Burns Update


Well, my old house is not sitting vacant and deteriorating…   Hoorah!    Someone bought it and are doing some renovations… which has me experiencing some mixed emotions… but all in all I fall on the side of happy for the house.   

Just looking over some pictures someone took after we moved out…  as the floors in the kitchen and bathroom are not right, nor is the color of the bathroom walls…    

It’s our understanding it got some fresh paint and new floors before going on the market.    Lost some of its character in the bathroom, but oh well… that thing needed a serious remodel anyway.

Drove by the other day and the yard is all torn up…   Gabe says it looks like it did when he moved in.    Gone is all his landscaping.   I do hope its to replace it with something even better.   

It makes me happy that its getting some attention though.     For the right people, I’m sure it was a sweet deal.    Just hope its new owners, as I suspect they have a ‘flip-this-house,’ mentality don’t lose their shirts.    Its a tough house to sell to anyone intending to occupy it for the long term.    Very cute, until you get to the lack of closet space.   That, according to Gabe, has always been the sticking point where people walk away without making an offer.     (He went through four owners in his tenure.)   That hospital with its ‘always under reconstruction’ ways is also kind of a hit against the place.

But still, it’s faring better than I had thought it would, and that’s promising… not only for its future, but the community as a whole.   Indeed that neighborhood has a lot of remodeling going on.   I also noted that my former neighbors are done flipping the two houses they bought (the one next to my old one and the one behind it since its all the same actual parcel), as they are both up for sale now.     Still curious what they did about that mold issue…

So begins the new life…

Officially and utterlly all moved out. We had our turn-over-the-keys inspection yesterday evening at about 5 PM pacific. All went well. The property management firm should be receiving the cash-for-keys check today or tomorrow, at which point he’ll let us know so we can pick it up. Thus, all is well in the world.

It also means not having to be on any particular clock or timetable anymore. I can unpack things at my own liesure. Though all the boxes are a bit much, so it spurs me to tackle it sooner rather than later. Besides, I have a 10×10 that needs clearing out too… and floor space in the garage to stage that would be helpful.

In the meantime, we’re setting up some Christmas. Not quite the ‘decorate the tree on Christmas Eve’ thing, but close. 🙂

Keeping in mind I’ve been actively living in the new place for just over a week now… the final good bye at the old place clearly affected me. All this time I’ve managed to keep it clear in my head which home I was travelling too… but last night, afterwards… I found myself driving to the wrong home on two occasions. Moving sucks, but I can’t say I’m sorry I’ve moved. Feel good about this place. I NEVER sleep well in a strange place. This one has a host of unfamiliar noises. Yet, from the very first night, I’ve had no uneasyness about it… no fits of insomnia… just peaceful sleep. Not sure what’s up with that. Its been very auspicious, this new house. One couldn’t really get more clear that one is definitely in the right place at the right time, on the right path.

Happy Monday!


As happy as a Monday can be, anyway.   Statistically, its the most likely day of the week to have a heart-attack.

How’s that for grim tidings?


So today is the first day I don’t have to come home and start packing stuff up to move over to the new house.    That’s because I’m all moved out.   Old house is cleaned up and devoid of any trappings of occupancy.    Its sad.    Its also losing its power and water, so it’ll be sitting there freezing in the cold.    At least I can drive by it now and again and wave at it.

Instead of running home to pack something up… I’ll be running to storage to load up my car and start the exodus of belongings from there.     Gabe really wants a Christmas tree, so first order of business is to retrieve the ornaments.    Best thing is… its all staying onsite when the holiday is come and gone.   He doesn’t know it yet, but when he’s off of work his job is to go fetch a tree.    Or assemble a fake one.  His choice.    We have five fake trees between us.   Not counting the Halloween one.     My plan was to donate them all to charity.    I’m not all that particular myself, but a real one is always nice… and he pretty much would rather have real over fake… so it didn’t seem worthwhile to keep storing them…

But now we have a huge house and I probably need my fake ones so I can live my dream of having a tree in every room.     :)     It was all started when my late (step) grandpa Lee donated us a Christmas tree.    I don’t remember if we just didn’t like it, or already had a bigger one… but that year we had a tree in the living room and a tree in the dining room.     Always fascinated by Yule-trees, I was pretty awestruck at having such a luxurious lifestyle I could have two trees in my house.    I certainly thought we were the cool kids for it.


