Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ok so what happened to the Year?

Seems the last time I posted it was June, now I got one day and its Thanksgiving! I guess the best is to tell you what didn't happen. My main goal of the summer was to find a new home. I started out with an old realtor friend to assist us but found quite quickly that they just didn't understand our needs or my picky hubby. So, I went back to school for a few weeks and got my Broker license. In the state of Colorado you can be a agent or a Broker. Agent you are newer or you work for others, and a Broker you qualify to run an office or work on your own without a manager. Seeing as the classes I needed were the same in hours and this was the cheaper alternative, I choose to be a broker. I did sign on to a small office so I am her backup when she is out of town or in case of a emergency. Although, the TV states that Colorado is fairing well with the economy, we still have it tough here. If you have a job your a lucky person.

We spent all summer looking for just the right house and found one that suited the bill. It was a large home built in a smaller neighborhood that made it overpriced for the location, a bad builder mistake but great for the right buyer. I put in an offer with my manager as my license was not yet in place and some banks will not pay you if you are a agent. We asked for a quick reply as we needed to make quick plans to get the move done by end of summer. We waited two months longer than we had asked and in September they called and said they had accepted our offer.

I was so excited and knowing we would have only 30 days I started packing my house of all unneeded items. We finally got the paperwork from the agent and found the data was wrong. They said oh it was a mistake and they would resend. A few days later they said no it was a counter not a acceptance of the offer. I finally got a copy and was trying to get hubby to sign it on the last available day to sign it and we called to tell them that we were sending the papers. Now. The agent informed us that over the weekend an offer had came in and they had ACCEPTED it and so we were out. We lost the house. Now had the house been under a regular seller this could not have happened, but BANKS can do just as they please. My only consolation was that the buyers who bought it paid 190,000 more than I would have and boy did they pay too much. I think just like the last owner they think they can do repairs and resell it. Nope not for that kind of money. It had started out listing at 780,000 dollars and we would have paid 270,000. You see its all in the location. Had the house been a few miles in any other direction it could go for that much but not in the neighborhood that it is in. Houses there are at the most 170,000 in price and in Colorado location is everything. So with a half packed house and I admit a very pissed self I still have not moved. While we waited for this house all the others that may have been a good alternative sold as well. Now we are looking at 350,000 or more for a five bedroom house. Half of them are on small lots or the taxes are so high. More houses sold in Colorado this summer than the last five years. So were is the slow down economy? These homes are being bought by people who fix them up and resale them hopefully for a profit if the area is good that is all they need. In the meantime, my hubby's work is so slow I guess God knew that things were going to be tight and that is why things happened they way they did. I have been looking on my own now since I can again and things are just not what I want. I found one yesterday that would work it is smaller than I would like and it needs two more bedrooms but it has a large yard that could be built on. Now to get hubby to go look.
Suhayl and Aieysha are home study now which if you are not familiar with the concept you teach your children at home. I found an online school but it was too hard with Aieysha's learning disability so I am teaching her myself. Suhayl had one year and he was just so tired of struggling so I am working with him to finish too. Suhayb will finish school in January I hope. That will leave two in school. State laws say the children have to go to school until age 16. Suhayl would do well in College if he can choose the subject of study so I will work on a GED for him. Aieysha will learn basic skills and home skills and I guess she will make a good wife one day but I just don't see her beyond high school. Her disability puts her equal to a third or fourth grade student and that is a struggle for her most days. But we will do what is best for her to make it in life.
I didn't get to Libya this year either as I would have liked. I guess I will hope that next year will be better. I want to take a online course in furniture recovering. You can find nice pieces sometimes that just need a new cover and I would like to do that. I found a class that is 300.00 to study and have all the tools. I will have to see what the next year brings. Things are still tight in the automobile industry. Thankfully my hubby works for Nissan. The US auto industry is in trouble and who knows what will happen to people who work for them.
As for the new President elect Barack Obama, I could not be happier. I was raised in the south and it seems that some people have never came out of slavery mindset. Some days the nasty email I get just makes me wonder how far we have come? I hope for the best and for the status of our economy. Will a man who's father was Muslim help to make the situation for Muslims better? I don't know how many emails I got of stupid people thinking he was a undercover terrorist just waiting to take over the USA. Yeah right.
Well, I guess that is enough for now and I hope to post a bit more often. I'm always on the computer but its either Genealogy or Real Estate now so I don't have much time after I do homeschooling too now. Happy Thanksgiving for those who enjoy the day and for the rest of you a reminder that we are all one people and we all need to help the other to prosper.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How is it already June?

