Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Municipal Madness

I dashed down to the new house (after stopping to pick up a friend) to paint the master bedroom and bathroom.  They didn't really need paint, but the color was just too close to the light blue I've been staring at on  the walls of my current bedroom for twelve years.  I'm sick of it, and it doesn't go with the bedding.  I decided on a nice, neutral  beige/tan color with which I'm quite happy, especially now that it's DONE. 

On the way to breakfast the next morning, I stopped at the Post Office to pick up the mail, among which was a letter from our homeowner's association. They were informing me that the Design Committee had provisionally approved my application to have a fence installed, so long as I  provided them with a copy of the permit. I was unaware that any sort of permit was needed for just a fence (and a partial one, at that), so I had to make some inquiries. Said inquiries led me to the local library (of which I am now a member), and then the Planning and Zoning office in the county administration building. The fence permit should have been a quick and dirty transaction, but as we're dealing with a government entity, it was just the opposite.

I discovered that not only had the previous owners of our house neglected to get permits for the shed and the deck on our property, as the new owner, I was somehow responsible for this--despite proof that these structures were on the property prior to purchase.   Three hours and eighty dollars later, I walked out of there with my permits and an application for a dog license.  I dropped the permits off to the HOA and began the long journey home.  As annoying as this experience was, I would actually be surprised if we didn't hit a bump in the road somewhere.  As bumps go,  this one isn't so bad. 

UPDATE:  This bump may turn out to be bigger than I thought.  As part of the permit for the deck, I had to call for an inspection appointment.  Apparently, our deck failed inspection because of a loose railing, steps that aren't perfectly level (which most likely settled over time), and the inspector's inability to see how the deck is attached to the house.  We now have to find out if we can just shrug this off, or whether we actually have to have the necessary repairs done and a re-inspection.  Our realtor, bless her heart, is trying to find out what  we need to do.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Behind the Green Door

The closing for our new home was last Friday, and it went off with nary a hitch. We were thrilled to finally walk through the (green) door of our new home and start bringing some of our things in and begin taking inventory on the things we would need right away.  Meeting our new neighbors was a pleasure.  They seem to be very friendly and helpful--the gentleman next door even offered to mow our lawn for us until we move down.  We even had our first visitors.  Husband Fixture's coworkers came by to see the house, and it turns out they know the neighbors behind us (who also works at HF's new workplace).

We thoroughly enjoyed our first night in our new home, and fell in love with the house all over again.  I actually began to feel sad at the thought of returning to PA.  Thankfully, we only have about six weeks until it's our permanent home. 

In the meantime, we had a minor panic attack with our current home.  The realtor called to tell us the inspector couldn't get into our house.  Apparently, my mother-in-law left something in the house, and used the lock box to let herself in.  She couldn't figure out how to put the keys back, but instead of asking the kids for help or calling for us, she just took them with her.  Fortunately, the kids were careless and left one of the sliding glass doors on the deck unlocked, so the inspector was able to enter.

Another hitch in the giddy-up occurred on Tuesday afternoon.  I got an email from our realtor confirming an appointment for the appraisal Wednesday, about which I'd received no prior notice.  Of course, I was scheduled to work Wednesday, so we had to scramble to get the house ready..  Naturally, we still haven't heard squat about how the inspection or appraisal actually went.  I suppose if we have to have a sucky realtor, at least it's on the selling end of things. . . 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Tides Are Turning

Well, the house flipping folks never called us back, and our second opinion from the other realty company revealed that our house was still overpriced.  After calling our realtor to the carpet, he understood that we were willing to drop the price of the house to a sellable range.  Lo, and behold, we started getting showings.  We had THREE of them the weekend before last, and one last week that resulted in our first OFFER! 

The folks came in a bit lower than we'd like, but it appears they may have accepted our counter offer.  We'll know more tomorrow, as Husband Fixture took the weekend off of house planning activities to enjoy our anniversary weekend.   We went to a local couple's resort, where we me lots of nice people and enjoyed some desperately needed alone time. 

