Sunday, August 28, 2011


So much has happened in the past two months and I've not been able to post at all.  But we found a house with 4 beds, 3 baths and two acres!  It has a huge pole barn.  It was built in 1919 and even comes with a wood pellet stove!  I'm pretty excited.  We won't get to take possession until the 17th of September, but we've waited this long....  

I'll do my best to write more later about the whole miserable experience of buying a home in these United States at this point in history.  But for now, let me just say, "I draw the line when they ask for blood and tissue samples."

Oh, and my blog may be getting a name change soon.  More to come on that.  In the meantime, I have chickens to plan for, and a garden to think about next year, and fruit trees to consider, and sheep or goats to wonder about (and the wife wants a guard llama.  She likes how they look).  Life's about to get very fun.  I'll do my best to keep you in the loop.  Maybe I'll even get my readership up to over 10!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tomorrow we move!

Moving day is fast approaching.  Like, tomorrow!  I'll take pictures and post them later (maybe way later).  I don't know how long it will be before this ol' computer sees the light of day again, so my next post might not be for awhile.

I'm relatively certain that none of us have any clue what an 'adventure' we're in for, living with my sister-in-law, including her!  But we did go look at a house last weekend.  Funny thing, it wasn't on the market.  You should have seen the people's faces when we came in and started poking into closets!  Naw, they were expecting us.  My MIL knew the lady and had heard they were thinking of moving.  Then Sunday afternoon, the lady calls and wants to know if we want to come see the house.  So we did.  It would work really well for us.... 4 bed, 3 full baths, on 2 acres with a 60x65 pole building!  We'll see what happens, our realtor was supposed to call them yesterday and chat with them.

If you think of us over the next several weeks, say a prayer for sanity and a house!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Closing day

Today is the day.  This morning the wife and I will go to a local bank and sign papers to close on the sale of our house!

In other news, we still don't have a house to move into in a couple of weeks.  We looked at two others last Friday night, and I looked at three Monday morning.  Potential? Yes.   Beautiful property? Yes.  But there are just things that make each one not the right one.

I think I mentioned that we'd made an offer and the people took the house off the market...  Well, after looking Monday morning, our realtor (bless him) went to that house and talked with the owners.  They're a little old couple that doesn't know squat about real estate (come to think of it, neither did their realtor).  They have what's called a reverse mortgage and didn't do their homework before they put it on the market.  They didn't know if they'd be able to sell the house and get any equity out of it.  Plus, they had and assessment from 2007 that said the house was worth 200K.  Ummm, no.  Our realtor sat and talked with them for two hours and tried to help them out and give them some direction.  He is calling some lenders to figure out the whole reverse mortgage thing and see if he can't help them.  We may not get that house, but at least we know what really happened.  Then again, we could end up getting it.  They're a Christian couple and wanted Christians to get it...

In the meantime, we'll be living with my wife's sister in her uber-big apartment over her art studio.  I'll have to find things for the kids to do... frequently.  We're going to get the U-Boxes from U-haul and have all of our stuff stored until we're ready to put it in a house.  THAT will be interesting not having our stuff for goodness-only-knows-how-long.
Aaah, I got the pictures to work.... Finally.  That picture has nothing to do with anything, but I thought my blog was a little foto-anemic. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Updates and such

Someone posted recently wanting to know how the pickled limes were that I wrote about some two years ago.  I'm too lazy right now to find that post and link to it, but it's there somewhere down amongst all the other blog posts.  Feel free to dig through the box for it, you'll find it.

Anyway, pickled limes:  The were salty.  My kids seemed to like them a lot though, which I guess is all that matters.  But after several months taking up room in the fridge, I got rid of what was left.  I suppose they just didn't like them enough.

We have a closing date on our house!  We'll be signing papers and collecting money on the 28th at 10:00 a.m.  Furthermore, we made an offer on a house yesterday.  Details:

The house is bigger than the one we're in, though there are still only three bedrooms.  Our boys will just have to learn to get along and share.  What a pain, huh?! (snark). It's a brick ranch built in the 1978 on 1.4 acres.  The flow of the house is good and it has a lot of potential to be really great (once the old folks living there get all collection of junk out).  It has three small sheds, two of which can be used for chickens or perhaps even goats.  I can't have a cow there, not enough room, but I could put some goats or sheep on it, for sure.  Might even get the kids in 4-H.  Garden space abounds and the kitchen is large. 

