Friday, July 21, 2017

Down to the Final Week

A week from today we move into our new house!!!!!!!  We are so ready to be done.  And we're HOPING to never, ever have any dealings with our buyers after Monday, because we're certainly not meeting them.  They're doing their walk through on the day of closing, and I've asked our realtor to be there for it.  Usually that isn't necessary, but their home inspector lied about several things, so we don't trust him and what the inspection is for is to inspect the requests they made--NOT all the stuff he missed the first time.  And of course the buyers wanted to make US drive 15+ miles away for the closing because--as we know--they are the centers of the known universe and no one else matters, but by this point our realtor's assistant is ready for them at every turn as we all now know to just expect problems.  We're almost done....we're almost done....we're almost done....

Work has been a bit surreal this week.  The first of the new people, who had bored us all silly with all her talk about how great she was and how much she loved cold calling, quit Wednesday and the other, whom we all really like, is giving notice today.  For those keeping track, in a team of 8 salespeople when I started 6 weeks ago, that's SIX quitting or being let go.  But it has nothing at all to do with how the company is run.  Of course. 

Callisto continues to be happy, but has declined again, so it probably isn't the coolant.  She's eating a little bit more without vomiting, and this morning surprised us with a mouse.  She's 13, and a delightful little boy from across the street knocked on the door last night to ask us if the black and white cat was ours.  My first horrified thought was that she has died and this poor little boy had found her.  Thankfully, she was just in his yard and he wanted to know all about her, and when Andy picked her up, she was even nice enough to let the little boy pet her without going ninja on either of them.  I'll board the cats for 2 nights while we're in transition, and our vet is really great--they might board her within the vet clinic instead of the kennel.   She's enjoying time in the backyard and so far doesn't seem uncomfortable or unhappy. 

Even though we are leaving, we still laughed with the entire neighborhood over a neighbor who listed their house even before ours.  We'd met them, and they seemed nice enough, but shortly after they listed their house for sale--maybe a year after moving in--they started redoing a vehicle on the front lawn. While the house was LISTED.  We were still prepping ours to sell, so we kept hoping either their realtor would step in and explain "curb appeal" or the house would sell before we listed ours.  The association president did go over to talk to them because that kind of thing is definitely an eyesore and is against the rules we all agreed to when moving in, but the neighbors were total jerks about it and said they didn't care.  So you can imagine the delight of the entire neighborhood when they got an offer which ultimately fell through because the appraisal came in too far under the selling price.   Guess white-trashing the place doesn't sit well with appraisers, either.  Of course, by this time they had moved and are now stuck with two mortgages or house payments.  Sometimes it's nice to see karma come around and slap someone.  :)  We're glad to be moving, but we have some very nice neighbors and we'd like this to remain a nice neighborhood for their sake. 

I think packing is going well.  It certainly seems like we've packed most of our stuff--at least everytime we need something and discover it has been packed.  I didn't think it would even be possible, but the entire sewing room has been packed up.  All the fabric, yarn, books, tools, rulers, machines--it's all ready to go.  We have another HUGE pile of things to be donated--that gets easier the longer one packs:  Was it nice to have?  Maybe.  Is it worth packing?  No.  The new house is actually slightly bigger than this one, so we're not really downsizing, but it's nice to get rid of things if we don't need them.  It will be SO nice to live in a one-story house.  Because we're above the city, it made sense for the bedrooms to all be upstairs for the view, but with temperatures hovering around 100 for weeks now with no end in sight and SO much traffic noise that one can't sleep with the windows open, it's miserable in the summer.  The sewing room is the only thing upstairs and we'll be changing out the existing shade for an insulating one, and the window is much smaller than the ones here.  I have loved all the windows and the natural light, but the reality is that the blinds have to be closed 6 months of the year because of the cold or the extreme heat, so we're okay with fewer windows in the name of comfort.  And the big news for the sewing room:  I have ordered a recliner to go in it!  I got the idea by browsing sewing room images on the internet (and now, interestingly enough, feel a bit better about the amount of stuff I have).  Because of my hip issues, I really shouldn't sit at my sewing chair if I'm ripping out seams or something like that but I forget.  I've never liked the look of recliners, but a big squishy chair in the sewing room is a different story, and the sewing room will have enough room for it.  And my dressmaker's dummy.  And maybe even the ironing board, although one shouldn't overlook the exercise benefits of trotting up and down the stairs to have to iron seams.  Think of the leg muscles! 