Unfortunately, we returned to find a sick Princess Gingersnap. I could tell from my mother-in-law's description of her symptoms and one look at her, that it was probably strep throat.  We took her immediately to one of the urgent care centers, and darned if I wasn't right.  While I was looking forward to getting back to work, a mom's work is never done.  I will likely be watching an all day Twilight marathon or some such thing, but I can always busy myself by making some homemade chicken noodle soup.  I can also pace the floor like crazy, waiting to sign a contract. 

UPDATE:  Houston, we have a CONTRACT!  The buyer accepted our counteroffer, and we will close on June 17.  You may now throw the confetti and pop the champagne corks.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Search is Over

Husband Fixture went down to Maryland for work, and since the kids were out of school Thursday and Friday, we took the opportunity to get some house hunting done.  I worked like a madwoman leading up the trip, trying to get the house ready for the Open House on Saturday.  I was all too happy to hit the highway Wednesday evening, and even happier to sleep in a bit before heading out to meet our realtor. 

First, we took the kids to see the house we'd made offers on (but were awaiting a final answer from the owners), and then we went to see six others.  I tried to keep an open mind, but nothing thrilled me-until we saw the last house.  It was gorgeous, and I kept waiting for something to be wrong with it because it was priced so low.  Even the kids were telling me we just had to buy the house (of course, that was after we discovered it was practically across the street from a Dunkin Donuts). 

We arranged to come back and see the house with Hubby as soon as he got out of work, as we knew it wouldn't be on the market for long.  Sure enough, it was under contract by Saturday--for us!  We have finally found our new home!  We are set to close on May 2nd, as the owners had to move quickly for a job, and are in a rush to sell.  That explains why the house was priced so low.     

Now we just have to sell our house . . . The Open House was a bust.  Only one person showed up, and afterward, our realtor told us the price is too high.  You'd think he'd have mentioned that before the Open House.  (Sigh)   We lowered the price, and have been in contact with a company that flips houses.  They're due to look at it this week, and if they can offer us what we need, it's theirs.  I know that would certainly take a load off my hubby's shoulders.  In the meantime, he's trying to get the ball rolling with the job so that he can finally get his official start date.  Since he has to depend on the same douchenozzles that sat on his paperwork and cost us the relocation assistance, I find that more stressful than trying to sell our house.  Hopefully, everything else will fall into place soon.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Brass Tacks

It seems Congress and the Senate have managed to pass a budget just in time for the DOD to hold off on sending out furlough notices.  They did, however, call a halt to overtime, so my hubby will actually be taking that extra day off he earns every other week.  He will also not be answering work calls when he's not 'on the clock,' which is just fine by me.  At any rate, we're still left waiting and wondering what's going to happen next.

After talking with some friends about our housing situation, we were advised to start pushing our realtor to get serious about selling our house, or find someone else.  We leaned on him, and we now have an Open House scheduled for next Saturday.  This, of course, has resulted in a flurry of activity to prepare for it.  We had to pick up my great grandmother's bed from the guy who was refinishing it, and get the mattresses and box spring from storage to set up in Gingersnap's room.  We figured that it would look nicer than the plain mattress on the floor.  (We removed her loft bed a few weeks ago, since she wasn't sleeping and used it as a hiding place for all manner of disgusting things.)

Of course, we've still plenty of cleaning to do, about which I am quite frazzled.   I won't have the full week to get everything done, as we will be in Maryland for the latter half of the week.  Husband Fixture has to travel there for work this week.  Since the kids are out of school Thursday and Friday, we are planning to drive down there to join him as soon as the kids are out of school.  We'll get a much needed change of scenery, and we'll have the opportunity to show the kids the house we're still trying purchase.  We will also be seeing some other homes. 

Going to showings with just the realtor and kids is another cause for anxiety.  The last time we took them with us, they tore through the houses, "claiming" bedrooms, and chattering nonstop about what they liked and didn't like.  Husband Fixture and I were so busy trying to rein them in that we didn't really get to focus on the things that were important to us.  We've devised a plan to keep that from happening this time.  They will be given jobs.  One kid will take photos, and the other will take notes (on what they like/dislike, and what I say).  They will switch off after each house, which will hopefully curtail the other inevitable issue.  And of course, they'll be warned that unfavorable behaviors will result in inhumane punishments (by their standards, anyway).

