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Monday, November 29, 2010

An Unusual Marital First

Ever since Shawn and I have been together we've spent a lot of time apart.  I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but really we have spent so much time away you could almost classify our relationship as 'long distance' at times.  It hasn't been unusual to not see one another for the better part of two weeks at a time, but we've made it work.  We've meticulously scheduled our days and nights around those few hours between our shifts and commutes.  In short, our marriage and relationship has taken a lot of work, like a doctor's office scheduling appointments, and that really isn't all that enjoyable.

But... I just realized something.

As Shawn is down in at the fire station for his two night shifts this rotation and I sit in Island Pond in our cabin, while the wind howls and blows today's snows back into the sky, and it dawned on me.  I am going to get to see Shawn every. single. day.  Holy cow. 

Since Shawn began working at the fire station he's stayed down there between his shifts to save on gas. Well, that is about to be a thing of the past.  This is his last shift rotation before we move.  Once we move we're going to be a mere two miles from the fire station (lord help me when they tone for coverage and he begins dashing from the house every single time... that's a whole 'nother post I'm sure).  Two miles means my husband comes home every day when his shift ends.  Two miles can make all the difference in the world, or, more accurately, the subtraction of 102 miles from work to your front door. 

People have always joked that the reason we get along so well is because we are apart so often... 

"Oh, you haven't seen each other since last Tuesday?  Must be nice!  That has to be great for you marriage!" 

When someone says that to me, and it happens more often than you'd think, I don't know how to respond.  Really, what do you say to that?  Insinuate that you like being apart?  I hate being apart and every time someone makes that joke it always makes think they are unhappy in their own relationship.   

Forget the jokes....
I'm excited to see what our relationship is like when we get to see each other every day like a normal couple!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stamp of Approval. Sort Of...

We received word yesterday that our loan has been approved.  Sort of...  Meaning, there are still lots of loose ends to tie up, but a letter of approval has been written.  With the holidays and everyone deciding that they are working from home or turning on their "out of the office" email auto replies the end of this past week I know little more than "We have more to work on on Monday."  I am not sure whether I should be excited or not...

Approved? Yes, Sort of.

Loose ends?  Apparently several.

Still moving on December 3rd? Yes... well, we are at least handing over the keys to the cabin to some out-of-stater who likes to snowmobile.  The closing date and time has not been finalized for the Little White Ranch just yet.  Hopefully that is one of the things that will be 'worked on on Monday'.  

Enough about all this moving nonsense.  It's stressing me out...


If you are in the mood for something uplifting (I know I am) then be sure to check out this month's photo assignment "Give Thanks".  There is still a chance to enter your own photo and be eligible for one of two $50 Amazon.com gift certificates being given to two photos.  Even if you don't feel like entering be sure to take a gander and peruse some of the inspiring and touching "thankfuls" people have submitted!

And here is something I am thankful for, mostly because I realize how few mornings I have left to enjoy this beautiful sunrise over the lake on a whim.  Soon it will have to be a long, planned out drive, to visit this lake. 

 
Ahh, sweet November Serenity.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

On this Thanksgiving Day


On this Thanksgiving day...

Someone will need an ambulance
someone's life will go up in smoke
someone will feel their safety is threatened
and we all have freedoms that are being protected.


While you sit around the table with your family and friends think of those who are not with theirs because they are protecting yours.  I will be one of them.  May your day be filled with an abundance of the good thinks in life and may you have much to be thankful for.

Thank you for stopping by my page today, and every other day.

~ Jen

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Polar Opposite of Good House Keeping

While we still have not received confirmation on the loan for our new home (can you say starting to stress out now?) we are beginning to pack in full force.   Hopefully the effort isn't all in vain...  Cross your fingers that everything will be finalized today.  I really despite things coming down to the wire.  I'm a planner and this moving nonsense is wreaking havoc with that personality trait big time.  

And now for the havoc affecting my OCD.

My house has been reduced to a pile of boxes.  Boxes, and junk that we don't need, and junk that needs to go in the boxes. Its virtually impossible to do anything in the house.  I've taken to just shutting doors as if the landfill of cardboard doesn't exist.  If you've ever had any doubt in your self esteem of house keeping, behold...