Our plants go to foster care this weekend as does much of the canning, then Wednesday the movers come and we check into a hotel for 2 nights.  Then a week from today we take possession of our new home!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

200

Today marks 200 days since I last bought fabric, which is frankly becoming my bigger weakness.  As fabric is also much heavier than yarn, I hope that moving the whole fabric stash is going to keep me straight until I've made it at least two years without buying fabric.  It feels like I could do 10, but we'll see where we are with 2.  :)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I Made it!!!!!!

As of yesterday, it has been two years since I last bought yarn!  And as long as I remember the fun of having to move the entire stash, I think I can make it another 2 years....

Please, Just Let Us Get Away From These People..........

AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH.  Who would have thought that packing would be the FUN part of our lives right now?

Our house sale closes on the 24th.  There have been addendums back and forth for several weeks addressing the date and that we are paying for the unnecessary sump pump thing.  All of a sudden on MONDAY evening the buyers notified our realtor that they want the sump pump garbage DONE by the 24th--now less than 2 weeks away.  The contractor even specified in his proposal that he was booked 2 weeks out, but our buyers actually thought everyone would just drop everything because they decided at the last minute that this had to happen, and he couldn't do it.  We offered to move the closing to accommodate this new demand, knowing full well that they would lose their rate lock and rates have now gone up, but when you're dealing with people who live in the Fantasy Land, it isn't at all clear to them that just wanting something isn't going to make it happen, so our buyers had to decide which demand they were giving up--something I don't think they've had to do very often.  It took several DAYS, but the contractor can start on the 24th (totally inconvenient for US, of course, since it's the week we're moving, but WE don't get to be a factor in this), but won't finish until the 31st, and our buyers have had to take this as the best they were going to get.  Why would you want to have the previous owners supervising work that is supposed to benefit YOU, not them?  Honestly, after we submitted two cheaper and more ethical bids but they are gouging us for the most expensive and ridiculous option, why on earth would they want US supervising the work?  I was going to leave notes on where everything is and how to works stuff, but our buyers don't deserve that kind of consideration after this last stunt.  We just want to be free of them and never, ever hear from them or about them again. UGH.

Meanwhile, the people WE are buying the house from have been great, and have even hired house cleaners to come in after they move out.  A transaction between adults!!!!!!!!!!!!   And we needed someone to be nice to us right about now.

Inbetween all of THIS and packing, I'm still looking for a new job.  I had two interviews this week, and am hoping to hear back on a second interview with one of them this coming week.  None of the salespeople at my current job have been there more than a year, and if it weren't for a big commission check coming later this month, the top salesperson would have quit on Friday.  It's that bad.  So all things considered, packing has truly been the highlight of my week........

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Less Than 3 Weeks to Go!

We've now had 3 REPUTABLE companies look at the water in our crawl space and every single one of them has said there isn't really a problem because it's just because of the winter we had and that we don't need to do anything, that a sump pump is both overkill and pretty unethical, and 2 gave us much lower bids to do ACTUAL cleanup--but only when pressed because none of THEM are crooks.  But our buyers' home inspector specifically told them his buddy had to be the one to fix it, and unfortunately they believe him.  So crooked inspector will get his obvious kick-back, the crooked "water expert" will get to install yet another unnecessary sump pump, and we get to pay for it.  Being Idaho, neither restoration nor home inspection is licensed or anything, so the crooks can do anything and get away with it because somehow that's better, but our realtor is paying half of the rip off, and I keep telling myself that the inspector is also screwing over his own clients who think he walks on water because he missed the things we left to be included IN a legitimate inspection, and sump pumps aren't without issues anyway.  I never realized how dangerous a new home buyer with a new realtor could be, but this mess has certainly proved experience matters.  We submitted the recommendations from the legitimate companies and also the industry guidelines they used (which the crooked guy doesn't use), but the buyers honestly believe their inspector and think there's a water table issue on a HILL outside of Boise, so we're stuck.  (Funnily enough, I keep waiting for this new water table to help out our trees in the 100+ temperatures right now, but shockingly it hasn't happened yet--we have to keep giving them extra water)  THEN our realtor actually had to explain to their realtor why it's in their best interest for us to just give them the money at closing and let THEM hire whatever completely unnecessary work they want.  He had to leave out the part about us considering them complete crooks and not wanting them in the house, but the crook with the sump pump is including a 7-year warranty (yeah--because that was a 100-year winter, so that level of water WON'T happen again), and they do NOT want to have to contact US if they have problems with their stupid sump pump and drains in the future.  But the buyers have been nice about moving the occupancy date, we are moving to a beautiful new house in a quieter and COOLER part of town, and at this point it's worth $2000 just to get all of this done.  So, the crooks have won, but we kind of knew they would. 