The weather dudes are calling for the white stuff tomorrow, which really wouldn't bother me for once.  It'll give me a chance to schlep Gingersnap's old bed to a friend who wants it for his kid, and to dump the boxes we broke down tonight (among a dozen or so other chores).  I just hope my honey has a safe trip down to Maryland.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kangaroo Court

I spent today doing my civic duty, serving on the jury for a theft case. Despite dreading the original call to serve (because I thought we'd be moving), it turned out to be an interesting and rewarding experience.  

The defendants were  an engaged couple accused of stealing various items from a home they were supposed to be leasing.   The property owner was useless as a witness, as he was an absentee landlord.  His property manager is a glorified cleaning lady who not only isn't certified to serve as a property manager (as required by PA law), she has a criminal record for theft.  She was also a lousy witness, as she didn't seem to remember a key piece of evidence.  The defendant claimed to have bought a tv, washer, and dryer from the owner via the property manager, but the receipt was handwritten by the defendant.  The property manager, upon closer inspection, said the signature on the receipt wasn't hers, but she couldn't remember having seen it before.

Another odd thing was the mysterious missing refrigerator.  It was supposedly in the shed, though there was never any proof that it existed. However, one of the witnesses, a neighbor, claimed to have seen the male defendant loading something that appeared to be a refrigerator in the back of his truck. There were several other items that were never proven to have been on the property, nor was any property ever proven to be in anyone else's possession.

One of the most entertaining aspects of the case was when the female witness testified.  She got rather irritated by the prosecution's cross examination.  When he kept harping on the point about the receipt not appearing legitimate, she took control of the discussion, insisting on giving an explanation when only a yes or no answer was required.  The prosecutor was clearly intimidated, and I kept waiting for the judge to intercede or her lawyer to object to her being "badgered."  As it were, the prosecutor got agitated enough to infer that her mother should testify regarding her honesty, and was shut down by the judge.

The closing statement by the female defendant was amusing, as he compared aspects of this trial to the one in My Cousin Vinny.  I had already drawn the parallels myself, and it was good to be allowed to react to what was said.  It also meant we were closer to finally deliberating. 

Deliberations were brief, as we all readily agreed that the prosecution failed to prove the state's case.  We were all frustrated by this, as we felt that the defendants were definitely guilty of something, as was the property manager (though she wasn't on trial).  I appreciated that the judge took the time to stop in and see us after the verdict was rendered.  She seemed to share our frustration. 
I wonder how long it will be before I get summoned again . . . 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maternal Musings

Today would have been my mom's 54th birthday.  She's been gone almost a year now, so I didn't think it would hit me this hard.  We had to miss her actual birthday last year, as the Prince's band concert fell on that day.  Instead we visited her a few days before and the day after in the specialized nursing facility (for ventilator patients) that had been her home for three years.  Even though it involved a two-hour drive on a weeknight, I hated that she had to spend her birthday alone.  She didn't get many visitors.   Most of her friends lived two far away to make the trip, and our family is small. 

We brought her cupcakes from a local bakery, and a Duke basketball poster (her favorite team). We showed her photos and videos of the Prince's concert.  She smiled and talked with us (she had to use a special speaking valve to do so), but it was bittersweet.  We all knew her kidneys were beginning to fail, and that this would likely be her last birthday.  We just didn't know that it would be the last time we saw her awake.      

I confess that my mom and I were never very close.  I was a Daddy's Girl until my sister was born (when  I was 5), to whom she related better.  And I was always independent, as was necessary for a girl who lived out in the sticks, had few friends, and a sister who was terminally ill.  My sister, by the way, is despite all odds, 34 now. She's taking graduate school courses, and living in the Southwest. 

At any rate, because my sister lived too far away, caring for our mom fell to me, including the making of life or death decisions.  This was not only difficult emotionally, it was a challenge in general, because my mother stubbornly refused to accept her own mortality.  Ironically, this stubbornness kept her alive for her last three years.  But at some point, her spirit gave way to her failing body. 

