Thursday, April 28, 2005

This Is Where We Fall Back And Punt

Remember that piece of property that was 8 acres with the house already on it that was possibly going to be our residential salvation? Well, it wasn't quite what we were expecting. A bit more like a scene from the movie Deliverance. The Hubby and I drove away from there (fleeing screaming into the night) and couldn't stop doing the dueling banjos riff back and forth until we reached civilization. Honestly I hate scary movies and therefore haven't actually seen Deliverance, and the audio clip is quite tinny and 80's synthesizerish, but y'all get the picture. So anyway. We punted.

We are now in escrow on a tiny condo/townhouse in town, however we are NOT walking distance to the store, the post office or the library. The Hubby cannot walk down the street and catch the bus (although it would be a quick bike ride). There is no land for the dog to roam free on, nor is there a river near by for him to swim in. But then again, it is a place to live, it is closer to the grocery store, the hospital and relative civilization. And it should be cheap, easy to rent out if we find something better, and well, better than camping. Have I sold you yet? Yeah, me neither.

Speak Up Honey, I Can't Hear You Over My Jacket...

For those of you sick to tears with our never ending house woes (tell me about it!), today I bring you something completely different. Rampant Consumerism slash Retail Therapy! I got this fantabulous jacket last weekend, on our way through Sacramento, for the low, low price of only $19.49! It makes me feel like spring incarnate! Yeah, yeah it is from the Old Navy national conglomerate, so there are a zillion just like it across the country, but I'm hoping that none of the other owners will pull them off which such aplomb. Or maybe we can band together and make a team, or a clan, or a small army, if you will. A battalion of grandmotherly attired fierce young women. Look out world here we come in our double knit pants and loud spring jackets.

Monday, April 25, 2005

And The Winner Is...

In the Best Friend Ever, and First To Visit Us in Yosemite Contest, drum roll please... Skoogie! And what exactly did he win? A glorious cross country ski to the aforementioned Dewey Point,

a hike in his footwear of choice...

to the slightly snowed in Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias,

homemade turkey burgers and sweet potato fries, a tour of the lovely 40 acres we aren't buying, and the priceless opportunity to shuttle me around town while my husband was in Rocklin. See! See what y'all are missin! I keep telling you its cool!

Steeerike Two!

The husband and I talked ourselves into the idea of living in Mariposa, which is almost an hour from Lee's job. We put in a bid on a little, old, but workable house in town that was walking distance to the store, library, etc. The thing that swung us over was the fact that the Hubby could walk down the street to the bus stop and take that to work instead of driving. So we filed the paperwork on Thursday. There was some fishy stuff going on with the real estate agent, he is the nephew of the house owner, a very new agent, and was pushing us to use him as our agent too so that we could get the first bid in. So despite nearly getting into a shouting match with the smarmy bastard, we did what we had to do to get the bid in. Well, to make a long story short, we lost the bid. We don't know if it was due to something he did, or neglected to do, or if it was just dumb luck, but either way there are no good feelings between the Tank family and Coldwell Banker. Of Mariposa. With an agent that shall remain nameless other than the moniker HandlebarMustache. One more swing and a miss and its back to the dugout for us...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Just Joking...

So that whole dilemma on where to live, well the choices just got a bit narrower... We found out that they would approve us for a loan that would enable us to do the "do it your self thing", or the 8 acre thing, but then we really couldn't afford the payments. Ha ha. Funny huh?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

When It Rains...

I can't explain the number of ups and downs we've been having with this whole housing situation. Most recently we have found out that the property that we put the bid on is going to be "grandfathered" in, and construction will be allowed due to some paper that was filed one day before some deadline in 1990. But this is after we found an okay place to possibly rent in the town of Mariposa, near the library and the Happy Burger... AND then today we found out that one of Lee's coworkers is leaving in a month and is possibly willing to sell us her 8 acre plot with a four bedroom house ALREADY BUILT on it! Unfortunately she wants to clean house and won't let us come and see it until SATURDAY! But then again part of me was getting all psyched up to build our own passive solar, sustainably harvested, radiantly floor heated, do-it-yourself, log-like cabin, but then YET again part of me just wants my things out of storage and my mountain bike and a job and a baby and stuff...

So here is where I solicit y'alls opinions. Would you:
1) rent an old little place an hour from Lee's job that is in town with a grocery store and a whole lotta scary gun totin' folks, and hope that you eventually get into the government housing in El Portal where there is a like-minded community and all sorts of nice amenities like tennis courts and a swimmng pool and a local elementary school (but you will never own a house and never build up any equity)
2) buy land that is the last, closest open plot within 30 minutes of Yosemite and figure out how to build a house, hopefully before winter because you can't afford rent and the construction mortgage at the same time, but you can walk down the driveway to the local market for milk
3) buy 8 acres and a house that is further from Yose and Lee's job and the bus stop (but not quite as far as Mariposa) and any sort of community so that you'll have to drive absolutely everywhere and support our petro-political society, that you can't see for FOUR WHOLE DAYS, and could be a DUMP for all you know!

Alrighty then! I'm done ranting. If anyone has an opinion I'd love to hear it. And don't worry, we'll keep you posted!

PS. We might not even HAVE a choice if we can't get out of the land bid (now that it is legal to build there), but I think we still have the 21 day weasel out clause...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

What have they got in their pocketses?

