Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ready for Some Good News?

Mr. B and I were seriously considering putting our townhouse back on the market. In fact, we had started the process of contacting agents to discuss this. Frankly, they were not overly encouraging given the state of the market but one in particular was ready to give it the old college try.

The last time we thought about doing this (just before the New Year), we got a call from our previous agent saying one of our former neighbors wanted to buy the property for his daughter. We got pretty excited, but, as these things go, it turns out his daughter did not want to move down to NC from MN (she must be a nut-case) so that didn't work out for us.
So, this past weekend, we got serious, as noted above, about getting it on the market (while at the same time continuing to attempt to get a new (and improved) tenant).

We made an appointment for this coming Saturday to meet an agent at the property. Monday I was out walking the dog when I got a call from the PMC; believe it or not, they'd received a rental offer on the property!

So, after a few days of negotiation, it's a pretty much done deal so I feel safe in blogging about it (I didn't want to jinx it, which is why I never mentioned it to anyone these past few days).

This time, it's a single woman in her late 30s or early 40s. She works at Duke and makes a respectable salary. All of her background checks, credit checks, etc., came back with excellent reports. She's paying what we're asking, she's moving in March 1 and she's signed up for a year lease. She's pretty enamored of the place so she wanted to have the first right to buy it should we sell it (our terms, of course). She has an old dog who weighs 25 pounds who likely won't be able to climb the stairs. But, she's also paying a pet deposit so no worries, there.

Anyway, do a WOO HOO dance for the B's! Although we would have preferred to sell the joint, this is a heck of a lot better than nothing and it sure will help our wallets.

Oh, and, no worries, we are STILL going after the previous idiot moronic tenants for what they owe us.

Mrs. B

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Note: There is some problem loading pictures onto this right now so you'll have to go to my old Blog if you want to see the pictures I posted along w/ this entry.

Right, so, I was all ready to cut my hair short.

And then, while going through some pictures of our honeymoon, I came across a few pictures in which I really liked the way my hair looked THEN (which was basically just a tad longer than shoulder length).

And so now I am in a dilemma because, although I know I had to work to get my hair to look like that (all evening/dressed up shots), I really think it looks pretty. And, when I didn't wear it like that, it was so easy to pull into a ponytail or pigtails or whatever.

But then, of course, there were days when it looked awful (straggly, etc.) and I think it made me look OLD.

And so now I don't know what to do; because I really do love this (potential) new style.

What do I do?


Mrs. B

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mrs. B's Book Reviews 2007: Finally Done!

Note: This is the final entry of a series I started on "that other" Blog. You'll have to turn turncoat and visit that Blog at

to read the other entries (assuming you haven't already read them, that is).

Here is my rating system:

Mrs. B’s Rating System
*****Absolutely Fantastic; one that I looked forward to reading and found every opportunity to do so. Was almost depressed when I finished it; I think most people I know would enjoy it.

****Really Good; but might have had some sort of disappointment to it (flat ending or cliché), or, the topic might not be universally appealing, that kept it from being Absolutely Fantastic.

***Interesting Enough; a good “vacation read” but not something I’d go out of my way to recommend; sometimes a “What was all the fuss about?” book will get this rating.

**Ho Hum; nothing great, nothing bad. Yawn.

*Throw it Away; made me want to scream and throw it across the room, it was that awful; one of those books that you get mad at yourself for wasting your time reading it when there are so many other books out there to read.

“Jolie Blon’s Bounce”****, Robert Lee Burke (Series; CD)
Yet another one from my step-mom; and, as it turns out, one of the best ones, too. Also as it turns out, this is part of a series about a troubled Louisiana cop named Dave Robicheaux. It is one of the ones in the middle of the series so I definitely didn’t have much perspective and I did find myself wondering, “Why doesn’t he expand on (fill in the blank)”? Well, because it had likely already been expanded upon in great detail in one of the earlier books! Still, even coming in mid-way, I truly enjoyed listening to both the book AND the excellent narrator (who apparently narrates many of Burke’s books). In this particular book, Dave Robicheaux and his partner are called in to investigate the rape and murder of a teen-aged girl. Almost immediately, a young black musician and overall no good-nik is arrested for the crime. Robicheaux thinks something is fishy in the Bayou and that someone else committed the crime. In the meantime, another woman; a prostitute this time, is brutally bludgeoned to death. Now he’s sure it’s not the crack-head black musician (since he was in jail when it happened) so he digs deeper and in so doing, crosses paths with one of the creepiest and most sinister characters I’ve ever come across in my readings. Like some of the other crime/mystery/detective stories I either read or listened to in 2007, this book had a lot of interesting characters, sub plots and story lines. However, there was just “something” about Burke’s style that I really liked. So much so that I’ll probably go back and read and/or listen to the Robicheaux series from the beginning (and thus find out some stuff that perplexed me) and continue on to the end. BTW, the title of the book is based on an old Cajun song called “Jolie Blonde”.

