Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bunch of random topics

So first thing is, I was thinking about my "blog audience". The other day we were talking about "baby blogs" that people do so the grandparents/friends/relatives who don't live nearby can see pictures, videos, etc. about the new baby. Those blogs are basically written for someone. I know who my approximately 5 readers are, and occasionally I'll post something and think "oh, Marisa will find this very funny". But in general I try very hard NOT to post for anyone in particular. I want to make my blog applicable to all of my readers in general, and even to the internet at large. I do get those people who Google "mormon stockpiling" or "raw celery disease" or whatever else and end up here, and occasionally they actually start reading or even leave ac comment. I think in general my blog is like a TV show that is better if you watch it regularly (because the episodes build on each other and you know who the characters are), but if you come in at some point and haven't seen any previous episodes, that's okay too.

This Sunday's sermon at church was about the parable in Luke 12 where a dude has a really great crop one year, builds huge barns to store it all, and thinks he's set for life. Then he basically dies. Of course the point is - don't store your treasures here on Earth, because they're meaningless when you die. "Have you ever seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul?" But when we first read that passage I thought "uh oh... stockpiling! This is me! This is bad!" As I reflected on it more, I think that my situation of buying in advance when I have a great price is different than storing/hoarding treasure. I don't want to be too quick to justify myself though, so I continue to ponder that question. Then this morning as I was reading Proverbs, I read "Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer." And I thought "that's me! I'm wise!" And then I thought "wait, I'm comparing myself to an ant." But it's just another "data point", if you will, for me in my ponderings. The ants are not storing up some food, thinking they are good and don't have to work anymore, and propping their feet up and living the good life. They are doing what they need to do to prepare for a rough period, they will use their food for the winter, and then they will do it all again the next year. I relate to that more than the first man - we buy things we know we will use ahead of time when they are a great price, then we have them when we need them instead of having to run out and pay full price. And when we have too much stockpiled, we just give it away. Anyway, just my current musings. Thought I'd share out loud I guess.

And now, the house. Ever since we looked at that first property a month or so ago, our realtor has been sending me a few houses every week. She sent one that really caught my eye last week, and Geoff liked it too. So we went to see it yesterday. It's on the river (basically a tributary of the Willamette, which is that river that you tried to sail down and dodge the rocks in at the end of the game Oregon Trail) and on a good day has a view of 4 mountains (Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, and Hood). Of course there are only 2 good days a year in Portland, but that's another story. :) It's on 2 acres, most of it forested, but there is still plenty of usable land around the house. The current house is roughly 1000 sq ft which is about half the size of our current house, but we use about half of our current house anyway. And there is no reason we can't expand/renovate/rebuild/etc. the current house. It was built in the 50's but there have certainly been some improvements since then and it's in pretty good condition. The foundation seems good, it's very clean (there is a faint smoke smell, I think he used to smoke but doesn't anymore, and he has a cat which I'm way allergic too, but we can deal with those things), and looks like it's been well maintained. We could move in and live in the house 100% as is. Yes, we'd definitely like to replace the carpet and wash and/or repaint the walls, but that's easy and by no means HAS to be done immediately. Then in a year or two Geoff would like to re-side and re-roof the house. Then in X (5? 10? No idea.) years we would do some of the improvements like maybe renovating the kitchen, adding more family/living/dining room space, adding a couple of bedrooms, etc. We're certainly not looking for a giant house, but it's nice to have a space for guests and whatnot (it's tough because I want there to be a space for my parents and sister to be when they come visit, but you can't not buy a house that is perfectly suitable for the people who will actually be living there for a week or so of visitors a year). There's just tons of potential with this property. I am wary because everyone seems to love it so much (Geoff, realtor, my parents, Geoff's parents), and that makes me feel like SOMEONE should not like it so I'm becoming that person. That's not quite worded right - I DO like it, a lot, I just am trying to be cautious. I also feel like it's not the right time to buy a new house, but Geoff and I have talked a lot about why it's not such a bad time. We've been on such a strict course of financial goals, particularly in the past 4 months, and this may involve a deviation from that which is hard for me, but once I'm used to it, it will be fine. And it's not even a bad deviation, it's just a modification of plans. Our realtor is looking into the exact property lines, easements, that kind of stuff, so we might have more data today. We'd like to go back on Sunday with Geoff's parents to get a second set of eyes on it, too, so I'm going to ask about that. So that's what I'm thinking for now. We'll see where this goes.

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