My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Burros and babies and news, oh my!

OMG, it's alive! And it remembers (though just barely) how to blog! :-)

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your patience, understanding and supportive comments, though I wouldn't blame any of you if you stopped being my followers! After all, I don't seem to be going anywhere, so what's to follow? :-) But thank you for sticking with me so far anyway.

As Daphne astutely observed in her comment today, at least a brief blog blurb is better than nothing, so I will share some updates. Though I doubt it will be brief (I have too much bottled-up blogging to release!), it will be sparser in details than it could be (oh, the stories I could tell!) but extravagantly abundant in photos to make up for my month of silence.

So without further ado, here's some latest news on...

Our House:
Not our house. Bears no resemblance to our house.
Merely a facsimile of a house I hope to live in one day!

Our house went on the market three weeks ago tomorrow and has been through five showings plus a tour for several realtors in our listing agency, an MLS realtor open house, and two photography sessions. Each event required the same degree of cleaning, prepping and staging (e.g. hide the dish drain rack, laundry, toothbrush gear, toaster, ugly electric tea kettle, all evidence of our three dogs, put out the pretty hand towels, turn on all the lights, etc), and then finding somewhere for the dogs and I to go hang out for an hour or more. Plus I had to furnish treats for the realtor open house. Being a glutton for punishment, I actually baked organic cornbread (a healthier variation of Colleen's recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking) along with furnishing fresh organic fruits and juice and some vegan store-bought goodies. At least I came home to crumbs (including on my carpet, grrr), much to BW's chagrin since he was wanting some of the cornbread himself. So I baked him a second batch. (See why I can never find time or energy to blog?)

Anyway, all five sets of potential buyers reportedly loved the property (though 80% of them came out in absolutely horrid weather, and 100% of them weren't offered cornbread), but none of them made an offer for various reasons. (Too far from town, need to sell their place, etc - and our personal favorite: there's no large, flat spot to put in a SWIMMING POOL! Oy.)

Three of them made loud noises about being very interested, wanting a second showing and planning to make an offer, only to disappear into the great Potential Buyer Black Hole. Well, except for one who hasn't officially vanished yet but we have only the dimmest hope of ever handing them our house keys at a closing. It's a roller coaster ride, and not the fun kind that makes you shriek with laughter and want to go for another turn. No, this is the kind that just makes you want to shriek with frustration and then throw up your cotton candy and popcorn.
And so we keep our house immaculate, our dishes washed, our laundry laundered, our bed made, our grass cut, our trash emptied, our windows spotless, our faces scrubbed ~ ready to just run the "hide everything that suggests someone actually LIVES here" drill and vacate the premises. It's tuckering work! Oh, and having repaired, maintained and virtually scrubbed the surface off of everything inside the house, we're now working on landscaping and other outdoor projects. Because though it's not really spring here quite yet, it's close enough. After all, our first hummingbird arrived on Saturday! YAY!

Our Vacation:

We were supposed to leave for a two-week trip to Oregon at the end of this month during BW's vacation, driving there and taking Willow with us while Robyn house and critter-sat everyone else. But for several reasons (the rising cost of gas, chaos with the house sale and realtor, blowing vacation money on new gutters and other home improvement projects), we oh-so-painfully cancelled all our carefully researched and finalized reservations. We made new ones for a five-day consolation trip in early June to Fort Collins, CO instead, where we'll spend BW's birthday. Tasty Harmony, here we come! Robyn took three workdays off so she could stay at our house and critter-sit everyone the whole time we're gone, and make the house available for any showings that might pop up. Robyn is a real trooper and a good friend, don't know what we'd do without her! Willow will be staying home, but there will still be one less mouth for Robyn to feed, which brings us to the big (and happy) news about:


Since we plan to move to a place in town (or onto a sailboat in which we'll sail to an isolated turquoise lagoon in the Caribbean where we'll live happily ever after, according to BW's plan), we were going to need to find a place for Mocha to live. As much as we have on our plate these days, and as much as there will be for us to do when we finally get a bonafide offer on this place, we figured now was as good a time as any to find a place to board him. Besides, Mocha is very social and really loves the company of other horses, but since our neighbor moved and took away his three horses (who shared Mocha's fenceline) last fall, Mocha's been alone and we knew he'd be much happier with some companions.

