politiblog yeesh

i registered to vote. 

and tomorrow’s the first presidential debate. i am at two extremes on this: one the one hand, i am a little excited to see how this is going to turn out. bring out the popcorn; on the other, i am ready to facepalm my way through this whole. omg.

oh, and i’m going to vote absentee! because (hopefully) i’ll be in california at harry potter world!!!

well hello there!

there was a week wait list to get internet at our new house *eyeroll*

i feel like i’ve been away too long, but not much has happened. of course we moved, and of course i like to unpack everything all at once, so now all the boxes are unpacked. i think the only thing left to put together is the table, which might end up looking a little awkward in its space. oh well. 

BUT, here’s what’s been done so far:

  1. hardware replaced in kitchen and bathroom. i actually feel halfway decent about the cupboards now.
  2. fridge ordered and arriving on saturday!
  3. stove ordered and arriving mid october!
  4. new grill
  5. ceiling fan purchased for bedroom
  6. new toilet seat (ugh the old one was too pointy)
  7. hammock hung! (WOO!)
  8. a couple apples eaten
  9. and of course, internet finally installed

gotta install that fan and replace the hideous ceiling fan in the dining/office with something (anything) else. the trees are nice. the isolation is nice. i like it!

housebl-ugh

i’ve come to the realization that any house nate and i buy will have issues attached. (or, so far). 

when we bought our house in st. joe, it was bank owned and they required a bank quote through them before we put together a purchase agreement. (which, looking back, is that legal?) we didn’t have to go through the bank, but we did need to meet with them and go through the process again. 

when we purchased our house in st. charles, there was a government shutdown, and our rural development loan took an extra three weeks to process. thanks to this, we couldn’t technically close on the house until the government opened again, which was about two-three weeks after our original close date. thankfully, the house was contractor owned and he let us move in early (we had to be out of our apartment). 

this time, my goodness. everything is good on our end as far as our loan and ready to go. the house we’re selling though, omg. the lender didn’t send in the rural development loan until the day before scheduled closing (normally they like a couple weeks). thankfully it came back the next day, but it was selected for a random audit! then that went through about 5 hours before MY scheduled house closing up here, but the lender needed it to go through quality control first. if this were a local bank instead of a national bank, it might’ve made it. but it was a national bank and they don’t like to do things out of order.

so, now, we’re waiting on the lender of the st. charles house buyer to get the money to the title company so they can close so we can get our loan and we can close. 

hopefully this will be the last time we do this for a while, so i guess i’ll deal for now.

where did summer go?

my house in st. charles is almost empty, and on wednesday, we pack up the uhaul and head north. today, nate and i each drove up a vehicle full of stuff to drop in the storage unit. 

it’s been a long four months, and i’d like to know: where did my summer go?

it’s hard to ignore the fields of corn on my drive. when i left in may, they were barely shoots of green out of the earth. today the leaves were starting to tinge yellow, a message that harvest season will be here soon. 

the trees were just budding out in may, turning the brilliant shades of green, yellow, and light-orange that springtime trees do before heading into the dark, full green of summertime. today, they were starting to pull back from summertime green, starting to once again showing their true colors. if you’d asked me if the trees were spring of fall based on color alone, i mightn’t’ve been able to tell you. 

there is just a hint of fall in the air, though you wouldn’t know it from today’s weather. generally though, the nights are a bit cooler and the next week’s forecast looks set to be truly septemberish.

i’m sad i missed summer, in a way. but i’m looking forward to being in one place for fall, and especially a place resplendent in yellow aspen and trees reflecting off the lakes. and in my backyard 😀

yellow-aspen-trees-in-the-fall-in-the-sierra-mountains-of-california-william-stevenson

we are all jacob

for every minnesotan ages 35-40: you know.

i was 10 years old when jacob wetterling went missing in october 1989. it was unreal: a boy just one year older than me disappeared from a small town in minnesota, riding his bike back from the local video store. it could’ve been any one of my classmates. it could’ve been me. 

posters went up around the school, his smiling face greeting me every time i climbed the stairs to reading class. the news was loud and insistent with its vigilant coverage, and we saw his parents on tv. it could’ve been my parents. 

