Miguel Tejada receives his home run ball upon crossing the plate after a Cubs fan makes a stellar throw to return it to the field. Amazing throw, kid!!


Dulce and More

Furniture consignment stores. Not your average run of the mill stores with worn out furniture. Dulce is located in Uptown Dallas on Oaklawn and carries high end used furniture on consignment. The prices were out of this world....well, out of my world anyway. $3700 for a sofa. $700 for a quirky decorative piece. I'm sure they are all designer pieces, and many were quite cool, but off the chart in my book. I wouldn't know one brand from another, and would certainly not pay top dollar just to say I own a 'so and so'. From Dulce, we moved on to a couple other similar stores. In one, all the furniture was massive in size. I mean, HUGE. Some of the sofas were so large I couldn't help but laugh at the thought of just sitting on one. It'd swallow me up in a heartbeat. Very fun to look at though.

We moved on and spotted a strip of antique stores.....high end antiques I guess. Like Louis the XV pieces, and china I would be afraid to pick up. What amazed me were the number of people roaming from store to store. Maybe they missed the memo about 7 million unemployed Americans and 1 in 4 houses in foreclosure. There was certainly no evidence of a recession, or depression in Uptown Dallas. Good to know, right?

It was fun though. I always enjoy window shopping and it is fun to see what people are buying.
The title of this post is linked to Dulce, the first store we went in. Just click and you can go window shopping, too, if you'd like.

El Fenix

On Saturday, we took a drive to uptown Dallas and checked out a couple upscale furniture consignment shops and some antique stores....more on that in a minute. In all of our driving about we decided we better eat something, and stumbled upon El Fenix Mexican Restaurant. This is only the seocnd Mexican restaurant we've frequented since being in Dallas, so I'm certain there are many more equally as good, but El Fenix has a great atmosphere and amazing Mexican food! They opened in 1918 at the exact location they are at today. Since opening decades ago, they have branched out so today, you can find several El Fenix Restaurants in the surrounding Dallas area. The one we ate at was the original one in what is now referred to as Uptown Dallas.
The food is genuinely authentic, reasonably priced and we will be going back. Henry found a website called Copycat.com that actually has recipes for tons of restaurants, El Fenix included. Their guacamole (yum!)recipe is online, along with other recipes. Even better, is that in yesterday's paper, El Fenix has an insert for a buy one entree, get one free! Jack's going to love that, because he may even get some leftover tamales next time. :)


Grand Am Race Car flips over fence...lands in woods

Be sure and watch the alternate view at 1:50. 
via The Blaze


7.2 Quake in Alaska

I was surprised this morning when I turned on my computer and actually saw mention of this earthquake from last night. The media typically forgets or ignores news coming out of Alaska or Hawaii, but guess because a 7.2 quake is pretty strong, they mentioned it. Fortunately, no tsunami followed. The quake occurred in the Aleutian Islands which is about 1200 miles from Anchorage and it was 26 miles deep.
We always enjoy the drive to Alaska, all 2200 miles of it...and I sure miss an Alaska summer. Which brought me to looking at pictures from our last trip, like the one of the black bear below.


Did someone say 'PIG'??

Off topic----
Muslims in Denmark are squealing over a farmer’s brand on his pig because it spells out ‘Allah’ (God) in Arabic.
Faith Freedom (H/T Caroline R) -A DANISH pig farmer is in hiding today after receiving death threats from Muslim groups who accused him of branding a pig with the Arabic word “Allah”. Gerulf Toksvig, 53, who has a farm near Aarhus, caused outrage this week when he invited reporters to examine the “miracle” markings on his prize piglet, Paprika.
Go, Gerulf!!


Contemporary Or Comfortable?

Henry likes this contemporary, 'comfy', camel back sofa. (not leather).

I love this contemporary style. Leather and the revealed legs.

It's been many, many years since we've bought furniture and of course the choices are limitless, but I'm pretty sure we know what we like, which is both of the above. Just have to decide which it will be. In all the years we've been married, Henry has never had a recliner, so the way I see it, what better time than now? Unfortunately, this is the kind he wants, duct tape and all...but it's comfy, right?

Furniture prices are all over the board, from inexpensive (cheap quality most likely) to ultra-expensive. Lazy Boy furniture ranks in the upper end, but they will do any fabric, any color wood, any anything you want......with an upcharge, of course. So, you could start out with a $1,000 sofa, but by the time you've customized the fabric, and changed from oak to walnut on the legs, eek. Starts to add up rather quickly.

