Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Have to Cut the Grass!!!!


I have a new addiction. No, it’s not chocolate….that’s an OLD one. Not Diet Coke, that’s just necessary for life. And NO…it’s not cats either. I have WAY too many friends on “cat watch” to be sure I don’t turn into crazy cat lady. (But I do confess to visiting the orphans at the pet store and browsing the Humane Society website. Really. Who could resist a kitty named Brenda? Who can resist that face??)

But I digress. My new addiction is the HGTV show “House Hunters”. It’s a fairly recent addiction. My friend Lisa had it on in the hotel room last weekend at Moonlight and Magnolias. She conked out and I was left to find out if the picky divorcee would pick the house with curb appeal, the fixer upper or the one with only 4 and ½ baths.

4 ½ baths?!!

So it has become apparent to me, that the majority of these folks looking for their dream home are well heeled, so to speak. Now I also realize that it has been 20 years since I shopped for a house and the prices are higher than the used to be. But man, these places are GORGEOUS!!!

I’m completely entranced by the descriptions of the hardwood vs. tile floors. The “flow” of the house. The immense kitchens. The professional landscaping, the paint and then…and then…one of the buyers looks out on an acre of land and whines. “But there’s a lot of mowing to do.”

Ok, seriously? You’re getting ready to plunk down $500,000 for a beautiful 4,000 square foot home with 8 fireplaces and you’re worried about mowing? Seriously, my little 3 bedroom ranch with the kitty habitat is nothing in comparison and I can pay somebody to do it for me. Bet you could too.

This of course has put me in a yearning for house shopping. Won’t happen for a lot of reasons: money and the fact that I come from a “put your roots down” family background but man, I wish I could have a master bath with a “jetted” bathtub and a kitchen with more cabinets then Costco has food.

I like lots of house plans. My wish list would include laundry on first level, finished basement, nice big kitchen with a pantry the aforementioned tub. A skylight would be nice and a huge wraparound porch. And the yard? Ohhhhh Vince….bring your mower on by.

What about you? Have you moved in recent years? What were some of your experiences? (One couple found out their paradise move to Hawaii required tsunami insurance) What features are on your wish list?

62 comments:

Daz said...

My DH has ants in his pants. In the 13 years we've been together, for one reason or another, we've moved more than 12 times. Could be about 15 times. We've even moved countries ... twice! I'm ready to never move again, but I've learned to never say never.

Daz said...

Oh wow! I got the GR!!! Didn't even realise that. Yay!!!

Jane said...

Congrats, Daz.

Hi Joan,
It is a dream of mine to buy a house one day, but real estate is pretty pricey here. If I had money I would get a lovely brownstone. I've always wanted to live in one ever since I saw the brownstone the Huxtables lived in on "The Cosby Show."

Helen said...

Well done Daz he has a bit further to walk today but he is still here in Oz

Joan

I have lived at the same address for 31 years and I have no intention of moving it just costs too much money to do that LOL what with stamp duty and solicitors fees and real estate agent fees way too much and besides I like where I live and am very comfortable here although I do love to watch these shows that show me these beautiful houses with everything you could want and if I could afford to buy one then move I sure could pay someone to do the gardens and the houswork for me but we can dream can't we what would life be without dreams


Have Fun
Helen

barb said...

Well done Daz... he is yours today

I like Helen have lived here for almost 30 years and don't intend to move ,,,, mind you in the 12 years before this we moved 5 times and after the 2nd it was from one part of the UK to another and then the 3rd it was halfway round the world to here Australia with 2 young children and of course DH.... I love looking at all these shows and think yes I would like that but I am not moving again LOL

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Daz, congrats on the chook! It's been a while!

Joan, loved the post! I must admit I'm addicted to the UK property shows. You know, the couple searching for a bijou little 15th century thatched cottage in the Home Counties. LOVE that! I dream away that maybe one day that will be me! I could call on Vrai Anna for afternoon tea!

Daz, ouch to the itchy footed partner. I HATE moving!!!!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha! I laughed at the question if I have moved lately! I've moved 9 times in 22 years as an Air Force veteran and spouse - and I'm lucky to have lived longer than 2 years in one place. This is our fourth overseas tour although we are still in the US.

