Thank you, readers!

Yesterday this blog crossed the 14,000 hits threshold–thank you, readers!

Some of those views are one-time, and some of you are faithful readers. I appreciate each one.

The stats tell me where in the world my blog has been viewed on any given day, and redwhiteandnew has made appearances this year alone on screens in Canada, Turkey, the Philippines, Italy, Ireland, France, the Czech Republic, Germany, the UK, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Nigeria, Vietnam, Colombia, Malaysia, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and, most interestingly to me, the Maldives.

I started this blog to keep friends and family up to date on our lives as we moved from the old home state to the center of the free world, and assumed that the blog would be primarily work-related and work-focused. Life takes some funny, not funny, unexpected, exciting, and terrifying turns, but it’s never dull and realizing that has helped me feel just fine blogging about What’s Happening Now, whether that’s Martha, moving, having the little oyster, looking for work, or just walking Dietrich.

Redwhiteandnew is a biographical statement, nothing more and nothing less. What I post is an honest account–or my best interpretation–of daily life, milestones, and unique events or experiences, nothing more and nothing less. I have fun writing, and I love reading comments when readers post them and so, for all the time and attention you all have put into pushing the blog over the 14,000 mark, thank you! Nothing more and nothing less.


It’s curtains for the shoebox

The little shoebox was rented yesterday to the second person to do a walk through. Probably not the way I would have handled renting out the bottom half of my home, but hey, I’m not the landlady and it’s not our problem!

The new tenant signed a one-year lease and currently lives with her parents way out in the middle of nowhere. Sounds to me like a prime candidate for moving in before June 1 and helping us out with the cost of two apartments for two and a half weeks. We shall see.

This weekend the husband, Dietrich, and I are off to the farm to see the husband’s family and watch his brothers in a play. I like that people won’t be walking through our little home while we’re gone, as was the original plan.

And so it’s curtains for the shoebox! I can’t say I’ll miss living here, but I will always appreciate what this tiny little place represented for our little family. And in three weeks I will appreciate living above ground, where the spiders aren’t so numerous and the daylight shines in through windows that open.

The green ceiling lives

Home sweet home-in-the-future.

For those of you who didn’t get a good mental picture from my Microsoft Paint rendering 🙂 this is a picture of the green-ceilinged dining room from the real estate website we used.  The light fixture is a springy little piece, with leaves and vines. The ceiling is, as established, green, and the walls are a lovely fresh light gray-blue with crisp white on the crown molding and baseboards.

The windows are new and all throughout the condo have deep windowsills, perfect for indoor plants (although there are window boxes outside the dining room and kitchen windows) or air-drying cloth diapers.

And this is the little oyster’s room, taken from the doorway. There’s a walk-in closet to the right and a huge holly bush outside the window. The walls are the same pale gray-blue as the dining room and living room.

Sleep tight, little oyster.

Speaking of the living room, it could hold the entire shoebox.

And the master bedroom comes complete with windows (seriously, this is novel), a big closet with shelves, and a whimsical little chandelier. If I can get the ok to paint it some other color–probably the warm gray or light green I want to use in the kitchen–we’ll be in business.

Blinded by the light.

The little oyster will sleep in his/her Pack N Play in here for a while after getting born, so the oyster’s room is available to guests. Just throwing that out there.

Next stop: Condo with the green ceiling

The wait is over! The condo with the green ceiling is ours as of May 15! Our application was approved yesterday and this morning I spoke with our realtor. The condo’s status on the real estate website is Rented and now the more exciting search for boxes begins.

Of course, we don’t need that many since half of our household is still boxed and in the furnace room down here, but I did unpack most of our prolific library and that will all have to be repacked. No worries though, books are our friends.

When I got the email from our realtor last night, I cried happy tears. And then I got a bloody nose. Thanks, pregnancy, for both of those things.

The wait begins. Again.

The husband and I have done a lot of apartment hunting in our time together. A little over a year after we were married, we even looked at a house or two. Since then we have moved way far out this way and now we have a dog and a kid to plan for, but we still know what we need and, somewhat less important, what we would like in a home.

The condo with the green dining room ceiling is the sort of place that any friends or family would look at and say, “Yep, that’s them,” so we applied for it, and now the wait begins. Again.

