Royal Blue

Thoughts of a writer, wife, mother, PhD, sister, crafty chick, program coordinator, homeowner, culture vulture, bibliophile, and blogger.
Friday, February 13, 2004
Very, Very Good News

Last night after we had just put the kids to bed, our realtor called.

We got a great offer on our house! Finally!

After last weekend's huge disappointment and much doubt about the value of our old house, it was extemely validating to get an offer that is $2K above our "bottom line" price that we had in our head.

Actually, just yesterday I was wondering if we should ask our realtor to lower the price of our house but I feared that it would not leave us much room to "negotiate" a lower price and give the buyers a feeling that they are getting "a deal."

So, this was such a blessing!! And here's the great part: they want to close by the end of this month!!! Wow! That means if everything goes ok with the inspection, etc., we won't have to pay for another month of mortgage for an empty house!!

We felt very happy and relieved last night. The buyers are a young couple buying their first house (just like we were) and although they saw our house several weeks ago and then went on to look at other houses, they kept coming back to this one, according to our realtor.

So, not only will we be selling this house and almost "breaking even" financially (for we will still owe my parents $3K to pay them back for the down payment on our new house) , we are selling it to people who really want it and appreciate the value of this house.

The other offers were so low and came with so many "complaints" about this and that, that it feels wonderful to have people buying it who will love it as much as we did.

Now, I can just hope and pray that nothing comes up between now and then to change their minds about the house.

I've learned a lot during the past 7 months of trying to sell our house. A lot.

Thursday, February 12, 2004
Who Does What

Since spring is going to be here fairly soon (let's hope!), Ed and I have started talking about his career plans for next year. He wants to finally finish his dissertation and he wants to have a teaching job that permits time for the doing that. Not sure that he'll be able to pull that off.

On the one hand, it's frustrating to have him yet again looking for a job. After years of adjunct teaching, which has no benefits and only goes semester-to-semester, Ed tried a full-time teaching job at the secondary school level this year.

Even though this job is a big improvement in terms of financial gain, the prep required and the commute are not worth it.

So, it's back to the teaching fairs he goes.

Some days I wish he was positioned in an excellent career situation and I could work part-time or freelance.

Other days, I feel lucky that I'm the one with the better job because I get to really pour myself into my career and see where it will take me. We've moved twice for my career since we got married.

I pointed out to him a few weeks ago that if he gets a teaching job with lower stress (albeit lower pay) and more flexibility, that will allow me to really move forward in my career and continue to support the family, provide benefits, etc.

He agrees, although I know part of him wishes he had the thriving career. With 2 small kids, it makes sense that one of us can be more available to "hold down the fort." And that, for now, is him.

So, we'll see how this year unfolds. Even though his teaching career has been kind of hot and cold, I have to give Ed a lot of credit.

He will cook, clean and be the primary caregiver when needed and never, ever complain (damn straight--if the shoe was on the other foot, I would too!). He will applaud me and encourage me in all my successes and never "resent" me for it, although sometimes it makes him feel bad about not matching my achievements.

It's funny, because the stress of his uncertain career can be hard for me--and our family-- sometimes. At the same time, it's freed me up to really see where my career will take me (and our family).

I really try to look at life that way--not at what I don't have (a spouse with a thriving career), but what I do have (a spouse who is hard-working and honestly, earnestly trying to find his place and willing to support me in finding mine).

Life teaches us a lot of lessons, even when we don't want to listen. I'm trying to be a better listener.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Bad Sunday; Happy Monday

Last Sunday was the first day i felt sick to my stomach about our old house that is draining our bank account.

Up until then, I've been paying that second mortgage with the hope that we'd sell it soon. That was late October.

Our most recent offer fell through on Sunday. There was a $5K difference between the prospective buyer's offer and what we needed, minimum. Finally, we offered to meet in the middle, knowing that we'd still be in debt with that price.

He refused. I am just sick about this. We've spent almost $6K since October, paying for an empty house and I found out on Sunday that our heating bill for this empty house was $110 last month. It's just killing me to be in this situation. It totally sucks.

Family members are trying to shore us up, saying the spring housing market is just around the corner. Yes, but we will be broke in 2 months at this rate. To have $10K in the bank and watch it drift away on an empty house is really an awful, demoralizing experience. I try not to think about it too much or I want to cry in a corner for an hour.

So, it was really exciting on Monday when I found out that an essay I published in an anthology last year is going to be reprinted in a new anthology of feminist writing.

Below is how the publisher described the book to me when they asked for my permission to reprint my essay called "The Feminist Wife? Notes from a political engagement." It is my autobiographical/scholarly rumination about how I brought my feminist values to bear on the whole engagement/wedding period of my life:

"Our forthcoming title is called the Women's Press Reader and it is intended primarily as a course textbook for first and second-year women's studies students in universities across Canada. There is a wide variety of feminist and womanist literature included in this reader. Works by Alice Walker, Germaine Greer, bell hooks, Emma Goldman, Catherine MacKinnon, Simone de Beauvoir and others will appear alongside contemporary Canadian writers. This text is being edited by our managing editor, Dr. Althea Prince and our Social Work editor, Dr. Susan Silva-Wayne. It will probably run about 550-600 pages. It has been conceived as an overview of the history of women's movements in that it attempts to cover 1st, 2nd and 3rd wave feminism from historical, political and philosophical perspectives."

Reprint my essay in the same text as some of the most famous feminist authors in the Western hemisphere?
Gee, what can I say but yippee yahooo!!!

I was flattered and thrilled to be "asked" to be included. And, they will be paying me a small author's fee, but the money is nothing compared to the honor.

It totally made my month.

Now, if we could just sell that old house, I'd feel this weight off my shoulders.

Sunday, February 08, 2004
Social Butterflies

After 6 months in our new house, we finally had a few social gatherings with folks other than family members.

Saturday morning I invited 4 of Molly's preschool friends to come over to decorate Valentine cookies. I had spent 30 minutes the past 4 days doing a little bit each evening to get ready for this party (make the dough one night, roll it out, cut and bake the cookies the next night, and then make the frosting Friday night) so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed on Friday night right before the party and it was well worth it.

It was just as fun as I had hoped and one of the other mother's brought lunch, so I didn't feel the burden of fully entertaining everyone. Plus,after lunch, the girls really entertained themselves playing together. They demolished Molly's room, but had fun. Even Molly noticed the mess. Before going to sleep for her nap, she said, "This room is messy!" Yes, it was. But it was a fun morning and we really need to do more playdates in the future.

Saturday afternoon while Molly and Sean slept, Ed and I quickly cleaned up because we had 10 adults and 6 kids coming over last night. We've been wanting to have our old grad school friends over and when we found out one of them was having a birthday party this weekend, we suggested everyone come over to our house to celebrate.

Everyone brought something for the party, so again my prep was light, and the kids really entertained each other and it was SO GOOD to see these friends again and just relax and have fun. It was even better to see how well our new house can function as a party house--the kids could run around the family room and the adults pretty much had the living room, dining room and kitchen to relax but could keep an eye on the kids, too. It worked out beautifully. Everyone came from 5-8pm and then went home to put their kids to bed and we did the same.

We laughed at how the party was breaking up at 8pm, whereas it used to be (before we all had kids) that we'd just be leaving the house at 8pm for our Saturday evenings of fun. OH, well.

So, yesterday was busy, busy but a lot of fun. We really need to be social more often and not just fill our weekends with errands and chores (I'm sooo guilty of being the instigator of that trend).

A great weekend.


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