Fun and Frolic With Long-Term Love

Great furniture. Great deals. It even looks brand new. I want to see that egg chair with you in it!
Great furniture. Great deals. It even looks brand new. I want to see that egg chair with you in it!
It was all brand new! That’s why people were lined up down the block. I was so glad we went at 8:15 and were first in line. Other people started arriving at 8:30. More time to spend with my daughter too. I miss her a lot. Homeschooling her forged a bond that makes us really tight.
It's so exciting the Restore got a hold of so much new furniture! I'm a thriftaholic, can you tell? lol
It's so exciting the Restore got a hold of so much new furniture! I'm a thriftaholic, can you tell? lol
Yeah they had an entire 2 rooms full of new patio furniture, all from Home Depot. It had been sitting in there for a while - they had it priced at pretty much what Home Depot had it for! It’s almost completely cleared out now at 1/2 price though!
Omg today has been a whirlwind and it’s barely noon. Last night we heard from our realtor that estimates had been pulled and to do all the painting required by the appraiser, it is going to cost $3300! The contractor won’t do spot-fixes; he’s quoting each exterior wall, the deck, the window sills, the Japanese bridge, around the garage door and the cement walkway entirely. Like holy shit. He’s also saying he will charge $850 to remove the fence rather than paint it.

All this morning we’ve been back and forth between the two realtors, the lender, the seller and the appraiser. Long story short, the seller is throwing her $500 contribution (outlined in our purchase offer as her cap) to remove the fence, and then we have permission to come do the sanding and painting ourselves this Sunday with friends/family and whoever else we want to hire.

It is absolutely easier to remove the fence, and we actually were going to do this ourselves. It’s sagging, splintering and peeling paint all over. If we only have to pay $350 out of pocket to make it gone - good. We think we can probably get that done cheaper but not sure how fast, so we might just go with this quote from the seller.

Now, everything else - aiyiyi. The bridge is a feature in the Japanese garden and without it, the space looks incomplete. However, we don’t want to shell out cash right now to sand and paint it - it’s a huge pain. Instead right now the plan is to remove it. The appraiser says it has to be gone from the property completely, so I guess it’s coming back here to our current house just to get it gone! We honestly don’t know the status of the wood - if it’s crumbling we will dump it, if it’s just peeling paint, we will get it prettied up and returned in April when we have a bit of time to breathe.

The window sills that have some peeling paint, MisterMoonbeam says he feels like he can handle those. Sand, paint, done. We just need to color match the paint. We own a big ladder so I guess that’s a plus.

The front cement walkway has chips of paint missing, and it’s painted a solid black. I think both BugGirl and her boyfriend are going to tackle that this Sunday - again, sand, paint done. It’s not a long walkway and it shouldn’t take terribly long.

I’m going to have my son and DarkKnight work on scraping the spots on the side of the house and around the garage to get rid of the few areas of peeling paint there on Sunday. I’m not sure if we will need a second ladder or not.

The deck is rather large and the bulk of the work needing done is there. The boards seem okay, but again, paint is peeling. None of us are keen on getting down on our hands and knees and scraping all damn day, and we think we’ve found a solution - outdoor carpeting. It will cost us a couple of hundred dollars, and the appraiser said he’s fine if we cover it up. We either need to use spray adhesive or staple the sides down. The intention is to just get this done and do the work right next summer, so we are going to staple it down. I guess that’s me and SirGawain and my bestie’s job.

I’m guessing we should be able to get all of the work done on Sunday with everyone working together, and for much less than what the contractor wanted! The good news is we can put all of the paint and scrapers and the carpet on the Home Depot credit card, as that’s in DarkKnight’s name. Then we can pay it off the day after closing with MisterMoonbeam’s paycheck. I’ve been running numbers in my head and on paper all day.


We also paid $35 to schedule an appointment on Tuesday for installers to come out to our current house and measure for carpet in MisterMoonbeam’s office. That space is turning into a bedroom for BeanBoy when we leave, and the hardwood has damage from the cats. We’re covering that up. $350 estimate but it will be firmed up once they get the measurements done.

Now that we are home - after a purchase of several medium size boxes - MisterMoonbeam and I are going to finish packing the game room this afternoon.
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Okay! The game room is completely packed, and we brought out some totes from the unfinished side of the basement as well. Holy hell we own so much stuff for such a small house!

