May 30, 2015

Aggravation...and distractedness...yes, that should be a word.

When I first decided to sit down and write this post, I had one main topic.  One agenda.

And then life happened, as it frequently does...

First of all, life here in Gigi's corner of the internet is pretty calm.  Everyone gets along.  No one is ugly or nasty.  It's a nice place to visit, I like to think.  But then I go wandering, as one does, along the many various trails that the internet has to offer...and I am, continually, amazed at some of the online behavior of others.  And then, I sound like my grandmother when I exclaim, "If you can't say anything nice....then say nothing at all!"

You know what?  That particular piece of advice still holds true.

Grandma knew what she was talking about.

Then, we received a phone call.  Apparently, my brother-in-law had a double bypass.  Keyword, had.  My sister-in-law obviously didn't see the need to inform ANY of the family until after the fact.  This is the kind of behavior I would expect from MY side of the family...not his.  I get the need to keep things quiet until you know what is what; but not telling anyone?  What about the love and support you need while going through this kind of thing?

THE house.  Oh. My. God.  This damn house is going to drive me insane.  And we haven't even bought it yet!

In the interest of trying to "be proactive," we went to look at carpet today.  Here's the deal...IF we actually close this deal, we will have a little over a week to get things done (scrape the upstairs ceilings, paint, re-carpet - or whatever, and actually move in) before we have to be out of this place.

If you know me...and, if you've been reading along for any length of time...then you know that these types of decisions take time!  But, you may also know, that cost-wise - as far as flooring goes - that it's better to do it when the house is empty.  So basically, I'm under the gun to make a decision.  And, all of a sudden, the Husband thinks he actually has an opinion about design.  When, in fact, in all of the years of our marriage, he really hasn't cared at long as it was well built.

And I am not happy about it.  AT ALL.

In a Hail Mary moment, I sent an email to the realtor asking if she could find out what was under the carpet (fingers crossed, original hardwood) and the paint on the stair (again, fingers crossed.  AND?  WTH?  WHY would you paint the treads of the stairs?  Hopeful, that they are also hardwood...but doubtful at this point).  As of now, we haven't heard back.

At one point today, the Husband actually uttered the words, "It wouldn't be this stressful building a house!  By the time it's all said and done, we are going to hate each other!"  To which I replied, "Didn't I tell you?"

One day...he may actually listen to me.

Because between you and me?  Building a house from scratch is FAR less stressful than going into a house you know nothing about.

And?  Shall we add on to this pile of aggravation and distraction?  Oh, why not?

There is work stuff going on.  Work stuff that I have committed myself to not talking about here.  But that is driving me absolutely, bat-shit, crazy.

Will it work out?  Yes, probably.  Will it make me insane in the interim?  Yes, probably.

So, let's leave it at this, shall we?  Currently, I'm insane.  Send me lots and lots of love and hugs and we will agree that it will be fine.

How's that for a plan?

May 26, 2015

I need a house...and I need it NOW

As you may know, if you've been reading along, we "may" be buying a house.  I say "may" because I'm trying to temper myself as the inspection hasn't been done and, as we all know, if the report is a bad one then this deal could fall through.  Or, if the inspector isn't up to snuff we could be living with a Holmes Inspection kind of nightmare.  I'm trying not to think about that - in case you were wondering.

At any rate, this entire long weekend was a blur of searching for paint, appliances and flooring...for a house that hasn't even been inspected yet.

I actually had to talk myself out of a trip to Charlotte yesterday (Ikea; TWO hours away) because in my SANE mind, I know that if this inspection goes south. then we won't have a house.  But in my INSANE mind, I have been busy decorating.

This cute little Cape Cod has been cluttering my mind.

Yes, it NEEDS a garage.  Possibly, with a mudroom to attach to the house.  Still trying to figure that one out.

I've been ALL over Houzz and Pinterest, studying up on the decor for this style of house.  And, what I am seeing perfectly mirrors what I've been feeling.  A need to "lighten things up."

For the past several years, our (okay, MY..) decorating style has leaned more to a Tuscan-style..dark woods, heavier furniture, earth tones.  But, lately, I've been feeling a need to lighten things up.  This may be the worst decision I've ever made.

Why?  Because I live with slobs, people.  Plain and simple.

I found this picture on Houzz as inspiration for my new master bedroom.