I don't think we are going to have enough boxes either.  You don't realize just how little fits into a cardboard cox.  I swear I don't have that much crap in my home, but I am beginning to feel as if I am trying out for the television show Hoarders.  Only there aren't any dead kittens burried under there.  I promise.  Just one living cat...


And he is making himself quite at home.

What the heck is it with cats and cardboard boxes anyway?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Simple Equation or Two


We are moving in TEN days (holy freakin' cow!) and  I can sum up my life right now in a few simple and easy to understand equations for everyone.

    Not finalized loan on our new home + definitely selling the cabin = still a possibility of being homeless.
    
    A house full of cardboard boxes + life = nowhere to put anything you are actually using. 
    
    Getting booted out of the cabin in ten days + only having packed THREE boxes = procrastination

    We all know what procrastination equals....

Tomorrow I will share with you the chaos that is my house because I know that it will make each and every one of you feel better about your own homes and seriously, who couldn't use a little booster for their self esteem?  I know what I could use, a dumpster, but that isn't coming until tomorrow. 



In the mean time, I have another equation for you.


+=


What do you think it equals?




 You may not be able to contain yourself due to the awesomeness of the answer




Just a warning!



Ok.



Here is the answer...



This photo reminds me of something I would have hung on my bedroom wall when I was a little girl (horses? storms? together?! OMG!) or possibly a t-shirt that Napoleon Dynamite would wear.  Either way, only one word comes to mind when I see this photo.  Epic.

If you'd like to hear more about how I created this image head on over to my Photography Blog!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Always Have a Soft Spot for the Miserable.

The other day we received an unexpected stretch of nasty weather.  In typical Vermont fashion the forecast indicated it would be sunny for a stretch of several days and then the next thing I knew we were under a winter storm watch with a threat of ice and snow.  Despite not having my snow tires on yet, when I saw the trees glistening at the higher elevations I decided to take a detour and brave the icy roads.  They are dirt after all, which provides the best traction.  


The higher I climbed up the mountain side the icier it got.  I eagerly drove in hopes of a scenic photographic opportunity when I came across a small grassy field.  Ice rimmed every single fence post and hung in glistening tendrils.  As I was mentally analyzing the scene to compose a photograph I noticed a little white horse in the corner of the pasture. 


He was not more than three feet high and draped in a mixture of melting and freezing rain.  My heart melted.  The poor little pony was absolutely miserable.  I was quickly resembling the horse the few moments I stood outside of my car.   The rain was driving down hard and I had not a coat or the proper footwear (per usual) for the weather I was facing.  None of that mattered because I didn't want to be dry.  I didn't want to rush back to my warm car.  Instead I wanted nothing more, but to comfort that poor weathered pony.  


We spent a few moments with a fence between us.  Trust was forged and comfort was exchanged.  For a brief moment he warmed my heart and I, at the very least, warmed his muzzle. While I couldn't stay or shelter him from the continuing cold rain I hoped I at least lifted his spirits enough to continue to endure it.  I  just can't seem to avoid stumbling upon and feeling the urge to make those miserable feel better, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Turning the Glass Right Side Up

Its so easy to be negative.  Really, it takes almost no effort.  The worst part is that to be positive and happy usually takes work.  Why is that?  That's completely backwards, but its true.  How often do you notice yourself being negative and scowling at the world?  I bet its more than you think...

So in an effort to not be so negative, because that seems to be all I've been doing lately, I am going to look at all my "gripes" recently and put a positive spin on them.  That's right, I am turning the glass from half empty to half full.  

I am tired of writing paper after paper for my classes and taking test after test.
But the semester is almost over.  Three weeks to go, and unless I stop doing all my work right now I am not going to fail.

Working nights is driving me crazy and making me exhausted for days on end....
But I have a reliable job that pays well and honestly, I don't usually work that hard (don't tell my boss).

Shawn has about a dozen incomplete projects around the house I continually ask him to finish...
But he wonderfully told me he will do "most of the work" when it comes to moving. I hope he knows what he volunteered for. 

