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Snow! In North Carolina?

I could be complaining that it is snowing in NC for the 2nd time this year when I was promised told that it snows every 10 years here.

Or – I could be complaining that this means the kids are home from school today and my regularly scheduled programming has been preempted.

BUT – instead I will CELEBRATE that we now live in a house where I can say ‘why don’t you 2 play outside?’ and I don’t have to go with them! Thankful for fences and big back yards today.

And holy moly – WHEN did she get SO big?!


Mine – all mine.  Well, I do have to share it with my family.  But still – WE ARE THRILLED! We are moved in but not yet settled.  Will be soon. We have time. because I am NEVER moving again:)

The House

The unbelievable journey towards home ownership in North Carolina has left me absolutely gob-smacked.

So many ridiculous problems.  So many ridiculous people.  Some pretty stupid none to smart people,  too.

The first hurdle – finding a house.  Looked at 69 houses.  I can tell you the layout of a house without even go inside the front door at this point.  I know where the land is too low and water pools. I know the exact mileage from any point in the county to the University and the kids school. I know where the best schools are. I know about heating, and cooling, and water tanks, and joists, joints, and the importance of ceiling fans. The ‘great room’ concept completely escapes me.  Why would I want to have to keep my kitchen clean at all times because it becomes practically the focal point of the house? Not me – doors that close it off, please.

And the space issue – yes – admittedly, we require (need/want/spoiled brats) a lot of space.  Two kids who fight – a boy who destroys and a girl who has a million tiny princess things that g*d forbid, the boy should even look at. Equals, two bedrooms.

Then one for us – I guess I can share with my husband!  And wouldn’t it be lovely it even had a closet(!!) and a private bath!

An office for him and his gazillion tech gadgets.

A space for me and all of my hobbies (you wouldn’t compromise, would you?)

A fenced yard to keep the above mentioned children from escaping.

An attached garage so we can unload groceries just a little easier…

A nice lookin’ house – one that you are happy to drive up to.

A well-kept house  – one that doesn’t scream – I am so flipping old and ugly – look away, just look away.

A house that doesn’t stink like dog, cat, or any other animal that although I am not against, I certainly don’t want to smell.

And I found it. And then some.  A beautiful house.  A house that is WORTH all of the absolute bull@#$# we have been through to get it.  At one point, I asked if I could see it again to remind myself that yes, it is a great place.  I can deal with the ridiculous problems, people, and dummies. (a spade is a spade).

Before I continue (and if you have gotten this far – congrats – because I think this more about ‘getting it out’ than informational at this time!) I shall show you a picture of the house!

Here is the front of the house from the right hand side.  I wish I had a picture from the other side because it is so much prettier! But this ain’t so bad!

Here is a (short list) of the issues we have faced:

1- a Realtor who basically talks out of both sides of her mouth and has given the seller (for sale by owner) more advice than she has given me.  Granted, that advice has come in the form of 8am SUNDAY morning calls so I am not that upset. But still, she’s a nutcase.

2 – We were told to pay off all of credit cards and then not use them again.  OK, now, we are the type of people that pay off our balances each month and hate to pay interest.  However, we do USE credit cards because otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to buy food at the end of the month because the man only gets paid once a month. So, those CC’s do come in handy. Why did we have to do this? Because our income to debt ratio was a skwinch over the acceptable percentage. Fine. Whatever. Weird! but, whatever.

2 – a rental house from ((*&* that wouldn’t answer us 1 way or the other until November 30th about whether we would have to continue paying rent if we bought this house. So even though we had made an offer to purchase on October 3rd – we didn’t even know if we should rent a truck or start packing until nearly 2 months later. With many phone calls, tears, leaky roofs, lead testing, lawyers, and negotiations.

3- a broker who was recommended by No. 1 above (need I say more) that over promises and UNDER delivers.  Man, just tell me the truth. Don’t tell me everything is a ‘go’ when clearly, it is not. This is the dummy in question. I receive an email on the 30th of November (what a joyous day! both a letter releasing us from the lease in hand AND an approved mortgage!!) saying that we had been approved by the lender.

4- Apparently, our flood insurance is not the quoted $300 per year – it is $3,000 per year. Can’t afford it. Can’t buy the house. Cry. Find a new insurance agent. Back to $300. Hurah!

