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March 2012
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April 2012

The House Next Door: The Appraisal

...continued from The House Next Door: Under Contract

"Sooooo, are you guys going to allow the buyer make an offer on your house?"

This Full House The House

1993:  The real estate lawyer, who seemed very well-versed in the matter, insisted that investing in a "starter home" was the way to go and -- considering I was pregnant with our first child, at the time -- our timing could NOT have been better.

"As long as you move before the kid starts kindergarten!"

2012:  19 years, 4 kids, 3 cats, 3 refinances and 1 doofus-dawg later (give or take a couple of goldfish) my husband and I have FINALLY accepted the fact that...you know...we are in it...up to our collective chin hairs...and, frankly, with a lot of people losing their jobs AND homes (stupid economy) we are, pretty much, here to stay.

Unless, Ty Pennington showed up (shows ending, enough said) or we hit the lottery (dreaming along with 6 billion other people, dammit) or if someone bought the house next door (it's under contract) and made an offer on our property.

Aaaaand, now that the house next door is under contract...Miss Grace's 100+ year-old house will most likely be razed, to make room for a WAY BIGGER and much newer house, apartments or even a couple of townhouses...like they did down the street from us...you know...now what?

On the one hand, our house?  It's just a house: 

  • in need of a new roof and paint job 
  • the front porch and back stairs are drooping a bit (okay, a lot)
  • the windows need to be replaced
  • not to mention 1/3 of the living room ceiling (stupid Hurricane Irene)
  • and that's only about half of the stuff we meant to...you know...get to...eventually

On the other hand, the property is valued much higher: 

  • a builder could buy both our tracks of land
  • raze both our houses and put up another cul-de-sac
  • connecting to the ones behind our combined properties
  • and...BAM!...you got a whole new neighborhood.

Then again, I've grown accustomed to the creaks, groans and killer dust bunnies (named a few of them, in fact) not to mention, the peace and quiet of our BIG backyard.

Besides, how do you put a value on ALL the time invested in:

  • trading secrets under the shade of an old oak tree
  • jumping your cares and troubles away with an epic cannon ball
  • gathering onion grass, dandelions and Queen Anne's lace, used to prepare Sunday dinner for the fairies who live under the stump of a fallen birch
  • The blood, sweat and tears spent cultivating a piece of land, growing food for our table and flowers on the windowsills
  • perfuming the air with scents of lavender, basil, anise, with hints of lemon balm, sweet William and about half a dozen butterfly bushes
  • providing the perfect venue for outdoor celebrations with family and friends

It's not just a house.  It's our home.  Now that there is a tiny (and I mean, the tiny-est of tiny-ies) chance we may FINALLY be able to move up (i.e. the 3 girls will not have to share a bedroom and the boy gets a real bedroom door) I'm not sure what we would do.

"I heard Daddy tell Grandpa we're moving!"

[eyes go wide]

"Is that true?!?"

....to be continued.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

The House Next Door: Under Contract

The House Next Door 2
If houses could talk, ours would be complaining about that weird neighbor, too ;)

My son had one of his buddies over for a playdate...ummmm, I mean...the guys were just sort of hanging out...you know...not doing nothing, together (got to be REAL careful how you blog about a 13-year-old, just sayin') which, of course, allowed me a chance to catch up with one of my momfriends.

"Did the lady next door pass?"

[eyes go wide]

"Which lady?"

Because, you know, there happens to be a house, with a lady living next door, on either side of us, and, well, you have to be REAL specific when asking me questions.

"Your 103-year-old neighbor."

I've blogged about Miss Grace many, many times over the past 9 years.  In fact, I got my first ever publishing gig outside this blog by submitting one of my favorite stories about her

The last time I wrote about the house next door, however, I thought she was 104.

"I don't think so, why?"

Then again, age doesn't really matter (DAMMIT!) especially, once you've lived over a century and, well, good thing I have momfriends who know more about my neighbors...than I do.

"Because, there's a for sale sign outside her house."

Aaaaaand, momfriends can be a REAL asset...especially, when they are much more observant than...you know...I am.

"I just thought they were helping her clean up the yard, or something."

Long story short (you're welcome) Miss Grace is just fine (thank goodness!) but, she hasn't been able to physically keep up with the house (not for the lack of trying, either) so, her family was finally able to convince Miss Grace that she just should not be living...alone...anymore.

"Hey, did you know that the house next door is under contract?"

Another momfriend called me the other day and, well, this is where most folks would be surprised to learn just how much I really do rely on my momfriends...you know...for stuff like this.

Not to mention, I have more than one momfriend.

"Yeah, I know."

