Monday, October 1, 2007

Poll/Weekend Update

Before I get into the weekend, here are the results from the September poll. The new October poll is off to the left, as always. :)

In honor of back-to-school, which of these was your favorite subject when you were in school (K-12)?
24 Total Votes
- English: 9 votes (37%)
- History/Social Studies: 8 votes (33%)
- Math: 3 votes (12%)
- Foreign Language: 3 votes (12%)
- Science: 1 vote (4%)
- Home Economics: 0 votes (no love for domestic learning!)
Now onto the weekend. It was a good one.

Saturday was an awesome day. We volunteered at our church's Fall Festival in the food service booth. All the food was free so we were able to completely concentrate our energy on just getting the food out to the attendees. Steve grilled up a whole mess of hot-dogs and I held down the fort on the popcorn machine; there were also snow cones and free water that were served. The whole food service team had a great time and it was awesome to see the kids faces as they grabbed the free food and enjoyed games, dunked the pastors in the dunk tank, and bounced in the bouncy rooms. Great entertainment by the Yo-Yo People (or the Yo-Yo Show, not sure which is the right one) as well.

After that we headed back to Salem and we stopped at Peach Tree Farm on the way home. It's a little farm/ice cream stand in Salem that overlooks a golf course. The first thing we noticed when we got out of the car were some chickens there in a coop; as we were looking at them some woman yelled from her car to us "YOU CAN FEED THEM IF YOU WANNA! THEY HAVE FEED FOR ABOUT A QUARTER!" We kind of nodded and went inside to poke around as we had never been, and then bought some ice cream. There were some Adirondack chairs overlooking the golf course, so we took our ice cream over there and chatted while we ate it.

When our ice cream was finished we decided that since the woman had said there was feed in the store AND I happened to have a quarter in my car that we would go ahead and buy some chicken feed to, well, feed the chickens. I bought a little thing of feed with my quarter and came back out to the chickens. They had already started to gather around where Steve was standing waiting for me to come back with the feed - their chicken-sense had alerted them that feed was on the way. We opened up the feed and started to sprinkle it through the fencing to the begging chickens below. For a few minutes all was normal; we would sprinkle the feed in different spots and they would all flock over to where we were sprinking the feed. All seemed calm in the chicken coop - then...


Steve had decided to play with the chickens a bit and was running back and forth before he would sprinkle the feed. The third time he did this, one of the hens turned into Crouching Tiger Hidden Chicken and went up the side of the coop fence and "flew" back down like Jackie Chan on the side of a building. After we finished laughing, Steve walked (normally) back over to where I was standing and the Ninja Chicken followed him back, doing the same sort of "jump over all the other chickens" move that she had just done. It provided a bit of entertainment for the afternoon for sure.

After that we finished off feeding the chickens (making sure the smallest one got some feed too!) and headed home. Steve showered the hot-dog grease off of him and we headed to Friendly's for dinner.

Sunday we went to church and then went to a showing of a house in Salem. For those who don't know, Steve and I are testing the waters to seriously look at buying a house. We went to check out a house that had dropped considerably in price as our first look-see. When we arrived, our contact agent hadn't arrived yet but the listing agent was there. She came out and started talking to us about the house, and through this conversation we found out that she is not only the listing agent but also the current owner. From what I could gather, she's selling the house to move into a condo with her husband since her son is growing up. The house wasn't bad, but not exactly what we were looking for. However, I have to share with you the oddness of the woman who owned the house. I need to preface this by making sure you understand that we have NEVER met this woman before yesterday.

The first clue to the strangeness of this woman was when Steve asked her about the land (it's a 5.6 acre lot). She started to tell us about the privacy of the lot and how she is able to comfortably go on the deck in her nightgown, and if she wanted to she could go out in less than that. Fine, we got that it was private - but then she went into this strange discussion of how she didn't want to scare the deer and chipmunks with her body; something about how the chipmunks were too small to have to deal with that. I don't even know.

We continued the tour. She showed us the family/TV room and then explained to us that the previous owners were heavy smokers, and that though she and her husband smoke they keep it to the deck and the garage so the house doesn't smell (it did). That was fine - what was strange was the 10 minute explanation of how she had quit smoking but then when her son flunked out of 3 colleges from drinking and doing the "partying thing" too much she started to smoke a whole lot again. Steve tried to change the subject by asking about the built-in ironing board, and it worked for a second.

Then we went to the basement. Here's where I started to a) feel awkward and b) feel bad for the woman.

We headed down to the basement and she explained to us how they finished the whole basement off with the hopes that her son would want to commute to school for a while instead of doing the "dorm thing". I kind of zoned off for a bit and let her talk (she seemed to need to vent about her son...) and then she was showing us the equipment for the well, etc. and started talking about what was on gas and what was on electric. Steve asked her what a standard electric bill looked like for the house, on average. Here's where I felt kind of awkward.

Her response: "See, it's hard to say. I'm kind of going through a mid-life thing right now, so I keep the air conditioning on all the time. I'm trying to do it naturally, you know, without estrogen, and it's been really hard. So I keep it like, freezing. I don't get hot all the time, but like, right now, it's... I keep it at 68 in here, and I'm sweating. It's just... really hard..." This was complete with what looked like a tear in her eye. I kind of felt bad... Not knowing what to say, and really wanting to know what the electric bill is, I said "That's OK. My husband keeps it freezing so that's OK to know what it's like at freezing." She said, "Well during the summer it's been about $230 a month. But, I mean, I keep it FREEZING."

OK great. Steve said "Cool, what's it been in like, January just as a comparison?" She said, "Well, gee, it's hard to say what the average person would pay because I put up a lot of Christmas lights, and I mean a LOT of Christmas lights so my electric bill is, I mean, really, like, yeah. I cover my whole house, and the outside, and there's a LOT of lights. So my electric bill, really, the average person wouldn't pay what we pay."

We gave up with the electric bill and asked about the gas. About $1000 a year is what she paid in propane, she said. No explanation.

We headed back upstairs to check out the bedrooms and she started to talk about her son again (I really think she needed to vent about it...). After we were done, she told us to take a few minutes, write down any questions and she and the other agent (yes, he was there too) would go outside and talk about real estate. He looked pained, but went with her anyways. We discussed the place and decided it wasn't for us, and also decided that we were really perplexed with why she had decided to tell her life story to two total strangers. Hopefully she felt better being able to get all of that off her chest, at least we were able to listen.

The rest of Sunday was pretty uneventful. We checked out the new butcher shop/market that opened up in Salem last week, put gas in Steve's car, and went home for dinner, football, and house-checklist creating.

Hope you all had great weekends!
Current Music: Les Brown, "Perfidia"


Kimberly Pye said...

Oh my goodness.

That's probably not the way to sell a house.

Dan said...

I was the lone scientist...

Anonymous said...

Wow - thanks for posting this story ... I needed a good laugh! :)
Hugs, Carrie