In order to move to Hawaii, I gave up my 13 year old Honda Civic which was still running and bought a 5 year old beater off the lemon lot. We gave away three cats we rescued, but brought two who had to undergo a 120 day incubation period in order to avoid quarantine. Many families live in hotels until housing is available, but the children and I waited in Florida. I do live in new townhouse that is eco-friendly. Living off base is more challenging (and expensive) for mainlanders. I put my European furniture and Polish pottery in storage, but it seems like Christmas when we see it again after 3 years.

We don't have tsunami insurance but the military would pay for any damage our household goods on base. Despite the hassle, I wouldn't miss this opportunity! However, we'll eventually put down roots when hubby retires.

Deb Marlowe said...

Look away, Joanie! Look away! LOL.

Those shows are dangerous. My oldest cannot watch it without constantly saying, "Let's buy that house! Let's move there!"

Yeah, son. Your Dad has so much sweat equity in this house you're gonna need a crow bar to get him out!

So, I've had to ban HH as an exercise in frustration! :-)

Daz said...

Anna, you will recall the saga in the Middle East.

Barbara Monajem said...

Haven't moved in years, but would love to... to something small and finished and within walking distance of places I want to go, like coffee shops. :~)) However, I dread moving because it will involve going through the accumulated clutter of years. Shudder.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Joanie! I,as you know, am desperate to kick my 70's split level to the curb. I grew up in a turn-of-the-century farm house on 20 acres. Not a lot of land if you're a farmer (we're not) but a heck of a big yard for the non-farmer. My husband, on the other hand, was a military kid & moved every 12-18 months his first twelve years. His idea of home is a generic split level in the suburbs.

Guess where we live?

It's not his fault--he bought the house six months before we got engaged, & I was living in a different state. The real estate market was just heating up & he had to make his move. We ended up with a three-bedroom, two bath split level in one of the best school districts in the Twin Cites.

So I really shouldn't complain.

Does that stop me? Hell, no. I hate this house.

Are we going to move?

Hell, no. Then I'd have to fix it up. I'd rather watch HGTV & complain. :-)

SusanMallery said...

Wait till you start watching House Hunters International! It'll have you dreaming of buying a vacation home somewhere exotic.

Anna, I've seen a few episodes of British property shows, and I loved them. But it was very disconcerting when, at the end, the couple hadn't chosen one of the homes. In the American version, they always pick one of the three. Then the camera crew goes back a couple months later to see them happily settled. I guess we like our happy endings even in reality TV.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Joanie, I will occasionally watch HH International but the last one turned me off. The empty nest couple who wanted to buy a vacation home in some nice island location did me in. Their idea of a vacation home was spending 1.4 million (yes, million). Oh, and this was a cash deal. 1.4 million in cash!! Who has that kind of money?? And of course, nothing was perfect with any of the houses. I just wanted to slap them around a little.

I have my dream home now and have no desire to move again. I know I'll have to at some point because once the kids are gone, this place will be too big for just me and dh. When that time comes, I want a nice rancher with everything on the same floor so I don't have to move again.

Anna Sugden said...

I'd just like to say that after our move home from NJ, I'm never moving again! Who needs the stress?!

I love our house, but admit we gave up all the period features for mod cons. I still miss the original oak floors, original Victorian fireplaces and so on of our last house over here, but I appreciate the extra bathrooms, the bigger garden and the fact that I don't have to constantly upgrade and update and replace! I also love having somewhere to park!

While I don't watch those TV shows, I do keep my eye out for lovely homes. In our village, there are some absolutely gorgeous places *sigh* ... if only we had several million to spare and a magic moving fairy to do all the work!

Janga said...

I hate moving! But if I won the lottery and could build my dream house with a bedroom-size closet, a shower with multiple water jets, and a huge country kitchen with double pantries and cabinets galore, I'd force myself. :)

I used to be addicted to a number of HGTV shows (House Hunters among them), but I had to carve out writing time somewhere. These days I go weeks at a time without even turning on my TV.

