Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sorry, No Pics Yet

I have so much to do. I am overwhelmed. I did get a full night's sleep last night, though, and it felt great to wake up this morning - until I moved. Then every cell in my worn out body screamed in pain.

I am not a wimp. I've been sore before, but not like this. One of the most sore parts of my body are the bottoms of my feet. I lifted and lifted and lifted so many heavy things that the tissue between my bones and the floor got compressed, really compressed, over and over and now it's very, very sore. You should see how funny I look walking in stores because the floors are so hard.

My right shoulder is pretty bad, but only when I move certain ways. I'm afraid it's actually been injured because today I had several sharp pains in the same place.

Next most painful spot is my neck, on the right side, part of the shoulder thing.

Of course, my back hurts, too, but, as a former gymnast, I'm used to back pain.

My legs did pretty well today. Two days ago, my leg muscles, especially the thighs, kept cramping and giving out on me from sheer exhaustion.

A couple nights ago I was at Sears looking at refridgerators and there was some kind of massage chair set up so I sat on it. It was sweet torture! The shiatsu setting made hard balls roll up and down my back and I kept holding my yells of pain in and only letting out the groans because it hurt so much. At the same time, I could tell it was ironing my muscles out. When I finally got up, I did feel quite a bit better.

I did accomplish some things today. I got out all but three pattern orders, the first in EIGHT days! Yikes! Three are left because I can't find the patterns the customers ordered. I may have them drop-shipped from one of my dealers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Have Internet!


I have temporarily set up half my computer in my dining room so I can get online. My poor patter customers must be wondering what happened to me.

The move has been tremendous. Every muscle in my body has been over-used. I have no more strength left. Every time I go to try and move something, my muscles cramp up. I'm still terribly sleep-deprived too. If it wasn't for my friend Jackie, I'd have been in trouble. She was a trouper, coming for several days to move and organize. And this is on top of having the men from church help with the big stuff. My last moving day was Monday when I picked up the last of my small play structures and swing mounting hardware outide my "old" apartment. Sunday, I took at least 6 full loads from my apartment to my new house.

I have pictures of everything. You can't believe it. I can't believe it. I'll post them all as soon as I can. Right now I need to get caught up with business.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the Move

I have a new camera, it's a great one, a Canon Rebel XT. It's two years old and I bought it off a guy on craigslist who needed money for college books. He gave it to me in the box with everything plus a larger memory card! Without reading any instructions, I photographed my house, inside and out, but haven't been able to post. I'm typing this at a Fed-Ex place tonight because my computer is at the new house as of this evening, in pieces! I was supposed to have internet until 6:30pm today, but I woke up without it. Tomorrow will be my first night in the new place.

My cats finally realized two days ago that something major is up. I have a picture of Sammy in a box with some other stuff. I'm sure he wants to make sure I remember to pack him, too!

I am averaging 3-4 hours a sleep per night for almost ten days now, except for one 6 hour night. Tonight I hope to get 8. I've needed to wash my hair for five days, but I'm so exhausted by the time I get home in the wee morning hours that I just fall into bed.

So far, I have one friend helping but the men from church are coming on Saturday to do the big stuff - the rest of the stuff and what I have in a public storage place.

I'm starting to fall asleep, and they charge $.25 a minute here!

Good night!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We Have A Winner!

Yes, it's a trampoline! Neatokimmo guessed it. Great guess, as was the swingset/play structure, because I'm on the lookout for a good one.

I didn't find just any trampoline, though, I found a regulation one, this kind the #3A model. The previous owner kept it indoors until two years ago so it's in great shape. Most important is the fact that the springs and bounce are regulation, meaning highest quality and safety, for my 40 yr. old joints! Best thing about it, though, was the price. I got it for 62% off retail price, another way is to say I paid 38% of the new price for it!

No tools are needed for assembly or disassembly other than a rubber mallet. I can't wait to set it up. If I'm lucky, it will fit into my garage when I'm not using it. I'll pop some wheel under it and shove it in there. That will minimize neighbor liability.

Anyone want to come for a visit?

Oh, BTW, I already have TWO above ground pools that I picked up last year!

First Guess...

No, it's not a patio set. It's much more fun.

Video Challenged

Seriously! I made the house tour video, but the audio is ahead of the video so when I say, "And here is the livingroom, you see the bathroom!" I was laughing like crazy. I tried up upload to You Tube but my video is 21 minutes long so I'm going to have to edit it or post in two parts, if I can figure out how. Since it's coming up on 4am, I will not try now; I need sleep badly.

I spent the day running around, back and forth, like this:

Took the day off and had to sleep in a little to catch up and regain some brain function.

