June 30, 2005

Blog Slowdown

I know I haven't been posting very often lately, and it's not that I haven't had opinions on the TomKat weirdness or exciting escrow adventures, its just that I'm exhausted. Work is hard. This buying a house thing is stressing me out. There have been car problems all over in the last week.

Life is just kicking my ass right now.

I'm still reading and commenting, but the slowdown will likely last for another couple of weeks as we continue to pack and prepare for the big move. I promise that blog-life will return to normal here as my own life returns to some sort of normal pattern.

Posted by Ensie at 06:42 PM | Comments (4)

June 26, 2005

The Lost Weekend

I'll be glad when the weekend gets here...

What? You mean it's already happened? When?


I missed it. I was too busy clearing our entire backyard and cleaning our house like it has never been cleaned before. I am rapidly losing the ability to think--typing this blog entry took me 13 minutes.

Posted by Ensie at 07:29 PM | Comments (2)

June 22, 2005

Meme stolen from Eden

What 5 Things do you miss about your childhood?

But first the rules to this meme game:

Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross pollination effect.

1. Ivy Tied Up - http://www.ivytiedup.com
2. This is Ali - http://www.thisisali.com/weblog
3. End Of The World - http://andifeelfine.blogspot.com/
4. so anyway... - http://piggyhawk.blogspot.com
5. both hands – http://bothhands.mu.nu/

Next: select new friends to add to the pollen count. (No one is obligated to participate).

1. Violet: Forward Motion
2. Frinklin: Frinklin Speaks
3. Dawn: Tiny Voices In My Head
4. Jen: All Things Jennifer

Your turn:


2. Lying in bed, talking and laughing with my late grandmother, Nana.

3. Summer vacations that lasted forever

4. Wearing my bathing suit like a uniform for the entire summer

5. Healthier gums (how come no one tells you about receding gum lines?)

I tried to find physical things that I miss about being a kid, but most of the time what I really miss are the feelings of safety and trust, and the people I loved that are now gone.

Posted by Ensie at 06:42 PM | Comments (2)

Mortgage Broker = Spaz

Now that I've left a crazy-person message on my new boss' voice mail about needing a new letter, it looks like Mortgage Broker is just an asshat and freaked for no reason.

Hence, time spent in the car on the way home from work this evening contemplating how to craft the message I will leave tomorrow asserting that I am, in fact, not a crazy person, and it's my mortgage broker who is driving me insane.

Posted by Ensie at 06:18 PM | Comments (2)

Who can I yell at?

There has to be someone else as I've already snarled at Mortgage Broker.

He called me today to tell me that he had to choose a different lender than he had originally planned to go with, and now I need a letter from my new boss stating that I will be starting work in Tacoma before our closing date of July 18th.

Except that I've already asked for (and received) a letter stating that I will be starting work on August 1.

Apparently, the lender doesn't believe that I can just move my current job from one place to another without interrupting my actual employment. I'm not changing companies, or even positions! There is still a one-month period before our first payment is due! The resoning behind this? Our house won't be considered "owner occupied" unless I "start" my job before clsing, allowing for a higher interest rate.

I've already left a rambling message on the new boss's voice mail attempting to explain why I need her to lie for me, even though she hasn't ever actually seen me in person.

I'm working hard to believe that this is just a normal hiccup in the escrow process and that things will fall into place shortly. I am not being punished.


Posted by Ensie at 03:27 PM | Comments (3)

June 20, 2005

Loan paperwork...


...I'm drowning...gasp!

(Plus--I don't know what any of it means and my loan officer is in Washington and is getting tired of me calling everyday with constant new questions. Whee! I did this on purpose?)

Posted by Ensie at 08:13 PM | Comments (3)

June 17, 2005

SeaTac in Perfect Weather

The SeaTac airport windows, doing their best impersonation of a mural.

SeaTac Airport.gif

This is what I expect the weather to be like everyday in Washington.

Don't burst my bubble. It's helping me leave San Diego.

Posted by Ensie at 05:31 PM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2005

Today I feel like a grown-up

I got something notarized today.

And tomorrow I'm buying homeowner's insurance.

Posted by Ensie at 07:34 PM | Comments (2)


Our house was inspected today. Frinklin's Dad attended, as he is our real estate agent and works with the inspector quite a bit. Nothing came up that we didn't already know, which is good.