Tonight DarkKnight and I went to Ashley furniture and ordered a new mattress and a headboard/footboard and rails package for MisterMoonbeam. We were going to wait until later, but everything is going to take a few weeks to arrive, and it’s important that it get set up in the new house before he leaves for Arizona. Our blind cat, Poppy, will take some time to acclimate to a new space, and MisterMoonbeam needs to spend at least a few nights with her so she feels safe there. The plan is that while he is gone - he will be gone for 3 weeks! - that DarkKnight will switch off sleeping in there with me so Poppy doesn’t get too lonely.

We have word from the lender that the ONLY thing they need from us to close now is confirmation of the deposit in the bank account. MisterMoonbeam is planning to request the funds on Sunday morning at like 12:01 am! He’s shifting $32,000 I think? His work says it will be 2-7 business days for the money to go from his 401(k) to his checking, and his bank says there will be no hold. His last transfer took 3 days, so we should be good to go by the end of next week. Our scheduled closing is 3/17.

It looks like we have everything set for the great painting event on Sunday. We are still awaiting the final word. Tomorrow we will be allowed over to measure everything and take paint samples. My friend who is a floor person by trade has availability, so he says if we send him photos and measurements, he will quote us a price for helping us get the outdoor carpet on the deck. Omg that would be such a help, and I am more than happy to pay him for his assistance!

We have pretty much decided to just trash the Japanese bridge. We zoomed in on pics and it looks pretty rough. New ones range from $150-$500 on Amazon, and replacing it seems like the easiest thing to do at this point.
Buying a house is so weird over there! All our houses sell "as is" and there's no HOA most places and the local council will only get involved is there's something really significantly dangerous. Noone would care about a garden bridge!
We don’t have an HOA thank goodness, though we are right next to a country club! This house is located in the “upscale” area of town and everyone knows the name of the development. I’ve been teased a lot by friends about living in such a neighborhood - because I am not that sort of person!

The paint issues are all appraisal problems - we have an FHA loan, which has certain guidelines. They don’t allow any chipped or peeing paint on exteriors. It’s either fix it or we don’t get the house. So we’re scrambling!

I woke up with a headache today, so I am laying next to DarkKnight trying not to move my head. I just drank some more water but I’m going to have to get up and get some Advil here shortly.

Today we are going to the Home Show in town. I’m hoping to find info on a plumber and we are still trying to get quotes on radon remediation. We need to get both of these locked down.
The paint issues are all appraisal problems - we have an FHA loan, which has certain guidelines. They don’t allow any chipped or peeing paint on exteriors.
Okay, had to go Google that this time. Ah ha, I understand now. Still seems rather extreme to me!I hope you'll be able to refinance to a bank lender once you have built sufficient equity.

So where's the blessing box moving to? I thought the whole original catalyst for buying another property was that the council said you couldn't have it on your porch anymore. Surely in a fancy area that's even more of a no-no?
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The Blessing Box isn’t really going to be a thing. All of my behind the scenes organizing is moving with me - we now have a two car garage to fill with donations - but the Box itself will cease to exist. I have a couple of different options to choose from at this point!

Either I am going mobile - there are four quadrants of our city, and I will be in a different area on different days of the week. I will set up at a business or parking lot, and people in that section can visit me. We will have them sign up online ahead of time if possible, and we will prepare boxes of items for individuals as they request them. We will also serve as a local donation drop point in that particular day of the week. A lot of our visitors walk a distance for assistance, so this will allow them to get help closer to their home.

My other option is to stop food and toiletries entirely, and instead shift to helping other organizations most of the time instead of individuals. We already do a huge amount of support to other agencies - we supply work boots and bathroom baskets as social workers request them. We also do kitchen and bedroom boxes. These all go to people in need - most of them coming out of a recovery home into an apartment. The bathroom boxes have two complete sets of towels for each person in the household, a hamper, a shower curtain, a rug and items like toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, etc. The bedroom basket contains pillows, bedding and a mattress protector. The kitchen one is utensils, silverware, dishes and pots & pans. So they all give a good foundation to someone starting over.

I’m not really sure what is going to happen. If ai do the mobile option, I need to purchase a cargo van or box truck. It will help a large number of folks, but it’s not really a service that is unique. The second option I get a lot of joy from, and it’s really a boost to other organizations and what they can do to assist their clients. Also, that one gives me more time to focus on getting my cat cafe off of the ground!

We will see. There’s a need for both. I can’t spend a lot of time figuring it out right now - the move is a mess! Once we get settled, I will figure out my long term plans! I’m thinking about it but nothing focused.
Our painting and carpeting install went really well on Sunday. Here’s a before and after of the deck, and of the back and front walkways.