Called the interior designer to make a "help pick paint" appointment and she said she could come in 30 minutes. Great! Really, I was glad, but had to quickly get dressed and feed the cats.

Met E.H. at my apartment to show her what I did with her last advice then we went to the new house. She was impressed. I could hardly get her out of the back yard and focussed on paint.

Went back to my apartment to grab some lunch (if you can call it that, 3 cheesey tortillas and some yogurt) and called the locksmith. He could meet me in 15 minutes!

I threw the "Wild Rocking Whale" (seesaw whale) into the back of my car so as not to waste a trip then quickly fit in a brief stop to arrange garbage service, which is next door to the paint store. I picked up color samples.

Back to the new house to meet the locksmith. While there, the sellers agent came by to bring a SOLD sign so I could take my picture in front of it. Unfortunately, my camera has started dying and can't focus any more. Luckily, the agent had his own camera. I'm still waiting for him to email the pictures to me.

By now the locksmith left, after pointing out a zillion flaws with my doors. What do you expect for being over 100 years old? They really are flawed, though, and I may need to replace the front basement door. I measured every drawer, cupboard and shelf.

I can't remember what I did next - wait, yes I do. I went to my friend's to look at a lawnmower then loaded my car up with things from storage. From there I went to W-mart to get all the necessary cleaning supplies for a large home like a new broom and dustpan, two toilet brushes in closing holders, Dr. Pepper to give me caffeine boost (I've had four this month. I've not had four in the last four years!). I was doing intense mathematical calculations to determine the amount of shelf paper and drawer liner I needed and came with needing over $100 worth with quite a bit wasted. I recalculated twice more and then my designer/sewing brain turned on and I realized that I can buy vinyl by the yard in 54" width so I ditched the "official" stuff and saved myself $60 by getting the frosted vinyl and will have very little waste by the time I'm finished. You should have seen me trying to choose dishwasher detergent. It's been at least 10 years since I've used a dishwasher. Did you know there are some kind of tiny detergent pouches now? I didn't buy any, I needed to go home and look at the dishwasher up close and read the manual so I'd know what to buy.

Finally, after 10pm, I was finished and went over to the grocery store to get one more natural cleaner that wasn't at W-mart and some frozen dinners to fix in my new place so I wouldn't drop dead of hunger before enjoying it. I got to my home and unloaded my car while my dinner cooked. It smelled great! I've had a lowgrade migraine (until a little after drinking the Dr. Pepper) all day from the paint fumes still in the house.

At 2am I had arranged a display of my new dish towells and mat for your enjoyment, photographed with my new Kodak Z16 while at the same time, taking a wreck of an image with my worn out Canon so the flash would go off. Until I finalize my decor, these will suffice...

25 Months Logged In

It's 3:30am and though it's officially the 16th, I haven't been to bed yet, so I still consider this my LID anniversary. I didn't make any graphics past 24 months since that was the orignal wait time given to me by my agency at the time I was logged in at CCAA. My agency did tell me at the time, though, that the wait was increasing so it's no surprise that I'm still waiting. I'm still happily waiting!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Own a Home!

I closed escrow today and now join the ranks of home-ownership! I got the keys tonight around 7pm so I went over and unloaded the first thing I bought for my new house. It's something I bought off of craigslist last Monday. I've never done any contest or guessing game on my blog so this might make a fun first one...

What was the first thing I bought for my new house? Here's the hint: It goes outside the house, not inside, and it's not a lawn mower.

Tomorrow, once I've had more than three hours of sleep tonight, I will make a home tour video so you can all see where Apple will live. My house has a name, I call it Apple Tree Manor. Yes, there is supposed to be at least one apple tree in the yard. In fact, I have a little orchard. Supposedly, I have the following trees: Apricot, Plum, Apple, Orange and Fig. I recognize the fig, but the others all look like apricots to me, except one that might, if I'm very lucky, be a cherry tree!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

As I come into the home-stretch of the Great House Buying Experience, I decided to bounce of the walls, for real, here...

...and it was a BLAST! I was so happy afterward, they gave me a gift coupon for a free visit next time. I found them online while researching trampolines. Of course, now that I'm going to have a back yard, I'll get a trampoline!

Oh, I also bought a Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Video Camera. I'm still learning, but the first video I post will be a tour of my new house.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's REALLY Happening!

I actually signed the documents yesterday for buying a house! I've not posted much at all about it because it's been such a stressful time. It took over two years to come this far with several bumps along the road.

It was actually four years ago, I think, when I first found a house I wanted to buy and realized it was a possibility. Unfortunately, that house was snatched up faster than I could put two thoughts together. This was back when you could buy with no money down and a first and second mortgage.

