picture. ;-)   So far I have 3 boxes checked off!  Woo hoo - I'm on a roll!!!

Speaking of which, my "list" is calling my name...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let the craziness begin!

This morning Debbee let me know that the listing price on the townhouse had dropped $4,100 since last week! Woohoo!!!  I told her I wanted to look at it this week rather than looking at any new ones, and we scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Then I told her I wanted to make an offer that was another $4,700 lower.  Don't ask where I came up with that's supposed to look like much thought, consideration and analysis went into it but in truth it was a figure I picked out of thin air right before taking my daily cat-nap at lunch this afternoon.  :-)

Oh, and this really isn't a "townhouse" it's a "condo."  Well, it's the biggest 3-story, 2-car garage condo I've ever seen!  LOL  Unfortunately, being a condo the complex has to be approved by the bank (thankfully, it looks like this one already is) but also the interest rate is 1/8th of a percent higher and I think they require a higher down payment.  Both of which are manageable, just frustrating.

Another moment of panic was a partial voicemail I got from my lender, Jennifer, this evening. Thankfully I heard the gist of it and knew things would work out ok before my cellphone battery died, but when she was verifying my available assets she came across my investment statement that also lists my mom's name on one of the accounts.  Poor Jennifer sounded terribly upset in the voicemail  asking if this was a retirement account of my moms that I had access to and did I plan on taking a loan from it, or could the investment firm supply a document saying there were mine or "and I hate to have to ask this" we might need mom's death certificate.  Both items are readily available but I felt bad for not realizing that statement would need further explanation and for putting Jennifer in such an awkward position!  She had left for the day by the time I got my phone to a charger and was able to listen to the rest of her message, so hopefully she doesn't let this worry her too much tonight until she gets my message tomorrow.

The craziness I'll accept, but I'm going to refrain from getting excited until a lot of trees have been sacrified to create all the documents needed to make this sweet baby mine. ;-)

The growing "list"

(it's so hard to adequately yank all the craziness from a week ago into the right words...and remember what I was thinking back then!  But I think this entry will bring me up to today.  Well, maybe not.)

This past Saturday (one week after receiving my pre-approval letter), my Realtor, Debbee and I headed out to look at "real" houses.  Several coworkers kept pushing the house vs. townhouse angle and although I've always liked the idea of having my own space (including land) I'd pretty much entered this venture thinking "townhouse, townhouse, townhouse, townhouse" like some sort of chant only my brain can interpret.  Of course, sometimes my brain has a tough time interpreting anything (including the colors of those silly 3-color lights hanging above many intersections.  ha!) so maybe it was actually just static.  Or maybe the rumbling of the freight trains...

So here's my train of thought (see, I can't get away from the stupid "train!"): with a townhouse I won't have to spend hours upon hours working in the yard(s) pulling weeds, mowing the grass, planting a flower garden with flowers that are just going to make me sneeze (newly acquired denials finally quit working).  In a townhouse, I don't have to buy a snowblower to keep my sidewalks/driveway clean.  What?  A shovel?  Are you kidding!  I used a shovel on New Year's Eve for the first time in four years ago and still have a knot in my back!  With a townhouse I will have at least one non-exterior wall insulating me from the elements, thus keeping my heating/cooling bill lower.  Of course that also means I'll have at least one non-private wall that all the annoying neighbor noises can filter through. And etc, etc.  Not that I am exactly opposed to owning a house and having all the responsibilities of its upkeep falling directly on my wide-for-my-size shoulders, I would just rather not.

The first house Debbee took me to is three doors away from, you guessed it...the train tracks!  Worse, this is the "annoying" train tracks with the slower-moving train with the much more annoying whistle.  Right now I live with the more annoying train south of me and the less annoying train north of me...and I can hear them both!  But the older-than-me house was very cute...a recent Fix and Flip with hardwood floors throughout the main floor except with tile (or was it linoleum?) in the kitchen. It faced WEST, and if you stand on your tippy-toes (or just looked west if you're taller than me) you can see the snow-capped tops of the foothills.  Not sure how much of that (although obviously not snow-capped) would be visible in the middle of summer when the trees are blocking the view.  But the backyard was A W E S O M E.  First there was a huge deck off the kitchen (this is facing east) and then a large backyard with sort of an inset that would make a nice veggie garden or a big flower bed. The basement was pretty cool too...wall-to-wall carpeting with a huge laundry room (could actually have an ironing board set up, probably a sewing room in there as well...too bad I don't sew!), two 'non-conforming' bedrooms and a large open room that would be awesome with a pool table to stack junk on.  Isn't that what pool tables are for??  Even though it's close to the (annoying) train, this house made "the list."

