We had a good laugh at it, and we learned a valuable lesson. We will try making these pickles again in the future, but next time we will dilute the vinegar to half strength with water, and probably taste after two days instead of three. So I wouldn't call it a complete disaster... We learned from our mistakes. Having to buy all those veggies was a little costly, but I think we will wait until summer time and try with our own home-grown veggies to keep the experiment a little more cost-effective.
Shortly before dinner, Tony's phone rang. It was the loan officer we'd been hoping to hear back from - the one from the local bank. Not great news, she said she could only approve us for $1000 less than our normal bank had approved us for - which means we wasted several weeks waiting on them to run numbers. I let the real estate agent know and asked what we should do from here. That means our approved amount if $15,000 less than the asking price of the house, which is below market value already. She said we should put our best foot forward, offer them the highest amount we can and tell them there's no wiggle room - it's "take it or leave it" and hope they accept. The house has been on the market for a pretty long time now, so I'm still hopeful. Tony wants to call our regular bank back on Monday and make sure that we can roll all of the closing costs and insurances and such into the loan so we don't have to have twice the money up front than we were originally planning.
Loosey was successfully released into my parents' yard. We opened the cage and went back inside to let him decide on his own terms when to leave... Which was virtually immediately because we saw him playing in the yard and finding the hay stash out there within minutes.
And today marks six days of clean underwear for #5! Yay!