I'm going to be packing today.  We close on the 28th, so in 3 weeks we'll be waking up in our new home!  We hired a legitimate home inspector to look at our new house, and it went really well--he found upgrades and extras we didn't even expect.  It's all one level except for the sewing room, which is a bonus room above the garage, and frankly, if it meant getting to the yarn and fabric, I could climb up those stairs even at 95.  :)

We also found the problem with Callisto (which didn't have anything to do with any of the expensive tests the emergency vet ran).  My car was leaking coolant!  I have this lovely mechanic, and when he called to tell me what was wrong and what was needed, he was actually apologetic that he had to order the part and that it would be $175.  Dollars--parts and labor.  Honestly, I would have hugged him if I'd been there in person.  And being Mike, the bill was actually $172.  I'm taking that man a Christmas present.  After everything that has been happening on the house and all the fees with the house ($30 to FAX the loan payoff information?), it was positively refreshing to be charged a low amount for a necessary service.  Shocking actually.  Wish Mike had gotten the $1500 in vet bills rather than the pet ER, but they probably did save Callisto's life by keeping her on IVs overnight, so while they ripped us off, they did save my kitty's life.

At my new job, we started last week with 8 people on the local sales team.  THIS week we began the week with 4.  And no one has been there a year.  Yep--not a good place.  I really struggled to get through this week even though it was a short week.  My boss will tell me to do something one day, then the next day say I shouldn't be doing that.  Over and over and over.  Yesterday I went with another salesperson on his appointment just to get a break from him.  The whole sales department is run as if someone took all the worst sales practices from the 80s and 90s and used them as a model, and all but one office have more than 100% turnover in sales every year.  The one office that doesn't use this model is, shockingly, the top-performing office with low turnover.  But the national sales manager is an offensive man with a huge ego, so there's no way he'd ever draw any lessons from that.  They ride the sales team so hard at times that reps start inventing calls and meetings in the database and lie outright about details, but no one blames them because it is an impossible situation.  Even the top salesperson is looking to leave.  And this explains why it took them a full month to get business cards printed for me.  Lots of people leave in horror during the first WEEK.  So, the job search continues......

ASIDE FROM ALL OF THAT, things are going pretty well.  At least I still have yarn!  :)  


Saturday, June 24, 2017

And Where Did We Leave Off?

So............where we last left off, we had countered a ridiculous offer on the house and I had accepted a new job.  We spent that weekend doing counter- and counter-counter- offers on the house, and while we were waiting Saturday to hear from our realtor, my cell phone died COMPLETELY, so we got to spend Saturday night at Costco, but Sunday we finally agreed to a deal on our home, and two things were down.

Our realtor was heading out of town the following weekend, and with a pending offer we didn't have any showings, but weren't going to pack until after the inspection in case that killed the deal, so we had a weekend off!  Right until we had to take Callisto to the kitty emergency room.

She's 13 or 14, and was throwing up and not eating and just not looking good, and they, of course, ran very expensive tests, asked to run even MORE expensive tests that weren't really going to tell us anything definite but would probably have made a nice boat payment for one of the vets, told us it was probably kitty lymphoma or inflammatory bowel, sent her home with meds she wouldn't take, and we pretty much thought we'd have to put her down.  I do think we would have lost her had she not spent the night in the ER on fluids, but whatever was wrong, they totally misdiagnosed it.  She regained her appetite, I got a partial dose of the steroids down her, she got sick and lethargic again, and we had prepared ourselves for THE trip to the vet the next day, but she had perked up by morning and has mostly been okay since--without the meds.  We still don't know what was wrong, but she's happy, eating, and mostly her old self, so we're leaving her be.

And the new job?  Kind of disappointing, to be honest.  I like most of the other salespeople, but I'd say only one isn't looking to leave and no one has been there longer than a year, and if it weren't for the local manager having a different philosophy than the rest of the company, no one would have lasted a week.  I don't hate it, and it's nice to have a second income again, but I am going to keep looking.

