Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Week in Pictures

I don't know what it is, but I just don't feel so pretty lately.  My friend says, "Don't worry, it's that menopause.  It'll pass in ten or so years."  Well, I knew that, but still there's something not right.



"Big Daddy", I said, "I think I need a new look.  An update, something a little more modern."   "Don't be crazy, why you're the purtiest woman I've ever known.  I remember at our wedding, you stunned me with your bazooms beauty."  Well, I have to admit, all eyes were on me that day.


Everybody said I looked just like my great grandma.  I don't see the resemblance, but that's just me.



Well, after the wedding and Sissy coming along, I didn't have the time for getting pretty, what with the crazy schedule we kept at the circus.


I sure was wishing that Miss Oprah hadn't gone off and retired.  How was I supposed to live my best life without her telling me what that was?
Source: usatoday.com via Joi on Pinterest


Just when I was about at my lowest, Junior came along and said, "I know what you need, Momma, to update your look."  I'm telling you, that Junior knows me better than just about anyone else, save for The Big Daddy."


Well, back and forth, and back and forth I went to my favorite parlor until I was satisfied that I once again was a beautiful woman with a modern touch.  Nobody even recognized me as I'm not usually one to wear color.                                 


The whole block came out to celebrate my makeover, and I could swear I saw this guy coming down the street.
Source: google.com via Susan on Pinterest


I looked at him with lust in my tattooed heart and said, "I've got two words for you, Mister.  Hubba Hubba."  And he took off running like he'd just robbed the pawn shop.  I gave him a good chase, but without much support for my old bazooms in my new top, I knocked Junior and Sissy out cold, and we had to put 'em in the truck and take 'em to one of them Minute Clinics. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Wheel & Me

When The Teacher Girl moved back home to do her student-teaching gig, she got me hooked on Wheel of Fortune.  Every night, we'd watch it together, solving puzzles, shouting out letters, yelling at contestants.  It is a well-known fact around here, that I cannot be beat.  Why?  Three reasons.  I love words.  I've cracked the Wheel code.  I am The Mother of All Dorks.

Before & After.............Concentrate on solving the first or second half, not the whole puzzle.  As soon as you've solved half of it, the rest is easy.

Prize Puzzle..........Always has to do with a destination spot.  Think beaches and you're going to Hawaii.

Final Spin..........If it's one word you're toast.  Hard as hell to solve, but think compound word.

The kids always tell me I should try out for the Wheel and win my fortune, and I've considered it.  However, it is also a well-known fact around here that I get diarrhea when I get one of my Nerve Spells.   If a Southwest flight I was on should have an outbreak of the scoots, I could supply every passenger with Immodium because I carry that much with me all the time for the Nerve Spells.

If I ever did make it to The Final Spin, I'd probably stand at the marker and get that uh-oh, pre-diarrhea feeling and end up shouting, "I'm about to crap my pants."  Old Pat and Vanna would say, gosh, sorry, no, it's A Pot of Gold.   Well, we don't refer to it as that in Kansas, but okay.  Then Pat would open the envelope and show me that I just lost thirty grand, and I'd have to go back to the Land of Oz with nothing to show for my troubles but a purse full of poop pills.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Closing

The Big Daddy and I closed last week on the Refi.  We had to go to a title company to do it because banks don't do that sort of thing any more.  They do the gathering of info, crunching of the numbers, stamp it approved, and then send you off somewhere else to close the deal.  Kind of like pimps.  Financial pimps.

We had an 8:30 appointment in a big office building with nice carpet.  Nicer than we have here at The Estate.  The Big Daddy and I get nervous in places that are too nice.  We like a little less perfect surroundings when we do business, like the back alley where we buy our drugs.  I kid, I kid.  More like the crappy liquor store we frequent on the way home from church.  Cuz sinners need alcohol.

