Wednesday, May 19, 2004

If It Was Meant To Be...

I keep telling myself that.

I'm waiting on word from a realtor in Hawaii about a rental house (or, as they say in Oklahoma, a Rent House).

We have been looking for the longest time just to get an idea of how easy/difficult it would be to find a 4 bedroom/2 bath house that will allow pets and be in a good school district. They are few and far a matter of fact, this is the first one we've seen in three months. We assumed we would have to compromise - either go with a three-bedroom (ack!!), leave the dog behing (hmmm....), or deal with not-so-good schools.

So, Saturday night I checked a few website and up popped a rental house with 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2800 square feet, fenced yard (pets allowed), in an incredible neighborhood with great schools. It is available in mid-July, soon after we arrive. The rent is $3,000 per month, a bit higher than we hoped to pay, but worth it if we don't have to compromise on anything else.

I e-mailed the realtor immediately and she sent me some photos. That's when I got too excited - I called the Hubster in Japan and we talked about it. We always said we would never rent a place without seeing it first, but this time we might have to make an exception. By this time it was 3 a.m. (9 p.m. Hawaiian time). I e-mailed the realtor and asked if I could call her and talk about the house, or if it would be better to wait until Sunday or Monday.

She said she'd call me on Sunday or Monday. I guess it was too late, Lol!

She called Monday afternoon and we talked. She was very nice and sent me a rental application, which I immediately filled out and returned.

So now we are waiting. She said we may know something by tomorrow or Friday.

It would be so great to not have to live in Temp Lodging for weeks while trying to find a place to live. The kids are concerned about schools - they want to know where they will be going, the classes that are offered, extra-curricular activities, etc. Moves are stressful enough - this would make it SO much easier!!

If it was meant to be.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Passion Fashion

First, it's not what you're thinking!!

Way back when we lived in Oklahoma, the Diva had a friend who had the coolest pair of sandals (by Diva standards). I never saw them, but spent many, many hours shoe-store hopping with her in search of these sandals.

My Diva described them as "flat, rope sandals". Of course, I was picturing jute string sandals, or something similar. On more than one occasion, I would spot a pair of jute sandals in a shoe store and ask the Diva if those were the shoes she was searching for.

I always got "the look" in return. The one that says, "Mom, I love you, but those are the ugliest sandals I have ever seen and if you think I would wear them you're out of your mind."

Fast Forward to last week.

The kids each get 30 minutes of semi-supervised internet time each day. My Diva usually chats with her friends or searches for cars that she thinks we might want to buy her when she turns sixteen.

Last Monday, in the middle of her internet time, she suddenly started bouncing up and down in the chair and letting out a series of squeals, grunts, and other random noises. When she called me over, I assumed it was another "really good deal" on a Land Rover or a 4Runner.

Instead, it was The Sandals.

She was near hysterics, "Can I get them? Can I get them? Can I get them...canIgetthem?!?!?!?"

I was finally going to get a glimpse of The Sandals:


OMG!!! She's been searching for Jesus Sandals?!?!?!?!!

From that moment on, they have been known as The Jesus Sandals.

I let her order the sandals, and it was a L-O-N-G six days before they finally arrived! Every day she would ask if I thought they might come that day, like I have inside information on things like that. Every day she would turn into Pissed Off Diva when the UPS man didn't bring her Jesus Sandals.

On Thursday she was totally expecting them to arrive. I asked if she would be wearing them to school. She gave me The Look and said of course she would wear them to school. I explained that I wasn't sure simply because at her school a lot of students wore gothic clothes, skanky outfits, and gangsta wear, but I hadn't seen any Passion Fashion at her school. She wasn't amused.

On Friday it rained and the open hallways of her school were flooded. I teased her and said if she had been wearing her Jesus Sandals she could have walked across that water. Again, she wasn't amused.

So....Praise The Lord!! The Jesus Sandals finally arrived on Monday!!

On Tuesday she was off to school, Jesus Sandals and all.

When I picked her up I inquired about the response to her Passion Fashion. She said when she walked into her first class that morning, a classmate looked at her and said, "Slammin' shoes, Diva!" It made her day.

The rest of the day was a lot more of the same. She said everyone loved the Jesus Sandals and asked where she got them because they wanted a pair.

This is where it gets tricky.

She lied. She said you can't get them in this state, that her friend from Oklahoma sent them to her. You can't find them on the internet either, sorry. She always hates when people try to imitate her.

Very Un-Jesus-Like, if you ask me.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

He Said WHAT!!!?!?!?!?

So, I was talking to the Hubster today about his sister's credit problems. She wants to buy a house, but is still reeling from a marriage to a con artist who ruined her financially. She's deaf and sometimes doesn't quite understand what she's getting herself into. For example, since his credit rating is as low as it can go, he convinced her to buy a new van in HER name only - at 25% interest!! Now they are divorced and she's still paying the bills.

She and her 8 year-old son have been living with my in-laws for nearly a year now while she pays off some bills and saves some money to buy a house.

I've been working with her (via e-mail since they are 2.5 hours away), doing some budgeting and shuffling things around so she's no longer paying on a 25% loan. I did some research and found some programs that help low-income first time home buyers get a mortgage at a reasonable rate with no money down. The state has a great program and their website lists lenders, by county, that participate.