Seems like the year just started last week. I have been busy in so many ways these last few months so its hard to tell where to talk about so rather than go back, I will tell you what has happened lately.

School finally ended for my bunch and Fatimah was the last one to finish. The local school she attends had since it opened its doors been a year-round school. What does that mean? It means that your child starts school in July around the beginning of the month and then until June of the following year, they have a schedule of eight weeks in school and three weeks off. Then in June they are off three weeks and they start the next grade . It is great when all your kids are in school that way but since she is my youngest, she is behind the others by five years. So while she was always in school, the others are now on a traditional school year. Our little neighborhood ebbs and flows with the tide of families that move into the area, it has made the decision to go to calendar year. Being one square mile in circumference it holds a good number of families. Many of which are muslim. Many big families have gone through our school and every year we get. "Is this the last one?" They have a few more years with Fatimah and yes this will be the last one!

After 17 years in the same house, we (I guess I) decided that we needed a larger house to bear the weight of this family of mine. Being a ex-realtor I thought that with the market the way it was finding a home would be a snap. Our city has million dollar houses all the way down to houses I wouldn't let my pets sleep in. So how hard can it be to find a house? First, I have a bit of a criteria to make sure that this is the end of moves for me.

Must have at least 6 bedrooms, a four bath house, laundry upstairs on the main level or sleeping level. Stairsways must have a landing (hubbies knees are getting bad), and a formal space for living room and dining as I will try to attempt to have guests after so many years, and stay in the same school district. Finally, a sizable yard over 9000 sq ft. and be at least 3000 sq ft in size. The hubby set a price limit and so my search began. It has been almost three months now and yes you can find those qualifications but the idea of the kids having to move from their school too was a challenge that hit us first. Aieysha broke down when we suggested that we have to go to other schools. And I got the, "that school is for preppy kids", routine so much. I don't care, maybe some preppy would rub off!
We have the ability now to view most any home available for sale on the computer and I began to research the houses that I wanted to see. I arranged for a old colleague to help me see the houses since I no longer had privilege to go on my own.

Houses were definitely designed with men in mind. Women do not design houses that you must go through a bathroom to a room to seat guest and your laundry closet is not right next to the front door. Kitchens are not supposed to be in full eye view of everyone who enters your home. Bathrooms should not be bigger than the secondary bedrooms and a garage is not the place to store my groceries.

With the loan market having thousands of repossessed homes and more failing each day the market is full of houses. But, finding a home for a large family is harder than you think. The builders when they get more expensive think you don't have big families or all your kids are grown so why do you need large rooms for kids and why shouldn't the master bedroom be half the size of the upper floor. Why should your closet not be as big as most bedrooms and all the rooms on the main floor should all be one large area. I mean come on what was I thinking!

We found a few houses that meet this criteria but they are either over 400,000 dollars or they are beat to heck by age or lack of care.

It is now mid June and if we find a house in time before calender year starts we will be lucky. Then we are stuck with Fatimah going back to year round school but only if we can move in before July. Yeah ya think.

Seems hard to believe that just two short years ago I had just arrived in Libya to meet my inlaws for the first time. Looking back I still wish to visit Libya again. But I will probably have to go by myself. The kids had such a miserable time there that they cringe at the word Libya and hubby has really shown no interest in going anytime soon. So for now I watch all my friends here going back for another visit or for some the first time to begin the cycle of marrying off our kids. I wish them all the best on their travels. For now my home is here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Voting Year and Our Choices

