Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hair pooftas and other controversy.

Yes, kids, I KNOW what 'poofta' can mean. Words can have more than one meaning! Think about 'fly'. Bug, verb, zipper, term for something cool, probably a dozen other meanings I'm not thinking of offhand. So a hair poofta is a little bit of ribbon on a barrette that goes poof! I DO use the whole phrase - hair poofta - to differentiate from those OTHER pooftas out there. Jeez, guys, if I didn't know better I'd think you were all really uptight.

However, you put up with me, voluntarily, so that can't be true.


Not much has gone on around here this weekend other than house hunting. Yesterday and today.

When we first started this hunt, the husbeast and I agreed that we were willing to put up with a whole lot of cosmetic problems - ugly paint, carpet we didn't like, whatever - but the house had to be structurally sound and ready to move into. So, the first house we looked at yesterday had the Yard From Hell, but the house itself was huge, and in a really lovely neighborhood. We came home, talked it over, and agreed that while the yard would need landscaped with a chainsaw and the Jeep (you can rip sizable dead trees out of the ground with a tow strap hooked to the trailer hitch - we've done it before), a crappy yard counted as 'cosmetic'. We could move in and spend the whole freakin' summer working on the yard, and it would certainly get us off on the right foot with the neighbors. At the moment, that house in that neighborhood, well, the husbeast put it best. It is a turd in a punchbowl. So, this morning we went back to take another look in it. Peek in the windows and other sorts of things that make the neighbors worry.

Unfortunately, the interior of the house looks like the yard does - and we can't landscape the inside with the Jeep. (Or rather, I guess we could, but it wouldn't improve things a damn bit.) Forget that. I don't like cleaning up my OWN messes, I'm sure as hell not cleaning up someone else's.

Then we went and looked at more houses. (Yesterday was the husbeast's pick list. Today was mine.) The first house sounded perfect - four-car garage (for all the hub's tools), three bedrooms, two full baths, etc. On a couple acres for gardening and dye-plant growing. The price was unusually low, and my first thought had been "so what's wrong with it?" We went out to take a look, and we figured out very quickly what was wrong with it.

The road.

The husbeast and I both drive four-wheel drives, right? We've gone trail-riding, and the husbeast used to be a spotter for his good friend in rock-crawling competitions. We know bad trails. And I am here to tell you, we've been four-wheeling on better trails than the road we took out of that neighborhood. (The road in wasn't exactly smooth and straight, either; one is paved, though twisty and one-lane. The other, shorter road is the dirt track.) What blew us both away was that there were quarter-million dollar houses back in there, at the end of a one-lane dirt trail through trees and over rocks. If it weren't for the road, we'd already be talking about touring and making an offer. As it is, we're going to stew over the idea for a while. Sleep on it. Decide if we want to drive that road in winter, even WITH four wheel drive. We we laughing our heads off by the time we got back to the main road today, but that was before we realized one of the brake calipers had hung up after going over a rock in the track, and I can see how the humor would wear off fast. We'll see.

We found another house in the same price range, in a nice neighborhood on a small lot, that's also a possibility. The husbeast and I aren't wild about neighborhoods, but it would certainly be a more sensible choice.

Sensible is SO boring.


Besides the house hunt, there's nothing going on. Due to the weather (I assume), I was in a lot of pain this weekend, and spent most of it zoned out, either asleep, watching old Castle episodes, or playing Plants Vs. Zombies. With luck I'll have more crafting of some kind to report soon, since I've got hair pooftas to make and a work space set up. Also, I think I'm taking the Goober for a short hike this week: I spotted a deer in the ravine behind the apartment building, and while it's not the Outback, it's certainly enough to keep a four-year-old entertained. I'll get photos, of course.


KnittyLynn said...

I agree sensible sucks, but I will put this out there. Houses w/out sidewalks when you have kids SUCK. :)

amy said...

Ha, we don't like neighborhoods either. That's how we ended up on a road where people speed like crazy, and I fantasize about throwing some nails out into the street. But nobody spreads icky chemicals on their lawns, nobody's cat is pooping in my yard, and I don't have kids hanging out under my window while waiting for the bus. Yeah, I'd had enough of neighborhoods...

