Friday, September 28, 2007

Putting the Fear of God into Me

That is, if the god in question is Mammon.

But more on that anon.

I was going along, accomplishing a thing or two, but nothing ambitious or blog-worthy. Tied up the quince bush in the back garden so it wouldn't impale me on its thorns. Rigged up an arrangement with a bungee cord and a rock to keep the dog out of the Kitten Room while letting them come and go. Plodded along and finally, last Sunday, finished my file cataloguing and paperwork filing. Got the study dusted and vacuumed and put in order, hooray.

So did I immediately get back to woodwork stripping and other useful house renovation projects?

No. I made and canned tomato sauce (well, the fruit would have gone bad if I'd left it longer!). I spent a day or two trying to clean boot the operating system on my little laptop. I tabbed hanging file folders that needed it. I went to a lot of unavoidable meetings. I played with the kittens. I watched reruns of Rescue 911 on YouTube.

Anything but do anything significant to the house and grounds.

Until last night.

You see, yesterday morning I got a call from an appraiser. He's coming to look at the house this coming Thursday afternoon.

Panic in the streets!! The appraiser is coming in six days and my house is a falling-apart, torn-up mess!!

OK, Kate, think sensibly. There's no way the woodwork is getting stripped and refinished by Thursday afternoon. No way there will be new wallpaper up or decent tile or something down to replace the shabby vinyl on the kitchen and hallway floor. But there's a lot that can be and should be and must be done by then.

Like vacuum the blankets of pet hair and dust off the ceiling fans.

Check, did it last night.

And scrape the little tags of half-dissolved paint off the living room window and get the dirty drop cloth, etc,. cleared away.

Check, ditto.

And address curb appeal deficiencies. For example:

Today's task was edging the lawn, front and back. And yes, it was a lot faster and easier to do it this time, having undertaken the eight-hour marathon in June or whenever. And the Neutron edger attachment worked fine: once I'd put in a new string reel, I didn't have to stop and rethread broken edger string even once.

This is pretty, though I say it myself:

The Herbacious Border of the Future edged and semi-weeded:

I'd hoped to tackle my crazy bushes before nightfall. But sweeping up after always takes longer than you think, especially when you're working on cobblestone paving. Gotta get to those bushes before Thursday. And do something about the piles of landscape rock and fabric sticking up out of the front border. And clear the brush piles in the back away to the borough dump.

Why the sudden advent of an Appraiser? Not because I'm planning to put the house on the market; at least, not any time soon.

No, it's because my bank was eaten up by another bank, effective this past Monday. And I didn't like some of the new bank's terms and conditions.

So my checking account and I jumped ship to another financial institution. I also investigated transferring my home equity line of credit to said institution, since their ordinary interest rate is a good deal lower than what I'm paying now.

Buuuh-uht . . . ! If I can qualify, I can get 1% under current Prime, fixed. (Whoo-whoo!!) But going by the book, the value of the Sow's Ear falls short by a few thousand. The new bank is paying for the appraiser to come and see if the value might be scootched up higher.

Agreeing to that sure seemed like a good idea earlier in the week when I was on the phone with the loan officer. Now the appointment is made, I'm not so sure. There is so blinking much that screams out for attention around here. I think I'll be lucky if they don't appraise the house under the book rate, and refuse to transfer the line at all!

Whatever I can do to prevent that, I have to do. So for the next few days, I'll be sacrificing myself, my sweat, my muscles, and a great deal of money I don't really have to the great greedy god Mammon.

"Oh, great god Mammon, we bow before you! Grant us the blessing of a below-Prime interest rate! Salaamy, salaamy, baloney!"

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