Meanwhile, the home inspection turned up water in the crawl space, which isn't surprising after the winter we have had, but it a horrible thing to happen in an inspection.  We're in a 15-year-old house on a HILL in a desert state and have rationed irrigation water, but NOW because this particular inspector has a big reputation as the "mold guy" and brought in his buddy (whom we've heard pays referral fees to inspectors for this) has proposed this huge drainage project including a sump pump, and because our buyers are first-timers, they don't really get how much overkill that is.  So I've been tracking down other companies to get bids on this, but we're probably going to get stuck paying a stupid amount for something the house doesn't need, but according to the general manager of a reputable disaster company, we're actually getting less screwed by this "flood expert" than most because right now his going rate for scaring people into things they don't really need after our 100-year winter is $7000 or more.  Interestingly, this home inspector totally missed a cracked window pane that we had left to be found in the inspection so a warranty for replacement would go with the house, and said the dishwasher leaked without actually running the thing because there is some discoloration on the floor from a leak several years ago that we already fixed.  We won't be hiring him to inspect the house we're buying.

THEN with our realtor back in town, we spent Wednesday night, ALL weekend, and Monday looking at houses.  We found two we really liked, and I wanted to want the second one because we're taking a loss on this house and I wanted to "get a deal" on the next house, but there were just too many strikes against it, including just as much or more traffic noise than we already have.  We have been negotiating on the other house, and just signed the deal last night and are in high packing mode!

SO, that's the last few weeks HERE.  I have to say, almost losing my cat--jerk that she often is--was the most traumatic part of this, and our buyers have been really nice about moving the closing date for us, so we let them bring her parents in to see the house, which is a bit unusual, but I'm sure we'll all be glad when this is over.  Meanwhile, trying to deal with the traffic in and out of our subdivision every morning has reinforced my desire to move and the new house has a FABULOUS kitchen and more hobby space for each of us--plus everything but the sewing room is on the main level.  YAY!  And it's quiet.  And in a nicer part of town surrounded by MUCH nicer houses, so pretty much everything we'd hoped to find.  We hope the way it will work is that we'll move out of this house the day of or before closing, close on both houses, then move to the new one the next day.  I'll board the cats, find foster care for our plants, and we'll spend a night in a hotel.  Not bad.

And, since there was that one Saturday before Callisto had to be taken to the kitty ER, Theo and I did a couple more watermelon bunting slices,
and I embroidered two more towels,
and:
I finished the jacket!  This was deep stash--probably from 2006 or 2007, and a real struggle to work with because of the stretchiness of the fabric, but I'm pleased with the result and the fabric is SO soft that I'm sorry I didn't buy enough of it to make the shirt for Andy that was its original intended purpose.  Oh well.  I get a soft jacket and
I had some fun buttons in stash.  Of course, they're predicting 98 this week which is very early for screaming hot temperatures, so I might not be wearing this until November.  Did I mention the new house will have shade?

There has been some work on the socks, but not much as some nights we just haven't had a spare minute,
but I wound a hank of an older lace yarn to start a car project now that I'm back in outside sales and have already been stuck in traffic a few times.   It is nice to be working again and being able to leave to run errands for lunch and that sort of thing, and the service we're selling really is good, so I can stay if I need to.  I really like my boss and the commute won't be bad.  I'd like to do something else, but this will give me a chance to make some money, reconnect with old business contacts, and I think I can enjoy it while I'm there.  And I have a completely unnecessary sump pump to pay for....................
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Friday, June 2, 2017

One Down!

I accepted a job yesterday and start Monday!!!!!!!!!!! 

In all of the interviews I've done, this was the first one for sales that was really done by someone who knew the job and knew outside sales, so THIS time it was as much about recruiting me as interviewing me, it's back in the IT field, which is basically where my sales experience has been, and I really like the people, so I'm excited.  It's amazing how much easier things are WITHOUT recruiters.  No boards, no fund-raising events and NO travel!!!!!!!!!!!!  And you guys will understand when I tell you that the thought, "I'll have somewhere to wear all my me-mades!" went through my mind last night.  If a job isn't just so one can afford yarn, then it's certainly a place to show off the yarny things one has made, right? 

We have another showing today, so I'm tidying this morning.  Our realtor came by last night with an offer he'd received on the house that was so outlandish that he had brought a counter-offer form ready to go.  I know everyone tries to get the best deal they can, but when an offer is so low that it's guaranteed to be rejected by anyone NOT facing bankruptcy, what is the point?  A little time is actually a good thing now, though I'm really relieved we moved the open house from this weekend, I AM all for next weekend.  With a new job to learn, I'm okay if it takes a while to sell the house.  It gives me time to be able to save more money for a new house.  And furnish it..........