We sat down with a very efficient-looking closer at a big conference table.  We were to sign in blue ink as that is a requirement these days, and she set pens in front of us.  The first piece of business was the HUD statement.  "This shows that we'll be paying off your mortgage of $246,000.00"  WHAT THE WHAT?????? is what the what me and The Big Daddy said at the same time.  That ain't right, sista.  "Oh dear", she says, "I grabbed the wrong papers."  Well, you sure did.  Maybe you should pay attention to your paperwork instead of buying more art for your hoity-toity office.

She apologized.  Many times.  We finished the deal and left feeling like oh great, a mortgage, but with a lower rate.  Yippee-ki-ay.

On the way home, we passed the dealership where we bought our car.  When the deal was done there, the salesman told us that all new owners of a vehicle get to hit the gong.  Oh, The Big Daddy doesn't do that kind of stuff and said to me, "I feel like I've been gonged in the ass, why don't you take a hit."  For five years now,  we've both made it a point to give the finger to the place every time we pass it.  Cuz car dealers are right behind bankers on The Skank Meter.

We're immature in that way.  Well, actually we're immature in a lot of ways, and this is on the down low, but on the way out of the title company, I stole the blue pens.  Just slipped 'em right off the table and into my purse.  If The Man is going to stick it to me and My Big Daddy, well, we're gonna hurt 'em where it counts.  In the blue pen inventory. 


Source: usbells.com via Jack on Pinterest

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Wild One

Last week, I started writing a post about where I write.  Specifically, how the room that I write in is a hangout for the animals.  How, even at this very moment, the dog is licking the carpet driving me up the fricking wall.  How Beamer the Wonder Cat sits on the desk with all the papers and whacks at my hand when I move the mouse.  And how, I wondered, can a person write anything decent when THAT is going on?

I had a little more editing to do before I posted it, but for the most part it was close to being ready.  I have a fear of sounding like a goofy, old bat who leaves their estate to their bird or stores dead cats in the the freezer so Animal Control doesn't bust me.  Therefore, charming stories about precocious pets are few and far between.

On Saturday afternoon, I was outside and my neighbor was telling me that Beamer has been eating the dog food.  Their dog's food, in their house.  Beamer goes over every day to hang out with Dora and Bogey, and the other nite she kicked him out at 11:00 so they could go to bed.  She tells me these kinds of stories all the time, and then usually ends with, "I love that cat.  He's so cool."

This morning, instead of going to see Dora, Beamer went across the street where he was hit by a car.  We didn't know about it until another neighbor was walking her dogs and found him dead on the side of the road.  Can I tell you how much we all loved this cat?  That last nite when I was laying on the couch, Beamer came and laid right with me, purring until he dozed off.  That Mallie Bee is heartbroken as this was her baby.   That Dora was pacing and crying this morning and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her.  That these lovely women who live next door to us both cried when they heard what happened.  That we put Beamer in a bag in the backyard until we could bury him and that another cat in the neighborhood came and sat beside him.

This pet who made a best friend next door, and brought out the wild in Dora so much that they both hopped a fence and laid on a picnic table taunting a Great Dane inside.  This pet who was a bit of a shit starter and a lot of a wild one that was a perfect fit for our family.  This pet that we didn't get to have around nearly as long as we wanted, and will likely turn me into a batty, old lady who sits on a park bench telling stories about a cat she once had named Beamer to anyone passing by.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Comments

Sometimes when I read news stories, I scroll down to view some of the comments.  Geez Louise..  When my own piece ran in the KC Star, some of the comments were eye-opening.  I guess when you're anonymous and sitting in your underpants at the computer all day, you can be an idiot, but here's some advice.  Tip #1.....read the entire piece, and not just the title.  Tip #2........if you can't write past the 4th grade level, then maybe you shouldn't.

I give you this example from a news story on Huffington Post.........

"This is truelly awful and embarressing. "

Truelly awful and embarressing????   No doubt, Einstein, no doubt.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Week In Pictures

It's been a long summer around here with way too much ice cream.  I said to Junior, "How about we all go out and get some exercise?"



 
I said, "Mullet, shmullet, put Sissy behind my behind and let's get a move on."





