Thursday, October 26, 2006

In case you're wondering, no, we haven't had an offer.

In other disappointing news:

I was insulted roundly tonight. That doesn't happen very often.

I've been searching for a certain type of vintage stove for months. On Ebay, on Google. Trying to find a decent deal.

A Kansas woman contacted me after seeing a post of mine on a forum. Offered me a stove for about twice what it was worth. I politely, gently showed her similar sales on Ebay. She revised her expectations, suggested a price that was on the high end, but fair. She cleaned up her stove, and it looked much better.

Then I didn't email her back for a couple of days, and she listed the stove on Ebay, thinking I was a flake. I understand, but I still really wanted her stove.

So I offered her her suggested price, she agreed, and then (tonight) I offered to have a friend make the 350-mile trip to pick it up so that she wouldn't have to drive it down.

...and she removed the stove from Ebay, and returned $50 that I'd paypal-ed to her to prove my intent, and told me that she would not sell the stove to me, that I was rude to ask for proof of her identity and address, and rude to plan to have the stove cleaned when it was in good condition, and rude to have someone come pick it up when she and her husband wanted to make the trip.

I mean, she RAILED on me, and told me not to email or call her any more, goodbye.

And I can't figure it out. My ideas:

1) She completely misinterpreted every underlying attitude in my emails-- thought I was picky instead of cautious, presumptuous instead of trying to be helpful, et cetera.
2) She was somehow trying to rip me off and flew off the handle deliberately when I asked for proof of her identity.
3) Someone else bought the stove from her, or she decided not to sell it at all (why remove the stove from Ebay when you need the money so badly, just to keep from selling it to little old me?)
4) She is nuts, or completely stressed out and acting that way. She and her husband are opening a convenience store and they desperately need cash to fill its tanks with the first load of fuel. It sounds like a make-it-or-break-it situation.

And I am sitting here at 2 am, feeling like I'm a bad person because some unknown internet woman thinks I'm a turd and won't sell me her gorgeous old stove. WHY?? Why should I feel guilty? I certainly didn't do anything deserving of that diatribe.


It was so pretty, though. SO. PRETTY.

An offer? Can it be?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Someone wants our Florida house. Maybe.

Technically, it's been on the market since April 4, when we packed our bags, left keys with our relator, and drove our (then oh-so-tiny!) Bird north to the Ozarks to move into the (grand)parental basement. Six months of waiting, two different realtors, only one laughably cruddy offer.

(In actuality, it's been on market since January, since that was when we stuck the FSBO sign in the front yard and tried to sell it ourselves. Yeah, that didn't go so well. We overpriced it and wasted precious time while the housing market continued to deteriorate.)

Several times, our hopes have been raised as this or that couple looked at it, looked twice, requested disclosure statements, and in some cases indicated that an offer was coming. We'd hold our breath, pray, count our chickens before they hatched.

Then nothing would come.

Because of that, I hate to even record this, for fear that it's another false alarm. But why not record a false alarm, since it's part of the anxiety and heartache of selling a house in a stalled market?

When we moved in there in January 05, I thought I wouldn't leave for years. Our daughter was conceived there; we brought her home there from the hospital. I love that house, every quirky artsy unusual square foot of it. Nothing but returning to my mountains could have pulled me away from it happily.

But now, I really want to be shed of it. I want the mortgage payments off our backs, the profits available for our next home, and someone else living there who loves it as much as I once did.

It's hard to know how to pray about this anymore. Obviously, we've been praying for quite a while that the house sell. We've asked many others to pray that it sell. It hasn't. Obviously, God knows who needs this house, knows when we need to sell it, knows that our timetable might not be the best one for us. (For instance: If we had our moolah now, we'd write a contract on a grand old American Foursquare built in 1916 that needs major updating. We want to do this. But does God want us to do this? If not, could He be delaying the Florida house sale so that we can't jump headlong into this enormous undertaking?) Surrender has taken over inside my heart. These days I tell Him, "do as You see fit, not as I see fit," and try my best to mean it.

But I am speaking my heart's desire tonight. To sell the house, Lord, to someone who loves it and will not tear it down and build condos on it.

Please, little house. Keep charming them, even as they learn that we don't know how old the roof is and that there have been squirrels in the attic...
... there was a showing a couple of days ago to a California couple that are relocating to the area. They love the unique style of the house & the
overall space that it has. Their agent has shown them several homes in the area.... nothing else so far is attracting their attention. The potential buyer wants to have a space for a home office, and the downstairs area would suit for that quite well. The man's only issue is the somewhat low ceiling down there.

The agent will be taking them around to see another potential property this Friday, and she anticipates a re-visit to the Kaley house...

Will drop a line as soon as I hear anything from the agent...

Little white pearls of misery.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Her teeth are adorable, and I hate them.

She grins now, and all four five six of them burst out of her smile like little happy marshmallows. She puts Cheerios into her mouth with gusto, happily busting each one into pieces with a loud crunch via her four front choppers. She chews seriously on an apple slice and actually makes progress, pulverizing it in record time.

I am so proud of those little teeth. (I need to start brushing those little teeth. Note: buy baby toothbrush. Do they stock those in Toothbrushes or in Baby Gear?) However, those teeth cause me grief, and not just in Toothbrush Momguilt.

Those Gerber "teething biscuits" only earn me a few minutes of kitchen work instead of half an hour like they did last month. She sometimes appears to be chewing studiously on the wooden end table with her top teeth, and I'm pretty sure that could be doing some kind of damage to my mom's furniture. (Don't look closely, and you don't know and don't have to confess.) She can now bite the snot out of my fingers when I'm feeling for new teeth or applying the blessed Walgreens-brand Orajel Knockoff to help her get back to sleep at night.

