You may have noticed a dearth of posts around these here parts lately.  

This month, and really the last three, have been a whirlwind. Ones which have caused my inner monologue to shut down entirely.  As a result, all my thought processes, if typed out, would just look like one long list of To Dos, Things I Am Late For, Things I Have Forgotten Entirely, and a few rote survival mandates like "Don't Put Your Face Under Water And Breathe,"  "Fire is so beautiful, ow, but don't touch it!" and "You Should Probably Stay Away From the Meds Cabinet Right About Now."

My brain is mush but here's the quick and dirty for recent events.

About three years ago, we stopped enjoying bumping into each other in the halls of our house and seeing what the neighbors were cooking for dinner through their kitchen window while sitting on the toilet looking through our bathroom window, so we casually started looking around to see about another house in the area. One on a little bit bigger piece of property, hopefully.

About two years ago, I realized that when we bought our house, shortly after we were married, we planned on being in it for "oh, around five years or so" and then possibly looking for a little bigger property and a little more space when we had kids.  That was seventeen years ago.  And before we had two kids.

About one year ago, we realized that The Dormouse had only three more grades before she would enter high school. Now we love the school they're both in now; it's great.  But the high school choices, while I'm sure would have been fine if we never moved, weren't the best options for what my kids need. 

About six months ago, I started to pay attention to houses for sale in this neighborhood I really loved because I would drive through it a couple of times a month.  One of my favorite houses there went on the market and we went to the open house knowing full well it would be out of our price range, but when we found out they were asking ONE MILLION DOLLARS for it, I realized that living in this neighborhood would probably never be a possibility for Poors like us.  Also, if you have an entire horse stable and much of a very large property converted into an place for your model train habit to happen, you might have too much money.

About four months ago, another substantially smaller house in the neighborhood went on the market and we went inside.  We hated it.  But then we drove around on some of the side streets and found a whole other section of the neighborhood that we didn't even know existed and a house for sale that we did not hate.  We did nothing about this however.

About three months ago, we were still thinking about that house so we finally got off our asses and contacted the agent after looking at a half a dozen other houses our agent showed us that were either terrible, horrible, or no-good-very-bad-under-the-flight-path-of-BWI.  We found out that this house was not only still on the market, but also had been reduced in price.  After quite a lot of horse trading, we had an agreement, a contract, an inspection, and a closing date.

About two months ago, I went out of town for a week for a work Thing with the plan that I would come home and three days later we would go to settle on the new house, then move over Thanksgiving weekend.

Also about two months ago, two days into my trip, I got a call from The KingofHearts, telling me how he'd gone to work that day and found out, along with fifty or sixty other people, that they'd all been laid off because apparently rocket explosions and corporate mergers do not go well together.  Enough said about that.  

The bank, upon finding out that we were no longer a two income family, decided that two mortgages weren't a very good risk even though we had more than enough to carry us through until The KingofHearts found another job, so they said, "No mortgage for you!" and pulled their approval.  We were in no shape to do a contingency sale, and didn't think the sellers would go for it anyway, so we mentally prepared ourselves to lose this great house in this great neighborhood with great schools that was, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, also in our price range and stay awhile longer in Shantytown.  The KingofHearts found another job in like, two days, by the way, because that's the way he rolls.  But he would have to work there for at least a month before the bank would consider re-approving our loan application, so the damage had been done.

But then our real estate agent suggested we ask for an extension on our contract.  She'd heard that they weren't planning to put the house back on the market until Spring anyway, so maybe they'd go for it. So we explained what happened and asked for six weeks to get the bank approval.  And then the seller was like, "Weeeelll, okaaaaay..."  So there was this little glimmer of hope.  And then two days later they came back and said, "Oh... Um... yeah, we know we said OK, but hey, remember all that stuff we said we'd do, like fix the carbon monoxide leak in the furnace that might kill you in your sleep and address the radon problem that might kill you in seventeen years or so?  We're not gonna do that anymore, mmmmkay?"  And we were like, "well, what can I do, you have me." (I cannot find a link to the scene I'm quoting from Santa Claus is Coming to Town, so enjoy this version of Put One Foot in Front of The Other, which comes a few minutes before the scene where Kris gets arrested because he doesn't want to sell out his penguin friend.)

So we agreed to eat the cost for some of the things we had all agreed the seller would cover in settlement and sat around for a month while The KingofHearts worked away for thirty days at the new job and while we got the bank to grant a new approval on the same mortgage, which means all those tedious things you have to do to get approved for a mortgage like provide proof of every financial holding you have in triplicate and promise to name your next-born child Beullah?... we had to do them all twice.  So that was awesome.

Somehow we got through it all.  Like when the bank said three days before our second settlement date that they couldn't approve the mortgage because I hadn't submitted all of my financial statements.  And we went scrambling and asking WHAT FINANCIAL STATEMENTS? And it turned out that what they meant was that I'd sent pages one and two of my most recent 401K statement but didn't think to scan page three because it DIDN'T HAVE ANY WRITING ON IT but they had seen that at the bottom of page one it said, "Page 1 of 3" and even though the bottom line of the statement was clearly in the middle of page two with half of a page blank after it, since page three wasn't actually there, they assumed I must be withholding valuable information like possibly where the 401K statement said, "Just kidding about that bottom line on the page before, you actually owe us money!"  So I quickly scanned A BLANK PAGE and sent it to the bank and that made everything alright again.  This was not the only ridiculous and stupidious request the bank made from us for a mortgage that they had already approved once six weeks ago.  It was just the most recent.

That's all a long-winded wind-up to the end result where we made it to our second settlement with both of us still employed and we managed to BUY A HOUSE, YA'LL!

We have been moving seventeen years of crap and memories (and some memories are crap, let me tell you) for the past couple of weeks and are now solidly living in the new house while trying to get the old albatross, house! I mean house! on the market and off our financial books as soon as possible.  Because as it turns out, we don't really need a summer home.  

We have had some of the best people on the planet come over to lend a hand with one moving project or another over the past two weeks because even though I have emphatically said for a dozen years or more that if we ever moved again we would hire a company because it would be cheaper than therapy for me, as it turns out, I can't afford a moving company or therapy. 

So that's what's been going on with us.  Underland is moving to a new location, not so far from the old location, but one with more trees and really nice neighbors who bailed us out with firewood that first night when the power company cut off the power to the house by mistake instead of changing the account over to our name on a night when it was twelve degrees to help us keep all the pipes from freezing.  And really nice neighbors on the other side who showed up one afternoon last week with a three-course evening meal made from scratch,  homemade French bread, and an offer to drive us anywhere we needed or pick up the kids from school if we were stuck in traffic.  We had some great neighbors in the old place, but this was too hospitable even for me and I may or may not have thought to myself, "It's probably not laced with cocaine..." as I accepted the soup.  Didn't say it out load though.  Medal, please. (Perhaps we should be the ones bringing dinner to all the neighbors in a sort of preemptive Parents-with-baby-on-the-plane type buy-off/apology for stupid things I will inevitably say to them soon.) 

I am not, by any means, done running around and stressing and worrying and having way too many things to do, but now, I have the added bonus of having no money with which to do them.  And I am not put together enough to stop with the run-on sentences and the beginning two of each of my sentences in every paragraph with the word "and" so suck it, high school English teacher.  On the plus side, I am sitting in my new living room looking a fire in my three-sided fireplace and I can see stars from my window.  Actual stars.