Isn't it gorgeous?  Even the Husband agreed.

But look at it.  Really look at it.  That white duvet?  In my house?

Never gonna work.  NEVER.

Not enough bleach in the world would keep that thing clean.

But that paint color WILL be mine.

In the meantime, I will drool over appliances, floor, etc. as we impatiently wait on the inspection report...which won't occur until Thursday.  Who knows when we will get the report!?


Still ImPatiently Waiting

May 24, 2015

When two worlds collide...

Good old humans...always good for blog fodder.

Yesterday, I witnessed an exchange that I found funny and sweet,

After spending a morning of sourcing boxes (they are scarce in these parts right now) and doing some packing (in an attempt to head off the disaster that was our last move.  It's not going too well), I headed to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine yesterday for a friend's cookout that we were attending last night.

I grabbed the bottle and got on line behind a very sweet, older woman.  She was slowly adding the items from her cart onto the conveyor belt and the teenage boy behind the counter was quickly scanning and bagging her items before she could get the next item on the belt.

Once she finished, she pulled out her checkbook, inwardly I rolled my eyes - not because she was using a check necessarily, but because she hadn't pre-filled out the check (which used to drive me crazier back when checks were more common).  I reminded myself that I wasn't in a hurry anyway and to be patient.

After she completed filling in the register, she proceed to write her check but then stopped and asked the boy if she could make the check out for $20 dollars more and get the cash back.  The kid stopped, looked at her slack-jawed and said, "I've never done, I don't know."  She stopped and looked right back at him with a near identical expression and said, "Really?"  They stood there looking at each other for a few seconds.

While they stood there, staring at each other I could see thought bubbles over their heads.  Hers said, "I KNOW I can write this check over and receive cash!  How can he not know that?!"  His said, "I don't EVEN understand how this check thing works and WHY do people still use them?!"

Finally, she said, "Never mind," and finished writing her check.  As the kid began fumbling with the check scanning machine, all while mumbling about the machine not liking him, she looked over at me and my bottle of wine and said, "I'm coming home with you!"

Eventually, the kid had to call someone else over to get the machine to accept the check - this kid obviously has a hard time when it comes to checks.  Once the check was successfully inserted and spit back out, the kid looked at the woman, apologizing, and then said, "I could give you $20, but you'd have to act like you stole it,"  It took her a moment, but then she laughed and said, "No.  Especially since I'm going to church in the morning."  After it appeared to the older woman that she was done she started to walk away - not realizing she still needed to hit "accept" on the debit card machine.  I called her back and told her what she needed to do.  She did what was necessary and hit the "Done" button saying, "I certainly HOPE I'm done!"

As she walked away, the kid looked at me, shell-shocked, holding the check and said, "We usually give these back!"  I had no idea what to say to him, so he took off after her.  About that time, the guy behind me said, "Now, you aren't going to pull the same thing are you?"  I smiled and showed him my debit card.

When the kid returned, he apologized for the wait.  I told him not to worry about it as I wasn't in a hurry.  I didn't tell him just how much amusement I got out of the entire thing.  He responded with, "That's the only good thing about working on Saturday; most people aren't in a big hurry so I don't feel as pressured."

I'm thinking this kid, as sweet as he was, is in the wrong line of work.

May 18, 2015

Oh Dear God. I might be hyperventilating...

Our offer was accepted.

This is a first, people.  In the history of our life together (nearly 25 years) we have actually agreed on a house.

Yes, in all that time, despite MULTIPLE moves, we have NEVER bought an actual, already built house together.  We have always ended up building.  But, GULP, we've gone and done it.

As I mentioned yesterday, this house is NOT perfect...but it seems right.  So, I'm going with our gut.  If the inspections show that everything is fine, it looks like we will once again be homeowners on June 22nd.

And despite the slight, panicky feeling that is currently residing in my stomach; I'm happy.

This house better live up to our expectations.  Because between you and me?  After this?  I don't want to EVER face the prospect of moving again.


Now...if any of you happen to be available on during the week of  June 22nd...let me know.  I'll happily provide the pizza and beer.

May 17, 2015

WHAT are we even doing???

D' may be prophetic.  Your comment on yesterday's post made me laugh.  Because, really?  What were the odds that I'd not only find the shoes I'd been searching for, at an unbelieveable steal AND a house all in one day?  Slim to none.

