Saturday, December 31, 2016

I'm late on this post, forgive me - so I'm backdating it.

I keep seeing the facebook posts joking about how this time last year people claimed 2015 sucked, but that 2016 was _going to be their year_.  I didn't go that far, but I did point out how un-fun 2015 was and welcomed 2016.  I guess this year could have been a lot worse, but I think the word I would use is stagnant.  As I re-read my post from 2015 I can't help but think "yeah, that's still applicable", "that too", "yup."

My weight is an issue again I need to fight before I'm at the deep end.  The company continues to dwindle downward but I continue to cling on.

While most of the year feels unremarkable, there were some high points:
As always there was more travels. Maybe this warrants being in the stagnation bucket, but too bad, I love it too much to see it as anything less than a constant blessing.
- First there was the trip to Texas to attend my nephew's wedding!  How crazy is that?  Then my sister, her friend Rhonda, and I headed out on Liberty of the seas.
- Then my sweetie and I got onboard Adventure of the seas in May.
- I promised to return to Texas again to head to Lubbock and see my niece's apartment and school - which I did in September.
- In October my sweetie and I took a day in the local start parks to take in the autumn leaves.
- I found a last minute good deal, so my sweetie and I were back out again there in December on Harmony of the seas.

I got to see several people I care very much for get married this year, including Beff - who allowed me to be her maid of honor.

I succeeded in some of the things I set out to do at the end of last year, like purging more.  There was a definite push for this as I trimmed things down and packed items up to declutter.  Clearly, the courage to make the leap became real!

What I can say for sure is things are a-changin here in the last few weeks of 2016, without doubt!  I thought I was going to be able to say that within a year of returning from my Texas trip last February into March and deciding to get the house on the market I would have gotten it sold.  I guess there is still time for that although it appears unlikely at this point.  Either way, this whole process has definitely brought some drama and stress into my life and it isn't over yet.

My desires for 2017:
Obviously, I want that buyer for my house that actually closes!  The start of 2017 is going to feel awfully busy and will be full of new things for me (new houses, doctors, vets, neighbors, church, daily life).  I just want to take my time on some things and not stress too much as I find my way in getting settled.  But at the same time I need to start working out again, maybe a new home will help me start out with some new healthier habits.

Also related to new habits is trying to force myself to not be my backwards with strangers self - as in, I want to SPEAK to my new neighbors, start off on the right foot there too.

It will be nice to not be away from my girls for Christmas next year.  I never wanted to put them in the kennel and go away at the holidays because it seemed so sad, but here I have done it for three years.  I admit - I'm glad this will be minimized.

Since I will be living somewhere new, and much closer to activities I have not done because of the distance to the burgh, I'd also like to get out and do stuff.  Maybe a concert, maybe hitting Kennywood again, whatever - but I do want to focus on finding new things too, like checking out new eateries and whatnot.  But all of that will need to wait until I am out from under the bills of a second house.
I have little more to say other than my current home is back on the market.  Nothing was an issue on the inspection and we didn't even get the appraisal back - no worries there, it is, to my understanding something big and personal came up for my buyer.

There aren't words right now.  I didn't make my new purchase contingent because, well I thought we were good to go after the inspection was golden (that's what I waited for to move out on my own purchase).  One could bail (and not loose deposits) if something comes back on the inspection.  That is NOT my strategy, but heaven knows things could come back that are beyond what I'd expect.  Speaking of - that inspection is currently slated for Tuesday.

This does effect my new mortgage information, so I need to get in contact with them.  It also means that while I pack I need to somehow get the house in order to show again.  I originally was planning on pulling the house for January and February - but I don't feel like that's wise now that I'm looking down the barrel of three gas bills, three electric bills, and two water bills.

