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Some before pics

We're still trying to get everything together for our loan approval. Getting affordable insurance in this town is a BITCH. With all the wind, hail and flood crap, rates are out of this world, and surely seems as though they will solely be the death of me. So far we're looking at an annual price of $6000 for home owner's. It's crazy. The area didn't even flood during Katrina, but just since we've had 2 major hurricanes in the past 20+ years, the insurance company feel the need to ass rape you in order to provide you with coverage.
Anyway, here are some before pictures. These were taken off the listing for the house while it still contained furniture. Most of what you see in these pictures is either gone or will be going, as the house is getting a major overhaul with new paint, floors, fixtures, fence, and more. Enjoy and let me know what you think about our new home sweet home! The pix below are of the outside, the family room (which will be somewhat of a game room for Ruben) the pool table room (which will be changed to a family/living room), half of the master bath (can't wait to get in that jacuzzi tub!!!), and the over-sized master suite which is so big it also includes a sitting area and fireplace.


Homeless family buys house!

It's perfect timing all around! Just this morning, there was a loud bang on the door. I answered just in time to find the UPS man, as he was about to leave. The package he delivered was the proceeds sent overnight for the sale of our house in Spring Creek. So here we are, officially homeless - but don't worry, it wasn't for long. Shortly thereafter, the phone rang. It was Ruben calling to tell me that the offer we made on Monday (which had been countered, and countered yet again!) had been accepted. So we rushed off early this afternoon to sign papers and to put down our earnest money. If all goes according to plan we should close on our house on December 15th, but despite the rushed escrow, we won't be moving in just then. We have big plans before moving in to have the flooring and paint re-done, as well as a fence, the counter top, and upgrading bath and light fixtures. Yeah, I know it sounds like a ton of work. Good thing Ruben has made friends with the contractors who are re-doing his office at work. They are willing to take on side jobs such as painting, tile, wood floors, counter tops and bathrooms. We would only need to find someone to install a fence and lay carpet. They even will do the work for very decent wages, which is an added bonus. The goal is to get all the work done prior to moving in, and hopefully have it all done soon so we can get out of this apartment and get back all our belongings. I can't wait to be home, to have a home again, to have all my stuff and to have my scrap space again. But the best part (other than getting the house for less than the $350,000 asking price - a mere bargain at $285,000!) will be owning this HUGE house, and living comfortably again!
I will post before pictures soon. I know, I know, I still haven't even posted all the pictures from the drive here, or from the tour of the French Quarters - but I swear, I will post these before and after pictures!


I think we have a winner!

After seeing quite a few homes over the holiday weekend, I'm happy to say we have finally found the one. The house has been on the market for quite a while, so we are hoping to pick it up for less than asking price. The house, which has 4 bedrooms and 3 and 1/2 baths, has a whopping 3,600+ square feet. Of course, we found a few things we will want to replace - but as with any house, you want to make whatever changes are necessary to make it home. It's hard to say what the real selling point of the house was....possibly the 2+ car/golf cart over sized garage, maybe the kitchen with it's endless counter top, the master closet which was big enough to fit a 2 twin beds end to end, was it the 28x17 master, the 20x18 2nd bedroom, or was it the whole golf course community? In any case, we fell in love with it, and are on our way to meet with our agent today in hopes of extending an offer that will be accepted! Keep your fingers crossed!


Happy & Thankful

This year, however hard and difficult it has been with another move, and the loss of my mother - it still has brought to heart how much you should just stop everything in your life and enjoy it and those around you while you can, while they are here. Don't take anything for granted. Life is the greatest gift of all, and I've been blessed with it. I have this awesome gift of love from a wonderful husband, a beautiful child, and faithful canine companion. I'm thankful for having a place to eat and sleep, even if it means living temporarily in an apartment while in between houses. I'm thankful to have plenty of money in the bank to afford a very comfortable lifestyle that we've all become so accustom to. I'm thankful for all the family I have left, regardless of how small it has become. And this year, I am especially grateful for new friends, who in the absence of having family nearby, took us in and invited us into their home for a warm, down home, family style Thanksgiving with all of their family and friends. It's friends like these that make the best, and we've been blessed to have more than a few.
Happy Thanksgiving!


