Realtor Rant

I think that Realtors can be some of the most unhelpful people around. Not all of them, of course, just the majority I’ve had the displeasure of working with. Our current Realtor is not proactive at all and her only true usefulness is in getting the codes so we can get into the houses. I kid you not, I do the rest. 

Every house we’ve seen, as we walk in the door we ask the same three questions: “Has the electrical had a complete overhaul and been brought up to date?”, “Has the plumbing been brought up to date?”, and “What is an average utility bill?” (can you tell we’re looking at old houses?). You’d think that she would be use to this and have that information ready for us, but no. She always says, “Oh, I don’t know. Let me call the listing Realtor and ask.” which results in a rousing game of phone tag and her having to get back to us later. This generally results in us having to spend way more time than necessary at each house which is not the greatest when you have a tired one year old.  

We went and saw a house on Friday night. We asked the three questions per usual and she went to make her call per usual. The listing Realtor was unavailable and the owners had moved to New York so we were told she would get back to us. I called her back Sunday to follow up and was told that no one could get in touch with the owners but that they’d keep trying. In the meantime I had looked at the house online on the listing site and saw that there is a “get more information” option. I filled out the form with my questions and waited. I just received a call from a ReMax Realtor. He says “I got a message with your questions and would love to help you out with that. Have you driven by the house or just seen it online?” I explained the situation to him and as soon as he heard we already had a Realtor he says “Oh, well you should just wait for your Realtor to get you those answers then” and he HUNG UP! He didn’t even say good-bye! What a lousy system. I’m just glad I’m not supporting ReMax.

My guess is the electrical was just given a band-aid job and no one wants to admit it. Bummer, cause it was a gorgeous house with a huge plum tree…


For Your Information

First off, sorry I haven’t been writing more. I think my brain suffers more than you do though cause it’s bursting with information it wants to share! We’re trying to get the condo ready to put on the market so that’s what I’ve been working on in my overabundance of free time. I hope to be able to write more regularly again soon!

Okay, on to some random facts…

*Giraffes sleep only two out of every twenty-four hours. I think that’s why they use their heads as weapons: cause they’re too tired to remember what a headache it will result in!

*Doctors at the UofVA just finished up a study on bees and pollution in an effort to figure out this colony collapse disorder nightmare. One thing they discovered according coauthor Jose D. Fuentes is that “Air pollution destroys the aroma of flowers by as much as 90%.” Suck.

Speaking of bees, I told Erik that I want to have a bee hive in the yard when we buy a house. He’s in no way keen on the idea cause he’s convinced people will get stung. The next day I discovered that bees are nesting in the siding by our door on the patio. I was pretty amused.

*Sloths in the wild sleep nine and a half hours a day. Sloths in captivity sleep up to fifteen and a half hous a day. What bums!

*Over a 28 day period, your vinyl shower curtain will leak 108 potentially harmful chemicals into the air according to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. That’s what that crazy smell is when you open the package on a new shower curtain- you know the smell I’m talking about! It’s a bunch of chemicals from the PVC. If we don’t drink out of bottles that have been warmed and cooled anymore, why do we steam a big sheet of it right next to our naked bodies? I’ll tell you why: cause the alternative is to use a heavy cotton or bamboo cloth curtain instead and my dear husband is none too keen on that idea either.

*Another study, this one published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, has finally cleared 100% fruit juice of the “making kids fat” reputation it’s carried. Turns out it’s only those not 100% juices, you know, the ones with added sugar, that are the real culprits. Go figure. 

*Garlic works better at lowering your cholesterol than even Lipitor. Hmmm… God’s knowledge vs. Man’s knowledge…

*I have now put 43 bins worth of stuff in storage and because of the small space we live in it feels great!

What Do You Know? Please Share!


My 100th Post!

In honor of my 100th post I will be following in the footsteps of my good friend Sarah and share 100 random facts about myself.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to think of 100 things but then I remembered fact number one stopped worrying.