The house has been on the market for only, like, a month.  Considering it is even older than Miss Grace (her father built it) and the property is HUGE (at least a double-lot, like ours) I'm guessing the house next door is being bid on by a contractor, or something.

"Sooooo, are you guys going to allow the buyer make an offer on your house?"

....to be continued.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

So Emotional, I Blame Glee (and @BurghBaby!)

Resident Gleek
Just another Gleek rocking out to Whitney!

Yes, yes, I know.  Then again, I am a total dork from waaaaaay back.  Who knew being dorky/geeky/nerdy/whatever-y would be so cool and would you believe that I have NEVER blogged about Glee?

Truth be told, I sometimes forget it's on.

Me:  Why aren't you in the shower?
10 year-old:  Glee is on!

Or our resident Gleek forgets to...you know...tell me...for fear of being subjected to my singing along and no, I do NOT blame her.

Last night's episode, however, was a tribute to Whitney Houston and, well, the two of us?  We have a history.  In fact, we spent many nights on the dance floor together, singing our hearts out and insisting that...you know...it would be really, really, really nice to dance with somebody...DAMMIT!

"Is the show going to end, you know, now that the kids are graduating?"

My 13 year-old son?  Not a big fan. 

[eyes go wide]

Aaaaaaand...only then did it really hit me...like a ton of 45's (look it up, youngster!) Holy Hannah Montana, I've got a kid graduating, high school, this year!

Aaaaaaand...oh, how I cried...and cried...OH!...and single-dad Burt's speech to his son, Kurt?  Admitting that he's not ready to say goodbye and how much he'll miss his only son?  I'M BAWWWWWWWWWWLING!!!!

Which begs the question:  how in the heck am I going to get it through my own kid's graduation ceremony, without BAWWWWWWWWWWLING, IRL?!?

Glee Whitney Episode Tweet
Ditto!!! Because, in my head I'm still, like, 19 (never mind, just how long ago WAS that, anyways, whip-puh-snap-puh!) except, now I'm rocking out with shorter hair, looser clothing and better fitting shoes...DAMMIT!

"Oh, I forgot tell you mom, a notice came home about my 5th grade graduation."

[one beat, two beats]

I'M BAWWWWWWWWWWLING...AGAIN!!!!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

 

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Desperate Times, Call For Desperate Measures & They Were Probably NOT Her Real Nails, Anyways!

At Hope's Honors Band Concert
Hope's Elementary Honors Band Concert 4-21-12

We have lots of stuff scheduled on the calendar for this month (what, you too?!?) however, my being stranded at the airport in San Diego on Friday night was NOT one of them.

Truth be told, it's not a really bad place to be stranded, really.  Also, Jamba Juice?  Strawberry Whirl?  Yeah, I get it now. 

Aaaaand, I was able to get on a direct flight to Jersey (thank you, United!!!) a red eye that would get me home in time to catch Hopey's concert.

I had a really nice driver waiting for me (thank you, LeAndria!) who insisted that these sort of things happen all the time.

The baggage claim handler, however, was not as understanding.

"Wait, I...just...don't...get it...why is your bag in Denver?!?"

EXACTLY!!!

"Well, didn't they give you a baggage claim?"

20 minutes later (I kid you NOT!) I'm STILL trying to make Ms. Crotchety Airline Employee  understand why I don't have my baggage claim ticket (obviously, I picked an awful time to lose the stickin' thing!) and was trying not to CRINGE each time she scraped a talon on her keyboard.

[tap-tap-SCRAPE-tappity-tap-tap-SCRAPE]

"I just don't understand, wait a minute, where are you from?"

[heavy sigh]

"HERE, I'm from here."

[tap-tap-SCRAPE-tappity-tap-tap-SCRAPE]

"You know, bee-cawse you look aww-fully fuh-mill-yuh."

I took a deep breath, rubbed my eyes, glanced back to see if my driver ditched me (still there, bless his heart) because, if there's one thing I've learned flying as often as I have in the last few years, you just gotta let people like Crotchety Airline Employee tawk. 

"You know, there's a reason why they give people baggage claim tickets."

[heavy sigh]

"Really? I just want to get home to my 10 year-old."

[eyes go wide]

"Awwww, is she sick?"

[one beat, two beats]

"Uh...YES, yes she is."

[tap-tap-SCRAPE-tappity-tap-tap-SCRAPE]

"Found it!"

What?!?  Okay, so my kid wasn't really sick.  However, in review of this week:

  • I missed her FIRST softball game on Wednesday night.
  • Her D.A.R.E. graduation on Thursday.
  • I was, however...sniff-sniff...able to make it to the D.A.R.E. graduations for my other three...cough-cough...so, like whyyyyyyyyyy caaaaaaaaaan't I make herrrrrrrrrrrrs?!?

