Sunday, January 27, 2013


Have you ever jinxed yourself? I do it all the time.

I'll say something stupid such as, "I haven't gotten sick in ___ years!" only to come down with the Bubonic Plague two days later.

Earlier this month I said something moronic along the lines of "This is SO EASY! Way easier than buying the condo.  Smooth sailing! Not a problem in sight!"

The Universe clearly heard that as a challenge.  Which, in my defense, it wasn't meant to be.

There are some reaaaaaalllly cool things about the house.

For instance in the crawl space, which is under an addition that was probably added on sometime in the 1900's, there is rumored to be a cellar door (I don't know because I will never be going down there) and there are  logs.  Whole logs, bark and all used as support beams.

And in the basement, which isn't scary at all considering it's a Michigan Basement, there is this:

A hand hewn beam.  I mean, you can actually see the ax marks!  This bad boy is helping to support our house.  Solid as a rock!

And then there is this:

(Go ahead and ignore, for now, the horrific wiring/splicing/electrical hazard.)

And this is the "I-Beam" or what would be called an I-Beam nowadays, which is also hand hewn.

And do you know what the problem with 150 year old hand hewn beautiful wood beams and logs supporting your house is?


Where's a dang aardvark when you need one?!

In the second picture you can see where the little jerks have been feasting.

The I-beam is toast.  As are some of the floor joists under the addition - which is the kitchen/dining room/mudroom/weird little room in the back.

There you have it.  We're waiting for the official report from the inspector so that we can go to the bank and say something along the lines of "This is structural, you can't sell it to anyone without fixing it so fix it. Please.  Because I really, really want this house and have had actual dreams where I am living in this house."

Okay, maybe the stuff not after the please.

And I'm going to have to parse out  the pics and info in small little increments because we won't be closing until after the big problems are solved.

Did I mention that they didn't winterize it properly so the plumber, my wonderful cousin Jody, wasn't ever able to get the pump going? No? Well that's a post for another day.

Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for us!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Tale About a House, continued...

A few weeks before Christmas I had a lot of PTO that I needed to use up before the end of the year which meant that I had a lot of time to peek at in between wrapping presents and baking.  Everything in our price range was just... blah.

So I broke my own rule of not looking outside of our price range and guess what I found? The house! It was listed as a foreclosure and, unfortunately, $17,000 more than it was when it was a short sale.  I really, really tried not to get my hopes up and start dreaming about it tooooo much so I didn't say anything to my Beloved right away.

On our way out of town on our New Years Day Annual Road Trip (2011 trip here and 2012 trip here and here), this time to the Southwest part of the state - Kalamazooo & Battle Creek area - we decided to hit up a few houses, in a different town that I had found.  None of them tickled our fancy so I gently brought up the fact that the house was back on the market.  There was brief excitement in my Beloveds eyes before he said "What about that furnace? Where would we get wood from?" and that is how the argument started.  It ended fairly quickly, the two times a year we argue they usually do, and I decided not to bring it up again.

Until a few days later when I may have accidentally typed in and immediately typed the address in the search box. They had dropped the price to the Short Sale price!

Say what?!?

Being sneaky resourceful I talked my Beloved into actually sitting down with me and looking at houses on the internet. I may or may not have left the webpage open to the house as I answered the phone.  He noticed it and the reduced price but said he was still anxious about the furnace.  So I distracted him by pointing out a different house that didn't look too awful in the pictures and had an acre of land.

Having nothing better to do we called the listing Realtor and asked her to show us the house.  It was a dump.

While there she asked us what we were looking for, we left it pretty open and told her acreage and not in a subdivision.  The next morning she e-mailed us some listings and guess what? There it was, my future house was on the list.  We agreed to go see three houses including the house of my dreams.  We invited my mother-in-law along for the ride and I was hoping she would love it as much as I did and talk some sense into her son.

The first house was a hot mess.

The Realtor tried really hard to talk us out of going to see the farmhouse and going to look at the more expensive house, telling us about all of the drawbacks of an old house - all I heard was blah, blah, blah.  Even as she was unlocking the door she was outlining the problems we would have with owning a 150 year old house.

And just like that the magic of the old place came over her and she said "I love it!"  My mother-in-law too fell under its spell.

We did a quick walk around and then headed to the basement.  There, shining brightly in the light of my Beloveds flashlight was a brand spanking new, shiny silver gas furnace!

It was then that my Beloved turned to me and said "Let's do this, let's buy the house."

And here we are.  After placing a bid, then a counter bid against an investor, we are buying it!

Well, that is if the inspection goes well today.  I am going to take my camera and take some pics while the inspector and my Beloved are rooting around the house making sure it is a worthy investment.  Which it will be.  I just know it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Tale About a House

During the summer I became a junkie.  I became obsessed with finding a house where my Beloved and I could plant a proper garden.  And have a couple of chickens.  Oh, and a few pygmy goats.  And probably bees.

I would look up two or three houses in our price range and when my Beloved and I got home from work we would go do drive-by's then go out to dinner afterwards.  We spent a good portion of our summer doing this - thinking and dreaming and what-if'ing.

One particular night after hating the two houses we'd driven by we decided to take the back roads toward town.

And that's when we saw this:

"Hey wait! Back this bad boy up, what about that house?" Is what I believe I said. Okay, maybe I squealed.   A bit.

It. Was. Perfect.  A farmhouse.  With a barn.  A barn!