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We have zero doubt that the appraiser will be happy with this! That said, the fence is giving us a headache - the seller has it scheduled to be removed on Thursday, but she’s making noise about what if she tears it down and we back out of the deal? It’s like, come on! The thing is absolutely falling down and it looks terrible. Sigh. We are going back and forth with the realtor but I’m sure it will happen! We are 10 days til close.

The down payment has left MisterMoonbeam’s 401(k) account and we are now waiting for it to hit his bank account. We are assuming that will happen tonight at midnight. Whoo hoo!
The down payment is now in the bank and closing has officially been set for March 17 at 1 pm. I’ve got a tummy doing flips!

Yesterday was absolute anxiety as MisterMoonbeam realized that the Home Depot credit card was one he had on his credit report - DarkKnight added him to the account last year as an authorized user. This was terrible news, because all the cost of the materials for this past weekend went on that card. I asked him twice if it was on his report and he said no. Well, it was and suddenly it had a $1400 balance, which is 30% utilization. I was absolutely sure we were fucked, and that it was going to tank his score. Because of course, the statement cycled on Monday.

Thankfully, it only went down 3 points. Holy shit though. I don’t need a night like that again! I would have put everything on a card that was NOT on his account. As of this morning, it’s completely paid off so we should be good. Nothing to affect his debt to income ratio, and if they pull his credit again, the 3 points shouldn’t make any difference with our interest rate. Seriously, I was certain he was going to be facing a 20 point drop and we wouldn’t be able to qualify for this loan any more. We’re okay though!

The seller has signed the paperwork to remove the fence, and so did I and MisterMoonbeam. We had to agree to giving her our $4000 earnest deposit if we fail to close the loan because of something we do in the next week. We are like, uh, we are wanting to close - you’re the one making this harder than it needs to be! She’s paying $500 to have the fence and the bridge taken down and disposed of, and we will be paying $350. That is scheduled to happen tomorrow.

Today is a very positive day!

I got a lot of packing done too, and my youngest came over to help. So that was nice.
And I thought buying a house in NZ was stressful, but eesh. I stick by what I said earlier...your system is nuts! A last minute hardware store purchase potentially wrecking your ability to complete the purchase? That's fucking cray cray.
And I thought buying a house in NZ was stressful, but eesh. I stick by what I said earlier...your system is nuts! A last minute hardware store purchase potentially wrecking your ability to complete the purchase? That's fucking cray cray.
Well, MisterMoonbeam’s credit isn’t the best. I’d been working on it here and there, and the only reason it had improved as well as it had was because DarkKnight added him as an authorized user to two of his store credit cards. So it’s “good enough” for a mortgage, but it’s certainly not stellar. I believe his middle score (here they look at all 3 credit reporting agencies and take the middle score) is 665, whereas DarkKnight is 765 or so. HUGE difference when it comes to interest rates and what someone can qualify for.

To go from a zero utilization and balance to a 30% utilization and balance can smash your score down to oblivion. Normally it won’t matter, because it would correct itself the following month as it ages and gets paid off, and we’re not caring about fluctuations. But when we have to present him at his best, a big drop could make him not qualify for the interest rate we’ve locked in already. He would still qualify for a mortgage, but the terms would not be as nice. And with our interest rates climbing, the monthly payment could increase so we couldn’t afford it.

Thankfully this didn’t happen, and we’re good.
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This morning is exciting! The contractor is scheduled to remove the fence at 10 am, but the seller is wanting to see a clear loan commitment letter without any conditions. We sent over the screenshot of our down payment in the bank, and that should be the last piece needed. So there’s a flurry of emails going back and forth between realtors, our lender and us, to get everything packaged back up to go to the underwriter this morning and hopefully get clear in time so the demolition can happen.

Ahhhhhh! Nothing like some good positive stress today.

I’m also looking at buying extra Echo products for the new house. We currently have 6 Dots all tied together in our network and I need to buy another for our home gym and for the craft room. Oh! And my bedroom! Thinking about getting a Studio and a Sub for the home gym. I need to research it more.

This morning I am scrolling Amazon and checking out replacement bridges for the yard. We can’t have a proper Japanese garden without one. Here’s a pic with the current bridge covered by an area rug - we had to take everything off the deck the other day to put on the new carpeting. Im excited about cleaning out this pond and getting the waterfall started. The pizza oven in the background was just there too because of the deck repair going on!

