Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More pictures of our house!

Well, they're actually pictures of pictures. I adjusted my camera so the pictures (of the pictures) could be uploaded to blogger. If you look close enough, you can see both dates on the photos. Thank goodness we have an awesome printer!
This is our family room loft. It sits above our dinning room. The stained glass you see is framed and will be going with the sellers. I'm not sure what I'll do with the window, but that lighting fixture you see hanging there will be replaced by a Hunter Douglas ceiling fan and light.

This is the front door and stairs. Amazingly enough, we have the exact same sofa. We keep ours covered most of the time because we don't use the furniture in our living room. We do our "living" in the family room.
Here's the view from the loft that will be our family room. We'll probably put Hershey's bed next to the railing so he can keep watch over his new "castle."

Nick may have been taken by the family room loft, I was sold when I entered this "huge" kitchen. This picture was taken as you enter, just to your right is the entrance to the dinning room.

As you can see, I have an island and an eating area.

Here we have a picture of the master bathroom with walk-in shower and double sinks. You can also see me in the mirror standing in the master bedroom.

Here's the rest of my kitchen with a door to the garage, half bath, pantry and my new office!
Instead of a dinette set for the kitchen, I think we'll buy a little cafe style table and chairs. It'll be like having a little Italian bistro within my kitchen, perfect for morning and evening coffee.
The hard part now is the waiting. In 24 days I'll be able to start turning this house into my home.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Finally, my new house!

It appears blogger doesn't hate me after all and has allowed me to upload a picture of my new house. The bird flying amid the blizzard, captured in the photo, has to be a good sign. We close on the 23rd of February and take possession 48 hours later. The movers arrive on March first and will deliver my "stuff" on the second. It's 3 hours away, I don't understand why the delay in delivery. Thank goodness I'm not leaving the state! So, I'll pack a bag with 3 days worth of clothes, toiletries and dog food just in case the movers get lost. Anyone who knows me, understands that not many things go smoothly where I'm involved. But that's a post for another time, for now the waters look calm.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My new house!

As I write this, my husband is getting dressed so we can converge on the "free" continental breakfast here at the Comfort Inn in Obetz just outside of "C"bus. It's snowing hard and the local forecasters said it's the first snow of the season for those residents. Which, when translated, means "these people won't remember how to drive in the snow." From my vantage point, high atop the hotel, it's really going to be a long, slow drive back home.

Our journey started yesterday morning, leaving Cleveland at 9:45am. The whirlwind, 8 house, weekend tour began Saturday afternoon at 12:30, when we met the realtor at the first house (Nicks no. 1, my no. 5). It was a nice house, on paper, with all the things we needed except a dinning room. I was willing to bend and again put my china cabinet in the living room, for the right price. This house was so over priced, for one thing, and it was a mess. We won't get into all the flaws but there's a reason it was my 5th choice. I shook my head and we moved onto the next house which was just a "main" road over and down from this development. The minute we stepped though the door I knew this was going to be my new home. It's a 3 bedroom 2 and a half bath, 2 car attached garage, two story with 1820 square feet not including the basement. When you walk in the first thing that you notice is the family room loft with oak railing. That's what sold Nick on the house, the dinning room (a real, separate room, where my china cabinet will finally be with the table and chairs!) and the walk-in shower in the master bath sold me. Not to mention the den off the kitchen that's going to house my work station and computer. The covered deck off the kitchen eating area leads you to the fenced backyard that has a shed and 3 trees I'm sure Hershey Bar will enjoy.

I'll "cut to the chase" as my mother would say, and tell you we're heading back to that (second) house this morning to make them an offer contingent on the disclosure form which has to be produced by the sellers.

The Sunday tour of 3 other houses is canceled. We were able to see one of the houses on Saturday, another we passed on because it's in an "unsavory" area and the third was in contract. I'm ready to get writers cramp, leave my good faith money and negotiate our way back to 71 north via (all those folks who forgot what snow is) 270. This winter storm will turn a 2 and a half hour drive into a 4 hour adventure as the snow shows no sign of slowing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The realtor "nazi" is coming!

I'm mentally and physically exhausted! Since my last post we've painted the bathroom, packed 20 boxes from my office, kitchen and bedroom. In between all this I've been contacted by the relocation company, mortgage company and our Columbus realtor. On Saturday Nick and I traveled to Columbus in search of a home, although we didn't find a house we do know where we do not want to live. Sunday was spent searching the Internet refining our search. That task yielded 15 houses, from there we narrowed them down to 12 houses. Evaluating demographics, property taxes and location brought the (affordable) cream to the top narrowing it further to 8 houses. From these 8 houses, we picked our top 5, with my number 1 being Nicks number 5 and his number 1 being my number 5. We did meet somewhere in the middle both choosing the same number 4 (which I think will be our new home).