We didn't think it would be hard to find a place to keep a horse in Wyoming, but we were mistaken! After exploring several seemingly promising leads that were dead ends, we found an ideal place thanks to our vet tech Marti. Owned by a really nice woman named Audra, it's halfway between our house and Sheridan and we drive past it all the time but had no idea it was there! It's a great horse set-up, with a wonderful 30-acre pasture with a year-round warm water spring, a great barn, huge horse runs with nice loafing sheds, and good, safe fencing. And best of all, there are lots of other horses, plus burros (most were rescues from Colorado), several dogs and lots of people around all the time, as Audra teaches classes and hosts clinics throughout the summer, and has a small staff plus her daughter who just finished her first year of vet school in Fort Collins. They use the same vet we do, feed the same kind of hay, take care of worming and vaccinations, know everything there is to know about horses, and we can visit Mocha any time of any day. And to our delight, the cost is very reasonable!

We took him there on Saturday morning, and usually when Mocha sees other horses for the first time, he screams his fool head off with excitement and works himself into a lather. We thought he was going to cause a dreadful scene, but he was thunderstruck into silence by it all. The photo above is of him newly ensconced in his private run, mouth agape, watching some horses and burros stroll by (most of the time, most of the critters can come and go at will between the sheltered runs and the pasture). He'd never seen a burro before and was enthralled. Though according to Mocha, one of the passing burros was very scary for reasons none of us dim humans could figure out.

We left him happily munching alfalfa and continuing to gape at all the critters and activity, unable to comprehend his good fortune. When we returned the next day to visit him, he was in the pasture with his new buddies. Of course the wind was blowing 50-60 mph (I'm not exaggerating) and he was in the FURTHEST part of the pasture, but we gamely walked out there to take him some cookies and assure him we hadn't abandoned him. Here's Mocha and one of his new BFFs grazing contentedly at the far end of the pasture. (The pink arrow is pointing to our house!)...

Mocha (on the left) with two other new friends...

When we'd gotten close enough for him to hear me, I called to him and he (on the right in this photo) and his friends all came to us at a trot...

He ran up to us, all excited, but when I went to give him cookies and hugs he acted like a teenager at the mall with his friends. He's WAY too cool for that mushy stuff now, you know, so instead of taking a cookie and letting me pet him, he showed off, prancing around the pasture and jumping over a small irrigation ditch with far more verve and showmanship than it required. :-)

When we left and I yelled goodbye to him (because he was now off in the distance again, grazing with yet another new buddy) and that we'd be back again soon to visit, I could swear he mumbled, "Yeah, whatev, Ma. Later!" LOL

We were thrilled to see how quickly he had settled in, how many friends he'd made, and how happy and content he was. But we were feeling a little rejected (is this what Empty Nest Syndrome feels like?) :-) So we decided to go hang out with the burros for a while before we left. Well, actually they decided to hang out with BW, seeing as how he still had Mocha's cookies with him since Mocha was much too busy and über cool now to eat any...

The horse was a co-conspirator in the Burro Gang Cookie Heist

I love this photo of the two pairs of burros nuzzling.
The pair on the right are mother and child. So sweet!

Speaking of sweet mothers and children, the day we dropped dropped Mocha off there were two new foals in the barn. This little colt was the newest, just a day or two old...

He's studiously watching the new colt in the next stall who had been born less than a week earlier and had fun playing peekaboo with me from behind his mom's butt...

And I have to include a photo of Audra's dog Sydney, because she has such a darling, fuzzy face...