So, not much crafting, though I'm hoping for some later today after the showing.  The jacket is getting much closer to being done and now, of course, I want to cast on 50 new scarves for my new job as it's been a nippy 90+ degrees here this week.  Realism is not for knitters.  :)


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Glad That Weekend Is Over

So we've not heard back from the realtor with the "serious and motivated" buyer with a barbecue emergency yesterday, but after deciding to spend the day exploring a new bike path, we were on the way home when we got a call from another realtor who wanted to show the house at 3:00 and actually DID.  So our tidying wasn't wasted.  Seriously people--don't make me make the beds for nothing.  I wish I was 100% kidding about that...

Anyway, OUR realtor will be following up with these people and will know whether the Sunday showing even happened, but for the first time EVER, we are kind of relieved that a holiday weekend is over.  If we're still going through this by the 4th of July weekend, we're taking the cats and fleeing the house entirely.

Monday, May 29, 2017

And With Less Than An Hour To Go....

Less than an hour before the realtor who SWORE his client was serious and motivated was due to show our house on a federal holiday, he TEXTED to cancel because that's so professional when you've interrupted someone's three-day weekend. Guess there was an emergency barbecue or something.  And the best part?  Same real estate company that we don't think actually showed the house on Sunday.  

I Think The Crafting Gods Handle Real Estate As Well

While I was painting the back door, Andy replaced the vinyl fence panels that had managed to melt under the "crushing" heat of the eastern sun off our tiny living room windows, and then I helped him hang some trellis panels,

to hopefully stop it from happening again. It looks much nicer than I thought it would and hopefully is a permanent fix.  I know we're selling the house, but we have loved this house, and I have a built-in fondness for the people who will see it and also love it, so we're trying to fix things as WE would want them fixed. 

Yesterday we got up and spent a couple hours cleaning the house (again) to be ready for the showing, then went out for lunch and to a little park I hadn't yet been to,
 perhaps for good reason.  This wasn't even the worst of it:
Did I mention it's a little wetland/wildlife area?  Lots of people don't know about it, but geese with intestinal issues certainly do.  Occasionally we stopped for a while to watch nature,
but it was definitely not a park for a scenic stroll unless "scenic" somehow entails watching the ground for every step to avoid goose poop.

We came back to find there wasn't a card, so again, we're not even sure the showing happened and in this case would be seriously irritated if it didn't, but we were free the rest of the weekend, so Andy went out to the garage to play with the scroll saw he hasn't touched in months, and I fired up Jeeves for a couple more watermelons for the bunting and worked on the corduroy jacket.  We decided to barbecue (again) for dinner, and we were feeling so relieved at having a break from showings that I left everything out in the sewing room:
 Yep!  We stopped for a nice evening on the patio and I didn't even scurry to put everything away!  It felt SO nice and pretty rebellious, and we were just laughing about having a full-fledged day off in the morning when,

We got a call for a showing this morning.

Before agreeing, I made sure it wasn't the realtor from yesterday rescheduling or something because I frankly would have said no.  I know we want to sell the house and everything, but if someone had set up an appointment on a holiday weekend, not shown up or bothered to call, then called to wreck a SECOND day of the holiday weekend, that's completely out of line.  But this seems to be a different realtor and he swears his clients are serious, and I'm sure this is just because we were so excited to have NOT put things and the Real Estate Gods, who behave an awful lot like the crafting gods, decided to mess with us.  Why else would anyone call on a Sunday night of a holiday weekend?  We were hanging out on the patio with margaritas waiting for dinner
when the phone rang, so the realtor isn't having much of a holiday weekend, either.  At least the house is still quite tidy, but I did go back to the sewing room after dinner, get a bit more done on the jacket, then sadly put everything away again.  

Who knew holiday weekends were for house shopping? 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

We USED To Be Interesting People

It's a three-day weekend, and lots of people are camping or having barbecues or out playing in the park, but after crawling around in our backyard digging more obnoxious little dandelions up by their nasty little roots, I
painted our back door while Andy mowed the lawn because we're prepping for a showing tomorrow and an open house next weekend.  We have at least been barbecuing, but to be honest, it's just so we don't make a mess in the house.  Showings are almost like little house-cleaning interventions for us--we HAVE to leave the house and there aren't exactly any chores to take with us.  Or any that I've discovered yet.  For tomorrow, I'm taking my sock.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Crafting Friday!!!!





We have a showing Sunday, but nothing today so I am embroidering!  Okay--first I did the daily "tidy," although as I assume people don't really look at houses on Friday night, maybe not my most thorough tidy, then I planted some plants I picked up yesterday and then I fixed lunch, but I am mostly crafting today.  This is a new design I bought this week,
which required a trip to Joann's yesterday to find thread as amazingly they found a color I don't actually have.  This is a free-standing lace watermelon bunting that my favorite site had on sale for $1.39 this week.  Whenever and wherever the new house is, I bet this will look quite festive.

