Next, part three

This is the final part, the one that began when our real estate agent asked, “Do you guys seem to attract this kind of craziness normally?” Because if you take the insane factor of the first homeowner, multiply it by a hundred and then feed it a truckload of Twinkies, that’s the owner of my dream home. She who at one point said, “If you leave the shed unlocked that bobcat will come back. But don’t worry, I’m pretty sure it’s friendly. It purrs.”

So our real estate agent put in our offer the morning after we walked through the house. They countered, we accepted the counter, the end, right? THAT’S HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO WORK. Although I happen to have a track record of breaking things. Toes, tailbones, and apparently the rotation of the earth because that’s when all hell broke lose. I was in New York City on Mother’s Day when we had to sign the counter papers, unable to get a signal on my phone, unable to hear the 17 frantic voicemails Jon had left going I’M GOING TO FLY OUT THERE RIGHT NOW AND STRANGLE YOU MYSELF. And not in a kinky way.

The fax machine at the hotel was working, and then it wasn’t, and my car was on its way to pick me up to take me to the airport, and WE WERE GOING TO LOSE MY DREAM HOME. It felt like a scene out of a really suspenseful thriller as I ran around and around the block searching for a signal to talk to Jon, the fax machine creaking along… did you get it? No? Let me run back and try again. Clock ticking, ticking ticking… around the block again… attempting the fax again…my car waiting… ticking… ticking… BOOM! When the woman at the hotel finally managed to get that fax to send I asked about her name and told her that if my husband’s vasectomy miraculously reversed itself, we’d name our next kid after her.

It’s a boy? Sorry, kid. I promised Susan in New York.

So we had signed papers. Signed papers! Dates! Signatures! Deadlines to meet! YAY! Except, two days later the owner fired her real estate agent. That’s the first thing that raised our eyebrows, and then she made it really difficult to schedule an inspection. Second thing. And then she basically refused to let anyone in to make an appraisal. Third thing. Notice I haven’t mentioned the purring bobcat yet. That’s like, 300 things down on the list.

I’m not sure how earnest money works in other states, but in Utah you write an initial check with your offer that basically says $This Is How Much We Are Interested in Buying Your House. Usually about one percent of the asking price. And if everything goes like it’s supposed to go, that check is released the day of closing and is applied toward the price of the house. Well, this home owner thought that after a certain date on the contract had passed, she’d be written a check for that earnest money. And she could just spend it willy nilly.

When she was advised that this is not how it works, she said she wouldn’t sell the house because she needed that money to move.

But we have a signed contract.

But she didn’t care.

But, SIGNED CONTRACT.

But, NOTHING.

If we didn’t write her a check for the earnest money, she was going nowhere.

I don’t know what it’s called in other languages, but I think in English this is called extortion.

Yes, we could take her to court, but that could end up being thousands of dollars in legal fees, plus months and months of duking it out. We were still waiting for our loan to be approved, and the real estate agency basically said this: if you don’t take this risk, she won’t move out. This risk being: she takes that check, spends it on kibble for her bobcat, and then still refuses to move.

You guys, Jon and I didn’t sleep for days. I know, first world problem. But it was a total nightmare. It was making us physically ill. We’d already paid for the inspection and two appraisals, not too much, no, but I guess the biggest thing was, well, it was my dream house. A dream house I could afford. One I’d already foolishly imagined would be the place where we could host our entire families for holidays and graduations.

We took several days to weigh our options, and I guess the Universe was feeling generous, or perhaps it couldn’t stand the green coloration of Jon’s face, but in the meantime she hired a lawyer to sort out her options. And that lawyer told her to suck it that if she didn’t show up to sign closing papers, he would not represent her. She HAD no options. Also, LADY. DON’T PET THE BOBCAT.

Needless to say, we did not write that check.