Then we have the logistics of moving into the building. The move must be scheduled one week prior to moving to reserve use of the freight elevator. There is a non-refundable elevator fee and a refundable move-in fee, so in order to avoid paying these fees twice, it would be best to have all the furniture delivered by the same business. Unless of course, we could coordinate two or three places to deliver on the same day. No, that sounds confusing as things never go as planned with deliveries. The easiest and less painful will be to find everything we like at one place. Guess that rules out Lazy Boy because they don't carry bedroom furniture or mattresses. (Sorry, Henry, no Woodrow camel back sofa). :)

Catching Fire

I've finished The Hunger Games and am now deep into Catching Fire, the second book.
What a captivating story! As I mentioned before, these books are like looking towards the future of America....or, what I can foresee America looking like in a not too far distant future. Call me a conspiracy theorist or a doomsayer, but the writing has been on the wall for well over two years in this country. I don't know how others view these books as I haven't read any reviews, but from the first page of The Hunger Games, my thought was 'Oh crap. This is going to be the America my grandchildren could very well be living in.'
If you haven't read these books, please check them out. If nothing else, they are a fascinating read!


Up-close Nebraska tornadoes! June 20, 2011

Forty tornadoes across Kansas and Nebraska last night and not one word in the mainstream media.
Things that make you go Hmmmm.......
This video is amazing. Watch closely.


Lucky Seven

Game Number 7....Bruins win!! We watched the game last night, and it was awesome! Congrats. to the Bruins. Sorry about your luck to the Canucks....what sore losers they are..torching cars, destroying property. My, my.
The last house we bought was in 1999, and I believe that home was our fifth house, and because I had always worked at a Title Company, the procedure was all too familiar to us. But, I gotta say, WOW, have things changed in the land of buying a home! In one way, it's much easier because of technology. No need to make several trips to the mortgage company with this form and that statement. Hello email! Today, I ordered and paid for the appraisal online! I haven't even met the mortgage person we're dealing with. All correspondence has been by phone or online. So, in that respect, it's a piece of cake.

Hey, remember the DiTech commercials??
YUP. That'd be the one.

Where it gets interesting is with the many, many, many pages of documentation they require. Did you know on the loan application itself, which is 27 pages long by the way, there are statements you must agree to, as a result of the Patriot Act? What the heck? They say lenders have really tightened their lending standards since the subprime crisis, and it may be true in some ways, but not for the most part. You can actually apply for financing, and close, without ever setting foot in the bank OR the title company!
I can only imagine the mountain of documents at closing. It will be interesting.


Hunger Games And Game Seven

Sometimes, I'm not sure where our daughter gets her energy from. She's always going in several directions at once and with diverse interests in many things, it's amazing she has time to even relax. Her most recent passion is the Bruins. (Hockey team). Tonight is game seven. Seven is her lucky number. Always has been. She was born in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day in 1987...as luck would have it, every number associated with her always has a seven in it. (lucky her).
Back to the Bruins. She is an avid fan...no, scratch that. She is an obsessive fan. To show her support, she wears their colors, black and gold on game nights. She plans the appropriate snacks and beverages to enjoy during the game....and actually, I seriously wonder if her laryngitis from two weeks ago had anything to do with shouting that came from her when the Bruins played.
Tonight is game SEVEN for the Bruins and I can be sure she will be watching. (her dad will most likely be watching....and texting her during the game).  GO BRUINS!

Hunger Games. Her second passion as of lately. Hunger Games is book number one of a trilogy by Suzanne Collins. She had been bugging me to buy the books so we can 'discuss' them. After her relentless pleading, I finally bought them and am in the middle of the first one. She warned me I would love it, and was she ever right! It's like reading the future of America. An absolutely fabulous story. I haven't had as much time as I would like to sit and read lately, but I am enjoying The Hunger Games!


Oh brother
A crane delivering a pool to a home in Minnesota had a bit of a mishap on Friday. The crane, or rather, the operator of the crane, overextended, causing it to tip over and crash into the house. I wonder if the owners of the house are thinking some nice grass in the backyard might have sufficed.


What a Joke

I saw the following quote on Michelle Malkin's site....and the picture came from a link on my daughter's site....how perfect.

"This could almost be a spin on a classic joke: How come the new five-member Commission to Cut Government Waste has a glass bottom boat? So they can see the old three-member Commission to Cut Government Waste."