Who can miss the daily onslaught of our Presidential Canidates and their banter? We live in a country where up until the 1950's Blacks could not vote without fear of harm. Women got the right to vote long before them even. I remember when it first started and Hilary Clinton spoke out against Barack Obama ,of him having been a muslim as a youth. Also that he had attended a "radical" Islamic School as a child. That set me as a sure fact that I would not choose her as my next President. Why? How low do you have to go to bring up such an issue? Let's just add fear mongering to her abilities. As you all know who read my blog, I work on my family genealogy and some days I don't have much to do so I fiddle with various options that my program gives me. One such option is to find records of "famous" people that I am related to. As I have noted some are quite cool and with the name Bush as one of my family lines I also checked out that option. Thankfully, I am not from the same group as far as the USA Bush's are concerned. What may hold from England I am unsure. That far back I am not to concerned. But one came up that surprized me and I am sure if she knew maybe she would look at things differently.

Hilary Rodham Clinton. Yes, the great "well look at you" woman herself is my eighth cousin! That means eight generations back our common ancestor was Elizabeth Ferris (humm Faris-Ferris, could I be related to my hubby too?)through my grandfather we twist and weave through males and females back through time and low and behold. I guess now I can call her up and say "Hi Cousin"! This is your Muslim cousin callin want to take a trip down and visit with ya.

Why did I bring it up? What I have come to find is alot of people are related to each other in many different ways and to publicly denounce someone because of their ethnic or religious background; expecially coming from a public servant, you not only make yourself look bad and ugly but you may hurt someone indirectly. I don't know who I will vote for in the coming elections but I know who I am not voting for. There are hundreds of thousands of American Muslims living in the USA and I wonder how many feel she deserves our vote? If she is telling us not to trust someone who was a muslim as a child what is she telling our muslim children? What about our young muslim men and women who serve in our military? You can go die for this country but I won't trust you. Not very far off from how African Americans were treated just a few hundred years ago. You can die for me but you can't be free or have equal rights as I do. Same for our Japaneese Americans who suffered during WWII. When does such ignorance end?

I read books dealing with the time frames that I am working on so I can put myself into my work properly I just finished Roots by Alex Haley and now am reading Grapes of Wrath. I remember how the Roots story rooted a nation to the TV as a teen and the whole world watched as young Kunta Kinte became a slave. I also watch movies like Mississippi Burns and the fictional Mrs. Jane Pittman and I am reminded that my children have never known any of the things that these movies portrayed. In a grateful way I am thankful. My children sit next to children from all walks and races and have the same opportunities as any other child to succeed in this world and I hope their world will be a better place than what we the Baby Boomers have done.

Are we ready for a Change? Black Man or White Woman, humm. I guess we can always choose Democrat if we feel we are not ready for such a dramatic change. Choose wisely is all I can say. The next generation is depending on it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Year, New Mysteries

Hi, here's hoping we all made it to the New Year in safety. As usual we stayed home. For one thing it was cold and snowing and late for us old folks. As usual I had just drifted off and the noise began, I guess I should be happy I don't live closer to Downtown. The neighbors are enough some years. Even though the state banned fireworks that go up it is amazing how many seem to still go off every year. It finally settled down and I dozed off. New Years Day was upon us. Now it's a few weeks into the year, and my does time seem to go faster each year.

Continuing my work on genealogy and I now have over 13,000 names in my database. I finally found my adopted fathers line and added them to my files. The Jacobson-Welker lines came from Ohio and Holland. They were among the first Mormon Pioneers to help settle the Western states. I had grown up hearing the stories of wagon trails and burying babies along the way. As I put the names in I found hints to books written by others on my "famous"family line. There are cites in Utah and Idaho and other Western states who owe their existence to these people. Imagine in our day of getting on an airplane and going across the world in a matter of hours, how it was to travel across the plains, prairies and mountains to start a new life. Climate, native Indian tribes, animals and distance must have tried even the best of souls. But they came to spread humankind and faith to the wide expanse.

