Wesley's Timeline

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Friday, February 29, 2008

Inspection Update

I woke up this morning just ready to get this home-buying thing done! :-) Our home inspection is now set for Monday morning at 9... and this is when we really need for you to keep your fingers crossed so that nothing comes back which will be a "deal breaker."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Under Contract!

We have come to an agreement with the seller on price and we are now under contract! Tomorrow we call and set up the inspection and move forward on our loan application. We even talked with our realtor about moving up the closing date and he said it was feasible.

The need to move up our closing date presented itself when our landlord told us Wednesday morning (after we signed our first offer Tuesday evening) that the house we are living in is selling (with a closing date of 3/15) and that the new owner is planning on living in the house we are currently in... so we technically had 30 days from Tuesday to find a new place to live! Crazy how it all works out, hunh? So, the next two weeks will hopefully be a blur for Reid and I (if the inspection goes well) and we'll be in a new house before you know it, and the new owner of this home will give us the time we need to get out. It's really just a matter of the stars aligning and dates coming together. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Big News!

Reid and I signed an offer on a house last night! Now we offered quite low so we're pretty sure that it won't be accepted as-is and will probably result in a counter-offer, but if it does then we'll be in negotiations and then eventually (if we can come to an agreement with the seller) under contract! It makes me quite nervous but very excited at the same time. We put a time limit of 48 hours on the offer and our realtor told us that he generally hears from seller's agents within a day (especially since our offer is rather "clean," without stipulations like selling a current house or asking for a lot from the seller). We've also set up a pretty tight closing schedule of March 31, which would mean that things wouldn't be "quiet" around here this coming month as we scrambled to get our financing, inspections, appraisals, etc. in order... but it is all do-able in that amount of time. So, we'll see! I'm sure I'll be updating all of you as we find stuff out over the next couple of days... but I just couldn't keep the excitement to myself anymore!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quiet Around Here

This weekend was spent relaxing around the house, spending the evenings with some friends, and working a couple of hours yesterday... and of course, watching the Oscars last night! It completely confirmed what a little bubble I've been living in the last year in that I had seen NONE of the movies nominated for Best Film, and few for any of the other nominations... we need to get out more.

Friday night, Reid and I (along with friends Jared and Renee) went to see an evening of scenes from banned plays produced by an enrichment class of theatre students. They were so good! And I was so impressed by their work and commitment. Apparently it was the first nudity on Adams State stage (which somehow surprises me... I don't know why, but it does). There were some very strong scenes from some really well crafted plays and the students got some great feedback from the audience that was there. Yey for theatre that pushes boundaries!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Random Bits of Goodness

Hello! After a four day weekend (hooray for teaching) I am feeling rested, relaxed and ready to tackle a few more weeks until spring break!

As if in response to my post on free trade, I received in the mail on Friday a box full of goodies from Hotel Chocolat which I had won in a bloggy giveaway (I've been entering them as I find them for months now and they are finally paying off!). It really is true what they say about "good chocolate." Once you have eaten it, you don't want to go back to the so-so stuff... and this place has some amazingly good chocolate! They may have just created a customer for life!

In other news, the little house that we live in may be under contract to be sold... which is a good thing because it means we will no longer have those calls saying "can we show your house in an hour?" which result in me running around like a crazy trying to clean up as best as I can. We should have it in our contract that we can be in this lease until the end of June if we need to be but that we can "break" the lease at any time, as long as we give them one month's notice.

And in other house news, we're going to visit a few more houses on Thursday... who knows? We may be making an offer on a house as soon as next week! There is one that we've had our eye on for awhile and we have been talking more and more about it... so we want to go see it again and make sure that we aren't remembering things falsely. But I think it's a good sign when you're still thinking about the same house two months after you've visited it.

And finally... a gratuitous adorable Tater picture!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Chocolate... Who doesn't love chocolate?

Now that Valentine's Day is over and chocolate demand slowly resides, I thought I might share with you few people who read my blog something that I have always cared about in the margins of my life but that I have recently begun to really look at seriously... fair trade. Now, I know that the leap from chocolate hearts to fair trade might sound crazy, but I promise it isn't. In fact, you can read a very insightful article here about the reason why fair trade needs to become more a part of chocolate buyers' thinking.

So, what is fair trade? The basic premise is that companies buy from farm co-ops, rather than individual farmers. In this way, the farmers have more leverage and can command a higher price, which in turn creates better working environments and frequently, better products. So, you can look at it as a lot like unionizing of farm workers, often times in third world countries, so that they can earn a living wage and provide basic living standards (such as humane working conditions and no child slave labor). Many co-ops have used the increased revenue to improve their products, as well as build schools, health clinics and other socially relevant services for their employees. Coffee is the most commonly referenced product to be fairly traded (it was the first to get international recognition) but there are many others, including teas, chocolates, sugar, rice, vanilla, fresh fruit... the list goes on and on!

What does all of that mean to us average Americans? Generally, it means that you pay a little bit more (though not always) for a fair trade product, which is generally as good and often times better than a non-fair trade product. You also can go away with the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped multiple farmers in a far away land get a tiny bit closer to an American way of life (though that's a whole different topic for a different post). And I know you are all thinking, but Jenna, how do I find fair-trade products? (okay so you weren't thinking it... but now you are!). It's actually pretty easy... First look for this symbol on a product.

