Nov. 5th, 2009 11:16 am
countessmouse: (Happy Bunnies)
We can haz a house! Tentative closing is set for November 24th.
countessmouse: (Short Attention Span)
The divorce was final this morning. The ex and I are still friends, which is a good thing since it's going to take us a couple of weeks to get all of the financial stuff settled. The first thing will be the clearing out of the joint bank account, which will occur on Monday since both of us need to be there to do it.

I had to withdraw my offer on "The House" on Monday. The seller's bank was non-responsive to my deadline and I was not getting a good feeling about having to deal with them. However, we did find "The House v2" on Saturday, and my real estate agent has been sitting on an offer contract since Sunday afternoon (I couldn't submit it until the divorce was final thanks to paperwork issues). That offer was submitted this morning. We'll see what happens.

Coronation is this weekend, so Gunthar and I are heading up to Oklahoma for the day on Saturday. There is no reason for us to be there early and we're not staying for feast, so it's just a daytrip. The next six months ought to be interesting, to say the least.
countessmouse: (Red Lady)
It's been awhile, bad me, but it's been a very interesting two weeks.

We toured through New England the week of October 19th, starting in Boston and meandering north, west and then south and east until we ended back in Boston. The foliage was just past peak or at peak for the majority of our trip, but it was still beautiful. (I'll post pictures later this weekend.) We were snowed on, were rained on, walked a lot, drove a lot, ate Ben & Jerry's ice cream at their factory in Vermont, discovered that cider doughnuts are possibly manna from heaven, bought real maple syrup at the farm that made it, drooled over china and glassware at the Simon Pearce factory, and were ready to go home when the time came. I really wish Dallas had the scenery and the homes that New England does.

Speaking of houses, we looked at a few the day after we came back, which brought us up to about a dozen viewed. This time, however, I found "THE HOUSE". I knew it the minute I walked in the front door. I love the floor plan, the hand hewn wooden floor in the great room, the tile, the ginormous closet in the master bedroom, the storage space -- just about everything except the lack of trees in the yard, but that's fixable. Most importantly, Gunthar likes the kitchen. I made an offer. It's a short sale, which means the seller's bank is involved, and although the seller did accept my offer within 24 hours, the bank is taking its sweet time and decided not to make a decision until Monday. Despite my irritation, I did not withdraw my offer, mostly because I really want that house. We're looking at others tomorrow, but my offer is still on the table unless I find "THE HOUSE VERSION 2".

And, on top of that, my soon-to-be ex-husband and I had our final settlement meeting, agreed to everything financial, and signed off on the divorce petition. He even signed away any rights to the house I currently have the contract on -- but he's such a commitment-phobe that I really didn't think he'd do otherwise. The divorce is final on November 4th. We're parting as friends, which makes me happy.

I feel like I'm in a whirlwind.

Big Steps

Oct. 12th, 2009 08:08 pm
countessmouse: (Calvin BRB)
On Saturday, after a ridiculously easy process, I was pre-approved for a home loan. After inputting my information with the mortgage company, I was so nervous I felt like throwing up when I hit the "finished" button. Then, three hours later, the lender calls to tell me I have excellent credit and they've approved me for A LOT more than I had anticipated. That doesn't mean I'm changing the current budget, though.

On Sunday, we saw our first house -- one that [livejournal.com profile] count_gunthar had been wanting to see. It was very nice but the kitchen was way too small. Gunthar keeps insisting that he can live with it, but I don't want us both unhappy six months after we buy it. Besides, that was the first house and I'm not so in love with it that I don't want to see anything else.

On Thursday, Gunthar and I are taking a day off to see houses and then go to the State Fair. If all goes well, we could be in a new home by the end of November.

countessmouse: (Red Lady)
The hand is not broken, but I have some severe bruising (multiple little hematomas) and a largish blood clot in the muscle below my thumb. The orthopedist said the MRI images were...interesting. I'm still in the splint and sling, but I can start weaning myself off of it after we get back from Grandma's funeral.

