Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is Definitely a First World Problem

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember George, our neighbor in The Big City. (I couldn't find an old post to link to - sorry!)

Four years ago, when we were trying to decide whether to stay in The Big City or move to The Land of Fruit due to our growing family, George mentioned that he was thinking about selling his house.  We toyed with the idea of buying it, tearing down his house and then building onto ours.  Ryan even had some paperwork drawn up.  And then George decided not to sell.  So we moved to The Land of Fruit.

Well, according to our tenant, George put a "For Sale" sign in front of his house yesterday.  He even asked her if we were still interested in buying his house.

We did a quick search to find out how much he was asking and found out that he's only asking for the price of the land since the house is in such terrible condition.

For a brief moment, Ryan and I thought about buying it.  We'd still tear down the house, but that would give us two lots, one for our rental house and one for a yard.  We wouldn't move back there since the kids are settled here in The Land of Fruit, but it would be a fabulous investment and it would give our tenant's son a yard to play in.  And it would give us a nice piece of land for building on when we retire.

But we just don't think we can swing it.  We're already paying down two mortgages and just don't think it's smart to take on another loan, even if it is a fabulous investment (our old house is a mere two miles from Downtown Big City).

So, George will probably sell it to a couple of childless yuppies who will tear it down and put up some kind of three story monstrosity that will bring down the value of our tiny little bungalow.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Cynical, C-Y-N-I-C-A-L, Cynical

Yes, it's been six weeks since I last posted.  I'm going to blame my really old laptop and the fact that it is holding all of our photos hostage.  Or, I can blame my computer snob of a husband who refuses to own anything other than Apple products so that I can't just go buy one of those cheap-o laptops on Black Friday to replace our nearly broken iBook.  Or, I can blame writer's block.  Whatever.  You can choose whichever answer works best for you.

Anyway (I have no brilliant segue ideas), Sydney was chosen to participate in her school's spelling bee next week.  It's quite an honor, seeing as only two kids from each 3rd grade class are chosen.  I'm proud of her, I really am, but it is sad that my first two thoughts when she told me the news (with a huge smile on her face) were:

1. Geez, the other 20 kids in her class must be really terrible spellers, and
2. Great - helping her study all those words is just one more thing I have to do during the busiest time of the year.

Pretty cynical of me, no?

Ryan helped her study the first page of words over the Thanksgiving break (thank you, Ryan!) and I'm going to work with her on the second page this week and next.

The first page is full of 3rd grade-worthy words: commute, butterflies, cabinet, etc.  She can memorize 250 words of that caliber - no problem.

The second page, however, is full of "a 3rd grader is never going to remember how to spell these words" words.  Someone please show me a 3rd grader that can spell resuscitable, astrophysicist, chickabiddy (I had to look up the definition of this one) and slantindicular (this one isn't even recognized by our computer's spellchecker).  Who in their right mind thinks an elementary school student can memorize 250 such words?

Anyway, I'll help her study them as much as we can both stand it, but I feel like she's just being set up for failure with some of those words.  As a typical first child, she doesn't like to fail and as my daughter, she really doesn't like being on stage with people watching her.  I have a feeling she's going to spend her entire time on stage either biting her nails or crying.  Fun times.

At this point, we'll be happy when it's all over.  In fact, I think we'll be downright ecstatic, E-C-S-T-A-T-I-C, ecstatic.