Sunday, May 31, 2009

Did I Mention...

I was just looking through my posts over the last few weeks, and I realized that I never got around to blogging about the fact that the Van Buren House from a month or so ago is BACK ON THE MARKET!!! Yes, that's right - apparently the buyer who swooped in and offered the owner his exact asking price didn't actually have the funds to back up that offer and the contract fell through. Surprise, surprise. Well, anyway, last weekend Suzy called me to say that Van Buren's owner called her to ask if I was still interested, and if I was he would take my original offer plus he would pay my closing costs.

Well, gee, darn - that presents a dilemma for me. After the Van Buren House was off the table, I had pretty much talked myself out of it (it needs too much work, the whole scary apartment building next door issue, the weird parking lot situation, etc. etc.) and decided I hadn't been that thrilled about it. So, now I have someone practically giving me this house and agreeing to all of my demands. Does that change how I feel about the house? I don't know...

I was supposed to go take another look at the house yesterday, notebook in hand, so that I could make a very thorough list of all the pros and cons. That didn't happen because of the afore-mentioned Summer Bug (still visiting, by the way). Instead, I've been laying on my couch going over and over it in my head. That's never good. To compund the problem, my landlord showed up yesterday afternoon with a new 12 month lease for me to sign. I guess he got tired of letting me go month-to-month while I looked for a house. What to do???

Any and all advice would be welcome!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Other Kind of Summer Bug...

Well, it seems that no sooner was I infected with the need for summer road trips a mere week ago that I was also infected with a dreaded SUMMER COLD. I haven't had one of these horrible little buggers for years, and I had forgotten how miserable it is to be sick when its bright and sunshiney outside and not to mention hot and muggy. Yesterday at work I had what I thought was a severe allergic reaction to something and went home early to take a Benadryl and sleep it off. I was feeling just fine by the time I went out for dinner and a movie with some friends last night, but this morning I woke up with a jug of sloshing water for a head and a throat that was on FIRE! Yuck...I had so many plans for this weekend! Bummer...

On the bright side, I saw Angels & Demons last night, which was really good. G, as promised, I will tell you all about Ewan MacGregor's hotness. He was made even hotter by the fact that he played a priest. I kinda get why women went bonkers over Richard Chamberlain in the Thornbirds now! Anyway, good flick.

Off to drink more tea - with some ice in it...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In Memory of...

Just a couple of photos from the annual Luminaria at the local Civil War battlefield over the weekend. I have been to this cemetery many, many times in the daylight, and yeah, 3,500 graves looks like a lot. But when you see a little candlight next to each and every one of them it looks like a million points of light, and it really makes you stop and think. I learned this year that under most of the 3,500 grave markers the remains of 3 or 4 soldiers are buried. I'll do the math for you - that's between 10,000 and 13,000 people. And that's from just one battle in the Civil War. Unbelievable.

Anyway, that's how I marked the occasion...

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Summer Bug...

Once again, I've got it. Every year, just about this time, I always catch it. No, not a summer cold or the swine flu (heaven forbid!) but rather a serious bug for travel and road trips! I get really, really bad cabin fever, and nothing will do until I have a whole line-up of things to go and see scheduled for the rest of the summer. Now, most years, this bug disappears by the time the weather gets really hot and humid - then I catch the bug for sitting on my couch under a ceiling fan with massive quantities of Crystal Light. But, I usually accomplish at least a few of the road trips on my list, and I have high hopes for this season!

With the long holiday weekend approaching, I'm thinking about a little trip to DC on Monday to do something memorial-ish (monuments, parades, etc.), although it might actually turn into a trip to get a pedicure at a favorite shop in Alexandria, Virginia, with side stops at Ikea and the Crate and Barrel Outlet. I'm also headed out to Phil and Elizabeth's for a cook-out on Saturday - not really a road trip per se, but it still gets me out of the house!

I'm also contemplating a serious trip through Philly and Boston - Amtrak has lowered their East coast prices, and I could get to Boston for $67! I think I might even have G convinced to go along!

Now I just need to nail down a list of local summer festivals and craft shows, and I'm all set!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Three Strawberries!

Yay!!! After much trial and tribulation in trying to actually find strawberry plants to put out on my stoop for the summer, I had an actual strawberry HARVEST the other day! Yes, that's right - three whole strawberries! I washed them and ate them right then and there. Awesome. Someday, I hope to have a much larger strawberry patch in a much larger yard. Oh yeah, that reminds me - no news from Suzy. Where are all these homeowners who list their houses in May??

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Wait, what? Jack with the what-what, now? And Locke, huh? Jacob - an actual person? JULIETTE!!!!!!!!!!!

Huh. Well, huh. That was, well, gee...Um...

Brain. Melted. Totally speechless.

I have to wait until JANUARY?!?!?!?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Well, Crap!

So, I think I've finally had my first real setback in house-hunting. At the time of my last report, the Bunker Hill House had been sold, which was a bummer, but not hugely upsetting. Well, 45 minutes later, Suzy called to tell me that the Van Buren House had also gone under contract. Apparently, someone who hasn't heard about the lousy housing market and the current recession swooped in and offered the owner his exact asking price. So, while the owner had agreed to discuss my low-ball offer, he obviously backed out on me. So, there you have it. In the span of one hour I lost the two best house prospects I had going.

The really, really sad part is that there's NOTHING else in my price range on the market right now. Suzy says she really thinks things will start popping up soon (May, apparently, is prime home-listing time) and not to lose hope. I haven't lost hope at all (I have been at this for a comparatively short time, afterall), but it was fun to have houses to fantasize about - you know, furniture arrangement and paint color selection, all that fun stuff.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Update on the Update

The Bunker Hill house (the completely renovated one that was cute but lacked much charm and had some odd electrical issues) sold last week. Well, I guess I can take that one of the list! I'm not as bummed about it as I thought I would be, so I guess I didn't really want that house afterall.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Update...

Miss Bess requested that I get on the ball and post something with regards to the Van Buren house, so here you go:

Well, the saga of the Van Buren house continues. Suzy managed to get the property assessment documents so that she could find the legal property lines. As it turns out almost half of the gravel parking lot in front of the house actually belongs to the house property. So, I could conceivably get a permit from the city to put in my own driveway, and then grass-in the rest of "my" gravel to make it part of the yard. So, practically speaking, that solves one of the biggest problems with the house! I would probably still need to put up some sort of privacy fence, too, because Suzy was also able to confirm that there are indeed 5 apartments next door to the house, and they are all currently occupied by college students. Ever since I hit 30, I've come to have an aversion to finding passed-out drunk kids face down in my flower boxes on Saturday morning, so the neighbors at the Van Buren house are still a bit of an issue. The other new issue is that the owner of the house says he would be willing to accept my offer of somewhat under his asking price, but only without including the $12,000 of fix-up money he was originally offering to the buyer. I understand that, but its still kind of a bummer - especially since the house does need work, and that $12,000 would have been a HUGE help - I don't know how much a driveway costs, but I'm guessing its more than $50. On the bright side, my local historic preservation/renovation expert and good friend Phil has offered to help me build a fence, if I need it - I just have to pay for materials and beer.

So, basically, the update is that I'm still thinking about it! I still really like the house, but I'm not sure its "the one". Suzy says its not going anywhere anytime soon, so I have some more time to consider it.