Wednesday, January 26, 2005

skype me!

Unbelievably, Crystal Clear phone service thru your computer! skype works beautifully over DSL, your computer speakers and a microphone. and best of all it's Free! connecting to landlines only costs a few cents per minute to anywhere in the world. as soon as they come up with a Wireless SoftPhone that can connect to my mac laptop, we'll be off the hook with expensive big bell service or poor quality service like that of the calling card/web based systems.

yipee! gotta love technology!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

okay, No Condo.

so we're back to looking at Houses. our New Realtor is Awesome and talked us out of it.
That's it.
oh, and my environmentally-friendly step of the day was that I didn't shower, didn't use the gallons of water that a shower usually does. And I didn't buy the usual Sunday paper. Tiny Steps here....
good night.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

comments needed: Condo blight?

my husband and i have been looking to purchase a Home since oct. 04.
this will be our first purchase and we are overwhelmed at what you get for prices paid, especially in our neck of the woods which feels like it's in the middle of nowhere.

our goals are to live in a Community where we can bike or walk to work, where our neighbors care for their environment and property values, and where we feel like we're not adding to housing sprawl. ideally we'd like to live in a city neighborhood, but that isn't an option in this area.

so we found this condo that we're hemmming-and-hawing over... it's the only thing we've found that has all the items on our must list: community setting, outside/garden area, something that won't effect my allergies (mold/mildew in our current house basement is overwhelming), location close to work, clean, fireplace, stove vent (if you've ever lived with one that vents outside, you'll know why this is important), garage, energy efficient (this builder has won awards), bright sunlight. The three things that we debate about on this condo are it's location (close ot I-91) with road noise, esp. in the summer, and the constant construction that's going on as they build the remaining units (for another year or two). we need to be in a place by this summer, or it won't make sense for us to buy after that with our timeframe for the area.

what do you think? should we just buy it? from what we've seen so far, there isn't much else out there... and we've looked at about 40 properties.
comments welcome.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

E-Mail Advises Bush on Social Security

not to get Political BUT... THIS angered me.
read Yahoo! story

i'm all for individuals taking responsibility for their actions, and living in a society where each of us is independent to make our own decisions - whether to go to war, what we chose as a vehicle to drive, whether we live in the north or the south, whether we heat with wood, oil or solar, where we shop, whether we recycle - but i can tell you that the supposed 'choice' of putting my retirement dollars into bush's cronies corporate pockets scares the $#!+ out of me. Hello? Enron? Hello?
Corporate Greed? and will we be better off investing in stocks as opposed to the bonds SS currently invests in? No. this is a way for the people who control the money to get it out of the government and into their hands (thru 'private investments'), they have no interest in supporting the masses. human nature and history tells us this.

in regards to Social Security: "It was never intended as an investment scheme. So everyone - retirees, the disabled, widows, and orphans - receive guaranteed monthly income." we could potentially be returing to the era before The New Deal - we didn't live in late 1800's/early 1900's with the Poverty and Exploitation of workers back then, but pick up the book, "The Belles of New England" and you'll realize that what they fought years for in worker's rights could be washed away in bush(read: karl rove)'s *idea* of a more responsible society.

check out the christian science monitor for a good article... "So the complexities of change are substantial. If the extra return from privatization is not very advantageous, "why even consider changes that all agree would be very disruptive?""

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Not So Big House, but must have big budget

okay, so as my husband and i look for the appropraite dwelling in the 'upper valley' of the connecticut river, we realize that big old, or new, houses are quite unappealing. we've been looking for a 3 bedroom Functional Living Space since last fall, but as of today, have yet find it in the $200-$250k-much-more-than-we-want-to-spend price range.

and into my window on life flew the 'not so big house' book. i know it's been on the market for a few years, but now that I'm Looking, it's interesting to see how spaces might work, if you have a few extra hundred grand in the coffers.

so we continue to look, in hopes of incorporating some of these features into the home we purchase, doing it ourselves, or with my dad (a former furniture maker).

big isn't always better, ya know?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

i hugged a fir Tree last night

husband hugging treeyeah, crazy, i know. i had taken off all of the ornaments of the Christmas Tree that's been sitting in our living room for about 3 weeks now, and it looked so Pretty with just the White Lights, that i couldn't continue. i felt bad that we had cut down this tree, less than a month ago, and were no going to throw it away like yesterday's fish wrappings. Too Sad. it had a happy life in the tree farmer's field before we came along.

so instead, i gave it more water.
and i Convinced my husband, who is a treehugger of sorts as well, that we should Keep The Tree In Our House until it at least starts dropping needles. otherwise, it's just too much for me to handle.
next holiday season, if by then we actually find a home to buy (we've been looking) we will buy a live tree and plant it outside on our property.

that i can deal with.

Monday, January 03, 2005

with the Dawn of a New Year, a New Vibe

i Realized on a trip to Canada over our winter break from work (my husband and mine's employer gives us the entire week between Christmas and New Year's off, plus dec. 24, paid, but that's a Discussion For Another Entry), that though we're not looking to relocate to the north because of the recent elections, i am intrigued by their obvious Concern For The Environment and Interest in Preserving their section of the northern hemisphere as much as they have control over.

in the forefront of my somewhat limited exposure as a Tourist (i've been north of the border more than once) i noticed the Individual Choices Canadians were making when it came to Vehicle. i was amazed that so many of the cars that flew by our 24-city/29-hwy MPG Rav 4 on I-20 were, for the most part, on the Greener Cars list. Sure there was the occassional Gas Guzzler, but unfortunately most of them had, ahem, US plates.