And I didn't.  BUT, as I was swanning off to a play with my friend (it was FABULOUS, by the way!  If you have an opportunity to see The Foreigner I would suggest that you immediately buy tickets.  And, we even arrived with time to spare.  Although, she did give me fits, what with wanting to stop at Sephora.  Stopping to get coffee.  Stopping to slowly read through all the brochures at the Cultural Center) I sent the Husband off to see a house.

He'd sent me the link on Friday.  And, surprisingly, I liked what I saw online.  Usually, he sends me the most hideous houses.  Houses that make me think, "What in the hell?  Has he been drinking at work?"  But this one?  This one looked promising.  Unfortunately, our realtor wasn't available until today.  A day when I wasn't available.  When I agreed to let the Husband go and have a peek, he actually had the audacity to say, "If I like it, do you want me to put in an offer?"  I asked him if he was insane.  There is NO WAY that I'd let him do that without me seeing it.

It wasn't perfect by any means.  But it was the best thing we've seen so far.

As we were sitting down in the theater, I went to shut off my phone and saw I had a text.  I checked it.  Man-Child sent me a note telling me that this house met most of our requirements and wondered if I could meet with the realtor at 6:00 pm to look at the house.  I responded with yes and then turned the phone off.

And for the next two hours was thoroughly entertained.  Really, if you have the chance, go see this play.  I was quite surprised at how dark it turned at one point, but it worked.  Generally though, we laughed out loud many, many times.

After the play, I headed home.  The guys told me the pros and cons; but generally seemed very positive about the house.  They tried to downplay the cons with assurances that what needs to be fixed was minor.  At this point I was not thinking that this was the house for us.

And then I went to see it.  No.  It's NOT perfect.  Yes, it does need some work.  But...for the most part this house will work.  So much so that we decided to make an offer.

Of course, the Husband's suspicions about houses being snapped up were affirmed...someone else has already made an offer.  We decided, on the spot, to make an offer just slightly above list price.  We've also decided that we will not be getting into a bidding war.  Yes, we like the house.  Yes, we like the neighborhood.  But no, we will not pay more for the house than it is worth.  Period.

If we get the house, great.  If we don't, I won't lose sleep over it.

So yeah.  Maybe I might not be lucky enough to find the shoes I've been searching for, at an unbelieveable steal AND a house all in one day.  But maybe, just maybe, I'm lucky enough to find all that in one weekend.

Cross your fingers that our search is over.

May 16, 2015

Today was both an exercise in frustration and a victory (of sorts)

The day began bright and early.  Very, very early.  Like 5:30 am early.  On a Saturday.  *sigh*

After spending several hours reading the paper, drinking coffee and cruising the internet, the Husband woke up and began making all kinds of racket in the kitchen (why, in God's name, does he feel the need to make so much noise first thing in the morning?), so I waltzed off to get ready for the day.  After getting dressed, I told him that I was off to do a "drive by" to get the feeling of a potential house/neighborhood.  While it wasn't grim, by any means, it just wasn't "the One," in case you were wondering.  So, yes, the hunt continues.  The Husband is in knots and is convinced that every single house we've been even marginally interested in are being snapped up, right under our noses.

Where was I...?

Oh yes.  So after the drive by, I decided to drive downtown to find a theater.  Why?  Because my dear friend and I are off to see a play tomorrow (The Foreigner, if you must know.  I expect it will be wonderful.  Particularly based on the recent review I read).  But, I've never been to this particular theater, and knowing her, we will be flying in at the very last minute and I figured it might be helpful to know where we were headed.

Our downtown is fairly small, so I was confident that I could find it quickly.  I assumed it was in the same area as most of the other theaters.  Turns out, it's not.  After driving in circles for about twenty minutes, I gave up and called the Husband to ask him where this particular street is located in downtown.  He responded with, "It's downtown."  I kid you not. Once I confirmed that I knew it was downtown, I just needed to know where.  Turns out, I was only a block away and exactly opposite of the direction I thought it was...of course.  Gigi's notorious lack of direction strikes again!

So, I pointed the car in the opposite direction and, once again, began driving in circles.  I know I have a horrible sense of direction BUT it is exacerbated by the fact that, for some reason, in this town the streets are weird.  Weird, as in Davie Street is only about two blocks long and then it turns into something else.  This is not the only example of the weirdness.  Believe me, we have LOTS of streets like that.  We actually have one intersection in town where ALL four streets turn into different streets at that particular juncture!  New to the city?  Good luck finding your way around!