Of the other 3 houses we looked at on Saturday, only one more made "the list" and they both joined my favorite townhouse for further consideration.

So Saturday was an exhausting but quite profitable day.  But now I not only need to decide on which  property to buy, I first have to decide on which type of property to buy!  Ugh.

Sunday wasn't a day of rest for my brain anyway. I mentally compared the floorplan of all three properties and by mid-afternoon I'd decided to nix the 3rd  addition to the list. This left one townhouse and one house, both (you guessed it) in close proximity of a railroad track. 

On Monday morning (yesterday) Debbee sent me listings for 2 more townhouses and 4 more house and I asked for Thursday afternoon off so we could check them out during the day. But I was no longer excited to peruse the information and pictures and map a route home that night so I could do my obligatory drive-by to see if that would eliminate any of them. My mind just kept going back to that silly townhouse overlooking the less-annoying train!  LOL

On my way home last night I made a last-minute detour to drive by the townhouse again.  s o m e o n e   w a s   i n    f r o n t   o f   MY HOUSE   c h e c k i n g   o u t   t h e   i n f o r m a t i o n    b r o c h u r e!!!

I wasn't taking ownership.  I was keeping an open mind.  But that didn't change the panic I felt when I saw that SUV checking out the place I was considering calling my home!

Long story short, well sorta short, the decision to not buy a house-house was reached and this townhouse was callin' my name!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm in Love...

...with brick and mortar.  ha ha

My Realtor, Debbee, recommended not looking at properties until we found out what I would qualify for to eliminate me falling in love with something I couldn't afford. She sent me about 16 properties earlier in the week prior to me getting my pre-approval letter. Some I kick out just for the fun of it, some I drove by and kicked out of the running because they faced NORTH!  Seriously, people, if you didn't grow up in a NORTH-facing house in a NORTHern state, you won't understand the importance of this. But if you've ever chiseled ice off the concrete in front of your house in March or April, you'll understand my very, very FIRM stance against NORTH facing houses!  (can you tell I feel quite strongly against this?!  LOL)

So, last Tuesday afternoon Debbie and I head out to check out five townhouses that weren't eliminated by my driveby. The first one was claustrophobic.  Seriously.  It was all angles and hallways and I felt like my elbows or purse were going to poke a hole in the wall if I wasn't careful.  Delete.

Then we drove north and checked out the love of my life.  LOL  Although it's not huge in square footage, the layout is open and it feels huge. The front faces north, but the garage (where I would enter) faces south so that kept it in the running. So the garage is the "basement" level" and the living room is right above it with a balcony and the master bedroom is about that with another balcony. The balconies obviously face south and the view is sooooo incredibly awesome and includes Downtown Denver (southeast), Pikes Peak (south) and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (southwest).  Love me my mountains!  Ok, so it also overlooks a train, but  one went by while we were in the master bedroom and it was much quieter than what I put up with in this apartment now.

I told Debbee she had to get me out of the place before I made myself a permanent fixture, but unfortunately I was spoiled and the rest of the townhouses didn't come up to par!  Well, one came close, but that's only because it was really close to "my" lake (love me some water, too!).  It was a beautiful townhouse with awesome fixture, incredible appliances and was up 13 steps from its front entrance and sat over top three two-garages.  Not my idea of quiet and private when the guy who owns the garage under the masterbedroom decides to work on his hotrod late into the night!  LOL  But it did have an incredible master bathroom with a jet tub!  Ohhhhh, can I take that with me to my mostest favorite townhouse?

But, there are more places to check out.  Can't just buy the first (or rather second) place you look at, right?  ;-)   I promise to try and keep an open mind.

It's Official!!!

