Monday, January 16, 2012


This past weekend was one of those busy-busy ones, knocking a bunch of stuff off the to-do list, getting closer to the upcoming deadlines of wedding, trip, house hunting. Four weeks left! Gulp!

We've started on the ceremony itself, along with working on vows. At least we settled on music, finally, and Rich agreed to be our official music person. He can put our selections on his laptop and cue them up - with good speakers - at the right times. We're going with "Here Comes the Sun" for a processional, with everybody heading up the "aisle" in pairs. Steph and Ben did that for their wedding and I liked that. There's nobody to "give away the bride" even if the bride agreed that it was proper to "give" her/me "away". This is me, my decision, and it's a joining, not a transfer of ownership.

And by the way, for anybody who's not caught on yet, it's a wedding without a marriage. No legal ties as far as the State of Minnesota is concerned. That's why we hit the attorney's office Friday morning, making sure we can legally share in what we chose to share in and keep separate what we chose as well.

But back to music. Steve loves Peter, Paul and Mary even more than I do, and insists on Paul Stukey's "Wedding Song" as part of the music. I agree, noting only that some of the volume is so low it might be tricky to hear. It'll be helped by being in the middle of the ceremony, when everybody "should" be quietly paying attention. For a recessional, it'll be "Our Hearts Will Go On" from "Titanic" from the soundtrack. I had thought over a year ago to use something from "Winged Migrations", beautiful music and a theme where the geese, mated for life, fly away together, but if Steve couldn't get it, I figured nobody else would either, especially in the chaos of a recessional.

So: music: check.

Start legal paperwork: check.

Apply for a loan: check. Of course, that took a couple long phone calls to the loan folks of my credit union, and a packet of paperwork to sign. They needed copies of 2009 and 2010 tax returns, and that was $.70 for copies just for 2009. I happened to have a spare copy of 2010 that the county never got around to asking for when they approved my Minnesota Care health insurance, saving a few more dimes. Since it's a home equity loan on this place, they needed proof of insurance including the replacement cost, which is over 5 times the amount of the loan I'm requesting. Note that the county assessor has its market value in this economy as just over twice the loan amount. That's one of the reasons I'm not selling now, but the same reason I'm buying now. It's easier to finance here than down in Arizona.

It took me about a week just to figure out the 2011 tax situation. I had to cross-reference a bunch of figures, with incomplete documentation this early in the year. Plus I managed to misplace the whole stack of cell phone bills after filing them along with all the other paperwork from last year in preparation for the task. At least those are available in other places. The loan folks made it more complicated by requesting a Profit and Loss record for last year. I had no idea. I mean, I know I've been paying my bills and managing to pay down my credit card bill while still earning little enough to have much of a taxable income after all the legal deductions on a Schedule C. I just haven't figured my actual expenses for over 20 years since going by mileage is so much simpler. After figuring them all out, I was pleasantly surprised. It should help me look capable of paying off the loan I'm asking for.

Besides just finding a place locally open on Sunday which makes copies, there was the half-hour hunt for the old tax returns. I knew exactly where they were before moving out of the new bedroom and back into my old bedroom. Where on earth had I put them during the move? With help from Paul, resident tall person, in getting stuff down from top shelves where they stay stored, including tax returns from 1995 (!) and 1981 (divorce year records), looking in any cranny large enough to hold the paperwork, and just plain stubbornness, aka desperation, we finally located them... still in Steve's room, high on a shelf in the back corner of the closet. They now reside in my room and Steve has a whole new half shelf to fill. It won't get his fishing rods off the floor, or the globe relocated so one can move through the closet, or the rest of his pictures hung up, but it's an improvement anyway.

Note to self for after return from Arizona: clear out all the old tax returns I no longer need, after pulling out documentation on capital improvements to this place. Owning two homes complicates the capital gains picture. Paranoia ought not to rule my life so completely when it comes to the possibility of an IRS audit. 1995!?!

Additional note to self: enjoy all the new space!

Last thing on the list that got checked off: do the headpiece. Only, I put it at only semi-checked off. I'd like it much better if I could figure out how to anchor it so it stands vertically on my head, with my short hair, rather then horizontally. It's too big and heavy, but it's just what I had in mind. Plus it's done, which may count for more in the long run. Still, if I can find the time, I'll go back, tear it apart (just the central frou-frou), cut it back down... and likely still be unable to anchor it vertically. Right now it's about twice the width of my head when it's on, including the tulle ruffle. The fear of looking ridiculous is the spur that will goad me into finding the time to put it back on the to-do list.

By now you're probably wondering why the silly title on this post and what on earth it might have to do with anything I've written thus far. Well. it's simple. Tucked in all those forms I had to sign for the loan was this little number. I missed it on the first read-through, looking only for places to sign and things needing to be dug out, copied, and included. Before signing, however, I did the every-word check. And there was that little number, sitting modestly on the page in normal type, right after the words "credit score".

Not bad for a single person with a decreasing income and still more debt that I care to disclose. It helps that I've reduced my credit card debt by over $10 grand over the last several years. It didn't help that I paid this place off early, taking it away from my record of debt-paying. It seems to make no impact that I'm paying above-and-beyond on the car each month. I'm told it should have damaged my credit score when I told U S Bank to go take a hike and destroyed their credit card and its $10 grand limit. I had no idea what the number would be. The last time I knew was when I financed the car: then it was 715. Good enough for a car loan, but for a home equity loan? I tried to check, but being the cheapskate that I am, I balk at every "free" credit score site on the internet that seems to require you to sign up for some plan or other which carries a monthly charge along with it. Not my idea of free. So I had no idea. Just hope.

Gee, 774. Cool!

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