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I have to call the internet company today to see about moving our service, and about establishing services here for my mom. She wants a land line phone. 🙃 So, I will have to get some prices. Same with the insurance - do I need renter’s insurance at the new house if I am on the deed? How will insurance change on this house with my kids renting it from us? Everything seems like it’s going to be complicated.
If anyone cares about how polyamory changes the structure of insurance - here’s what ours is going to look like:

MisterMoonbeam is the sole person on the mortgage of this new house. I am on the deed. Because of this, MisterMoonbeam and I will have a joint homeowner’s policy on this house. It doesn’t cost extra. Because I am legally married to DarkKnight, his belongings are automatically covered at this address as well, and he doesn’t need a separate renter’s policy.

Our current house is owned solely by DarkKnight. My belongings are covered fully because we have a legal relationship. When we move to the new house, our homeowner’s insurance here will turn into landlord insurance. My adult children and mother will all have to have separate renter’s policies at that time. Until we move out though, they are covered since we have a legal relationship.

The renter policies all cost $100/year or less. The landlord policy we think will cost about 20% more than the homeowner’s policy, and we will lose the car insurance bundle that we have going on.
Closing cost disclosures signed this morning. Our payment decreased down a couple of hundred dollars so that’s awesome. We’re waiting on the appraiser now to sign off on the fixes we made on Sunday. I’m going to throw up - I’m seriously stressing out!
Yay! The appraiser gave us a thumbs up so no more stress there. The lender should get the report on Monday.
It’s my 17 year wedding anniversary with DarkKnight. I purchased a trip to the Poconos last year, and it’s non refundable, so away we went! I remember seeing this place in a magazine when I was a teenager, so it’s super cool that I finally got to spend the night in the Champagne Towers of Cove Haven!

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We rented out this suite that has a private heart-shaped pool, a fireplace, a private sauna and massage bench, a 2-story hot tub in a champagne glass and a free breakfast. Pretty sweet! The bedroom has a mirror on the ceiling, and the ceiling of both the hot tub and the bedroom has inlaid “star” lights that are dimmable. The resort has a ton of amenities and events (like comedy shows and live music) but we stayed in and enjoyed just being together! We bought two board games, but we only played one - Moon Adventures - which we lost twice.

I felt VERY connected to DarkKnight on this trip, and the very first thing we did when entering our room was to strip down and bang in the pool. 😂😂 I don’t think he’s been this excited in the entire 17 years. 😂😂 I was pretty ready to go too though, not gonna lie. I love how after nearly two decades, we are still on the same wavelength in so many ways. ❤️❤️

I didn’t think I’d be able to fully disconnect from the home-buying situation, but I think there was a good balance of focusing on us and also talking about the move and the new place.

Funny thing, MisterMoonbeam went to the next town over to buy some chairs for our living room, and while there he went to dinner with SirGawain. They went to Crazy Fish, since I can’t eat that stuff. 😂

Pics from my elopement with DarkKnight, 17 years ago. We married in Boston’s Back Bay, in a private room at an Italian Restaurant there. A close friend got the okay from the governor’s office to perform the ceremony - which is something Massachusetts lets residents do. In the middle of the ceremony, my phone rang, as I had forgotten to silence it. My ringtone at the time was the A-Team theme song. 😂😂

DarkKnight and I were both so happy! We still are. I treasure him, and his heart, so much!

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I’m full of anxiety today, FOR NO REASON. Ugh. So far I made and drank some chai, folded & sorted laundry stacked on top of the dryer, started a load of my own laundry, and called to confirm that the seller still hasn’t scheduled a shut off of the internet service. Until she does that, we can’t schedule a turn on for ours. I am currently on hold for our electric service…I was able to schedule that so yay!

Four more sleeps until we close! We received an email about our final walkthrough - we are hoping for Wednesday or Thursday morning and then a secondary confirmation on Friday morning. We don’t trust this seller at all.

MisterMoonbeam and I did a drive over to the new house yesterday, just to see it and to take a look at what it looks like without a falling-down fence in the backyard. We were able to see the neighboring home is for sale, and it went live online this morning. I hope someone awesome buys it! Anyway, our house looks great without the eyesore that the fence was, but the decomposing bags of leaves are still stacked on the right side of the house - we’ve been asking for their removal since we first visited. I sent a message to our realtor to let her know they are still there!

We were able to gather a HUGE amount of boxes and some packing material yesterday as well, so my living room is a disaster - boxes are EVERYWHERE. I’m planning to have time today to pack up the living room and get the empty boxes distributed throughout the house, where they will be needed.

I just realized I need to feed the cats their lunch and get mine started as well. I’m having leftovers from Nikko’s last night, which is my second favorite restaurant in town - steak hibachi! Yum!