Monday, July 4, 2016

July (Mini) Update: House!

I don't have too terribly much for this month aside from some house updates.  I didn't even take many pictures.  That's why you get this photo, clearly taken by a potato, to start out with; I think it might be the only one I took of myself all month, and really only because I absolutely love this shirt.  I've gotten in the habit of wearing things that can go over black leggings and a black tank top because it makes my life easy - and because it's comfortable. Who doesn't like to be comfortable?


I just realized I haven't updated on anything about my job in a really long time!  The past couple of months have been hands-down the busiest of my career.  I've had a lot of weddings and after-grads, but I've also been drawing at the Royals games and a bunch of company picnics.

Last weekend was incredibly strange.  The wedding gig I was scheduled for was cancelled, but none of the vendors were notified.  Imagine the confusion when there's seven of us in the parking lot looking at an empty venue.  Condolences to whatever happened there, because certainly no one told us.  The next day, I had a four hour company picnic.  For the first two hours, I felt like I was going to pass out from the heat.  Then, suddenly, a cold breeze hit and there was a wall cloud.  We were all scrambling to get out of the park as fast as we could.  So certainly a strange weekend.

The last time I had a gig dismissed early for the weather was 2008 or 2009 when I was out at Fort Riley, KS for some sort of family event.  Pouring down rain collapsed our tent.  We were soaked. Our paper was soaked.  No drawing was going to happen that day, so we were sent home.  Instead, my coworkers and I dried off at a local Pizza Hut to avoid a 2 hour drive in torrential downpour. Given that it's been over five years since my last early dismissal for work, this weekend was certainly a shocker.

I've also been working on commissions, though not nearly as much lately.  I've been working a lot of events, so finding time around gigs to draw has been difficult.  Then, with the impending move, I feel like I'm struggling to schedule anything without the certainty that I won't be in the middle of moving with no internet to complete it.  As of last week, I stopped taking commissions entirely just to be safe.  I'll start back up once we get settled.

Circle of Fountains

Nothing much to update here.  We had our June Pagan Pride Day ritual meet before my last update and our next PPD meet won't be until later this month.  Everyone's been super busy, with one in summer school for her medical degree, two of us buying a house, one thinking about it, four of us with health conditions and so forth.  A little down time for the circle was almost called for.

Our next meet is the esbat/Novice class on the 17th, where Amy and I will be discussing spell building.  On the 24th, we'll be doing a few run-throughs of our Pagan Pride Day ritual and getting everything together for that.  Then, on the 31st, we have our August Eve / Lammas ritual written by Amy.  So good things are coming!


I honestly have no updates for Familiars either this round.  So I'll just bombard you with cute pictures.

Dog, what are you doing?

Artie got his groom on, so I guess that's new?
You can really tell he's missing that tooth he busted from 2013 here. I thought I'd be more upset about that, but honestly, I think it's gosh-darn cute.
Look at this adorable fat chunk.
Ugh, so cute.
I toucha da butt.
I can't. I just can't. The cute is too much.

The House

So here's where I have some actual updates!  Finally, right?

This is still the state of our basement.  I know they're the same pictures I've been using but I promise, this is still exactly what it looks like.  I haven't moved a damn thing here.  I contacted our property management company again but they told me they couldn't talk to me because I've talked to a lawyer.  Our attorney confirmed that was a lie, so I called them back and wiggled out of them that they would have their maintenance lead call us that day.

It's been a week. I haven't gotten a single phone call from our PMC or the maintenance team.  Surprise.

The flooding happened in April.  It has officially been two and half (almost three) months since they removed the carpet and just left our basement a wreck.  A couple Fridays ago, the toilet down there overflowed again all on its own, but we caught it quickly and cleaned it up.  That's what prompted me to get a hold of our PMC again - not that it did me any good.

How is this legal?  Yeah, it's not.