She died less than a week after her birthday.  I sat in the ICU for 14 hours, holding her hand and talking to her.  She was heavily sedated, and I don't know whether she heard anything I said.  I am inclined to think she heard some of it, because it seemed she breathed a sigh of relief when we gave consent to turn off the ventilator and told her it was okay to let go.  I will always miss her, though the relief of her being pain free and no longer confined to a bed comforts me.   Happy Birthday, Mom.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bad Omens

As predicted, our government failed to pass a budget, so we're getting hit with sequestration. Now we can kiss any hope of getting that relocation assistance goodbye, and cross our fingers that  my hubby isn't furloughed, which could mean a loss of up to 25%  of his income.  Gee, that won't hurt our buying power for a new house at all (she says, rolling her eyes).  Hopefully, the Great Congressional Pissing Contest won't come to that.  Of course, I'm still not holding my breath. 

At any rate, we dropped the price on our house a week ago, but haven't seen any difference in traffic.  Our selling realtor said that we are just now coming into the heavy buying season, so we'll give it a few more weeks before dropping it again.  I've just about given up hope of being able to move before school is out this year.  The kids are happier with that, but that also means it'll be tougher for them to meet new kids during the summer.  They also won't have time to make friends with which to celebrate their birthdays (which are in early September and October).  Oh well, they'll adjust. 

In an attempt to be helpful, my mother-in-law gave us a statue of St. Joseph to be buried in the yard (upside down) to bring us luck selling the house.  I think it's an old wives' tale, and don't belie1ve it'll do a lick of good.  But we're in dire need of good luck, so I'm not opposed to letting Husband Fixture put it to work.  At least, I had no objections until he dropped it and broke the head off less than ten minutes after bringing it into our house.  While I don't think it'll bring us good luck, I cannot see how that can be anything but a bad omen.  I posted a query to our friends on Facebook, to see what they thought we should do.  The majority of them said we should glue the head back on and bury it anyway, as Hubby wanted to do.  We'll see. 

On the buying side of things, we did submit an offer for the house we want in Maryland.  The owners have been out of the country, so it's taken awhile to get an answer.  Essentially, they agreed to a contingency sale and to helping with the closing costs, but they want almost the listed price.  Husband Fixture wanted to try and nudge them down by a little bit (we initially offered $14K less), but we agreed that we'll accept their counter offer if they won't budge.  We don't want to lose this house, as it's by far the best we've seen at this price point.  I'm just hoping we don't nudge them into thinking they should hold out for other buyers.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Other Shoe

has dropped.  Thanks to the doucheasauruses that reside in D.C. being unable to pull their heads out of their posteriors and fix the sequestration issues, it looks like Husband's Fixture's job transfer will be denied as written.  Now if we're willing to give up relocation assistance portion of the offer, they'll process it right away.  Unfortunately, in the current housing market, I don't have a whole lot of confidence that we'll be able to sell our current house anytime soon. 

Our current plan is to drop the price of the house by $5K, and see if we get any interest.  We're also checking with our realtor in Maryland, to see if the owners of the home we wanted would accept a contingency offer.  If so, we're in business.  Should, by some miracle, the relocation assistance come through, we can always drop the contingency and speed things up.  Either way, if we don't have the full hiring package Hubby was originally offered, or if we don't have our current home under contract by March 15, we will be stuck here for the remainder of the school year.  I refuse to move the kids so late in the school year, especially since both of them will be moving up a level next year.  I don't even want to contemplate what will happen if we are unable to get our house under contract by June.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I See the Light

 It's faintly flickering, but it seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel.  Just when I'd begun to give up hope that Husband Fixture's transfer would ever get through, we've gotten news of some progress.  It seems my earlier prediction about those tunas throwing their weight around was right on the money.  They've been making waves about their people not getting transferred, and it has been determined that the transfers that were ready to finalized before the halt in personnel office occurred will go through over the next couple weeks.  Husband Fixture's transfer was among those, so the wait will hopefully be short.