5- We were not actually approved by the lender.  We had only passed stage 1 of what is, apparently, a FIVE stage process. I won’t go into details about that here because honestly, even I am tired of typing this up – but we were told an un-truth. WHY were we not approved through all of the stages? Because they never ran a new credit report showing that we had paid off all of the cc balances referred to in #2 above. So – we have nothing on the credit cards, about $15 bucks in the bank, and they are still counting all of those balances against us! No logic. How to argue where there is no logic?

6 – On the 13th of December – we received a call from the dummy saying that the bank needs a gazillion more dollars in downpayment before they would approve the loan. Um. What? This is when I have HAD IT! I went to the broker’s office and basically said that either we close on the 15th (WHICH HAS BEEN IN WRITING ON THE OFFER TO PURCHASE SINCE OCTOBER 3RD) through them or we would be closing through someone else.  They reduced our fees significantly.  The idiot (he has been downgraded from dummy) was REMOVED from our file and I would be dealing directly with the owner.

7 – Need to get another line of credit elsewhere so that we could get a gazillion more dollars.

8 – More money from Canada. Canada sure has a lot of money. Oh wait, there is none left.

9 -The original offer to purchase has now expired because we have missed closing. Need to sign a new one.  Oh wait, I signed the first one with a verbal power of attorney from the man (mortgage in his name but I am doing ALL of the legwork on ALL of these parts) in front of the crazy realtor who never ever not even once said that the power of attorney would have to be drawn up by an actual attorney. She has been a realtor for 48 years (retire, lady) and didn’t know that??? So because of this – the loan is withdrawn from the bank and then put back together again and re-submitted.

10- We are now 8 days passed closing. We have been given 3 different, new, closing dates which never materialized. Like I said, if you don’t know for sure, please don’t say it is for sure! Because, for each new closing date I have had to re-schedule:

a – movers

b- carpet layers

c- time warner and all of the other utilities.

d- coordinate with the seller

e – change the appointment with the closing attorney. (more on that later).

f – cry!

g – explain to the kids that their favorite toys are still packed.

(oh and let’s not forget that during all of this we had halloween, the kids’ birthday party, channukah, trying to launch SeamedUP, and now – CHRISTMAS!)

11- We all into the full-swing of everything being closed for the holidays.  So even if we get this mythical closing package from the lender (which is step 3 of 5 in case you are wondering) we cannot get to the next step – attorney because his office is closed from the 23rd through the 3rd.

12 – find a new attorney.

13 – Now we need to work around the holiday schedule of the records department because even if we ‘close’ with the attorney – it needs to be recorded before the funds are released and the seller’s can’t buy their house until they get those funds. Did I mention that the sellers had no heat for 3 days because they cancelled service because we were supposed to CLOSE?!

14 – At this very moment – I am waiting for Tuesday, the 28th of December.  This has been PROMISED to be the day of reckoning. I have re-booked, once again, all of the domino’s that fell, the moving parts that stopped, and the break-down I really need to have.

And now – I will leave you with this.  A few more pictures of why I have been able to survive, thus far….

The back of the house

Yup – it has an outdoor hottub

A sweet little bridge just behind our back fence (the bridge is ours to maintain and use) that runs over the sweetest, clearest little creek

And leads you to the walking trails beyond.

The sunroom. That gets a lot of sun. and is screaming for some cute.

And finally  – the family room.  Where I hope to spend the rest of our years watching our family grow.

I apologize for the lack of indoor shots but I haven’t a clue where they are right now!

Happy Holidays everyone.



Trying to podcast is sometimes like…

calling a really good friend and getting a busy signal! Frustrating; but you really really want to talk so you keep trying.

My frustration is trying to coordinate ‘time’ with ‘umph’ – you know what I mean?  Because I know that it will be long phone call – so much to say, catch up on, laugh about – but it has been so long that I wouldn’t even know where to start!

I need to tell you guys about so much! Moving; the house; the sewing set-up; the latest project (this is a goodie for everyone), and so much more!

My parents are in town at the moment but I promise – a new episode filled with quilty goodness is SO on the way!

Now for a pretty picture…. From the NQA show … and a UFO of mine… inspiration to finish!

Landscape Quilts and a crazy lady

Before we get onto the crazy lady portion of the post – I thought I should start with some pretty pictures because without pictures;  the blog police come out. (just kidding – aka quilt police).


This quilt was so delicious in person.  Literally stopped me in my tracks! I couldn’t believe that this was actually made up of BLOCKS and not just a whole cloth! Unbelievable seam matching!