First the bad:

· The siding will likely need to replaced within the next few years. We saw that coming and planned for it.
· The pipes are steel and older, but in OK shape. We already planned on replumbing the house within the next few years.
· The widow frames need to be replaced. Not expensive, but hard work. OK by us.
· The stove, garbage disposal, and dishwasher don’t work. We’ll ask the seller to take care of these or kick in some money for replacements.

On the upside:

· The foundation is solid.
· The roof is less than 5 years old.
· The furnace works great and is relatively new.
· The insulation is great, as is the attic ventilation.
· The wiring is only 10 – 15 years old—newer than the wiring in my parent’s current home.

The bad things are definitely expensive things, but even if the house doesn’t appreciate at the current rocket-fast rate, we should have the money to pull out to do the repairs within a reasonable amount of time. And if not, well, we’ll deal with that when we come to it.

We’ll get the official report tomorrow.

Posted by Ensie at 07:32 PM | Comments (2)


I don't like it when many larger earthquakes start happening over a short period of time in the same area. I know that scientifically it doesn't mean anything, but in my mind it somehow does.

Just felt the 5.3 NorthEast of Yucaipa.

The sensation at work (a few miles from downtown) was that of gentle rolling. In The Boonies, 30 miles closer to the epicenter, it was more of a jolt, reports my sister, Katie.

There have already been 15 aftershocks at this time:

y/m/d h:m:s deg deg km

1.5 2005/06/16 21:20:43 34.051 -117.016 14.9 4 km ( 2 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
1.4 2005/06/16 21:19:18 33.953 -117.078 11.0 9 km ( 6 mi) SSW of Yucaipa, CA
1.5 2005/06/16 21:18:43 34.048 -116.993 11.3 5 km ( 3 mi) ENE of Yucaipa, CA
1.8 2005/06/16 21:17:37 34.062 -117.040 15.4 4 km ( 2 mi) NNE of Yucaipa, CA
1.5 2005/06/16 21:16:56 34.053 -117.040 14.7 3 km ( 2 mi) NNE of Yucaipa, CA
1.7 2005/06/16 21:14:49 34.126 -117.357 17.7 3 km ( 2 mi) NE of Rialto, CA
2.0 2005/06/16 21:13:05 34.052 -117.018 13.3 4 km ( 2 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
1.5 2005/06/16 21:10:26 34.058 -117.014 15.6 4 km ( 3 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
1.6 2005/06/16 21:08:47 34.051 -117.026 13.5 3 km ( 2 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
1.3 2005/06/16 21:06:51 34.063 -117.019 14.7 5 km ( 3 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
1.6 2005/06/16 21:04:42 34.052 -117.010 15.9 4 km ( 3 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
2.9 2005/06/16 21:02:30 34.057 -117.017 13.5 4 km ( 3 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
2.2 2005/06/16 21:01:39 34.052 -117.034 14.8 3 km ( 2 mi) NNE of Yucaipa, CA
2.4 2005/06/16 20:59:19 33.491 -116.493 3.3 18 km ( 11 mi) ESE of Anza, CA
2.2 2005/06/16 20:59:19 34.056 -117.010 19.3 5 km ( 3 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
2.2 2005/06/16 20:56:51 34.051 -117.024 16.3 3 km ( 2 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA
3.5 2005/06/16 20:54:49 34.054 -117.005 15.1 5 km ( 3 mi) ENE of Yucaipa, CA
5.3 2005/06/16 20:53:25 34.058 -117.007 12.5 5 km ( 3 mi) NE of Yucaipa, CA

Posted by Ensie at 02:24 PM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2005


We did it. The offer has been accepted. The inspection is pending. The earnest money has been deposited. We're in escrow. How did we do with our list of must haves?

· Fall within our very limited budget CHECK! (mostly)
· Have at LEAST three bedrooms and hopefully more than one bathroom--Three bedrooms CHECK!, one bathroom BLEH!
· Aren’t near the neighborhood crack-house (knocks two awesome homes off the list right there) CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK!
· Are more than 10 feet away from a six-lane highway CHECK!
· Have a fenced yard with plenty of grass for the dogs to play in (and for Frinklin to cut) CHECK!
· Are NOT haunted CHECK! (As far as I can tell)

It is also a Craftsman style home--something I have wanted as long as I can remember, it's in the place we've wanted to live all along (Proctor), it has character, the kitchen is reasonably sized (and has a dishwasher and a garbage disposal), it's 10 minutes from work, I can go up the staircase without whacking my head on the ceiling, and it's already wired for cable. What more could I ask for?