(This is the US certified symbol, though they are still working on making it universal... until then you might see other logos, just look for the fine print!)
Second, there are many companies that sell fair trade products. Pulled from Transfair USA's website (the company that oversees fair trade in America), the following cafes and restaurants serve fair trade:
Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops - Ask for Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee or Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream.
Bruegger's - Ask for their daily Fair Trade Certified brewed coffee.
Caribou Coffee - Ask for the Fair Trade Blend.
Dunkin' Donuts - Order any hot or iced espresso drink.
Einstein Bagels - Ask for their Global Village Fair Trade Blend.Macy's
Noah's Bagels - Ask for their daily Fair Trade Certified brewed coffee.Nordstrom
Peet's Coffee and Tea - Ask for the Fair Trade Blend.
Seattle's Best Coffee - Ask for the Fair Trade Certified Organic French Roast.
Starbucks Coffee - Ask for Cafe Estima.
Tully's Coffee - Order any hot or iced espresso drink.

(Yes, that's right folks... you can now enjoy Dunkin' Donuts and tell people that you are supporting the global economy!)

And the following retailers carry fair trade (though I found some fair trade at City Market as well, which isn't on the list but is a subsidiary of Kroger, which just goes to show you that ultimately you should just look):
CostPlus World Market
Dominick's Finer Foods
Fred Meyer
Harris Teeter
PublixQuality Food Center
Sam's Club
Shaw's Supermarket
Stop 'n' Shop
Trader Joe's
Whole Foods Market
Wild Oats

And now I will step off of my soap box (still waiting for those to become fair trade) and hope that you will consider looking into this for yourself and your family (and the many families who rely on product sales to America each day).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I hope that no matter where you are or who you are with that you have told someone in your life that they are important to you today... Let's make Valentine's Day a day of thanksgiving, rather than just a romantic day of love. Tell the grocer you appreciate him or her. Tell your co-workers that you value them. Tell your family that they mean the world to you. You never know whose day/week/year you could change just be letting them know.

And in completely unrelated news, I'm a little miffed at the weather men. They assured me last night that by this time today we would be under five inches of snow... and the skies have not given us one bit of precipitation. They are calling for two to four overnight tonight but I am no longer holding breath... The snow that is still on the ground here is getting dingy and crunchy... it's time for new snow on top of it! Also, today I asked my speech class (many of whom have lived in the valley all their lives) if the rumors about the wind in the spring are true... apparently they are. And when I asked when they stopped (expecting mid-April to mid-May) their response was "It will feel like they'll never stop." So, I'm not looking forward to spring so much... but the lovely days of summer will make it all worth while! And right now... I want more snow! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday? Really??

Can you believe that it is only Wednesday. This week seems to be dragging so slowly. Yesterday was a battle, just because my brain would not accept that it was only the second day of the week! It's also been one of those weeks where I keep messing stuff up. I scheduled not one, but two meetings for yesterday afternoon... when I was supposed to be teaching! Luckily I was able to reschedule both of them for this afternoon (and the one I was supposed to have this afternoon to Friday). I think it is karma because just last week I was telling my retention review board how good I am at managing my time and multi-tasking! I needed to be humbled!

And with that, I'm off to make a grocery list. We didn't go this past weekend and our fridge is starting to look like that of a frat house (a little bit of milk, and some bacon bits... yumm).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Valentine's Day Swap

I received a box in the mail on Friday... and of course immediately ripped into it. I had joined a "Valentine's Day Swap" but being the grown up that I was, I did not decide that I needed to wait until Valentine's Day to open up my box... and I'm glad I didn't (since I've already consumed a large quantity of chocolate that was in it)! And Donna was so thoughtful, she even included presents for my "kids." As you can see below, Tater loved his toy and the kitties have been batting around the balls (when Tater hasn't been trying to steal them). Hope you all have a great start to a new week... I'm off to go watch "Knocked Up" with my husband (I know, I know... we haven't seen it yet... we're so behind the times).

My loot!

Tater, a little suspicious at the idea Mom would give him such a big and yummy treat!

Tater fully enjoying his Love Heart!

Can't you just see him thinking "Seriously Mom! Quit hovering and taking my picture... I'm trying to eat here!" The treat was gone in under thirty minutes. He says Thanks Donna!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Super Fun Meme

Here's a fun Meme, stolen egregiously from Dr. Chuck Pearson (and then from Jenny, over at Call It What You Want).

First, the instructions:
1 - Go to target="new">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:RandomThe first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to Random quotations: http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr's "explore the last seven days” target="new">http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/ Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. Put it all together, that's your first album.

So, my band's name is: Carroll A. Deering (a ship that was wrecked in 1921 off the shore of North Caroline and its crew was never found!).
My first album i s entitled: As They Go By
And my album cover is:

Isn't she a little sad looking? Watching "As They Go By" for the ship members who never came home! Now you try!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lack of Time

So I woke this morning thinking that I would post... and then got the e-mail that our landlord wants to show our house tomorrow morning and Friday morning... so instead I will be cleaning!
Hope your weeks are going well!