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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Art and You

Looks like I'm a Renaissance woman! A lot of this hits close to the mark. To find out what your taste in art says about you, take the test.



The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosopy, religion, art, politics, science, and all other aspects of intellectual enquiry. Renaissance artists looked at the human aspect of life in their art. They did not reject religion but tended to look at it in it's purest form to create visions they thought depicted the ideals of religion. Painters of this time had their own style and created works based on morality, religion, and human nature. Many of the paintings depicted what they believed to be the corrupt nature of man.

People that like Renaissance paintings like things that are more challenging. They tend to have a high emotional stability. They also tend to be more concientious then average. They have a basic understanding of human nature and therefore are not easily surprised by anything that people may do. They enjoy life and enjoy living. They are very aware of their own mortality but do not dwell on the end but what they are doing in the present. They enjoy learning, but may tend to be a bit more closed minded to new ideas as they feel that the viewpoint they have has been well researched and considered. These people are more old fashioned and not quite as progressive. They enjoy the finer things in life like comfort, a good meal, and homelife. They tend to be more spiritual or religious by nature. They are open to new aesthetic experiences.
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So what did the test reveal about you?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are We There Yet?

I'm not really out of hiatus. Actually, it may be a little longer than I expected because—are you ready for this—I Haz A House!

We sign this Friday.

On Friday, I will be running around like a mad woman getting utilities turned on and MOVING.

I am hiring movers for the big furniture, but Greg and I will move boxes. I really don't want people touching my boxes. If something's going to get broken, I'd rather know I did it.

Sooo…taking into account that I still haven't found a provider, it might be up to a week before I'm online again. I will be able to check email from my g-mail account if I can find a wireless connection. If you want to write me, the addy is: (my full name) at gmail.com.

Until I find a provider, gmail will be the most reliable way to reach me.

I am excited that this nightmare is nearly at an end. Greg and I agreed that this particular move has been the most stressful event in our entire lives—even worse than Hurricane Rita when we lived without power for a month. That gives you some indication on how bad this has been.

The marathon of grueling trials we had to endure for the last three months, topped with injuries, surgeries, and other sundry hurricanes tested us body and soul, but the light is at the end of the tunnel--and this time it's not a train coming at us.

I want to take a moment to thank all my friends, many of you who wrote to check up on me. You guys remind me how lucky I am. I love you guys. Thank you!

I hope things will line out by November. I know my life will be better in 2009. I'm planning on it!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On Hiatus


One house down, one to go. I'm in refugee status for a while until we can close on the other house. I'll check in soon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sleep? You get sleep?

We've been packing and storing for four days straight, breaking only long enough to eat. We had movers scheduled but since our plans changed in midstream we couldn't get them to change the pick up time on short notice.

The house is now 3/4 empty. We're taking a quick trip to SE Texas to drop off a trailer load of chemicals, paint and the grill. The storage unit won't store those things, so we have to take them elsewhere.

We close on my house tomorrow. They are giving us until Friday to move everything out.

On a positive note, this reminds me how tough we are when necessary. Who says two old people can't move a huge glass china cabinet by themselves? It made the trip without a scratch or broken glass. I hope the movers are as careful. That thing is HEAVY!

Okay, off for a 300 mile jaunt. Be back tomorrow.

This link came in my mail today. Evidently, I still have my sense of humor.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Homeless

I knew it was too good to be true.

We are supposed to close on both houses, the one I'm selling and the one I'm buying this coming week. Friday night I got a phone call telling me that the survey was not coming out right for the house we're buying. We're buying acreage so making sure that survey is correct was paramount.

Right now that contract is in limbo. No one knows who actually owns the other four acres. We contracted for a home on nearly six acres and I want it all. Real estate lawyers have now gotten involved. What a mess!

But wait. It gets worse.

As of Wednesday, I am technically homeless. I spent most of last night crying. I worked so hard to get to this point. Juggling surgeries, hurricanes, job worries, and realtors. This last volley of heartache kicked me in the gut.

After a sleepless night, Greg and I decided to put our things in storage and look for an apartment for me while we straighten this mess out. This morning, I was visiting my friend, Mel, and I told her about our predicament. That wonderful friend of mine hugged me and told me that I can stay at her house for as long as I want. I nearly broke down and started crying again.

I have the best friends in the world.

Eight years ago, I moved up to the Dallas area. Another manager who worked with me also moved here from west Texas. Unlike me, she had no luck finding a home in her price range, so I told her she could live with me until she could get on her feet.

Who would've thought Karma would come back to repay me just when I needed it most.

I am exhausted, but at least I have some place to sleep next Saturday. I will try to keep blogging for as long as I can, if only to hear from friendly folk from time to time.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Hiatus is Coming

No Killer Campaign post today. My last day to blog might be Sunday because ---wait for it--- I am finally moving!!