Most people know that the Mormons were a religious faith, many people compare to Islam. They do have their similarities, such as plural marriages. It was a practice in the faith to marry more than one woman until Utah wanted to become a state of the Union. For whatever reasons, the Mormon faith backed down on this practice and all marriages that were multiple were allowed to remain but no more plural marriages were allowed. I expected to find quite a few such marriages but as of yet I have only found 1. A young couple received a letter from the niece of the wife saying that her husband had died. I guess she needed a place to stay and became the second wife of her mothers sister. A lot could be said about this and it is till today discussed. Not to long ago on a local cable channel they brought on a show about a polygamist family. My Two Wives, didn't last very long. Funny, Americans can marry and cheat on their wives and be content but marry the other woman instead and all HELL breaks loose. I recently discussed Islam's ideal of plural marriage with a friend and I could tell it didn't hold much with her either. Oh well to each his own is my motto. Yesterday I came across another item of interest that has always brought a flurry of pro and cons on the religion forums of Myspace. Young wives and OLD men.

Islam's revered Prophet Mohammed married a young Aieysha. There is much dispute as to her actual age at Marriage and more as to when she consummated the marriage. How many people got irate when they took the idea of a girl of nine being married. We discuss that other cultures married women at young ages as well but I guess we have to be the scapegoats. We look to puberty as a sign of maturity in the oldest of cultures so if a girl reached puberty at nine who could say she was not mature? Young men are known to mature at various ages but we all know that they mature at a much later stage. (Like 56) A girl was a woman when she hit puberty plain and simple. Now we zoom to today and with science we know that yes a girl may be pubescent but still not capable of having a healthy pregnancy at such a young age. I am sure many young brides died in childbirth due to this. None the less I look at my ancestors and see women having children from age 11 til well into their 50's and surviving after having literally one child a year for each year of marriage. And this covers all faiths and cultures. Now as to men. Men mature usually around 14 and can by today's standards keep having children for many years. Not like they do much past the night! Any way I have seen many a family man stay virile well into his 50's. But yesterday I had to make a phone call-I found one entry that blew my socks off. I was working out of a book that had been compiled on the people of a county in Georgia were most of my mother's lines settled. I won't name the book or the county in respect of the families. I was putting in the marriage info for a couple and was trying to locate more info on the parents of a young woman. I found a census where mom was living with her in her 60's so I figured dad had to be somewhere close. I started looking for other census records from an earlier time. I didn't see dad anywhere. I happened to open the mother's file and a hint appeared (that is a clue provided by the program that there may be a bit of information I need available) so I clicked on the census for the mother. It was a 1880 census record. She was 24. Oh so this must be the file I need to find her husbands first name out. I knew the last name so I began to look over the photocopy of the original census record. Many familiar surnames were there but finally I saw her name. I looked there was the wife and daughter was age 1 so yes this had to be them. Then I saw the husband- but no this could not be correct! This man was 72!!!!!! Ok, maybe its his father ...but no the family was just these three people..line says married not widowed...ok and they had a one year old child.

I got on the phone and exclaimed how could they do that!!!How does a 24 year old woman get stuck with a crotchety old man and have a child none the less???? We began to discuss the times late 1700's and maybe she was orphaned, poor and her family married her off to better her status any number of reasons could be surmised, but in the end was this no different than any other country that Americans constantly badger as being disgusting? I was reminded of a recent TV personality that made waves when she married a much older man- Anna Nicole Smith of porno fame married a man well beyond her years and we all knew it was for his money. I joked that at least this ancestor made a effort of once and got a child but in this day and age we are aghast when we hear of such behavior. All the more I see things that in one country it is appalling while if we all looked into our own pasts we would find such behaviors. In many ways we have not changed. The Romans, Egyptians, Grecians and many more married sisters to brothers to maintain pure bloodlines of Royals so how is it that when a lady announced the other day that her great grandparents had been brother and sister a collective shiver went up and down the forum? Speaking of Royals, my adopted fathers mother, is descended from the same woman who's line is the Royal family of England! You think if I asked to see the Queen I would be allowed, I mean we are related! And I also came across a connection to my mothers family line. I had a hint that my mothers line was related to the famous "Shirley Temple" or Shirley Temple Black as she is known today and I traced my lines to her female side of the family lines. I was working on my adopted grandmothers line and found also the same hint. I had also found that she had descended from people who lived in Georgia so I got digging. Her line came down the fathers line at the very same point! Momma your related to dad! But I think were safe.