Though it was ridiculously hard to get good head shot of her because the second you merely look at her, she assumes this position!...

Notice her little eyes all squinched tight in blissful anticipation of the belly rub she is completely confident she is about to receive. And her confidence was totally justified, for how could I possibly resist? :-)

I'm glad I finally had some news and photos to share, and the time to share them! I have more fun photos to post next time and am hoping to get a chance to at least work on that later this week, but hopes just like them have been hoped and dashed many times before. I'll also try to do a better job of replying to your comments than I've been able to, but even when I'm a laggard please know that I do take the time to read them and they never fail to make my day! xoxo


  1. What a wonderful post — well worth waiting for. I loved reading about Mocha and I'm glad he made such a great adjustment, though I suspect he's a little angry with you for leaving him and that's why he didn't take the cookie. :)

    I wonder what's more difficult — selling or buying a house. Both are fraught with worry and difficulties. I do like your future house, and wish I were moving into it instead of the little bitty house I will be moving into. Downsizing looks good on paper but whether it's good in reality remains to be seen.

    We're driving to Wisconsin tomorrow and will be in Sheridan Wyo. on Thursday, if all goes according to plan. I'll be thinking of you as we pass through!

  2. Hi Laurie!

    Glad to hear the news! I was imagining all sorts of things, like you sold the house and were getting your new place ready in town, or had high-tailed it to Maine.

    Wouldn't they settle for a slanted swimming pool? I heard that swimming uphill burns twice the calories!

    But seriously, sounds like you're off to a good start...though I truly feel for you with having to keep the house so immaculate and being ready to vacate for a must be like sort of a limbo between living in your own private house and being on show...not too fun. Hang in there! Just have some of that awesome vegan cornbread ready for the next folks and I'm sure you'll get a sale...or would that be considered bribery? ...Yes, bribe them with vegan foodstuffs!

    So happy to hear about Mocha! I'm sure he's loving his fellow equines and it sounds like the situation couldn't be more perfect! It gladdens my heart to hear news of happy horses and burros. They are so adorable. How wonderful that you will be able to visit regularly and I'm sure make a few burro friends while you're at it.

    I'm sure you'll end up in a lovely little house similar to the one in the graphic soon!

    Talk to you soon, and much luck with the house!
    Rose xo

  3. Oh, and I can't leave without paying homage to Herman and Lilly...a very nice couple and could I forget to mention her...what a doll!

  4. Jeez, you do a lot of stuff! :-)

    I'm with Mocha, sometimes a passing burro is very scary.

    I'm still worried about Punky.

  5. I was so happy to see you posted! What a whirlwind it's been for you. I would have had a breakdown by now! That's quite a few showings in such a short time, which seems to be a good sign. Hopefully one of them bites soon!

    We also might be putting our house on the market soon..... might. We're also not taking a trip this year, so if we do end up selling our house, we could be moving to ABQ, sight unseen. It's a long story, but suffice it to say things have been trying here lately.

    Anyway, the place that Mocha is staying looks absolutely perfect, and so gorgeous! I love seeing where your house is in that perspective.

    The burros & foals are so adorable. Sydney is absolutely precious being all uber cute like that! <3

    I hope all goes well in the weeks to come for you, Laurie. I'll be looking forward to another update!

  6. Laloofah -- wonderful that you posted and gave an update on your life. I believe we all have times when circumstances disallow us the privilege of posting on our blog. We miss doing it but other events call.

    Your animal stories in your post are all so sweet. I'm glad you found a great place for your horse.

    Selling in always a pain. How can one live in a house a keep it perfectly clean? -- barbara

  7. Welcome back! Not that I've been around to be a member of the welcome wagon :) I love all your wonderful pics of the animals. That colt is too cute! Here's hoping you find a buyer for your house soon. That has to be stressful.

  8. Andrea ~ Aww, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I had fun working on it, and it felt good to get a chance to post again.