I'm also taking a break from the job-hunt today, but I did want to share an auto-reply I got yesterday after applying for a sales job:

Hi Toni,
Thank you for pressing “submit"! We just wanted to confirm that we have received your application.

We know there are a lot of great companies out there, but we think we are pretty awesome and we are glad you do too. We know that you put time and effort into applying, so our recruiting team will do our best to give your application the attention it deserves.

Please note, we shoot to be in touch within 5-7 business days if your qualifications match our needs for this role. If you are not selected for this position, keep an eye on our careers page - we are growing rapidly and adding openings all the time.

Meanwhile, here are some links to information about TriTech Software Systems & Zuercher Technologies so you can check us out and learn more about our company, if you haven't already:



Cheers!

The TriTech & Zuercher Talent Acquisition Team


Know how much effort that cost them?  Maybe 10-15 minutes to write initially, but nothing to send as it's an auto-reply.  Know how much more interested in this company--even in general--I am in this company now?  Extremely.  It would be a long-shot for me to even get an interview with them because I don't have quite the background they would prefer, but just because of the courtesy of an auto-reply email, I'll think really highly of this company even if I never hear from them again.  What a little thing to make SUCH a difference.  


This weekend we're replacing the vinyl fence that has melted because of the reflected heat off the windows (BTW, vinyl melts at REALLY low temperatures and replacing windows won't matter because it just melts too easily) and putting up a vinyl lattice barrier that will look a tad weird, but not half as stupid as a melted fence.  I might also repaint the back door while I have the dark green trim paint.  It's not really faded, but fresh paint looks so nice and painting is way more fun that applying for jobs.  Then again, so is a visit to the dentist............

I'm going to really miss having a garden this year, but I have Romaine lettuce in the big planter beside the house, and the pots with petunias now have peppers in the center and there's another pot with basil here in front
 and we still have the side garden bed where the oregano, sage, chives, and garlic live, and I've planted sweet peas, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, spinach, and radishes in it, so we might have some garden.  It doesn't get enough sun for tomatoes, unfortunately, although we're hoping we will have sold before we'd get any tomatoes anyway.  If not, maybe some of our gardening friends will take pity on us and share........
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I Sewed Yesterday!

Having finished all the paint touch-ups Monday,
(doesn't that look better?) and it being almost 90 degrees and too hot to be outside,
I worked on the corduroy jacket.  It has more stretch to it than is really good for this pattern, so there was a lot of ripping out and hand-basting yesterday--which is still more enjoyable than house prep, though maybe not by much.  I've made this pattern so many times that the instructions are looking a little thrashed:
One more jacket and I'll probably have them memorized, so it's not tragic, but it is sort of funny to try to work with it.  The real low-point was getting some semi-dissolved wash-away stabilizer stuck to it. 

 This came yesterday:
Now this is the second request for money from the American Red Cross since I applied for a job there.  Sure, they can take forever getting back to you, screw around with the interview times and generally waste tons and tons of your time, but they're hot on begging for money.  As if.

 We have another showing today, and we're hoping that THIS time the other realtor has at least asked his/her client a few questions--like "are you looking for a fixer-upper?" or "what part of town were you thinking?"  But we go through our "tidy" routine every morning anyway.  Or try to.  Yesterday Callisto took a stand.  This
is the world's ugliest chair.  My parents bought it when they were first married, so take all the ugliness that was the 1960s and throw in "broke newlyweds" and this is what you get.  They let me take it to college, and my old cat, Catanova, firmly adopted it.  This worked out really well as I always kept a sheet over it to hide the hideousness which ALSO had the perk of isolating cat hair.  When I got Callisto, in spite of Catanova's protests, she liked to cuddle up with him/on him in the chair, and got sole custody when we lost him.  She always sleeps in it at night, so every morning we haul the ugly thing out to the garage, and every night we haul it back UP (did I mention that it's heavy and there are stairs?).  Yesterday she had apparently had enough of such nonsense and stayed firmly glued to her chair until well into the afternoon, and has already given me a stern meowing for removing it this morning.  I thought about just putting a sign on it saying it belonged to a cat with very poor taste in furniture, but I'll save that for later in the process--you know, the "hard alcohol" stage..........