I don't understand your plan God.  Please help me.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I was able to have lunch with Mithy today!  I also had a massage today after work, so I lost some evening time (worth it!)  But I did still swing in to fill up the gas tank (before they jack our already incredibly high gas taxes even higher January 1) and to the liquor store to get some empty wine bottle boxes.  When I got home I did put those boxes to use, so the remainder of my wine is boxed!  I even took down and cleaned up my Law-original wine racks to remove fur and dust, so they are tied off and ready to move.

I'm sitting down right now.  Maybe I shouldn't be, but after the massage I'm just happy I got _something_ else accomplished tonight.  I do have a long weekend ahead of me, so I should be able to get some other things in order - and the donations out the door before Jan 1.

I slept pretty well last night, but I think I need one more good night's sleep to feel back in order.  It might be a semi-early night.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

That second option has become my number one girl. We sent out the offer earlier today and received a slight shift counter offer this evening, which I have accepted.  Sure there are still inspections and appraisals and all of those goodies to be done but what an incredible relief.  Yes, there is a whole other world of things to worry about now, but at least it isn't looking like I'll be homeless or settling for something I don't like.  This one too I shall make my own.

I bagged up two garbage bags of mostly clothes to make an end of year/get ready to pack up donation this evening.  Always such a therapeutic effort.

Today at noon-time the appraiser was here for our final step in getting this place sold too.  *deep breath*

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

If you're not ready to actually sell your house - get it the hell off of the market and don't waste 5 days of someone's time in negotiations.  Thanks.

Monday, December 26, 2016

I hate that right now I still need to reiterate that I still have a viable second option.  We've had some back and forth and I really thought we were there, but we've got a bit of a hitch right now that might be insurmountable.  I'm tired, I'm overwhelmed, I'm anxious.  My sleep hasn't exactly been great this weekend either being away from home.

We had a nice Christmas, but they're busy with three different get togethers.  The one thing many people don't probably get, but when you live alone you get quite a few more opportunities for peace.  When visiting family I guess I always feel like I have to not fall asleep for that nap I really want, not go and take personal time, and to try and move/live at the pace of those gracious enough to allow me to stay with them, which can be tiring too.

I'm home with my puppies, this brings me some comfort.  I'm already figuring Saffy will be allowed in the bed tonight.  I need to rest and cuddling with her definitely helps.  (I didn't say sleep because I have gotten some sleep but it is full of memorable dreams after a long period is taken to fall asleep.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

I finished up my work week super early on Thursday and got myself on the road to look at another house. After all, with Christmas weekend I can't imagine a lot of realtors or home owners would want to schedule things during the weekend proper.  The house I came to see was a new build that is just finishing up.  Of course, when I got there they told me that the boss doesn't want them to sell it yet as it is a new design and they want to be able to show it off.  Ok.  It worked out well because while it was very nice it was lacking in some areas that I had higher hopes for.  He showed me another that has been on the market (brand new) for a little while.  I had only glanced because of a few features that kicked it off of my priority list.  Ultimately, it was a super nice place at the top of my willing budget and with a few things still on that list of things I don't like - but the biggest nail was that it was simply too big and I could hear my mother asking if I was going to clean it.

On my way here my prayer was that I'd know one way or the other (be completely enamored with what I came to see or even more sure of the one I already had at the top of my list).  I did need to stop at the this place and measure to make sure there wasn't a deal breaker with the size of the back yard.  One must have enough fence-able space to please the beasts you know.  I feel like since I toured this home the backyard got smaller and smaller in my mind.  Fortunately, the tape measure eased my concerns and I think we're good to go to put in a deck and get a fence up.

That said - my realtor and I started the back and forth on the house.  Recall there was two right at the same 'ranking' on my spreadsheet - so I still have a super viable second option if things don't pull through here.  Rest assured - you will know when I do!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I got some of the cleaning done I wanted to complete tonight, but more importantly - I was able to have dinner with Lor-Lor!

