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2002-05-07 - 10:37 p.m.

I mailed out my application for the Bar exam today! It took me most of the day to accomplish this. At 10 am after feeding the kids breakfast I got ready to leave for the library to type the application. I put the babies in the car and they promply fell asleep. Then I made a few phone calls- and ended up talking about work to my one attorney boss, then chatting with friend Conny (the other Brownie mom). I really like talking to her! She is a very cool lady who is a mom of five kids, and a writer as well as a geologist! She has done a lot of "ghost" writing of govt reports, many of which were for the EPA. We had an interesting chat after my question posed by my husband who said "Ask Conny- would she ever buy a house in Buffalo?"

I mentioned Tonawanda and she said " Oh yes- the city of seventeen smells." A knickname the EPAers have for it....interesting.

Her resounding "NO" confirmed my hubbys charachterization that Buffalo IS ONE BIG SUPERFUND SITE. Scary.... and I like it so much there!

The conversation was spurred on as my hubby and I realized that when we sell our rainy day fund of property here in the inflated market of VA we can buy in the even MORE overinflated market of CA or we can rent in CA and buy ALOT more in NY and rent that out temporarily. To avoid the capital gains even if we buy in CA- if we have any leftover $ from the sale of our prop here we might STILL be able to buy a small place in NY! WE are thinking of Canandaguia Lake which would be a great vacation spot. We could pick up the older kids for summer weekend visits. My hubby still thinks of us all heading back up to NY where he would finish his pHd at SU... he's two qualifying exams and ADA as it's called. Now that he has children of his own he is more concerned that no place has schools like NY! CA is REALLY poor in comparison. So we may be back in NY by the time the little ones are of school age.

After typing the application I had to tend to the matter of it requiring a cashier's check or money order. This wouldn't be a big deal for MOST people-- however since I GOT RID of my local bank account I had no means of getting cash out of the out of town brokerage accounts quickly. (Although I likely could have figured out the PIN and taken out a cash advance---- thought I never use the cards like an ATM card....and have NO IDEA of the pin #s! ) I was happy that instead I was able to call my one boss attny and hold him to his promise to reimburse me for that great AILA conference. He graciously handed over the check for $405! (I only handed him the receipt for that last week. I would have felt guilty having him pay for it if I didn't actually bring any work into his office so I held off on asking for it.) I was able to cash it, get the money order and have one of the girl's at his office notorize my application and sent it on its way to Richmond. It is due on Friday! (Interesting- he calls them "the girls" but they are all older than me by 20 yrs.... funny I repeated his phrase...)

I also am happy that I got paid my first check for legal consulting just last week from the other local attny I am working for. Not having gotten paid yet from the first attny, I learned that I should have a retainer for my services and ask for some $ up front. So although I have not yet completed the visa and labor cert I have been hired to do-- this time I had the contract written between the attny hiring me and myself and was paid my retainer! Thanks to my hubby for this wise advice! I have already put in ALOT of time and work on this project- worthy of the retainer fee- just to give legal advice to the client (who is reluctant to follow it! I need to motivate him!)

It was 3pm by the time I accomplished all this and returned home! The older kids get home at 2:45- so they were home fifteen minutes before I arrived. They were just fine with this- except that as I drove in the driveway I saw my son attempting to "hide" behind a tree to go to the bathroom- He picked the shrub at the very FRONT of the house, and was standing at it's side so that his sister couldn't see him from the side of the house- but he was totally oblivious that he was FACING the road and since the front of our property was cleared just this week that ANYONE driving by had a nice view of him! (Fortunately no one did drive by but me!)

This past Sat he similarly went to "hide" behind a tree while at the boy scout camp out-- and choose one only 10 or 15 feet from the group, with little cover. He was lucky no one decided to walk that direction just then. I am not sure if he has some strange voyaristic and perverse tendency of WANTING to be seen-- or if he is truly so unaware! He seems to have no sense of privacy. I was mortified once in the very populous town of Leesburg when he had to go to the bathroom and went to hide behind a tree from me- and choose a tree that was lining the street! I yelled at at him"What are you doing??" We were at the autobody shop that fixed my car and it had a bathroom right inside.

I couldn't believe it!

He's just turned 7. I would think old enough to have awareness of privacy.

The other accomplishment of the day is that I paid the kid's violin teacher! Gabriella runs a fantastic school called "The Little Motzart Academy" in Leesburg, Va. When my hubby was job hunting and his consulting had dried up we were on a very tight budget and he wanted me to have the kids quit violin as a. its expensive

and b. they complain about practice (Not more than any other kid-- but any complaining at all is not worth it in my hubby's mind.)

Oh and lets not forget--

c. We had no income coming in!! We Needed to REALLY cut expenses! We were living off stock that was all sold at ridiculously low prices when the market was way down!

So he refused to pay for violin out of his hard earned stock money and said if I wanted to work and pay for it that was fine-- but he wouldn't do it. I understood his very reasonable position considering we were both unemployed at the time. I however also understood that Gabriella WANTED the kids to continue- so much that she said "Consider it a scholarship for Soren" and she only charged me for Katerina. In fact she knew I was good for it EVENTUALLY, and she never even GAVE me a bill at all until I asked this week! It felt good to be able to pay her tonight after the lesson. What she did was fit Soren in at the end of Katerina's lesson, and included both kids in the youth orchestra without the fee for it. They also play in any weekend Suzuki play ins without any fees for that. The only thing she charged for was Katerina's lesson and her music theory class. I am SO grateful that she did that!

so far the only thing I had paid her this whole semester was the one $60 money order I received in child support back in March! So I am now working to have that discretionary spending as well as to help out with household expenses.

I found a bar review course for ONLY the VA essays which I am going to order to study at home. I will try to be disciplined with this as that is what I lacked last few times around. (So I won't be writing in this much!) Last year I only had the federal materials on CDs and tapes so I didn't get enough VA review. The year before I was late in starting the at home program and never got caught up but just got more and more behind the schedule.

The course I found is from "The Study Group" and they have an EARLY registration deadline of May 22nd to get a discount. That's good news for me as that means I will actually be starting the course early- and hope this give me more time to get through the material.

Other cool thing: I think I have a study partner! A woman in her young 30s came by to see our paddock and barn. She has a mare and a foul to find land or a barn for. She told me she is an attny so we started chatting and I found out that she is also taking the bar exam! She took Oaklahoma's last year and is working for a company now administering contracts. She is interested in both horse factilities and studying. Both would be great for me!

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