January 14, 2005

Happy Friday!

We actually got some news, a little bit anyway, on the refi.  We found out the guy we were working with (New Guy) is quite a scoundrel on the real estate front and our neighbors, who recommended him to us a month ago, STILL haven't completed their refinancing and they started it in October!  They have been to San Jose, roughly a 4 hours drive, twice to sign the final papers and both times, the lender pulled back at the last minute, saying that the package wouldn't fly.

Old Guy, however, the fella who helped us to get financing on our original mortgage for this house, has come through with flying colors.  Of the offers he got, two were for really good rates and we're going with the best of those.  We've been pre-approved for both. 

We brought up the idea of just pulling equity and he told us that since our first mortgage was actually split apart into two different loans, we wouldn't be able to get an equity loan from a prime lender because most aren't interested in being the third party with an interest in the house.  That's fine.  :)

As it stands, we can pay off our bills and get down to utilities and mortgage only, plus have some emergency money on hand so that we aren't wrecked when something unexpected comes up.  So yep, it all appears to be in order and our man Lyle (aka "Old Guy") is on the job.  Info gets faxed in tonight and then we wait to hear.  The main issue is that of timing.  Joe and Sandra are going to be in Southern California the weekend of January 28-29 and I really, really, really want to make the trip down to see them.  They are flying in and out, so making a stop by here isn't possible for them.  Lyle tells us that the refi will close and we'll have check in hand "by the end of the month."  He said it could be as early as a week to ten days, which would make it jusssst in time. After we fax out the documents tonight, it's out of our hands.  Then, we wait some more.  :)

No dreams last night.  I kept waking up for different reasons.  At 1am, I heard Dylan playing video games and had to go get him back to sleep again.  Then the cats were scratching at the door.  Then Nathan woke up.  I finally got up for good around 5am.  The kids are home from school two hours early today to start the three day weekend early.  Eric promises a really good weekend.  Delena is on the docket to go to town with me tomorrow.  We always enjoy a girls' day out.

Even without dreaming, I do have a:

Strangest Life I've Ever Known segment, because my cats are stupid.

I told a few weeks ago about KC bringing a live bird into the house to put into her food dish before eating it.  Of course, the bird flew away and I got to play with it for a while trying to get it out.  I thought that pretty much took the prize for Not So Bright Cat Awards, but I think one of the other ones, Nova I suspect, may have knocked her off the number 1 slot.

I have an issue with cat box odors and I am meticulous about keeping them clean.  Them being two very large cat boxes with scoopable liter that I have in my office for the new cats to use.  Both Creep and KC are housebroken, but we wanted to keep the newbies inside for a few weeks until they acclimate to the area and imprint on the house.  In a few weeks, we'll start letting them out a little at a time and eventually, they'll be housebroken too.  Zachary has only just started coming out from under furniture once in a while, so we're not pushing the issues, especially with so much snow around.  So there are two clean cat boxes immediately available, but some cat actually crawled into the box of cat litter and took a dump rather than using the cat box.  I'm just shakin' my head.  Of course, KC and Creep are thrilled that they now have indoor bathroom facilities.  >:<

I took pictures of Zachary the other night while I was up writing and he was prowling.  They are here.  I need to get some bacon so I can top off his dry cat food with it to get rid of his kitty dandruff.  The Humane Society lady said to rub in human hair conditioner, but I don't think he would like the foo foo smell.  He has such big features and is a really big, heavy cat, so he has that panther thing going on.

Also, in light of the tsunami disaster, I've been thinking a lot about my Village Mindset.  I wrote a new journal about it on the LJ.  You can read it here.  I also found the old Village Mindset column from 2001.  It is here

I got the house all cleaned up yesterday, so today, all I need to do is put away clothes for the kids and put about 1,000,006 things on hangers for myself and Eric.  Still aren't getting mail, so I'll actually drive to the post office tomorrow (hurray!).  For the rest of the day, other than the necessary laundry crap, I am going to relax and rest.  Eric is allegedly bringing home good Mexican food for dinner, although it will be late when he gets in.  Kids can have spaghetti, which they eat with butter, salt and pepper, no sauce.  Now I launch into a delightful weekend and worry simply doesn't have a part in that.