Cindy said...

My only comment...avoid any house with a neighborhood association and/or convents like the plague. Fucking people wanting to push their view of white suburban-ville on you. Of course, maybe these groups aren't so bad further north, trying to kill individuality one house at a time.

Anonymous said...

Pity about that road... at least you would be assured that no unwelcome visitors would ever make it there...
But what would it be like in winter? What's the dirt track like?

And now, I have "There's a zombie on your lawn" stuck on repeat in my head. Thanks. I may need to go play it.

Bells said...

it was less about up-tightness and more about wondering how on earth you say the word without sniggering....!

Amy Lane said...

Okay-- the road thing would hang me up... it all would hang me up. OUr house is crumbling about our ears, but there's a good reason we don't go hunting up another one...

Roxie said...

When looking at furnished houses, one thing I do is look at the ceiling to get an idea of the size of the room. Over the years, people will continue to shoe-horn more stuff in until the rooms look incredibly tiny.

Emergencies happen. Do you want the husbeast to have to negotiate the dirt track in a snowstorm when your pneumonia goes critical? It's not just an annoyance. It's a serious consideration.

Tiny yard - less to mow. How much gardening CAN you do?

When you start house-hunting, it consumes your life!

historicstitcher said...

In my experience, if there are McMansions down a bad road, the bad road will get paved and pretti-fied within a few years.

Somehow those schmucks who build multi-million dollar houses down secluded dirt roads don't think about the dust, and eventually complain enough that the county payd for paving.

If you like the house, don't let the road turn you off - it won't stay like that forever, and then your property values will go way up.

Barbara said...

I want to know how the richies in those mcmansions get to their houses. Hummer? (Too bad the Husbeast didn't abscond with one when he bailed out. Think how great that'd be over rocks and crap roads.) I wonder if there's another way into the area that is paved.

How can people leave huge messes? Aren't they embarrassed?

Emily said...

Sometimes those wonderful houses on crappy roads are unoccupied in the winter: watch out for that.

Yes to sidewalks. Neighborhoods matter too when you have a kid. Obviously the kind of neighborhood that informs you that "we don't do windowboxes" (that really happened to someone I know)is a no-no, but someplace with other families with kids around can be a big help.

Patience. Your house is out there.

ellen in indy said...

my word of advice? SCHOOLS

you have an extra-bright goober, and unless you either plan to homeschool in perpetuity or pay private tuition, i suggest some quality time with your computer, browsing your state's education site for data like test scores, attendance rates, diversity, etc., and especially for programs for gifted kids, in areas you're considering. (my apologies if you've already done that.)

i live in one of my state's top districts, but within that district there is a visible difference in test scores from one school to another -- bigger than socioeconomic data alone might explain. a look at the staff roster confirmed my hunch -- the principal is a gem and the teachers are experienced but not close to retirement (and thus perhaps low in energy and set in their ways -- a big factor since the district is making a big change mentioned below).

grandgirl, through a lucky accident of geography, will go to the district's top school next year. the school is diverse enough that she won't be "different" even though she is of european, african and native american ancestry. the biggest diversity in the school is economic. (luckily again, we fall somewhere between the kids who go to aspen on christmas break and the kids who go home with a bag of food so they'll have something to eat over the holidays.)

luckier still, the district has decided to offer the international baccalaureate program district-wide, starting with grade schools this year; eventually, it will include almost all students through sophomore year, with the final two years by application only. so our tax dollars will buy an education to rival that of the area's best private schools for about 10% of the cost.

for this -- and sidewalks -- we put up with neighbors who get pissy about dandelions and untrimmed bushes.

sidewalks really do make a difference in how much kids can socialize, how free they are to skate, run and ride bikes, etc. and a nice big driveway (while a pain in the ass to shovel) is great for hopscotch and huge chalk drawings.

good luck with your house-hunting!

Anonymous said...

Getting worried no updates for almost a week?

I hope everything is OK.


Robin said...

Good luck on the house-picking! It's so hard. Yes, there's lots out there to choose from but a lot of it I wouldn't have. Ohio roads ---- horrible!