The inspection was yesterday, though the radon test won’t be done until tomorrow, and hopefully, it will be warm enough when he’s there to pick up the test equipment for our inspector to test the AC unit. No major issues found, though there are a few things that need to be done, here and there. I’m very pleased with our inspector, Gordon Glidden from US Inspect, I think he works out of their South Lyon office. He was extremely thorough, let the Reverend accompany him throughout the whole inspection and showed him everything he saw, and explained all of the signs, symptoms, things he was looking for, and so on, whilst I trailed after making copious notes.
We ended up meeting the seller, as she was working at home when we were there. She’s very pleasant and definitely a type A personality, so I don’t think having her fix the few things that really should be will be an issue. We also found out that her new house has been delayed slightly, so she’s going to go ahead and move out prior to closing, and we’ll be able to take possession on 15 June! Apparently, she’s selling most of the furniture, anyway – in fact, she offered to leave us her patio set.
The neighbours renting the house behind this one have apparently been storing a bunch of stuff in the wee garage, because reasons. Unfortunately, the one major issue found in the inspection is that one of the walls of that garage is rotting. The grade around the garage is sub-optimal, and the concrete has settled (or just wasn’t originally poured correctly), so it slopes in some areas toward the garage, rather than away, which is bad for drainage and most likely the cause of the issue. Our inspector says that wall has maybe five years left in it, so we’ll have to decide if we want to repair it – which means pretty much re-doing that entire wall, or just remove the garage.
The larger garage has workshop space in the front that would be perfect for a bindery studio when partitioned off from the rest of the garage, and would easily still fit two cars in after such partitioning. On the other side of the workshop space, exterior to but abutting the garage, is a garden shed easily large enough for all of the gardening tools. So, all in all, I don’t see much reason to keep the wee garage. Of course, we won’t need to make a decision on that any time soon.
So, last night, we got the loan application – all 80-some pages of it! – signed. Our mortgage agent has gone ahead and locked in our rate, which is about an eighth of a percentage point lower than originally quoted, and is giving us a credit of some sort on closing costs (I think because of some arrangement with the Reverend’s workplace?), so that’s pretty cool! We need to put together a couple more supporting documents, which should happen today or tomorrow, then we’re off to the underwriters!
Holy cats, I think we’re buying a house!
We met with our photographer earlier in the month, and were reminded that we still needed to take our engagement photos; you know, while we’re still engaged. So this week that is exactly what we did!
We took most of them on our property, because it’s a lovely place. This one is on a set of steps that lead from the walk-out basement to the porch.
We live on 11 acres, mostly wooded. This shot is in front of a spring-fed pond on the grounds.
There’s more, of course, but these are the first ones to be processed. We’re very excited to see the rest! We also can’t recommend the photographer enough. It can be challenging finding someone who is willing to shoot a Wiccan service, and having to shoot within a circle has its own difficulties. Our photographer is excited and looking forward to the opportunity. Check her out if you get the chance!
As some of you may be aware, we lost one of our beloved companions, Phouka, late in February. It was sudden, unexpected, and following a short but intense illness. Vet bills, medicines, tests and the rest rather took a chunk of the money we had set aside for paying for the wedding, and we fairly quickly came to the realisation that we needed to economise quite a lot – and with a scant 10 weeks in which to do so. The single largest “big ticket item” yet remaining is the rings. So, Himself and I discussed the matter. Rather a bit. Finally, we came to the conclusion that we simply weren’t going to be able to get the rings we’d planned. And when we reached that agreement, I finally felt like it might be alright to confess that, really, I wasn’t that fussed on them to begin with, but was willing to compromise on that point because Himself seemed to be absolutely over the moon about them. Well, wouldn’t you know, Himself then confided that he’d thought that all my wittering when I was finding things to like about them was me declaring that I was absolutely in love with them, and he was therefore trying to move Heaven and Earth to get them for us. Once again, Himself and I very nearly went all Gift of the Magi.
And so it is that the hunt for The Rings resumed. Rather a bit frantically, as you might imagine, being now a mere 8 weeks and a bit from The Big Day ™.