Finally, I pulled over and pulled out my "smart" phone.  I figured GPS would guide me.  HAHAHAHAHA!

GPS tried to get me to turn right...onto a one way street, the wrong way.  At that point, I gave up and headed home.  I figured I'd get home hop on the internet and look at the map - considering I'm directionally challenged I am surprisingly good at reading a map - and then head back downtown later to find this place.

Eventually, I found myself back downtown...driving in circles again.  *sigh*

Finally, I called the Husband in a snit.  I asked him if he would come downtown with me to find this elusive theater.  He tried to stifle his sigh, but he agreed.  So I headed back home to collect him...only to turn around and go BACK downtown.

Yes, I'm insane.

And, of course, the Husband found the place with no problem at all.  I had crawled ALL OVER that two block radius and HE waltzed in and found it immediately.  Needless to say, this was all the ammunition he needed to taunt me all the way back home.

At any rate, I know now where we are headed when we are, invariably, running late tomorrow.

So, after a morning of frustration, I headed into an afternoon of productivity....hopefully.

I have been in the market for new shoes (hush!  These are necessary!).  I needed black and nude/camel flats; since I'm trying to wean myself from heels.  I had been looking for the last two weeks to no avail...until today.  And the ONLY reason I am telling you this is because today I not only found the shoes that I'd had in my mind's eye but I learned something.  Something I felt that I should share, because HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?  And, if I didn't know this, then you probably didn't either.

If you are on the mailing list for DSW (and if you aren't, WHY aren't you?  And no, this is NOT a sponsored post.  Pinkie promise), occasionally you will receive coupons in the mail. When they send coupons, they usually send one to use now and one to use later.  I had totally missed the timeline for the first one, but today's particular purchase fell perfectly in time for the second one.  So when I got to the counter, I presented the coupon for $10 off and mentioned that she should use the second one.  She looked at me and smiled.  Then she informed me that they honor expired coupons up to thirty days after expiration and, not only that...they could COMBINE the expired coupon with the current coupon, if that was what I wanted to do.

HELLO?!  Are you kidding me?  Yes! Yes, please!  And WHY did I not know this before now?

This coupled with the remnants of a gift card meant that I walked out of that store paying only $13 for a $50 pair of shoes. I call that a win.

So, seriously, did you know that?  Are there other stores that do this kind of thing?  And if so, WHY are you hiding this knowledge from me?

Also?  Am I seriously the only person in this world that CANNOT find an obscure theater, tucked away in a HUGE building that is positioned in a short, two block radius?  Please tell me I'm not.

May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

On Saturday, the Husband sent me a text asking what I wanted for Mother's Day.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute, dear.

I responded telling him I wanted someone to clean the house, the garage AND my car.  No response.  So I continued cleaning the house.  Finally tweeting

And, it's true.  I DID get a clean house.  I did a very good job.  After a desperate phone call from the Husband begging for gift ideas; I gave him a few ideas and sent him on his way.  According to him, I am VERY hard to buy for - I beg to differ.  I'm actually quite easy to buy for...if you've been paying attention.  Or even if you occasionally tune in and actually listen when I speak.  (I kid, kinda.  Usually, the Husband is quite good at the gift buying...if he doesn't wait until the last minute).

Then last night, on a whim, I decided to watch Hoarders.  This turned out to be a very, very bad idea.  Hoarders is incredibly sad and disturbing.  I don't think I'll be watching that again.  Unless, I get really lazy and need some motivation to get stuff done around here.  Why?

Because this morning, found me in the garage cleaning up.  I suppose the fact that it was Mother's Day worked in my favor, as once the Husband realized what I was up to he joined in and we finished in record time.  So that's TWO out of the three things, I asked for - looks like I'm ahead of the game.

But my absolutely FAVORITE gift; the one I didn't ask for?  The fifty-million plastic grocery bags that the Husband has been hoarding are gone.  FINALLY.  This man goes to the grocery store at least once a day and buys multiple items, requiring multiple bags...all of which find their way into the garage where I am faced with them many times throughout the day.  Why he refuses to use reusable bags is beyond me.  Why he refuses to shove the extras in his car every day and drop them off when he hits the grocery store again is beyond me.