Our offer was pretty low, so we're expecting a counter-offer.  However, the other realtor is kinda ancient and doesn't even really use e-mail much, so I'm not sure how 'swift' he'll be about helping his clients get the best deal they can get.  I could be wrong.  We'll have to see.  Our realtor is someone that I really think God led us to.  He's a homeschooler, homesteader, Christian.  He's a PK, like me, and we surprising have a lot in common.  He's a nice guy and I think we could be friends after this.  Matter of fact, after he and I went and looked at a house, he asked me to go with him to get something to eat.  That was fun.

Meanwhile, I've been packing and packing and packing.  Our church's VBS started last night, which I'm helping with.  AND I've broken the 3 mile barrier in my running!  Twice now I've topped 3 miles.  I'm pretty excited.  Wife bought me four new pair of shorts, size 36 - down from size 40 this time last year!  Yeah, that feels good.  My blood pressure was 113/67 this morning, too. 

And now, just so this blog has some visuals to it, I offer the following:  er... nope.  Never mind.  Can't get the pic to post.  Sorry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I was sitting outside today reading to my daughter and there was a fly that would not stop biting my legs.  It was really driving me nuts.  Then I thought about something I'd read in the past to keep flies away.  I got up, went to the garage and lightly sprayed my legs with WD-40.  I don't know if it's the smell, the taste, or the 'oiliness' that they don't like, but there was no fly bothering me after that.

I'm thinking that this could be put to good use on a cow or a horse to help relieve them of some of their summertime miseries.  AND I've read that there's nothing in WD-40 that is harmful if swallowed.  Pretty cool.  So spray it on a rag or your hands and wipe it on your animal's face... or your legs and arms or wherever to keep the pesky flies away!

Househunting angst

Well, this weekend we went to my in-laws and spent some time driving around looking at houses.  No, we didn't go inside. We just drove by them.  We had three in particular that we wanted to see, in order to tell if we wanted to see more.  Ummm, no.  For various reasons, all three failed the test.  We have seen no homes yet.

Last summer we looked at several (when we thought selling our house would be easier) that would have been great.  But this year it appears that there are just really not any out there for us... yet.

Of course, if it weren't for me and my crazy nonsense desired to have some land to homestead on, we'd have our pick of dozens of houses... seriously! Even ones that aren't in neighborhoods.  But I'm not willing to give up my dream of a homestead just yet.  So I'll just have to hang in there.

Our inspection went.  It just went.  There were a few things they want us to fix and we're going to get estimates before we agree to anything, but chances are good we'll end up doing it all.  I was really put out with all they wanted, especially since most of it is in the detached garage and not the house at all.  Wife takes a different spin and says, "If it'll sell the house then it's ok, right?!"  Yeah.  I guess.  I must be turning into a tightwad in my 'old age'.  I've found myself grumbling about bills here recently.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And so it happens

It's amazing.  Just about the time I begin to truly despair of selling our house.  We had a showing last Friday morning.  They came back that afternoon and we had an offer on Saturday.  We countered on Sunday and (due to some insurance issues) we're finally getting a response today to our counter.  They have accepted it and we are signing the paperwork TO SELL OUR HOUSE!!!  I can't believe it.  I'm not holding my breath... I haven't seen the paperwork yet and all, but still.  I can almost feel the huge sigh of relief welling up inside me.

I know that the next few weeks will be crazy.  We won't really start packing until inspections and appraisal are done, but then we have to find a place too (for which I've been praying the past four and a half years).  On top of that, we have two more weeks of school to do and get out of the way.  Heaven help me (and I'm burning out already anyway - NEED. TO. BE. DONE.)

So that's the excitement.  If this is premature and it backfires on me... I don't know what I'll do.  My wife may have to pick me up out of the corner where I'll be blubbering like an idiot.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And still I wait....

Well, it's been an uneventfully eventful few weeks since I last posted.  We had Easter, that was good.  Spring came, then it went AWOL, but I think they found it and are forcing it back to town this weekend.  We've been rained on like mad....  Oh, I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but I'm a runner now!  Yeah, I started back in March.  I'm up to about 2.5 miles or so now.  I need to lose weight and get my blood pressure in order - it was creeping up on me.  I can't say I love running, but it isn't so horrible as it used to be.  It really helps clear my head and improves my mood.

Our house is still our house.  There was a family that I was told would be making an offer.  They have a family member who is gifting them the down payment, which in my opinion is a dangerous kind of situation to find yourself in.  Too many strings attached to that sort of thing, you know.  But anyway, we never got the offer.  Come to find out, they had a tiff of some kind and the family member wouldn't give them the money.  There's another family that lives quite literally just the next neighborhood to our south.  It's a ritzy neighborhood, high priced.  They want to downsize and have told our realtor that if they sell their house, they want to buy ours.  Well, that's dandy, itn't it? (yes, I spelled 'itn't' on purpose).  Problem.  Their house is kind of expensive.  It's only been on the market for about two months.  It has a flat roof line, which doesn't sell well.  So there we are. 

