by @ 5:32 pm on December 1, 2012. Filed under Life

Time to let me know if you want a holiday postcard (featuring a Crooked Acres permanent resident). (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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How the holy hell did it get to be December already, I ask you? I finally got around to making a new Bitchypoo banner to reflect the holidays.

I wonder how long I’ll leave THAT one up.

To update on The Alvin (refinancing) Situation, we signed the refi papers on Wednesday. Alvin was a fucking pain in the ass right up ’til the last possible moment, and I remain convinced that Alvin doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

Oh, and the appraisal! That happened about a week after Fred read Alvin the riot act. Hey, guess what? When the appraiser comes IN the house and actually does measurements and sees that there’s a second floor with his own eyes, the value of the house goes up quite a bit. GO FIGURE. He told Fred that he hates doing external appraisals (which is apparently a real thing, which I find more than a little mystifying) because it’s so hard to do them right and the homeowners get irate, etc.

He also told Fred that the problem with our house is that it’s a “unique property” and while that’s good as far as we’re concerned because we love our wood walls and hardwood floors and such, it makes it hard to find comparable properties for the appraisal.

In any case, the value of the house went up enough to make the refinancing of said house worth our time and effort (though I killed Alvin in my mind at least once a day), and the papers are signed. Our monthly mortgage payment went down by about 25%, which is good. We got a good interest rate which is also good because we are never ever ever EEEEEEEEEEEVER going to refinance again, as long as I live.

Fred repeatedly told Alvin that the closing would need to take place in Madison (or even closer to Smallville, if possible so that we wouldn’t have to drive to South Huntsville because we are pretty pretty princesses), and that it had to be in the late afternoon. REPEATEDLY, Alvin offered mid-morning closings in South Huntsville. Grrrr. Finally, Alvin mentioned meeting the lawyer at Panera Bread (I always want to type “Pantera” instead of “Panera”), and the time he suggested was “lunch time.”

(This is a thing here in the South, where they suggest “lunch time” as though it’s a real time on the clock and ALSO it’s a different time depending on who’s suggesting it. THIS IS NOT PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR, PEOPLE.)

Finally, Fred said “Wednesday, at noon, at Panera Bread. We will be there, ALVIN.” Alvin told him that the lawyer would meet us then, and as we were standing in front of Panera at noon on Wednesday, I said “How are we supposed to know who he is?”, because that place was PACKED.

Fred said “Alvin said to look for the guy who looks like a lawyer.”

Just as I was opening my mouth to suggest that someone looking for Alvin would have to look for someone who looks like a useless piece of shit, I saw a man I knew without a doubt was the lawyer. It was nice out, so we sat on the patio and signed papers for half an hour, shook his hand, and were on our way.

So anyway, the point of this fascinating rambling: the papers are signed, the refinance is done and over with, and we’re saving some damn money.

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2011: They were not as enthusiastic as we’d hoped.
2010: “Marcia Brady! You can’t dump Big Man on Campus Doug Simpson! What will Joe Namath say when he stops by to see how we Bradys are doing? You’ll get a reputation!”
2009: And no matter what I do, the faint smell of seared chicken hovers faintly throughout the house.
2008: At least Sadie loves me.
2007: Where Muh Daddy?! Starring Fricasee “Frick” And3rson
2006: You know, Maxi and Newt. The cats who AREN’T OURS.
2005: “Vivacious! Tell her she’s VIVACIOUS, Dr. Phil!”
2004: I eat too much of the wrong kind of food and am lazy.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Here’s a tip: If they’re your own children, it’s NEVER “babysitting.”
1999: I’m feeling incredibly lazy today (like that’s something new).

18 Responses to “12/1/12”

  1. MsDarkstar says:

    “I saw a man I knew without a doubt was the lawyer” I get the distinct feeling that this may not exactly be a compliment to the man in question…

    • Miz Robyn says:

      Heh, maybe not! He just LOOKED like you’d imagine an old Southern lawyer to look. I knew immediately he was our guy!

      • Fern says:

        I can only imagine Matlock. Maybe that’s what living on the West coast does for me. It’s nice you were able to sign the papers on the patio.

  2. Debbie says:

    A 25% savings is worth a bit of angst right?

    We’ve got just over 4 years left and our mortgage is paid off!
    I can’t wait til it’s done.

  3. Val says:

    Yay! My BFF’s daughter is going through mortgage financing hell right now. She is freaking out because she is trying to purchase her first home. She is supposed to close in two weeks and is fearing she will lose the house because her mortgage guy is messing up big time!

  4. Annette R. says:

    Congrats on the refinancing nightmare’s end and YAY for the savings!

    Crooked Acres reminds me of the Southern Version of my Aunt and Uncle’s place in PA. They have 4 acres and a unique property as well and they also have been told that it is hard to appraise it. They don’t have all of your critters. They have wild ducks and Koi Fish the size of large bread loaves in the pond-and one cat and a golden retriever. My Aunt has gorgeous extensive gardens-she was the last stop on the town garden tour several years running. Both properties are a piece of heaven!

  5. Arizona Robin says:

    I understand your feelings about mortgage refinancing from hell. Late 80s we refinanced our Glendale, Arizona home with Anchor Equities. It was a nightmare and we finally called and asked “what the hell is the hold-up.” Within 1-2 weeks our documents were ready for closing. Heh!