At least we got one bit of good news this week.
countessmouse: (Stern Kitty)
I'm typing this with one hand so excuse the brevity...and the typos.

This week has been one of major suck. Starting with the worst, my grandmother died last night. The downturn in her health was mercifully brief, but startling in its intensity. Mom is handling this pretty well, but Grandma, when she was still lucid, had told both me and my parents that she was ready. I slept terribly last night and have spent a lot of today remembering. The funeral is planned for Monday.

Saturday evening, I was not paying attention to where I was going and basically fell off a 3" curb. I scraped both knees up, ripped off a third of the toenail on my left big toe, bumped my head, and possibly fractured a bone or two in my right hand. I had an MRI yesterday because two sets of x-rays were "fuzzy". I have an appointment with the hand surgeon tomorrow afternoon. If the bone in my palm that is connected to my thumb is broken, I will be in a cast for THREE MONTHS. Joy. In the meantime, I'm in a splint and sling.

The long-planned trip to Las Vegas is off. Instead, we'll be flying to Louisiana to attend a funeral.

I've been told by my boss to anticipate a work trip overseas in the next six weeks -- way overseas. This ought to be fun in a cast.

I am done. So very, very done.
countessmouse: (Handball)
Grandma is still in the hospital and still with us, but she continues to slowly deteriorate. A stomach mass was discovered during an endoscopy and we are waiting for biopsy results. If it's malignant and we can get her a little more stabilized, my mom and her brother want to put her in hospice care. It is clear, one way or the other, that she doesn't have much time.

In other news, I fell off a curb while not paying attention to where I was going and possibly fractured my thumb on Saturday. Both sets of x-rays show that there is something wrong, but they're too fuzzy for the hand surgeon to feel comfortable saying it's broken -- particularly when saying that will have me in a cast for THREE MONTHS. I have an MRI scheduled for Wednesday a.m.

Gunthar and I have a long-planned trip to Las Vegas scheduled for this weekend. I hope we make it.
countessmouse: (Broken Icon)
I got a message from my Dad earlier today that Grandma is back the hospital, this time in the small town she lives in. I'll leave out the gory details, but suffice it to say that she's bleeding internally from multiple GI tract and stomach ulcerations. And not eating. And not really with it.

My Dad, the doctor, thinks she will not last very long.

A year ago, she lived in her own home by herself (monitored by my cousins). Two months ago, she was able to navigate the stairs by herself, walk around with her walker and carry on conversations. A month ago, she got shingles and it all went downhill from there. Mom says I wouldn't recognize her.

So now I wait and see where I'm going to be this weekend.

On Aging

Aug. 12th, 2009 09:49 pm
countessmouse: (Trees)
My 89 year old grandmother was moved into a nursing facility. Up until about this time last year, she had been able to live in her own home, helped by the fact that cousins own homes across the street and catty-corner to hers. But she started falling, not taking her medicines as directed which exacerbated the falling issues, and generally showing signs that she just wasn't able to care for herself. Her stays with my parents became longer and longer in duration and finally, around Thanksgiving, she just ended up there permanently. During my two visits to New Orleans in June, it was pretty apparent how much she had aged in the last year. In the month and a half since then, she has had another health issue, taken a particularly bad fall that scared my Mom to death, and basically lost her mobility.

I think Grandma is happier at the nursing home, which my parents assure me is very, very nice. She has her own room, her own phone number and her TV and she is getting the care she needs. My Mom's health isn't all that great and she just couldn't handle the full-time care, even with some visiting nurse and physical therapy assistance. My Dad starts his partial retirement in about a month, and he and Mom are in the process of buying my uncle's share of Grandma's house and are planning to live up there as early as next year.

Then, two weeks ago, my ex let me know that he and his brother had to move their 88 year old dad up to Dallas. Ned is living with the brother (which is good, because my ex isn't much of a caretaker) and the pretty house in Fredericksburg that he built for their mom is in the process of being sold. I hope to be able to take Ned to lunch sometime soon, just to visit with him. His son and I may no longer be together, but he was my other dad for 25 years and that bond is still there.