When I was a kid you were supposed to be quiet in the library.  And you weren't supposed to have drinks.  Or dogs.  My granny disobeyed that rule...probably both...every time she thought it was too cold/hot to leave her toy poodle in the car.  "Puddin' Head" was one spoiled, but well educated, lap dog!  ha

But now days libraries just try to keep things at a dull roar. Maybe it's part of the not offending anyone?  Oh, well.  I still try to at least shut off the ringer on my phone, but that's something I forgot to do last Saturday afternoon.  As I was browsing the new book section to see if there was anything worth hauling home, my phone started vibrating AND ringing.  Even though I didn't recognize the number I answered it anyway and found it was my lender, Jennifer, asking some questions as she finished up my pre-approval application. I felt bad she was working on  a Saturday, but she acted like it was what was supposed to happen so I didn't say anything. 

After leaving the library and making a run to the grocery store, or something just as exciting, I went home and checked my email and found my Pre-Approval letter waiting for me!  Woo hoo!!!!!  Several months ago I had set a limit of what I thought I could afford, but later decided I decided to lower that amount just because I figured in light of the current housing market I could find something nice enough for a lower price.  However, the bank approved me for the first amount I set as my limit.  Good to know they trust me that much!  LOL

So, guess it's official now.  It's for real!

Wait!  I need to go back to the library and check out that Homebuying for Dummies book!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My latest adventure (including background, so it's looooong)

It all started about four years ago when I mentioned on a Yahoo! Group that I was moving and the very sweet and timid Debbee took that opportunity to send me a private message asking if I'd considered buying.  Well, yeah I had, but not in Denver.  It's expensive in Denver!!  But as with my trip to New England in 2008, the seed of an idea was planted in my head and just needed the time to germinate. (the New England trip was planted in my head 14 months before it happened because my cousin Joyce's husband and sons stayed at my house for a week and at some point Joyce said anytime I wanted to come to NE I'd have a place to stay.  Dangerous words!)

So, since Debbee's actually sweet but not at all timid and took the initiative to reach out to a total stranger (of course she wanted to make a sale, but it was a great opening!), the wheels of my brain started turning.  I wasn't able to pull it off at that time and went ahead and renewed the lease on my apartment.  Over the next few years Debbee and I kept in touch off and on as I kept making excuses for why I couldn't buy (too much debt, not enough down payment!) and Debbee kept encouraging me in my college classes and whatever else I mentioned.

But I wasn't just sitting on my duff!  I had decided I really wanted to get out of communal living (well sometimes it seems like it - I can hear my neighbors even if I never see them!) and started taking steps to make sure that some day it would happen. As with many people my age, I spent money without a plan. At one point I had close to $10,000 in credit card debt and while that may not seem like much to some people, my annual salary and legitimate monthly obligations wouldn't have enabled me to pay it off for a long, long, long, long time.  If ever, if I didn't change my ways.

There are two distinct actions I began then to get myself out of that jam AND get myself into a house.  First, I absolutely refused any new credit card offers.  Every time I was in Kohl's or Target or Sears, etc., and they tried to sucker me into their store credit card "and save 15% today!" my standard response was "no thanks, I'm trying to buy a house and don't want any more hits on my credit report."  That always shut them up. ;-)

My second action was to work on a definite plan on HOW to pay off my debt.  I believe when I started this I had a loan with my credit union (probably one I opened to pay off a credit card that had spiked its interest rate) and two or three...possibly four(??) cards with balances.  I had always haphazardly applied money to each one and prided myself in NOT paying only the minimum balance.  Ever. But my friends DeAndrea and Chris told me about Debt-Free Workshop and I spent a rainy Spring Saturday in a church in Northglenn, CO, listening to Bob Marette explain how you can "be debt free in 5-7 years...including your mortgage."  Well, I didn't have a mortgage, so I figured I could do it in much less than 5 years!!

This plan works splendidly if you 1) make enough money and 2) don't put anything new on your credit cards.  Apparently I didn't meet either of those requirements and I kept having to readjust the "current amount due" on my amortization schedules. (I love Excel!!)  That's what happens when you don't make a budget and stick to it!  Unfortunately, I still haven't mastered that concept.  a-hem!