I Think We Have A Winner

Entryway. what you can't see in this picture is the awesome study converted from a huge closet.

Standing at entry way. Love all the windows!

another bedroom view

looking towards kitchen and entry. See the double doors? Open them and voila! The study! It's so cool!

Bathroom. The shower is actually very large, although you can't see from here. There is a huge walk in closet to the left, and additional closet with washer/dryer hookups, AND separate area where the toilet is

Kitchen looking towards pantry. I love the appliances and the granite countertops

Balcony with a nice view
Balcony looking from bedroom

The building from street
Living area
Another view of the Kitchen. I Love the kitchen!

Bedroom...with sliding doors to the balcony. (don't look at the rug)

This is the one! We made an offer on this unit Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday afternoon it was accepted. Henry's first reaction was: 'We went in too high.' I don't think so. I believe the seller was ready to sell. He has already purchased another unit in a different building, and I'd like to think it worked out well for all.

It's not too large, so not a lot of furniture to buy. It's convenient to Henry's job, only 5.4 miles, which actually translates to a 20 minute commute, but, hey, it's better than an hour each direction. The building offers lots of amenities, most of which we may never use, but ya never know!
Closing is scheduled for the end of July, so again I say, we have to get this motorhome sold. Someone called from Washington State today, and he does sound genuinely interested, so will be keeping the fingers crossed.


Jefferson County resident Jonathan Stewart said he laughed in shock after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claimed the house his family lost in the deadly April 27 twister was ‘not unsafe to live in’.

Displaced families in tornado-ravaged Alabama are outraged after being denied federal aide to rebuild their flattened homes – due to ‘insufficient damage’.

The devastating reality is the house is now a concrete slab surrounded by rubble.

Mr Stewart told AL.com a FEMA inspector saw first-hand the Pleasant Grove residence.

Three days after the visit, however, he received a letter reading: ‘Based on your FEMA inspection, we have determined that the disaster has not caused your home to be unsafe to live in.


Strike Two.....And You're Out

No round three on the condo. - The seller was once again nonresponsive...guess he doesn't care if he sells it or not. Neither do we. We are moving on. With all the inventory on the market to choose from, and nothing  selling, you'd think any seller presented with a decent offer would, at a minimum, reply. Nope.
Maybe he's thinking it is still 2003..News Flash! It's 2011, real estate prices have fallen significantly since 2006 AND are still falling, foreclosed houses are sitting empty, and you're lucky if, as a seller, you receive one offer on your property. I do not want to get caught in a fall, so buying at the right price is even more important today.


Round Two

Today we made another offer on the condo. unit. Will see if the seller accepts it or not. We went in lower than last time, but agreed to pay all closing costs. If he accepts, we feel we'll be getting in at a decent price.

Now, about that motorhome. If this condo. deal goes through, we really need a buyer. I guess if it's all meant to happen it will, and I refuse to stress over it. Right now, I am more concerned about this:

S.W.A.T. Team fired 61 bullets killing a Tucson man

How about this one? Dept. Education S.W.A.T. Team breaks into house because of student loan default

Tyranny? Police State?


MOOO's Plate

We've all heard about and seen MO's, er, I mean the USDA's plate, which replaces the food pyramid. Mo has made it her mission in life to tell the peasants (that'd be you and I) what we should and should not be eating.

But, have you seen MO's plate??? 

Well, that didn't work out so Well

Here's a quick summary of how the offer on the condo. went

Friday morning - 7:00 am
We asked the realtor via email to present our offer that day to the seller.
Finally, at around 4:00 pm, we received the Earnest Money Contract via email. (So much for presenting the offer the same day, I guess).
Everything is done through the internet, so no hard copy and no wet signature.
We reviewed it, and asked that she re-word some items.

Saturday - 8:00 am

Realtor called and said she would make the changes we requested and present to seller, through email.
We asked for a response from the seller by 5:00 pm.

Sunday - 10:00 pm

Nothing. No email. No phone call. No communication. No reply.