I hope you all have a STELLAR weekend!


January 13, 2005

Well, it is with deepest regret that I inform you, my friends, that rather than a "just do it" day, yesterday turned into a "just screw it" day.  I did get my house fairly clean and made a dent in the laundry, but there is much that I dismissed and will have to make up for today.  I may walk to the post office again if, when I call them, they tell me that I have anything there worth walking for. 

Once we found out how things were going on the refinancing/equity loan, Eric kind of came undone and started going off in a fuss tornado, which, as much as I try not to have it affect me, tends to put my day directly into the pooper.  I spent a good bit of the day on the phone, talking him off the ledge and staying calm.  Unfortunately, my staying calm and attempting to think rationally about things only served to frustrate him even more.  I guess he wanted me to do insanity spins with him or something.

Finally, when he was on his way home around 6pm, the broker who handled our mortgage for this house called him back (Eric had been leaving frantic messages) and gave us some decent news.  Eric had contacted him last week to tell him we were interested in a refi and the guy told Eric he didn't want to lose his business and asked him to give him a chance to be the good faith estimate the new guy offered.  Eric said, "Sure" and figured that he would contact him again once things were somewhat settled with New Guy.  As it turns out, Old Guy had already drawn up our loan package based on our previous information and told Eric he would have several offers coming in today for us.  Eric told him what was going on with New Guy and Old Guy said not to worry, he'd take care of getting the appraisal changed over and we'd get this done in no time.  We are still leaning toward an equity loan for now and refinancing later, so I think we are past the bottle neck and things are flowing again.  When this is done, I plan to take a lonnng break before making any other voluntary changes for a while.

In the midst of the madness yesterday, I got a call from my brother, Ed, (the nice one, not the psychotic beast) who never calls me unless someone has died.  I saw his number come up on caller ID and remembered my dream about Aunt Betty the night before.  Eeep!  As it turned out, he really WAS just calling to say hello and to our knowledge, Aunt Betty is alive and well, which is good.  Of all my aunts, I was and am closest to her.  I wub her.  I also miss her tremendously

In today's "This is the Strangest Life I've Ever Known" segment, we have the dream from last night.  I was in the jeep (lots of vehicle dreams lately) with all three kids as they are now and a baby who was almost newborn who was also mine.  The baby was of unknown gender (I presume I knew in the dream) and unknown name.  I also got the feeling that I was a single parent.  The kids and I drove to this weird place by a large river.  It was a  sort of rest station that stretched over the river like a walkway, but it was really, really wide and created a giant building with different rooms and such.  There were restrooms, snack bars and sitting areas.  In one place, a band was playing and another area was set up like a day care center.  There was also a kind of clinic type place in it.

As we were coming to that place (and in the dream, I knew that was where we were heading), I had to pull to the side of the road because the baby was crying.  The area was fairly dark and foreboding.  I got the baby settled and was getting ready to drive away when a car pulled up behind us.  A guy got out and tried to carjack me with an old fashioned umbrella (the kind like Penguin from Batman uses with the spike on the end).  I said, "You have got to be kidding me" and reached out of my window and grabbed the end of the umbrella and bent it around in a U shape so it was pointing back at him.  He screamed like a girl and ran back to his car.  I got out of the car and saw another man behind my car, on the ground rolling in pain.  I knew I had to get to the clinic in the building to send an ambulance back for him.  Drove to the building, told the clinic people what was going and they sent out help for the guy, so we started playing.  The boys went to the day care center and were dumping toys everywhere and Delena went to an arcade across the hall from them.  While I was getting the boys settled, an alarm sounded and the day care centered grabbed all kinds of drums, tambourines and mylar balloons.  They started beating on those things (mylar balloons make a lot of racket when they are whacked in my dream) and chanting, "Raise it up!  Raise it up!  Raise it up!"  Everyone who worked at this place (the whole building, not just the day care center) were chanting and cheering and beating on crap.  The kids and I were looking at each other wondering what was going on.  Suddenly, the floor of the hallway cracked and started to lift on each side.  The carpet pulled back revealing windows underneath and I realized it was a kind of drawbridge that would raise to let big ships pass on the river below.  I panicked for Delena, but through the windows, I saw her wave to me from the other side and knew she was OK.  Two ships went through and they were only about two feet from where we were standing, so the floor was shaking like mad and these people are still chanting and cheering and beating on stuff.  After the ships had passed, another alarm sounded and they started chanting, "Put it down!  Put it down!" and of course, the floor returned to normal and everyone resumed what they were doing. 