A few days later we drove by the house and saw moving boxes and trucks, and it was like my brother that Christmas morning when he got the Millenium Falcon. We called our real estate agent, my mom, his mom, my sister, the mail carrier… WE EVEN DIALED RANDOM NUMBERS just so that we could shout SHE’S MOVING! And then Jon pretended he was Han Solo and I was Princess Leia.

But then. Yes. There is a but then. A very large but then. A but then that required the services of six different lawyers representing six different interests. Turns out that the homeowner’s ex-husband whose name was still on the title of the house had one enormous lien taken out against the home in his name. Like, huge. Like, more money than she was going to walk away with from the sale. And since the two of them no longer speak to each other, his lawyer was talking to her lawyer was talking to the lawyer of the title company was talking to the lawyer of the real estate agency was talking to the lawyer representing the lien. Add in our lawyer, and it’s a wonder the temple didn’t fall into the giant black hole that formed in the middle of Salt Lake City.

Estimates were that not only were they not going to be able to figure out the lien situation by the closing date, but that it might take so long that we might lose the interest rate on our now-approved loan. Since Jon’s phone was our point of contact for everything concerning this house, I developed a pavlovian response and would vomit when I heard the first three notes on his ringtone.

Cut to the week of closing, and I’m in New York City AGAIN, this time for the HGTV event, and I’m grabbing a quick bite to eat at a deli when, no joke, the song from Jon’s ringtone comes on the radio. That was the end of THAT sandwich.

Closing date comes and goes, and still no progress on the lien. I was capital L LIVID. And no one was giving a straight answer. But how could anyone? Because one lawyer had five other lawyers to check in with, and you know they were all off either golfing or busy billing someone for paperclips and staples.

Three days passed, and at that point I couldn’t go on living not knowing what the hell was going on. So I go, Jon, this is it. I want you to pull the My Wife Is Crazy Card. I want you to BLAME ME. Tell them I am ready to sue FOR EVERYTHING. For all the money we’ve spent up to this point, for all our lawyer’s fees, for what it is costing to hold our interest rate every day past closing, and oh! Mention that I’m emotionally unstable! In fact, tell them I once spent a few days in a psyche ward! THINK YOU’RE INSANE, BOBCAT LADY? THINK AGAIN.

And I think our lawyer believed him. Because the email he wrote to all those other lawyers will go down as my favorite email ever written. By four o’clock that day, we had keys to the house.

And when we showed up to have celebratory champagne on the giant porch, guess who was still there? And guess whose stuff was still pouring out of boxes stacked to the ceiling in the garage?

It was then that she approached us and asked if legally we could speak to each other, even though she was the one who had four weeks previously stated that she wanted no contact with us or our real estate agent without some sort of intermediary. We said we didn’t see why we couldn’t speak, and that’s when she wistfully showed us where the bobcat had lived. And when she got to the part about how it purred, well, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started laughing. Maniacally. Like, to the point that I had tears coming down my face, and I almost fell over.

ONTO MY NEW DRIVEWAY.

WE GOT THE HOUSE! And with it, so many amazing ideas and opportunities. I can’t wait to get started.

  • This Crap Is Hard

    I am insanely jealous of you guys. Not just because of the beautiful house you’re blessed enough to afford, but because we have been waiting over FOUR MONTHS to close. On a little old ’99 doublewide attached to an acre of land. In Kentucky.

    You know why we’ve been waiting that long? Because the government likes to fuck people over for more money. I can’t IMAGINE how long it would be taking if the homeowners were insano on top of all that.

  • miatadoll

    Congrats to you all!

  • Bree

    YAY!!!!!! I’m so happy for you guys!!! :) I can’t wait to see pics of your kids & dogs in THAT amazing house. You should totally post the email that your lawyer wrote……if that’s legal.

  • shestumbledin

    Phewww!! Congratulations Heather! It’s absolutely stunning — and I can’t wait to see you put your stamp on it.

    Also excited to hear about Coco’s bobcat round-up expertise.