i didn’t know him. but i did know him. he could’ve been my classmate, the cute boy who every girl had a mild crush on. it wasn’t my town. but it was my town. and it would be, eventually. st. joseph is smaller than austin, and if a boy my age couldn’t bike where he wanted in st. joe, how would it be possible in austin? i shouldn’t have felt a connection. but i did. everyone did. when jacob’s hope became widespread, we all grasped it; we wanted to have that hope, to leave the porchlight on for jacob. come home, come home. 

the media died down. patty wetterling became the face for child abductions and made great strides in legislation regarding that. a bridge built in sauk rapids was named “bridge of hope.” jacob wetterling was a household name, becoming the face for abducted children everywhere.

my family moved closer to st. joe, and i eventually went to college at st. ben’s, in st. joe. i remember seeing a feature with a few of his friends from the 2000 graduating CSB|SJU class. 

in 2008, i moved to st. joe, less than a mile from the tom thumb where he was abducted. my cats went to the vet that now occupies the building. i went running in the dark evenings along a bike path, hyper aware of my surroundings, even though i knew in my head that an abductor interested in an 11-year-old boy would have no interest in a grown woman. in 2011, a farm not far from my house was investigated, turning up nothing. but it was a hit in the heart – will they find something? 

then this morning, his remains were IDed after being located via information fron an annandale man who was a person of interest and had been in custody for child pornography charges. this turns my stomach, because it’s almost guaranteed that jacob was assaulted before he was killed (that is hard to write). 

it’s hard to describe, but in my 10-year-old mindset, his kidnapping was always an innocent one. he was snatched, maybe tied up, then taken to an obscure place. what happened after that? i’d always hoped that he was alive, living his life out in a weird small town on a coast. it was always a hope that someone would take a second look at him in that small town, bring him back to his parents. 

even after knowing what i know now about abductions and how they are usually violent and disgusting, i still held onto this very unlikely scenario as what happened to him. maybe because he could’ve been me, and that’s what i’d hope my abduction would be like (if it had to happen). 

for all those minnesotans of a certain age: it’s come to a close. not the one we want, because it’s not what we would’ve wanted for ourselves, our friends, our parents. but it’s the closure we need because we want to know and we want our parents and friends to know and have closure. the lights are on, and he has come home. we are all jacob. 

and he’s ok

yesterday was the party to celebrate the people who were there for my family while charlie was in a coma as well as to celebrate charlie being alive. we had scoped out a park in lake city early this spring and locked it in with two shelters, and good thing we did because when i drove in at 10 a.m., it started to rain and continued to do so for the next three hours. 

but it was a good party, a great time, and there were people there who were the right ones to be there. the rain cleared up, the sun came out, and the weather was, for once, not humid and gross. the evening was great, and after we cleaned out the shelters, i took off for home at 10 p.m. (i had too much stuff to do to break camp and drive to st charles before heading up to st. cloud in one day.)

it was pretty dark when i turned south out of the park and through lake city. the lake was on my left, and the waning gibbous moon was low on the horizon, climbing into the sky. the night was clear and calm, and the almost-full moon reflected off the lake, creating a shimmery column of water light across the lake toward me as i drove out of town, past the marina, past the overlook.

when i was small, maybe six years old, my aunts kathleen and colettie took me to a bed and breakfast in lake city. i don’t remember much about the b&b besides being uncomfortable with the strangers at breakfast, but i do remember taking a walk after dark to the overlook, where i climbed the steps and leaned over the rock wall to look at the moon reflecting a shimmery column of light across lake pepin.

charlie was always my aunt colettie’s favorite. i kept my eyes on the moon-colored lake last night for as long as i could, smiling and thinking of how well the party turned out, my aunt C, and letting this chapter of the story wane away into a shimmery sheath of light.

in which college perceptions are challenged

i could make the case that i was one of those high school students. one of those elitists. not going to college was never a question. going to a two-year community college? not on the table. i didn’t know where i wanted to go; i did college visits at a couple state universities, considered out of state colleges, and finally settled on a  small, private, liberal arts college. 

yes, i was one of those.

tuition and room and board my first year was $18k/year. when i left, it was $22k. now? $46k. unfathomable. 

but still, the idea of going to a four-year college and getting that well-rounded, liberal arts college for post-secondary education was always the goal that everyone should reach for. then i entered the workforce, and job after job that i had required a minimum of a two-year degree. when was this liberal arts education going to come in handy? i began to slowly come to the realization that i could have saved myself a lot of money and just gotten a two-year degree. 

then i started working at a two-year college. and i got a little older and little less pretentious (i hope, anyway). two-year schools are great in ways that are twofold.

