17 August 2005

So If You Haven't Already Guessed

Apparently today is my one year blogiversary!  Yay!  Well,  I'm sure this isn't a major shocker to anyone, but I have decided to stop writing Dangergirl.  One year ago, when I started this, I didn't have a very full schedule.  In fact, my schedule was empty enough that it was often a struggle to find content for this thing. 

Since then, I became a part of DeLush.  I started taking classes at our local university.   Got a kitten.  Bought a house.  This week I seem to have become president of our neighborhood garden club.  Soon, I am hoping to launch Luscious Grooves, a new music web site, with several of the friends I've made in the blog world.  I used to be able to find more hours in the day to do all this stuff, but I've squeezed in so much to my already over-scheduled life that this part is something I just can't squeeze in anymore.

I won't be totally gone.  I'll still be writing regularly for DeLush and Luscious Grooves.  You can also see updates on all my projects in the house and little Winston on Jen's New House.  And, of course, I'll still be lurking at everyone's blogs just like I always have.

This experience has really been a good one for me.  Some of the people that I've "met" through my blog I now consider to be my friends.  Thanks to everyone who read me regularly, who linked to Dangergirl, and who commented on my life.   I appreciate your support over the past year, and I hope you'll still visit me on the other sites!

Thanks for reading!
Jen Dangergirl

Posted on August 17, 2005 at 09:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

28 June 2005

Homeowner

Yesterday, I had my closing, so I am officially a homeowner!  I am so relieved to have that all over with.  I feel like I have all the time in the world tonight because I don't have to spend half my night worrying!

This past weekend, so as not to worry myself to death so close to the closing, I decided to join my friend L in Atlanta for the Corndogorama Music Festival (14th Annual, believe it or not).  I actually found a few really good new bands while I was drinking far too many beers and eating corn dogs and tater tots.  I think I met my grease quotient of the month in one weekend.  But it was really yummy, I have to say.  The people-watching was amazing.  This isn't your average music festival, so the people who attend are really music lovers and really have a lot of...personality.  So, even though L and I could barely hear one another, we were highly, highly entertained.  So entertained, in fact, that Saturday we required a full day of recuperation watching chick flicks on TBS.   

On Sunday morning, I woke up, and it was back to reality.  L's new boyfriend is an attorney, and he read over my mortgage papers with me so that I could ask questions and stuff without having everyone stare at me at the closing.  I didn't have all the papers, just some of them.  In fact, they didn't finish putting my loan package together till about 2 hours before the closing.  To say I was freaking out would be putting it mildly.  I had everyone involved in the closing, the realtors, the mortgage people and the attorney, all on speed dial and was calling them regularly for updates.  I think they were starting to hate me.  Oh well.

Finally, at 4PM (my closing was at 6), I got fed up and decided to drive over to the attorney's office so I could pressure them into getting everything done.  I grabbed a Starbucks on the way and was really counting on camping on the couch for an hour or two while they decided what to do.

Thankfully, when I got there, he was just finishing everything up, and he actually took the time to sit down and go over all the papers with me and he let me sign some of them ahead of time so that we didn't have to do it in the big meeting.

When the sellers arrived, we only had to sign a few papers, so the whole thing took about 10 minutes.  A month of worrying, over quickly and painlessly (relatively.  For the last hour or so).

They are moving out today and tomorrow, so I can start getting the house ready on Thursday.  L is trying to come here this weekend to hang out for 4th of July and to do some shopping for the house with me. 

There's about a million things I want to buy for the house, but I'm trying to use some restraint and just get the most important stuff for now.  I really want to buy an extra bed for the guest bedroom so that I can start having more people down for the weekend, but everything is just so expensive.  We'll see.  Hopefully I can get some good deals at the July 4th sales.

Posted on June 28, 2005 at 10:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

21 June 2005

Foodie

So, I'm closing on my house on Monday.  I have had a dull stomachache ever since Sunday, and I think that's my body's way of dealing with the stress of this.  I am really looking forward to moving and settling into my new house, shopping for new things, gardening (not mowing so much), decorating....not looking forward to signing my life away on Monday.

I've been little miss suzy homemaker here lately.  I think I mentioned way back in March or so that I was doing the French diet thing.  I've never been one to stick to a diet ever (six weeks is usually the limit), but I've been getting better and better and following the French thing.  I just made the Asparagus Flan recipe from "French Women Don't Get Fat" and it was decadent and delicious.  I'm eating 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.  I'm drinking about 3 liters of water.  I have stopped eating almost anything processed.  And, as a result, I have lost my unstoppable sweet tooth.  Even Starbuck's mochas are getting too sweet for me.  I've never eaten this healthily in my life, and the amazing part is that it isn't even hard.