Anna Sugden said...

Jane - I'd love a brownstone too - they are lovely!

Anna - you're always welcome here, love.

Hi Susan! Aren't you the queen of moving?!

Kirsten said...

Hi Joanie! Glad to hear you've got folks on cat watch -- I'm going to need someone on Little Dog Watch to make sure I don't turn into one of those women who put their dog in a purse and dress him up in little outfits. Can you help with that?

Anyway, I live in the best neighborhood in the world, with everything within walking distance. We have amazing neighbors, both kids have best friends within a few blocks, and there's an open space a half mile away where I walk every day. You'll have to pry us kicking and screaming from this house.

BUT this house is 1600 square feet, and that's counting a fully finished basement with no storage space. The kids' bedrooms are below ground, and my son's bedroom has a closet with the furnace instead of a closet for clothes. I have a dresser in my bedroom, and the rest of my clothes down below in a separate closet cause there's no room in my room.

It's all completely livable and I hate to complain, but my dream is to do what lots of other folks in my neighborhood are doing -- plot a second story on top of my little ranch house. Only problem? The extra mortgage to go along with that second story.

So it probably won't happen for a while. But it's fun to dream!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Sigh, Joanie, I sooooooooooo would love to remodel my home. Okay, maybe just the kitchen and the two bathrooms.

If I could afford to buy a new home or fix this one, the first thing I would want is an updated kitchen with new appliances, a gas stove, granite countertops AND, pull out shelves. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah, give me some pull out shelves!!

MsHellion said...

Never been a home owner. Rent--and tend to settle because I don't like moving. But I also really like the place I live now too. If I hated it, I'd leave.

First and foremost is location. And I'd prefer more of a country setting. I've also entertained the idea of having a Victorian like house (a new one--I've seen this done. Instead of refurbishing an original, they just plop a NEW Victorian in the middle of nowhere. I like this) with the turrets. I love turrets. And bay windows.

I would have to have a LARGE kitchen with an island--always wanted an island; and a LARGE master bath with the jetted tub and the separate shower and whathaveyou. I'd also need a LIBRARY. It can double as a den/office, whatever, so long as there are leather cushy couches, a large mahogany desk, and lots of dark wood. And floor to ceiling shelving for my books. I wouldn't mind a fireplace there; and one of the baywindows would have to be in the library because I want one of those windows you can sit in and read.

Everything would have to be large and spacious. I do not like small, cramped bedrooms and bathrooms...or kitchens.

Dianna Love said...

Congrats on snagging the GR. Does that mean he's back across the big water again?

I hate, hate, hate to move. I'm not one of those redecorator types so I don't care if everything stays in the same place for years. The last time we moved, we packed everything that never gets touched and finally shoved it all in one area. You know - the stuff you can't get rid of because it's family things but you have no use for on a daily basis. I really feel for those of you who have to move often.

PJ said...

I like lots of house plans. My wish list would include laundry on first level, finished basement, nice big kitchen with a pantry the aforementioned tub. A skylight would be nice and a huge wraparound porch.

Joanie, I know that house! I own that house! Oh, and have I mentioned that I'm trying to sell that house? You'd love South Carolina. Really! *g*

Okay, so it doesn't have the basement but it has everything else. 60' x 12' wraparound porch, anyone?

I'm not so crazy about the actual moving process but I love the adventure of exploring new places and making new friends. We moved about every nine years while the dh was alive. I have wonderful memories and wonderful friends from each place.

Cassondra said...

Wow, Joanie, if I had HGTV, I would never get anything done. The house shows, the fix-up shows, the decorating shows....all I would do is stare at the tv.

We've been restoring a house that's 150 years old--for ten years. And we're not even close. So my dream house at this point would include....paint.

Sometimes I go to the paint aisle at Lowe's and just stare at the colors and dream of picking out something sexy, like Cherry Pie for the dining room, instead of going straight to the lumber or insulation aisles and picking out stuff nobody will ever see.