Such good stuff going down this week, but it's still stressful in a good way - so much so I have a zit up in my hair on the back of my head and one on my neck!  I swear these past six months I've been going through puberty again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2 boxes of books packed last night.  3 boxes of a variety of things packed tonight.  I also got a bag of stuff I don't need to keep/move to the trash for tomorrow.  Aside from losing a few days for holiday visiting, if I keep at this pace I should be golden.  I really did box up a lot of stuff when I was decluttering, so a large portion of the items out either do not need boxes (furniture) or they need to be more last minute (remaining kitchen items and clothing).

I do need to carefully assess tee shirts and shorts for the donation pile.  That is a more urgent to do as I'd like to get that stuff to St Vincent de Paul before the end of the month.  There are also the variety of items that the movers are likely not going to take (alcohol/wine, plants, super precious/delicate items) that I need to take in that direction... and finally the remaining items that are over at my Favorite Egg's old place that need to be here before I bring someone in to give me a moving guestimate.  I hope that stuff is okay.  I did throw out a few more things that I brought back from there that got gross.

Monday, December 19, 2016

oh em geeeeee!  Next step complete!  We still need to do an appraisal, but it would be nothing short of insanity for the house to not appraise at the offered price or higher.  I officially feel comfortable starting to pack and making an offer on a new place.

Now the question is which place?  I have the two options that are very viable right now.  If I plug them into my weighted spreadsheet things come out pretty tight score wise.

Late last week I had emailed the builder for the one home because I know they sometimes have things in progress that aren't on their website.  Bingo.  They have a new layout being built that already has carpet down, so it should be ready in January!  I cannot find pictures or floor plans anywhere, it's driving me crazy.  So, I will go see the place in progress as well as try to get measurements on the backyard of one of the existing options.  My plan is to make my decision and get an offer to the selected place before Christmas.  Fingers crossed that the new build doesn't have a white kitchen. *blech*

Saturday, December 17, 2016

What can I do that is productive without getting too far ahead of myself?  Going through clothes, sorting items to donate or throw out!  This way I can get one more donation in before the end of 2016 and I will thin some stuff out a bit before I need to pack it all.  At least I feel productive.

The sleet they promised came, so until it warms up enough to be all rain I am not leaving the house - but I'd like to get a grocery run in this weekend.  Yes, yes, I need to use up things in the freezer and cabinets, but one cannot live without some fresh fruit/veggies etc.  I discovered too the good news of needing to said freezer/cabinet cleaning:  I have several packs of bacon in the freezer, so yay for being _forced_ to make bacon more regularly.

Friday, December 16, 2016

My anxieties are nipping at my heels today.  I haven't gotten any word on the inspection yet.  As I've said before, I know no home is perfect, not even a brand new one, much less one from the 50's.  I've fixed so many things and I think all is healthy, but I'm not an expert in any of these things, so who knows what may be uncovered that I wasn't aware of.  Is that being pessimistic?  I'm sure some people would accuse me of such but again I tell you I am trying to temper my expectations and avoid any major disappointments that would come if I pretended nothing could go wrong.

I keep waffling between wanting to wait until I know 100% things are a go and wanting to start get a jump on things.  Even the act of taking off the nicer comforter and cramming it into the storage bag felt like jumping the gun to me.

The mortgage rates are slowly ticking upward with promises of moving even higher, so I reached out to a lender.  I may not have picked just yet or made an offer, but maybe I can lock in (since 45 days would be pretty close to when I'd need to bail).  I figure maybe doing one or two things like this will help settle my mind a bit.  The good news is they do something called a recast which may help me avoid doing a short home equity loan to ensure I have enough liquid funds for down payment/closing/moving/misc expenses while I'd wait for this place to close and cash out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hormones.  So, tonight was Santa out and about in Richland w/ his escorts from the fire company.  They actually turned and came down my street - which they don't normally do!  I got outside in time to wave and call to Santa like a dork.  But when I got back inside and I watched them head down the side street I started to cry -- because I won't be here next year.