Since the beginning I've been working (mentally and physically) 3 weeks ahead of everyone. Removing unnecessary items and packing my Christmas stuff for travel. Checking mortgage interest rates, market value for my home and houses in our new city. Mapping easy routes back to the Cleveland area and trying to understand the difference between an ARM and bridge loans. What am I taking and what will stay with the house. Doing a "walk though" with the movers indicating what they will pack and what we will pack. Trying to negotiate with the realtor nazi how important my work station is to me and I'm taking it with me, period!

Wondering how my husband will take care of himself 5 days a week until we move into our new house. How is our son going to survive on his own without me to wash his clothes, clean the bathroom after he showers and remind him to pay his bills. Living by myself for a few weeks and dealing with "Pat" whom I now refer to as the "realtor nazi." This may be one of the most mentally consuming things I've had to deal with in a long time.

Anyway, the realtor nazi is putting our house on the market Tuesday. Christopher's room still has to be painted and my utility room remains untouched. We're going back to Columbus this weekend to "BUY" a house. So working on those tasks have to be done between now and Tuesday when the nazi returns with her camera and a white glove. Yes I know you're saying to yourself, "why are you posting with all these things left undone"? Well, sometimes you just need a break. And I think I have everything under control. Laurie has agreed to return tomorrow and help pack the utility room and I believe Christopher's room will be painted sometime between now and Monday. Hoping Chris will act like Tom Sawyer and get his buddies to help him paint while we're gone is out of the question. This boy has had my foot firmly planted (you know where) for 21 years and he won't do anything unless he's told. Do you see why I'm worried about him being on his own?

So, I'm going to try and slow down and let everyone else catch up with me. If they only knew the realtor nazi and the fear I have of failing her demands.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My day off, maybe

The New Year rang in and with it brought many new beginnings and opportunities for my family. I found myself unemployed in December. Knowing the Lord will provide, my husband accepted a position that will “provide” the missing income. This new opportunity involves a move 2 hours south of our home, the homes of our parents and siblings. It also means our son has decided to stay in the Cleveland area.

Selling a home or better yet, “staging” a home for sale is quite the task. We’ve been in this house for almost 10 years and have made it our home. Vacation photos, graduation pictures and other “junk” adorn our home. I’m not Martha Stewart, but I have good taste.

Last evening we met with the realtor. “Pat” is a pleasant, older woman with an excellent resume with many years in the business. After we covered “what she would do for us” and heard about the market in our area, we did a walk through. Now, I’ve watched all those HGTV shows regarding decorating, staging and selling your house. Looking back now on all those comments I made about how could someone collect all that junk in their house. I now cringe at all the “junk” embellishing my abode. Like the queen of decorating, Pat sashayed about my house pointing out what “had to go” and what “has to be painted.” Don’t get me wrong, I understand her mission is to sell my house, fast. It’s just hard to hear that your possessions have to disappear and a potential buyer won’t like my blue bathroom. “Pat” like the blue half bath, why not the other? They’re exactly the same.

Once the painful task was over, we sat down again to discuss “when” we would be ready to go on the market. Two weeks we said. Are you kidding me, I thought to myself, did you take note of all the stuff I have to pack up not to mention painting the bathroom. What did I just agree to?

So, today I called off (to my husband) and I’m spending the afternoon with my friend. No packing, no painting, no staging of furniture. Just a relaxing day to gather my thoughts, rest my brain and hopefully talk Laurie into helping me pack up my belongings, making my home look like a house.

CAIR vs. Glenn Beck, again

Here we go again. The self-proclaimed American muslim mouthpiece is coming out against CNN host, Glenn Beck. This time CAIR is attacking Beck for joining ABC's "Good Morning America" as a regular commentator. As you remember, CAIR had Beck in the cross-hairs last November after CNN aired a special on islamic extremism and during an interview with Diane Sawyer she failed to identify Beck as a conservative.

As you can guess, CAIR is calling on the RoP faithfull to contact ABC and express "concerns about the network's decision to provide a platform for a person with a history of anti-muslim statements." As always, all contact information is included in the whine-o-gram. I find it odd that every time an "action alert" is called, CAIR has to remind complainants to be polite. Don't muslims know how to act unless they're told by CAIR?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy Birthday to me, and Elvis

As I posted last night, today is my birthday. I share this day with the "king," Elvis. I only mention this fact because while you're listening to the radio today you'll hear this proclaimed all day. The "oldies" station in NEO will play an Elvis tune every other song and by tonight I'm sure their audience will have dwindled to about 3 die hard fans. I will not be among them, I'm not really an Elvis fan, I've always felt he was over-rated. The only songs I absolutely love are his Christmas songs, go figure. It's probably because my mother has the album pictured here (circa 1958) and would play it all season long.
Anyway, today is my 41st birthday and if you hear an Elvis song being played today (oh, and you will), think of this humble blogger as well.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What tomorrow will bring...

Here I am on Christmas Eve with Nick and Hershey. Do I look like I'm going to be 41 in 2 weeks?

I will turn 41 in the morning. Yes, yes I know I look oh so much younger than that, but it's true. Since I can remember, my birthday has never garnered much attention. "We just had Christmas" was the reason I only had a birthday cake, absent the presents. This mantra continues to this day. After I got married, I made myself a cake for a few years and celebrated with my family, but that soon faded due to excess holiday baking.