When we got home, The Big Daddy said, "Ya can't wear that when you ride a bike.  Ya have to wear spandex or you'll end up getting the Monkey Butt."




Oh, he's a stickler when it comes to proper bicycle attire, so we loaded up the truck, trucks and went to the Wal-Marts.



It wasn't until we got to the mouthwash aisle of the Wal-Marts that I noticed those damn shorts of his.   I got so mad at him I said, "Didn't I tell ya not to be wearing white after Labor Day?"   Sheesh, I thought everybody knew that fashion rule.




Them kids was taking forever picking out snacks, and then my bad knee gots to acting up.  I said, "Let's get this show on the road or I'm gonna  fall down right here in the Funyuns aisle."    Junior heard me and sure enough, he comes back a few minutes later with one of them Wal-Mart Jazzys.



Finally, we finished our shopping and headed home.  I just wanted to take a load off, but I needed to water the garden, what with all the heat and dry.
Source: ffffound.com via Tina on Pinterest


I was so tired from that long day, I conked out, and who should show up in my dreams, but him.........



..............and just when he was about to show me his cleats, these two appeared giving me the stinkeye like they was holier than thou.












Tuesday, September 20, 2011

21

Last week was twenty-one years since my dad died.  I can tell you in vivid detail what that day was like.  I can tell you about waking from a sound sleep by a ringing phone, that the soul can fly away before you even put your key in the ignition, that six siblings and their spouses crammed into a hospital room at four in the morning.   I can tell you about my heartbroken Mom who thanked God for taking away the pain.  That before I left that room, I leaned into my dad's ear and said, "Just let us know that you're o.k. when you get settled."  I can tell you everything, but I can't tell you what my dad's voice was like because I no longer remember.

My parents lived in the same neighborhood for more than forty years.  Across the street lived Ed and Doll and their two girls.  Nancy and I were best friends (she says in utero), drifted apart in high school and then back together when we got older.  We were a big family, they were small.  My dad worked for the Edison Company as a safety manager, Ed worked for the same company as a lineman.  Their house was neat and tidy, ours was bursting at the seams and usually messy.   My dad was a DIYer with a garage full of tools, and he never hesitated to lend them to Ed, which wasn't the case with other neighbors.  You can tell a lot about a person by the way they take care of their tools, is what Dad said. 

Dad's last summer was a daily progression of life slipping away.  It was also filled with acts of kindness that can still make me cry all these years later.  Ed and Doll were acts of kindness.  Every day one or both of them would stop by, check on my mom to see if she needed anything, pop their head in to ask Dad how he was faring, offer to bring the garbage cans to the curb.  They showed up when showing up was not for the faint of heart.   Mom was always grateful, and when she cleaned Dad's things out after he died, she gave his red tool chest to Ed.

Doll had health issues of her own.  She had suffered her first stroke in her 40's, and years later, a series of mini-strokes followed by another major one.  After many weeks of watching her in a coma, Ed made the decision to remove her feeding tube and let her go.  Nancy would say that her father murdered her mother.  I didn't see it that way, but Nancy wasn't in a listening mood when it came to her father.  The last time she saw him was at her Mom's funeral, and they never spoke.

A few years ago, Ed wrote a letter to Nancy in hopes of trying to find some middle ground in their relationship.  I made his case, said your mom would be devastated to think this is what became of her family, that you are showing your kids that resolving conflict is kicking somebody out of your life, and maybe they'll do the same to you one day.   I begged her to hear him out, but she never responded.

I eventually gave up, and our friendship has withered away as a result.  I gave up because she told a story that made her dad out to be a heartless, cruel man who tossed his wife aside like a cigarette butt.  I gave up because I saw that same man stoically come into my parents' home every day, cheerful and helpful, and then cry on his way back home.  I gave up because death is full of emotional landmines, and the ones surrounding the end of her mother's life weren't just targeting her. 

I gave up because listening to her litany of accusations was too much when all I longed to hear was the sound of my own father's voice.