Sorry the last one is blurry…

Onto the CRAZY LADY Portion of the post. In order of appearance.

1 – Moving:

  • Packers coming on Monday
  • TWO 3 year olds constantly underfoot. Wanting to play arts and crafts with everything I am trying pack.
  • Why am I packing – see above – because the packers cannot lay their uckyiness (no offense) on my pristine fabric – because I have a feeling we are talking long term storage in boxes and I need to label it all PERFECTLY so that I can find it one day – because no one loves my treasures the way I do. You understand.
  • Racing to put ‘like items together’ so that the packers don’t put weird things together in a box. It makes unpacking a night mare.  I am even trying to round up all of my tension rods (weird obsession, I know, but I use them for everything!).
  • Making yet another ‘run’ to the donation center today. How much stuff we don’t need is truly remarkable. And how much of it was brought from California in the first place is even more remarkable.
  • Gathering up all of the kids clothes that they have grown out of. Third round. We knew we were moving in February. Round One. Summer came. Round Two. They keep growing! Round Three. And giving to a neighbour that can make good use of them. EXCEPT of course for the precious articles that I can’t bare to part with. Wait until the next move, I guess.
  • Fruit Flies!!! I hate them. Enough said.
  • Still have to go through the kitchen and get rid of weird food items like shmushed granola bars.
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

2 – Car:

  • Hey, why not get a new car? I mean, it’s not like I’m busy or anything, right?
  • Jarrod says I am definitely manic because I went out for milk and came home with a new car. No, seriously.
  • Truly the easiest and smoothest transaction I have ever partaken in – so odd, eh? And a really good sale.

3 – Selling the house:

  • Can you believe that 3 days before we are to move out of our own private Athens we receive a BID ON THE HOUSE!!!! A truly pitiful offer, really. Still in the counter your counter offer phase but pretty sure the deal will go through because we are basically giving away the cow, the milk, the milk carton, the fridge to keep it cold in, the glass – you get the picture. I am just happy that we are not in a worse off position like so many others are. At least we will pay off our mortgage. But the renovations? Free. Getting back what we paid for the house? No.
  • Realtor just called. Sold!

4 – Goodbye parties:

  • Thankful that people give a hoot about us and want to ‘say goodbye’ but why in the last few days before we move when we have a zillion things to do? Like right now, I have to load the (new!) car with the donation run and then pick something up to bring to the potluck (why we have to bring something I don’t know but whatever) and then go to said potluck. Bye bye rest of today.

5 – Sanity:

  • I have assembled little ‘kits’ of my own for 2 projects in addition to the ongoing Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. Really, I have no idea when I will be back in ‘production’ ha! so I am making sure that there will still be accessible quilty goodness to ensure an outlet for all of this pent up stress (rage!?).

So – this crazy lady is signing off for now.

I’ll be back soon.

After we drive from here to there with the kids in the backseat. Yippy.

We off to see the Wizard…

Actually – if Lanelle my Real Estate can be described as anything – it would be a wizard (in the best way)!

Jarrod and I are hitting the road today to visit Wilmington again.  The original house we bid on is still a possiblity (the house inspection came back and gave us a little wiggle room if we so choose…)

In the meantime – we will be looking at 7 more VERY carefully chosen houses along with the original one (Jarrod has never seen it).

Oh and the twins are staying home with my in-laws – 🙂

A little color goes a long way…

The house in Wilmington requires 16k + in rotten wood in the crawl space repairs.  The people who own the house are already selling at less than their mortgage… Not sure what they (we) will decide what to do.  We are going back to Wilmington next week and seems that more house hunting will be in order.

So I thought that this beautiful collection of colorful quilts courtesy of Whip up would make everything just seem a little brighter, no?


Wahoo! We are under contract in Wilmington!

Well, all be.  They actually counter offered something that we find TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE! Now we just (‘just’) have to sell our house. Anyone want to move to Athens?

So – here is a shot of the new deck in the back and a small (teeny) portion of the backyard – which does get greener in the summer – so I’m told!

My mom and dad left this morning and I am so happy that I did have a chance to chat with mom on the microphone.

I will be putting together a new show soon:)

Lots to catch up on.

I wish real estate could always be this easy.

And the drama continues…

The counter offer was not so good.  We’ll see. But we simply can’t own 2 homes – long story short – we’ll see… Darn it.

My mom and dad are here to visit! I plan to interview my Mummy during the stay:)