Monthly Archives: June 2013

It’s Just Like Rollerskating for the First Time

The next thing on my bucket list for this year is, “sew something I can wear outside.”

My sewing adventure started out a a little awkward.  I went to a fabric store.  I found a pattern labeled, “easy.”  The picture showed a plain dress with sleeves and a zipper.  I went to have my fabric cut and the worker lady asked, “how much do you need?”

I said, “I don’t know, this is my first human project.”

She said, “human project?”

I said, “the only other thing I’ve sewn is dog hoodies.”

She said, “dog hoodies?”

I said, “Yeah hoodies for my dogs.  They don’t wear them much because the XXL size was a little small.  They look like sausages.  Or hot dogs.”

She said, “You should get two yards.  Just in case.”

I brought the fabric home and fought my way through the instructions.  I couldn’t get my sewing machine to sew straight.  I kept getting crazy stitches!  See that picture in the middle?  My whole dress was covered in the crooked mess.  You remember the first time you tried to roller skate?  It felt exactly like that–everything was sliding all over the place!  And, there was a needle in the middle of the rink instead of the owner’s kid showing off.

After about an hour of googling.  I figured it out.  I needed to put the foot down on my sewing machine.  It holds the fabric down.  Duh.  I’m such a rookie.  Anyway, after that, I got some straight(er) lines.   See the difference?

sewing collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the foot couldn’t help me figure out how to put sleeves or a zipper on my dress.  So I just sewed the front and the back together, slapped a belt and jacket on, and wore it to work.  I didn’t get any compliments on it.  Some people just don’t know what fine craftsmanship looks like.  But, I took a photo shoot with the dogs in the field– for proof anyway.

dress collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it wasn’t so hot outside, I would have put Pink and Rick in their dog hoodies for the photo shoot.

Take that bucket list.

Anybody completed a goal lately?  This is about six months longer than I’ve ever stuck with New Year’s Resolutions.

 

psst… if you like this post, please follow my blog.  Just type your email address in the box in the right hand column.  Then, you will get an email when I post something new/crazy.  It would mean a lot to Pink and Rick.  They always brag to other dogs about how many followers they have.

Why We Lost Our Foreclosure

Well.  We lost our foreclosure.  Remember the foreclosure we wanted to buy?  And here’s another post about it.  And here’s another.

The basic gist is that we found a foreclosure.  It needed a lot of repairs, but it would have been a great investment.

However, after two months of work, we lost it last week.  I mourned like a Pink and Rick missing a meal.

IMG_3182

Our lender said they wouldn’t lend us the money because the repair costs would be too expensive.  Basically, the bank said the home would need $8,000 in repairs and they wouldn’t lend us the money.  I came to two conclusions:  banks have no imagination, and I wish we had cash.

The system really favors cash buyers–or buyers who have access to cash through a partner or relationship with a lender.  No wonder all these real estate investors seem to get rich off foreclosures.  They can buy the properties with cash or leverage that ordinary people can’t get financing for.  If we had a connection with a lender or were independently wealthy, then the foreclosure would be ours.

I believe that the foreclosure house we wanted to buy was a truly good deal.  But, because there was sub-flooring work that needed to be done–and electrical work– and potentially a body in the pool– the bank wouldn’t lend us the money.  Even with great credit scores and a 20% down payment– which we have.

It’s a interesting world.

I learned a ton.  I think this will sum up my real estate lesson.  Buyers fall into two groups, traditional and non-traditional.  Traditional buyers buy houses close to sticker prices and can get loans from banks.  Some traditional buyers get great deals, but they are the exception.  Non-traditional buyers get deep discounts for fixer uppers or by buying a property when the sellers need cash fast.  Non-traditional buyers typically need cash or access to it.

This all goes to show that building wealth in America favors people with money.  Particularly, people with liquid cash or access to liquid cash.  I’ve always known this, but I didn’t realize that even in small deals– like a $46,000 foreclosure– it is still true.  Our experience is just a small example.  Think of millionaires and billionaires in our country.  These people can sway politicians to make laws in favor of them.  While the rest of us are excited about an employer match into our 401Ks, they are using their cash to build a country that works for them.

I’m not sad about the foreclosure-kick-in-the-face that we just received.  I’m wiser.  I’m happy we tried.  I’m happy we know the rules.  I’m happy we learned.  Well, happy isn’t quite the word for it… just yet.

Honestly, my feelings don’t matter.  This situation isn’t good or bad or fair or unfair.  It’s just how it is.  It’s facts.  It’s how the game is played.

So, we will play by the game’s rules and go find some cash or connections.  We will play by the rules until we can make the rules.  Isn’t that how life is?  You play by other people’s rules until you make the rules.