Monday, September 19, 2011

9-1-1 Emergency

The Big Daddy was getting ready for work and turned on the t.v.  He likes to have the business channels on so when they interview the "financial analysts", he can get pissed off first thing in the morning.  They can't hear you cuz they're inside the box.  Oh boy, he says the other day, I think the t.v. is going out.  Look at that picture, it's all red.  Oh geez, oh my gosh, oh man, now there's no picture.  And he's pacing around all nervous-like in his bike pants saying, "Whadda we gonna do, whadda we gonna do?"  Watch the other two t.v.s

Then he gets real serious and says I guess this means we've gotta get a new t.v.  Hold your spandex there, Mr. Toshiba.  Maybe I can come home early from work, and gosh I guess we're gonna have to bite the bullet and get a new one - maybe something a little bigger this time.  Here we go.  We don't have to get one right away, I tell him.  Yes, we do, he says.  We do cuz I know how you like to have it on when you're cleaning up here and I'd just like to take care of this for you ASAP.  Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Out of  habit I turned the t.v. on a few days later, and the purtiest picture you can imagine popped up.  It was like Jesus rising from the dead.   Oh yeah, that boat anchor of a t.v. was resurrected.  How long it lasts nobody knows, but now we're back to The Big Daddy telling Rick Santelli he's full of shit and me picking up coffee cups, towels and underpants.

It's a grand life here at the estate every morning.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Dog Nazis

My mom is a dog lover and has had a dog most of her life.  Mom's last dog had plenty of health issues as she got older, and ended up costing her a whole lot of money.  The dog eventually was put to sleep, and Mom announced that she no longer would be a dog owner.  Anybody who even thought about getting her a dog was going to have to march it right back to the pound. 

She's changed her tune of late, and my sisters have been taking her around to look at dogs for adoption.  They found a Shihtzu rescue group, and Mom decided to adopt Maxwell.  The process involved a three page application with references and a home visit.  Yeah, for a dog.  After all that was completed, Max ended up being adopted by a young family with kids, even though his bio said he wasn't good with kids.  

The Dog Nazis made a house call to make sure Mom didn't barbecue dogs, and brought another dog for her to consider.   A ten year old blind dog.  The Helen Keller of dogs.  The I'm going to cost you a fortune dog.   It seems Mom didn't meet their age requirements to adopt a younger dog, and they were making a hard sell for the healthy senior to adopt the disabled senior.  Mom was patient and hospitable to them, while my sisters delivered the stinkeye and whispered the snark.  When they didn't get anywhere with that plan, they suggested that my sister, Ann, fill out an application to adopt Maxwell (who hadn't been adopted after all) and then give him to my mom.  She submitted a new application, and got an email first thing the following morning saying you're never going to believe this, but Maxwell has found a new home.   Again?

Mom ended up adopting Duffy from the Humane Society, and he sure knows how to rock the cute.  My sister sent an email to the Dog Nazis saying what a farce their organization was, and implied that Mom has a vast fortune of money that she likes to give to to dog rescue groups, despite pleading from her kids and attorney to scale back her contributions.

Those sisters of mine make it their job to look out for Mom, and they're not amateurs.  Getting into a bullshihtzu match with either of them is a fight you don't want to have.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Week In Pictures

It has been an eventful week, best described in photos..........



The whole family has been anxiously waiting by the phone for the bank to call to approve our refi.  I read the Bible to keep my mind off The Troubles.  Or maybe it was Tina Fey's book.  I can't remember now cuz my headpiece was so dang tight my brain hurt. 




The Big Daddy got mad that it was taking so long and shouted to the banker, "I pity the fool who doesn't give us a mortgage."  And he tried to make a fist to show he meant business, but he's got arthritis in that one hand.




"Calm down",  I said.  "I think I know of a way to make them understand the situation better."



Finally, Mr. Potter putted the "approved" stamp on our papers.  I was so happy my curls tightened up and I said, "Now with the savings I can get a new crown on that tooth way in the back there.  See?"