That said, I have a dream for an addition to This Old House, and it will include two more bedrooms upstairs, a studio for me downstairs, two and a half more bathrooms and a hot tub on a screened porch out back. It also includes a vaulted ceiling in the family room, with a giant stone fireplace and the entire, vaulted back wall is windows.

*sigh*

It's a long way off since right now I'm focused on 12 gauge vs 10 gauge wiring in the office nook for the bedroom. :0/

I have the plans all drawn up though. ;0)

Cassondra said...

Daz, congrats on the GR!

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, quite often they DO choose - I agree with you, it's frustrating when they don't. Especially as often they're houses I'd LOVE to live in! And I love it when they go back and see the changes.

Daz, I do INDEED remember the ME saga! ;-)

gamistress66 said...

use to watch house hunters all the time, occasionally the international version (like taking a mini trip of sorts) :) I've always enjoyed looking at different floor plans, etc. I'm with you, I love the old fashion wrap around porch. Bought my house 9 yrs ago. No plans to move in future even though it's not my dream home -- don't think I'd be able to afford it if I ever managed to actually find it -- but I like the area and the house suits and works for me well. No front porch just a stoop, and no curb appeal at all when I bought, but was sold on a nice size fenced yard (for the dog) and a huge screened back porch (for me). I've since enclosed the porch so it's better protected from weather & bugs and it's still a favorite thing about the house :)

TerriOsburn said...

I've been reading the comments and nodding my head in agreement. I love this show, been watching it for a while. But I too get annoyed when they find the tiniest things to complain about. Don't they realize how lucky they are to be able to afford those properties?!

I also like to see what you can get for the money in other cities, and get depressed when I see what I could afford elsewhere. But then I'd have to live elsewhere.

I'm actually moving into my first home in 16 days. Yikes! I have to much to do! And I'm getting my current cat a playmate, so the family is expanding as well.

Not by design, but in the last 20 years I've not lived in the same home for more than three years. And I've lived in five different states. I'm very happy to be putting down some real roots!

TerriOsburn said...

Forgot to say my dream home would definitely have that wrap-around porch. And old farmhouse or something Victorian. Updated before I get there but with the historical integrity would be good. :)

jo robertson said...

Interesting topic, Joan. We moved around a lot when I was a kid (military transfers) and a young married woman, but we've lived in the same house for 25 years. I'd love to do some remodeling -- kitchen and bathrooms, mainly -- but I think I'd have to win the lottery first.

Congrats, Daz! Wow, you family is REALLY what's called a "mover and shaker"!

catslady said...

I've been in the same house for over 30 years but probably moved 4 or 5 times before that. We just helped my daughter and son-in-law find a house in our area. That was even harder and prices are so horrible and they had a deadline to get the govenment money (so seriously everyone just upped the prices of their homes). It's a nice house but I thought they paid too much (sigh).

Nancy said...

Daz, congrats on the bird!

Joan, I have not moved recently. I've noticed that a lot of new houses have next to no yard space. People just don't seem to want that anymore.

We have a deep back yard, and we like it that way. We're sort of dismayed that one set of our neighbors on the side, who do not have a deep yard, are making their yard even smaller by building a "garage" (which is bigger than some people's houses and has a full second story) right on the property line.

They took out a tree to do it, and the roofline includes a big dormer overlooking our yard.

We used to have an illusion of not being so much in the city. Not any more!

Nancy said...

Terri, congrats on your upcoming move! The house sounds great.

Nancy said...

Joan, I used to buy house plan magazines. I had a vague notion of becoming an interior designer someday. I liked Tudor and Colonial styles (no surprise, I imagine).

I also wanted a garden, brown thumb or no!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Joanie! Love the blog today!

Daz, not only did you get the GR, you gave me the shudders on that number of moves in that short of time. Yikes! And countries, twice? YIKES!!!

You win the prize on that one...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Jane, I love brownstones! They are SO elegant! :>

They've recently built some "old-fashioned" brownstones near me (at a $1million+) with elevators and more square footage than my single family home. They are awesome. :>

I'll bet, that where you live, they're just as dearly expensive if not moreso, but hey, we're dreamin' here, so go for it!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Helen, you know, I think that's the key - you like where you live.