I am pleased to report that the search has ended with the discovery of George and Suzan Postgate, and their shop, Postgate Fine Jewelers. After a bit of dithering, here’s what we’ve settled on:
I have to admit, these suit us much better. And, the pair together will cost us less than one of the rings we’d picked before. In fact, we’ll have just enough to cover them with Himself’s tax refund, which is due in the next week or so.
Life has a funny way of working out, doesn’t it?
I’ve received permission from Candace to post her sketch of my dress…
The first time we went into Abracadabra, Himself positively fell in love with this dark and dusky purple sapphire, which we immediately put a deposit on, even though we hadn’t decided whether it should go in my ring or his. We discussed the improbability of finding a stone to match it, but Katherine said she would see what she could do. She gave us the “sizing trial” rings and we made an appointment to see her again the following week.
Katherine got in touch with the fellow she’d gotten the original stone from and he sent a few options for stones that, if not matching, would at least pair well. He did a rather remarkable job of it, I must say, as there was a slightly smaller stone in the batch that’s a shockingly close a match! Yay! So, now, both stones have deposits down and the ring styles have been chosen!
Herself and I have been agonizing over rings for a while now. We wanted something that would express a number of our own values, while still being recognizable as wedding rings. Yesterday we visited Abracadbra Jewelry and Gem Gallery, and worked with the incredibly patient Katherine as we dithered over metals, stones, and so forth.
What we settled on will look a great deal like this, with rose gold and meterorite, with a single stone inset for each. They had a very unusual sapphire that is a deep purple with what looks like hundreds of tiny multicolored stars within. They are going to search for something that will correspond with it, and then Herself and I will discuss who gets which stone… In the meantime we are both wearing “sizing rings”; since they custom make each ring, they can size them very precisely. The rings we’re wearing now will allow us to see if the size is comfortable for us during everyday wear, how well they stay on overnight/showering/during extended gaming sessions, and so forth. A pretty nifty idea!
The precious metals are all recycled, and the stones are all ethically sourced, so we feel really good about the provenance of the rings when all is said and done. And there really -is- something about having starmetal on your finger–we may not have travelled quite as far to find each other, but our love will last at least as long.
Himself and I have spent a fair bit of time pawing through papercrafting magazines and the scrapbooking aisle of our local craft store, trying to sort out what to do about those fiddly bits of paper folks like to have to tell them the when and where of these sorts of parties. Sadly, we’ve been having a terrible time of it. We like this or that or the other, but not quite thus, or a little more that, or a tad less sommat. On a lark, whilst we were prowling the mall for I can’t remember what, we stopped in at the closest thing I’ve been able to find to a stationer’s in Ann Arbor, Papyrus. I figured I’d sit Himself down at the Big Books of Invitations ™, and see if anything gave us an idea or two about what to craft.
After a wee while, one of the clerks stops in on us to inquire if there’s anything in particular we’d like, so we asked if they had anything in recycled paper, not expecting much luck there. We were quite pleasantly surprised when the clerk dug out a book from Naturally Ever After, who apparently specialise in recycled paper wedding invitations utilising 30% post-consumer fibres! I’m pleased to report that we have now sorted our invitations, as well, and those will be getting ordered some time in the winter.
I’ve been in touch with Darby, at Bullinger Photography, again. We’ve talked rather a bit over email about the special circumstances inherent in photographing a Wiccan handfasting ceremony and she’s been just wonderful about the whole thing. Her questions have been thoughtful and interesting. Himself and I are really quite pleased to be working with her. Both of us really are taken with her work… traditional, but not predictable and she does a very fine job of capturing the personalities of the bride and groom in her pictures, with warmth and sensitivity.
She also meets a few of our more fiddly requirements… she offers black & white and sepia tone photographs at no extra charge and she will sell us a CD of all the pictures (including all photo rights), for a reasonable fee.
We’ve received the contract this morning and will be putting the deposit down fairly sharpish. Now, we’re debating an engagement photo shoot… possibly someplace lovely in the summer, or maybe autumn…