No.  Instead, he will let them pile up to ridiculous proportions that makes me crazy.  He had more than enough of these bags to fill a tall, kitchen trash bag.  And he hauled them off to the grocery store this morning...without being asked!  BEST. GIFT. EVER!  Apparently, the sight of the clean(er) garage was enough to motivate him to get rid of the bags.

As for obligatory "gifts?"  I'm happy with them too...a book I had been wanting, chocolates, flowers, the required sappy card and lunch out.  Where my boy brought tears to my eyes by making a sweet, heartfelt toast thanking me for all that I do for him and letting me know that it does not go unnoticed.  This boy...he leaves me speechless sometimes.

So yes, all in all, this was a very happy Mother's Day.

If you, my friends, are mothers know that I'm sending you the very best of wishes.  If you are not, I am still sending you the very best of wishes; because you know what?  We ALL deserve the best wishes.

May 1, 2015

My epic, on-going battle with the local newspaper.

Oh, how I wish the title wasn't so accurate...but it is. *sigh*

I have been a faithful subscriber to our local newspaper for over ten-fifteen years.  And in all that time, I haven't had a problem.  Never.  Despite multiple moves.  Every time we've moved, we've had a seamless transition between houses.

Until this last move.  Which, after all this?  Quite honestly, I'm almost afraid to finally find a house to buy.  I wish I were kidding.

For well over a year now, my subscription keeps getting cut off every thirteen weeks, so about every three months.  I have opined on this very subject at least once before.

The last time my subscription was cancelled, I actually remembered to ask the person on the other end of the phone, after I had paid to have my subscription renewed AGAIN, what my next cut-off date was - so I could calendar it to ensure that I was all paid up before the subscription was revoked; because honestly?  By now, I had figured out these morons were NEVER going to send the bill to my house.

And, unfortunately, I was right.

The only thing different about this go around was that I actually received an automated phone call that my subscription was about to run out.  Apparently, the last time I called, I discovered they had the wrong phone number for me and had that rectified.  Finally they got something right!

So I called and patiently explained the situation AGAIN.  Instead of offering to take my payment over the phone, I was assured that I would receive a bill.  So I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  No bill ever showed up - of COURSE.  So I called them back today.  I explained the situation and told them that:

1) I wanted to pay my bill because, apparently, they were incapable of sending me a bill

2) I wanted to know when the next cut-off date was - so I could calender it; to remind myself when they fail to send me a bill again in about three months


3)  I wanted to have my online subscription fixed - that this had been broken since the FIRST time they'd cancelled my subscription OVER a year ago.  I also explained that I had called about this particular issue numerous times.  Only to be told...and I quote..."I can't help you with that, but I will have someone call you."

As you may have surmised; no one has ever called me.

The person on the other end of the line was one of the most "chill" people I've ever encountered.  But helpful.  To a degree.

He took my payment over the phone.  Assured me that I would receive a bill (yeah, like I'm buying that story at this point).  And informed me that he couldn't help me with the online subscription BUT had a phone number of someone who could help me.  I dutifully wrote down the number and repeated it back to him to ensure I had it right.  I did.

I called said number...and guess what?  I received an automated message telling me that this number was no longer in service and that I should call the number I had called to begin with!

When I say that my head nearly exploded, I am not even kidding.  At this point, I am BEYOND livid!  Seriously?!  This has been going on for OVER A YEAR!

So, I called the first number back and, amazingly, connected with the same customer service rep.  And do you know what his response was to me telling him that the number he gave me directed me back to him?!  His response was to sigh.  I kid you not.  He audibly sighed.

So I ask you - how am I supposed to deal with this kind of incompetence?  Even the customer service people know the company is completely screwed up.

*Insert audible sigh here*

After a few more minutes of conversation, he tells me that he will send a note to "that" department and have them call me.  I informed him that I have heard this song and dance before with no result.  He assures me that he will make sure "they" take care of it.  Yeah, right.

So here's my question.  By all accounts, newspapers are on the way out...why then, aren't they doing more to please the customers they DO have?!

My next step?  The editor.  And threatening to "out" their incompetence to the entire world wide web, if I have to.  Oh hell, maybe I'll even go to the head, head, HEAD honcho...Warren Buffett.  Because, honestly?  I'm tired of fighting this fight.