  • Lauren3

    Yesssss YOU GUYS DID IT!

    What an excellent account of how you came to get your dream house. I did a small victory dance in my chair at work. No I lied… I did a big victory dance.

  • meghanb

    Congratulations! Now, take a shot of bourbon (or two).

  • gretchie

    Gigantic – I’m not going to bash you… You’re kinda missing the point of Heather’s three-part story. Of course her problems are not the horrors of someone who is forced to foreclose on their home or is old and finding themselves w/o a retirement fund. That’s awful stuff, and her situation does not compare. But the point of Heather’s telling this story is that… If you or I wrote it, it would be like… eh. Whatever. But when Heather writes, it’s fun to read. That’s it. That’s why I come here. I don’t expect her problems to relate to mine, I just enjoy her mad writing skills and let’s face it – it was a fun story to read (I’m sure it wasn’t fun to go through). What Heather does is opens her life and writes about it in a way that makes you feel like she’s your good buddy telling you about something that just happened to her. We all have friends that tell us these stories and we agree with them sometimes, and sometimes we think they’re being too whiny. But if they at least make it kind of amusing, they’re fun to talk to. :)

    Heather, I’ve now purchased three homes (bought and sold – I only own one house now). Every one of those purchases has been smoooooooooth. I cannot believe that sort of nonsense even goes on. I’ve always made sure I love the house I sign a contract for, but I have never been so in love that I wouldn’t walk out on that sort of crazy making behavior. I hope I’m never tested on that!

    Congrats!

  • kellyfaboo

    That’s sort of sad. It’s obvious to me that Crazy Lady had a lot of attachment to the home and had crazy financial difficulties between her and her ex-husband.

    But Dooce, your crazy lady card beat the Crazy Lady who Believes Bobcats are her Friend’s crazy lady card. You should be proud.

    Hope this is the craziest your real estate adventures get.

  • Squeetthang

    WHEW! I was totally stressed just reading it.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do with the place!

    (I am a paralegal and I really giggled about the paper clips and staples!)

  • Becky O

    You can’t see me, but right now I’m doing the Evan Almighty dance of joy for you. I would only do this for you as it is beneath me, but the occasion seems to warrant a dance of some sort.

    So…wahoo for you and your family – best of luck for a smooth move in!

  • TexasKatie

    Watch out – the lady might try to sue YOU now, for blogging about this. Hope she doesn’t know that you are DOOCE. I sort of actually feel bad for the woman – who was obviously going through a bad divorce. Not to say that extortion, as you put it, is acceptable, but I doubt she was trying to make your life miserable.

    Congratulations on the house, of course.

  • Lanie

    I miss the good old days, in which people didn’t feel the need to apologize for their success.

    As long as you’re not going out of your way to hurt anyone, your success has NOTHING to do with other people’s lack thereof. Remember that: NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

    But I feel sorry for the previous homeowner woman. We don’t know why she’s in this situation, but it must be heartbreaking to have to leave your beautiful home, particularly when you’re the one made it that way. (Didn’t Heather say this lady was who did all the bathrooms etc., with the (allegedly) lovely tile and the (allegedly) lovely vanities?)

    And then she’s has to leave it, and needs her son to move her boxes out?

    I just HATE tragedy in people’s lives. HATE it.

    (Edited to add: Just noticed Kellyfaboo said much the same thing, above, probably among others. Haven’t read all the comments yet…)

  • Lurkalicious

    Hey Gigantic,

    I’m with you. I finished the three-part story with a bad taste in my mouth. And this comes from someone who recently discovered Dooce, has spent one too many nights going through her archives, laughing until I cried and then crying because it was so sad and touching. So, I’m a fan.

    And Gretchie, you’re right. What makes Heather’s writing so fantastic is that she does open herself up to the Internet, and openly shares parts of herself I would never dare to, maybe even to my closest friends.