We put in a bid on a five acre plot that was RIGHT next to the aforementioned 7 acre plot. In fact both plots shared the same driveway. Only trouble is, that seems to be illegal. Evidently, if there is more than one plot served by one driveway the pavement needs to meet rural ROAD standards, ie be 18 feet wide with built up gravel shoulders. Not DRIVEWAY standards that only require it to be 10 feet wide. And therefore the fire department won't sign off on plans or inspections. So we have had to cancel our bid. It seems a bit fishy though, since the planning office showed me paperwork the owner had submitted to divide the property, and it clearly states that it could only be done on the condition of the road being widened...

We thinkss they are being sssneaky, don't we Precious?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Local Amenities

Did I mention our lovely wildflower hike on Sunday out to Hite's Cove? It is a crazy wild riot of bloomin' things out there! (And some really healthy, happy poison oak too, so watch your step!)

Flower Insurgence

Luscious Succulent

Heliotrope Pagodas

Oh, and did I mention our cross country ski/Hubby wrestling with trees day in The Park? We couldn't make it up to the marked cross country ski trails in our two wheel drive Zippy car, so we decided to ski around the air quality testing site. Needless to say the skiing was a bit more challenging here. Witness the maliciousness of those harebrained trees, old and new...

If you are noting that this is the first evening post I've made in a while there is a good reason for that. Our temporary apartment came with its own TV and cable. Neither Hubby, nor I, have had a TV for over 10 years. We have no resistance to this sort of nonsense. So we were horribly addicted within days. Realizing that we were wasting a ton of time, he made the bold move last night and DISCONNECTED the CABLE and HID the TV. Hence the evening post. I may be suffering just the tiniest bit of withdrawal. Thank you and goodnight.

Monday, April 11, 2005


So, while we liked the 40 acre plot, we were much more seriously considering a seven acre plot that was just off the main highway in Midpines. Unfortunately over the weekend someone put in a bid on it, and we're still floundering around wondering if we can get approved for a construction loan. Durn.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

We're Climbing Down The Ladder. Rung, rung, rung.

The housing situation here in El Portal is a bit, uh, pinched. The old section of the town occasionally has a house up for sale (when someone dies, basically), but that's all you get, the house. The government owns the land and one can only continue to live there if they allow you to sign a special use permit each and every year. If they decide to revoke that permit, then you and your house have to be gone in 30 days... Hmmm, its a nice community for sure, but some mortgage lenders won't lend for such a tenuous situation.

Here, in the new section, all land AND houses are owned by the government, so you can compete for a rental (with the same painfully slow rate of turnover) based on seniority. Lee's only been in the NPS for two years, so we aren't doin' too hot on that front either. We now have five weeks left in our temporary housing. Eeeek.

So we are doing what any sane, normal person would do when faced with homelessness. We're panicking! Ha ha. No, sorry, we're fielding any and all options. So the next option down on the ladder-of-convenience is to buy a house further down the road in the next community, called Midpines. (Thriving metropolis that it is...) Only problem is, there are no houses for sale there. Durn. The NEXT rung down gets us to the option of buying property and somehow constructing a house in five short weeks. heh heh. So that is how we ended up wandering around this lovely 40 acre plot on yet another rainy day here in the Yosemite bedroom communities.

If you are a geek like me you won't be able to look at the oak trees picture without wondering where Frodo is, reading that darn book...

Know anybody that's got a mule for sale? And a double-wide? Although some of these look pretty darn cute...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

We Interrupt Your Spring For Two Notes From Our Winter Sports Division...

So we had our first ever visitor to our apartment today, and Joy of Joys, it was the UPS man, yay! And what did he have, but a present for me! Yay! And what exactly was it, you say? It was my brand new back-country cross-country ski boots! No more flimsy skate-ski gear for slogs through knee deep snow! Yay. And here they are, aren't they charming-yet-rugged?

I love the Oliver Twistish toe, but the best part is that the regular price was somewhere around $159, and through bargain hunting and a dividend, we got them for the paltry sum of $30 (INCLUDING SHIPPING!) Such a deal I got.

On another random wintry note...

On my last night of hockey practice, (which seems like it was about eight years ago, but was only really two months past ), which unfortunately fell on a Monday night, some awesome and affable gals from the hockey team rallied hard and went out for a celebratory-going-away beer with me at some ungodly hour around midnight. The goofy thing is that the local bar was closed, it being a Monday in February, so we ended up at an odd, all-night diner place that served beer. Lets hear it for all night beer diners! So I just wanted to say thanks to all the folks who could rally, and thanks to all of the folks on the team who were so great! Thanks!

Late night Monday rallyiers.

My fellow rookie Hansens.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

You Are Hereby Ordered To Mourn

So The Hubby works for the gov'ment, the park service specifically, which can be a quasi military organization occasionally. Meaning, that you can be fired for disobeying a direct order from a superior. (Woah!) So in this progressive society of ours, with guaranteed separation of church and state, what was our little slice of government ordered to do yesterday? They were ordered to fly all flags at half mast in honor of the dead pope. I realize that we have a president that thinks that God speaks to him, and that this church/state separation is nominal and tenuous at best, but... wow.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no pope hater, ya know, he seemed like a nice enough guy. I mean who can hate a tiny, frail, old dude who preaches peace? Yeah, he may have held some misogynistic and homophobic beliefs , but he held quite a lot of beliefs that I don't. But either way, I am legally allowed to dislike the pope, aren't I? Evidently not.

So here's to all the rebel full-height flag-flyers out there, who feel patriotic enough to fly a flag, liberal enough to dislike the pope, catholic enough to care that he died, but pissed off enough to fly said flag to its full height. Go get 'em. But be careful who you decide to work for.