Friday, July 27, 2012

My Home is Mine . . . Again

I embarked on what would prove to be one of my most challenging endeavors thus far in my adulthood a few months ago. Skydiving? No. Marathon? No. Learning a different language? No.

I refinanced my home.

This process challenged me on every level. I had to be organized to provide the mountain of paperwork requested. I had to track down documents I wasn't even sure existed (my detective skills are now finely honed). I had to conform to all the rules and policies. Stay within the lines and jump through all the hoops. I had to stay patient. I had to be positive, professional and not kill anyone. This last one proved to be the most challenging of all.

I'm now convinced that loan officers and underwriters are more evil than terrorists. At least I feel like I've been interrogated and survived cruel and unusual punishment. We need to add refinancing to the acts covered under the Geneva Convention. In fact, at some point in the process, I started referring to the underwriter as an undertaker.

After 3 months of good behavior under torturous conditions, I finally snapped and rebelled. I started saying "No!" to requests for yet more information that actually duplicated what they already had. In one of my last acts of defiance, I sent the undertaker the info they requested in a file named "UnderWriterIsAnIdiot.pdf."

After 3 long months, I finally closed on the loan last night. Then drank a well deserved bottle . . .er .  .. glass of wine.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Random Things

No particular topic today.

I have been trying to refinance my house. I didn't expect it to be easy, but I also didn't expect it to take 3 months now (and counting) and so much paperwork I think an entire forest has been lost. At this point, I'm so frustrated that I've started calling the Underwriter "Undertaker." This may inhibit my ability to close (if Underwriters have feelings that can be hurt by name calling - which is highly unlikely as I don't think they have feelings), but it makes me feel better. Childish maybe, but stress relieving.

Anyone reading 50 Shades of Gray? If so, I'm sorry. I got tricked into reading it, too. 3 hours of my life I'll never get back. And they say eating bacon shortens your life span. I firmly believe reading bad books takes minutes off your life. For all of you who read it and liked it, I'm glad. You keep your future life minutes. However, I'm a writer and I found the writing in this book to be atrocious. It's times like this when I see this book holding the bestseller list hostage that I think my dream of writing a book one day is futile. Actually, I could write it, but the chances that it would get published now seem about the same as me winning the lottery (and I don't play the lottery).

MiniMe and her friends have been in the pool a lot this week. Here's a tip - don't spend the money on a camera that is touted as waterproof. My teenager took her video camera, put it in a Ziploc bag and got clear footage underwater. Try it. (Bad for Kodak, great for Ziploc brand!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Pool is Hopping!

Lots of activity in and around my pool this summer. Today's pool guest was a turtle from the nearby pond. A big one, too. At first I tried to lure it out with some bread. When that didn't work (and let's face it, it was a stupid idea anyway), I had to chase it down and scoop it out with the net. You might think "chasing" a turtle would be pretty easy - turtles having a reputation for being slow and all. But they're a lot faster in the water.

The other "wild life" we had at the pool last week was my new pool boy. A young man I'll call Cabana Carl to protect the innocent was passing out fliers in my neighborhood last week for his pool business. I've been struggling to keep my pool from turning green for months. I've dumped so many chemicals in it that it is a miracle that turtle didn't turn into the creature from the black lagoon. For what I've spent on chemicals, I could have taken a nice little vacation.

Then along comes Cabana Carl. His price was great - less than what I spent on chemicals last month. But what sealed the deal was MiniMe who said "Hire him Mom! He's hot!" as she peaked through the windows swooning. "So Cabana Carl," I said. "When can you start?"

He showed up the next day with his younger brother to clean the pool. MiniMe was beyond excited to see not one but two "hot" guys cleaning the pool. First thing she said was "Will they be taking their shirts off when they clean the pool?" No, I replied. It's not very hot today. "I hope next Wednesday there's a heatwave!" she exclaimed as she ran off to try and get pictures of the boys with her iPhone without them spying her.

I fully expect every teenage girl in the neighborhood will be at my house on Cabana Carl's next visit.