    But it’s interesting for me – going through her archives and then reading her recent posts – because I’ve realized that whereas Dooce once used to write about her life as a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister — now, she’s writing about her life as a professional blogger. And it’s just not as compelling. A victim of her own success?

    I imagine the legions will sing a chorus for me to suck it and tell me I’m jealous. That’s not the case at all. I think people should absolutely be proud of their accomplishments and savor their successes. But if they are going to go off on a three part saga hoping to elicit sympathy and commiseration over a situation in which the “crazy” adversary obviously had a lot more going on in her life, well, sorry. Not happening.

  • BethC

    Hooray! This is so great. I’m so happy for you guys.

    I also love the masthead. :)

  • freakydeak

    Congratulations Team Armstrong!
    I think a good sage smudge of the house is in order to remove any remaining bad mojo from that woman!

    Enjoy!

  • Krys72599

    Been there, done that, with the surprise ex’s lien against the house that you don’t find out about until you’re sitting there, on pins and needles, waiting to sign your name in blood on 57 pieces of paper, collect your keys, and go to YOUR.NEW.HOME.

    THAT’S when you find out that, no, the ex has found YET.ANOTHER.WAY.TO.SCREW.YOU.OVER even though your hubby and his ex have been divorced for 10 whole freakin’ years and she’s remarried and your child support is paying for her mortgage and the kids are asking you to buy them shampoo and shoes when they come up every other weekend…

    Oh, sorry, got carried away for a moment.

    Thank goodness it got all settled for us on the spot: an escrow account holding the $ until they checked it all out, then we got our money back… but we were in the house, and long story short, that was all that mattered.

    And we lived happily ever after…. As will you and Jon and Leta and Marlo and Chuck and Coco. Congrats, and can’t wait to see photos before and after, ’cause I’m sure the previous owner had exquisite taste…

  • Circe74

    Pictures nothing, I want to see the email Jon sent!

  • alex1s

    Would totally love to see the letter that your lawyer wrote.
    Congrats on your dream home!

  • chicgeek75

    Congratulations! In March – after 9 months of searching and three houses I offered on – I finally closed on my first property (first independently purchased, that is) and I can empathize with you on so many levels, though your previous homeowner takes the cake on stupidity.

    For me, the first house was a rental property being sold due to a divorce and had both myself and a rental-company duking it out, but I backed away as the costs kept adding up. And, I WANTED THAT HOUSE. I still regret it, but then I think about how much it’d have cost me… Still, that was my dream “first” house. I miss that house.

    So, I’m utterly ecstatic that you snagged yours and had the guts to persevere through all the ups and downs. I look forward to all your design updates and photos.

    Best of luck!

  • Jess F

    Sorry about your extended trip to Crazytown (population: bobcat lady and other homeowners) but I am so happy for you. Congratulations!

  • jholland

    I am so out of my mind happy for you guys! Seriously – beyond happy!

  • christine1127

    I love that your life has become a true “rags to riches” story, Heather. I’ve been reading since before the wedding, too, and I think it’s awesome how you guys have gone from living in your Mom’s basement to the beautifully remodeled kitchen home, to your previous, not-so-talked-about home, and now your gorgeous, amazing dreamhouse. You work hard and have given so much to your readers. You deserve everything you’ve received in life. Keep up the great work…I’ll read your writing until the day you decide to stop.

  • chicgeek75

    Having just read Gigantic’s and Gretchie’s posts:

    I respect both of your viewpoints and get what you’re saying. However, I didn’t read the posts in the same manner or take the same meaning from them. Not once did I feel that Heather was complaining; she was relating a situation. And, I also don’t see her family’s purchase as an excess: they are running a business from their home – heck, their business is in large part *about* their home – and needed more space to accommodate it. Yes, it may be more than the normal American can ever dream of achieving, but I simply don’t feel that Heather is rubbing our faces in it.