    Few years ago we refinanced (second time) our current Chandler, Arizona home via Chase Mortgage (they contacted us — “preferred clients”). Everything handled via phone. Closing agent came to our home at NIGHT and executed all docs at kitchen table. That refi saved us ~$250/monthly; no points/closing costs. Everything went smoothly and very quickly. We were amazed!
    We financed mortgage balance only; did not mortgage additional home equity. Although we had ~16 years remaining on the mortgage, we opted to refi with 30 year mortgage. At our age, we’ll never pay off this house…we’ll be taking a dirt nap sooner.
    Glad your refi from hell is a done deal.

    • Annette R. says:

      My Uncle is the only other person I know who calls it the “dirt nap”. I wonder if it is a Philadelphia thing?

      • Arizona Robin says:


        I believe I first heard “dirt nap” expression on “Murphy Brown” TV comedy series. Probably not a Philly thing, although I’m from The City of Brotherly Love.

  6. Angela says:

    “we are never ever ever EEEEEEEEEEEVER going to refinance again, as long as I live”

    Am I the only one wondering if this is going to work out like all the times you were most definitely NOT adopting another permanent resident? LOL

    Seriously though, we just refinanced and it was so painless that if you lived anywhere close to us that I would have immediately sent you his contact info.

  7. Elaine says:

    Congrats on the refi. We just did our third refi on this house. The first was easy. The second was like Arizona Robin’s. Chase contacted us, easy peasy. Signed the papers at home and saved about $300 a month. We just signed the papers for this current refi in October and paid the first payment this week. Our mortgage broker got us a great save on the appraisal. The last appraisal we got was before the market values dropped. So this time we got a drive by appraisal just to make sure the house really existed, and they gave us a value on the home that was from the previous appraisal and is about $40 grand more than the current market value. This refi gets us to 3.625% and saves us another $350 a month. It was not too much of a pain but took a while. We signed the papers at home in the dining room. I see that paper pusher job as a nice extra income job as long as you don’t have idiots to deal with. We took out a 30 year but with the savings and extra payments on principal we should be able to pay off in 10 years. Then I can retire . Sweet.
    Poor Alvin, did not know who he was dealing with.

    • elayne says:

      Thank you for this comment. I am in the middle of a refinance too, and have been having second thoughts about it. I lost my job this summer, and though I was fortunate to find a new one right away, the new job income is <half of old job income and almost precisely enough to pay mortgage with nothing left over for utilities, etc. A refinance will bring the mortgage to about 70% of new job income. Assuming I can get a second job – to go along with my newly diagnosed Addison's disease – I'll going to be barely able to make it, so I've been feeling down and pessimistic, thinking that the stress and worry of the refinance isn't worth it since it'll only delay the inevitable.

      One of the main things that triggers that is the thought that I'm not getting a good enough interest rate – that if I wait another year the medical account my asshole ex-husband let go to collections will fall off my credit report, maybe I'll have found a second job and my income:payment ratio will be better, and I'll be able to get a more favorable rate. I keep seeing ads for like 1-2% interest on mortgages and assuming (how stupid of me) that that's the going or average rate, and that the 3.7% I'm being offered now is ridiculously high. It's not something I feel comfortable asking other people about, and other avenues of inquiry (google, etc) are difficult to judge for impartiality. Seeing that your refi rate was in that same ballpark helps me much feel less pessimistic about it. (Now if only the underwriting department will get a move on…) So, congrats on your savings and thanks again for sharing the details! (BUT: If anyone else refinanced at 0.7% or 1.0125% or whatever, YOU BE QUIET. lol)

  8. devil says:

    If all idiotic liars who somehow hold jobs, even though they are appallingly incompetent, would all go DIAMFF, the world would be a better place. But I’m a horrible person to truly believe that, right?

    So glad that nightmare is over with, Robyn. Congrats to you and Fred.

    Go ask Santa for something nice because you’ve been a very, very good girl by not ripping off Alvin’s balls and shoving them down his throat and all.

    Oh, Hell Yes! I love this month’s banner!!

  9. jai says:

    Robyn, love the new banner but really the caption should be “Fa La La La F-ing La”

    • elayne says:

      That needs to be a caption for the GrumpyCat meme going around! Also, it WILL be my official version of Whatever That Carol Is Called, for now and evermore. 😀

  10. Kathy Casha says:

    I have read this website for awhile now (linked through love and hisses), and this is only the second recipe that I had to try. The first was the pineapple angel food cake (meh), but this one was AWESOME. Really easy ( hour from start to finish) and is better than an hours long lasagna. Definitely going in rotation here. Robyn, I have to say you are my sister from another mister. I was born 1/13/69, moved from “somewhere else” (CA) to the south (SC), love love love cats, and usually hate chunky tomatoes with a passion (almost didn’t try this recipe because of them), but loved this! There are many more similarities ( cussing), but I am scared if I list them all I would seem like a stalker. I will just stalk your websites, which I read religiously every day. Keep it up! Look forward to new recipes and the antics of you two.

  11. Lisa says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Robyn, Fred, the Spud and all of the living creatures at Crooked Acres! I hope that 2013 is your best year yet.

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