Tuesday, August 25, 2009

House Hunting

I'm super excited, but trying to keep myself grounded in reality and not get my hopes up. I went to look at a house yesterday that's in foreclosure - normally I've just been looking at houses on the traditional market. But despite the fact that my realtor said this one needs a lot of work, I asked her to humor me and take me to see it.

Oh. My. God. It needs work, no question. But this house has every possible thing that A and I could ever want in a house - over 2400 sq ft, inground pool, sunroom, outdoor hot tub and fireplace, English garden with fruit trees, master bath with a corner jacuzzi and 2 person glass-enclosed corner shower, finished basement not included in sq footage, big yard, huge heated garage, fireplace, recessed lighting, contemporary style. We could NOT afford this house if it was not owned by the bank.

I am in love.

And because it's a foreclosure that needs work, it's priced not much higher than what we paid for our condo over 2 years ago. So we could AFFORD the work!

We're hoping that it won't turn out to be Pandora's Box. We know it needs a lot of cosmetics, electrical, possibly plumbing, and definitely a new roof. But as long as the heating system is okay and there are no structural problems, we are all over this house like white on rice.

We both love projects. The other house on the top of my list is double the price but absolutely pristine. I love that one too, but I think we'd be bored with it considering that it doesn't even need paint (it's already in the color scheme I would choose.) It doesn't have any of the extras, but it's a really nice house.

But the foreclosure. Oh my word. It has so much damn potential to be an amazing house - the kind of house that my teenage children's friends would come to visit and think we're rich or something. Not that I care about that sort of thing, but I do look forward to impressing people with our pure blood, sweat, and tears.

I saw a shooting star last night while I was telling my husband about it. I'm not really into those cosmic sorts of things, but it was so low in the sky and happened at exactly the time I looked up. I really hope it's a good omen.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Focusing on the Mundane For Awhile

Today marked my return back to work after 6 weeks off for summer break. Those of you who remember my rants about the changes my company handed down right before the break will recognize that I am about to enter a period of stress and chaos. BUT - I thrive on stress and chaos so it will be a welcome change of pace after 9 months of what can only be described as mind-numbing boredom.

Lots of things going on in this head of mine lately, lots of changes coming down the pipeline. Husband comes home in just over 3 weeks, which is awesome. In the meantime, we are putting our condo on the market and looking for a house. Just found my DREAM house this past friday, but it's a bit on the pricey side and because of that, I can't make an offer on it until A comes home. 2 years ago when we were selling our old condo and looking for a house, I got so sucked into the process I couldn't see straight and was more stressed out than I have ever been in my life. I refuse to do that again. So whereas 2 years ago I would be freaking out about this house thinking if we don't buy it NOW then ZOMG!!! we might lose it forever!!! Nope. Not doing that again. If it's still there when he comes home, great. If not, I know will we find another one that I will love just as much. Let's hope I can keep this perspective.

I am no longer on the pill, taking a "come what may" attitude toward it. It's funny, various physicians and nurses have asked repeatedly when learning my medications have changed, "Oh, are you trying to get pregnant?" And I respond, "Well, not exactly. I'm not trying NOT to get pregnant." For some reason, when I think of people who "try" to get pregnant I imagine women trolling fertility websites, stocking up on ovulation tests from Costco, pre-shopping for maternity clothes and looking into cord blood banks (saw an ad for this in my GYN office - holy creepy.) That's not me. If we get pregnant, I will be super excited and happy. If we don't, then we don't. Again, not going to let myself get stressed out over something I don't really have all that much control over.

I am looking into applying for master's programs this fall. I'm thinking of possibly doing an MA in communications rather than psychology, or possibly doing an MSW or an MA in counseling. My focus is on something that will get me a job, not just a piece of paper. A MA in general psychology is useless, and usually doesn't even get you advanced standing in a PhD program, so I figure why bother with that. There's a program nearby in Writing, Rhetoric, and Media Arts that I thought might be kind of cool. I'm looking at it from two different points of view - either focusing on something I would like to teach or focusing on something I would like to DO.

The master's program idea is kind of a short-term solution to a long-term problem. It will keep me in a position to have fresh letters of recommendation for PhD programs down the line if I choose to continue that path regardless of what degree I earn in the meantime, and hopefully will broaden my skillset and make me more marketable for jobs. I am looking for flexibility and stability in my life and I think this might help make that happen.

I have a new personal goal that I stole from a certain academic who I admire to read 100 books by the end of this year. I'm at about 45 this year so far, running the gamut from nonfiction to chick lit. I am about halfway through Proust's Swann's Way, which has been sitting on my bookshelf for about a year waiting for me to have the time and attention it deserves.

I know my attention to the blogosphere has been spotty - been doing a lot of traveling and a lot of work around the house to get it ready to sell. As I type this, I have grout residue under my thumbnail that won't seem to go away from a bathroom project I tackled this weekend. I don't know the direction this blog will take over the next few months, but I know my readership will probably change dramatically, if not drop off completely. But the blogs I read and follow won't change because I love all you guys and my addiction is still pretty strong.

Onward and hopefully upward!
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