“Rhett Butler’s People”**, Donald McCaig
I absolutely loved Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. I suppose it is normal when one adores a book and its characters so much to want to find out “what else” happened to them. Of course Mitchell is dead and has been for ages. However, about 20 years ago, her estate, for whatever reason (likely motivated by money) authorized the authoring and publishing of a “sequel” to GWTW, the perfectly dreadful “Scarlett” by Alexandria Ripley. Believe it or not, they even made that missive into an even more perfectly dreadful mini-series (there is absolutely no way in hell anyone but Clark Gable could portray Rhett Butler and they got some has-been who’d played James Bond in one movie to play the role!) Anyway, a few years later, I read “The Wind Done Gone” which was somewhat of a parody of GWTH and certainly NOT authorized by Mitchell’s estate. Too bad they didn’t make a miniseries on that one because it was actually pretty darn entertaining (the story of Scarlett’s slave half-sister, who, according to the author, was Rhett’s REAL true love and who only referred to Scarlett throughout the book as “The Other”). Ok, so, late last fall, I saw the ad in The Wall Street Journal for this new authorized sequel to GWTH and got really excited. First off, because it was going to focus on Rhett Butler and secondly because it was written by a man who normally writes history books (so I figured it would not be a bodice buster and it would at least be historically accurate). Lastly, I wanted to read it when I was vacationing in Savannah (even though the character of Rhett was from Charleston, Savannah figures prominently in these tales). Man, was I sadly disappointed. Yeah, the story DOES focus on Rhett and Rhett’s “people” (his family, his slaves, his friends, his loves) and there are SOME interesting twists on the characters and how “certain things” came about (the origin of the yellow sash Scarlett gives Ashley Wilkes is one example) but, in general, it wasn’t that great. Not awful, but not what I had hopes for. And, I couldn’t even look forward to a potential miniseries for, who in God’s sake would play Rhett Butler? My recommendation is to pass on this and read or re-read “Gone with the Wind” (and perhaps give “The Wind Done Gone” a whirl).

“The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”***, Carson McCullers
The Kid had to read this book for her 10th grade English class last fall. She somewhat complained about it the entire time, but, when she was done with it, seemed to want ME to read it, too. So, why not; it’s a classic of sorts and takes place in the South. Plus, I have to admit, I was intrigued to find out what sort of stories kids are reading in high school these days. This is the last book I read in 2007; finished it on December 30th. Boy, was it DEPRESSING. I mean, brutally depressing. I didn’t really care much for the story (the impact a deaf mute has on several members of an impoverished small Southern town) but I do have to cede that the writing was absolutely excellent. Especially given WHEN it was published (1940) and the age of the author at the time she wrote it (23). So, I asked The Kid after I’d read it what she really thought of it; she basically said it was well-written and sad. True enough. I asked WHY her teacher selected this particular books to which she replied, “They want us to read books that the kids in public school don’t read”. Hmmm. There are some disturbing themes/scenes in this book and I wonder how her teacher led the kids through a discussion on some of these topics? In any event, I wouldn’t really recommend this book unless you simply want to read something that is extremely well written and extremely depressing.

All in all, I read or listened to 32 books in 2007. Many of them were by authors who I’d read previously (and in many cases, I preferred their OTHER books). A lot of them were part of a series and several were books I probably never would have read had I not listened to them. Of these, I discovered a few “new” authors (new to me, anyway) that I’ll likely keep reading/go back and read some of their previous books. There were also a few books that I’d really been looking forward to reading that ended up disappointed and one or two that I didn’t really want to listen to or read but did and was hooked. In looking back at my ratings, close to half (47%) were middle of the road three stars, 22% were five stars, 22% were two stars, 6% were four stars and only one book was a complete and total stinker at one star! I’d really be interested to know if, as a result of my book reviews, did any of you read any of these books and/or decide to steer clear of others?

Mrs. B

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Here I Yam Yam Yam

This feels somewhat like going on a first date with someone new after breaking up with a long-time companion! I don't know what to say or do!

But, I'm here. And, since freakin' Yahoo 360 let so many of us down, it was time to change. Or, at least start the transition, anyway. For a time, I'll maintain both Blogs. Here's the link to the other (traitor) Blog:

Ciao ciao for now!

Mrs. B