When we do get the official word, it'll be not a moment too soon.  Already I have both kids' schools wanting re-registration forms filled out, and I've been summoned for jury duty again.  It's rather hard to fill out those forms when we don't know if we'll even be here in a month.   We also just had our first showing of the house.  If they make an offer, we don't want to have to refuse it. Oh well, we'll jump off that bridge when we get there. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Ties That Bind

No, this post isn't about Fifty Shades of Grey, though I am fifty shades of pissed off right now.  The ties to which I'm referring are strips of sticky crimson and are often associated with the government.  It appears that the head of the personnel office has decided that he is confused about whether the transfer of an existing employee from one site to another violates a hiring freeze.  In covering his backside, he put a halt to ALL paperwork coming through his office.  It does not, and this was one of the first issues addressed when Husband Fixture began this process.  But now we have to wait for someone with enough clout to tell this mewling clay-brained clotpole that it's okay to process transfers, which could take who-knows-how-long.

The good news is, there's always a bigger fish in the sea.  Eventually, some tuna is bound to get riled up when he figures out that the transfer he's waiting on isn't happening, and throw his weight around until things in the personnel office get moving again.  And I suppose it's also good news that we did get outbid on the house we wanted, lest we be stuck under contract with no sale of our current house in sight.  And because we don't have our house under contract, we are under no pressure to wait a little longer for the personnel snafu to get straightened out.  As much as I'd like the kids to be moved before the start of the fourth quarter, it wouldn't be the end of the world if that didn't happen.  Goodness knows, Gingersnap would love to finish out the year with her friends.   The Prince of Distraction is another story.  He's at the point of wanting to move with us, but that's a tale for another time.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

Yesterday, we went to drop off my great-grandmother's bed to the gentleman who will be restoring it for us.  I've seen his other work, and am excited to see the bed when it's finished. Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to stop in and visit my "twin" and her hubby at their new abode.  It was great to hang out with them, and they were sweet enough to let us borrow their computer, scanner/printer. As we were on the way to their house, I got the email from our realtor with the paperwork for submitting an offer on the house we wanted.  We got it all signed and sent in, and were crossing our fingers that Husband Fixture's job offer would be finalized so that we could make good on the offer. 

Alas, our offer was beaten to the table by someone offering cash down.  We found out this morning, and I am crushed.  I really saw us living in that house, and am beyond pissed that we never really had a chance, in part because of the asshats in personnel. 

Now we get to go back online and see if we see any more houses worth making the trip down to visit.  Here we go again . . .

Friday, January 25, 2013

Time Keeps On Slipping

 . . . slipping, into the future.  As you might have guessed, we're STILL waiting on that relocation assistance paperwork.  That makes me as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, as I cross my fingers that the house we want will still be available when we can actually make an offer.  Of course, the office that holds our fate in its hands is an entity unto itself.  That means that they can take their sweet old time, with no repercussions--and they are moving about as fast as molasses in winter. It's times like these I wish my husband had a regular job.    

Speaking of Husband Fixture, even he has started to get nervous.  He has sent the realtor an email asking whether it would be advisable to go ahead and submit an offer, contingent upon the relocation paperwork being signed.  We've been told every day this week that it should be done, "by tomorrow," and yet it still hasn't happened.  Tick tock, tick tock . . . 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ssshhhh! Be Vewy Vewy Quiet . . .

We're hunting houses!

 Husband Fixture and I have opted to make this little trip sans offspring, as we knew there would be  a lot of down time that would render them bored, malcontent, and consequently insufferable.  Thankfully, their Grandma loves spending time with them, and they've not reached the age where it's too uncool to hang out with her, so everyone wins. 

Mind you, I'd feel much more like a winner if Husband Fixture and I weren't sick, but we'll take what we can get.  We began our weekend with a very early drive down to Maryland.  Hubby dropped me at our hotel, and I took meds and climbed into bed, while he headed over to the new office for meetings.  Later, we met his new boss and his wife for dinner.  For what it's worth, I like them, and think we'll get along fine. 

We spent Saturday riding around with the realtor looking at houses, and we did find a couple that we really like.  Unfortunately, both are at the high end of our price range.  We knew we were going to need to keep looking for a bit to see if there's anything else at there at a lower price.  We had dinner with one of Husband Fixture's friends and her hubby, and headed back to the hotel for a quiet night in (translation:  meds and a movie 'till we fell asleep). 