But then my mother died in June 2008 and my sister and I inherited some money.  Not a lot, although more than I make in a year so that was nice.  Well, not as nice as it would be to not be an orphan, but some things are completely out of our control.  When we left the Edward Jones office where we'd met with mom's (and now our) financial advisor Chris, I told Nicki and Brent I was going to use my money to help buy a house.  Nicki said she wanted to get new carpet for her house...she did and it's lovely!

The Edward Jones guy, Chris, spent many hours on the phone with me over the next several months helping me understand investing but also to get my ducks in a row to buy this dream home. He knew I wasn't going to leave my money invested through his firm for long, but he was awesome about helping me figure out how to bring my spending under control (although I still don't have a budget!) and finish getting my debt paid off.  Later that year I withdrew some money from my inheritance and used my income tax refund to completely pay off my debt!!!!! (and yes, I filed an income tax extension and got my money back in July or August.  and yes I know that's just letting the government use my money for free.  But do you drive slowly so you'll save money on gas?  Ok, get off my back!  LOL  ;-)

Let me recap that previous statement...I paid off all my debts in September 2008!!!!!!!  and !!!!!!!  ;-)

So, now I think I'm ready to do this and am getting anxious to start looking at houses!  I contacted Debbee and told I wanted to get the ball rolling.  I contacted my lender, Jennifer, and gave her the same news.  But I never made it past just looking at (and eliminating!) the listings Debbee sent me so I obviously wasn't completely serious about it yet.  Then in December 2008 I decided to change jobs and knew that wouldn't be a good time to buy a house!  But, I kept refusing new credit cards and somehow managed to stop all credit card offers from being mailed to my house!!  And best of all, I manage to keep of the good work of NOT carrying a balance on my credit card!  Woohoo!!!

January 2009 I'm hired as a "temp to hire" with an expected hire date of April.  Or maybe July.  April comes and goes and it's not even a blip.  In March they lay off 30 employees along with 15 or 20 temps.  The end of June my department manager pulls me aside and tells me he's terribly sorry but they didn't get authorization to hire me yet and if I needed to do something else he understood.  I know that's not just a way of trying to get rid of me because I know he and my direct manager are very happy with my work and very frustrated with the hiring process.  But they needed authorization from the president of our parent company to hire me!!!  Then in July they let another 30+ employees go and now all the temps are gone except for myself and one person in the shop.  How do you think that made me feel??  Very grateful, certainly, but also like I had a target on my forehead hoping it wouldn't be noticed my anyone who was close friends with one of the now-former employees!

My lender, Jennifer, offers to check into financing for me anyway but found out I wouldn't be approved for a loan unless I'd been with the temp agency for two years.  I certainly hope I'm not!!!  But she said once I'm hired it shouldn't be a problem as long as I have consequetive work history, along with good credit, etc.

In the mean time, I'm busy taking back-to-back classes from May to December and get sooooo burned out on school I'm almost ready to throw in the towel.  But that would NOT be cool because then I'd have to start paying off my student loans and that's not something I included when I said I paid off my debts in 2008! :-(

But finally, in October 2009 the authorization to hire comes through and on November 9, 2009 I start out my first work day since January as a "real" employee!   The $8000 tax credit for new home buyers gets extended into 2010 and home prices have only increased slightly since their plummet due to the recession.  AND interest rates are still sort of low.

So, that's the background.  I'm going to shut up for now because my poor aching brain insists it's at least an hour past my bedtime and really wants a full nights sleep tonight.

More later!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Well, hello!

Have I seen you before? Flat little tabs with letters or numbers on them. Some with words like 'backspace', 'shift,' 'pause,' 'break.' A fold-up screen above with pretty pictures or lotsa words. You look so familiar.

Oh,'re my laptop!

I'm ready for a pause.  I'm ready for a shift.  I'm really ready for a break...from work...but someone's gotta pay the bills so I guess I'll skip that for now.

She wasn't my favorite professor, but she helped me see that (sometimes) I have a way with words (at least on paper) and encouraged me to never stop writing.  Well, it was about four years ago that I sat in Professor Bennett's class and I've really slacked off in the last couple years in the "keep writing" nonsense, but perhaps I will be able to jump back into the pond.  With the help of you, my laptop, of course!  ;-)  (why doesn't blog spot have cute emoticons?!)