Hunting season has made it so I never see Shawn and sleep alone even more than I normally do.
But hunting season will come to an end.  Soon.  Thank God.

I am working twelve hours on Thanksgiving day with the craziest and meanest woman I know
But I am NOT working Christmas or New Years!


There, I honestly feel a little better.  Older, wiser, and happier.  Like this tree.


I really have no rhyme or reason for adding this photo except that I like it and never ever do a post without some sort of photo. Why? Because photos makes me happy.  And that's what this post was all about! 

Be sure to try it yourself.  Take one thing that has you grumbling and complaining and find something, anything positive about it and focus on that.  When you find yourself complaining about it again remember that one good thing about it and you'll stop being so negative.  Remeber, no one likes Negative Nancy!  Everyone wants to be friends with Positive Pete

You're Welcome!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Trash Bag Full of Stuffed Moose

The process of packing has begun and in the inception of this rigorous process I discovered something quite interesting...

I have a lot of stuffed moose.


Yes, stuffed moose.  I collect them where ever and when ever I come across them.  Each one is different and these aren't even all of them.


I actually have enough to fill an entire trash bag.


You see, when you live in a cabin it is completely appropriate to have that many stuffed moose and plenty of different ways to arrange them throughout your house tastefully.  However, that is not the case when you live in a little white ranch in the middle of town.  Then its just weird.  I think my bag of moose and I are going to be in a pickle, or my new neighbors will just have to get used to the fact that there is a weird stuffed moose collecting lady living next to them.

Aren't you glad I shared that with you?

*Addendum*  I am not getting rid of these babies!  I just don't have enough boxes and figured a trash bag would be a good substitute for soft, squishy things.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's Wrong Winners!

You would think that I would've noticed something was wrong with my photo, but it took a friend pointing it out when I posted it on Facebook for me to realize that, yes, my goggles were upside down!  All of you are a lot quicker and more observant than I am.  Truth is, I never wear those goggles.  The elastic band is so stretch out and destroyed from numerous fires, water, and freezing temperatures that its useless.  They barely stay on my helmet and often fall off.  Probably, the last time they fell off I just shove them back up on my helmet while I was wearing it so I had no idea they were on there incorrectly.  Should I pay attention?  Probably.  Better question; should I be wearing them?  Maybe.  There's a lot of things that we all should do at a fire scene, but don't always. 

So, who pointed out my short sightedness, and inattention to my gear?  RMKop!  And I figured that it shouldn't be a race and since only six other people commented and all guessed right I randomly chose one other winner.  The randomly chosen winner is Mel!  Congratulations to you both!  Please email me at vtcabinfever(at)hotmail(dot)com with your mailing address so I can send you your print of  "Out of the Smoke".


Thanks to everyone who guessed! 

And now onto more important things... packing!  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guess what's wrong with this photo?

I never have good photos of me at the fire scene.  Mostly, that is because I am usually the person walking around with the camera, but every once and a while someone else grabs my camera and takes a few photos with it.  Its great that my firefighting buddies aren't afraid of a big professional camera (got to love the auto setting) because sometimes the photos turn out pretty darned good in their hands!


This is me.  Exhausted, after I just traded places from the nozzle to the hose, and after I hauled 400 feet of 4 inch hose a quarter of a mile to a hydrant, because the first hydrant they told me to tag was out of service.  Despite all the exhaustion its still a good photo.

But.

There is something wrong with it.

Can you tell what is wrong with this photo?  

The first person that can figure it out will receive a 8 x 12 matted copy of this photo (which I LOVE and am going to get to hang in my own home).  Also, I will randomly choose one other person who guesses correctly to receive this photo, too!  So don't feel bad if you weren't first, because you can still win.


If fire photos aren't your personal thing please pass this chance to win onto a friend who is or think instead of someone you may know who would like this as a gift!    I'll announce the winner (or winners) in a day or so, once you guys correctly identify what is wrong with that first photo above of me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Hunting Season Tradition

This post actually has nothing to do with hunting, whatsoever.  What it more likely has to do with is firefighting and how some always inevitably burns down during hunting season in our small town.  It also is about what will probably be my last structure fire on my small town fire department.  *tear

Shawn was toiling outside with the four wheeler, preparing it for his annual trek up to hunting camp, when suddenly the pager when off.  I was relaxing on the couch, for what seemed to be the first time in months, when the jarring "beep beep beep" nearly caused me to have a seizure.  My first instinct was to reach for the pager and mute it.  I wasn't on duty for the ambulance and was annoyed that my solidarity had been fractured.  Then I heard the fire department tone.  We had a fire call.