 Desperate times, desperate measures and all.

"Oh, look, the friggin' computer just went down?"

[rubbing eyes, again]

"That's okay, maybe one of my other kids can take care of her."

[eyes go wide]

"How many kids DO you have?"

[yawn]

"Seven."

[tap-tap-SCRAPE-tappity-tap-tap-SCRAPE]

"Ohhhhhhh-kaaaaaay, here's your new claim ticket."

[yawn]

"You poor thing!"

What?!?  I made it home AND had time for a quick nap.  The concert was AWESOME and, well, Hope seemed very happy to see me there!

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Fiiiiiiiiine, they probably weren't Crotchety Airline Employee's real nails...either...AND my bag was delivered yesterday, enough said.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Stranded in San Diego and What the Heck is Jamba Juice, Anyways?

  Headed homeI've been on the road for the last 3 days, spending about half that time either in the air, probably flying right over your head or waiting here on the ground, hoping to get back into the air, like, REAL SOON!

In fact I'm supposed to be in the air, RIGHT NOW!  Headed to Denver, CO.

Instead, I'm sitting here, in San Diego, in front of a large bank of windows, next to 2 old-ish gentlemen comparing their medical alert bracelets (where are you, when SaveHer needs you, BusyMom?) and some lazy schlub's empty Jamba Juice cup (dude, really, this is NOT your living room!) while I watch other people take off and head onto their next destination.

My luggage, on the other hand, is headed to Denver. 

Long story, short (you're welcome) the outbound flight was delayed and I would have missed my connection in Denver, anyway.

You know, where my luggage is going, RIGHT NOW!

Instead, the really nice people at United were able to get me onto a direct flight back home which leaves in less than 3 hours [knocks on wood until knuckles bleed] and gets me in around the buttcrack of dawn.

They call it "the red eye" for a reason, I think.  I'm about to find out, for sure.

More importantly, I will make it home in time to shower, grab a HUGE HONKING cup of coffee (or cawfee, if you're from Jersey) and watch my youngest play 2nd clarinet in the Central Jersey Elementary School Honors Band concert.

WHOOT!!!!!

In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, some lovely pictures from my trip, just in case MomoFali's gotten over hating me, just a little.

View of San Diego, CA

I woke up to this, every morning, sheesh, what's with all the boats?

Forced Myself to Eat Outdoors

Still, I forced myself to eat lunch...outdoors...and it...you know...hurt.

Home Away from Home While in San Diego, CA
And then spent an afternoon walking along the harbor surrounded by an annoyingly shine-y blue sky.

Picked Up a Few Trinkets

And the sound of seagulls and wind chimes, carried along a cool breeze and you know, more sunshine.

San Diego GasLamp District

Really, I don't know how you SoCal people stand it?  Aaaaaand, they have free WiFi here at the airport?

[insert sh*t-eating grin, here]

My luggage should be REAL jealous, right about now.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Aaaaand, Now For More "Break Curfew and I'll Show This Video to Your Girl/Boyfriend!" Blog Fodder

My son's voice is changing.  A lot.  It's okay, he knows he sounds funny.  So, I shot this quick video while hunting for apple cider donuts during spring break, last week.

Aaaaand, now I'm sorta mad at myself for not thinking of doing something like this back when I first started blogging...9 years ago...when he was 4 years-old (I think) because it would have made for some really awesome "Break curfew and I'll show this video to your girlfriend!" blog fodder.

So, I video-taped my youngest for good measure.  You know, seeing as the kid is 10...going on 29...and most likely eloping, getting married jumping out of an airplane, or something involving the use of some sort of underwater breathing apparatus, anyway.

Then, she can send me THAT video and we'll go ahead and just call it even. 

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Want a donut?  I skinned it and everything!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Why Is Everyone in SUCH a Hurry? (Atlernate Title, If You're From Jersey: SLOW THE FRIG DOWN!)

Mommy's little bumper sticker
Mommy's little bumper sticker: seriously, it's on my car right now. What, I'm from Jersey, you got a problem wit-dat?

My 16yo daughter texted me, my husband AND my oldest at 7:05 on her way to school this morning.

"A car just spun out on the parkway and nearly crashed into my bus.  Definitely awake now."

I didn't see the text.  I did hear my cell phone croak in the middle of the night (note to self:  lower volume after 10 p.m.) but, my husband didn't tell me about her text, right away, either.

"I wanted to check in with her first, because I figured you would flip out."

He was right.  Aaaaand, my Jersey may or may not have exposed itself on Facebook.

Continue reading "Why Is Everyone in SUCH a Hurry? (Atlernate Title, If You're From Jersey: SLOW THE FRIG DOWN!)" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.