Knowing the kids were happy and playing, I went to shop in some of the stores and ran into my dear friend, Kathy Hardeman (who writes for Eye on Soaps).  She was admiring the baby and I asked her expert opinion.  Didn't it appear that my baby had Afro-American features?  I didn't mind at all, just found it odd since I hadn't slept with any black men.  She agreed that the baby was definitely mulatto.  We both agreed it was interesting, then went on with our shopping.

I picked up the kids and knew we'd overstayed and had to get going.  Dylan and Nathan were worried about picking up the toys they'd played with (now I knew I was dreaming) and the staff kept telling them to just leave them, it was OK.  Got the kids in the car and drove off into the sunset with Kathy waving goodbye behind us.

The detail was exquisite, I can tell you that.  I'm still working on it.  I think the inept car jacker was New Guy broker and I think the wounded guy was Eric.  I think the baby was the baby I gave birth to effortlessly in my dreams a few nights ago and represents the New Life that the loan will give us, but that it's a miracle baby.    Definitely the strangest life I've ever known.  (Click here for the dream analysis I came up with)

Today I play make up for yesterday and tomorrow, I will be writing with good news all around.  :)

Have a wonderful day and keep passing the open windows,

January 12, 2005

Today is a "just do it" day in many regards. 

I have to just do the exercise.  I have to watch what I eat.  I have to clean the house like mad.  Lots of "just do it's."

It helps that today is a long day.  Eric has a class after work and will be quite late, so there are many, many hours to get done the things I need to do and the things I want to do. 

Delena is home with me today.  When I woke her up 6:30, she begged and begged to stay home, "Mom, I'll do ANYthing."  No matter what the circumstances, and she's in the best of them, that kid hates school with a passion.  Usually, about once a month I'll give her a day off to let off some of the steam.  Also, as soon as she started begging, her head turned into the cartoon image of a lollypop and the word "sucker" appeared in the air above her.  Slave labor is a valuable asset on a "just do it" day.  I promptly scurried back upstairs and tucked myself back into bed for another hour and a half until time to get the boys ready for school.  I then had the most blissful sleep I've had in ages.  It was glorious. 

Last night, I dozed off around 9pm and woke up at 11:00 with my 2 day headache in full gear.  Came downstairs and took an Excedrin/Tylenol cocktail and chased it with a ton of water.  Of course, by the time the meds kicked in, the caffeine in the Excedrin had me wide awake.  I finally crawled back upstairs around 1am and got to sleep by 2.  The hour and a half of extra sleep alone was worth not having to get Delena out the door.  She's still sleeping.  I'll let her go until noon or so, then get her up and running.  I'm thinking "kitchen" to start with, then we can move on to bigger and better things. 

Last night, the world iced over.  We didn't get more snow, but what we got accumulated some dewfall, then became frozen before the sun came up.  We have some little icicles off the edge of the roof and the edges of the snow have little ice hairs coming off of it.  There is a crust of ice over the snow that was soft yesterday.  The sun is shining brightly and it's about 35 degrees out.  We are supposed to have two sunny days in a row, so we might actually get some meltage going on that doesn't involve heavy rainfall.

