Recently in Homeownership Category

January 20, 2009

Snow!!! :)


Yeah, I know, you may not be as enamored of it as I am right now but this is the first actual snowfall we've seen in years. And I got today off because of it. So yes, I'm gushing.

Here is a picture my daughter took this morning of a statue in our back garden. You can barely see Buddha now.


July 8, 2007

The other shoe...

Have you ever had the sinking feeling that things were going too well and it was only a matter of time before the other shoe drops?

Well, the other shoe has dropped ... and it was a big ole' Doc Martin to the temple (or, rather, the ovary).

You will have to forgive me, dear reader, I had such good intentions to share each and every joyous step of this first-time-home-buyer process with you. Moving into my new house was going so smoothly when my entire life was thrown in turmoil. For the past 2 weeks I've been drifting between despair, elation and anxiety and I found I had a really hard time opening up about this. I've had to face the stuff that my worst nightmares are made of and nothing is really resolved yet. Maybe I should start at the beginning. Let's see, where were we when I last left off? Oh yeah, getting ready for the yard sale.

First, let me say that I have been extremely lucky that T has been able to come down as much as he has. Not only was he here for the Passing of the Papers and the Painting of the REDRUM kitchen, he was able to come back down for the actual move, a debt which I will be paying back for a long LONG time.

We planned that over the last weekend at the old house (which T affectionately called the Rat Trap) we would have a yard sale on Saturday, move boxes and rest up on Sunday, then pick up the truck Monday morning and do the bulk of the heavy moving over Monday so that he could be back for work on Tuesday. I was going to then spend the rest of the week cleaning the old house and my ultimate (ambitious) goal was to be fully out of the old house by July 1st, getting back half a month security deposit because, frankly, this moving shit is expensive!

Well, you know what they say about "The best laid plans of mice and men often go(ing) awry"? Yup, you guessed it, we were rife with awry-ness.

The yard sale on Saturday was a bust. We sold very little ... very disappointing since I had an entertainment center, several small appliances, 3 pairs of chairs and half of my book collection. We decided that we would repeat on Sunday and we were up early again, watching the squirrel circus and just enjoying being together in the quiet. At least I enjoyed it ... a little too much, perhaps, since I began getting melancholy about leaving my neighborhood. I did love the view from my porch, how the birds loved to nest in my ferns and complain to me from the large shade tree in the front yard. No matter how hot it was, the porch always offered a bit of a respite and I will miss that.

Physically, I was also feeling a bit worn thin, not sleeping well and certainly not taking care of myself. I had aches and pains everywhere, some old and some new, and by the afternoon, we called it quits and I went in to lie down and take some Advil. I was getting a dull pain in my right side and felt slightly nauseous and, thinking it was PMS, I decided I needed to curl up around a pillow and let it pass. The moment I tried to lie on my side and put pressure on it, I felt a wave of nausea pass over me. After making 3 or 4 trips to the bathroom for false alarms, I pressed on the sore spot on my side while in the bathroom and immediately threw up. Who knew I had a button?

Now, this may not be a big thing for some people, and you may find this strange, but I haven't thrown up for over 15 years. Seriously. Last time I did was when I was in labor with Joseph. Sure, I've been nauseous many times, and many times I wished I could have just puked and gotten it over with but this was serious. I ended up puking and dry heaving until I could barely stand and dragged myself back to the bedroom to fall over on the bed moaning.

I could not figure out what I had eaten that had made me sick. I was having a hard time putting the pain together with the puking and was rather addled. T was thinking clearly and tried to tell me that I needed to get to a doctor and I had to roll that around in my head for about 15 minutes before I admitted that, yes, something was seriously wrong and I needed to go to the hospital. Yeah, you guessed it ... I don't 'do' the doctor either ... last trip to the emergency room was the Great Lung Failure of 1997.

The ride to the hospital was a blur, with me moaning and crying the whole way ... I could feel the fear from the kids and from T, even though they tried to make me feel better by joking, they were clearly scared when I didn't respond in kind.

I'm still embarrassed that T saw me at my weakest and sorry that I scared the kids but there was no way I could work through this pain. I tried to suck it up, even tried to talk to the nurses and doctors, but between the pain and the waves of nausea, I was just a mess. The pain meds they gave me did nothing and, when they took me in for a CT scan, it was all I could do to lie still and not moan.

They told me the first CT scan didn't show anything and that I would have to drink a quart of disgusting, bitter, room temperature grape ... blechy stuff ... so they could inject radioactive glucose into me and see better. I was still pretty dehydrated, even with the IV, so I tried to drink it as quickly as I could. They wheeled me back to my room and left me to drink my blech, telling me to call them when I was 2/3 of the way done so I could get back on the waiting list for the CT scan which could take up to ANOTHER TWO HOURS!

