As you eclectic readers can tell, this blog is about a little bit of everything.  One thing that you will probably see on a semi-regular basis are posts about house hunting.  The fiance and I are looking to move out of our apartment and into a house of our own.  When we first started this process I had a short list of things I want to have in a house.  Within a matter of just a few short weeks this list has been twisted, added onto, shortened, added to more, and been painted a gorgeous shade of “what the fuck?!”.
This weekend we revisited four houses with my parents.  We had our third visit to one house.  1st visit…What a gorgeous 1929 house with so much character! 2nd visit…hmmm, we can’t get any hot water and what are these walls made of? 3rd visit…is that my finger pushing through the wall?

This has definitely been a learning experience and a major lesson in the art of surprise.

The houses we visited today confused us even more…sort of in a good way, sort of in a my brain has become baby food kind of way.  Same price.  House #1 is a single family in a planned community.  It was built in 2003, has a large kitchen/dining area, a very night and bright finished basement, and is in a quiet neighborhood.   A debbie downer is that although there is a patio, the yard space is lacking and most of what is there is very much sloped.  It is also a short sale, but as a few friends of ours have said, short sales nowadays do not take as long as they used to.  This is a good thing because we would very much like to stop living above human elephants as soon as possible.
House #2…ohhhh, house #2.  Split level. Built in the 60s.  One owner.  1st visit…”We need to ungrannyfy this house!”  The moment we walked into this house the first go around it reminded me of my grandmother and my almost 96 year old great aunt.  Can you be emotionally drawn to a house while criticizing it in the same breath?  This house feels like home and the community is even cozy. Is that possible??!  The kitchen is very outdated and severely lacks counterspace.  This can be fixed…with money.  The upstairs has four bedrooms, three of which are in an L-shape, forcing you to walk through one to get to another.  WTF??!  Today’s visit did allow us to visualized putting in a hallway, making the front bedroom slightly more narrow while leaving the first back bedroom the same size.  We could expand the master, making it long, and put in a door that would make the master bedroom and bathroom private.  Again…$$.  Could be done over time…but still…$$ over time.

Conflicting pros: Easy to move in vs. cozy to the face.

Conflicting Cons: Short sale vs. Granny

Have you a big housing choice? Is it easier or more difficult when you choose between the better of two goods rather than the lesser of two evils?

no pie, but how the hell else am I supposed to entice you people to read?? 😉

Alright, folks, I’ve gone and done it now.

I, your beloved shaman of the written word, have signed up for a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training program! Only one (no so little) check stands in the way of me and officiality (it’s a word…trust me, I’m a teacher trainee).

I’m telling you this because you might find it interesting. Selfishly, I’m also telling you so I don’t chicken out.  It’s been written…it’s in the interweb and cannot be taken back…it’s out there!

I so incredibly want to do this.  A couple months ago I’d filled out an application for a different program. I’d typed my answers so the teachers would look past my chicken scratch and accept me as a student. But for some reason…all the reasons, I never submitted it.

1. Too expensive

2. Too time consuming

3. I’m not good enough

Trust me…these points are not far from my mind even with the ink still dry on the chizzeck.  However, this is something I have to do because I so insanely want to do it.  Sure, it’ll be rewarding to teach and satisfying to roll back into plow position without internally screeching “No! No! Don’t! Death!”. But the main reason I want/have to do this training is because I miss learning just for me. Have I ever really done that? Have you? Practicality is great but it can very easily hindergrowth.

Eventually I’ll die and the time spent and experiences had will be more meaningful than the money that could’ve been spent at Starbucks.  Truthfully, I’m not as concerned about the practical stuff as I used to be even if some of the people around me are.  While an impending mortgage is on the horizon, I still feel that this is the time in my life when I get to be selfish.  BCE…Before Children Enter.

Have any of you gone through a yoga teacher training? Any tips?  Have any of you ever not done something because the practical side of your brain was telling you it just wasn’t the right time? 

Am I being silly when I say that once I have kids I won’t get to do for me?

Hello, travel bug darling dears!  Take a sec to visit Meg’s amazing travel blog, The Travel Empire.  On the Pennsylvania page you’ll find my new article about Chambersburg, PA.

I hope you enjoy, and hey, let me know if you ever visit the ‘Burg!  If you make plans to I’d be happy to send you my itinerary.  You only need a weekend and I’m telling you, it’s an experience that we should all have.  Cities are amazing and certain cities are breathtaking, but taking a beat to visit Amurrica and accepting it for what it is, is something we should all experience.

There is a wonderful line in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson.

“We had two bags of gross, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozem amyls.”

I don’t even know what an amyl is but I do know that even this early on in the house hunting process I could totally roll with Hunter and the attorney. 

When house hunting, within the course of a day…hell, a few hours, your mood can change multiple times as you bump from being gleefully excited to mentally drained.  We’re still pretty new into our house hunt, having only looked at roughly 10 homes.  Today we revisited two with my parents, one of whom is a former real estate lawyer who was armed with binoculars, flashlights, and a legal size notepad…and a shitload of observations that our virgin eyes hadn’t even noticed the first go round.

Let’s just say…it was stressful.  It certainly could have been worse.  Both houses are pretty move in ready but my dad came up with several questions that concerned us.  In both we had issues getting hot water.  In the first house he wasn’t sure if there is a buried oil tank, and in the other the upstairs floors are a little sloped and the layout of the master bathroom and bedroom is awkward.  Walking through the kitchen in a towel…not an issue in a temporary apartment, more than a little akward in a house.