Apartment hunting around here is a new game. Back in the old days, in the old home state, if you wanted an apartment you applied for it and the only real question was, typically, when you could get the keys.

Out here, apartment hunting is a competitive sport. It’s not enough to have good credit and a security deposit, you have to be the first to apply, the first to drop off said security deposit (only accepted in certified payment format, such as cashier’s check or money order, which means a trip to your bank or the grocery store, the latter often requiring that you hold that $1,500 cash in your hot little hands), the best at making sure the realtor has all your information to “help make a decision,” the most excited about the place when you do view it in case you decide later it’s what you want after all, and hopefully no one who knew the owner in college has a neighbor whose kid’s best friend from growing up is looking for a place in DC because then your only chance of getting the place, with that wrench thrown in, is if The Other Person works part-time for a small community organizing group. That’s where working for the big guys weighs in your favor.

Also, being married helps, as does a willingness to sign a long lease. Like, two or three years.

So yesterday afternoon we dropped off our application for a two-year lease at this wonderful little place and today we woke up early to get all of our ducks in a row to do battle with our credit unions, one of which has very stringent lending/debit requirements and is out-of-state, and the other of which is right here but in which account we keep exactly $65. The application fee alone is $80, and that’s cheap.

Yesterday we talked through all possibilities for getting the money from the out-of-state account into a money order in Virginia. We could…

1. Go to Wal-Mart and see if they would give me a money order using my debit card which we run as credit and is attached to the account with all the money. But they require a PIN-based debit and again, we run ours as credit for added security.

2. Call the out-of-state credit union and find out if they will issue a PIN over the phone. Although I tried that two years ago and not only will they not issue one, you have to make the original request for a PIN in person. 800 miles away.

3. Go to the local credit union and see if they can call the OOS credit union to transfer funds so they are immediately available. This seemed dicey at best.

4. Go to the local credit union with a check written to ourselves from the OOS account and see if we can deposit it with no two-day hold on the funds so we can get a cashier’s check rightthissecond. We thought this would be our best bet.

5. Go to the local credit union with a check written to ourselves from the OOS account, cash it, and take the dollars to the grocery store. This was a close second.

6. Find out if the realtor will accept a PayPal payment. They don’t.

So this morning the husband and I drove to his work together and from there traipsed along to the credit union to see what they could, please oh please, help us with so we could be the first ones to get our security deposit to the realtor in Alexandria.

Well. It turns out that none of our 6 Main Plans (with variations of each upon which I did not expound here) was necessary. We strolled up to the teller at the local credit union, told her our situation, and asked if we could deposit a check from one CU to the next, and have the funds available immediately.

She did us one better–turns out our two credit unions do shared branching, which means they can provide services to a member of either CU as if that member is standing at the CU he or she is a member of. Follow that? Since we are members of both, she typed in both account numbers and had two cashier’s checks printed for us in less than five minutes. No transfers, no phone calls, no checks written to ourselves, no holding of funds. She stamped our certified funds, put them in an envelope for us, and sent us on our merry way.

With the checks safely delivered to the realtor ahead of other interested parties (I hope–it was 10 am on a Monday, and we were the first to drop off an application at 2 pm on a Sunday) now all we do is wait and trust that as quickly and smoothly as everything has come together so far, we will get the right place for us at exactly the right time.

But I still really want it to be the condo with the green ceiling.

The search begins. Again.

The search for a new apartment, that is. Today the husband and I toured two places, one of which we liked, one of which we loved. The price is right, the location is right, andit’s available right away.

We, alas, are not. In a world where rent always involves a comma, we aren’t willing or in a position to double up on May’s rent. Good savers though we are. In fact, being good savers is why we can’t justify the double payment. Even for this perfect (did I mention we loved it?) place.

We will still apply though, because it would be stupid not to. A place that takes Dietrich with no questions asked and a reasonable pet deposit is one we won’t thumb our noses at. And who knows? A lot of people who are renting out homes would rather find the perfect tenants than rent the place immediately, and we are trusting that what we need will be provided at just the right time.

I just really hope it’s the cute two bedroom condo with wood floors and green ceiling in the dining nook.