"Let's have the whole clan over to celebrate and I'll make my famous Jesus Pizza," The Big Daddy said.



"What about your cousin," I asked.  "One and all", he said.  "One and all."




Even our moms got to come until the cops found them and took 'em back.



When everyone left, we went to bed in our newly refinanced home and fell fast asleep.


 Where he came to visit me in my dreams.............



................and he was just about to put the moves on me when the house tipped over.








Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CSI

The Big Daddy and I are trying to get in better shape, along with making better choices when it comes to food.  We figured with both of us committed to the same goal, we'd be likely to have more success.  

The other day, BD was eating a bowl of ice cream.  Wow, that's a lot of ice cream.  It's a small bowl, he says.  It's like the Leaning Tower of Mint Chocolate Chip.  I gave him a talking to in my mom voice about our agreement.  Which married men just loooooooove.   This is all I'm having and then I'm done, he tells me.  Well, what about the Twix bar you had?  Jeezus, he says, how'd you know about that?

How'd I know about that???  The guy leaves evidence wherever he goes.  Candy wrapper on the counter.  Dirty dishes in the sink.  Lid off the cookie jar.  I can figure out everything he's eaten in about 15 seconds just by investigating the crime scene.

I eat my ice cream right out of the carton.  Standing at the kitchen counter.  With the lid in my hand.  As soon as I hear footsteps, the spoon gets shoved in my pocket, the lid gets popped on and voila..........ice cream back in the freezer and nobody's the wiser. 

Men have such commitment issues.  If they only paid closer attention to the women they love, they'd see the light. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Writers

When I turned 50, I intentionally decided to shake things up a bit.  There was a group of women I knew that were writers, and met every month for several years.  I pleaded my case to join them and have been with them for four years.  Throughout the first year when it was my turn to read something I wrote, I wanted to throw up.  Every. Single.  Time.  It is still something I hate to do, even when I'm satisfied with the finished product, in fear that they'll find out that I'm such a hack at writing that I have no business being there.      

A few weeks ago, I told The Big Daddy that I had a good writing week.  I was happy with what I was posting, the stories were still swirling in my brain, and the daily numbers of hits on this blog were decent.  Then there was this week.  In one way or another, I heard from every person in my writers group, either through email, Facebook or in the comment section, for no reason other than to touch base and cheer me on.

I was walking my dog past the house of one of my writing friends and she came out to chat.  She walked me home and we talked about kids, work and writing.  I told her about something I wrote a year ago, and she insisted that I get to work on finding someone to publish it and She Would Not Let It Go.   Right now, she said, get in the house and send it off.  I decided to send it to our paper for a column called "As I See It."  The next day I heard back from them and I am about to be a published author for the very first time.    

Oh my, this was a piece of the dream, and Cinderella feels like she got asked to the ball.  All of those fairy godmothers of hers worked night and day to make sure she looked pretty, and she is very, very grateful.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Taters

This summer has been a disappointment for The Big Daddy as far as crops.  The heat was brutal and killed off much of what was growing.  A raccoon pulled down every stalk of corn for a late night snack, and as soon as the tomatoes start to ripen, the squirrels eat half of them and leave the rest to rot. 

He has, however, reaped a bumper crop of potatoes - so far more than 50#.  I love potatoes.  I would eat potatoes every day.  Whenever I have made dinner, The Big Daddy says what's with all the damn potatoes, have you ever heard of rice.  Yes, I've heard of rice, but my people worship at the Altar of the Potato.  Do your people know that the Potato Famine is over, he asks.  For my people, the Potato Famine will never be over.

Now we have Big Daddy Reds coming in by the buckets and all of a sudden, he's discovered the potato.  I'll make extra to heat up the next day and they'll be gone because he ate them all.  Man, these taters are good, he says.  They've always been good.  Ya can't beat fresh taters right out the ground, can ya?  No, Big Daddy Farmer, you're the best Tater Man in the state.