Are these deal breakers? WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME??? I’M A FIRST TIME HOME BUYER AND SCARED SHITELESS!  In the first house we could easily move in as long as the internal/mechanical stuff could be fixed.  The second is more customizeable, which could be wonderful but is also very scary.

Spending so much time watching home buying shows I always thought that doing projects would be OH SO FUN, TEEHEEHEE!  I suppose projects I was actually thinking about were things like changing kitchen tiles and maybe knocking out a wall to expand a bedroom.  But the idea of slanted floors and 1929 walls is a little daunting.  We have friends who own houses that aren’t perfect and there are “those rooms” where no one goes.  When I go to those houses I don’t really think much of it but now I’m wondering if we could live with oddities, at least for a year or two.  The big thing I’m looking for in a home is peace, privacy, and a place to grow into.  After living above elephants for almost a year, the thought of having our own place where we can sit in the living room in silence is what pulls me out of the first time homeowner vortex.

I know that there will never be the perfect house nor am I looking for one.  Projects can happen slowly over time…so am I being a silly virgin by stressing over these things? What are deal breakers and what are fixer uppers?

Since I dropped and picked back up this lovely literary space I’ve gotten pretty engaged.  The wedding planning is going pretty well and I’ve given my dude his marching orders (all 3/4 of them).  In all honesty he’s been pretty great about being involved in the planning and has voiced his opinions…most of which I actually agree with! (Though who knew that he’d actually want to wear a tux as opposed to a suit?)

While we’ve still got lots of planning left to do, thankfully mostly the small stuff, the one thing I’m having a little debate about is the location of the honeymoon.  We have talked about it, talked with our recently nuptualized friends, and are pretty certain that we’re going to say “Aloha” to Hawaii.  Neither of us have been and we’ve only heard amazing things about it from those who have touched the shores.  Hawaii is the perfect mix of things to do and doing no things.  I’m pretty set on this decision.

However…

…Paris m’appelle <<Paris is calling me>>.  I’ve written about Paris in this blog before (oh, you’re new? chchcheck it out! :)).  I’ve expressed my deep desire for it.  Je t’adore!  I’ve been there four times, one of those times with el dude-a-rino.  Now…I want to go to Hawaii because I know that it’s a place everyone should visit.

However…

my heart 512% belongs to Paris.  I could live in the lights of the street lamps if no rooms were available.  I’ve had people say that I shouldn’t just because I’ve been there so many times.  They say that I should experience something new.  In any other situation I would completely agree with them, say right on, and buy a closet full of tropical shirts and maxi dresses.

However…

Paris is Paris.  Paris is the most amazing city in the world and a bad honeymoon in Paris shall no one ever attain. 

What do you all think?  Obviously the dude-meister and I will make the final call, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts.  Would you go back to your favorite place in the world, or would you say “I’ll catch ya next time” and try a new spot?  We are talking about Paris and Hawaii, so really there is no wrong decision. 🙂

I don’t usually watch things that I know will upset me.  I don’t watch sick dogs, crying grown men, or Republican National Conventions.  Keeping up with the K-normal, I didn’t watch the RNC this year.  MSN.com told me about the “Clint & The Chair” show and NYTimes.com told me the rest (damn liberal gotchya media).  I knew what they were going to say and I knew that I’d disagree with it.

The past couple nights I did watch the DNC because I watch what makes me feel comfortable.  I’m pretty certain I’m not the only person who does this, and if I am, then where the hell is my certificate??  Since I’m not an Independent and pretty much have my election mind made up I don’t need Mitt, Michelle, and the Gang to convince me to join their crews.  With nothing to compare it to, which never stops me from forming a full opinion about everything, I found that where the Dems won was humor…humor that worked and didn’t scare small children.

This is not to say that we’re all morons and all we can understand is a good yuck yuck.  Humor brings people from all backgrounds together.  Let’s face it…most of us are pretty dense and/or uninformed when it comes to politics.  Most of the time if I get two minutes of CNN and I’m looking for a bat with which to smack my head…hard. But when someone speaks to me like they are a real person and I am a real person then maybe, just maybe, and in the case of the DNC, definitely, I can understand and even form opinions about politics.

What certain groups don’t get that other certain groups do is that we have to work together which means we have to share information.  We can’t create policies that ignore the majority and speak in ways that keep others out. That’s what mean cheerleaders do…yup…I said it…the RNC is the mean cheerleader and Bill & B-Rack are the smart model UN kids who will become rich enough to buy and sell them.

How many things do you really, truly love?  Don’t count people…then I can’t compete.  I’m talking about things…places…landmarks.

I love the Totem Pole Playhouse.  For the past 15-ish years my parents and I have gone to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and have, each and every year, gone to the Totem Pole Playhouse just up the road.  We go and we have an experience that is truly unique.  The productions at Totem Pole are some of the best local/regional theatre you will ever see.  Hidden in the middle of a forest the theatre means something so special to those who frequent it.  When you walk inside you feel like you’re a part of a club, even if you never actually speak to your fellow members.

There is not too much in Central Pennsylvania besides farms, motorcycles, and more farms.  I’m not dismissing those things, but what this area of PA has that makes it special and needs to keep it going is the community love that can only happen with a place like Totem Pole.

Please donate to the fund to save Totem Pole Playhouse.  You’ll be helping individuals, a community, a region, and hey, you’ll be giving me some future memories.