I am a house-pochondriac. As someone newly divorced, my financial status is diminished. Refinanced the house means I am the sole mortgage owner. That’s ulcer-inducing. I already have the bad habit of self-diagnosing my health. Google helps me diagnose symptoms and declare terminal illness on a regular basis. Now I’m doing that to my home too. Even though I don’t like my house, I asked for it in the settlement. Initially we intended to put it on the market, so it was fully vetted by inspectors. Also, since we lived here for many years, I know its history intimately. The house’s problems are cosmetic. SinceRead More →

I am trying to hack my related post plugin to work only on my blog and not all the other pages. It requires learning about WordPress hooks and conditional tags. This means learning about the is_home tag. The idea of is_home as conditional is quite worrisome in our current political and economic landscape, and in the context of my new mortgage, my intended renovations,  my newly adopted rescue cats.  I provide their “Forever Home” in animal rescue lingo. That’s a weighty responsibility. I consider it positive that I still have toothpaste in the tube I hacked open.

“Make it Do” is better than recycling, International Buy Nothing Day, and homemade Christmas presents all put together. Our daily infrastructure makes it so hard to recycle. It’s better not to buy in the first place. The Baton Rouge Recycling Office has an excellent link to the Center for a New American Dream. The Center promotes anti-consumption, with loads of resources about cutting down on trash. The actual link about “reducing junk mail” is buried on the site. Someone at the Recycling Office is very clever. The Center’s clear anti-capitalism message will turn folks away and their junk mail will continue to clog Baton Rouge’sRead More →

This semester seems to show an increased number of Hispanic students enrolled in my classes, a reflection of the changing demographics of Baton Rouge. Perhaps the 2010 census will reveal similar changes in BR demographics. One neat thing about my college is its diversity. The campus is a much more wheel-chair accessible campus because it’s new. There are many students on the GI bill. This is just a speculation though. There are many newly immigrated students there too, especially Asian students. Perhaps the school is more welcoming and English is easier learned there. As a result of all this, the students in my classes areRead More →

Gustav was a harrowing and stressful experience, but we are really blessed and lucky that nothing major happened to us. We had some minor roof damage, we lost our electricity, we were inconvenienced. We have no right to complain. We have (had) a tree about three feet from the front corner of our house. We’ve been arguing for ages about taking it down. I didn’t want to take it down, because I love it, and because its roots are holding up the house in that corner (at least according to an engineering report that we had done when we thought we were having foundation problems).Read More →

On June 28, my husband and I bought our first home. Yes, we are a little late in the game, but we don’t want to grow up. Buying a first house was a stressful and time-consuming experience, just as everyone warned. I didn’t believe them. Then we were in the thick of it. Then we learned. Folks told us we would collect a number of stories about house-buying. They were right about that as well.

For instance, the alarm company ripped us off while