I raced outside with the pager in my hand so my husband could hear the dispatch.  He was revving the four wheeler and too far away to hear what I was being dispatched.  Instead of stopping what he was doing he just looked at me, confused, and continue to rev the four wheeler as I waved my arms as if an airplane were about to land in our yard.  Finally he understood what I was yelling.  "Structure Fire!" 

In a whirl wind of activity I ran through the house to grab shoes, put the dogs away, and grab my camera.  Shawn laid on the horn in the driveway, impatient as ever, wanting to get to the fire station as fast as he could.  n the way to the station, as Shawn began taking command from his portable radio and simultaneously driving, we saw a sight that makes the hair on the arms and back of the neck of a firefighter stand up.


Thick, dark, curling smoke.  Its not the kind of clean, white smoke you get from burning brush.  Smoke like that means something is burning, something big and full of manufactured/treated materials.  i.e.: a house.


On the back of our open cab engine, as the warm sun beamed on my face and the wind whipped at my hair I leaned out the side to glimpse at what we were facing.  The smoke snarled darker and heavier.  Over the radio I heard them say "fully involved."


As we pulled up we glanced in awe at what appeared to be a house, but was barely recognizable through the curtain of flames that enveloped it.  I barely had time to take it all in before Shawn was shouting orders at me and another young firefighter.  He had transformed from darling husband to demanding chief.  Before I could catch my breath I was hauling hundreds of feet of hose from one hydrant and to another.  Then immediately after I was thrown on a nozzle.  Things move so very fast at the beginning of a fire scene when the adrenaline is fresh and pumping strong in your veins.  



My arms were already sore from my quarter mile run with 600 feet of 4 inch hose that the 100lbs of pressure behind the stream of water was enough to make my arms feel like jello.  When other firefighters arrived I gladly took a break and shared the fun.  One thing I have learned about men and women when it comes to fighting fires is that women know when to take a moment and breath.  Men... they just go until they are ragged and no use to anyone.  Share the work, that's my motto.  

And boy was there a lot of work to go around. 




The sun set on our shoulders...


And the moon rose high overhead. 


In the end an excavator had to be called in to finish the job.  Our hands and tools couldn't fully extinguish the fire which had sunk into the basement and hid there, illuminating it through holes in the rubble like a dragon's lair.  Bit by bit the house was pulled apart and the basement resurrected. 


In the end nothing remained of the house.  Not a single thing more than charred, century old lumber, and ashes.  No lives were endangered.  The house had been abandoned for decades and was 'accidentally' set aflame by the current owner who was landscaping the surrounding property and leaving burning branches in close proximity to the house unattended. 

In the darkness of a cool November night, where, like spring, the air grows cold as soon as the sun leaves and even colder once the adrenaline fades, we stood in the station after everything was cleaned and put back in its proper place with soot on our faces and aches in our back.  The smell of smoke seeped off our clothes.  I'll remember that night, that smell, and those aches.  Its the best feeling to leave with when you know its probably your last fire. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Breaking throught Boundries

My last post "Are Religion and Uniforms a Bad Mix" was a little bit unusual for me and my blog.  Usually I don't write opinionated posts on my blog for fear of angering some, driving away others, and lack of shared discussion.  It's been a sort of imaginary boundary that I had set up for myself and the blog.  However, all of you visiting my page have taught me something, that opinionated topics are fun, good to put out there to the world, and well worth the effort to write. 

I thoroughly enjoy reading everyone's comments.  The ideas that you present are great and the debate/discussion has been quite lively.  Perhaps from now on I will throw in an opinion piece, or two, that I usually quell before my mind translates it to the keyboard.  It will only spur interaction between us all and show you a little more of my opinionated side, which by golly, I do have!


If you never push the boundaries you don't know what you're missing out on.