As a matter of full disclosure, I did have a surprise birthday party when I was 9. It was fantastic! All my friends and cousins attended and I opened presents for what seemed like forever. And I remember the present I treasured most, a shell candle making kit. This most favorite gift came from who today is my dentist. I went to school with Elmer from kindergarten to graduation. That was my favorite birthday.

When I entered the workforce, I'd receive a few cards and unwanted, re-gifted Christmas presents from co-workers. This has been my usual birthday observance. I don't really like cards, for any occasion. It's a waste of money and I'd prefer the $4.00 instead. Or perhaps some scratch off lottery tickets. But that's my practical side (thanks mom and dad), I'm just going to throw the card away after a few days. I hate to see people squander their money. A heartfelt note or letter will cost nothing but time and thought. Taking a few minutes to compose a note acknowledging my birthday and what my existence in your life has meant. It costs nothing and would mean everything to me.
Anyway, by this time tomorrow the calls sending birthday salutations will have ended and I'll return to the tasks at hand. Packing, cleaning and all the duties that moving entail. It's just another day, remember, we just had Christmas.

CAIR gets slapped

Could it be Americans, and Ms. Boxer, are beginning to see this, we need extra-special, islamic civil rights group for what they really are? The incoming majority leader Senator Barbara Boxer recently rescinded an award to Basim Elkarra, the executive director of the Sacramento Valley CAIR chapter. True to form, CAIR whines, cries and looks outward for blame. This time it's a woman, the blog-o-sphere and a Jew. A posted statement was gathered from a blog belonging to Parvez Ahmed, Florida CAIR. The Jew in question is Joe Kaufman, who criticized Boxer for honoring a CAIR leader. To be fair, Kaufman has also criticized Boxer for her plan to lose the Iraq war among other issues.

Parvez Ahmed also claims the senator also relied on information from Steven Emerson, a terrorism expert who CAIR claims has a history of defamatory attacks. CAIR has attacked Emerson as well and dispatched many a "Incitement Watch" whine-o-gram to RoP faithful regarding (what CAIR calls) hate speech pertaining to islam. The truth hurts, huh Ahmed?

Staff members said the senator has "concerns" about CAIR which she claimed has been unwilling to condemn Osama bin Laden. Boxer said she "made a bad mistake" -- that her staff presented the award without her knowledge. Big surprise there, maybe she'll depend on these staffers while directing the peoples business.

With all things being equal, where's the evidence CAIR and Basim Elkarra are worthy of such awards? Instead of critiquing others by "throwing off the dogs", try defending the accusation and your links to terrorism.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

CAIR to monitor returning pilgrims

Thursdays whine-o-gram was an urgent "immediate release" communique letting hajj participants know CAIR wants your airport horror story. If you believe your rights were violated upon your return, from throwing stones at the devil, the civil liberties group will use you to further their victim hood status and gain special rights for fellow muslims. Even though TSA received hajj sensitivity training to be extra careful not to offend those returning muslims, CAIR will be doing "spot checks" at many of our nations airports.

Does anyone else believe this is just a little over the top? Isn't the goal of a civil rights group to ensure the same rights for the group they represent?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Changes in my life for 2007

2007 came and with it brought many new beginnings for our family. Unemployment, new employment, a first apartment and a new home.

The holidays have ended and as soon as I finish posting I'll begin the dreadful task of un-holidaying my home. Both trees will be stripped and the Christmas "nick knacks" will be put away until I decorate my new house in Columbus. My husband has accepted a position as "Inventory Control Manager" for AmerisourceBergen, a pharmaceutical distributor. This is a fantastic opportunity for us and we're very excited. Nick is planning to start on the 29th on this month and until we move, he's going to be living out of a suitcase. This will certainly be hard on both of us and we know the weekends will be spent painting, packing and enhancing the curb appeal.

Our son, Christopher, has decided to stay in in the Cleveland area and will be moving into an apartment. While his salary would allow him to purchase a home, the apartment is best right now just in case he does decide to come to Columbus. And he doesn't have the time or desire to maintain a home. I have ensured his presents at holidays by agreeing to his bribes and will surrender my dinette set, family room and his bedroom furniture to furnish his "pad." Santa Claus also brought him a 27 inch television and a 23 piece cutlery set. My sister-in-law and I are planning to gather other necessities bundled up in a laundry basket.

I guess it's a good time to be unemployed, readying the house for sale and doing all the things that selling a home and moving entails. Helping Christopher get settled should take my mind off the fact I'll be alone. Working towards the end result will give me a purpose and alleviate the worthlessness that being unemployed has brought me. I still plan to work part-time once we're settled in our new home. To say it's going to be hard is an understatement. I've been alone before. I've been unemployed before. I've moved 3 times and sold a house. However, I've never been without my son. That will be new territory I fear treading, for both of us. Little does he know, I need him as much as he will begin to realize he needs me.