After a six-point turn in his pick-up my Beloved slowly pulled into the driveway while I ran hobbled up to the Realtor's sign and called the listing agent.  He agreed to meet us the next day (Saturday) at 10:30 to show us the house.  

Uber anxious we showed up stupid early.  We knew the house wasn't occupied and we wanted to poke around the property and barn without a pesky Realtor dogging our steps.  It was stupid cold and rainy that day and I wore the wrong shoes.  I was grumpy by 11:00 when he hadn't shown up yet and I had already peeked in every window, snooped around the barn and chicken coop and discovered the pole barn/garage wasn't locked.  I was ticked.  

I finally called him and he said thought he told 11:30 and he said he would be "right over".  11:42.  That's when he showed up.  

But that's okay! 'Cause he let us in the house.  Oh.Em.Gee.  It's perfect.  Not shiny and brand new perfect.  It is just awesome! 

It was built in 1863.  

President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.  

It has style and character and charm.  Oodles and oodles of charm.  It had one itty-bitty (in my opinion, not my Beloved's who thought it was a deal breaker) problem.  The furnace just happened to be a oil/wood burning furnace.  Oh, and it was a short-sale.  Those are PITA's.  

But I loved the place so much that a few days later I called the Realtor and said that we wanted to look at it again.  We wanted to be sure that this what we wanted because short-sales take a long time and you're locked in if you make an offer.  We set the appointment for the following Saturday.

The Friday before we were to go back he called and left me a message saying he had to cancel the showing. That was it.  Nothing further.

A few days later while perusing I noticed it was off the market.  I figured the bank had accepted an offer and the old place had sold.

And more than a little heartbroken I decided to give up looking for a house and just focus on doing up the condo more and just love what I already have.

That lasted for a good 5 weeks.....

Stay tuned for the rest of the story!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Struggle - Pt. II

Wow.  On my way home from work I realized that the way I left my last post hanging that I probably had left y'all thinking one thing (pregnancy) when that isn't what I meant.

I am not, that I know of, pregnant.

Sorry.  I wish I could say differently.

Anyway, I was thinking that the focus for my blog, along with my trying to save my little corner of the planet is this:

And the 150 year old house that accompanies it.

My Beloved and I are buying a farm house that was built while Abraham Lincoln was president.  It has this dairy barn with the little yellow milk house.  A chicken coop and a big ol' pole barn.

These are the things that are going to occupy my life.  And my blog.

For now I've given up on any pretext about what my blog is or isn't and I'm just going to go with the flow (which is against my nature).



*I'm posting this without editing it - I am writing this on my break so I don't have time so you'll have to forgive me!

The last 6 months have been a struggle for me. 

At first I was struggling with what my blog was about and why the holy heck I was even blogging.  Was it to keep my 7 followers entertained? Was it to keep myself entertained? Other blogs are food blogs or art blogs, music blogs or religious blogs.  But, what is that I contribute? I still don't have the answer but I'm mightily sick of wallowing around in doubt.

And while I was lolling about and promising myself that I would "write a post tomorrow", I was also struggling with my Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Most of the posts that I wrote in my head were more like rants.  Rants about how horrible the disease is, how unfortunate I am because I have it, how I know it won't kill me but it causes me a lot of pain and the disfiguring effects are horrific, how I hate seeing people's hands who have it.  The list just goes on and on. 

The last time I went to my rheumatologist was back in September and he told me that he wanted to put me on a new (to me) medicine because my RA was becoming much more aggressive and he wanted to try and stop the joint destruction.  I was so miserable and in so much pain that at that point I was ready to try anything (except the TNF/biologic drugs), then he told me that I would have to prevent pregnancy.  That I would have to make sure that there was no way that I would become pregnant while I was on it.  I heard things like: "It is a Teratogen.  Fetal mortality.  Severe birth defects. End any accidental pregnancy. Long processes & more drugs to remove it from your system.  Monthly blood tests.  Liver tests."  Then he said, "But, you're a woman in your 40's.  Women in their 40's aren't usually looking to get pregnant."

Wait.  What?  In my 40's? At this point I was only a whopping 2 weeks into being 40!

So he wrote the script for me. 

I cried the whole way home.

I didn't know what to do.  What the right decision to make was.  I had always planned on being a mother.  It just hasn't happened yet.  My first marriage was bunk and there went five years down the drain, then there were my single-lady years which I heartily enjoyed. 

Then it happened. 

I found my Beloved. 

So here I am, at 40 & a newlywed.  A happy, blessed, content newlywed.  But still without a baby.  My beloved and I aren't trying and we're not not trying... we're just letting nature take its course.  However I didn't like the thought of precluding a baby.

I talked it over with my Beloved.  I talked it over with my mother.  With friends.

I decided not to fill the script. 

Fast forward to today - and at this point in time I am feeling good.  Like, really, really good.  As in for 12 days now not a single ache or pain.  No red, swollen joints.  No trying to figure out how to zip my pants or tie my shoes, wash my hair or start the ignition in the car.

I went to see him again last night and I told him that I hadn't been taking it.  That at this point in my life when there is the teeny-tiniest chance in the universe that I could maybe possibly still have a baby that I wasn't going to stop it.  He asked me what it is that I am taking that has me feeling ( RA wise) so good and I rattled off the 9 quadrillion supplements plus the three meds that I have been on for years and years.

But, now? Now I have a plan, a purpose for my blog.
So stay tuned for more tonight....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Remember me?

I'm still alive.

I'll be baaaaaaaack!