I make fancy multi-course meals that have more than 5 ingredients every now and then (like tonight's asparagus flan), but for the most part, I will make some fish or chicken, some rice or potatoes and a veggie for dinner, all cooked in some delicious concoction of butter and cream and olive oil and garlic and spices.  Usually takes about 20 minutes.  And it tastes great, though what wouldn't with ingredients like that?

I have been making my own salad dressing for a while so that I could monitor the ingredients.  I had been buying this imported french mayonnaise from the Fresh Market, but they were out for an extended period, so I go out the Betty Crocker cookbook and learned how to make my own.  Astounding.  Takes about 5 minutes.   I've been making my own creme fraiche as well (sort of like sour cream) to go in my soups and desserts.

For desserts, I am all into crepes: Banana Nutella and Strawberry Cream.  Actually, sometimes, I have them for breakfast.  On the weekend, I've been known to have the strawberry ones for dinner.

Posted on June 21, 2005 at 08:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

15 June 2005

Introducing Winston

I got my final approval on my mortgage loan today, so I will be closing on June 27th!  I can't even believe it is coming up that fast.  My lease isn't up until the 29th of July, so I am not going to move until July 16th.  I've already got the movers that I like lined up for first thing in the morning.   (Two Men and a Truck.  They're awesome.)   That will give me two weekends plus July 4th to get things painted, change out some of the light fixtures and bring over as many boxes as I can.  I'm still nervous about the closing and all, but now that the loan is approved, I am starting to get excited.

In perhaps less exciting yet much more adorable news: my little kitten is growing like a weed.  I've decided to name him Winston.  He's pretty playful, but he likesto sleep on my lap while I'm at the computer, and he tucks in right beside when I sleep at night.   Look at that face!

Winston

Posted on June 15, 2005 at 06:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

08 June 2005

Sealed the Deal

We finally came to an agreement on the home inspection today, so the house is pretty much a done deal.  I just have to wait until closing on June 30th and try not to spend too much money until then.  I was to the point yesterday with the house stuff that if they didn't want to do what I wanted, I was just going to call off the deal. (I probably wouldn't have really, but I certainly felt like it.)  I mean, really.  I wasn't nitpicky.  I picked the three things from the inspection that were the biggest problems.  The kinds of things that every single buyer who came along was going to ask for.  I guess my realtor must have picked up on my loss of enthusiasm for bargaining, because today he got them to fix the main thing and give me allowances (with real estimates to back them up) for the rest.  Yay!

This house thing has absolutely paralyzed me for weeks.  I just do not deal with stress well.  Last week, I was in the middle of taking on a new system at work while still being on point for my old system, and dealing with the house stuff and doing DeLush stuff, and taking care of the kitten (did I mention I have adopted one of the kittens I was babysitting?) , and basically, I just fell apart and got sick.  And even this weekend and earlier this week, my productivity level was extremely low for me.  All I've wanted to do is sleep.

And then the house thing works out today and I came home and was compelled to clean my entire apartment.  Now that the weight of that was off my shoulders, I was able to function again.  Is anyone else like this?

Posted on June 8, 2005 at 09:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

31 May 2005

Pity Me

Tomorrow is my home inspection, which is the last real step before I buy my house at the end of June.  But enough about that.  Even I am tired of hearing myself talk about the house.

So I am definitely coming down with a cold.  I know I've been saying that for weeks, but my previous claims must have just been general sluggishness.  Now, there's the sneezing and the hint of chest congestion and the slight sore throat and the constant feeling that I am going to freeze.  It seems like half the people I've seen lately have a cold at some stage, so I am not entirely surprised.  I don't have all the cold symptoms just yet, but I can definitely tell they're on their way.  I am armed with lots of chewable vitamin C, some Cold Eeze, some Robitussin and tons of fluids.  If that doesn't knock it out of the water, I don't know what will.

I have to tell you about my birthday last week and my trip to see B this weekend in Raleigh, but I am going to save my stories for later in the week when I am tired of whining about being sick.

Posted on May 31, 2005 at 06:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

24 May 2005

House? Check!

Okay, so I have a signed contract on the house.  I have been a very busy little bee today.

Home Inspection Appointment? Check!

Pre-Approval Letter? Check!

Home Owner's Insurance?  No, but I got a lot of quotes!

So, if I can decide on a home owner's insurance company tomorrow, I will be able to go on vacation on Thursday and not have anything hanging over my head.  Yay!

I am not going to close until the end of June, and my lease isn't up until July, so I have quite a while before I am actually moving or anything.   I move a lot, so I'm pretty much the packing machine.  I have a system, and it works.

