Friday, October 12, 2007

California Here I Come

Since the summer got away from us, and we never made it back for a visit, the kids and I are headed out west for a few weeks of visiting family and friends. My mom is flying out here late next week, and the next morning we're all headed off in the minivan for the long, long drive. We're planning on making it a two day trip with just one night on the road. We'll have to see how it goes. That reminds me I need to find a hotel in El Paso. Why the quick turn around? My mom didn't take the next week off work. Her friend who lives out here in Plano is very disappointed. But she's driving back with us in the middle of November, and will spend a couple of days before flying back home. So all is not lost. Brave soul that that my mom is, spending a couple of days in the car with four kids/babies, just so I don't try to make the trip by myself I'm sure. She must really love me.

So poor Vince is wondering what he is going to do with himself while we're gone, and who's going to feed him. I say enjoy the silence, and eat whatever he darn well pleases. Chocolate for dinner! No little ones to set a bad example for. Enjoy. Love that he is though, for our wedding anniversary last month, he gave me the pasta roller attachment for my Kitchen Aid. And not just the roller set, but also some extra cutting attachments, and the ravioli attachment. So I've been a pasta-making-fiend lately. Tonight for dinner: crab ravioli with beurre blanc. I froze the extra uncooked ravioli and some fettuccine so those will be waiting for a quick boil for dinner while were gone. I'm sure he'll be fine.

But I've done it once again, it's now midnight and I've got to get to bed. Time to slide on my CPAP and get some sleep. I swear I can't say (write) "CPAP" without thinking "pap smear". It's the whole "pap" part. Where else do you ever use that?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Color Me Dissapointed

Vince and I are in the process of looking at some properties, finally settling down on which parts of the DFW area we might want to purchase a house. Unfortunately this is easier said than done. Currently, Vince works a good 1 to 1 1/2 hours away from where we live. And while he says he doesn't mind an hour long commute for the right house/property, I'd like to be closer just in case I may need him home in a hurry in case of an emergency. So we've been focusing our attention on the Fort Worth and outlying areas since that is where he is currently working. But, he hates his supervisor. Like would like to take him out in a fist fight kind of hates. And while his supervisor, we'll call him "Dang" since apparently that is actually his name, doesn't treat Vince poorly, he treats Vince's female co-workers so bad that Vince is just ready to take him out. Needless to say, Vince doesn't plan on staying there any longer than he has to. So the big question is, where will he end up, and therefore where should we end up? But putting all that aside, because as I said before, he doesn't mind a long commute for the right house/property we've been looking. And the good news is that I found a house that I thought may be a great compromise between me wanting a nice house, and him wanting some land. I found this house in Fort Worth, right off the lake (the next door neighbor has lake access from their backyard), on .90 acres. O-kay, not the ten acres he wanted, but not the 5 bedroom I wanted either. But life is all about compromise, right?

So here is the house. Pretty, no? 3,300 to 3,400 square feet. Not big by Texas standards, but definitely bigger than anything we've ever lived in. Nice size lot, in a quiet upscale area.

Cool porte-coche (drive through) entrance. Play sized swimming pool in the back yard which is separately gated from the rest of the back yard, for the kids safety. And the bonus was that is it a foreclosure so it can be had for a steal. Tax roll valued at $460K, but current asking price is $285K. Perfect, right? Yea, unfortunately, no. First off, the house looks great from the outside, but not so great from the inside. It just wasn't designed well. For a house of this size you would think it would have a formal dining room. Or at least an eat-in area of the kitchen that we could fit our table in. Second, the master bedroom was so narrow, we couldn't fit our queen size bed in comfortably. We'd have to switch to bunk-beds and push them up against the wall. I don't think Vince would ever agree to bunk-beds. For the kids maybe, but not for us. The other bedrooms just seemed small, and then the game-room was just weird. It's located above the garage, so you walk through this hallway, which is actually walking over the porte-coche. Which is fine because it's removed from the rest of the house, which equals noise reduction, which is always good. But is has a balcony, which is always nice, but instead of installing french doors or the like, it had this set of windows that is more like a garage door that is actually rigged to a set of tracks on either side and on the ceiling so the windows raise up and roll, like an actual garage door. It was just bizarre. And then there was the half bath in the game room. Just big enough for a toilet and a pedestal sink. But the sink was mounted into a barrel. A barrel like for aging chardonnay. Or the kind of barrel one of those rodeo clowns hide in to get away from a charging bull. So in order to get to the toilet, you have to suck it in, and ooch past this barrel just to get to the toilet, then stand beside the toilet, because you can't shut the door standing in front of the sink, just to go pee. And I don't know about you, but suck it in when I have to go pee? No, I don't think so. Oh, and there are windows in the Texas basement. That's the space under the stairs, which is the room you're supposed to go to when the storm sirens go off. Windows in my storm shelter? That's just stupid. I mean really, what's the point? So overall, it just wasn't the house for us. And I was so excited by what I saw on paper. So now I'm feeling a bit jaded, and the houses I look at on-line I find myself looking for their weakness. In the meantime I think we need to contact our landlord, because our lease is up the beginning of December, and I don't see us finding a house anytime soon.