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Showing posts from December, 2005

Spreading Out

Over the past two months, this blog has been taken over my by current obsession: House Hunting. That wasn't really my intention, so I made an executive decision.

All house and home related materials will be posted at Hedge Toad Cottage. It seemed the easiest way to keep everything on track without creating hours of extra work for me... no one wants that.

3 Days Left!

This holiday break has flown by! I need at least another week to get everything done and really get prepared for the upcoming month. I still have planning to do! My "to-do" list is still huge!

pack up Xmas decorations and treefinish laundrypay rentFinish Walking On Water by Derrick JensenRead The Business Of Fancydancing by Sherman Alexie to find poems for upcoming monthPlan out Poetry Unit - Slam? Writing?Grade OMAM FinalsGrade Christmas Carol Cartoons - Create RubricTake down found poems and hang Cartoons on classroom wallsWrite letter of praise for student doing really well this semester to parentFinish unpacking carPick up yarn for new project (Hoodie Sweater) - we're starting a knitting club at schoolWash dishesMake calendar for January for students and bulletin boardUpdate Classroom WebsiteStart Packing BooksBuy Espresso Coffee and metal cup for new coffee makerWatch movies, return to Netflix

House Hunting Response

In response to EdWonk's remarks:

1. No one has enough cash to not worry about mortgage rates, points or fees. It's worrying about those kinds of things that get a person enough cash to actually do that. Those that say they aren't worried don't actually have that kind of cash. They're financing every last penny.

2. Every house I've considered is in a "good neighborhood." It's one of the reasons I live and teach where I do - rural does have it's good points. Also, it is always good real estate investment to buy the crapiest/cheapest house in a "good neighborhood." There's no point to looking in a bad neighborhood. Unfortunately, this is a hard thing to get across to a real estate agent.

3. Every newhouse I've ever had contact with had numerous problems. It is true when it's said that "they don't make them like they used to." Quality of workmanship and materials just aren't the same and aren't made to last…

How to make a Merry Christmas

House Hunting - Part 4,953

A contractor finally called back regarding the dark underbelly of the house. I must be insane, because I actually did the happy dance when he said $2500 to take care of all the rot from the bug infestation. Did I mention the house has bugs? Powder post beetles to be exact. I was a little freaked at first, but then I realized they were like roaches in NYC. They lurk every where and almost everyone has found at least one in their home at one point or another.


BTW, who ever said house hunting was fun was whacked. So far it's been an experience in how truly tasteless most of the earth's population is, and, the discovery that I can actually see the positive in almost anything. For example, Replace the roof? Hey, at least I'll know it was done right and won't have to worry about it for another 30 years!Lumps in the front lawn vaguely resembling graves? No poltergist here! It's a man-made berm to protect the dark underbelly from being washed away in the near constant rain …

House Hunting - Part 4,953

A contractor finally called back regarding the dark underbelly of the house. I must be insane, because I actually did the happy dance when he said $2500 to take care of all the rot from the bug infestation. Did I mention the house has bugs? Powder post beetles to be exact. I was a little freaked at first, but then I realized they were like roaches in NYC. They lurk every where and almost everyone has found at least one in their home at one point or another.
BTW, who ever said house hunting was fun was whacked. So far it's been an experience in how truly tasteless most of the earth's population is, and, the discovery that I can actually see the positive in almost anything. For example,
Replace the roof? Hey, at least I'll know it was done right and won't have to worry about it for another 30 years!
Lumps in the front lawn vaguely resembling graves? No poltergist here! It's a man-made berm to protect the dark underbelly from being washed away in the near constant rain e…

Winter Break

Yes, I'm calling it "winter break." It's winter time and it's a significant time out of school - we don't get another one until "spring break." Speaking of which, why is it that title of this school holiday (holiday= a period of relaxation) so controversial? Will there be another fight in April over spring break vs. Easter break? Jimminy Christmas!

The packages have been wrapped and most of the shopping has been done (stupid whipping cream!) and I'll soon be driving over the moutains and across the prairie to where it snows. There's nothing going on with the house, as no foundation contractor will call me back... so I guess I'll resume after Christmas.

Wrapping Up

For the past month, I've been completely obsessed with this whole house thing. Should I put in an offer? How much? What's wrong with the house? yadda, yadda, yadda. Even I felt it was getting tiresome. Right now it's in a holding position - I recinded the offer after the inspection revealed that a new roof was needed immediately, along with some signficant foundation work. Let me just say that 1. Inspections are wholly worth the money and 2. Cheap and easy is never a good option when it comes to your house.

Meanwhile, my students have had somewhat of a break. I've been reading A Christmas Carol to the sophomores. There's just no other way to do it. I let one period partner read for a small sections and summarize what they had read - it quickly revealed that although it was read, it was not understood. Reading aloud as a whole group is painful at best - pronounciation is difficult. They need to have someone ask questions every 5 minutes while reading to make sure the…

Life in A Small Town

among the more frustrating things about living in a small town... no press! no whoopty-dos!

since Thanksgiving, the local news has had at least one story a day about some school collecting food for the needy... the prennial food drive. Even my alma mater got into the act by raising just over $100,000 for Hurricane Katrina victims. It took them a week... and all I can say is "weak!" That's right, I'm not in the charatible spirit. Why? Well, because my students managed to gather nearly 500,000 pounds of food and money in the same amount of time! That's right a half a million! They did it without large parental donations, without teacher intervention and in a community where most of the people donating really needed that can of food. For those math whizzes out there - it's an average of 55 pounds for every man, woman and child in the town! They do it every year and get almost no credit for this for this amazing feat! I think I need to write to Oprah and get some …

Friday Night

Today I signed on to be on a collegue's professional certification team. It's an interesting position to be in... this is my 2nd year of teaching and haven't even started on my professional certificate, but here I am, signing off on someone else's. The quirks of working in a small district.

I told another teacher at the school that I was buying a house. Her response was "why!?! are you buying a house?" This was said with great incredulity. Apparently, those who are "young, single and free" should remain so... my only reply was that I'm not so young, freedom means apartments with orange counters and if I can't get married, at least I can get a dog. Anyways, I'll be sticking around for at least five years, so why not?

You know what I've discovered is missing from all those home buying advice websites? A timeline of what do after the offer has been accepted, but before closing... I've never spent so much time on the phone! Anyways, in…

Quick Update

The sellers accepted my offer! Yea! They accepted my first offer! I've offered too much! Crap! I will be moving during winter break! Plenty of time to move! Yea! On the "seller's disclosure" a problem or repair issue with "water" was noted, but there was no explanation! Crap! It's like a ride at Six Flags, Helltown.

So, I'm waiting to hear what this "water" thing is (please, God, let it be minor) and praying that the inspections comes out all right... and I don't have a stroke from the stress. I will probably die in this house, because no one is going to want to hold my hand through another buy.

Do you think it's too much to hope that everyone who said "congrats!" today will show up this summer for a house painting party?