The only reason I would want to move is that I need 2 more rooms in my house - another bedroom and a dedicated office! I'd also LOVE to have some acreage (for someone else to mow) because, although I love my neighbors, I'd love a bit more ROOM betwixt us. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna C said: a bijou little 15th century thatched cottage in the Home Counties. LOVE that! I dream away that maybe one day that will be me! I could call on Vrai Anna for afternoon tea!

Oh, wouldn't that be lovely? The two Anna's for tea.

I could go for that!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Kim! You said: Despite the hassle, I wouldn't miss this opportunity! However, we'll eventually put down roots when hubby retires.

What fun that must be, despite the incubation and pet issues. And putting the pottery in storage. Grins. :> I do have to say tho' that we miss you at WRW!

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, congratulations on getting your first place! Hope the move goes really smoothly!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Deb M said: Yeah, son. Your Dad has so much sweat equity in this house you're gonna need a crow bar to get him out!

I know this feeling...Except in my case the sweat equity is mine, but the house was in the DH's family for a long time. It may day the proper application of C4 to get him out of this house.

(Not that I'm adverse to C4, but I hate to damage house OR husband...)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

How did I write DAY? I meant TAKE....jeeeesh! Maybe more coffee?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Barbara said: However, I dread moving because it will involve going through the accumulated clutter of years. Shudder.

Grins. I'm such a sicko, but I actually welcome this aspect of moving. It pares things down and lordy-dee I need to pare things DOWN. Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan said: So I really shouldn't complain.

Does that stop me? Hell, no. I hate this house.

Are we going to move?

Hell, no. Then I'd have to fix it up. I'd rather watch HGTV & complain. :-)


Hahahaha! Susan, you are too funny. I have to say tho, that if I hate the house (and I've lived in some that I did) Moving is a HUGE relief and it feeeelssss soooo goooood to be in a house you love. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan M, I love House Hunters International, tho', like Christie said, sometimes I want to just slap the buyers around. Snork. I watched one where the husband had had cancer and they were buying a vay-cay home to get him some peace and quiet and a place to enjoy.

Wifey was just cranky and picky and everything he liked she picked at. Made me nuts.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna S said: In our village, there are some absolutely gorgeous places *sigh* ... if only we had several million to spare and a magic moving fairy to do all the work!

If you find one, I want one too! (The million and/or the house and moving fairy)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Janga said: But if I won the lottery and could build my dream house with a bedroom-size closet, a shower with multiple water jets, and a huge country kitchen with double pantries and cabinets galore, I'd force myself. :)

Ooooh, sounds lovely!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kristan said: plot a second story on top of my little ranch house. Only problem? The extra mortgage to go along with that second story.

Oooh, I love this idea! We've thought about this too, but the issue is still the narrow lot lines...sigh.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hellion said: I'd also need a LIBRARY. It can double as a den/office, whatever, so long as there are leather cushy couches, a large mahogany desk, and lots of dark wood. And floor to ceiling shelving for my books. I wouldn't mind a fireplace there; and one of the baywindows would have to be in the library because I want one of those windows you can sit in and read.

Oooh, what a lovely description...I could go for this! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Dianna! :> You said: The last time we moved, we packed everything that never gets touched and finally shoved it all in one area. You know - the stuff you can't get rid of because it's family things but you have no use for on a daily basis.

Oh, this is the tough stuff, isn't it?! I wish I had a place to shove some of this stuff....grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

PJ said: I'm not so crazy about the actual moving process but I love the adventure of exploring new places and making new friends. We moved about every nine years while the dh was alive. I have wonderful memories and wonderful friends from each place.

It is a great adventure, isn't it?? Good luck on the sale... I know you'll get it sold. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: We've been restoring a house that's 150 years old--for ten years. And we're not even close. So my dream house at this point would include....paint.


Grins. Paint. Love me some paint.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

TerriOsborn said: I'm actually moving into my first home in 16 days. Yikes! I have to much to do! And I'm getting my current cat a playmate, so the family is expanding as well.

