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January 2011
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March 2011

Oh dear

      Last weekend the two younger kids started up lovely, snotty headcolds.  I made soothing noises and gave them juice and cold medicine and let them sleep, and went about my business.   As expected, in two or three days they started to feel better.   Unfortunately, about the same time they started feeling better, I started feeling worse.   The little darlings had shared with Mom. 

    At first it didn't seem like it was going to be too bad - a slightly scratchy throat, some sinus pressure, nothing too drastic.  It even stayed at the "not too bad" level for about three days.  But today?  Urgh.  Today my head hurts and my throat is REALLY scratchy and I kind of want to crawl in my bed and whine for my mommy.   Plus I did - something? - to my back, and it hurts if I even think about it too hard.   I suppose that means it's good that I'm not capable of much thought right now.  Maybe. 

    Right now my plan - such as it is - involves lots of liquids and cold meds and sleep sleep SLEEP, because I need to get rid of this thing pronto.  Next Friday I'm supposed to get on a plane for South Carolina (because we need to find a place to live - I know, crazy, right?) and the thought of flying with my head all stuffed up like this is not making me happy.   Actually it's making me cringe.  But not going isn't an option, because tickets aren't refundable due to extreme snottiness and also we do still need that place to live.   So!  Any and all snot-be-gone thoughts, prayers, hints or tips will be greatly appreciated over the next few days.   And I am truly grateful that it's nothing worse than just a stupid cold.  It's just rotten timing.  Blah. 

Well, that was unexpected!

    Yesterday I met with another realtor to talk about listing our house.  I was a little tense about the whole thing, seeing as how I'm not very good with business-type stuff, but it had to be done and I'm the only one here to do it.  So the nice man arrived around 11:00 a.m. and we sat down with some coffee and started talking houses.

    Obviously, when you're talking to a realtor about wanting to sell your house he (or she) is going to come armed with a list of reasons why you should choose him over anyone else.  That's part of the game, yes?  This guy yesterday went over the top, though.  Not only had he done a truly impressive amount of research on comparable houses, local market trends, etc., he had - get this - found and read this blog.   Really.   And he was clever about it, too.  He didn't just come out and say that he'd read it, he quoted my last post in his introduction letter.  I was skimming down through the letter, and thought "Hey, that sounds like something I wrote on the blog!"   When I looked at him and said that out loud, he grinned and replied "We like to really know our clients."  !!!!!  

    After that, you can probably guess which realtor we're going to use!  Oh, we're not so silly that we'd choose an agent simply because he read my blog, but that was an indication of someone who will really go all-out to connect with his clients.   The guy did his homework and then some, and that impressed me.   (Frankly, it also freaked me out just a little, but I'm getting over that.)  So in a couple weeks the house will be officially on the market, and we're just praying that all goes well. 

    And now I'm going to be just a wee bit paranoid about who may be reading my blog. 

Full whine mode

    Well, Jon took off for South Carolina this morning, so now I'm here in Michigan with three teenagers, four dogs, seven cats, a fish, and a whole truck-load of angst.   In the next few weeks I have to deal with appraisers, realtors, movers, carpet installers, utility companies and credit unions on my own.  Just me.  I'm the grown-up here, so I have to do it all. 

    I don't like that much. 

    When I break everything down, none of it's really that horrible (I guess).  It's just that most of this is stuff I've never done before, at all, and now I get to do it by myself.    Did I mention that I don't like that much?  Nope, I don't.   I'm a reasonably intelligent, competent woman - or at least I like to believe that - but dealing with things like selling a house freak me out just a little.   It's not like we're talking about a $5 transaction here, you know?  Not to mention that we're seriously concerned  about the possibility of not being able to sell the house for what we owe on it.  If we can't break even, I'm not sure what we're going to do.   (Kidney, anyone?)   There's a lot of prayer going on about all this right now.

    Truly, it's not having to do any of this that's got me all "het up" right now.  It's that Jon isn't here.   I know it's just for a few weeks, and I'll get to go down there for a few days to look for housing, and it's not like he's in the military or something, but still....I like my husband.  I don't just love him, I really, really like him, and I hate it when we're apart like this.  A day or two is okay, but much more than that and we both start getting twitchy.   We're both going to be plenty busy, him with the new job and me with all this house stuff, but I miss him.   It doesn't even matter that I can hog the bed and not have to share the covers, I'd still rather have Jon.   I am sooooooooooo whiney right now it's not even funny, and he hasn't even been gone 24 hours!   Can you imagine how pathetic I'll be by next weekend?   Wait, no, don't go won't be pretty, I'm sure. 

    I guess I should quit being all "woe is me" and look at this as an opportunity to display how awesome and competent and efficient I am, but...

    (HAhahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!   Sorry, give me a minute here...)

    Okay, where was I?  Oh yes, competent and efficient.  Yeah, that's me alright.   I'll just concentrate on being that instead of pitiful, and everything will be just fine.  Hunky-dory, even.   Yep, here I go, competent and efficient Stephanie, off to conquer the world! 

    ....right after I have a little weep......

It breeds, people

        At the tender age of  40-mumble, I've moved several times.  I've moved when I was single, after marriage but before children, with an infant, and with three adolescents.  And you know what I've learned about moving?  It is a major pain in the arse.   No question about it, moving ranks right up there on my list of least favorite things to do.   Yet here I go again. 

        I think the thing I like the least is the whole sorting/purging process that is inherent in moving.  When we moved to Germany in 2006, I was stunned - and, frankly, appalled! - at the sheer volume of junk we'd accumulated.   It would be embarrassing to tell you how many dumpsters we filled.  Plus, we had two enormous yard sales and gave away all sorts of stuff to friends and family.   My mom and my sister, along with some wonderful friends, came and worked like troopers to help us go through our years'-worth of material goods.    You'd think that after that experience we wouldn't have a whole lot to purge this time.  Aaaaaaand you'd be wrong.

        One of the best things about our current house is the size of it.  We've never had this much space before, and we've really enjoyed it.  Of course, one of the worst things about this house is the size of it....because, as you know, stuff multiplies to fill any available space.  I'm telling you, it breeds.  How else would we wind up with five - that's right, five! - couches?  Not to mention all the armchairs, end tables, kitchen tables (hello, who needs three kitchen tables?  but we've got 'em!), and so on and so forth.  It is absolutely ridiculous.  In our defense, a lot of this stuff was either inherited or found on Craig's List or at garage sales (come on, who can pass up four kitchen chairs in perfectly good shape for $5?), but still, it's too much.  TOO MUCH.  And a lot of it is going bye-bye. 

        For a couple years now we've really wanted to downsize, because as much as we enjoy the space we have with this house, the mortgage is not so enjoyable.  Nor are the utility payments.  It's really kind of been eating us alive.  So we're looking at this move as the opportunity to go a little smaller and (hopefully) a lot smarter - cheaper house, lower utilities, etc.   We want to live much closer to work for Jon - no more of these 80+-mile a day round trips.   That alone will save us a couple hundred dollars a month, at least.   And we're going to have less stuff.  That way, even if it breeds (and it will, you know it will), there will at least be less to start with, which will hopefully enable us to keep things under control a bit better. 

        So that's where we are right now.  If anyone needs a gorgeous violet-purple couch and matching armchair, just let me know....we can make you a good deal!   Or a kitchen table,  or a coffee table, or.....well, just get in touch.  We'll talk.  :-)