"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The signing was delayed until 2:30.  Then it was pushed to 4 pm and they still weren't ready for us.  However, we are happy to finally announce that, as of 5 pm this evening, we are first time homeowners.  My first car and my first house all in a weeks time - what a grown up I'm becoming!  We went out for supper to celebrate not getting writer's cramp from all the pages we signed but it was actually kind of a downer.  See, the catch is that while while everything is signed, we can't officially take possession until the money clears the bank.  Of course, no one is really sure when that will happen but we are crossing our fingers it will happen by Thursday.

That still leaves me 9 whole days to repaint, tear out carpet, move, unpack, plan a birthday and then get ready for Christmas.  Did I mention that half the family is sick?  Or that Donald is also writing papers and working crazy, holiday hours?  No problem for this retired Navy wife.


I think all I want for Christmas this year is a replenishing stock of sticky notes and a glass of wine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My First Car!

Every kid dreams of turning sixteen and getting their own car.  Birthday, driver's license and car.  They go together like peanut butter, jelly and milk.  I did the birthday and got the license; as the old Meatloaf song says, "Two out three ain't bad."  I had to be content with first driving my parent's beige, huge, early 80's, Chrysler New Yorker.  Keep in mind, I got my license in the summer of 1989.  My boyfriend called it the One-Eyed Beast because it had headlights that popped up but only one of them worked, giving the appearance of a wink.  The next year my parents "upgraded" to an even bigger, 70's something, Ford LTD station wagon.  Yes, complete with wood panelling down the side and the extra seats that folded down in the "way back" as my mom termed it.  My friends called that one the Party Wagon because you could pack, well, let's just say A Lot Of People in it.  The exact number will remain a secret because my mother reads this blog!  She's too young for a heart attack!  Love you, Mom!

I went off to college and never bought a car.  Didn't need one.  My school had everything I needed on campus.  Besides, my mother mailed me a care package every single week freshman year.  Her cookies made me a big hit with the football team!  My roommate had a car and I borrowed it if I needed it.

Then I got married.  Donald had a baby blue, two door Subaru which eventually gave out on a deserted highway in Montana on our way home for Christmas break.  We were obliged to wait in a strangers house for five hours while my father in law came to save us.  I was sick as a dog and there were ferrets.  That's about all I remember.  I do know the car sat in the same spot for nearly a decade before someone got rid of it.

Donald and I have had numerous vehicles since then.  The coolest was a tiny Honda Prelude his dad gave us after the Subaru fiasco.  The worst was a short stint with a Dodge Caravan mini van; we swore off mini vans forever after that experience.  With all the cars we've owned, I've never had one that was just mine.  Shoot, I don't even think my name has ever been on a title.

Today, I went for three out of three.  At 38, I now have my very first car.  Her name is Penny (as in "Mini Penny"- come on 007 fans!) and she is a 1983 Austin Mini, which makes her the exact age of my little brother.  6,100 original miles!  She is even a Right Side Drive, a true British import!  I fell in love with Minis on my first trip to England.  Donald photographed me standing next to random Minis all over the country!  The fact that her heater needs some work and her wipers gave out on the 60 mile drive home in a thick blanket of fog does not tarnish my excitement.  The boys are pretty stoked too; they can't wait to be old enough to drive her!  They can drive her but I already let them know that they, too, may be 38 before they get a car of their own!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Closing Update

I don't mind nit picking when I am the nit picker.  I thrive on nit picky, especially when it involves spotting spelling errors on public signage.  When I am on the receiving end of nit picky, it's not so fun.  Must be what my husband feels like, living with me!

We finally got word of the VA appraisal on late on Thursday.  The appraiser noticed some peeling paint on a couple of windows.  He is requiring that all the paint be scraped, repainted and all paint chips removed.

This  is all that is preventing me from moving out of my RV.  Seems like an easy fix, right?  I'd go do it myself if they would let me.  Except that it has to be a contractor.  And then an order has to be sent to get the appraiser to go back, for another fee, of course, and verify that the work has been done.  Then three or four more days, minimum, for the appraiser to file his report.  Then, maybe, just maybe, the loan processor will produce all the needed closing paperwork.

Have I mentioned how much I love it when my life's details are being handled by invisible, unreachable, anonymous people?  Since we have nothing solid to go on, we don't have a new closing date yet.  Probably just as well, for my mental well-being!