Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Roller Coaster Ride

This morning, Bob met a structural engineer over at the house. He had sent him a copy of the appraisal so that he'd know why the bank was concerned, and the engineer had read over it before meeting Bob this morning.

He was shocked. After reading the appraisal, he thought, What are these folks getting themselves into? And then he went through the house. And he was really impressed. The house is really solid, and incredibly well-built. He had no concerns about the structural integrity. He's going to write up a "clean bill of health" for our bank. I think he's also going to reference how misleading the appraisal is, with all of its references to the flaws, and none to the house's [many] positive attributes.

Now don't freak out (I know, that's the pot calling the kettle black), but here's one of the house's flaws:
Those are my brothers-in-law, Jon and Steve, up there. I love this picture, and I don't even know why, though if I thought about it much, I'm sure I could come up with reasons. I do not have time today.

There was a small fire in the base of the chimney, and they repaired the chimney but not the siding. Yep, we're buying a house with [a horrible chain link fence and] plywood on the side of it. It doesn't look pretty. Yet. But it will! (Oh, and they also have tried out various paint colors around the house on the siding. I think there are probably at least five different colors around the house. Here, you can see just two.)

Anyway, after the stress of yesterday, I feel particularly thankful for the hope I have now, after the engineer's assessment this morning. I don't know that we could have asked for a better result from their meeting this morning. Now, I just hope the bank is convinced. They should be. Let's see if they are.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Freakin' Out

I'm trying not to, but really? We're selling our house on Monday, moving in with my mother-in-law until we close (supposedly) on the house we're buying in two weeks.

And now our bank is telling us they don't want to lend us money for that particular house because they're worried that it's not structurally sound, based on the appraisal. The appraisal? What? The appraisal that specifically says, "There were no adverse physical deficiencies or adverse conditions observed at the time of inspection which would appear to affect the soundness of the property." But they were concerned about some things (the roof needs to be replaced -- but is not leaking--, there are two broken windows, they need to fix some flooring in the kitchen, the floors "slopp", etc.), and when they called the appraiser, they ended up talking with his boss who said that the appraiser should probably not have written that sentence. The boss who's never seen the house.

The house needs some work, I'll give them that. But structurally unsound because of "slopping" floors?? Whoa. They must not have experience with old houses. If that house is structurally unsound, this house is falling down. If those floors are sloping, then these floors are practically vertical, not horizontal. Honestly.

I am so p***ed off (and I don't curse!), I can hardly see straight. If we lose this house because the bank doesn't have a clue, I don't know what we'll do. Ironically, in this time of recession, our trouble with getting a mortgage doesn't have anything to do with our ability to get a loan, but with the house used as collateral for that loan.

I sat down with the girls this morning and prayed about it, but immediately resumed freaking out. Then I called Bob and left a message on his voice mail, crying. Poor guy. I know it doesn't help him to have a wife who's losing it.

I do not want to be homeless! With two little girls, a Great Dane, and two cats! At the holidays!

Pray for us, please.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mommy Blogging

Bob called me from work to inform me that I'm a mommy blogger. I suppose I am. I definitely meet the description in an article he read today. Of course, I resent being called a mommy. I am not a mommy! For whatever reason, I don't like that word/name. I can't stand it when people refer to me as a mommy, and thank goodness, Bob does a good job of correcting people, "she likes to be called Momma."

Anyway, so I'm a mommy blogger. Follow that link up there, and read what he read. I watched the Motrin commercial that is discussed, and it really irritated me. I'm glad they're taking it out of circulation. I realize that for a lot of people, it's no big deal. But it offended me.

I'm going to live up to my mommy blogger designation now and post videos of Cecil.

I can hardly believe that I've become one of those parents that thinks their kids are incredibly cute... but of course, I've become one of them.

Here goes (practicing pronunciation):

And everything is a phone, these days: alarm clocks, spoons, conch shells...

A Sad Turn of Events

No, before you get worried, nothing bad has happened. Not anything of real gravity.

But, the other night I spent hours baking bread. I love homemade bread, especially homemade bread from my grandmother's recipe. It is sad to me that I don't have a whole lot of memories of my dad's mom, but I do remember her cooking. For me, this is a small way for her to live on in my family: I like to cook using her recipes.

So, I baked bread the other night, and since it takes a long time and I don't do it often, I made a double batch, resulting in four loaves. You can imagine how pleased (or not) I was to discover that Lily (my Great Dane) had eaten a half loaf. I was so stricken at the waste of it that I haven't brought myself to throw it away. Should I compost it? That, too, seems like a waste. I'm wondering if we should feed it to the ducks at Columbian Park so we at least get some pleasure out of it.

The remaining loaves:

The disfigured, ruined one:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Busy Life

Last weekend was supposed to be a packing-heavy weekend, but I woke up Friday morning with the stomach flu, and it really knocked me for a loop. I hardly got off the couch until Monday morning. Yuck.

Thankfully, our closings have been pushed later (for reasons related to the complications of buying a foreclosure), so we still have time to get packed.

The woman buying our home has been gracious enough to allow us to leave all of our belongings in the downstairs during the 7-8 days after she buys this house, but before we close on that house. And we'll crash at my mother-in-law's in the meantime. We are very grateful to not have to put everything in storage, thereby moving everything twice, like we did last year when we bought this house.

Today, we bought a new dryer for the new house. We've really liked the set we have here, so we bought one exactly like what we already have. But... this had been a floor model, so it's deeply discounted. And its flaw? Tape residue. We can handle that. Because it was so much on sale, we went ahead and bought it (I didn't want someone else to get our good deal!), but there was not a similarly priced matching washer, so we didn't feel any rush to go ahead and buy the [full-priced] washer today. That and the fact that we'd rather not buy appliances here and move them there. It would be much easier to just have hhGregg deliver them there once we own the house...

Though we don't have cable and don't watch tv, when I have the chance to, I love TLC. They have lots of shows I like, including Clean Sweep, where families get desperately-needed help to weed out everything in their home, and then organize what's left. Moving gives me a good reason to go through what I have, and I really like having a good-sized box of things to give away. (George Foreman grill, anyone?)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


With all the talk on NPR these days, Caroline's picked up a new word:

I'm sorry-- I can't figure out how to get a different clip to show for this video...