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Want to Buy A House From Us

This weekend we decided that the front of the house really was looking faded, AND that since all of the dark green was in front and it all had to be painted anyway, we didn't have to be able to match the paint exactly--which we've never been able to do.  Sunday we got up and did the regular tidying sweep, Andy mowed the lawn while I did some planting, and we were just getting ready to start painting when we got a call for a showing.  Their realtor said she would text us to let us know when the showing was over....or two hours later when she finally remembered as it turned out.  Our realtor has a little tray for realtors to leave cards during showings, so we weren't even sure they had come until we found drawers left open and lights on upstairs.  Charming.  It turned out THIS viewer didn't like the house because he's looking for a "project house," and if his realtor was a professional in any way, she would have done a bit better job selecting a house he might BE interested in rather than wasting everyone's time.  So we got to start painting when the day was at it's hottest, and our house has concrete siding which gets really HOT in the south sun, so we were dripping with sweat.  Andy removed all the light fixtures so I could paint around them, and since they were off, he repainted those as well.  We finished everything up yesterday, and the house looks FABULOUS.  Which is good, as we've already decided that if we are going to take too big of a loss on the house we won't sell after all.  It would be really unfortunate to UNPACK that pod back into the house, but so is losing a huge amount of money when we're five years away from paying the house off. 

So three showings and we have no idea why the house isn't selling.  One hated the location, one bought a house in a completely different part of town, and one wanted a fixer-upper, so technically ALL of them could have just done a bit more research to find out this wasn't the house for them.  Like, you know, look a map or view the listing.  Oh well.  I spoke with our realtor yesterday, and told him we're okay with it taking a while because we're trying to learn some good habits from having to have the house show-ready every day, and I planted cucumbers and more snow peas in the side garden, and have basil and peppers in the flower pots out front, and I'm getting us ready to be here through the summer if necessary. 

And TODAY I might even get to sew!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

25!

Theo eventually got a bit bored snoozing beside the embroidery machine, or was so overwhelmed by the novelty of a sewing table clear enough to provide a prime spot for a kitty supervisor,
that I was able to finish two embroidered towels.  
I love this coffee set.  Maybe the new house will need a coffee wall hanging?

These bring me to 25 finished projects for the year--out of 100--with our lives in a complete uproar.  What could possibly be problematic about this situation?  As it's only May, I'm not despairing quite yet--I'll save that for October.  But it might be time to revisit the knitted colorwork Christmas ornaments.  Or do a few more of the bowknot scarves with sport weight yarn.  And maybe some chemo caps.  Alright, maybe I'm sounding a wee bit desperate......

Friday, May 19, 2017

Furry Friday

We ended up with TWO showings of our house yesterday, which is wonderful but stressful. Thankfully they gave us plenty of notice, so we weren't scrambling to tidy and get out the door at the last minute.  As these are the first legitimate showings, we're hoping to at least get some feedback, if not an offer. Still, none to 2 is progress!


I'm so burned out from the house and the horrible job hunt that I am taking today OFF. The stress seems to be getting to Theo as well, as I didn't even make it partway through embroidering a towel before
Now this is actually a bit unusual for him as he would normally be laying on the bookshelf in front of the open window instead of in the way of the embroidery machine, but I think we're both a little overexcited about time in the sewing room for once.  All week we've been basically tip=toeing through the house trying not to disturb anything, but if it's going to take a while to sell the house, we need to find a way to live normal lives in spite of selling the house.  Heaven knows when we were looking for a house, we saw houses that had obviously not even bothered to tidy up before we came--though maybe those are bad examples because we certainly didn't buy any of them.  There are still lots of things that probably should be fixed on the house, but aside from missing several of the obvious selling points, I think it looks fairly good in the video tour, even if the colors are a bit strange.  In case you were wondering, nothing in our house actually glows.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Not All Charities Are Monsters!

Not that I have a job or anything, or that even a single charity has been even remotely considerate during the interviewing process, but I did receive notice from the American Heart Association that they had decided not to fill a position I had applied for.  I almost fainted from the shock. 

It turns out that the easier part of selling a house is the prep.  Sure, there was a lot of work, but people weren't ready to invade your space at any given time.  And I have come to the realization that I am a nightmare client.  Our house was the builder's own home.  If you've ever bought a house, wouldn't that detail mean something to you?  It was a big factor for us, but our realtor didn't put it in the listing description.  Now we're asking more per square foot than a lot of other homes, so my inclination was to mention why, but this is not what I do for a living, so trust the professionals, right?  Well, we did.  We got the house ready TWICE for pictures, vacated the house for an open house on a Wednesday from 2-4 when almost everyone on the planet with a job is working, and let the professionals write the listing.  Well OF COURSE no one came to the open house, nor did anyone view the house on Saturday. Our realtor called to suggest dropping the price, and I decided that it's okay to be a truly bitchy client.  I rewrote the ad and said I wanted the new wording on the fliers as well.  Before we drop the price, I'm going to insist on better photos, because while the "professional" did a nice job for a decorating magazine, she skipped right over the views from upstairs AND the neighborhood park that is right behind our house, preventing any backyard neighbors.  We have "his" and "her" walk-in closets, which is a pretty unusual feature, and one that you would have never known about in the original ad or in any of the photos.  I'm also going to request an open house that people can actually ATTEND.  Luckily, my inner "bitch" has a LONG background in sales and has standing offers at every brokerage to become a realtor. 