I have never in my entire life been through such a difficult time when it came to buying and selling a house. Buying was bad enough in that it took months to find the right house. But selling!!

Holy moley.

We had three contracts on the house, one within the first five days of being listed and two more a few weeks later. Each one collapsed before it got to the table. There was always something. One buyer asked for too many amendments, another seemed shaky on the financing, and the third was just flakey. Methinks he was a looky-loo but I can't imagine why he would go as far as putting in a bid.

From listing to final contract only took two months, yet it's been the longest and most stressful period in my life. Next time, I will move first and then sell a vacant house. It was just too hard to bug out with a giant dog in tow every time someone wanted to show the house.

To add to the stress, within 24 hours of accepting the last contract, we found the house. I say, "we" because I was only partially there. The listing came up right after my eye surgery. Greg insisted that we see the house even though I couldn't see very well. I was grateful for the fresh air even if I couldn't see. I was bored out of my skull.

We went. Me, looking like the Unabomber in dark sunglasses and a baseball cap, while Greg and the realtor led me around by the arm so I wouldn't trip over anything. We were a sight.

But Greg liked this house immediately and even half blind, I got good vibes from it too. We made an offer and it was accepted!

I'll post more about it in the coming weeks. Next week begins the final ordeal of signing contracts. My eyes still aren't in good shape, so I hope those title company people are patient. I am bringing my magnifying glass--and aspirin.

More on the new digs when I get back online. Until then, hang on! I guarantee you 2009 is going to see a less stressed-out me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

When Disaster Strikes

So many people do rallies, fundraisers and promotions to raise money for disaster "victims". God bless them, but there is more to charity than money.

While the Red Cross is good about helping people who really can't afford to leave or come back, if you want to help the average Joe, here's what people need.

During a hurricane, flood, tornado or earthquake, evacuees need these things:

• Water
We never seemed to have enough drinkable water. If you meet a hurricane "victim" offer them a case of water to take back with them.

• Fuel and containers
It was soooo hard to get gas during Hurricane Rita, Ike too. Gas stations went above and beyond to restore power to their facilities, but supply was still limited. If you didn't get your gas early in the morning, you went without.

During Rita, we went back to SE Texas with as many filled gas cans as we could. But what we really had trouble finding were the actual containers. Greg came up to me in Dallas to regroup, and no where within a 60 mile area could we find gas cans. When my friend Suzy found out I was looking to borrow some gas cans, her church gave us six FILLED gas containers. They wouldn't even take our money.

• Communication
Most people have the money to ride out a disaster. It hurts us badly, but we don't need government assistance. We need to be able to reach our bank, our families and our insurance companies. During Ike, AT&T set up emergency stations so people could make phone calls.

During Rita, every radio DJ in the entire three-county area teamed together on the one working station and manned the station 24 hours a day to keep us up to date on progress and where to find gas, water and ice. I appreciated this a lot. It was a life saver. You feel so isolated after a disaster, you need to be reminded that you're not alone.

If you run into someone evacuating a disaster, what they need is a place to rest, some information about your local community (like where the bank and grocery stores are) and a friendly smile.

The government and local communities were excellent in staging preparations. You knew you were going to get socked, but at least work crews moved in quickly to restore the infrastructure. Big hugs to every utility worker and the debris removal people who braved our bird-size mosquitoes and sweltering heat. You are real heroes in my eyes.

Did you notice I put victims in quotes? I hate that word. A victim is a casualty of disaster. I didn't notice anyone like that after Rita or Ike. Even the people who lost their homes. We aren't victims. We're survivors.

And because no one can say I don't have a sense of humor when it comes to disasters, I will pass along something we got in our email from a fellow trooper.

You know you're from the Gulf Coast if:

1. You have FEMA's number on your speed dialer.

2. You have more than 300 'C' and 'D' batteries in your kitchen drawer.

3. Your pantry contains more than 20 cans of Spaghetti O's, Vienna Sausages or Spam.

4. Your social security number isn't a secret, it's written in Sharpie on your arms.

5. You are on a first-name basis with most of the people at Home Depot.

6. You will wait in line for hours to pay $4.00 for a gallon for regular unleaded.


7. You own more than three large coolers.

8. You have 2-liter Coke bottles and milk jugs filled with water in your freezer.

9. Three months ago you couldn't hang a shower curtain; today you can assemble a portable generator by flashlight.

10. You catch a 13-pound red fish - in your house.

11. You can recite from memory whole portions of your homeowner's insurance policy.

12. At local gatherings, women are attracted to the guy with the biggest chainsaw.

13. You have had tuna fish more than 5 days in a row.

14. Someone comes to your door to tell you they found your roof.

15. Your drive-thru meal consists of MRE's and bottled water.

16. Your child's first words are 'hunker down'.

17. Having a tree in your living room does not necessarily mean it's Christmas.


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A few more weeks and hurricane season will be over for another year. Yay!