By this time, it had already been over 3 hours (it was past 11 pm) and I had been left alone for much of that time. I realized my family probably had no idea what was happening so I asked the nurse to let them know where we stood and how long this could all take. Within a few minutes, both kids came back to visit. Now, I have to give props to T for doing the adult thing and sending the kids back first ... they only allow two visitors at a time in ER ... unfortunately, I really only wanted T with me.

I know, I know, that sounds terrible. I just didn't think I could pull myself together enough to reassure the kids that I was ok because I didn't know if I was ok ... they did seem relieved just to see me, even though I couldn't answer their questions. I just hated for them to be in the ER at all, never mind to see me there. Its a frightening experience, seeing your only parent lying helpless in a hospital. Going with my mom when we thought she had a heart attack freaked me right the hell out.

Most people I talked to (from triage to T to the CT scan guy to the IV guy) thought my symptoms indicated a kidney stone but I had not been given an official diagnosis and I was having a real hard time relaxing without talking to a doctor. So when the kids asked me if I was going to be ok, I had no choice but to tell them that I would be fine, I just didn't know how long this was all going to take.

Then, apparently, the initial fear wore off and they relaxed a little. I told them about the pain meds and about how tired I was and the Boy said something about being tired too ... let me tell you, it so was not the time for 15 year old whine.

After just a few minutes of visiting (and a few more surly remarks), I sent the Boy out and asked him to let T come back to see me. I had about finished my quart of grape-ish blech and was waiting for the second CT scan and found the pain was easing a bit (a BIT!!! After 4 shots of something that should have put a horse out, it had eased a BIT!!!), but I was extremely uncomfortable and antsy ... yes, I started fretting about everyone else.

Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to be out of control of anything?? Now, I don't mind relinquishing control when I know someone more capable than me is taking over but I find very few people that I can trust enough to allow me to totally let go.

Since Joseph had stayed over a friend's house the night before and was grumpy from lack of sleep (yes, I let him off the hook, just like that), I asked T to take him home so he could sleep and, hopefully, get a better attitude. The Girl went with them for the ride. (CORRECTION: The Girl apparently stayed with me, I'm told ... I feel terrible now, because I could have sworn she went with T but I think it was that I WANTED her to go but ... oh well ... pain meds made me all fuzzy ... ) While they were gone, I slipped in and out of sleep and, before I knew it, T was back, holding my hand and making me smile.

Have I mentioned how grateful I am to both the Girl and T for being by my side? I hope I said it enough that night but I'm afraid all I kept doing was apologizing for getting sick.

The rest of the night was a blur. I finally went for the second CT scan. The tech explained about the radioactive injection and I told him I've had it twice before, once for my fallopian tubes and once for my lungs. That didn't stop it from being a totally ooky feeling ... I forgot about that part. Afterwards, the tech didn't talk to me at all, not like he did after the first one ... he just sent me back to the room and it didn't hit me that he didn't tell me anything until much later. I should have known that was a bad sign.

Later, much MUCH later, I caught the attention of my nurse and asked him what was happening with me, how much longer I had to stay. He brought me two Percoset (since it was now almost 4 am and I was getting achy again!!) and told me that the doctor was working on release papers. Looking back, he seemed sketchy, too, but I put that off as just being embarrassed that he kinda forgot about me.

Within a short time, a new doctor came in to see me, a very young, very perky resident as it turns out, and apologized to me for leaving me hanging but the other doctor had gone off and she was just taking over. I asked if she had the results from the CT scan. She said she had looked at it briefly and she wasn't sure what caused the pain I had earlier ... if I had a kidney stone, I had passed it ... but she said they had seen something else. The CT scan showed a mass on my left ovary. Now, the pain was on my right side but she attributed that to the ovary being across midline and twisted around.

Now, I don't know about you but MASS means one thing ... the C word, which put me in immediate panic mode. She did a lot of fast talking when I started crying because they wanted me to go see my OB/GYN immediately. She assured me I would be ok, that I was lucky I came in when I did, and excused herself pretty quickly, leaving me to deal with the enormity of what she had just told me.

After what felt like forever, and more check out red tape, she came back. She had taken more time looking at the CT scan, after reading the tech's report (she admitted she had just glanced at it the first time) she said she had more info for me. Apparently, they found a large cyst on my left KIDNEY and the mass was on my right ovary ... though I left there thinking it was the other way around (my real doctor cleared that up for me later) ... and she told me that she wanted me to call my doctor in the morning. After getting prescriptions, we finally checked out of there somewhere about 4:30 am ... no way in hell we were moving the next day.