My parents are aging, too. And getting smaller. The last time I was home, Mom asked me if I had grown (yeah, that's going to happen at 45) and my response was, "no, Mom, I think you and Dad are shrinking." Dad is remarkably healthy for a 71 year old. Mom, on the other hand, seems to have more and more health problems every year.

I have found myself thinking quite a lot about recently. It's almost as if you know they are getting older, and then all of the sudden you realize how physically altered they become. How frail they are. And it makes me very sad to know how close the end can suddenly be.


Jul. 9th, 2009 07:01 pm
countessmouse: (Nanny McPhee 1)
Heading out to an event in the morning. A three day outdoor event that includes a Crown Tournament, in July, in Texas. It is stupid hot outside. And I have obligations so I have to be there. Did I mention that it's hot?

Kill me now.

P.S. If Gunthar messes up and wins Crown, you may hear me screaming in space.
countessmouse: (Stern Kitty)
No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I've just been taking a break. Will post an update in the next couple of days.

It is effing hot here at 104 degrees. I hate Texas in the summer.
countessmouse: (Elizabeth)
Tomorrow I step down as Queen of Ansteorra. The last ten months (four as Princess, six as Queen) have been an education, as being Mother to a few thousand individuals can be, but I've had a great time. We traveled a great deal, met new people, gotten to know acquaintances better, and had the chance to acknowledge individuals for their excellence in art and service.

Our entourage have been saints through this process. Gunthar may complain about having a "babysitter", but those folks made sure things were where we needed them, that we were where we needed to be, that we ate and kept hydrated, that we could get away for potty breaks, that we stayed sane. I've been told that Baroness Alys had her doubts at being Head of Entourage for a very strong-willed and in control Queen, but I like to think she and I have ended up closer friends. We gave a few people the chance to do something outside of what they are normally known for, and they excelled. I will be forever grateful to each and every one of them.

Special mention should be made for my "protocol droid", Don Robin, and his wife, Mistress Serena, who provided countless hours of advice and guidance and ears to vent to. I can't forget Baron Avery, who always seems to be there when I need him and keeps me entertained ("I'm helping!"). And then there is my Champion, Don Robert, who was a friend before all of this started and who I now consider part of my family.

Oh, and Don Corvin, my Privy Don, who will always be able to call himself the Kingdom's first true Elizabethan Don. Because he is.

It's been fun, but I'm ready to move on to other things, and we have heirs who I know will do a fine job. When I next post, I'll just be Countess Elizabeth...and Kingdom Hospitaler of Ansteorra.

And one last thing: Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] countgunthar, for the opportunity to be a Queen. How many women can say that not only does their man make them feel like a queen, he actually made them one?
countessmouse: (Elizabeth)
Okay, we've been home a week and I'm just now getting around to posting about Gulf War. My excuse? I came home to not one, but two transaction closings and it was a rough week.

So, back to Gulf War. We went, our schedules were insane, our entourage took very good care of us (love you guys!), there was no time for shopping so excursions into the merchant area resembled hunting expeditions, the stress killed my appetite and I lost a few pounds, and I managed not to wear every single piece of garb I brought with me. It stopped raining Monday evening and the weather was gorgeous the rest of the week. I got to meet [livejournal.com profile] kass_rants, [livejournal.com profile] deafelis, and [livejournal.com profile] soldiergrrl in person. I got to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] alethea_eastrid a lot. I enjoyed meeting the other Royals. The Ansteorran Roses Tournament was lovely. And my Rapier Army kicked ass.

Out of the couple of thousand pictures taken that I've been sent links to, this is one of my favorites:

Five events and two peerage circles until Step Down/Coronation. I am sooo ready to be a peon again.

Off to War

Mar. 14th, 2009 09:48 pm
countessmouse: (Looking)
The cab of the truck is packed (thank you [livejournal.com profile] shonao!), the Kingdom trailer is packed, and the things that are going in the bed of the truck are staged in the garage so we can load it quickly in the morning. Like [livejournal.com profile] bobthemad and [livejournal.com profile] fieryredhead, we're leaving early tomorrow morning for Gulf Wars. Go Ansteorra!