    I imagine Mocha might have been a bit put out with us that first night, but I think once he was turned out into the pasture the next day, all was forgiven! I was glad to see he was still speaking to me, even if he turned his nose up at my cookie. :-)

    I'm not sure whether selling or buying a house is more challenging and worrying, but I sure would like a chance to compare them and get back to you! Because right now I'd have to say SELLING wins that contest. This is the only house I've ever bought, and I don't remember it being nearly the hassle that selling our house in TX was. But I was younger (much!) then, and it was a totally different economic and real estate climate, and perhaps the years have erased some bad memories. But this stuff we're going through now is sure no fun.

    How itty bitty is your new house? We're gravitating toward houses in the 1500sf range, which is about half the size of this one. I know that will be easier to clean and maintain, but you're so right that living in a smaller space will have its own challenges and limitations and there will be an adjustment period for sure. I hope to join you in the Great Downsizing Adventure of 2011 so we can compare notes and commiserate!

    I wish I'd known sooner that you were going to be passing through Sheridan today! I'd have tried to meet you for a smoothie (or, given today's vile weather, a bowl of soup or cup of tea) at Tumbleweed, the only place in town we ever eat! Maybe I can catch you on your way back through - I'm assuming you'll be heading back to Seattle? I'm sorry we couldn't have arranged for nicer weather for your drive through our neck of the woods! It actually snowed several inches at our house this afternoon, bah humbug!

  9. Rose ~ Oh, I like your visions of what I was up to much, MUCH better than the reality! Keep thinking those good thoughts!

    LOL about the slanted swimming pool, and good point about it burning more calories - like setting a treadmill on incline! :-) I think on our property, they'd have ended up with more of a waterfall feature than a pool. I wonder if they realize they're lucky to get 6 weeks of pool use in these parts? They loved the house, and I can guarantee they'd be spending far more time in it than in the pool! Oh, well. Too each their own dish of prunes.

    We were off to a good start, in fact we couldn't even catch our breath for the first few days for all the showings! But it's definitely hit a lull now and we're hoping it picks up again around Mem'l Day weekend. It's been raining so hard and so much the past few days, with many inches of rain and not a break in sight according to the next week's forecast, so I'd prefer things stay quiet till it all dries out again. We should have very lush green surroundings and a bumper crop of wildflowers by then!

    Good idea about bribing potential buyers with vegan cornbread! I may have to toss in some Hearty Spiced Cocoa muffins, too, and sweeten the deal even more.

    I definitely hope some of Mocha's new friends will be mine as well, especially those darling burros! And Audra said Mocha will get to play Uncle to those new colts when they're being weaned, which he will enjoy and be very good at.

    Thank you for your positive thoughts and supportive words! I look forward to being able to post about the new house we bought, but promise not to abandon my blog until then - I realize this process could take a discouragingly long time!

  10. Vegan Elder ~ Yes I do, or at least I have been, and I frankly abhor it! I would much rather be curled up with a book or out hiking with the dogs, followed of course by a cozy nap. :-)

    Scary Burro Passing, that truly should be the name of something - a poem or a folk band, perhaps? :-)

    I'm sure Punky will be fine. None of the deer rely on us, we just try to make things more comfy for them when the weather is especially bad. But they'll do fine without us, and they always have our two other vegan neighbors to watch over them and give them goodies. But we'll miss her terribly! The areas we're most interested in moving to have mule deer, so I'm sure I'll be posting one day about Punky's mule deer doppelgänger!

  11. Molly ~ Thank you, I'm glad! :-) It's been a whirlwind, alright, with lots of aggravation and "schtuff" I didn't bother to put in my post. Haven't had a breakdown yet, but have had a few minor meltdowns. We thought all those showings so quickly were a good sign too, but now have decided they were mostly curious lookie loos who just wanted to traipse through the newest listing.