We continue to have showings.  We had one Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  However, on Monday, we got the house cleaned and staged and left for the showing.  THEN the realtor calls and cancels.  AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!  I'm so sick of showings.  I want my life back.  They really do mess up an entire day.  They usually want to come at mealtime so I can't have anything in the oven because I don't want to leave with the oven still on.  If they come just after dinner, we usually have to go out to eat anyway because it makes a mess and clean up is a big issue.  (I know, I know... excuses).  I just want my life back, that's all I'm saying.

In other news.  I'm contemplating a trip to Poland this summer.  There's a mission organisation that does family English camps where people come to brush up on their English.  However, it's very Christian in approach and uses the Bible as a 'textbook'.  There are numerous opportunities to share the Gospel and lead people to a deeper understanding of Faith in Christ.  BUT, I've gotta hurry.  The trip is the end of June for about ten days and I don't even have a passport yet.  That's on my agenda for the next day or two.  Fast track if you please.

I suppose I'll be dragging out the ol' tiller and seeing if I can awaken the beast in order to work up my garden and plant something this year.  I'm not making the same mistake this year that I made last year.  I'll at least plan on having something to can and freeze from the garden, even if we sell the house before it's ready.  Actually, that's probably the surest way to sell our house... plant a garden and not be able to harvest any of it, and plan a trip to Poland so I have to either move the week before I go, or immediately upon my return.  Actually, that's brilliant!  Why didn't I think of it sooner?

Well, that's about it.  I need to go do school with the kids.   More sometime. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

We need to move, and other stuff

Well, it's been 11 months and we're still here. My wife has taken a new job which will require her to drive to work everyday (rather than the two days a week she currently drives). It's about an hour and 20 one way. We need to move closer in a bad way, because that's gonna get old fast. We continue to have showings but no one makes an offer. It's quite frustrating to spend half a day staging and cleaning your house so someone can take ten minutes to walk through and say, "Meh, no thanks."

Recently I've been praying for some healing in my life about some pretty deep kind of stuff. I'm usually not one to observe Lent, but this year I felt like God was asking me to do something. So I gave up chocolate. You may not know me well at all, but I'm a serious chocoholic. Wife and I have a bag of Dove Dark in the cabinet at all times and usually eat two a day. Any ice cream I buy, cakes, etc... it's chocolate. So this is a serious thing. I'm thinking that doing so will allow me to better experience the richness and sweetness (like chocolate) of God's healing when it comes. Pray for me.

Further, I've decided I'm sick of being overweight and unhealthy. I've been walking (serious walking, not just taking the dog for a stroll). And I think I'm going to make the goal of running a mile by the end of summer. Yes, one mile. But, I'm 39 years old and have NEVER been able to do that. Not even in junior high when we had to do it for that cursed President's physical fitness test, which I'm convinced was designed by Nazi's to weed out the weak ones. I've also been doing push ups. I must say, that never having been one to really try, I'm appreciating the improvements I'm noticing already. Here's to being hopeful.

Otherwise, life goes on. We're on track with school and the kids, so we should finish up right around the end of May. I applied for a certificate of completion program from my Alma Mater so that I can be licensed as a counselor (long story, maybe some other time). I should know about that in the next month or so and would start in the fall.

Hope you're well. Thanks for looking in on my little corner of the world.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I am...

Alive. Unmoved (meaning we haven't sold our house after 9 1/2 months). Doing better this winter than in years past (if it's going to be cold, at least it could snow... and voilas!). Still hoping that I'll be moved in time to order chicks this spring.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just an update

Wow, it's been a loooong time since I posted anything. But when there's not much to say, there's not much to post, right?

I didn't plant a garden this year because I thought, "Hey, we're moving... why plant something for someone else to either enjoy or neglect?" My bad. We're still here. Haven't moved. We've had a lot of showings in 8 1/2 months and had one serious offer. But it was such a low-ball offer it was insulting and we weren't able to work anything out. So we wait.

I've been doing homeschooling with the kids, knitting, reading.... just being me. I'm way over getting my hopes up about moving and have resigned myself to just knowing it will happen when it happens. I remember thinking last spring, "I'll go crazy if we're still here at Christmastime." Well, I didn't go nuts, exactly, but we are still here. Sigh.