Today, we went back to see our two favorite houses, plus another two.  We were hoping to find something with the features we wanted at a lower price point.  We did find one, but essentially, our favorite is still the more expensive home.  That brings us to the decision of whether to spend the extra money to get what we really want or settle for something cheaper that we'll have to upgrade in a few years.  Either way, we can't make an offer until we have the relocation assistance paperwork finalized.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Latest Obsession

Is not building a man with blonde hair and a tan--though that would be really groovy.  No, my current time suck has been scouring the web for decorating and organizing ideas for the new house.  That has never been my strong suit, in part because I detest shopping. True to my Taurean nature, I'd like our new home to be decorated in something a bit more classy than Early Married Couple.    

 To that end, we've made a few decisions on what stays and goes, furniture-wise.  One of the rooms in question is Gingersnap's. We've decided to leave her loft bed behind.  It has a metal frame, and makes a lot of noise when she gets into it, out of it, or moves around on it. I am going to have my Great Grandma's bed (a double) refinished for her to use in the new house.  It is currently in a storage locker, as my mom used it until she went to the nursing home.  

I contacted a friend's uncle who does furniture repair/restoration about the bed, as it was in rough shape.  I was quite surprised that it's estimated age is over 100 years.  Besides the sentimental value, knowing it's an antique gives me even more incentive to have it refinished.  Husband Fixture isn't too thrilled at the expenditure, but a decent bed would cost at least as much as the restoration.  I guess I'd better read up on painting furniture so Gingersnap's dressers will look nice, as they're pretty banged up, too.

Another piece I'd dearly love to replace is the ugly second-hand armchair that currently resides in our living room.  It doesn't match the furniture, but I simply cannot get rid of it as Der Houndt has claimed it for his own.  You should have seen the reproachful glare Distractoboy and I received as we moved HIS chair downstairs to make room for the Christmas tree last month.  The leather recliner that took its place held no appeal for my persnickety pup, though he managed to make do with the couches.  Once the chair was restored to its rightful place, Der Houndt immediately took up residence.  All was right with the world--his world, anyway.  Oh well, a chair cover will have to do.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ego Boosted

What a difference a few days can make!  We have reached the point in this process of being able to contact a real estate agent to start scheduling some showings!  Thankfully, said agent seems to be on top of things.  Within an hour of receiving our list of requirements and the homes we are most interested in seeing, she emailed us back with additional listings to review.  Of course, we looked them over right away, and replied with our ratings of each.  She is now working to schedule showings for these properties next weekend. 

Meanwhile, we are still awaiting the final details on the relocation assistance, though it appears to be in good hands.  Husband Fixture sent me the following email: 

Copied: the response to [Boss to Be] from the girl who is helping with PCS questions….
“ wonder you guys REALLY want this to happen.  Everybody who's been
involved with implementing [majorly annoying software project] knows of [Mr. Empress]!!!  Heck...I'm excited!!!” 

Not only does this reassure me that this aspect of the transfer is being handled competently, I'm  pleased as punch to hear someone speaking so highly of my honey.  The ego boost extends to me, as well, since I had the sheer brilliance to marry him.   

Thursday, January 10, 2013

There's Always Room For Jello!

I dreamt last night that I was trying to cross a sea of Jello.  The surface wasn't solid enough for me to walk across, nor were there any bridges or boats to aid me.  It was too thick and shallow to swim across, leaving me to trudge through the shallow and sticky sludge.  It seems that my subconscious has devised the perfect metaphor for my life these days. 

Husband Fixture was supposed to have a teleconference with the personnel folks in Maryland on Tuesday to discuss the relocation assistance package, but that never happened.  And now that he has been summoned to the Maryland office for a meeting for his current job on the 19th, it would be really nice if we had those details so we could make it a house-hunting trip as well. 

In the meantime, Husband Fixture as been working with mortgage companies to try and secure the best rates for us, and we've both continued perusing house listings online.  WHEN we're finally able to talk to a realtor, we'll at least have a list of homes we want to see and be able to give him/her a clear idea of what we want. 