    I'm sorry to hear that things have been difficult for you, but think if you can end up making your move sooner rather than later it would be a big improvement in your quality of life and therefore a good thing. I sure hope everything works out well for you, and will be eager to hear any news and developments.

    Mocha really is in a good place, I am sure he's happier by the day. Audra has a great reputation for the care she takes of all the horses. And aren't there some adorable critters there? I love how they all just seem to roam around and play together, and there's no shortage of lovin's to be given and received! So even when Mocha snubs me, I'll still get plenty of nuzzlin's. :-)

    Thank you for your good wishes, Molly! I don't know when I'll have any real news to report next, but do hope to get my next batch of fun photos ready to share soon... maybe during this weekend.

    Barbara ~ Thanks for understanding. I definitely felt like I was being held hostage by circumstances and still do, but was glad to have the chance to post an update. So many times over the past few weeks I've thought, "I should blog about this!" but time never allowed.

    Glad you enjoyed the critter stories, there was no lack of cute critters to write about! It's fun to hang out at Audra's. It's a really busy place, but has a nice, calm energy about it even amidst all the activity. It should suit Mocha perfectly!

    I've decided one CAN'T live in a house and keep it perfectly clean at all times! Well, we had neighbors once whose place was ALWAYS immaculate. Never a dirty dish or a thing out of place. I always wondered how they did it and envied their ability to have a "company clean" house all the time. Their house was quite a bit smaller than ours and they didn't have any critters and I'm sure those factors helped, but still... They always looked good, too - if my house is neat as a pin, you can bet that I look like the wrath of gods. I can never seem to manage to have both look presentable at the same time. :-)

    Georgia ~ Thank you, you are far more on top of things than I am! I really miss visiting everyone's blogs. I need a time stretcher. :-)

    I'm glad you enjoyed the photos of all the animals. I agree that the colts are adorable, and it brought back fun memories of when Mocha was brand new (we've had him since before he was born, since I'd unwittingly bought a pregnant mare!)

    Thank you for your wishes on our behalf, we sure hope we find a buyer soon too! They're out there somewhere, we just don't know when they'll show up! As Rose said, it's like being in a strange limbo. How do people live in model homes?! I could never do it. I really value my solitude and privacy, so opening my house to complete strangers and then leaving them there to poke around in my closets and cupboards is completely alien to me. But I hope all this hard work and the disruptions and intrusions end up being worth it.

  12. I heart Mocha! What a sweet story. I almost cried! Funny, everybody is passing through Sheridan, Wyo. I'm supposed to be there next month but I am working on getting out of it. MIL...blech!

  13. Christina ~ Mocha is a darling, you would love him in person too. And I'll tell him that you found his moving story sweet and... well, moving! :-)

    It does seem like everyone passes through Sheridan at some point, especially in the summer (usually on their way to Yellowstone!) I'm already seeing a lot of out-of-state plates in town. LOL re: "MIL - blech!" (I like my MIL, it's my FIL that drives ME nuts!) I hope you can wriggle out of it, but if you can't then I hope you at least can enjoy your trip if not your visit. Give a yell if end up going and want to meet up for a vegan smoothie in town, otherwise just wave at the Big Horns as you pass by on the Interstate and I'll wave back! :-)

  14. Delighted to see the post and the great photos - especially of Mocha - Her new home IS amazing.
    Also very pleased to see that your followers left lots of comments - your blog is worth waiting for and you certainly have had good reason to take a sobatical!

    With so many people certain that you'll be moved before you know it, it's bound to happen.

    My very favorite photo was of the one with the two burros nuzzing - that was so sween and the LOL photo has to go to Sydney - the one where she assumed the position. That was just too funny!

    Only time for one post today since it was so long. Looking forward to more tomorrow.

