Sunday, January 29, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Our offer on the new house was accepted on Thursday, January 26, 2006. We have our dream house! When our agent called to tell me the news, I was immediately elated, but then the thought that ran through my head was, "Oh, god, what were we thinking?!? No, no, tell them we don't want it! Forget it!" The reaction made me laugh at myself. I was so calm through this whole thing, not worried about the negotiation or the consequences of buying this property. The first time I was nervous was when we gave our last offer. I knew that this offer would be the one that was accepted. We had the choice of whether to leave it at a stalemate and walk away, or to go with our last and highest offer possible. We both at first thought we should stay at our last offer and not go up. But the more I thought about it, I knew that we were only a few thousand dollars away from making this work. I think Sven knew that, too, and that's why he wanted to stay firm. It was a hard decision to make. To weigh all of the consequences, to put ourselves out there, to make a huge change that neither of us was planning on right now. In the end, I wanted to make it happpen, and that made me nervous. I finally started thinking of the next steps, getting the financing, actually making the payments, making changes in our lifestyle to make this work, and selling our house. I looked around the house. I like this house. I like the things we have done to it and I like the little features it has all over the place. Was I really ready to move? The thought of the house on five acres made me feel more sure of the decision. Of course, we don't get to build it from scratch, but we can make it ours over the years. It offers all the elements we were already planning -- the trees, the buildings, the size. And the location is just great for us. I found that I really wanted to make our last offer. I really wanted this. Luckily, somewhere deep inside him, Sven wanted this, too. He agreed to making the final offer. I called our agent and she made the offer. The seller accepted it within the hour. The rest of the day I walked around in somewhat disbelief, telling people we have this great new place. Meanwhile, the checklists of things we have to do in the next month is growing. I've started a list and it grows every time I have a few moments to think.

The most important thing is that I still feel like we did the right thing. We are moving along our path. We have chosen the path that fits us best after several options were presented to us. It's exciting, it feels good, it's scary, but in the end it feels right. This is our dream coming true. Be careful what you wish for.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I seem to be in a phase of lots of transitions - transitioning to a new barn, new focus on the job, and now perhaps a new house! First let me give a quick update on the barn news. Zoe is doing great. She is now very steady under saddle and looks great on the longe. She has a nice work ethic and I have seen no signs of bad behavior since her bucking in early December. I credit my consistent work with her and her satisfaction with her new environment for the continued improvement. I am extremely happy with our progress and the prospects for our future. Jimmy is also very happy. We went on a long ride down the road with Flo on Sunday. There is nothing like that in the world. Jimmy and Flo pace each other so well that it is always a harmonious ride.

Now for the short bitch session on the "saga". The old barn owner is now showing her crazy side to more people. She kicked out another boarder for cleaning her stall and accused her of putting more shavings in the stall, which the boarder refuted. That was enough to get her kicked out. Wow. The next victim was my friend who owns her own business. The barn owner was a client of this business and had a few no-shows to appointments that required payment. When, during her normal business process, this debt was found, she was sent a letter asking for payment. The barn owner called the business and yelled and accused my friend's employee of using this situation to get "revenge" on D. for the events that transpired with me. Whatever. When my friend sent a letter asking for an apology to the employee that was a victim of irrational yelling and accusations of retribution, the barn owner wrote back saying that the employee owed HER an apology. (?!?) She then went on to provide a two-page, single spaced narrative of the situation with me and invited my friend to talk to her more about it. Okay, that is a true manifestation of insanity. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. This barn owner needs to forget I ever existed and move on. She doesn't realize that no one cares what she thinks of old situations.

Now let me jump to the chances of moving. We found a property that we want to buy. 5 acres, tons of trees, 2 outbuildings (one of which is easily outfitted for horses), 2800 sq. ft. house. The cost is a bit high, but it is in the right area for us and has everything we need. We find out this afternoon if we pre-approve for the mortgage. If we do, we will make an offer on it. We hope to do a land trade of our 18 acres, which is 9 miles away, for some acreage around this new property. That would be a perfect scenario!

I don't want to talk about work in this blog, so on that front I will just say that I am transitioning off of technical operational stuff and back to educational technology, which is my true focus. It is very good!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Magical Time

I am back from a great vacation. The timing couldn't have been better for me, and going to a place like Disney World, an alternate reality, was just perfect. There's nothing quite like spending 9 days in Disney World. We ended up enjoying ourselves much more than we thought we would. The crowds weren't bad, and using the FastPass system cut way down on the lines we had to wait in for the rides. Last night I was dreaming about my favorite ride, The Tower of Terror. I was the operator of the ride. Heh heh. You know, telling people where to sit and to put their seatbelts on, etc. We had a huge line. I was supposed to be giving out gold foil wrapped goodies that somehow included ice cream (!) to each visitor. That was strange. But we got through the whole line of people and gave out all the goodies and celebrated in the end. Funny.

Another of my favorite rides was the Rock 'n Roller Coaster. And of course Space Mountain. I think we visited Epcot a zillion times because it was the closest park to us, an easy walking distance. Disney-MGM Studios was close, too. We went there several times (that's where Tower of Terror and the Rock 'n Roller Coaster are).

One of the highlights of the vacation was running in the Disney 1/2 Marathon. That's 13.1 miles. We did that on January 7, 2006. I had one of the best runs of my life -- no stitches in my side, and I felt strong the whole time. However, one bad outcome came with my knees. At mile 9, my left knee was painful. I stopped at the first aid tent and got it wrapped. It felt better until about mile 11. I had to walk most of mile 11 because my knee was hurting so badly. I also walked part of mile 12, but I was bound and determined to run mile 13! I was almost in tears by the finish, but I sprinted to the finish line and then could barely walk on my knee. Other than that pain, my body felt good and strong. It was remarkably easy to run 13 miles. I finished in 2:35:54, not a bad time considering a first aid stop, a bathroom stop, and having to walk about 2 miles! I am entertaining the thought of trying a marathon sometime....but first I need to have my knees checked out by a sports medicine specialist. They are still painful a week later....

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Saga

The saga goes that I moved my horses recently again to a new barn where I am extremely happy. We've been at the new place since the beginning of the year. We had been at a barn for 3 months where I was the "evening barn manager", but that did not work out. I wasn't happy and my horses weren't happy. And apparently the barn owners began to have some issues with me either in terms of me training a three year old and not using them as a primary resource for my efforts, or because they did not care for my personality. Either way, it really is not important to me. The best thing I ever did was leave. Our new place truly feels like home. [I originally posted a longer version of this story to share with my sister. I prefer this summary because it protects the identities of other people in this community who may have been mentioned or alluded to.]