Got another package from the parental units of Oklahoma.    You guys rock.    But I’m waiting until Saturday to open them.


Tonight(ish) is the Full Moon, as well as a full Lunar Eclipse…   coinciding with the Winter Solstice.    Officially I think it all kicks off midnight Eastern.    Time zones are tricky, but its a neat arrangement of celestial events.    Accounts vary, but its been some centuries since we had a lunar eclipse on the shortest day of the year.   (Well, for my Northern Hemisphere fans anyway… those of you south of the equator are, of course, in summer!   No snow for you.)

The winter solstice marks a time of rebirth and renewal, and the eclipse only exacerbates that.    So tonight/tomorrow is a grand time to start bringing about your own rebirth and/or renewal in whatever areas of your life need refreshing.   

It’s auspicious for me, given that Gabe and I have spent the last year operating without any real sense of direction… knowing much in our future was in limbo.   Recently we’ve had some changes and find ourselves entering this time with a definitive course.   New house, new job (for Gabe)…   one chapter of our lives has closed and a new one begun.   Renewal and rebirth.     That and eclipses are my portent anyway.   Lunar or solar, I’m not picky.    Time for the Rite of House Warming.

Speaking of warming your home… those eco-friendly duraflame-like logs for the fireplace?    Forget them.  They’re crap.    That or the instructions weren’t followed.   But its not like a duraflame-like log is a mystery or anything…  so I’m going with crappy.      A very disappointing fireplace experience we had with it.   

Even more dismay…

So yesterday afternoon was a crappy one.   I did, however, receive a package at my new house from my dad and step-mom.   So there was that to brighten it up.   I do like getting packages in the mail.    Yay for Christmas presents! Thanks!!! Seriously. You have no idea how much that made my day better.

We also got an impromptu visit from the Dowds, so I finally had a moment to commiserate with other people directly affected by the cancellation of Stargate Universe.    I’ll have more to say about that in a future post.

Today is not shaping up to be much better, unfortunately.     Its snowing.   I was an hour late to work.    Gabe may be the victim of identity theft.  We’re not sure what’s up yet.   But it definitely seems his paypal account, at least, has been compromised.   His checking is overdrawn and we see two transactions to transfer money into Paypal, from his account.   Of course the bank won’t let him dispute it until after it clears.  I suspect it’ll reject anyway.    Otherwise we’ll have to wait til Tuesday when it shows up in Paypal to transfer it back.. which takes a few days as well.    Obviously we need to change his passwords and such.

And the law offices representing Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac continue to be non-responsive.    Looks like our cash-for-keys deal (whereby we agree to move out in a matter of weeks instead of the 60+ days we’re given by law… an agreement we’ve certainly upheld our end on) may not happen afterall.    Kinda hard to get you the paperwork in time if you can’t be bothered to get it to me in time to fill it out and get it back to you.     Sunday is the deadline.   It’s Friday.   

None of this bodes well for my wallet.   I have a hefty installment to make toward the moving-in costs, which will pretty much negate today’s paycheck (once groceries have been acquired).    Being as we were supposed to be getting some cash on Sunday, that wasn’t a big  deal… but now…   

Well, this too shall pass.     I have some options.  Unattractive ones, but options nevertheless.

The Post Move Monday Update


Good morning!    I am pleased to report that the move went off without a hitch.    Only one minor moment of frayed nerves resulting in snappiness between me and Mr. Gabe…    I’m proud of us for keeping our cool in exhausting circumstances.

Lost some inches on my waist in the process, as a pair of pants I’ve never needed a belt with were staying up just fine on Saturday, but come Sunday I had to keep pulling them back up.     According to the scale, I’ve reduced my body fat by a couple percentage points as well.     I guess now that I’ve moved all our belongings I’ll have to get back into normal exercise routines.    I’m surprisingly unsore this morning.   Musta been the first long, hot shower I’ve had in over a year that I took last night.     I LOVE the new water heater.  I could fit a couple of bodies in there its so big.

