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!