Monday - 5:30 am
I checked my email and see that the realtor had forwarded us an email response from the seller. He replied to her at 7:08 pm., and she forward to us at 10:18 pm. (She may want to pick up the pace a little).
Problems with the Earnest Money Agreement. The Realtor should have used the contract for a condominium and instead used a single family home contract. She had the incorrect financing method indicated. (which we questioned her about and was told 'Oh, it doesn't matter, no need to change....Hmmm...guess she was wrong.)
Seller refuses to pay Home Warranty. (We (Henry and I) wanted that removed, because we don't care, but the realtor advise we leave it in).
Apparently, we are to receive the CC&R's on the condo. building, and have not.
He did agree to pay off the special assessment...that was good news.
He upped the sales price by a mere $980 and refused to pay any closing costs.

Realtors email also said she would call us THIS morning to discuss Seller's counter. - It is now 2:45 pm. and she has not called or emailed.  Think it's time to wash our hands of the realtor. Don't know about the seller at this point. Heck, don't even know about the condo. anymore.
First rule in sales, whether it be selling cars, real estate or furniture; when you've got a buyer, ready to spend money and actually buy....you never, never, never give them time to rethink their decision (especially an entire weekend) without finalizing the deal.  She did exactly that, so I'm afraid she just lost out on a sale.
You snooze, you lose. Isn't that how the saying goes?


Two Chili Dogs with Fries AND an Extra Bowl of Chili

Dude. MO is not gonna be happy.

His wife unveiled the new USDA's nutritional plate yesterday (yeah, no more food pyramid), and he wolfs down two chili dogs, fries and an extra bowl of chili! Hope he's got some TUMS on hand.


Making an Offer

What a rollercoaster ride. Yesterday I was looking for houses, last night we talked and decided the condo. might be the ticket, so as I write this, our realtor is writing up our offer. If the seller accepts, then great, if not, that's okay, too. 

The other excitement in my world today was with our daughter. 3 days ago she lost her voice to a whisper only. She went to the doctor and was told she has laryngitis. He prescribed antibiotics and sent her on her way.
The problem is, she's got a dry, hacking  cough that won't stop, and she seems to be getting worse. Thankfully, she finally called in sick today and is home, but now she says it's difficult to breathe and her chest hurts. --So her and I have been emailing back and forth all day...me trying to convince her that maybe she ought to visit the doctor again, her saying 'no, I'm alright.'

--Now, my sister in law was online, and the two of us were instant messaging each other, meanwhile, she's  on Skype with her daughter who lives in Germany and who just HAPPENS to be a nurse. They were giving me advice on what Amanda should do.

From Germany to Alaska, to Texas, then on to Arizona. Instant communication...WOW What a world we live in!


Condo Update

So, two days ago, I posted pictures about a condo. unit we looked at and are considering. The price was okay, the HOA's were high, and there was no garage space assigned for the unit.
Price:  Henry figured to offer the seller a little over $10,000 less than what he's asking.
HOA:  The HOA's here are pretty high compared to many other states, and with this building there has been a special assessment just added on top of the existing dues, bringing the monthly HOA cost up significantly. The special assessment is to cover the cost of replacing all windows, exterior doors and balconies - which is a good thing, but the increased cost remains in place for the next 44 months. Our thought is to ask the seller to payoff the special assessment in full at closing as part of the offer.
Garage space: No assigned parking in the garage is a deal breaker. We need at a minimum ONE spot in the garage to protect the car from the sun, hail, etc. -However, if necessary, and if we could get the unit for a good price, we would accept. You can always buy a spot from another resident, one that may have two and only needs one. (wishy washy I know. That's how it's been...back and forth, indecisive)
Fast forward to today. The seller has dropped between $20,000 and $29,000 off the price, and has now acquired (I believe he bought) two parking spaces in the garage. The reason for the spread in price reduction has to do with the HOA special assessment. He would agree to drop the price $20k and pay $9,000 towards the special assessment, OR, drop the price $29,000 and we deal with the special assessment.
The frustration for us came as we talk more about HOA's in general. Are they really what they're cracked up to be? Do you get your money's worth from the dues? I'm not talking $150/month here, I'm talking between $250-1,000/month, depending on unit size and the building. So, guess what I'm doing today, besides waiting for the dude from Minneapolis that was supposed to come look at the motor home?** (yeah, haven't heard a peep from him....no surprise) - I am looking at houses again. :) or (: ?? I am not sure.

**guess I should have mentioned the couple from MN. were originally flying in Friday, then he called Tuesday evening to say he would be in Wednesday......Later in the evening, yet another call to say they were on standby and didn't make the flight.....so it will be Thursday.   ----Of course, Thursday came and went with nary a call from him. Typical, typical.