So Saturday was not only the day we officially brought the NEW Radcliffe online  (aka the New Temple, to keep with our biblical themes).    Yup.   12 – 11 – 10    That’s the date to remember.      Also on that date, this blog reached a new record with 49 views.    If only I had one more person interested in my ramblings…

Apparently that fire ‘scare’ the night before got you all interested.    Either that or you were all really in need of some party etiquette.     What do you think?  Should “Cindy Goes to a Party” be official Radcliffe training material?

This week entails final clean-up of the old place.    We are slightly ahead of schedule.

That is all.. I’m going to get to work now.



That’s the sound that is made when the various aspects of your life, that have been floating up in the air (figuratively of course) suddenly and definitively lock into place for you, thereby stabilizing the chaos that has been the norm.    (And people say there is no magic in the world.)

My chief engineer informs me the temporary alarm should be up and running and that I’m now green-lighted to begin the actual moving of stuff.   That’s my day for today.   : )

Tuesday, Mr. Gabe starts his new job.   He’ll be working for ADI.   So that’s two full-time incomes we’re back too.   No more of the on-again, off-again situation of him working.   He gets to stay within his industry so he’s pretty excited.   No more crawling around dirty attics or gross under-houses either.   : )

The transitions are going much smoother than foreseen.    His old boss was uncharacteristically nice and gracious about his departure.   The landlady is being quite flexible in allowing us to space out the deposit so we’re not experiencing too much financial strain in moving.  

The Force is with us.

The wheels are in motion…


We just dropped off our rental app and deposit.   From our conversations with the homeowner today it all seems like a formality at this point.    She’s definitely sold on us.

So…  looks like I will probably start moving this weekend.

Originally we were aiming for mid-December, but she offered to start letting us move in sooner with discounted first-month’s rent…  since we could, we took her up on it.  Gives us ample breathing room to facilitate the move.   Things to do.

We’d like a functional alarm system before we have to actually sleep there, so now we won’t be so rushed to get that sort of thing done.    Busy weekend ahead though.

On the plus side… since we won’t be moving mid-month… and because having onsite storage means no more off-site storage, we’ll have Yule time décor readily accessible and it would now make sense to actually bother with expressing holiday cheer.   It didn’t make sense to bother with things like a tree when you knew you were going to do a tear-down mere days after completing the setup.    I like my holidays, but if you saw my Halloween pics, you might have a sense of the amount of effort that goes into it.   (This year I started Hallowmas at the beginning of September.   Next year, we were talking about, is looking more like August… although, now that we have garage (aka workshop) space, it might make for some more ambitious plans than we originally had.  That in turn may necessitate an even earlier start.   

2011 will mark the 13th anniversary of Radcliffe, so naturally we have a duty to celebrate and celebrate big this year.   Its all our 13th (mostly) Annual  [this or that event], for pretty much everything.   Speaking of which… I think it’s about time to call a board meeting and a broader staff meeting.  

Definitely one of those mixed emotions type of things.   I’m still sad about having to effectively leave this house abandoned.   Its served me well.   Guess all one can do is give thanks.  

I’m also kind of bummed that the Dowds will no longer be ‘just around the corner.’   Its been cool having them at hand.    All too short a time of such close-proximity-dwelling.   On the other hand this will force the issue in resuming regularly scheduled weekly services.  

Speaking of which… this new place is laid out a lot better in terms of hosting social occasions than the current place was.   I am looking forward to full resumption of all events and services.

House Hunt


We think we have a place identified to move too.   Unfortunately its in a different neighborhood than the one i’m currently in….     BUT   it will be a homecoming of sorts if we get approved.

Its in my old hood… the church’s hood…    on a street called Clemson.     Nicest part of that neighborhood too…   The people there take really good care of their houses.    It was obvious ten years, or so ago, when I lived there.   Parts of the neighborhood haven’t faired all that well since, but this section is still very much the nicest part and seems untouched by the time I’ve been away.    Very quiet too, which will be nice.

Bigger yard for the puppies to play in as well.    I can’t wait for the holidays of 2011.    I’m gonna have a lot of fun setting up halloween there.    We can finally go all out on the yard.