  1. I tend to share a lot of info fast at the beginning of relationships if I really like you. Not much is considered sacred.
  2. I have five younger sisters and two younger brothers. 
  3. I have a five year old nephew named Tucker. 
  4. My husband and I shared our first kiss at the altar.
  5. I could easily eat half a watermelon every day.
  6. I saw Knight’s Tale in theaters seven times. Don’t judge!
  7. I moved 19 times before turning 20. 
  8. I gained 49 pounds during my pregnancy.
  9. I have lost 56 pounds since my pregnancy.
  10. I tend to only have two to three really good friends at a time.
  11. I think all mothers should be able to stay home with their children for the first five years paid.
  12. I love giraffes.
  13. I own over 60 cookbooks.
  14. My friend April and I once drove from Chicago to Bloomington just for Godfather’s Pizza. 
  15. I once drove from Chicago to Ames, IA in under four hours.
  16. My first boyfriend was a kid names Matt at my daycare when I was three. He was “going with” at least three little girls at the time. We would take turns sitting on his lap. Yep. Heavy stuff.
  17. My mom took me to the Return of the Jedi when I was ten days old.
  18. I have eighteen year old twin sisters who are six feet tall.
  19. I asked Jesus to be my Saviour when I was four years old. 
  20. I read approximately 900 words per minute.
  21. I still have most of the friends I made when I was five. 
  22. I have a hierarchy of relationships: my “world”, my good friends, my friends, acquaintances, people I love because God has told us to love everyone. Um, yeah. I’m a bit of a social snob.
  23. I completely and utterly adore my in-laws. They could not be better for this family if I’d hand picked them. You know why? Cause God’s hand picking is way better than my own. :) He done good.
  24. I get motion sickness on carousels.
  25. I am an introvert. Ha! I had you fooled, didn’t I? It’s true though.
  26. Erik and I dream of one day living on an acreage with a big garden, some chickens, and a goat or sheep.
  27. I tend to have a heart for sheep who are wandering from the flock. Maybe because I’ve been there.
  28. I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner in my hair since Luke and Holly’s wedding in May.  I don’t miss it.
  29. If I could meet one Hollywood celebrity it would have to be Angelina Jolie. I want to tell her how to find what’s missing in her life.
  30. My upbringing trained me to act the part of an extrovert. Thanks mom.
  31. I have a stripe of scar tissue down the center of my forehead that serves as a personal emotion barometer. It turns bright red with strong emotion lighter red with less strong emotions.
  32. I miss being a waitress. 
  33. I was in a sledding accident when I was eleven that resulted in 23 stitches on my nose and #30.
  34. I once broke two bones in my foot by dropping a plastic children’s chair on it.
  35. I was home schooled my whole life until I started college.
  36. I started college at sixteen.  
  37. I never technically finished high school.
  38. I have lived in three states.
  39. George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors.
  40. We have the names of our next daughter and first son picked out and engraved in stone (not literally). 
  41. I grew up in a Chicago suburb.
  42. I believe love is a verb.
  43. I was a flower girl four times.
  44. I’ve been a bridesmaid twice. Both times for people who didn’t really like me anymore at the time.
  45. I love raw honey. Love it.
  46. I watched every episode of Alias. Even the dumb ones (Thanks a lot Abrams).
  47. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket since my daughter was born.
  48. I had my license suspended for too many tickets when I was nineteen.
  49. I don’t like living in college towns. At all. 
  50. Christ’s example of loving leadership in the New Testament is the example I believe leaders should live up to. I believe His example is one of loving guidance versus forceful directive as a matter of routine. This is what I strive for towards my daughter as her authority as well.  
  51. I am double jointed in my fingers.
  52. I am married to Erik.
  53. I like my husband about as much as I love him.
  54. My husband is a cute pretty-boy that my daughter is the spitting image of.
  55. The first concert that I ever went to was for Clay Cross. Yep. Old school Christian.
  56. The first secular concert I ever went to was at the House of Blues in Chicago and it was a personal sized set (about 50-75 people) for the Verve Pipe. Still like them a whole bunch.
  57. I gave up drinking bottled water. Making my dent in the landfill issue. I have been doused with water as a punishment for this.
  58. I love getting handwritten notes. Love, love, love. even like an e-mail is good. Words in writing that I can read over again at another time are what I like.