    What Heather did for me was reinforce something my brother (of all people – his life is a *mess*) helped me to understand… Several years ago I divorced and though it was amicable enough, my world was turned upside down. But, I didn’t want anyone to think I was a whiner, selfish, needy… after all, there are people in the world with FAR worse problems than myself. Then, when I was talking to my brother and trying SO HARD not to cry… NOT TO COMPLAIN… I told him “I can’t have these feelings because my situation is not that bad, COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.”

    He set me straight: Your feelings are your own. Feel what you want to feel. Yes, there are people in worse situations, but right now – in this moment – you’re experiencing something entirely your own. Let it be. And you know what? As soon as I listened to him, I felt a weight lift from my life.

    So, long-story less long… That’s what I felt reading Heather’s posts. Yes, she is in a much better place than I will ever dream of being, but she still has experiences that rock *her* world; and her blog is where she lets it out.

    That’s just me, though.

  • Sadandbeautiful

    Big bobcat-size congratulations to you both! What a saga.

    Definitely change the locks.

    P.S. My captcha code for this comment is “Civil dogfight.” That’s where the dogs sniff each others’ butts first, right?

  • slcEB

    While the new Chateau Armstrong may be large, remember that it will also be the worldwide headquarters of Dooce Inc. Just think of how many trees you’re saving by not commuting all over the place like the rest of us.

    Yay for you and your fabulous new house.

  • HDC

    Congrats!

    Now don’t go mad trying to sell the other one.

  • Utahcouple

    Wow, what a crazy experience! But now you have some great dirt to tell people when they come over for a visit. It is true that life can be more strange than fiction. Congratulations on the new house, it’s beautiful!

  • Mama to Henry

    When we moved into our house in 2006 we were *supposed* to close in April … didn’t move in until Sept because the crazy homeowner tried to make a fake repair bill for the septic that failed the inspection. Turns out, he used the name of a company our friend owns on the bogus repair statement, so we knew it was BS. (Our friend’s company doesn’t even REPAIR septics …) Tried to make it look authentic by digging up part of the lawn and they filling it back in. We were up to the house one day before our closing to check on the real repair of the septic and the homeowner was there saying how this was costing him $20,000. I point blank said to him ‘Better you than us … and could you imagine what the lawyers fees would be if we decided to sue you for what you tried to do.”

  • melizerd

    Dooce- I didn’t think it was possible but you might have topped our house buying experience.

    We put an offer in on a HUD house (government owned foreclosure) and it took over ONE HUNDRED DAYS to close (normally takes about 30), three different closing dates where we didn’t know we wouldn’t close til we were sitting at the table. Two moving trucks, one garage at my grandparents filled with my belongings because I THOUGHT I WAS MOVING INTO MY HOUSE so I had to end my lease, and several phone calls that had me yelling and threatening people too.

    See my husband has MS and severe stress can put him into the hospital. Having no place to live and having to come up with an EXTRA $5,000 on short notice is extra stress if there ever has been some. BUT this was our dream house, at a dream price… So we kept fighting for it.

    AFTER we closed we found out the title company didn’t do the search properly and there was an undisclosed easement on our land, which the other people that use it have illegally extended. So we are now dealing with that issue as well.

  • kheenan.halvorson

    Congrats Dooce, my wife and I are closing in two days and we have had to go through the same hoops. Closing pushed back, papers not filed correctly, my realtor doing absolutely no work for us. Pretty sure I am now licensed to sell and buy houses with how much I have had to do. Everything is filled out, all the money is there and now we just have to sign the papers friday morning at 8am central time. So fricken excited.

    WOOT WOOT to buying houses

  • rosegirl2

    I thought I was the only one this could happen to!! Almost the same thing happened to me (minus the extortion). I found a great house, they rejected our offer, found another one, had the contract all set up and a closing date when we found out the seller’s nephew had taken out 3 liens against the house (in other states). It has been almost a year and I still have nightmares about it.