I have issues.
I stayed at home this morning with my sweet sweet girls as I expected to need to take them and sit in the car for a couple of hours while the home inspection took place.  Since the perspective buyer did not attend the inspector encouraged me to sit tight, so instead we stayed warm and I was able to get a little work time in from my dining room table.

Either way, that step is done.  Now we wait for things to get back to the buyer and circle back through to my agent.

When I woke up this morning around 5am and laid in bed trying to get back to a proper sleep, the fact that I need to hustle on finding a place really settled into my brain.  I so wish that townhouse I was tricked into looking at came in a regular old single-family home - my search would have been long done.  Heck, I guess the same could be said if I were more comfortable upping the budget too - but that's not happening.

I have to keep telling myself nothing is going to be perfect, but it sure would be nice if the demerits were 1 or 2.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I've only been gone a week, but it felt like a month-long escape, and enough happened to reinforce that feeling.  I headed to my Favorite Eggs so we could fly out from the burgh to Fort Lauderdale.  About two months ago I spotted a dang good rate on Harmony of the Seas.  It's _the_ largest and newest RC ship right now and it just arrived in FLL a few weeks ago.  Combine that with crazy amazing flight prices and he was down.

We caught up with her on Saturday, December 3.  She is sister to Allure and Oasis, so many of the same things apply (such as the Central Park view balcony room we had and some entertainment venues).  I was a little disappointed with our table for dinner.  We had one couple show the first night, another couple show two of the nights, and a solo traveling gentleman three of the nights.  All said we had two evenings at the huge table solo.  We did go to Wonderland for dinner one night which I love on all fronts.

They're presenting doing some extra perks for the neighborhood balconies, so we also had a free premium lunch coming to us - so we tried Sabor.  I'm pretty picky about Mexican food.  I'll eat salsa/nachos, fajitas, and I finally stretched recently to try a few other things at the local place - so this was an adventure for me - but it was pretty freaking good.

Labadee (Private Island):  Compared to our last visit we slummed it a little.  No cabana this visit.  We walked to the Dragon's hole and then did find a nice spot on the beach for part of our day to relax.

Falmouth Jamaica:  This port was tough for me.  My first and last visit there left a bad taste in my mouth thanks to super pushy sales people that had me beyond the point of uncomfortable.  I had booked a tour with Peat Taylor at the recommendation of the Wild One.  Our first stop was at the Blue Hole - a series of falls we climbed and jumped from platforms at.  This was way more adventurous than I was expecting, but a blast.  From there we were off to the White River for some tubing which was also very nice - we were the only two people to do that portion of the tour.

Cozumel Mexico:  My last visit introduced me to Mr Sancho's all inclusive.  This visit I went for the similar Nachi Cocum, which allows fewer people each day and is just down the same stretch of beach.  It was nice enough.  The food and drinks were good.  We had a good day - until they seemed to rush us out earlier (an hour) than they were supposed to close.

The best part about Mexico was having the free wifi, so I could get the emails saying I had an offer on the house!  There is going to be so much to do and get in order as a result.  This _is_ a good problem to have, but I'm a bit anxious right now.  I'll be starting crazy lists to ease my brain a bit.

I had already planned to see a couple of places when I returned to the burgh (which was cold as all get out for the record).  We got in pretty late on Saturday and weren't into bed until 2:30, but I was still moving to see the first one at 11ish today.  4 in total, one I had been to before but wanted to see again as a viable option.  Another in the same community as the house I was lusting for recently.  One that I just spotted and thought wasn't in as bad of shape as it was.  ...and finally, one I've been eyeballing for a while.  This one looks pretty good, I just have to figure out how comfortable I am being a bit up on the crest of the hill in the community and the smaller yard.  I'm not in panic mode (yet).  Of course, we need to get through inspections and the like here first too.

So, I'm home now and 95% unpacked.  I have two very tired dogs, one of which has fallen asleep half on my leg making this rather difficult to type.  The only down side is I am a bit behind on The Walking Dead, but I'm watching regardless.