It's like all these years of me telling him how good they are, and and he never heard a word I've said until now.  I bet he had taters in his ears.  Or ears in his tater.


Source: tumblr.com via shane on Pinterest

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Party Next Door

This is Beemer the Cat.  He's a wild child.  He likes to roam the hood, killing chipmunks and scaring squirrels.

When he's not doing that, he's hanging out with his woman next door, Dora.  He and Dora used to hate each other, and I don't know when that changed, but now he goes to see her every day and they nap together on the screened in porch.   Yeah, a "nap" is what the young people call it these days.   Dora can push the back door open, so when they wake up, she lets her man into the house.  They like to play in the bathtub.  So did me and The Big Daddy until we got stuck one day.  When Beemer gets bored, he comes home for awhile, eats some of his own food, takes a nap, kills a rodent, and then heads back over to Dora's house.

I've never had a cat that wanted to be friends with another cat.  First thing in the morning, he's crying to get out the door and over to Dora's house in a big, fat hurry.  I look over in that yard and wonder what in the hell  those two are up to, and they look back like mind your own business Gladys Kravitz.


Either there's some crazy, wild cat sex going on every day or they're talking about me.  I'll never know, but the one thing I'm sure of is that the day you spend two hours writing a story about cats is the day you realize you really need to get a life.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pundit For a Day

The Big Daddy and I watched the Republican debate tonite.  The whole day was a shitstorm for me, so I thought I'd end it the same way it began.   Since the paid pundits analyze the daylights out of these kinds of things and bore me to death, I decided I'd make notes of my own..........

Ron Paul.  Believes the private sector is capable of regulating itself, and dogs and cats should be living together.

Rick Santorum.  I seriously had no idea he was still in it.  

Newt Gingrich.  Dumped Wife #1 and Wife #2 and loves his country even more than the soulmate he found in wife #3.  

Jon Huntsman.  Overdid the tanning bed and looked like he rolled in a bag of Doritos.

Michelle Bachmann.  Got knocked from the #1 spot this week, but hair is holding up well.

Mitt Romney.  If you put a cap and a neckerchief on him, he'd look just like Thurston Howell III.

Rick Perry.   Smiles more than a preacher with his hand in your pocket.

Herman Cain.  The Pizza Man knows a little something about job creation of the minimum wage kind.

It was some kind of show, and midway through I had to open a window to get some air into that room.  We've got a long way to go until next November, but I bet I'll sleep like a baby knowing that the best and the brightest wealthiest of our patriotic idiotic citizens longs to be my next president.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An Interview

At the beginning of the year when I left my job at Crazy Town, the plan was to devote a few months to writing and the vintage business that Nancy and I have been working on.  Once we got back from our summer vacation, I would seriously look for employment.  Easier said than done.  I have sent out resumes, filled out applications and inquired at businesses I frequent.   It's a humbling experience looking for a job, but finally on a tip from a friend, I got an interview at a local flower shop.   Thank ya Jeezus.

And it went like this.............

Tell us why you want to work at a flower shop?   I love flowers, always have.  

Do you know the different varieties of flowers?  I do.  I'm a gardener.

Do you know how to cut flowers?  Yes.  

So you have cut flowers and brought them in your home?  Yes.

And put them in a vase?  Yes.

Do you know that maintaining a flower shop is a lot of work?  I know that maintaining a beautiful space requires plenty of grunt work.

We don't call it grunt work, we call it Mom work.  Like as the mom you clean the counters, restock, sweep, take the garbage out.  Can you do mom work?   Yes. 

You aren't a Lake Girl are you?  I don't know what that means.  Do you like to go to the Lake on the weekends?   I don't have a lake to go to.  Well, that's good for us.  Wink.  Haha.  Wink....return serve.

Some of our stock is not bar-coded, so you have to learn the abbreviations to put in the register.  For instance, a short vase of roses would be SVR.  Do you think you could learn that?  Yes.  It can be kind of confusing.  For who?