Now, a lot has happened since then but this post is already FAR longer than I wanted so I will have to write The Other Shoe, Part 2, tomorrow. This exciting post will cover rescheduling my moving truck, a week of stressful waiting, moving, and going to the doctor ... AND MORE!!

Can't wait, can ya?

and I wonder why I don't have readers ... heh

June 22, 2007

Not enough hours in the day ...

Nothing like moving your household to make you realize just how much crap you have.

There is also nothing like trying to move your house to make you realize just how very much work there is to be done ... far too much for one person. I have let my kids pack and prepare their own rooms ... but it's been almost 2 weeks now and we get a truck on Monday and, honestly, its taken me almost a week to get my room packed. Of course, we spent several days painting the new house but ... who's going to do the rest of the house? Why me, of course. The bath? yup, that would be me, too. Kitchen also, and living room. Closets, laundry room, attic, shed ... all on me.

I'm planning on having a yard sale on Saturday to get rid of the biggest crap. Much of the smaller crappity crap is being tossed.

Oh, and what about the matter of cleaning this house after we finish moving?

*le sigh* Crappity crap crap.

Yes, I am feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, slightly emotional but more melancholy than that, realizing how I really can not count on anyone to just pitch in and do what needs to be done. Dishes piling up? Litter box full? Laundry?

*le heavier sigh*

I just want it all to be over and done with. I can't wait until I sleep through the night at my new house and wake up without aching knees, without anything to do that would require me to down a handful of Advil just to be able to do it.

Almost there, I really am. Just a few more days and it'll be over and I'll be home. Prayers of strength and patience are needed. If you could see yourself clear to offer a few words of grace, I would greatly appreciate it.

June 21, 2007

Updated pics

Ok, T is sick of seeing the green pics of the kitchen so I'm going to start posting pics of the new house. We worked awfully hard to cover that green, dammit.

Here are the disemboweled cabinets ...


And my helper, putting it all back together...


Every girl needs a cordless drill. This one was a housewarming present from T's Dad, who knows this is true ...

And here's the fridge (with ICE inside!!!) so you can see at least a little of it put back together.


I'll post more as soon as I can clear enough work/snack debris ... we're still cleaning, moving small loads, painting, planning ... but we're trying to get ready for a yard sale this weekend, so we can sell some of the crap we don't want to move.

Personally, I'd rather leave it all and start over, even if it means living in a pretty, freshly painted (empty) house.
At least I can take time moving this time so I can get rid of a lot of the crap that I brought from the old house out of panic and desperation.

June 18, 2007

Making progress

I stood in my new kitchen yesterday, thinking how ghetto I was that I was excited about having a dishwasher ... and a disposal ... and an ICE MAKER in the fridge. How excited I am about being able to paint my walls whatever color I want them. How I immediately thought of the most extreme paint job I could come up with and went with RED walls to go with my (newly) white cabinets and black/chrome accessories.

We have spent the last 3 days painting, then coming back to the 'old house' to fall down exhausted. And T was there with me every day, sometimes feeling in the way, sometimes feeling helpless ... but it was all good because he was there with me. Having him here this past weekend was perfect ... not only did I have someone to hold me when I cried but he laughed with me when I just sat there grinning like an idiot. And I don't think he thought I was ghetto for being amazed at what I have (two and a half baths people ... that is a toilet for every ass in my family!!! and ICE! Did I mention the ice??) ... I think he knows me and where I came from and how we have been living for the past 3 years that we have been together and he knows we deserve better. I think he is proud of me.

I am very proud of myself. I did this. ME.

Hell yes, I'm independent and it's not a bad thing, no matter what my mom says.

OH ... before I go ... here are before pictures of my kitchen/dining room. Will post afters as soon as I'm done trimming this freaking white against the red!!

Ok, I like green ... green is my favorite color ... but this green? Wow ... it had to go.

And what in all that is holy were they thinking, painting the cabinet bodies green?!?!?! On the third coat of white now to cover it up. Just wait until you see how pretty it is. *excited giggle*

June 15, 2007

The key is the thing...

I've got the key. It fit the lock and opened the door to my house.

Yes, I own a townhouse. It's mine. No, don't listen to the guy at the bank saying it's really theirs for the next 30 years, SCREW HIM, it's mine.

I'm a homeowner.


Letting it sink in. We are heading over there in a bit to start taking the cabinet doors off the hinges and paint. T is here with his Dad's truck but we're not doing a lot of the moving now. Right now it's a lot of packing and carrying little things over there and just sitting there to let it all sink in.