    So for the people who are complaining that it’s not that big a deal, go suck an egg. I’m not rich or a blogger and I also thought it was horrible and life changing. For the record, I drove everyone who knew me crazy by telling them all the details.

    Anyways, I feel for you and I hope you love your new place as much as I love mine!!!

  • Adrasteia

    Wow, what a giant pile of bullshit. I’m impressed that your head hasn’t exploded. Congratulations! The house is gorgeous and I’m jealous of the bobcat! My family lives in Montana and they’re always regaling me with stories of the wild turkeys and bears, not to mention the elk, deer, moose, mountain lions and the occasional peacock that wander through their backyard. Tragically, not so much to be found around Seattle. Oh well.

  • Adee Doo

    The past few blog posts have been exciting!

    The crazy lady, bobcats, lawyers and pavlovian responses all suck but it lead to your dream home.

    Can’t wait for all the pics and stories to come with it. Congratulations, Heather!

  • la_bacque

    It seems like you are putting yourself in situations to increase the crazy.

    I would have been like “F this ho, this house is not worth dealing with a crazy person and making my life insane.”

    You must like it though? I hope your new house brings you some peace.

  • JJM-JJM

    Damn! Well done!

  • scargosun

    I tell my DH to pull the “my wife is crazy” card now and then. It is similar to yours only he says something like this could CAUSE her to go to a pretty white building with no sharp objects instead of she’s already been.

  • jodi-the-scribe

    Wow crazy awesome story. Congratulations on your new house!

    PS. I made this account just to post on this story! too awesome!

  • brandychome

    Tyrant must make a new sign:

    Forget about the Bobcat, Coco lives here!

  • bambooska

    I got to my parent’s house for a visit and the first thing I do on the Internet is to take a look at your website and THERE IT IS! The Part Three! The happy ending!

    I’m so happy you got your dream house in the end. I’m sure the kids will love it, Leta will love it because I remember being her age and moving to a new house and I was all kinds of WOW and WHOA and WOW again! My parent’s still live in this house after I’m long gone to the crazy world but man, does it feel awesome to be back to this house and type this from the office room as I take a look at the calm neighborhood with beautiful blue sky this afternoon!

    I’m SO happy for you and Jon, this is incredible news! You guys totally deserve this!

    Cheers!

  • Zerojet

    just reading the three parts of the harrowing journey to your new fabulous home has given me a mantra for when the universe tries to beat me over the head with something. WWDD? What Would Dooce Do?

    Maniacal laughter is a good start.

    Congrats!!

  • Blahggy

    I am currently emailing a man in China to see if he can help me get my lower jaw back.

  • aVeryStory

    oh you and the cliffhangers – I could have kicked you! then I realized I was anxious over the dream home purchase of someone I’ve never met…then I could have kicked myself. so happy things worked out in the end- congrats Armstrong family!

  • CrookedSmile

    I’ve seen this type of stuff before. As I read through the last installment, I initially thought you were dealing with a crazy lady. Once I got to the portion where you start dealing with liens, etc., another scenario unfolded before me. In quick succession, here’s what was probably going on with the seller.
    1. Happily married for umpteen years (probably sealed in the temple).
    2. Hubby makes bad investments and/or mortgages the shit out of the house to finish the improvements you mentioned. (They are nice BTW).
    3. Economy goes to hell.
    4. Wife and hubby get divorced. She gets to live in the house for a year or two until he can get the issue with the liens cleared up.
    5. She basically gets nothing from the divorce, because there’s nothing for her to get.
    6. Ex-Hubby and his attorney are pressuring her to sell the place, as probably ordered in the decree of divorce.
    7. She finally (reluctantly) agrees to list.
    8. Armstrong’s snap it up (wisely).
    9. Seller’s private reality checks in. She realizes that her past life is toast, and the last material thing she owns is going bye-bye.
    10. You know the rest of the story.