On Sunday night, I was so worried that I wasn't able to sleep.  This is in direct contrast with last night, in which I couldn't sleep because I was mentally redecorating every room.  It's only a matter of time before I bring out Visio and start trying to figure out how I am going to arrange the furniture. 

I am so Type A.  Let the list making begin!

Posted on May 24, 2005 at 09:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

23 May 2005

House Hunting Update

I will find out in the morning for sure, but I think I am going to get my house!  I had to go up a little bit on the price, but they are covering a ton of closing costs, and that makes me very happy.

Then the fun part begins.  I will have 5 days to get a pre-approval letter from my mortgage guy.  It seemed like everything was in the clear before, but now I have a ton of things to send him and 5 days just seems really fast with Memorial Day weekend coming up so quickly (And of course, I have plane tickets to go see my friend B in Raleigh, so I won't be around.) Really I just have tomorrow and Wednesday.  Oh my.  I have to provide a homeowner's insurance provider and I have to get the house inspected within 10 days.  Oh, the fun is just beginning.  Just beginning, I tell you.

Posted on May 23, 2005 at 10:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Found a House

I looked at houses again yesterday, this time in the nicer-but-further-out neighborhood.  I had about 7 or 8 houses on my list, but the majority of them were under contract or pending, which at first made me very depressed.  We still looked at the ones that were under contract, and they were pretty crappy and then I started getting REALLY depressed.  What the hell was I going to end up with?

The next to the last house was an older home that must have been gutted and rebuilt.   It had that new house smell.  It was a little smaller than I wanted, but it was so nice and the landscaping was beautiful and I was practically clicking my heels because I was so certain this was going to be the one.

And that's when we went to the last house, which was not my favorite on the outside, but on the inside, it was spacious and homey and lovely.  And I wanted it.  I looked at it from top to bottom 3 times and wandered out in the yard.  I was quite smitten.   So I put in an offer last night.  I could barely sleep last night from the excitement/worrying.  (More on the worry side than the excitement side really.)

Turns out they are also entertaining another offer.  So I will probably have to wait until tomorrow to find out.  And it is absolutely positively driving me up a wall. 

But that's not all.  I found a mortgage guy, as I've mentioned, but when I was looking at my paperwork that I had to fax him this morning, I had a couple of little things that I wish I didn't have to send him.  It probably would be better for my emerging mortgage-buying ulcer if I just pointed them out and said, "If this and this is going to cause a problem, do me a favor and let me know as soon as possible."  But so far I am going for the superficial, "I'm sure everything will be fine" attitude while I continue to develop ulcers.

On the bright side, I've become extremely talented with the fax machine today.

Posted on May 23, 2005 at 12:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

22 May 2005

House Hunting

I'm sitting around now waiting for my second house hunting appointment at 3.  Today seems to be crawling along at a snails pace and I am so ready to get on with this.

I found a mortgage guy I really like.  I got his good faith estimates, and amazingly, he does not appear to be trying to rip me off at all.  Actually, all my estimates improved drastically when I started taking control of the whole conversation.   Yeah, here's what I want, send me your good faith estimates.  If they're reasonable, we'll keep talking.   So now that the whole mortgage thing's out of the way, my stress level has decreased dramatically.

I looked at houses for the first time on Friday with my buyer's agent.  I use that term loosely, because as far as I can see, he's pretty useless other than securing appointments to look at houses.  I send him lists of MLS listings, and he takes me to see them.  He's never actually sent me a listing that has just hit the market that he thinks I might like.  I think I may actually know more than he does when it comes to how long the houses have been on the market and their price history.  Thank God for Realtor.com.  Really.

The houses that I looked at on Friday were horrible.  Two of them were in absolutely wretched, let's-just-tear-it-down-and start-over condition.  Original wiring.  Bad flooring.  Cracks in the ceiling.  And that's not even getting into any of the practical aspects like their complete and total lack of closet space. 

The other two were okay houses, but with really bad locations.  One was a cute victorian (hideously decorated on the inside) that was actually slightly above my price range that was across the street from condominiums that looked like they were one step away from becoming the projects.  The other house was smaller and very reasonably priced but that was definitely in the 'hood.

I chose this section of town to look in first because it is very convenient to where I work and where I go to school.  But now that I realize I have to double my price range to get a house that I would actually live in, I see that that area is out.

So today, I am going to look at houses that are still downtown, but a little further out.  I drove around and looked at them yesterday, and only one had a really iffy location (near some train tracks).   Much more respectable neighborhood.   All the online pictures look really good, but as I learned with the last batch of houses, that means absolutely NOTHING.

So, wish me luck.  I can't wait to get this whole process out of the way.

Posted on May 22, 2005 at 01:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)