Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Halloween. A Maddie post

It's three days til Halloween. We just put up our Halloween decorations today. We have two wooden gravestones and three styrofoam gravestones. We also have a small plastic coffin with a zombie with light up red eyes that pops up and screams if it hears a noise or senses any movement. We also have five pumpkins. And a light up skeleton coming out of the ground. One of the pumpkins we have is white and we are going to carve it like a ghost. One of the pumpkins we grew ourselves but even though it's small we still like it. And we are hoping this will be a happy Halloween.

what, more animals?!

A post from Maddie:

A couple months ago we got some mice. One is gray and nibbles so we named him Nibbles. We also got two other mice and named them Pumpkin and Oatmeal. Oatmeal is fuzzy and blond and Pumpkin is orange. But Sunny wants to eat them all bwahaha but we won't let her. And we got them a new mouse cage with a wheel that spins in a circle when they run.

Here is Nibbles and Pumpkin (Pumpkin is in back)

Here is Oatmeal.

Making an offer

We're making an offer in the morning on this house in Fort Collins. I can't get the photos uploaded in the right order, so you'll have to figure out what's what yourself, but here's the details on the house -- it's on almost a quarter acre, has four bedrooms and two baths, I love the open floor plan. It has a solar collector on the south facing side wall that blows hot air into the house via a fan. There's a family room in a daylight basement with a fireplace as well.

It has a lovely deck with sliders onto the master bedroom and the kitchen. It backs to an elementary school playground which we can use after school hours (how ironic that we're backing to a school!) and has lovely views of the mountains beyond the school. There's a walking trail along an irrigation canal at the bottom of the street that goes for miles in either direction.

We're very excited about this house, even though we're going to have to sneak our chickens in under the radar (I called county code enforcement to ask about backyard flocks and the woman told me that chickens aren't allowed in residential zoning, "but just to let you know, we don't go out and check. We'd only check if a neighbor complained.") So we'll keep up our good relations with our neighbors and keep a few chickens under the back deck. With any luck, we'll be under contract tomorrow and we'll be able to move by mid month (We'll rent from the seller until our loan comes through, as she's already moved out).

Oh, and it needs work. Carpet needs to be replaced upstairs and down, the upstairs bathroom needs to be completely redone and the kitchen is desperately in need of an update. But we (Steve) just did all those things so we know what we're getting into and are pricing our offer accordingly.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Back to business

Mom and Dad are back at home and unpacking their cars and RV and trying to de-stress. The skies are a bit better here today and Steve and I are back to focusing on the home sale. He's almost completed the 25-item honey-do list that our buyer presented, and we're trying to figure out where our title snafu stands -- we've got the previous owners ex-husband (an ex-con, no less) on our title and the title company is working to clear it up because we can't close escrow until they do and I don't know how patient our buyer's going to be about this. What a screw-up on the part of our title company. If they don't salvage this sale, we'll be hiring a lawyer of our own, much as I hate to go that route.
The title company lawyers are in San Diego and affected by the fires, as are the mortgage processors for the loan we want to get to buy a house in Fort Collins. Honestly, I'm starting to wonder if the universe is trying to tell us something (yes, all of Southern California burns and it's all about me. It's always all about me!)
Escrow's supposed to close Nov. 15th, I really want to get under contract on a house in Fort Collins and we're being told, wait a few more days, just to be sure we're going to be able to clear this up for you before you make an offer. I'm getting lots of practice in maintaining equanimity.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Firefighters did an incredible job of holding the fires on a line about two miles from my folks' house since yesterday evening. I'm really impressed, from all that I read online last night, I'm stunned that they were able to do that.

News reports say that the fires in Live Oak area are out except for hot spots. More are burning to the north of town but aren't a danger to their house.

Mom and Dad are still on Pendleton, breathing foul air. Hoping the evacuation will be lifted tomorrow...

Monday, October 22, 2007


For anyone wondering what's happening with my folks, they're packing the RV and cars. There's a fire to the east of Fallbrook that may have jumped I-15 already and headed towards them. I don't think we can get to them because I'm hearing the I-15 is closed southbound and possibly in both directions. If they have to evacuate, they'll probably have to go west to Oceanside. I'll update as I know more.
We're unscathed for the moment, don't even have the winds in our valley that are apparently tearing through northern San Diego County. Air is foul, but that's all. This is one of the few times when I wish we had television reception...

You can see what CHP is responding to on this site -- it's written in dispatch speak, but can give an idea of where they're shutting down roads and when fires have reached freeways...

CHP Dispatch Use the pull down menu on the left to get San Diego County updates...

UPDATE: 1 p.m.
They're evacuating on my folks' side of the freeway now, but not as far as their neighborhood yet (they're issuing mandatory evavcuation orders between the 15 and Live Oak Park, if anyone knows the area. That's still about 2-3 miles west of Friends Way). They've driven the RV on base and left it there and have returned home to pack more in their cars. I wish I could help them but we can't get to them.

Update 2:15:
All of Fallbrook is under evacuation orders now, but the wind might be shifting the fire S or SE, instead of due west towards Friends Way, so they're sitting tight for now. The fire has jumped the freeway.
Winds are picking up for us, so that may well indicate a shift in direction.

The fire's burning in Live Oak Park and headed uphilll towards my folks, about a mile and a half away. I'm hoping they evacuate as ordered.

5:30 p.m. The sight of police going door to door convinced them to leave about 45 minutes ago. Traffic is crawling and it may be an hour or two before they make it on base. They're planning to stay in their camper there overnight, then head up our way if the evacuation hasn't been lifted tomorrow.

7 p.m. Folks are on base, getting supplies and heading to the beach campground to squat in the RV for the night. Air is foul, but they're safe.

This is the latest info from the local paper:

" The Rice Fire in Fallbrook has burned about 1,000 acres and was spreading south toward Highway 76, northwest toward De Luz, as well as towards downtown Fallbrook, fire officials said Monday afternoon. The blaze began in the Stewart Canyon area east of downtown Fallbrook. All town residents have been received mandatory evacuations and should be on their way out of town, if they haven't left already, authorities said. "