I'm going to play a little WoW, love on the kitties, and go to bed. I'm pooped and we haven't even left yet.
countessmouse: (Calvin Selective Reality)
You Are An ESTJ
The Guardian

You're a natural leader and a quick, logical decision maker.
Goals are important in your life, and you take many steps to achieve them.
You enjoy interacting with others, mostly through work related activities.
Your high energy level means that you are great at getting things done!

In love, you tend to bring stability to relationships.
You feel comfortable being in charge, and you enjoy being a provider.

At work, you take charge. You thrive in structured environments and don't mind enforcing the rules.
You would make a great teacher, judge, or police detective.

How you see yourself: Realistic, stable, and pragmatic

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Rigid, bound to rules, and a bad listener

This Week

Mar. 11th, 2009 11:20 am
countessmouse: (Handball)

That is all.


Feb. 27th, 2009 11:31 am
countessmouse: (Red Lady)
A post in the style of [livejournal.com profile] liamstliam:

1. We still have the cat, now christened "Ginny". [livejournal.com profile] shonao is trying to help us get her into some sort of fostering situation or a permanent home. Allie and Maddie are NOT happy with her in the apartment and Ginny is NOT happy that they are there either. I'm tired of having to keep their food in our bathroom because Ginny goes on a gooshy food binge if it's available. We won't even go into the litter box issues...

2. My WoW account was compromised and looted last week. The account was shut down for "inappropriate advertising" before they could sell off everything I own and damage my characters. Managed to get almost all of it back over the course of the last week and a half. WoW's GMs rock.

3. Went to Seawind's Coastal Invasion last weekend -- a 7+ hour drive to almost Corpus Christi. We had a great time, though. It was a laid-back event and Gunthar and I managed to get some fighting in. I even got authorized for Heavy Rapier! (Gunthar has commented that he never thought he'd see me with a fighter authorization card. Go me.)

4. Prep for Gulf War continues. I'll be getting all of our garb ready over the next week or so. I think we'll end up taking about 90% of what we own thanks to the required number of wardrobe changes during the week. Oy.

5. Thanks to Bobby Jindal, I'm kind of embarrassed I'm from Louisiana at the moment.

6. I gave up fried foods for Lent, and I forsee fried chicken being a problem. I was going to give up chocolate, but that's the Royal Bribe of the reign and it will be impossible to maintain my convictions during Gulf War.

7. I'm having a severe case of ADD today.

8. The spam filter on my Yahoo mail is pissing me off.
countessmouse: (Steinlein Cat)
We are in possession of a third kitty tonight. I found a stray out on the stairwell landing after hearing her meow while we were eating dinner. She's very sweet, has unusually light calico markings and definitely has some Siamese in there -- her blue eyes are slightly crossed and she has that meow the breed gets. I'm pretty sure she's been out for at least a couple of days, based on how thin she is towards the hip area.

We're keeping her in the second bathroom with food and an improvised litter box. I think she appreciates the quiet, although Maddie and Allie have been peeking at her through the crack at the bottom of the door and the three of them have been yowling at each other. We'll put out lost notices tomorrow and see if anyone responds.
countessmouse: (Nanny McPhee 1)
...to learn how to count again, apparently, since I'm in the process of ripping out a section of a cross-stitch project for the SECOND TIME. Aggghhh!
countessmouse: (Winter)
The ride into work this morning was a bit of an adventure. We had an ice storm last night, which left everything coated with about a quarter or half inch of ice. After debating it a bit, I decided to go in at my usual time, before most of the idiots who don't know how to drive on ice hit the road. I only slipped twice and made it in fairly easily. It helped that TXDOT sanded the entire Tollway.

I'll bet the school districts feel kind of stupid that they closed for the entire day. Areas that get full sun appear to just be wet at this point but could be dry by noon.
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