  59. I think guys can be pretty dumb when it comes to girls and relationships. Once, in high school, I had a close friend who always told me he loved me as a sister.  I believed him. Then we didn’t talk for awhile and I e-mailed him and said “hi. I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I love you, Ambre” and he responds with “um, what exactly do you mean by ‘love’? do you mean ‘love, love’ cause if you do, I’m sorry that I led you on.” He goes on to confess that he did think of me as more than a friend once, but now he’s getting engaged. What?!? How to kill an innocent friendship in 50 words or less.
  60. I like Grasshoppers and Brandy Alexanders.
  61. I think the SNL “cowbell” skit is funny.
  62. I think the SNL “get off the roof!” skit is side-splitting funny. 
  63. I believe the the movie “the Wedding Date” has some of the most amazingly awful lines of any romance movie ever. Here’s a gem, ” I would miss you even if we’d never met.” righhhht.  Or how about “I would rather fight with you than make love with anyone else.” Uh, huh. Give that man an emmy!
  64. I don’t think my roommates when I lived at Gryn realized how often my morning OJ was spiked.
  65. I use to have a gorgeous great dane named Freya. Now she lives with Erik’s parents. Lucky them!
  66. I love getting mail.
  67. I believe that chastity should be a lifelong goal and hope to impart that to my children.
  68. I play guitar. Not super well, but I enjoy it. 
  69. I have an annual Mighty Ducks Marathon with one of my girlfriends. Two words: Jonathan Jackson.
  70. I love fireplaces.
  71. I could drink hot chocolate every day and never get sick of it. 
  72. I’ve been to Canada and Mexico.
  73. If I was to go back to school I would want to be a nutritionist and a naturopath. Not the type of naturopath that communes with spirits though. They scare me.
  74. Speaking of scares, I am scared of the outdoors after dark in the fall. Blowing leaves don’t help at all. 
  75. I love fall.
  76. I wish I could eat white pasta everyday for as long as I live. Angel hair especially. Yum!
  77. I read the last installment of Harry Potter in eleven hours. My wonderful hubby picked it up at midnight so I could start reading when I got up in the morning and he tended the baby all day. He loves me. 
  78. I believe the church needs to be more concerned about loving people and less concerned with visible to the earthly eye results.
  79. My engagement ring is a beautiful pearl. I was tired of girls always comparing carats. I didn’t view it as the measure of my worth or a wise use of Erik’s income. He picked it out on the way to propose and I couldn’t love it more. Since then he’s given me earrings and a necklace to match. I’m a lucky girl.
  80. I think that families should live within 30 minutes of each other and be huge parts of each others lives. I also think families shouldn’t drive each other to the bottle. That’s not part of my utopia.
  81. I don’t like cats, but since my baby loves them, I’ll probably end up owning one in the next five years.
  82. I hate beer.
  83. I had an eating disorder in my teens.
  84. I’ve never smoked a cigarette or done any drugs. 
  85. I once lived with a family where the dad smoked pot every day.
  86. I detest folding laundry and putting folded laundry away. If it wasn’t for Erik, we’d never have clean clothes.
  87. One of my pet peeves is when someone has done something major to someone else in a relationship, but acts like nothing ever happened. Just cause the other person never brings it up, doesn’t mean it was okay.
  88. I really enjoy wearing skirts, but
  89. I hate shaving my legs.
  90. I very much am not excited about the idea of camping. Very much not.
  91. I already have a date arranged with a friend for opening night for Harry Potter.
  92. I am 1/8 Native American. That’s why I have a flat face with super wide cheek bones. 
  93. My mom wanted me to be a journalist. I think freedom of speech is turning into a joke in our country.
  94. I sleep under a down comforter all year round.
  95. I have an irrational fear (or is it?) of someone breaking into our home through open windows while we’re sleeping.
  96. I wish I had been born a Jew. I’d like to share that in common with Christ.
  97. I would love to share a huge house with another family of our choosing (you know who you are) so our kids could grow up together, we could work the land together, support each other as women, and serve God better. Unfortunately my low standards when it comes to tidiness would drive a wedge between us. Bummer.
  98. I wanted to be a missionary to an orphanage in the Ukraine when I was younger. 
  99. I eat my steaks medium-rare.
  100. I really enjoy reading peoples comments on my posts.

