Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Three Day Weekend - Coming Up!

Ahhh!  Memorial Day weekend - finally it's almost here!  Being the first work day off since New camping at Dog Woods, but this year we'll be hanging at the house.  We'll be doing a small cookout on Saturday afternoon with some porch dwelling and cornhole on the agenda. And it will be the last time to hang at this house on Memorial Day weekend!  I've already warned them that there are boxes and corners of disaster everywhere.  I have managed to keep the guest room box and clutter free though.

This is one of my most looked forward to long weekends.  And as a plus, Jami & Larry, our greatest friends from Indy, always come down for the long weekend and hang out with us.

Portia is supposed to be home visiting starting Monday for a week or so since this Friday is her last day of school. She may be getting a job at the local pool where she lives, which would be wonderful for her, but will limit her free days during the summer.  But what better place to work in the summer than at a pool and make some money!

As a house update, the appraisal was yesterday on the new house and we should know the results by the end of this week.  Waiting is the hardest part, especially since once we find out if the appraisal came through ok we'll get a closing date soon after.  And I'm very anxious to know some dates so I can plan more efficiently.  In the meantime I think I've boxed almost all unnecessary items and thrown out almost all unwanted items.  Thanks to my brother, almost all the painting is done and we only have a small list of home repairs left to do.

Things are moving along!  We also have a potential buyer for Dog Woods and the camper, which would be an added bonus.  I will miss it, but there is no point in living on 11 acres and keeping a 6 acre getaway when we'll be literally living in a get-away all the time - with running water and plumbing, no less!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

House Update

Good news on the house we're trying to buy - our loan has been approved!  We knew we were pre-qualified, but you never know what they might come back with, so very good news!  The appraisal has been ordered so right now everything just rides on that and the inspection.  So fingers crossed for everything to continue to go well.  I'm guessing if it all does go well we'll be looking to move sometime between the middle to end of June, though depending on how fast the sellers get their new place and moved it could be sooner, or even later, than that.  We'll know more once we get a closing date set.

I do dread all the work ahead of us.  We've already started a lot of it and I donated about 10 leaf trashbag sized bags full of give-away items, so at least I'm getting some deep decluttering done.  I've been packing up all the items in the house that aren't necessary - things like photo frames, candles, unused dishes, books, etc.  The entire craft room has been packed and took about 20 boxes just for that room alone.  Yikes!

We've really knocked out the house repair list and there isn't a horrible amount of stuff left to do.  The hard part will be filling in the Koi pond.  Since we're keeping the house and renting it once we move we have to fill it in.  Otherwise it's a huge liability risk that we're not willing to chance.  The Koi will go with us and have a new pond built, hopefully shortly after we get moved.  Until then we have to find something temporary for them to stay in and we haven't quite figured out that part.  Any suggestions are appreciated!

With any luck by Fourth of July weekend this will be my new view from the back porch!  *swoon*

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Last month we were finally able to ditch our crappy service with AT&T and ditch our crappy BlackBerry phones... hallelujah! We swapped over to Verizon (so far, loving them) and also went with the Motorola Droid. Best. Phone. Ever! This baby does everything I want and need. And it actually works. It doesn't drop calls and keeps a strong signal. I can walk down the stairwell at work without losing my connection to everything. I have the option of using the slideout keyboard or the touch screen. So far the touch screen is winning, much to my surprise.  The GPS is way superior to the Vio I have for the truck, so I bought a dashmount for the phone for GPS usage.  We've tried it out and it's been right on the mark just about every time.

The interface is very nice as well.  The touch screen is easy to use and there are "live" wallpapers that are uber cool!  You're supposed to be able to tether the Droid to a laptop to use for an Internet connection, however neither of us has tried to tether yet.

And the array of apps available is awesome. I'm cheap and generally won't pay $3.99 for an app unless it really impresses me. So far I have not bought any, but I do have a ton of free ones that I love.  My favorites are:

  • Twidroid (Twitter)

  • Weather Bug  (weather updates and alerts)

  • (streaming music)

  • Astro (file manager)

  • Batteryminder (keeps battery status in top bar)

  • ColorNote (colored post-it notes)

  • NewsRob (rss reader)

  • Shazam (song identifier)

  • Color Flash (great for finding things in the dark)

  • Abduction (goofy, addicting cow vs alien game)

  • Google Sky Map (super awesome real time constellations based on where you point the phone)

  • Metal Detector (turns Droid into working metal detector)

  • Mahjong (game)

  • Jewellust Lite (game similar to Bejeweled)

I've only had the phone for a month so it's still new to me, but I'll follow up with any dislikes I may come across.  I have a feeling that this one will keep the title of "best phone ever" least until my next upgrade!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Life Got in the Way!

Wow, it's been a while since I've had a blog entry.  Flunking out of my Project 365 really made my daily posts dwindle!  But, it's not a bad thing.  I would have probably flunked the project anyway with all that is going on.

We just got back from an awesome trip to San Francisco, California a couple of weeks ago.  We went with our good friends Charlie and Christina for a five day adventure.  We were busy the entire time we were there.  We toured around Fisherman's Wharf several times since that's where our hotel was.  We took a ferry boat tour on the bay.  We took an all day Napa Valley wine tasting tour.  And we went to tide pools in Santa Cruz to see the anemones and other sea critters.

Lots of stories came of that trip.  Jason was dubbed "Meskipedia" for all his useless trivia knowledge.  Charlie knocked over a Chinese shrine at a restaurant in Chinatown.  We made a nice bum happy by giving him the rest of our beer before we flew back home.  We saw many strange and entertaining things on the Wharf.  We feared for our lives during the cab drive from the airport to the hotel.  The Pacific tried to murder my D80.  And Jason drove us up one of the big hills of San Francisco before we turned in the rental car.  It was so much fun!  I have over 300 photos, only 100 of which I have sifted through thus far, but what I do have can be seen here.  Check back, I've been trying to add a few a day.

San Francisco Bay Docks

Foggy Golden Gate Bridge

And even more exciting news - we found a house on land that we absolutely love!  I found it purely by chance when checking out the Craig's List For Sale by Owner listings, not expecting to find much.  However I found a gorgeous place on 11 acres not too far from where we live now.  It has a 3100+ square foot log sided cabin right in the center of the property and it's absolutely gorgeous!  Five acres are cleared and five acres are wooded and there is a 3/4 acre pond filled with catfish, bass and bluegill.  We've been looking for this for 10 years or so!

So we went to look at it and loved what we saw.  So we came home and thought about it and put in an offer.  After several phone calls the sellers accepted our offer and the contract was signed yesterday.  Whoo!  Now we just have to get through the inspection and the appraisal and all should be good after that.  So with this news I've begun packing up unneeded things around the house, we've both been fixing minor things that need attention and my brother has been painting all the rooms that need a fresh coat.  If all of this does work out we'll likely be moving around the beginning of July since the sellers asked for 30 days after closing in order to close on their own house purchase.

Lots of excitement ahead!