If I had never crossed onto that bridge and ignored that sign I would've missed out on this incredible view.  What a shame, huh?   And so it applies to my blogging.  If I never write about my opinion you will never really know who I am and I will never really get to know who you are, either!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are Religion and Uniforms a Bad Mix?

I am a fan of a Duggars and have been for years.  Their ultra-conservative and almost carnival-esque reproducing skills intrigue me.  As the television show's seasons have progressed the episodes have shifted focus from the mundane daily tasks they complete in adaptive, unique ways, to more out of character challenges that seem fitting with the longevity of the show and a necessary content filler when there are not impending babies.  In the latest challenge the Duggars chronicled the experience of two of the older Duggar daughters joining the local fire department.  When their excessively modest lifestyle collides with the ambulance it creates a dilemma pinning their religious beliefs against professional uniforms. 

If you have never seen the Duggars they, like other ultra-conservative Christains, believe that women should not wear pants.  The Duggar women never separate their legs with fabric, but rather wear below the knee length skirts at all times. 


It is this religious clothing choice that creates the uniform dilemma the girls face in the television episode.  When they join the fire department with ambitions to follow the footsteps of their brother and untilize their first responder training they discover something horrifying to their beliefs.  Pants.  

The traditional uniform in an ambulance for both men and women are specifically designed pants and boots.  The rationalization behind the uniform is like any uniform, functionality, safety, and fostering a cohesiveness amongst the crew that is distinguishable from lay people on an emergency scene.  Basically, if you're at an accident scene you want to be able to easily pick out the EMTs from the injured and the EMTs need to be safe and able to care for others in all different types of weather and situations.  



To bridge the gap between skirt and pant the Duggar girls went to a local army navy store and purchased EMS pants.  They then converted said pants into a below the knee length skirt to wear on the ambulance for the local fire department.  With cameras and television crew in tow the girls walked into the tiny town's fire department and confronted the chief with their outfit in hopes of mass compliments and acceptance of it for ambulance duty.  Topping off their ensemble, each girl's shoes were simple flats that  were a cross between sandals and Mary Janes.  Under the bright lights of the production crew the chief mumbled "ok" in regards to the uniform and as the girls left he could be heard snickering at what had just transpired.  

As a female EMT/firefighter I can't help, but to feel dismayed and disappointed in the Duggar's idea of integration of their beliefs into the EMS and fire service, especially with the intimidation of a television camera.  While the preservation of religious beliefs is very important to me I can't help, but to feel the Duggar's attire as innappropriate for the job they are trying to fulfill.  Skirts are just not meant for the ambulance.

So, why shouldn't skirts be acceptable on an ambulance?  Anyone that has worked as an EMT (as I have for the better part of a decade) will tell you that the job is not an easy one.  Patients can be anywhere from the bottom of ditches, laying in the middle of icy roads, and up five flights of stairs with no elevator.  Skills have to be preformed in darkness and cramped space.  A skirt severely inhibits range of motion and control of one's lower body, which is desperately needed on the job.  Wearing something such as a skirt risks the EMT not being able to provide the best care possible.  Ultimately that is the only job of an EMT.

While the Duggar daughters accepted the fact that they wouldn't be able to fight fires, because they realized they couldn't somehow run into a burning building wearing a skirt, they refuse to acknowledge that wearing a skirt is just as controversial in an ambulance as it is on the fire scene.  
I won't even discuss the shoes....

Safety aside, women in the line of fire and EMS, have worked to utter exhaustion for decades to shed the discrimination and stigma associated with their gender.  For the Duggar daughters, on television broadcasted across the nation, to don skirts and demand distinction in their way of dress from their male counterparts is beyond disappointing.  It boils down to a laze fair view of the prehospital profession and that  is what makes it so difficult for anyone to be paid a fair wage in what is already the lowest paid health care career.

While some, or many, of you may not agree, I think that the Duggar daughters should not be allowed to work on the ambulance if they do not uphold the same uniform standards as the other EMTs.  I also think that it is completely unfair of them to force the issue with the fire department chief on camera for their popular television show where he was pressured to make a decision under scrutiny of religious and public eyes who lack the understanding as to why uniforms are so integral to emergency work.  If the girls felt doing the job compromised their beliefs they should have considered if the job was right for them at all. 