Well, I could have asked for hardwood floors, but I got laminate, likely with hardwood hiding underneath. Close enough.

House from the street:
House Small.gif

The back side:
Backyard Smal.gif

The living room and dining area:
Living Room.jpg

Note the built-in dresser in the master bedroom:
Master Bed.gif

Lastly, the view from our hotel room looking up toward North Tacoma (and our new house!):
Hotel View Tacoma.gif

Posted by Ensie at 07:07 PM | Comments (6)

June 11, 2005

And now there are two

We found a house today! And then, we found another house!

Both houses are in the most expensive, most yuppified neighborhoods in Tacoma. How that happened is a bit of a mystery. Yesterday we were looking at cute but not so nice houses in South Tacoma, today we decided to visit Proctor and see two houses out of our price range. The next thing you know, the mortgage broker does some magic and *POOF* we're putting down an offer on one house and my parents are putting down an offer on another as a backup.

We actually had decided to put down an offer on house two first, but then saw house one and liked that one more.

House one is 105 years old, 1300+ sq. feet, two blocks from downtown Proctor, 11/2 stories, three bedrooms, one bath (couldn't get two), and looks to be in great shape. There are laminate floors (ew) and carpet inside. It is Craftsman style--what I have always wanted. The neighbors waved at us while we looked and children frolicked in the street. The house has been on the market for over 20 days and just dropped in price, so we're putting in a slightly lower offer and praying. We have a little wiggle room if necessary. The only reason it didn't sell immediately is the half-story upstairs. It has three rooms on that floor that are very small with 5 - 6 foot ceilings depending on where you are standing.

House two is 54 years old, 900 sq. feet, two bedrooms, updated wiring and very, very cute. The street is quiet and only 10 - 12 blocks from the first house. It is tiny, but very functional. It runs on an OIL furnace--something I had never heard of. It has fantastic hardwood floors. It has a detached garage. This house also just listed yesterday and an open house is scheduled for tomorrow. Let the feeding frenzy ensue. We'll be property managers if my parents purchase it. On the down side--it's very small, needs updated wiring, and will likely need to be re-piped within the next couple of years. Also, the odd oil furnace will need to be removed so that the everything can be converted to gas.

Both houses have somewhat updated kitchens, fireplaces, and nice backyards. The larger house has two moderately sized bedrooms on the main floor and an extra space for the washer and dryer. Each house also has a deck in the rear.

I will post pictures when we return. Please send prayers our directions when it comes to our offer being accepted and the inspection going well. We should know soon...

Posted by Ensie at 08:07 PM | Comments (2)

June 08, 2005

This should not be allowed

I have only fallen in love a few times. Once it was with a girl named Katie. Once with my husband. And once with a house. Oh, I had crushes--there was red house with the fancy kitchen, and the yellow one that is still for sale (and dropping in price $1,000 each day) but is only pretty on the outside and smells like feet.

The house I really loved was waiting for me. It knew I was flying to see it tomorrow. But then, this morning, checking the housing listings in Tacoma as I do each day, I noticed something different. The house had gone INACTIVE. No longer on the market. Gone. My house had left me.

So now I have to find something else. There are other possibilities coaxing me in with their hardwood floors, promises of a washer and dryer that will remain, and sometimes even a view.

But it won't be the same. What do you think the likelihood is that it will fall out of escrow by tomorrow?

Posted by Ensie at 07:10 PM | Comments (3)

June 06, 2005

This house thing just got WAY more real

We're actually leaving on Thursday to house-hunt in Washington. Over the next three days we need to find all the houses that we could live in. Well, all the houses that we can live in that:

· Fall within our very limited budget
· Have at LEAST three bedrooms and hopefully more than one bathroom
· Aren’t near the neighborhood crack-house (knocks two awesome homes off the list right there)
· Are more than 10 feet away from a six-lane highway
· Have a fenced yard with plenty of grass for the dogs to play in (and for Frinklin to cut)
· Are NOT haunted

I will again conduct the the great off-site blogging experiment, so you may get an update or two while we’re there.

Wish us luck!

Posted by Ensie at 09:00 PM | Comments (6)

June 03, 2005

Not Crazy!

A play in four acts:


Thursday. Propane is on. All seems well. Showers taken today = 2 (1 Ensie, 1 Frinklin). Mood at Ensie's house: worried.