Christmas comes early for us....

Actually, that's not entirely true. We'll still be celebrating Christmas next month, and we'll still get gifts then, but we're all also getting what we want now. Last week was Cash Sharing for Ruben. Always nice to get this little bonus every May and November, but as an added bonus, he also got his Manager's Bonus as well. While his Manager's Bonus wasn't as big as what most Manager's get, we can't complain. After all, he was only a Manager for 1 month before the end of the Fiscal year. Besides, extra money is extra money. While we will be saving most of the money for Disney World in the Spring, some will also go for Christmas, as well as some expensive toys we've been wanting. I made a deal with Ruben that if he let's me have $1000, then he could have $1000 to spend on whatever he wants. Reluctantly, he agreed. He knew that his $1000 would buy the new Klipsch speakers he's been wanting for the surround sound....while my eye has been researching the new CraftRobo Pro my heart desires for all my scrapbooking needs. While I desperately want this machine, the cost made me think twice - but now with all this extra money, why not get it. I deserve it! Now I just gotta find a place that I want to order it from. I can't wait!!
This little goody will also make up for all that I am about to go through.
Now that I've settled in some here in Louisiana, I've started the search for new doctors. I'm going to see a plastic surgeon next week about undergoing breast reconstruction once again. I'm not looking forward to the pain, but it will be nice to put it all behind me once and for all. I also have to find a new pain doctor and a new oncologist. It's been a while since I've had a blood test to make sure I'm still in remission, and I also need a mammogram done...but that will have to wait till we get a house as my past films are packed up in storage. I'm actually thinking about having my other breast removed, even though I said after my mastectomy that I would NEVER EVER go through that again. The only reason why I contemplate it now is because of the fear of cancer returning. I think it would be better to get 2 implants at once, then get cancer down the road and go through all this again. It's a lot to think about and discuss with the doctor. Hell first we've gotta see if the insurance will approve it - which I don't really think will be a problem. But I wonder if I should wait on any procedures until we get settled into a house, which may be a few more months. Our old house hasn't even closed escrow yet, as the date has been put off twice now as the person buying the house of the person buying ours has had problems with the funding coming through.....that and all these bank holidays. Hopefully it will close this Tuesday as scheduled. Keep your fingers crossed, we want this done and over with.
Here's a picture of the new toy I want - look it up and you'll see all the great stuff this machine can do!


I know it's only November, but.....

I cannot wait till next month! Not just because of Christmas, but also because we have tickets, 3 tickets to be exact, to go see the Saint's play in the Dome! I don't think I've ever been this excited to see a football game....hell, I've never even seen a football game in person - only baseball and hockey, so this will be a first. Natalie's all happy that the 3 of us will get to go together. It's gonna be a great day! I for one know that I'm ready for some football!

More than a Halloween

It was more like a party. Ruben had heard from one of his co-workers about this housing area that is elaborately decorated, and known all around as being one of the best spots to trick or treat. We arrived early as told, to make sure we found parking, then awaited the darkness to come. We started going house to house shortly after the sun set. At first it was somewhat slow, but not long after the whole area was booming. There were hundreds of people everywhere, and everyone young and old were dressed up. It ended up more like Mardi Gras than Halloween. Aside from being an upscale neighborhood, we also found that motorcycle cops were regularly patrolling the area to make sure it a safe experience for all. One house had awesome decorations, as well as many people dressed up in scary costumes. I have to admit this house had even frightened me a bit! They had this guy running around as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and another as Pinhead. This other house had all sorts of decorations, but the alien they had enclosed in a capsule is what really scared Natalie. You should have seen the way she jumped out of her skin when the arm moved, it was priceless! But more than the elaborate displays and massive crowds were the houses that gave out the real goods. At one house there were platters of Subway, cups full of soda, and even wine and beer. One house held a concert, as another made snow cones, and the last one had endless hot dogs and soda on tap. All this food and drink were in addition to the sack full of candy Natalie got. Then throw in the entertainment, and all the people, and you've got yourself the biggest party imaginable. That's the way to do Halloween!


What a blast!

Posting pictures from our Halloween party experience. It was awesome! Will post later about the whole night's activities.