Do you agree?  Disagree?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Of Psych and Mental Health

We've moved on into the Psych rotation of my RN year.  Its not an easy topic.  I find that the more I read in my textbook the more I examine myself and that's when I start to wonder just how many psychoses I could manifest just by studying.  

Studying psych so much these last few weeks has also made me realize something and finally listen to many of those around me.  I am doing too dang much.  As I read over Maslow's Heirarchy of needs I was realizing how little of it I meet on a regular basis. 



Most of the time I am somewhere down at the physiological level.  If I fulfill my basic needs it is a good day. There is not time for anything extra.  If I delve deeper in to my psych book it talks of the consequences of such a lifestyle as leading to varying forms of psychoses.  No thank you.   

Just to put into perspective my last week has been like this:
Thursday: Sleep all afternoon.  Work all night.
Friday:  Sleep all afternoon.  Work all night
Saturday: Immediately leave work and go to the rescue squad and work for 24 hours
Sunday: Try and cram in four hours of being awake with Shawn. Sleep all afternoon. Work all night
Monday: Immediately leave work for to clinicals all day.  Sleep a few hours in the evening. Work all night. 

Do you see anything fun in that schedule?  Do you see any down time in that schedule?  No?  I don't either, and that is a huge problem.  

Despite having our home loan currently in the works of being processed and our incomes under scrutiny I am at the point where my cup has overflowed and I am yelling "when". Honestly, I thought I could hold out until the loan was processed in a week or two, but I don't think I can.  Its come to the point where I am going to have to take a stand for myself and my mental and go talk to my boss.  I'm going to have to be a part time employee.  Will she keep me employed?  I hope so...


If only life were more like the Maslow Heirarchy of Hats.  Life would be so much simpler.  Not to mention, something eccentric sure would brighten up the situation.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heavens to Etsy!

If you follow my photography blog or NEKPhotography on Facebook then you may already know, but I wanted to spread the news that my photos are finally on Etsy!  After some debate, a lot of research, and watching other's grow in Etsy I decided to jump onto the band wagon.  




Now you can easily (and cheaply) purchase my photos as well as other products featuring my photography.  In fact, remember those Christmas cards I mentioned a while back?  Well they are up and available in my Etsy store!  I'll be adding more photos and more products as the days pass, but figured this would be a great way to start. 

There is also a banner on the sidebar of the page that updates as I post new photos and products so keep your eyes peeled.  Thank you to all of you who have provided feedback and comments. Any and all constructive criticism how I make my photos available to you is always appreciated. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

This One Time on Chat Roulette

This is what happens when good friends unite while on the job and there is a lack of constructive work to be done...


A Halloween sale at the local Rite Aid + boredom + a webcam = a hilarious hour spent on Chat Roulette.  It may or may not be the best/worst spent company time ever.  I will also add that there is a lot more male nudity on there than necessary.  Seriously guys. No one wants to see that.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reunited and it Feels so Good

I'm doing a twenty four hour shift today at the good 'ol rescue squad.  What was my regular home away from home has been a distant thought the last few months since I started my nursing job.  Its been a month since I've back boarded someone or put someone on an EKG.  Part of me really misses it all and some days its a really big part. 


Today is one of those days.  As tired as I am after working all night I'm facing the possibility of running my behind off until sometime Sunday morning and I am actually excited about it.  The ambulance is where I grew up and became who I am.  Its where I was challenged physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Its a job like none-other and as much as I love nursing it doesn't fill the void left by my absence from emergencies.  I still need an adrenaline fix in my life and I still need the uncertainty  and challenge that 911 calls bring. Almost more importantly I  need to spend time with my fellow crew members who are like an extension of my family. 


And nothing beats a day spent with 'family'. 
(yes that is us playing rock band at work) 

Especially when its a day of movies, BBQ wings, and practicing treating pelvic fractures just for fun.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Little White Ranch.

That's what I am calling the new house.  The little white ranch.  Technically its more gray, but I think that white is a catchier, more pleasant color.  So, hence forth, we are going to be making the transition from The Cabin to The Little White Ranch. 

