Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

17 February 2011

Could not make this stuff up

I have been diligently handling my grandparents estate since August after my grandfather's death.  The beneficiaries are my father and has six siblings.  So far, I have managed to wade through with no major family blow-outs, and with seven beneficiaries, all related, and all related to me, this has been a minor miracle.

So, my grandparents had a family farm - 160+ acres in East Nowhereville Maine.  House belonged to my great grandparents.  Middle of nowhere - gorgeous land - haying fields, big red barn - but MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  I listed the place for sale with an agent since none of the beneficiaries are interested in buying the others out.   We listed it at a fair price, knowing the value was the land and not the  nearly 200 year old farm house that needs some TLC. 

It is the middle of winter in Maine.  A winter that has produced record amounts of snow.  Middle of winter in the middle of NoWhereville in the middle of lots of snow.  Yeah, right.  We figured the property would sit until spring.  But Super Agent had other plans.  She has shown the farm more time then I can count, walked the boundary line (in the snow and not plowed) with interested buyers, and returned with buyers and their carpenters.  Super Agent defies all housing market gravitational decline.

This week began with an offer (low but starting place) from "young couple".  "Young couple" is from Maine but left to go to Big City make real money elsewhere, and now wants to return to live off land and be involved in local community.  "Young couple" wrote me a very nice letter to accompany their offer about how excited they were to raise their family at grandparent's farm and continue its heritage, etc, etc.  "Young couple" right out of magazine of people "returning to the land."  Could be television series - possible comedy.

Then today, new offer.  No locals, no aspirational "young couple", no developer (because even if you developed it, no one is there!).  New offer from a "farmer" from a small former COMMUNIST RULED STATE - yes, in NOWHEREVIILE, MAINE.  New offer in cash.  Seriously.  Possible movie plot - former communist succeeds as rural farmer in NoWhereville, Maine, but where did the money come from to purchase the farm? (dramatic music cue . . . .)

Negotiations on-going today with both.  Grandparents rolling in graves due to offers of people from away being considered.  Believe I have entered twilight zone. 

07 February 2011

Learning Norwegian

The plane reservations have been made and permission has been granted for the kids to trade their last week of school for ten days in Norway to celebrate May 17. We will be staying in Haugesund and then traveling up to Bergen. While my husband is fluent in Norwegian, I promised that if we went back I would learn more of the language then I did in 2007.  I could count to ten. As we will be visiting with Hubby's host family in Haugesund, the kids and I need to have some basic communication skills. It was with that good intention that on the way to school this morning, I popped on the Norwegian language CD and the kids and I dutifully repeated the awkward phrases. That was until my son learned his favorite Norwegian word - the word for "dirt". He then repeated this word until I dropped him at the school door with threats of repercussions if he taught this word to his classmates. The Norwegian word for dirt is a perfect example of the grammatical rule that the letters "sk" are pronounced "sh" before a soft vowel. So that the word for dirt or "skitt" becomes . . . . . . . .

Well, you get the idea. I just didn't think Hew's teacher would appreciate a classroom of six-year-olds repetitiously repeating the word dirt in Norwegian on Monday morning no matter what grammatical rule it was teaching.  Monday - siggggghhhhhhh!

Photos from Norway in 2007

02 February 2011

A Run Followed By a Visit to Italy

Yesterday in my continued quest to be part of the SAOBSM club (slow and old, but still moving), I had a nice long run (9 miles) in the morning.  After a quick shower, I revisted Milan . . . and still had time to make dinner.

Taken in Milan, October 2008.