The appraisal came in yesterday and although it was a bit lower than the best case scenario,  it was sufficient.  Eric had a major epiphany last night while chopping wood.  Since we will have to pay a very hefty prepayment penalty if we refinance before a year and since our major goal is to pay off debts and have some emergency cash, it would seem our best option is to get an equity loan (which I hear also goes faster than a refi) instead.  Then in the summer when we have had the original loan for over a year and won't have to pay the penalty, we can refinance the whole thing.  Meanwhile, we'll have money for the payments, Eric's eye surgery and to consolidate some bills.  Plus, we can have some extra to put in new carpet and upgrade some things in the house to get a better appraisal later in the year.  He's going to make a couple of phone calls today to make that happen. 

So yep, the process is moving along, more slowly than I'd like but at least we are seeing some momentum.  Eric was also able to score a big load of wood last night, which we very, very much needed. Those two situations together made yesterday a very productive day.

As I said, it's "just do it" day.  I've been screwing off on the house work because I've had a headache for two days and just didn't feel like doing anything.  Today, I have to break through the lethargy and just get things done.

In the "This is the Strangest Life I've Ever Known" category is my weird dream last night.  In my dream, I was driving around a town in California that while I was unfamiliar with it's layout, I knew it was my "new" town to where I had just moved.  All though the dream, I was on the telephone to my Aunt Betty in Kentucky.  She was asking me to tell her what I was seeing and I wasn't seeing anything of particular interest, then I said, "Oh, but Clint Eastwood is here."  I was driving past a hot dog stand with little bistro chairs beside it.  Clint was in one of the chairs.  I nodded to him and he raised a glass of wine to me in salute.  (salut!)  Aunt Betty told me that my Aunt Ann (who lives in Florida and to whom I am not very close) had gone to Europe to attend the dual funerals of Dick Martin (of Laugh In fame) and Ringo Starr.  They'd been having dinner together in London (Dick and Ringo, sans Aunt Ann) and a roof had collapsed on them.  Aunt Ann was evidently quite devastated.  As far as I know, both Dick Martin and Ringo Starr are alive.  I also know that none of my mother's brothers or sisters have every been to Europe.  So I spent the night driving around town talking to Aunt Betty.  I wonder if she dreamed she was talking to me. 

Watching Buffy rerurns.  Giles can really sing.  We've had lots of Giles singing lately.  I heart Giles.

Did a "7 Deadly Sins" survey in the Earthmom journal.

I suppose if I am going to do all that work this afternoon, I should get some more rest this morning.  There's only an hour and 15 minute left of morning, so a nap should definitely transpire.

Besides, it's a long day.

Peace out,


Quick update.  What a mess this has turned into in just a day's time.  Backing up, we were going through a broker who handled our neighbor's refinance because we were told he was very familiar with home values and comps in the area.  So we called him and he got the ball rolling.  I was a little uncomfortable with him because he was so aggressive, but I wrote it off to the line of work and the need for such an attitude.  After we paid for the appraisal, we found out the guy is in San Jose, which is 4 hours away from here.  We stupidly figured he was local since he knew so much about the area.  When we contacted him today to tell him we had decided to do an equity loan instead of a refinance, he got really kind of snotty because evidently they do not do equity loans.  We contacted a local broker and this guy refuses to release the appraisal, so either we go through the whole process again from the beginning and lose the $375 we invested in the appraisal or we are bullied into going through with a refinance with this guy.  We never signed any paperwork with him and we paid for the appraisal, so we very stupidly presumed that we had some kind of legal investment in the appraisal.  Evidently, we were paying for him to have the appraisal to work with and no one else.  We had no clue we were legally obligated into this guy without signing paperwork or anything.  Our lack of experience really kicked our asses on this one.  He is also NOW telling us that it might take a few weeks because it's a "rural" loan and banks are antsy about them.  I feel trapped.  I feel frustrated and I feel manipulated.  I'm going to pray about this and get my head straight so I can again trust the process.  I hate feeling rattled like this.  This was one thing I needed to just go smoothly.  Maybe once tomorrow has come and the world has turned again, it will be different.


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