Thus the phone call.

The hubster and I were discussing his sister's financial situation, and I told him all about this state-run program. It sounded ideal for someone like her. The phone call went like this:

Me: ....blah, blah, blah. The website has a list of lenders in her county who can help her get a mortgage. It even has phone numbers, so it couldn't be simpler.

Him: You know what you need to do? Get on the phone and call a few of those banks. Explain her situation and ask what the likelihood is that they could help her, blah, blah, blah.

(Keep in mind that he is halfway around the world and I am here with four children, including an infant, and I am trying to organize an OCONUS move in my spare time.)

Me: Maybe it would be better if your mom made some phone calls. She is right there, so it would be easier.

Him: She really doesn't have time now that she's babysitting Janet's (his other sister) kids twice a week.

Me: LOLOLOLOlololololol...............

Him: (silence)

Me: Do you hear what you're saying???!!??

Him: (silence)

Me: I'm here with FOUR kids, running around like a crazy person trying to get everyone everyplace on time and home again without any help, PLUS all this moving stuff, blah, blah, blah.... And your mom can't make a couple phone calls because she babysits two kids twice a week?!?

Him: (long pause) But you're smarter than she is.

Dang! He got me there.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I Feel Good....

So....tonight I went for a run for the first time in a year. And it felt GOOD!!

I have a history of miscarriages, so I avoided running during my pregnancy. I walked and did the stair-stepper, but no jogging for me. I was surprised how much I missed it and couldn't wait to hit the pavement again. Having a c-section made the recovery time longer. When the Blonde One was born I tried to push it and regretted it immediately. I learned my lesson the hard way. This time I waited until I was certain everything was okay.

My Little Guy is 3.5 months and I am still nursing, so that makes it tricky. I have to feed him, put on double jogging bras, and get out the door ASAP. If I wait too long, it's a bit painful. To further complicate things, the Hubster is gone, and I'm not comfortable with the Diva babysitting unless the Little Guy is asleep.

So my night went like this: Feed the baby, rock the baby, put the baby to bed. Dang! The baby woke up. Rock the baby, put the baby to bed, check the clock. Change into running clothes. Ooops, he's up again. Feed the baby some more, rock the baby, put the baby to bed.

It's 10:15 and I'm out the door. Finally.

My goal was to run two miles, but it was late and I would have had to go down a dark street in order to do the two-mile loop. Instead I would run our street, a .6 mile loop, three times.

Lap one was great.

Lap two was more difficult - I forgot my headphones and was beginning to get bored.

Lap three was tough, but halfway through I felt great and sprinted the remaining distance.

Total run time: 18 minutes.
Total prep time: 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Hey, it's a start!!

Monday, May 03, 2004

Pondering the Meaning of Life

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It started a while ago when I saw a "For Sale" sign on a house down the street.

When the Hubster and I took our househunting trip last year, we looked at quite a few houses before we finally found one that we both fell in love with. We loved the house, we loved the yard, we loved the location, and we loved the neighborhood. As we were driving away, we both noticed a Marine Corps flag proudly flying with the Stars and Stripes a few houses down the street. That's when we knew we had found 'our place'.

I only met the couple who lived there once, briefly. He was a retired Marine, from the WWII era. He and his wife had been together since high school. They were the cutest couple I had ever met. I would drive by in the morning and they would be sitting in their screened patio having coffee and reading the newspaper. They would take evening walks with their 'baby' - a German Shepard who probably outweighed each of them.

One morning I noticed that she was having her coffee alone. There were no more evening walks. She would stand on her porch and let the dog run in the park across the street while she watched.

Word travels fast in our little neighborhood - she could no longer care for her husband, the WWII Marine. He had been moved to a "retirement" home.

She continued to have her morning coffee alone, then head off to the retirement home to spend the day with her husband. It made me so sad every time I saw her alone. The "Friends at Home" household assistance van was parked in her driveway more and more frequently.

I meant to stop by and visit with her - really. However, with the Hubster being gone, three kids to care for, and a newborn.....well, it never happened.

About a month ago the "For Sale By Owner" sign went up in her yard. It wasn't too long after that when the "Sale Pending" sign was added. She could no longer live alone and was moving to the "retirement" home.

This weekend as I was leaving for church I noticed a U-Haul in the driveway being loaded with household goods. As I drove past their house, I saw her in the back patio having coffee and reading the paper - with her husband by her side. He was in a wheelchair and appeared to be asleep, but it was wonderful to see them together again.

He had come home one last time.

I wanted to stop and chat, but they seemed to be having their own private moment and I certainly didn't need to interrupt it.

The U-Haul was loaded and taken to the nursing home. The remainder of their household items were packed in one of those PODS Storage containers and taken away. And that was it.

They've both lived eighty-some years and all that's left is a POD full of "trash" and life in a nursing home. It leaves me wondering why we are really here. Is it about the legacy? The experiences? It certainly can't be about the "trash". I don't know.....

So with that on my mind, I got a phone call from my brother on Sunday night and learned that my dad had just been hospitalized with heart problems. He has been having episodes where his heart just stops and he blacks out for a few seconds, sometimes more. He never mentioned them to anyone, and no one ever really put it all together and figured out what was happening. Tomorrow he is having a pacemaker put in, and that should fix things for him. Thank you all for your prayers.