  15. The in-laws live in Buffalo. My MIL was simply horrid to me for years (I could devote an entire blog to that crappola!) and now we don't see her unless it's absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, there is a memorial for J's uncle that we *should* attend...but, it violates my "no MIL" policy. If I do take the high road and decide to be the better person (no contest!!), can you recommend vegan friendly grocery stores or restaurants in the area? Or, am I dreaming? Btw, I would love to meet up with you! It would reduce my MIL exposure, too (it's a bit like radiation)!

  16. Jo ~ Thanks, I'm glad you found time to stop by and see them! Doesn't Mocha look happy there? And why shouldn't he! We love that he can even see our place from there, though I'm sure he doesn't know that. LOL We are so glad we didn't board him in Ranchester. That place was right on the river and swampy and wet even when it was dry. They closed I-90 into Montana because of the terrible flooding, I'm sure that boarding place is totally cut off! She'd told us when they got a lot of rain the road gets flooded and you can't get in or out. Besides, when we drive by the entrance to Audra's place, it's fun to wave and say, "Hi, Mocha!" even if we can't see him from the road. :-)

    Thank you for saying my posts are worth waiting for, and I agree that I have some wonderful friends following my blog for sure, and I appreciate them not ditching my pitiful ass. LOL

    And yes, I think that's a good observation about the number of people thinking positive on our behalf, how can anyone not buy our house now?! (Though we have hit a dry spell, no showings in over a week! Maybe after Mem'l Day weekend they'll pick up again... I hope!) Barbara in the UK has her house on the market too, so I'm sending her the same positive thoughts. I hope we both get lucky soon!

    The nuzzling burros was absolutely one of my favorite photos, and that Sydney was some character! I've known dogs who really love their belly rubs, but she wins the prize! :-)

  17. Christina ~ Buffalo, wow! Small world! We lived there 2½ years before we moved up to Big Horn in 1992. That's a real shame that your MIL chose to be horrid to you for so long, she really missed out on enjoying a fun and special DIL! I can completely relate to your policy and don't see what it could possibly benefit J's late uncle if you were to gird your loins and attend his service. Perhaps J could come out to WY himself and leave you at home to guard against birdfeeder-raiding bears! (That was some post, I need to leave you a comment when I'm done here!)

    But if you DO come, I'll be happy to try to meet up with you in Sheridan! Tumbleweed is great, they're not a veg restaurant but they have vegan wraps, sandwiches, rice bowls, sushi, soup, smoothies and various herbal teas. And nearly everything is organic. I'm sorry to have to tell you that when it comes to vegan friendliness in Buffalo, you ARE dreaming. Pretty town, but hell on animals and probably on those of us who don't care to eat them. I haven't eaten there since becoming vegan 11 years ago, though I used to go there twice a year to a wonderful dentist till he moved away, but none of the restaurants so far as I know (and I even checked as many as I could remember or find online) offer vegan or even vegetarian options. You'd probably either need to stock up in Sheridan or rely on Buffalo's fast food places like Subway. Buffalo has two grocery stores, but I'm doutbtful that they carry things like organic soy milk, tofu or produce. Sheridan's got three grocery stores that do, plus two health food stores.

    Anyway, keep me posted on your decision! I LOL'ed about comparing your MIL exposure to radiation - I totally understand! ;-)

  18. Goodness me! I've had a couple of minor (but not good) injuries this last week and haven't been in blogdom. Now that I'm back, there are TWO wonderful posts for me to read! I'm glad you got such a great home for Mocha and that he's settled down with his new best buddies. Parents can be a bit of an embarrassment when you've got new friends, so we can't really blame him! And that pooch is so cute!

  19. I will keep you posted, but I doubt I will go. Maybe J will, but I doubt it. I "gently" reminded him how much work we have to do here and we only have the weekends to do it: my kitchen cupboards are sitting in the basement and my wood flooring is stacked on pallets next to to the cupboards! He ripped out all the carpeting to spare my allergies and now we are walking around on the subfloor. Besides that, he promised me a trip to Farm Sanctuary and a trip to San Francisco. No, I don't think the in-laws in Buffalo, Wyo are a satisfactory replacement trip! :)

    Thanks for the info, though. I will tuck it away for future reference. Eventually, I will have to visit (wedding or a funeral).