WOOHOOO!!! Congrats, Terri! :> And congrats too on the family addition of a kitty.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Helen, I don't know if the housing market over there is like it is here, but we couldn't afford to move even if we wanted to. The market is so depressed. I'm glad I still enjoy my house, however, so it's all good.

jo robertson said...

Deb, I'm with you and yours. If I watch those shows, I get obsessed with remodeling or refurnishing my house.

jo robertson said...

Whoooo hoooo, Terri! There's nothing quite so exciting as moving into your first house. It is a "new" one? Tell us about it.

jo robertson said...

Oh, I didn't see anyone mention going to Open Houses, especially in new subdivisions. When the housing market was flourishing my girls and I used to love to go to those. We got the best decorating ideas!

And of course we'd critique shamelessly. Why did they use THAT design or color? Or this island is yucky here. Where would you put your dining set. Fun!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I started figuring it up and in the 58 years that I have lived I have moved 8 times. The last move was in 2002 and that will most likely be my last. I would love to have a little bit larger house but that isn't in the stars so here I will stay. I love to watch the shows too but it is an Alice in Wonderland type of deal...LOL

Louisa Cornell said...

Good catch, Daz! The GR is a home renovation all by himself! Watch out!


Air Force brat here. We moved quite a bit when I was young - all over the US and across The Pond as well. I also spend much of my years in Europe as an adult living out of suitcases and trunks. That may be why I have settled and dug in here in LA - Lower Alabama. I own my five acres, no mortgage just property taxes every year. My home is small, old and used to have wheels under it! LOL At some point I would LOVE to build an actual house on this property. I would adore a lovely little English cottage with all the mod cons (as Vrai Anna says.) Want it to look 200 years old, but have 21st century conveniences.

It would have to have a huge English library with a fireplace at both ends, lots of leather chairs, a huge desk and floor to ceiling bookshelves.

I would also love a huge master suite with a luxurious master bath and a dressing room and room sized closet with a separate shoe closet if you please.

A nice guest suite for any Banditas or Buddies who want to visit.

A kennel with indoor / outdoor runs that are attached to the house. A nice Florida room for my cats.

TerriOsburn said...

Thanks for all the congrats. My new place is almost as old as I am, but was completely renovated two years ago. New everything! It's a 2br/1 1/2 ba townhouse that is just perfect for kiddo and I. And in a great part of town. Plus, we got it at a steal. :)

Well, a steel for here. Which is the price of a palace back in my hometown. LOL!

TerriOsburn said...

And I still managed to spell "steal" wrong. Dang it. I do that all the time...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: Oh, I didn't see anyone mention going to Open Houses, especially in new subdivisions. When the housing market was flourishing my girls and I used to love to go to those. We got the best decorating ideas!


Oh, I love doing this! Esp. in my subdivision which has around 5 different models. It's fun to see what other people have done with your same model. Also love going to different areas and seeing the decor, or new developments like you said and critiquing the professional decorators work. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa described her dream house as: Want it to look 200 years old, but have 21st century conveniences.

It would have to have a huge English library with a fireplace at both ends, lots of leather chairs, a huge desk and floor to ceiling bookshelves.

I would also love a huge master suite with a luxurious master bath and a dressing room and room sized closet with a separate shoe closet if you please.

A nice guest suite for any Banditas or Buddies who want to visit.

A kennel with indoor / outdoor runs that are attached to the house. A nice Florida room for my cats.


Ohhhh, just lovely! WTG, Duchess of Hotdayum!

Joan said...

Hey everybody!!! Have loved reading everybody's experiences and dream homes! Thanks to the Banditas for keeping ya'll company while I did the DDJ...13 hours :

Kirsten said: I'm going to need someone on Little Dog Watch to make sure I don't turn into one of those women who put their dog in a purse and dress him up in little outfits. Can you help with that?

Um, no I can't. But I CAN send you a catalouge I got with a huge selection of doggy/kitty sweaters, tams and booties :D

And yeah Terrio on getting your kitty a playmate! Did you um, notice BRENDA at the beginning of the blog??? Needs good home...and a new hair style :D