You've had a few jobs over the last ten years.  That's a red flag for us.  Well, two of those stores closed.  (And if either of them were still open, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you.)

The interrogation lasted thirty minutes, with the owner and manager taking notes on everything I said.  At one point, I told them I was from Chicago, which they wrote down on their notepads, as if that had anything to do with selling flowers.  Maybe it did.  Maybe they wanted their next salesperson to be from Cleveland.   Finally, the interview ended and they told me that they had to review their notes over the next few days and would get back to me.  Review away.

The day I interviewed was in the low 100's - a real scorcher.  When I went into the shop, the metal doorknob was so hot, it burnt my hand.  Sometimes, messages from God are sort of vague, which makes them easy to ignore.  Not this time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Refi

I told The Big Daddy that I thought we should refinance the homestead to lessen the interest rate and term, and crunched the numbers to make the case.  He hates matters like this, but I used to be a loan officer back in the day, and I'm not as skerd as he is.  I stalked the rate page on the bank's website waiting to pull the trigger, and they almost had me at 4%, but I got the willy nillys when I was doing the application and never finished it. 

A couple of weeks ago, the rate dropped to 3.875%, and I added that to my shopping cart and proceeded to checkout.  The avalanche of paperwork came in the mail and we signed and signed and signed.  Then we copied and copied and copied.  First, we signed that we agreed to have the transcripts of the last two years of taxes sent to them by the IRS, and then we had to copy the last two years of taxes.  That there is what you call redundant.  Copies of the last two pay stubs, drivers license and social security cards?  Check, check, and check.  Just a matter of getting an appraisal and badda-bing, badda-boom, we were good to go.

Mr. Appraiser made his appearance and snooped around the place taking pictures and notes.  A week later, my enthusiasm for this idea was waning after using up four hours and an ink cartridge getting Mr. Potter all he needed to give the A-OK for this.  All looks good, the banker said, and BTW, here's a copy of your appraisal.

How do I put this...........oh I know, we got a smackdown on the value of the homestead.   I low-balled it on the app, but my low-ball got low-balled.  Son-of-a-bitch, The Big Daddy said.  Times two, BD, times two.  Now we have to wait to see what Mr. Potter has to say about all this, and I figured what's the point in cleaning the place if it's not worth much.

Most of the time I have to admit that I've got a wonderful life, but I'll advise that if you're thinking about doing a refi it's best to take a deep breath and call on your angels.  It's one steep drop when you take a ride on the Housing Bubble.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Capitol

For five years, Mark and I lived in Maryland.  He got a job in Bethesda and we lived about 15 miles away.  The first weekend we were there and not even close to getting settled, we loaded up the stroller with Baby #1, and took the train to the National Mall to see the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.   From there, we walked over to the White House and sat in the summer heat for more than an hour, just staring.

The metro stop for the Mall is Smithsonian Station.    As you make your way up to street level, the first thing you see is the Capitol Building.  I couldn't even count the number of times we used that stop to sight see or take friends and family for a tour when they were in town.  Dozens and dozens of times.  The first time I saw that building, it took my breath away, and continued to each and every time.

In a few days, Congress will be back in session and we will all bear the burden of their endless arguing.  After a much needed summer break, this weary and worried country will once again be subjected to predictable sound bites and talking points from our politicians.  I don't know how it is possible for anyone to stand in that building and not feel the spirit of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Bobbie Kennedy or Martin Luther King, and then think it's acceptable to dishonor it with bad behavior.

Do the nearly 60,000 names on the Vietnam Memorial, the mountain of shoes in the Holocaust Museum, or the watchful gaze of Abraham Lincoln, not echo continuously in the thoughts of those who represent us?  Do the souls of those who fought the good fight ever whisper in their ear, pleading with them to not repeat the mistakes of the past?  The history of our country has required great things from ordinary citizens, and there are countless examples of those who have risen to the task.  While they go about their quiet work, this Congress will put a pin on their lapel and look straight into the camera, while patriotism searches elsewhere for a hero.

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