    I feel badly for the woman, but such are the realities of life. You didn’t cause her problems. You ended up with a good deal, you’re happy and that’s what matters for you.

    NICE PLACE, BTW.

  • hereslucy

    Congratulations! I just wanna see a picture of the crazy bobcat lady.

    Happy for you all! New Space! Let’s decorate!

  • duckie

    Congratulations! What an exciting opportunity. Sometimes it feels like everything just falls into place for a reason, right?!

    I have to admit, though, overall, I agree with Lurkalicious and Gigantic. I’ve been reading your work for years, but for some reason, this really left me a bad taste in my mouth . . . a taste I don’t want(blech), because usually your posts are so scrumptious. I hope this doesn’t become the new flavor of Dooce.

    Again, though, big congrats on the house! Like the others, I hope I’m not attacked or ridiculed for my comment.

  • shoppingsmycardio

    are you really not sharing the email from your lawyer? i always love me some kick ass legal-ese (bleeped, of course, to protect the guilty…)

  • BySteph

    So freakin’ thrilled for you! I bought a new house last month as well…and I can relate. I’ve got a few of my own crazy home owner stories. But you got your dream house! YAY!!

  • mrscunning14

    Congrats on the house. It is gorgeous!

    What’s up with the “old” house now? Getting ready to sell? Renting it out? Do tell!

    While I see valid points in the so-called “naysayer” posts, I dunno–my view is that you are pretty gracious in general and pretty damn thankful for what you have. Well, let’s say it, what you’ve earned.

    Really, a friend and fellow blogger and I were discussing this a few months ago–how great you must have it, how easy life must be for you, and how she and I both wished we could get paid for doing something where we (almost) never had to get out of our pajamas and spent all day with our kids.

    And then? As if you’d timed it perfectly, this (http://www.dooce.com/2010/04/02/because-it-needs-be-said) post came. And I realized that while I may have it easier than the toothless lady who hangs out in front of my laundromat, and you may have it easier than me, who rents a lovely three bedroom in a three family house with upstairs neighbors from hell, no one really has it completely easy. Well, maybe Donald Trump, but I bet he has days when his hair just won’t lay flat *no matter what he does to it.* And that must irk him terribly. And maybe if he has a personal assistant, he bitches about it, and that person thinks “Are you kidding me, buddy? STFU about your goddamn hair and fund the oil spill cleaning efforts!”

    The point is (and it’s a redundant one, as others have said it. But if you knew me, you’d know I love nothing more than driving a good point home. Over. And over. And over. Just be glad you’re not married to me.), this is *your* blog, and this is what’s happening in *your* life. Yes, you are blogging a lot about the ebbs and flows of being a professional blogger, but then, that’s what you do! When you worked at “The Company Which Must Not Named,” you wrote about that. It’s not only absurd to expect you to only focus on the positive and *never* complain about things that bug you, it’s humanly impossible to do so!

    And if I may, I have an insignificant little blog of my own, and you kindly edited my posts a few months back and took my link out twice. Maybe you didn’t like my philosophies? Maybe you thought I was trying to get hits off of your site to mine? I canceled my community account in protest but I came back, because, well, it’s *your* space. You can allow or delete whatever the hell you want. And your stories are riveting.

    I also believe, however, that leaving comments open on your posts invites bad feedback and well as good, right? And maybe if these readers are making reasonable points but aren’t 100% behind you it’s OK, right? To assume that someone, anyone, is leaving commentary that is any less than completely positive and congratulatory is only doing so because he/she is jealous is selling people very short indeed. Our lives have many parallels, but I do not assume that your life is better than mine. And I am happy for you!

    Congrats again!

  • pennielane

    I created an account just to say I can’t WAIT for a pic of the bobcat with tp balanced on its head!

  • territorial

    When you were saying Bobcat, I was thinking, little white tractor on tracks…not a BOBCAT!!!!! Congrats on the house….the pictures you have posted are gorgeous