  1. transferring after getting general education credits out of the way is a great way to save money. two years are just as rigorous as four-year colleges, and the credits are easy to transfer when done correctly. classes are generally smaller than state schools, and since fewer people go to two years, there is more attention given. 
  2. different styles of learning is pretty well embraced at tech colleges. not exactly a bookish person? get a welding degree, or any other trade degree that depends on hands-on learning. know you want to get into healthcare but not sure what? get your lpn for now and maybe go back after some time in the field. two years of the kind of learning that you like, and then step into a really well-paying job (seriously, more than i make. and i have stupid master’s degree.)

the point could be argued that if a person does her or his general education AAS in two years then gets a two-year trade AS, wouldn’t that be equivalent of a four-year degree? 

if i were going back to school now, there’s no way i would be able to afford the college i went to. the two-year college is looking pretty good.

house list

houseblog is overwhelming!

anyway, here are things i know i want to do right away:

faucets – bathroom and kitchen
replace the cabinet hardware
replace the light fixtures in the kitchen?
put in a ceiling fan in master bedroom
replace light fixture in guest room (i have one at home i’m bringing)
replace ceiling fan in dining area?
take out the 90s-era family desk!
NEW STOVE.

now, not sure how much of that i’ll be able to do, but goodness i need to get rid of that electric coil stove ASAP.

olympics!

i love watching the olympics. even with the controversy in sochi, i watched. now with the controversy in rio, i watch. not because i don’t think that what those countries are doing are ok; i watch because i want to support the athletes and the coming together of all the countries. 

i love the opening ceremonies, when we get to see each country’s best athletes come together. despite the animosity among leaders and bombs pointed at each other, we agree to meet for a little friendly athletic competition.

[but let’s diverge here a moment and talk about how much NBC SUUUU-UUUCKS. i don’t have cable. i live in a hole. my closest nbc outlet is 25 miles away and has horrible broadcasting for some reason. i can’t get the over-the-air station in my house except when my antenna is sitting on top of a frog’s head facing northwest on the full moon of the third month after a solar eclipse. so why hasn’t NBC gotten on the OLYMPICS ARE COMMUNITY bandwagon and let everyone in the US watch the olympics livestreamed over the interwebs without needing to sign in with a cable subscription??  SO RIDICULOUS.]

current life list update

oh, hello. long time no see. life in list form:

  1. current house is good to go and has a closing date of sept. 8. the only thing the buyer wanted fixed was the window latch in the bedroom, which i totally forgot about but knew needed to be fixed. i went to the andersen window website and bought a replacement latch for $20, and it’s now good as new. not so good that i’m going to not move, but good enough for the new guy. i’ve been trying to pack, but my ambition has been pretty nil lately. sept. 8 will close in quickly, so i’d better get some ambition pretty quick.
  2. future house (!!!) has just had the inspection contingency taken off; the only thing we wanted fixed was the screen door out to the patio (it’s all scratched up due to their dog). other than that, it’ll be good to go. i’m excited to live on that property and in that log cabin feel living room with the fireplace. (yes! fireplace!) so, that means i have to find more ambition to pack because i need to move all my stuff over there. ugh. ambition, why you gotta be so elusive. 
  3. my garden is so sad looking. i have tomatoes up the wazoo, and the cucumbers are sort of trying to grow something, i think. my gourds are going nuts, and that’s only because i just let them go. otherwise, it’s pretty weedy and gross and i’m sad it got to this point. i’m guessing i’ll be able to make one batch of pickles and some tomato sauce. maybe there will be one pumpkin for halloween, and i hope there will be some pie pumpkins. we’ll see what happens i guess. booo. BUT. there’s always next year, when i will till up a chunk of my yard and make a giant veggie garden. it’ll be staring me in my face so there’ll be no way to ignore it.
  4. charlie’s party is in two weeks!! 😮 time flies! next week he and i will have to go to the meat market and pick up the pork for the party, and i’m hoping liz and jane can still make it the friday before to help cook food. better start thinking about a menu, i guess!
  5. OLYMPICS. i love the olympics. bob costas. gymnastics. community. all those good-feels.