Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My stuff is better than other people's stuff

When I moved out of New Hampshire, I packed one suitcase thinking I'd be at my parents' house for a couple weeks. The rest of my things went on a truck that was intended to be shipped to Arizona, but instead spent several months in New Jersey with a company that changes the deal once they take your things and rarely answers phone calls.

(If ever contracting a move cross-country, pay the extra couple hundred buck for the well-known company. That's what I did on the last move, and the peace of mind was worth it.)

So my stuff was supposed to arrive by Tuesday. It's Wednesday.

There are many reasons I hope to see my stuff again. My photo albums. My great-grandmother's dresser. My big computer with all my files. My paintings- the ones that I painted that are of no value to anyone but me.

My stuff is better than other people's stuff because it is mine. It is all my style. Even the stuff that isn't really my style anymore, because it belongs to me, it is. The clothes all fit me perfectly. Getting my stuff back is better than Christmas because none of it has to be given false praise and returned to the store. It is all perfect just the way it is.

And I want it back.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Adventure Begins: week one of home ownership

I moved into my new house on Thursday and I’m living in a construction zone. We’ve ripped out bedroom carpet and bathroom tile. By “we” I mean my amazing contractor. The first big project is the master bath. Here are some photos:
Thursday (pre-demo)

See those hinges? I've got a bathroom door! The vanity, tile and closet doors are gone. Tomorrow "we" start putting stuff in!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunshine at the end of the tunnel

After four months in snowy Colorado, I'm getting in the car tomorrow and heading toward my new house in Tucson!

All of my belongings are being shipped. I'm not sure how long that is going to take, so I may be sleeping on a sofa bed for awhile. I'm about as excited to be reunited with my STUFF as I am to have a place to put it all.

There are a million details I've had to work out before I go: applying for home owner's insurance, ordering bathroom tile, shifting the utilities into my name, setting up internet service (I'm still working on that.)

I'm so excited to get there and get started on all my reno projects. I'll post photos when I get there.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why you don't want to talk to me

I used to be a pretty good conversationalist. Now, the topics rattling around in my head would not interest most people. For instance, I could spend several hours discussing the merits of hardwood, engineered hardwood and laminate wood flooring. It isn't that I'm particularly knowledgeable on the subject; I'm thirsty for knowledge. If I was dating a contractor right now, we would never run out of things to talk about. Alas,  I am not.

The other topic I could run into the ground has to do with my second round of edits on the book. We're working on "point of view", something most readers don't even notice and most writers obsess over. I'm considering the merits of shifting the first-person chapters by non-central characters into third person. If you've read Monsoon Season and have any idea what I just said, I'd love your opinion!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Goodbye short sale house

They call them “short sales”  because the sellers are “short” on what they owe to the bank, so it seems like a cruel bit of irony when your short sale drags on forever. I held on for as long as I could, paid to have utilities turned on so I could have the inspection done. I’ve been paying utilities on an empty house for months now because the seller’s agent assured me the sale would be complete “any day now”.

He’d been saying that every few days for weeks now. The last thing he said was that he was sure “the dam was about to break”. That was over two weeks ago and he’s been very quiet since. If the dam broke, he must have drowned.

It’s really sad when you think the previous owners were likely pushed out because they couldn’t make the monthly payments. So instead, no one’s made a payment on this house in a full year as it sits empty, vulnerable to vandals and roof rot.

Unfortunately, it seems the bankers have no incentive to sell these houses. They already got their bail out, so what do they care? I don’t pretend to know how the system works, but that sure is how it feels. (On a related note, if you haven't already, you might consider moving your money out of the big, bailed-out, consumer-exploiting banks and into a credit union/community based, we-value-our-customers type of bank.)

So I bought a different house. It wasn’t a short sale, so they’re actually going to let me have it. I close at the end of the month. More on that in my next blog.