So where did this Little White Ranch come from? 
Well, to be honest, I had pretty much crossed ranch houses off of our list before we even started.  I've always had this preconception that I didn't like them.  When our Realtor said he added one to the list on our second day of house hunting I politely told him "Oh, I don't like ranch houses.  We don't need to spend the time. "  to which he, a man much wiser and older than I, replied "Well, you know what I've learned in all these years of selling houses?  Its that people don't have a gosh-darned clue what they really like until they buy it."  And ain't that the truth. 


Are there any photos?
Being the stellar photographer and blogger that I am I completely neglected to take any photos what-so-ever while I was touring the house with my husband.  All I have to share with you are the ones from the real estate listing.  I know. I suck.  Enjoy theses pixelated photos that don't really do the place justice, but they will give you some sort of idea what we are getting ourselves into

The front of the house. Complete with attached garage (crucial for the '68 stang)
The back of the house.  It even has a tiny little deck that is pretty darn private

There is nothing behind the house except steep terrain and a lot of trees.  For being right in town its pretty private!


The interior has hardwood floors and is meticulously clean.  All the walls are white so that means I can pick new colors!


So what made me decide on The Little White Ranch
I'm a big list making person (if you haven't noticed from past posts) so I figured why not illustrate it like that!
  • Its proximity to the fire station.  Two miles.  Three minutes (four if you catch a red light or two).  
  • Its proximity to the interstate.  A little over a mile to the on ramp.  Makes my drive to work a heck of a lot easier and getting anywhere else simple. 
  • The cuteness.  When I say cute I am referring to the size and layout.  Shawn wouldn't call it cute.  He would probably say 'practical'.  Its not too much house for us to keep up with and its big enough so that if we decide to expand our family from two to more then we have the room. 
  • It doesn't need any work done before we can move into it.  Being that we aren't millionaires I've found out that most houses in our price range require some sort of work.  Neither Shawn or I are carpenters.  We fix people, not houses.
  • It can be improved upon.  One of my biggest things about buying a home was finding one we could make better.  That way when we want to sell it we can boast an improved home value.  The basement can easily be finished and the kitchen would be fabulous if it was redone with granite counters and more cabinets.  
  • Privacy.  Any place in town has neighbors.  This one has only one and a half.  The half being a house well off put to the left and behind tucked into some trees.  With a steep bank and trees out back its quiet and peaceful. 
  • The garage.  Just because I know Shawn would want me to add it to the list. 
  • Trick or Treaters and Christmas lights.  I grew up in a house where kids came to our door begging for candy and the neighbors all tried to see who's house was decorated the nicest for Christmas.  That's something I really will be happy to have in my own home. 

So when am I moving?
December 3rd. 
As long as the sale of the cabin goes through without a hitch we will give away keys to our Northeast Kingdom home in the morning and be handed keys to this Hartford home in the afternoon.  That makes for one heck of a busy day!  I think I am going to have to request a vacation day from work... 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good News! I won't have to be a Hobo!


So, why won't I have to be a hobo?

Because we finally have made a deal!


 Ok. So its not cabin in the middle of nowhere (sigh), but its going to be our home!

Just when we were about to throw in the towel, when we thought we'd have to scramble to find an apartment, when we were suffering migraines, and the stress was beginning to get to us we received the call we had been waiting on.  The little old lady accepted our offer.  By the time she did, though, I had had my fill of little old ladies.

Almost a week ago we made our first offer.  It was three whole days before we heard anything back.  As we sat on pins and needles this little old lady did lord knows what and then decided to reject our offer.  She countered, but only reduced her price by half the rate we were increasing it.  She clearly thought there was a gold mine in the basement of her little white ranch.  Then another day and a half passed before we heard anything, only to have our second offer rejected.  So we made another offer to her counter offer and said that it was our final offer. 

A half a week had passed since our first offer and with the closing date on our cabin creeping up we were beginning to feel the pressure increase as the time began to crunch.  Another entire day passed after our final offer was made.  Early the next morning we received a phone call.  Rejection.  The lady had gone against the advice of her own Real Estate broker and turned down our 'final offer'.  My head reeled with thoughts of worries.  Where would we live?  Would we be able to keep our dogs?  Did we make the right decision selling our home to begin with?

