Back in Business

Ta-da! The budget-renovated kitchen.

Double ta-da! The living room.

My house is complete! I have now been living in my newly remodelled 1950's bungalow for almost a month. During that time I have taken on the usefulness of a slug - perhaps less. I'll consider the past weeks as a needed recovery from my first real year of teaching. Sadly, in that time I have committed the cardinal sin of home remodelling - I have fallen in love with the house, my incredibly private back yard, and my neighbors - especially the guy across the street who works for Budweiser and gives me free beer. Tough to beat.

While my mortage, at $600, is less than M's one bedroom apartment rent, ($645), I am still struggling to cover all of the bills in conjunction with paying off my renovation debt. This would not be an issue if I would simply sell it. I bought it for $73,500 and my realtor would like to list it for $99,900. My plan is to go ahead with this and see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

Now, after three weeks of sitting around my house and M's apartment pool on summer vacation, (with lots of amazing books), the travel bug has bitten me, and I am eager and anxious to plan a trip somewhere off the contintental US. Facebook is a bad instigator of this, as viewing all the amazing places my friends have gone makes me insanely jealous and antsy - something it would be to my benefit to learn to quell. Unfortunatley, travelling is far out of my means at the moment. If I had to make a conjecture right now, I would say that this is going to be my last year of teaching for several reasons. While I enjoy both my students and literature and make a very decent living, being a teacher feels like trying to zip myself up into a dress that doesn't fit; I can't move around and I can't breath. The summers off would be great if I had the money to go abroad. Perhaps when both of my houses are sold this will be the case. If I do not sell this one, then M is planning to move in on August 5th, so that will ease the monthly payments.

Money troubles aside - I had an amazing 4th of July. For the first time in years I got a front row seat to fireworks on M's parents boat on Lake Ouachita. Incredible. I nursed my sunburn by drinking frozen strawberry margaritas while stretched out on the back of the boat, counting stars. Clearly, I need to start saving up for a boat of my own in the future. I'll add it to the list.

Lake Ouachita and surrounding Ouachita Natinal Forest from Hickory Nut Ridge by day.