Next, came the adoption process and all the out-pouring of money associated with that, along with a new transmission, rebuilt engine and four wisdom teeth surgically removed without insurance. This means: REALLY, really poor!

Fast forward to this exact time last year...
The Still Small Voice of the Holy Spirit told me to go look at a house. It took four times hearing the voice before I did, but when I finally did, I was amazed. It was exactly what I needed for living and working. Remember, I work at home, daycare and my sewing pattern business, which has been in storage since last year. I tried so hard to buy it, submitted an offer, tried to get financing, but it all fell apart for several reasons. But the seed was planted. I knew exactly the kind of house to be looking for.

I live in an old island community full of Victorians, Queen Anne's, Colonial Revivals, Craftman's, etc... They were all built over 100 years ago. Some are about to fall down, but others are gems.

I got an excellent realestate agent through a referral from one of my daycare moms and we went on the hunt. My specifications and price range were very exacting though, so pickings were slim, very slim. My agent finally seemed to give up at the same time I did so I was diligently looking to rent. Now, who would rent to a single woman with seven cats? How about a single woman with seven cats and a daycare business? Turns out, the cats weren't the issue, it was the kids. I offered three people one year's worth of rent in advance and they still wouldn't rent to me. Things were getting bad for me here in my little 700 sq. ft. apartment. I was getting more daycare kids, mixing toddlers and babies and it was HARD! The only thing that kept me going was the thought that I need this level of income to keep up with my adoption.

Then, late one night, on a Monday, before I went to bed, just before midnight, in fact, one of the automatic emails of new listings my agent sent me came in. I opened it and saw the picture. It looked like THE HOUSE, but I was very tired and discouraged and went to bed. First thing in the morning I knew I needed to look again because there were features that I recognized as crucial to my needs. I looked again and read the fine print and the golden key popped out - Interior access to the finished basement! Basements here aren't like basements in the midwest, they weren't intended to be used as living space so most have very low ceilings and can only be accessed from the outside. However, sometimes, people raised the houses and finished the basements or dug down or both. This is one of those and I recognized that despite the country records calling it a single level 1010 sq. ft. home with only two bedrooms and one bathroom.

I arranged to see it that day, Tuesday. I couln't believe what I was seeing when I went. It was everything and more that I'd needed! Best of all, it had been very well maintained and even had a new roof put on only four years ago. Because it was in such great shape, it changed all the financing and I was able to qualify with some special help. If it had needed a new roof or had more dry rot or anything bad, I would not have been able to qualify.

I put in my offer on Thursday, only to find out that the owner lived out-of-town and it would have to be mailed to them. Meanwhile, Friday, my agent left for England for ten days! On Sunday afternoon, I found out that there had been the first open house and that another offer came in. I sat down and wrote a letter to the owner. On Monday I was told that the owners would make their decision by 4pm Tuesday. Meanwhile, my letter was read to the owner by her realestate agent with her adult children present. On Tuesday, I waited by the phone in agony of suspense. Four o'clock came and went. I decided to go to my ice skating lesson instead of go insane waiting. The minute I got home (I didn't stay at all for practice) there was a message from my substitute agent. I called her and she asked how I was. I nearly screamed, but controlled myself and replied, "That depends on what you have to tell me." She said, "Then you are going to be very happy. They accepted your offer!"

After I got off the phone I got down on my knees and gave thanks to Heavenly Father and cried like crazy.

Apparently, my letter was the decisive factor. From what I was told, halfway through the owner's agent reading it, all the family members and the owner were crying. I was exactly what they were looking for. It's a special house because the owner raised 6 (I think) kids there. She's now 80 years old and the stress of all of this was harder for her than me and it was brutal for me. She's been in the hospital for over three weeks now. Please pray for her. I hope that she'll have some quality time with her family in her new home with them.

I bought a mini video recorded today. As soon as I get the keys next week, I will make a video walk-through tour and give more details about the house. I'm anonymously famous in my town for buying this house so quickly. My agent is dynamite! I don't think any other agent couldn't have moved this fast, especially preparing to leave the country for ten days with two children (she's English and it was her father's 70th b-day). After we were thick into the process with my offer accepted and the financial stuff starting to get straightened out, she finally admitted to me what a long-shot this was. Again, it was my letter and the fact that all the snags happened after the offer was accepted. They were normal snags, but distressing ones in that they treatened the whole deal, and the owner's family didn't want their mom to have to go through this again if I pulled out of the contract so we were re-negotiating as the appraisal, etc... came in, right down to the wire. I'm glad the underwriter for the loan came through because I cannot think how I'd feel if something dreadful happened to further stress this little old lady who chose my offer based on my letter to her and her children.