In a last ditch effort to not end up homeless or to develop stress induced stomach ulcers we threw  out another 'final offer' to the old lady where we agreed to pay an extra thousand dollars more towards the closing costs than we initially offered.  For some reason that little bit was enough to get her to change her mind.  She accepted, we nearly fainted, and a million and a half pounds were lifted from my shoulders.  Whatever her reason for stonewalling was I won't ever understand, but she sure strung us along. 


So I am making a resolution... when I grow up to be a little old lady I'm never going to be that little old lady!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This Post is not Really a Post. Really.

Maybe its just me, but I think I see the beginning of a cool children's book here!  Or maybe working nights is making me weird(er?).  I'll let you decide what is more valid.


 I call it "Goodbye Sun. Hello Moon"

Or alternately titled

"The weird things 4am will inspire you to do"



I know I've been lacking substance in my blog lately.  Honestly there has been a ton going on, but everything is still ongoing so I am not going to blog about it yet.  What the heck am I talking about?  Well, house stuff of course!  

We're knee neck deep in Real Estate ventures at the moment, but the outcome is not really certain at this point. I've never been a fan of ping pong and that's what it feels like I am playing, a giant game of ping pong that is 100% less fun.  Instead of a fifty cent plastic ball going back and forth its real dollars and our futures.  That's why I haven't blogged about what the heck we've been persuing, because its really only half done and still up in the air.  Shawn and I are stressed to the gills.  In about a month we face being homeless, seriously, unless we find a new house or an apartment that doesn't care that we have three dogs AND a cat. Preliminary searches haven't been too fruitful and our eggs are pretty much entirely in one basket.  Its a little daunting and indecisive old ladies really aren't helping our blood pressures.  Apparently, nothing in our lives comes easy, but if it did that wouldn't make a very interesting life, would it? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

We Shouldn't Need a Reminder, But....

When November rolls around and we are sitting contently in our warm homes stuffing our face with left over Halloween candy we begin to think of the next Holiday.  Thanksgiving.  It appears ever so briefly, just half a breath between jack-o-laterns and Christmas lights its snugged into the end of the month when most of us are watching our checking account balances and planning out sale shopping for the following morning.  Its about the same time when we all take that half a breath to stop and realize that we need to be thankful for what we have.

Its kind of a shame it takes the month of November for us to think like that..

But in honor of "Be Thankful Month", as I'd rather call November, the new photo assignment topic is "Giving Thanks".  I want everyone to take their camera and focus on what fills up their cup of life.  If you don't have a camera at least take the opportunity to search around you and smile over the good things that grace your every day. 

Giving Thanks = finding the beauty in what we see everyday.


Me? 

What am I thankful for?

Oh, so many things.

I am thankful we sold our home.
Houses in town and all around us have sat on the market for years.  Ours sold in five months.

I am thankful for my job and my husband's job
So many people around us are unemployed and without work.  My husband and I have multiple jobs and are financially stable.  That kind of security is something I am grateful for every single day.

I am thankful for my family (and husband)
Every day I have someone on either my side of the family or my husband's that I run in to, calls me, texts, or facebooks me over something or the other.  Just know there are people, even if they aren't close, that care about the everyday happenings in my life floods me with happiness.

I am thankful for my pets.
Where I would be without my beagles, lab, and cat I do not know.  Their wagging tails and warm, furry, happiness that greets me every time I come home after a long day (or night, rather) or work is the most uplifting thing in the world. 

I am thankful for my photography
For years I felt as if I was destine to be mediocre at life.  My sister was a nationally ranked gymnast.  My other sister was third in her class of over two hundred.  I was neither an athlete or a super brain.  Then I put my face behind a lens and something great happened.  It amazes me and makes me impossibly happy to receive comments for my work. 

I am thankful for all of you!
For those of you that have made my page a regular stop on your internet browsing, who have sent me emails, commented, and shared your thoughts I thank you.  It proves that there are good people in this world and just how connected we all really are.