But more than my fingers, my conscience, or any other part of me, my nipples take issue with this sudden appearance of her pearly whites. Particularly those front four.

I decided long ago that I was going to breastfeed Bird past the one year minimum recommended by the Pediatrics Association. It's so good for her, I thought. So simple and pure and inexpensive and good for my body and hers. Who wouldn't do this if they could?

And besides, it was lovely. Bird snuggled up to my chest, fingers fluttering around my breasts and shoulders and jawline like little butterflies as she ate. The feel of her body relaxing as I gave her what she needed, straight from me (without bottles and sterilizing and heating and shaking and stirring). Watching her fall asleep in my arms, completely sated and at peace. Lovely, I tell you.

My doctor plowed along doggedly at her nine-month appointment, handing me papers about Weaning and generally implying that Everyone, Everyone Weans At One Year. I smiled thinly and mentally sniffed and plotted our rebellion. We'd go fourteen months AT LEAST, I thought.

But of late, nursing has become a pit stop in the great race of Bird's day. Let's get this over with, quick, because there are toys on the floor and power cords along the walls and Cheerios in the kitchen and a dog who needs to be harassed and books and windows to look out of and musical buttons to be pushed overandoverandoverandover again, and what exactly was it that I was supposed to be doing? Oh, yeah, drinking milk. Right.

And about then, after she's barely settled down for two minutes of suck-gulping, the teeth kick in. A micropause in her eating warns me and gives me just enough time to get my finger headed toward her mouth to break the chomp. Her tongue slides out of the way, and pow. Momma jumps through the roof every time. So far, Momma's still managing to insert finger, remove the maligned nipple, and not drop the child who has caused this unjust agony.

For a few days, I tried thumping her on the head to try and dissuade her. Her brow would wrinkle in confusion. Then she'd flinch as she bit, anticipating the thump. Then she started to laugh as the thumping followed, delighting in the cause-and-effect. Obviously, this wasn't working. I'm not willing to inflict anything more painful than the thump-- it was hard enough as it was for me to try just that.

So now, we have a two-bite rule. One bite, Bird gets a stern warning. Two bites,and the boob goes byebye. You bite each boob twice, and your meal is over.

It's not really helping. Either it doesn't compute, or she doesn't care enough about the milk anymore to give up the joys of Momchomping. I know she has no concept of how she's hurting me, but still-- it hurts me, both physically and (a bit irrationally) emotionally.

One month until she can safely drink cow's milk. My boobs are counting the hours, but I'm mourning the loss of my peaceful snuggle-feedings.

Damn teeth.

Everything comes round again: The Whys

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Why write here, now?

I used to write on a site called diary-x. It died a horrible unexpected death and I lost almost everything I'd written. That somehow zapped all my desire to write online for quite a while (along with, oh, Giving Birth and Moving Across the Country and other minor timesuckers). But I feel a need to record these days again, as my daughter's changing almost daily and our lives are in complete upheaval. So, a blog. Perhaps temporary, perhaps not.

Second, Husband and I have once again thrown caution (and church unhealth) to the wind and uprooted our lives in search of greener pastures. (Don't doubt me here-- the grass IS greener over here-- can't get much browner than the old place had become for us.) The reasons may or may not be revealed later. I don't care to rehash them now.

New (old) town, new (and old) friends, new (or old) church, new (hopefully old) house, new garden. Lots to record for posterity, especially now that we have a posterity-- our (new) six-month-old daughter. Who is, of course, the most beautiful and brilliant child in all the land.

Third, we're returning to a small town that we fled without a backward glance as we went to college. I don't regret that, as we're different and broader people because of our adventures in bigger places. But the more we stayed away, somehow, the more attractive the simpler, slower life of our hometown looked. Can a young big-city couple reestablish themselves in a small-town community without some rocky times? I doubt it.

There will be spiritual musings and churchhunting.There will be proud-mama posts.There will be househunting.There will be gardening. I can't imagine that this little spot would be of interest to anyone but me and a few close friends, but if you've stopped by to watch me muse and record and laugh and rant, you're welcome here. Just say hello and let me know you're reading.


I'm rootsome these days-- on many levels.

Roots, as in one's own roots, the place from which you come, geographically or genetically. We just moved back to an old hometown of ours-- my parents' town-- after 14 years or so of sowing our geographical oats. We're near much of our extended family. This feels right on so many levels. (More, I'm sure, on this later.)

Roots, as in "digging around for truffles." I'm a rooter. I love to discover new knowledge, play with the ideas for new projects, scheme and search and dream and diagram. You'll see me do this about our houses, our future, sustainability issues, and whatever kitchen appliance we're about to buy. It sounds a bit piggish, but I love to get my nose into something and go hunting for more of it.

Roots, as in those things that hang down beneath plants. I find great joy and great wisdom in gardening-- I love and live the garden as a metaphor for life. God communicates with me best when I'm all covered with dirt and compost. I'm all about those planty spiritual metaphors.

Roots are vital, but hidden. Most people don't know much about them or bother to appreciate them properly. Without them, though, the trees and plants of my garden and my beloved mountains would topple, and the earth would erode away.

Without the roots that tethered me to my sources over the past few years-- my family, my Ozark hills, my Christ-- I too could have been eroded away. I survived, but just, and now I want to strengthening those strands that held me in place. They're absolutely vital.

I'm trying to pay more attention to matters of rootedness these days. It's making life richer and more lovely than it's been in a long, long time.

And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.

Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God

(Ephesians 3:17-19 New Living Translation).