We lost the house.  But, now we know how the game is played, and we will win next time.  Watch out real estate moguls everywhere!  I just need to find a pot of gold.  Maybe it’s under Pink and Rick’s bowl.  But, if it was they probably ate it…

Thanks so much to everyone who asked about the house over the last two/three months!  So sweet.  We will get them next time.

What do you think about my real estate lesson?  Am I way off?

 

psst… if you like this post, please follow my blog.  Just type your email address in the box in the right hand column.  Then, you will get an email when I post something new/crazy.  It would mean a lot to Pink and Rick.  They always brag to other dogs about how many followers they have.

My Dog Thinks He’s a Supermodel

Rick thinks he’s a supermodel.  I can prove it.

1.  He demands VIP Service getting into the truck.

IMG_3217

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  He loves posing with his nose in the air.

IMG_3190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  And. Here. Is. The. Proof.  Check out this pouty look as he makes the wind move through his ears.

model pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  But, it gets worse.  In his mind he was totally pretending to take a Glamour Shot like this.

model pic extras

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should I take him to the vet for visions of grandeur?

p.s. I’m kind of embarrassed I have a college degree, and I’m drawing on my dog’s face.  Let’s forget that for now…okay?

 

psst… if you like this post, please follow my blog.  Just type your email address in the box in the right hand column.  Then, you will get an email when I post something new/crazy.  It would mean a lot to Pink and Rick.  They always brag to other dogs about how many followers they have.

 

 

A Side Effect of Dog Blogging. Beware.

There is a side effect of blogging about your dogs.  I thought it would be carpel tunnel that smells like dog breath, but turns out it’s…projects!

My coworker asked me to make an invitation to her son’s birthday bash.  Here’s the final product.  What do you think?  Any suggestions?

Henry's Invite for blog 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her son is obsessed with forklifts, so I squeezed it in.  Isn’t he the coolest kid ever?  I wish Pink and Rick would get obsessed with construction machines.  They would be way more interesting to talk to.

Also, my dog blogging skills have landed me a pretty cool web design gig.  I’m setting up a website for my friend’s online boutique.  The store is only on Facebook right now.  Here’s the link.  In a couple weeks their site will be up and running.  Hopefully.   The clothes are so cute, and the mom and daughter who run it are AMAZING people.

I have NO qualifications for designing invites or websites, but I have a theory about life.  It’s say yes.

My theory happened by accident.  I was a freshman in college.  I just moved into the dorm and didn’t know anyone.  My roommate–who I just met–asked me to have dinner with her parents and a friend.  I said no, because I didn’t want to feel awkward.  Big mistake.  I ended up alone, in a tiny room with walls made out of cinder blocks.  I told myself I would say yes from then on.  It isn’t the best philosophy, because it gets me into trouble.  But, I learn a bunch of stuff…eventually.  And, I usually have a great time–unless I get carpel tunnel from googling for answers to my problems!  Everything comes back to carpel tunnel.

So, you should say yes to something new.   Today.  You don’t have to be qualified.  Let me know how it goes!

psst… if you like this post, please follow my blog.  Just type your email address in the box in the right hand column.  Then, you will get an email when I post something new/crazy.  It would mean a lot to Pink and Rick.  They are always bragging to other dogs about how many followers they have.

Cheap Summer Vacation We All Should Take

Pink and Rick got their first invitation to the lake.  We got invited, too, which is good because the dogs can’t drive themselves…yet.  We went to visit one of my bestest/oldest friends, Sarah, her husband, and her parents.

The dogs made a new bestie beastie, this Black Lab, Hamilton.

IMG_3128

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were full of obnoxiousness spirit as usual.

Pink immediately jumped in the fountain/gold fish pond.  Probably starting mass goldfish hysteria.

Rick was a bully on the doggy ladder.  He plopped down, with a cigar in his mouth, and wouldn’t budge.

IMG_3166

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, Rick ate a starter log.  And passed out.

IMG_3176

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone drank a little beer–given to them by a man called Bill-dozer.

IMG_3171In

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we had to leave.  It was sad, because the lake is so magical.

Our lake weekend made me think of summer vacations.  Remember that feeling you used to get on the last day of school?  That feeling of freedom?  The last day of school was like jumping on a giant cloud of chocolate pudding–with rubber pants on, of course.  I’ve got to keep it hygienic.  You can insert your own delicious/rubbery analogy here.

So I’ve been trying to asking myself, “what can I take a vacation from this summer?”

Work?  Nope.

Dogs?  They will probably eat me.

Blogging?  I like it too much.

Buying our first foreclosure?  Not after we’ve waited for two months.  And still haven’t closed.

Computer programming class?  Not sure why I took it…

Cooking?  I don’t do it anyway.

Brushing my teeth?  Possibly…  Just kidding!

I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m going to try and find something to take a break from this summer.  Any ideas?  Maybe, if we all look really hard we can find pockets of time to be like Rick and just plop down somewhere and refuse to move.