Frinklin: [entering laundry room] Do you smell propane?
Ensie: [also entering laundry room] Definitely. Lets call The Boonies Propane Co.
Frinklin: I'll turn the propane off at the tank.

The propane to the house is turned off and the propane company is called. Frinklin is assured that it will be a priority Friday morning.


Friday. Propane has been off for 12 hours. Showers taken today = 0. Mood at Ensie's house: annoyed.

Ensie: [to Frinklin on phone] I thought they said it would be a priority. It's 10:30 and I haven't heard anything.
Frinklin: You should call them again.

Ensie: [to The Boonies Propane Co. on phone] Are you sending someone out? Our propane has been off for 12 hours...
The Boonies Propane Co. Secretary: Um, we don't check appliances. You need to call a repairman.
Ensie: Really? You were just here a few weeks ago checking our stove?
Boonies: Um, we charge $48 per hour to check for leaks.
Ensie: I wasn't charged last time.
Boonies: Um, let me check with my manager [two minutes elapse]. I don't know why you weren't charged last time--it was a billing error.
Ensie: What? I'll call my landlord. This is ridiculous.
Boonies: OK. Thank you for calling, goodbye!
Ensie: [to dialtone] I hate you.


Propane has been off for 13 hours. Showers taken today = 0. Mood at Ensie's house: PO'd.

Landlord (aka Ensie's Mom): [to Ensie on phone] They won't what?!?
Ensie: I know!
Landlord: I'm calling them. Idiots.
Ensie: Let me know what you find out.

Ten minutes pass.

Landlord: I told them to get out there and check for the leak. We'll just pay whatever. How can they NOT check for leaks? What if you die? Then what will they say?
Ensie: Exactly.
Landlord: I called The Other Propane Company and they told me that they will check out leaks for free and said you don't have a big enough propane tank, and that may be why you are ALWAYS running out of propane. We're switching companies once this is sorted out.
Ensie: Thank you! I hate The Boonies Propane Company.


The Boonies Propane Company Guy arrives at 4pm. Propane has been shut off for 18 hours. Showers taken today = 0. Mood at Ensie's house: grim.

Propane Guy: Where did you smell gas?
Ensie: The laundry room.
Propane Guy: Well, I'll turn on the propane. Let's check it out.

Propane guy starts the propane flowin' and finds...nothing.

Ensie: I swear I'm not crazy. My husband and I both smelled it last night. We cleared out the room with a fan and then closed it up and smelled it again. Please don't think I'm crazy.
Propane Guy: Oh yeah. Didn't I just check your stove a month ago?
Ensie: [voice rising] Um, yes, and I know you didn't find anything then either, but it was there last night!

Propane Guy humors Ensie and takes apart the dryer and checks all the connections. No leak is found.

Propane Guy: Well, if you smell anything more, turn off the propane and call us.
Ensie: [under breath] Will you be out in less than 12 hours next time?
Propane Guy: What?
Ensie: Nothing. Not crazy! I swear!
Propane Guy: Sure. Call if you smell anything. Actually, call if you smell PROPANE.
Ensie: Oh ha-ha. Thanks.

Propane Guy exits.


Damn it. I can't wait to move.

Posted by Ensie at 05:40 PM | Comments (3)

San Diego Represents at the Spelling Bee Nationals

Congratulations to Anurag Kashyap of Poway for winning the 78th Annual National Spelling Bee.

Here he is, braces and all, holding his trophy aloft.

I grew up in Poway and The Boonies, where I now live, is "just up the hill." That's a big clue to anyone who lives in the North County of San Diego.

Anyway--congratulations Anurag! Appoggiatura!

Posted by Ensie at 05:10 PM | Comments (1)

June 01, 2005

OB Dog Beach

Dog Beach in Ocean Beach is one of the best things about living in San Diego. On a warm day it's heavenly to take the pups out to play.

Jeffrey and Matchbox, terribly sad that we were dressing to go out, which usually means that they will be staying home.
Worried Pups.gif

Once the leashes go on Jeffrey takes control.
Jeffrey Leading Matches.gif

Dogs in the surf.
Cropped dogs in surf.gif

Matchbox, very happy.
Happy Matches.gif

Jeffrey Dog Beach Run.gif


After the initial run through the breakers, we head for the calmer waters near the jetty.
Wading Matches.gif

Heading home.
Heading Home.gif

Posted by Ensie at 06:49 PM | Comments (2)