A bit more expensive than the current place, but I think all in all it will be worth it.   Its in very good condition, and a bit more modern.  I suspect that while my rent will be increasing, other things like my heating bill will be decreasing as a result of things like better weather-proofing.    With central a/c… that should cut costs too by not having to run three different air conditioners in key locations around the house.     In the grand-scheme of things we should pretty much be breaking even.    Lets hope anyway.

Oh and it has a garage.   My car will be doing cartwheels in the lawn for that.    Of course since it isn’t built for such things, it will probably total itself out in the process.    Silly car.

Anyway, Gabe is picking up the application at lunch today.   The lady that owns it seems really excited about us.    She made some comments yesterday when we were viewing it that she had just recently bought the place from an elderly couple.   One of their concerns was that it was sold to someone who would take care of it.   Its obvious from the condition of the place they had a lot of love for their home.    Its kind of endearing that the new owner is serious about her promise to them.   Her biggest concern is getting tenants that will take care of the property too.    I don’t think she could ask for better ones.     The before and after of the current place is astonishing.   It went from literal shit-hole to  “wow, you have such a nice house,” under Gabe’s tenancy.   If we get the place, we’ll be starting from “wow, you have such a nice house” so I’m kind of curious to see what become of it there.    

The implications for Radcliffe are…   promising.   

Wednesday is Roast Beef?

Or was that Monday?

The Glee cast version of Teenage Dream is arguably more catchy (as in stuck-in-your-head) than the original.    Still, I’m quickly becoming a Katy Perry fan.   Not that I disliked her before… but after watching some videos from her current album…   she’d be darn fun to hang out with I think.

That and she seems to really like things shooting from her breasts.


Anyway.   Just got in from the cold.   Checked out that house I mentioned yesterday.  We’ll dub it the Roberts Alley House for now.

I like it.   Roomy, and spacious.    A bit bigger than the current house.   Forced-air heating which is a must and apparently open to me having dogs.    Still in the general neighborhood.    Also its well fenced which will yield itself nicely to boundary-guard defenses.    I think if I had to choose between an alley house and a duplex, I’d go for the alley.    It might be removed from the street-side, but at least its still a stand-alone structure.    Duplexes are dubious, unless you have a cool neighbor.  

Plus, it’s a lot quieter in the alley than it is on the street.    That alone would be a welcome change.   

Downside is that its an alley, which doesn’t benefit from city-provided snow removal.   Seems the other alley residents (can we call them alley cats?) aren’t all that concerned with keeping it ice-free either…    Salt, however, isn’t all that expensive and whilst I detest snow-shoveling… I’m not above getting out there and actually doing it.    Perhaps we can lead by example and get it to become a community effort to keep our roadway clear.     Not the first experience I’d have with shared driveways either, so I’m sure I can manage.

Definitely on the list.   I’ll have to set up an appointment for my boy to go check it out when he gets home.

Tuesday is Green Beans?


Actually I don’t remember what day goes to what food from that song… if I could remember all the foods, I could sing it until I got it in the right order… but alas, no.

Ah… life at Scout Camp.


So the big snowing we were supposed to get over the weekend was pretty much nothing.  Today was only forecast as a chance of snow… and wouldn’t you know it, we’re getting more today than we did all weekend.   One of my coworkers sent an email entitled “Snow vs. Mustang” in which he announced he would not be making it in to work today, but would instead be telecommuting.   He attached a pic of of his snowed in car.   I wasn’t particularly convinced… I’ve unburied myself from worse… but weather reports confirm he’s in the part of town with some of the heaviest snow-fall.   Nearly a foot in some places I’m told.

Yup, its winter time.   


Went to Facebook for the aforementioned occasional friend-request approving… it must have known it was me, as it promptly decided to stop rendering pages correctly.   Smile   Those of you waiting for my Facebook friend approval should have to wait no more.   Unless you literally just added me.


Got an appointment to see a house tomorrow.   High end of my price range, but it comes with an extra bedroom, which would be welcome, and they didn’t seem to think there would be a problem with the dogs.

A couple of streets up from where I’m at.   I think its in an alley though, so that might be a no-go for Gabe.  We’ll see.   Most of my options appear to be of the duplex variety and I’m not at all keen on such an arrangement.   Plan to spend the holiday weekend pre-screening places to show to Gabe when he returns from his adventures in Oregon.