Saturday, January 28, 2006

Finished

I finished our taxes last night, and was surprised that it was relatively painless. This is the first year, since we were married, that we didn't have several W2's and multiple other documents to wait on. Although my "homemaker" status lightens the paperwork load considerably.

This is also the first year of throwing out a past year's jointly filed taxes. Yes, just seven years ago, we filed our taxes together for the first time. Pulling out our 1998 returns to shred, brought back a few nice memories. Back when we had filed that return, we had just moved into our first house and I was shaking at the thought of all of those mortgage payments stretching ahead of us for the next thirty years (that just seemed like such a long time to my newlywed mind, lol). We had just celebrated our first Christmas together, and because of said new house, it was a rather lean year and because of said newlywed status, we had no Christmas decorations (I ended up cutting out about fifty paper snowflakes and using them to decorate the tree and house. It was actually very pretty.), but it was a lot of fun and we are truly smiling in all of the pictures. I also noticed that our tax preparer gave us a discount and a smiley face on our receipt because we were newlyweds, and how often do you get a smiley face on your taxes?! lol!

I think instead of shredding our 1998 returns, I'm going to have a fire in the back yard and burn them. Seems fitting to do something a little special for such a special year!


And just in case you are wondering, yes I am certifiably insane. How else could I be in the throes of nostalgia due to a tax return?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Moving

I have now purged the dust and grime from corners of my home that have not seen the light of day or swipe of the cloth since we moved in over seven years ago. I think I'm suffering from extreme exposure to paint fumes, because I find myself drawn to staying in my little house and not selling at all. Who knew that all I needed was to do a little aggressive cleaning?

The house was officially placed for sale this morning. We received our first inquiry just 20 minutes after placing the signs in the front yard. Let's hope that is a good indication of the interest yet to come.

We also placed a bid on the new house today, and I became a little miffed. When we told the realtor our opening bid price, she and her husband both looked up and made a sour face. We were then promptly informed that our offer was too low to even bother writing up, and that we were being insulting. Granted, we started the bidding out low, as to leave room for negotiation, but we didn't start that low. The realtor then informed us that "...the property has so much potential and there has been a lot of activity and interest in it. You need to up your offer or you will be offending the seller. Besides, we both know that you like the property and that you want it. There isn't any reason to play games. If I give them these numbers, they will walk away laughing."

My husband and I are bargainers. We like the thrill of the search, and enjoy (and frankly who doesn't) getting a good deal, especially on something we want very badly. Now, I understand that it is this woman's job to get a good price for the seller, as this is what she is being paid for, and I understand that the higher the price that she sells for the bigger her own cut. What I am amazed with is the speed with which this woman went from "nice and helpful" to "evil cow who can't hide the malicious gleam in her eye" the minute that we made it clear that we were not naive first-time buyers. The whole point is to negotiate when buying an older home. That's half of the fun. She was having none of it and would not even let us make an offer until we raised our opening bid another $10,000. I'm beginning to think that this is not the home for us.

But the bid went in and we are waiting to hear from the sellers. The "lovely" realtor could also not refrain from telling us that there was "no way the seller would accept this offer" so we had better be ready to come a little closer to the asking price. I'm ready to pull out of the deal, just from dealing with their representative.

Oh well, just think of all of the other lovely houses out there just waiting to be found!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Well, it's been awhile (and if thicketdweller's multitude of exclamation points in my comments are any indication, longer than I realized, lol).

But I'm still here. We are in the throes of cleaning and de-cluttering our house, as it goes on the market tomorrow. We are also putting a bid in on our new almost-dream house in the morning. Things have been a little (okay, a lot) crazy around here and I promise a nice long post with full details in the morning. Right now, I'm going to go fall into bed, lol!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I've Been Tagged...Twice

The lovely thicketdweller has tagged me twice this week, so I thought I'd better get them out of the way.

First Meme:

2 names you go by:
1. Mama
2. Shannon

2 parts of your heritage:
1. country cooking
2. Irish dreaming and storytelling

2 things that scare you:
1. The Unknown
2. The dark when I'm outside

2 of your everyday essentials:
1. Reading
2. My Daughter

2 things you are wearing right now:
1. Tan cabled knee socks
2. My glasses

2 favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment):
1. Gaelic Storm
2. The Wiggles

2 favorite songs at the moment:
1. "Lazy Scouts" (from the "Lazy Town" soundtrack)
2. "Finnegan's Wake"

2 truths:
1. I'm a horrible writer
2. I'm even worse at cleaning up my house

2 of your favorite hobbies:
1. Knitting
2. Reading

2 things you want really badly:
1. Time
2. Calm

2 places you want to go on vacation:
1. London
2. Edinburgh

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. Knit a complete pair of socks
2. Take my daughter traveling

2 things you are thinking about now:
1. Grocery list
2. When the laundry will be done

2 stores you shop at:
1. Barnes & Noble
2. Wal*Mart

2 people you would like to complete this meme:
1. I'm not officially passing it on but,
2. feel free to complete it yourself and let me know! :)


Second Meme:

Five weird habits of yourself:

“The first player of this game starts with the topic ‘five weird habits of yourself,’ and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don’t forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says ‘You are tagged’ (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.”


1. I almost never use a bookmark, but I can always pick up a book and start reading within one page of where I left off. I've been able to do this as long as I can remember.

2. I can't touch cotton balls with my bare hands. It gives me the chills.

3. I will only eat Heinz Ketchup and Miracle Whip mayonnaise. I don't like any other brands. I will buy scratchy toilet paper and generic shampoo before I'll scrimp on the Heinz.

4. I get up and check the door locks twice every night before I can sleep. My husband doesn't even know that I do this. He sleeps like the dead.

5. The sound of commercials on TV and the radio make me want to scream. I can't stand them. I always mute or turn down the sound when they are on. It's an automatic reaction.


There you go, a little peek at me.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Off-Kilter

Do you ever have those days when you aren't sure just exactly who you are? You are Baby's Mommy and Husband's Wife, but somehow that doesn't seem like it is enough or right or comfortable.

With the start of the new year, I guess that I've been a little more introspective. The subject has been on mind very often. Who am I? What do I really accomplish with my life? Am I really doing the things that I want to be doing? I don't know for sure.

I really love being a mom, and the fact that I get to stay home and be a mom is amazing to me. But sometimes we have these moments when everything seems to be going wrong and I'm overly cross and sniping, and I wonder if I really should be a mom. That maybe I'm just not cut out for the isolation and monotony. I wonder what kind of damage am I doing to my child because I'm never in a good mood and I always feel over-worked and over-stressed. I'm just rarely the nice, kind, quiet person that I want to be, anymore. What happens to my ideals and goals when I'm wiping up spilled juice for the third time that day, while my two-year old climbs the bookshelf with scissors in her hand and all I want to do is go somewhere to be alone and scream and it's only 11:00 AM?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with these sort of feelings but somehow, it feels like I am. Most of my days feel like one, long, lonely repetition of the day before. My life just feels off-kilter.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Mud

Oh how I hate a muddy winter! The weather has been unseasonably warm here in Ohio, which has caused the whole front yard and driveway to become this squishy mass of mud. I would rather fifteen inches of snow than mud anyday. Yuck! Come back my lovely sub-zero temperatures!