For Your Information

* Did you know that you shouldn’t plant your blueberry bushes until they are two years old? And that for the first few years after planting them you should prune the tips of the branches come fall? 

* According to a home remedy guide from 2899, “lettuce is calming and beneficial to anyone suffering from insomnia”. A book from 1906 recommends eating an onion raw before bed. I don’t recommend that one unless you sleep alone. zzzzzzzzz……

* With football season fast upon us, I though I would include a remedy for one who finds themselves a little hoarse:make a horseradish syrup by boiling the root  and adding enough sugar to make it choke-down-able. Take two to three teaspoonfuls a day. Yum.

*Teen girls who have their tonsils removed have a 30% greater likelihood to be overweight later in life. Bummer.

* According to Underwood (who’s Underwood?) you’ll need one cubic foot of manure per 56 square feet of garden. Really that works out to letting your manure compost for a year and then spreading it an inch think on your plot.  (found in 1,001 Old-Time Garden Tips) 

*Cats have 32 muscles in each ear. Did you hear me?

* Male Indian cobras have two penises and copulation can last from two minutes to a whole day. My head is ready to explode.

What do you know?


Food is Not the Nucleus of My Life

    I read an article about someones journey into raw foods and there was a quote I walked away with by a man who called himself Nature Love. I know, I know, but I really felt what he said resonate within me. About legalism in diets he shared,

    “Food isn’t my focus, it’s my nourishment.”

    I feel that was a good reminder for me as I can occasionally become consumed by things that are of value, but in the end will burn.

Growing up, my Mom would end every meal time prayer with “and bless this food to the nourishment of our body and protect us from evil.” It’s a comforting prayer and a blessing on the food partakers at the same time.

    Proverbs 3:7-9 (New International Version)

    7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;

    fear the LORD and shun evil.

    8 This will bring health to your body

    and nourishment to your bones.

    9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,

    with the firstfruits of all your crops;


Jeepers Creepers!

Erik and I were just talking about our friend Jonathan and how he’s turning 30 this month (we were probably cracking mid-life crisis jokes- who knows?).

Jonathon and a brand new Inara

Jonathon and a brand new Inara

While amusing ourselves with our witty banter it struck me: I am closer to thirty than I am to twenty. I felt that was pretty heavy until my husband informed me that he feels his maturity is no different than when he was seventeen. I feel much better knowing that my other half will always keep me immature young at heart!

Side note: Jonathan is married to my good friend Sarah and is the father of Inara’s best friend Julia Mabel. Jonathan’s Mexican Grandma is in town and I am going to learn with Sarah how to make delicious tortillas! Hooray for friends with wonderful extended families!

Erik’s note: Jonathan got rid of his scary mustache.

Erik’s note on his note: “Why did I have you write that? It’s stupid.”

PS Happy Birthday, Jonathan!


For Your Information…

OOPS! Guess the week got away from me! Better late, than never, right?

Here we go then:

* Scientists have discovered more than 80,000 plants with medicinal properties. Thanks, God!

* Of all the drugs currently on the market, 25% of them are based on plant extracts.

* Ever wonder how much money the whole pharmaceutical industry pulls in annually? Just a little curious? It’s a paltry $100 billion. We should definitely offer to pay more…

* I was reading about the nutritional value of limes and was read “Avoid including limes in your diet if you’re interested in weight gain”. Now I know that for some people there is a real need to gain wight but I am not one of those people and neither are most of my friends. I’m not saying we’re candidates for weight loss, but I don’t think we’re consumed by thoughts of “Oh, my, how ever shall I manage to gain some weight today?”. I’m just sayin’.

* You can get rid of onion breath by eating parsley. Good old parsley!

* Americans eat, on average, 18.8 ponds of onions a year. Yum!

* If you are a female and wearing a “hat that would scare a timid person” then you are not allowed to be seen eating onions in public if you’re in Blue Hill, Nebraska. Oh, the laws just asking to be broken!

* Onions are stronger flavored at the root end.

* Erik will eat onions as long as hey are fried in butter. I may have already mentioned that, but it’s such a breakthrough for us that I felt it bore repeating.

* I just bought a big bag of onions for $2.00 at Fareway. Sweet!

* If you have a sliver you can put a bit of onion on it and cover it with a band-aid over night. Word on the street is that the onion will draw that sucker out. Crazy!

What Do You Know? Do Tell!