I  freely admit that I lack patience, and am a total Type A personality.  As such, having my life in suspended animation for this long is making me crazy(er).  The only things I can really do are try to keep packing and prepping our home for showings.  We haven't actually gotten any showings, mind you.   I can't even make plans for watching the Super Bowl (we traditionally host a party).  We keep receiving invitations to events to which we cannot RSVP, because we simply do not know where we will be or what we'll be doing for the next two months.  Planning events is my coping mechanism, so this is really not helping me.  I suppose I could start looking for decorating and organizing ideas for the new house . . .

When life hands you jello, grab some alcohol and make jello shots!   

Saturday, January 5, 2013

One Step Closer

Well, it seems that personnel is FINALLY ready to match up Husband Fixture's resume' to the job description so that they can approve his transfer.  And the Boss-to-be says he'll have the paperwork for the relocation assistance ready by Monday, too.  

It's funny how we've waited six months for things to really get rolling, and once they do, it's like a snowball rolling downhill.  I had great intentions for getting a bunch of stuff done today, but none of it happened.  I'm still having trouble getting into the post holiday routine.  Then again, once this transfer goes through, there won't be any routine for quite some time.  I shall begin Phase Two of the packing process this weekend. 

What is Phase Two, you might ask?  It involves a brutal screening of all belongings not yet packed.  I already began the initial packing as part of my preparations for putting the house on the market.  Anything we don't want to find room for in the new house gets tossed or donated.  (Ours is not a good neighborhood for yard sales, especially in the winter.)  Anything that we do plan to bring along and will not be needed over the next two months gets packed (and labeled, of course).   Hopefully, this will keep me occupied as I anxiously await the official start date for Husband Fixture's new job.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Empress's Shiny New Year

Hello again!  Yes, I have been MIA from the blogosphre for quite some time.  I could chalk it up to the death of my mother; the chaos of helping my twin with her wedding; a summer that flew by; the fall frenzy that typically occurs in our family; prepping our house to be sold; Hurricane Sandy; or the holiday season. While any and all of those reasons are applicable, the main reason is that I still lacked something to say that I wasn't already telling the folks with whom I keep in touch.  Or perhaps I did have something to say, but did not know how to say it.  Either way, this year will bring some significant changes for our family, and I think it will be cathartic for me to share our journey.

The journey of which I speak began over the summer.  The Husband Fixture and I had decided some time ago that as the responsibilities of his job increased, so did the need for us to reduce his (almost ninety minutes each way) commute to work.  We began making preparations to put our house on the market, and had even begun visiting potential new homes.  Unfortunately, the taxes in our target areas are ridiculous, and put many of the homes in which we'd otherwise be interested out of our reach. 

At that point, I asked my husband whether there was any seriousness to some of the job offers he'd received at other facilities.  Husband Fixture travels a lot for work. While visiting other facilities, he has been told they could use him at their locations if he were ever interested.  One location is a mere 3 hours away. As it turns out, not only were they serious, Husband Fixture was interested.  But he did not think I would be okay with moving out of our area, so he declined to mention it.

He was partially right.  It was not my first choice to leave behind our friends, and the only home Princess Gingersnap has ever known.  I know it will be a major upheaval for the kids, especially the Prince of Distraction, who just started at a new school this year (we put him in private school after major bullying issues came to a head last year).  I do not relish the moving process, either. But Husband Fixture's commute would be significantly shorter, the schools are MUCH better there, housing prices are more reasonable, and the taxes are significantly lower.  There's also much more to do in the area. 

And so, in August, the long, drawn-out, painstaking process of applying for the job transfer had begun.  We are still awaiting the FINAL approval and an official start date, as well as the relocation assistance.  We were hoping to have everything signed and sealed by Christmas, but we're still only 98% there. 

Our hope is to be moved before the end of the third quarter in the school year, so that we can get the kids settled into their new schools before the end of the year.  I think it will be to their benefit to have time to make new friends before summer (so they're not sitting around bored for three months) and to try out/get registered for any extracurricular activities they may wish to pursue in the fall. 

In the meantime, I get to juggle keeping a house ready to sell, two kids, a dog, and a part time job (I've not gotten a lot of work subbing this year).  Wish us luck!