  20. Really cool pics. Of course, we were privey to a few of them earlier, many thanks to you ;-).

    Selling a house is usually a very drawn out, stressful thing. Having said that, things most always work out to your benefit. Wishing the best for you. Actually, one of the first people to view our last two sells ended up buying them. Some people just have to think things through and see what else is out there. Like I told you before...Hell, I'd buy it ;-). But....would we get the family discount?!

  21. House selling is a nightmare!I finally furnished the estate agent with my own photos as the ones he took were so awful. Fingers crossed we both manage to sell! So glad that Mocha is enjoying his new home, love the photos. And thanks for the birthday wishes :O)

  22. Penny ~ I'm sorry to hear that you suffered a couple of injuries and hope you're fully recovered by now!

    I'm glad I had a couple of posts to greet you upon your return! :-) I wonder if I will ever stop feeling like I'm terribly, irrevocably behind when it comes to everything bloggy.

    Christina ~ Hmmm, let's see... getting your flooring and kitchen cupboards installed plus trips to Farm Sanctuary and San Francisco vs. visiting your mean MIL in Buffalo. That's a tough call. Did you have to flip a coin? ;-)

    I hope you get your house all assembled soon, living in remodeling chaos is no fun! And won't a visit to Farm Sanctuary (their CA location?) and SF be wonderful!! Think J will treat you to dinner at Millennium? I've never had a chance to eat there, but would enjoy a splurge like that. BW and I have talked about going to The Stanford Inn for our 25th anniversary (just 2 years away!)

    Anyway, if you ever find yourself passing through Sheridan, let me know and we'll meet up for that vegan smoothie. :-)

  23. Spudly ~ I'm glad you enjoyed them - both times! :-)

    And yes, just like you get the Family Sneak Photo Preview you can definitely get the Family Real Estate Discount if you buy our house. Especially since I know you'd take great care of Punky, PJ and all the other critters! When would you like to close? :-)

    You were most fortunate to sell to one of the first buyers who came to see your other houses! How long did they take exactly to get back to you?! BW was talking to one of the realtors who had shown the place that first week and whose buyers had been so interested she got them to meet with the loan officer, but then... *poof!* She told BW that she had been certain they would buy our place and was shocked (and still doesn't understand) why they didn't. But then, they were the ones who have looked for a house for 3 years and always find some reason not to buy one. They live down on the Hidden Valley Ranch below us (the Mars Candy Co guy's "hobby ranch") and BW thinks they probably live there rent-free and are bored so go look at houses and pretend they want to buy them. I'm not quite that cynical, but I'm still frustrated. Oh well, guess it will work out with perfect timing. There are only two places currently on the market that we think would work for us, but we're not head-over-heels for either one, so maybe our next house still needs to become available before this one will sell! That's just fine, I just wish it would hurry the hell up. :-)

    Barbara ~ You got that right! And our friends Iain and Sophie have told us it's even tougher in England than it is here, and it's sure no walk in the park here these days. I'll bet your photos were fantastic and will result in lots of interest and a fast sale - fingers majorly crossed for you!! I had to furnish some of my own photos to our realtor too, to replace and to supplement the crappy or "meh" photos the person from their agency took. Some of them were just bad, but some of them were bad because they insist on using this wide angle lens. It distorts everything, so some of the photos looked like we had miles of ceiling and miles of floor, with a little scrunchy room with itty-bitty furniture stuffed into it way down at the end of a long ceiling-and-floor tunnel! Ridiculous.

    I really hope you're able to buy that house you're interested in! May we both be as fortunate as Mocha when it comes to finding a new place to hang our hats (or halters, as the case may be). :-)

    And you're welcome for the birthday wishes! Sounded like you enjoyed a fun one!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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