I can't stop grinning. T keeps asking me what I'm thinking or why I'm smiling and I don't know how to tell him that I'm just happy. I don't think he's ever seen me just happy. Sure when we are together I'm happier than I am normally but this ... this is a 'cat that ate the canary' type of happiness.

I know it seems like a small thing, but I'll write more and try to (over)explain when I have more time and when I don't have an adorable boyfriend sitting so close to me being so darn cute and sweet and distracting. And a house sitting across town just waiting to be painted.

June 9, 2007

Nobody's perfect...

I have the best intentions. Really I do. Sure, I get pissed occasionally and fly off the handle and I'm sure I complain too much and I have this tendency to wallow but ... and this is a big but (almost as big as my own) ... I am, to my core, a good person that would not hurt a flea on purpose. This tends to make me somewhat of a doormat, though I am trying to change that.

Typically, the frustration and chaos of anger (both mine and from others) causes me to melt down. This, of course, puts me in a precarious position when dealing with a toxic person, especially someone that knows me well enough to try to take advantage of my inner turmoil. I also know what it is like to be berated, threatened and frightened ... a lifetime with verbal abuse makes me very empathetic ... and that, along with my tendency to get tongue-tied and teary-eyed, is probably the main reason why I try to avoid confrontation like the plague.

When I do finally blow up, I try to never aim my anger directly at anyone that doesn't deserve it. Anger, especially pent-up anger, can hurt as much as a balled fist to the solar plexus, especially when it's undeserved and it catches you off guard. For the most part, I will bite my tongue until I can handle things in a diplomatic way. At times this manifests itself as a distant glowering but, honestly, I would rather hold back until I can sort through my thoughts and present a calm, rational facade. Many times, during these silent simmers, I've been taken advantage of because I could not speak or stand up for myself. Once I finally do get mad and let people know how I feel, I get on firmer ground but, man, do I suck at it.

Where is all this emotional spelunking leading us? Well, as you may have noticed if you read this blog at all, I'm buying a townhouse. You may also have noticed that I was waiting until I knew it would go through before telling my mother. Long story short, I have a lot riding on this and, being the superstitious Irish lass that I am, I'm afraid to count my chickens and, even more afraid to tell my mom I have chickens.

Hmm ... where was I? Pretty bad when I lose track of my own analogy. I'll attribute that to it being very stressed out as I try to get through the very end of a very bad year on top of trying to orchestrate moving a household and coordinating the renovation of our media center. You can understand that, right? Really? You can?? Then why can't my mom, who has known me and how I work for 43 years?

What I'm trying to get at (yes, I finally did remember ... shut it) is that I told my mom. And it did not go well. Rather than being happy/proud of me, she was mad that I had not told her anything and how could I have left her out of my decision and isn't she important enough to tell and no one cares about her anymore ...

It got ugly.

I actually stood up to her, something I don't do because she pulls the 'poor me' crap but just the fact that this was SO important to me and she was trying to make it about her pissed me off. She hung up on me without asking me about the house.

The next time we spoke (I called) she didn't mention the house at all.

The next time we spoke (I called again) she finally asked a question or two about it but every answer I gave her was met with a snide (to my ears) comment so my remaks became perfunctory until she got the message and we got off the phone.

F*ck you, Ma.

There, that was what I really wanted to tell her. I'll let it go now and move on. After all, I have a new house to move into. *crossing fingers*

May 14, 2007


Ok, so this may seem like its really spontaneous but you have to remember I've been studying the market and shopping for a house for 12 years and planning for this day for my whole life ...

I put an offer on a townhouse today.

Now, I don't know if I'll get it (I offered quite a bit less than they were asking) but I have to try. I'm scared to death, though. Buying the car, that was one thing ... I had been through the process a few times with the x so it wasn't totally foreign to me. Buying a house, though? I'm totally overwhelmed and totally on my own in this. My realtor makes me feel more confident than I probably should be feeling for someone in my position but I like that about her. She doesn't make me feel like a charity case.

Going to breathe in a paper bag for a while. Feeling slight panic symptoms.

Oh, and I can't WAIT until this all goes down and I get to tell my Mom. OH, and the x, now that will be even sweeter. Hahahaaa, yeah, who knew such a loser could actually accomplish anything.

EDIT: What have I done? Fighting the grip of panic, trying my best to remember something, anything, positive about the townhouse and why I thought I could buy it. Getting pains down my arms and legs and nursing a migraine. Must remember to breathe. What have I done?

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