Anyway, the real update is:

We put an offer in on a house!
And it was accepted!
And we had the inspection!
And it passed with flying colors!
And the sellers are making the few repair requests we made!
And we applied for our mortgage!
And we just paid our appraisal fee!

Yeah, all of that!

At this point, we're just down to getting the appraisal done, ensuring the repairs are completed and closing.  We're so close I can feel it.  As I anticipated, because buying a house is a pretty big deal, this has been a somewhat long process.  It's moving faster than the projected date, but I'm antsy to just get out of this moldy hell hole that I live in right now.

Because we're down to the appraisal and closing, I don't feel like I'm jinxing it if I show a few pictures!  Of course, these are from the old listing, which only had a few pictures on it to begin with.  I'll take better ones once we get the keys.  Additionally, I'll probably never show the outside of our house now.  It was one thing when we were renting and it was temporary, but since we own and plan to stay here for a while, I'd like a little bit of privacy on that part.  I'm sure you'll understand.
The pictures honestly don't do it justice and end up making it look smaller than it actually is.  The house is a raised ranch that's been completely remodeled with brand new utilities and appliances (as you can tell by the stickers still on the kitchen appliances).  It's a three bedroom, two bath with an additional family room and a recreational room in the basement, plus a storm shelter accessible from the back yard.  Electrical and vents run through that shelter, though not currently connected, so technically we could finish that room later on if we wanted to.  No structural or foundation issues, which is incredibly hard to find in our area.  The only things we'll have to do when we get it are trim some trees back from the roof and replace the roof in five years.  That's it.  The house is super squeaky clean according to the inspection.

Plus, it's being flipped.  The sellers have only owned it for four months where they essentially gutted it and redid the whole house.  No one has lived in it since the new dry wall and flooring were installed.  No one's used those appliances (well, aside from the inspection now).  Everything is fresh for our use!

Admittedly, I was hoping for something with a bit more character.  We certainly found character while we were looking.  But the problem with houses that have character is that they tend to be, well, old.  In an ironic twist, the house right next to the 30 Day House we rented in September (the Queen Anne, if you remember, that had massive issues) came up for sale in our search.  I went almost purely because we had become good friends with that neighbor during our stay.  His wife passed away right as we were moving out and I felt such a pang of guilt that I didn't offer more of a shoulder during that time.  We did get to catch up before he left.  His house is gorgeous and it would have certainly satisfied my need for character but I saw so many issues we'd have to fix.  The fact that he was selling his house right as we were looking seemed to be "fate," but I had to make a practical decision here.  My practical decision is to go with less character and less square footage if we can get something that's squeaky-clean, completely updated and still has everything we need.

No, I'm not a Virgo.  Not at all.

I think I'm going to make the family room with the fireplace into the new ritual room.  That would get it out of the basement and stop the repeated flooding issues we've had with the ritual room in two of the houses we've lived in.  The rec room downstairs will be our theater/workout space.  I may work on making the garage a workout space as we live there because Aaron and I have pretty much never used a garage for its intended purpose, and because the house has a car port for our cars so I have no real reason to use the garage anyway.

The neighborhood itself is a great neighborhood.  Clean sidewalks to walk my dog and go running.  Neighborhood roads for the circle to park on.  Excellent crime rate and great schools universe forbid my husband and I change our minds and do decide to make tiny clones.  I wish the yard and kitchen were a bit bigger but otherwise, I really can't complain!

The only issue I ran into was the street name.  Every road in our neighborhood is named after a Native American tribe.  The neighborhood itself is named after a Native American tribe.  When my mom found this out, she panicked.  "People are going to think you moved to a reservation!"  As someone whose grandfather walked off a res to make a better life for his family, and whose father was obsessed with making the family "white," I can see why my Blackfoot mom would worry about this.

