Pre-holiday cheer

I’ve been getting ready for the holidays for a month now. Back in  November I made crayons for my nephew, after his mom and I talked at Thanksgiving about him wanting to color more.

I also bought the requested items for our gift exchanges with both families, and yesterday I got them all wrapped. Uncle Bugg is “helping”.DSC_0711 And yes, I was able to save some of those caramels for their intended holiday recipient.

I’ve been making some baby food for the Pie, and in addition to the carrots I made last week, I’ve whipped up some sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans and apples. I just make some baby food out of whatever veggie we’re having as a side dish – steam and whir, freeze and bag.DSC_0712

We’ve also been dancing with the possibility of making an offer on that little farmhouse. Unfortunately our lender is not one of the few that will offer rehab loans, so our next option would be to shop around for a mortgage with some rehab financing… but the more I think about it, the more the mildew smell in the house scares me. It could be a small problem, just needing some cleaning and new seals on the windows, or it could be big. Like mold in the walls. And since we could smell it when we walked in, I’m a little afraid that it’s big. I really wish that the home-buying system wasn’t designed to directly benefit the agents and banks, and that houses went on the market with inspections as public record. WHY NOT?? It would ensure that people knew what they were getting into, that homes were sold for honest prices, and that the banks weren’t making a killing on dumps. For the agents, however, it’s bad news. They want to have people emotionally and financially engaged to a home before they find out what’s wrong with it, so they’re less likely to walk. Not fair.

Or, as we used to say in my family, “nofe-AIR!”

So I think we’re going to pass on this one. It was so cute, and had so much potential for increase in resale value down the road. Goodbye, cute little farmhouse.

The mountain man got the OK to work remotely on the train on his way into the office, since his commute is so outrageously long, and we’ll just stay here and keep looking. I do want to move closer to the mountain man’s work, and closer to my friends & my volunteer work, but thankfully we’re in a place without commitment or pressure, and low enough rent that we’re able to save a little each month for our down payment. We won’t have anywhere near 20% (honestly, I don’t know how first-time buyers come up with 20%!) but the more we’re able to put down, the smaller the monthly payments.

And speaking of the mountain man’s commute, I want to get him a waterproof backpack. he’ll be driving the truck to the train station, riding the train for an hour and then riding his bike for about a half an hour. In order to make this work, we need to get him a laptop and he is going to need a waterproof bag. He wants to just put the laptop in a plastic shopping bag inside his hiking backpack, but I just don’t think that is going to work for a daily commute. Any recommendations on waterproof bags?

I’ve also been putting together a menu for my family’s Christmas dinner. We’re going to have Hanukkah dinner for Christmas this year, since I didn’t get my act together to do a Hanukkah dinner. We’ll have brisket and latkes, roasted beet salad and cheesecake. I can’t wait. I’ll head over to my mom’s on Christmas morning and get the brisket in the oven, and I’ll make the cheesecake a day or two in advance.

Today the Pie and I are heading out for a holiday lunch with my co-workers, we can’t wait! It will be smack-dab in the middle of her nap time because she got up so early this morning, but she’ll visit with everyone and then maybe she’ll sleep in the wrap. Wish us (sleepy) luck!


  1. we had mold, we knew it going in. costs $40 k to fix it. worth it for us, and the bank included the 40 k in our loan.... just know if you can smell it, it is MUCH worse than you think. (and time-consuming, 6 weeks!!!)

  2. yipes 40k just for mold is more than we could do within our budget - especially for that house that needed so much more work. sadly i think any place we get will have some mold. seattle is just moldy. moldy, moldy moldy.

  3. yeah, I know, I used to live in Seattle (on Alki, before it was hip and trendy). I worked at the Sorrento Hotel and the Bon Marche. Love Seattle!


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