Most days, I don't honestly think about our heritage.  I'm so far removed from the Native bloodline - enough to qualify if I wanted to pursue it but I mean, I've never lived on a reservation, I didn't know my great grandfather and my grandfather never told stories because of his internalized self-racism.  The only information I have actually comes from my aunt, who was old enough to hear stories from my great grandfather and who has done her due diligence in research.  My mom still marks her census Caucasian, but her darker skin and hair tell otherwise.  It's moments like these, where my mom panics about our lineage, that I remember that she's not white, that I'm mixed.  It breaks my damn heart that this is how I remember.

But I'm not going to let a street name or my family's self-hatred stop me from taking this house.  Even my mom liked the house and thought it was our best choice because it was so new and clean.  So, you know, barring this falling through, this is happening!

And I'm still really darn excited.


  1. So excited for you. We bought ours in September,having put an offer on in May/June so it can definitely take a while, but it definitely beats renting (particularly when considering pets!)
    Congrats and can't wait to see a few more inside pictures once you're all settled!

    1. That definitely sounds like a long wait. Our projected closing date is July 28th, so hopefully it won't take us quite that long. Our realtor said it might push into August a bit depending on how fast the sellers make repairs, but I don't think we're going to have too much of an issue. It helps that the sellers are flipping it, so no one's living there and they're not getting anything out of it until they sell it anyway.

      I'm so ready to not have to pay pet deposit and pet rent for animals that literally do no damage whatsoever. I get that pets can be destructive, but my pets are so well behaved that shelling out $250 per pet plus upwards of $20 a month per pet gets just a little more than ridiculous.

      Thank you so much! And a belated congrats on your new home as well!

  2. Our buying process was a bit different, since we already lived in the house we were purchasing, but it still took almost three months to finalize everything. We've been homeowners since 7/15/15 and it's been wonderful. I'm so excited for you and your family. I can't wait to see what you do with the place. You've been a huge inspiration to me with regards to home decor. Congrats!!!!!

    1. Yikes, three months! We're just down to the appraisal at this point, so I'm hoping it won't be that long. We were told on Tuesday that we should hear something either today or tomorrow. I'm so ready to have a stable place. Moving stress is a killer! Thank you so so much for your compliments! I truly appreciate it!

  3. Hey Marietta! So glad to hear your house buying is becoming a reality! We had our own share of challenges ( I too wanted a home with charm, but practicality won out). With our loan type we were restricted with some homes but now that we have been here almost two years (already!) I wouldn't change a thing.

    Once you get settled and realize " I can paint or do whatever I want!!!" ...that's a fun moment :)

    I think my favorite project to date was when we redid a closet in my art/office room into a mini library :-D I have always wanted to do it and my husband helped. And I painted it PURPLE...because I could and it's my favorite color.
    Here's the link if you are so inclined to peek:

    Anywho, My best wishes for a smooth transition! I am sure we will look forward to your pictures once you start decorating!
    Best, Vanessa

    1. That library nook looks so amazing, Vanessa! We have a whole room dedicated as a library, but I may have to do that to the closet in there. The two side rooms in our new home are smaller than the ones here, so it would certainly open up more space. Plus, my husband is already talking about making a built-in desk for the office. I'm sure he'd love this. Thank you for sharing that with me!

      We were also restricted by our loan type. It was frustrating; so many houses I really liked weren't willing to cater to our loan's restrictions. But I'm honestly just looking forward to living somewhere for longer than a year. If we can live here just 17 months (which we have to own it for 3 years anyway), it'll officially beat our longest apartment lease. Anything to not have to keep moving!

      Thank you so much for commenting, Vanessa! Have a fantastic day!

  4. I am sending lots of positive energy your way. I hope that all goes well with your purchase - I like the house and you will soon put your character stamp on it!

    1. Thank you so much, Anna! I definitely appreciate it!

  5. What a lovely house! I am so happy for you guys. It is well deserved.

    1. Thank you, Willow! Here's hoping it pulls through!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I don't know if you intentionally deleted your comment but I got to see it before you did. Thank you so much!

    2. Nooo, tried to post with another name LOL. I'm sorry :P, still happy for you!!