There has been no sewing as it's too hard not to dirty the room, but I finished the begonia swirl shawl, though won't be able to block it for a while, and have started a new pair of socks, which is nice and portable and can go with us when we vacate the house for a showing today.  I'm using a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks that was specifically written for a self-striping yarn, and so far I really like the look. 
The job hunt is still bizarre.  I've had 3 interviews now with a company that still hasn't decided exactly what the base salary will be for the job I'm interviewing to do.  For those of you who aren't in sales, that's extremely weird.  I like the people and the job could be fun, but the process could take quite some time with them, so I'm continuing to look elsewhere.  Lots and lots of "elsewheres," to be honest.  I started to apply for a job with a search firm, but decided that I was talking to the wrong people when their 50+ employment questionnaire asked about my drug use, drinking, tendencies for theft, and how often I faked injuries to obtain workman's comp or time off.  I was actually really interested in a job selling the brand of tablesaw Andy has as they are quite wonderful, but one of the job requirements was to be able to lift 50 pounds straight over my head.  I'm strong for a female and CAN lift 50 pounds, but I don't think I've ever been able to lift 50 pounds straight over my head--much to the chagrin of the coach when I took weight lifting in college.  It took me all semester to even be able to bench press the bar, and I don't know if I ever achieved a full set of reps on the shoulder press.  It would have been kind of fun, though.  I'm keeping an eye out for anything remotely similar for sewing macines or knitting.  :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

We're Ready!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday and this morning we cleaned AGAIN, and since it only took the photographer about 30 minutes to shoot the house and the listing doesn't go up until tomorrow, I had free time.  So,
There was sewing!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The sewing room has been looking so clean and wonderful
and I've even been able to move Milo in:
Callisto was hanging out with me, doing some yoga in a sunny spot
 until something woke Theo up in the back room.
 Apparently when there is a shortage of sewing, it can NOT be shared, and not only did he drive Callisto out of the sewing room,
 he parked himself in the doorway just to make sure.  To be fair, he was REALLY excited about the sewing, sleeping right beside my chair,
then, of course,
right on top of my pattern decorations when I spread them out on the floor to find the next step.  Prepping the house has been stressful for us all.  The listing is supposed to go up tomorrow--not sure exactly when, but I have a job interview in the morning anyway--then there's an open house Wednesday afternoon and after that, who knows?

Last but not least, it was Me Made Monday today, and it was surprisingly cool this morning, so
it's May and I wore a fleece pullover.  And, of course, was roasting later.  I love spring.

Friday, May 5, 2017

I Found My Knitting!

I found my knitting and have actually convinced myself that it's okay to knit today.
It's hard to go from full speed to it's-okay-to-relax, especially with everything going on.  But I am knitting today--or at least right now.  I might have to clean something later, but let's hope the yarn keeps me distracted.  :)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Good and the Bad

The good news is, five hours later, the carpet guy was finally done and the carpet does look great.  Originally, I was going to have him clean the couches as well, but then he'd have probably been here the rest of the week and none of us could take that. 

The good/bad news:  we did get the house ready for pictures by the time the realtor got here, but he was so impressed with how the house looked that he's doing to bring in a professional photographer to do the pictures instead.  That's good--it will show better, I'm sure, but the house was CLEAN last night--I mean really clean.  We're hoping the photography can be set for tomorrow, but honestly, it's terrifying that we'll spill something between now and then. 

The good news:  I have today off!!!!!!  Seriously, I'm not applying for ANY jobs, cleaning anything, or doing any sort of house prep.  The bad news:  I'm not sure that means any sewing because so much is put away that I'm not even sure where anything IS.  Frankly, I'm hoping to figure out where I stashed my knitting.  

Also in the good/bad news:  I'm never going to hear anything from the Leukemia Lymphoma society, which is the group that stood me up for the interview.  I followed up with the executive director to tell her what happened, and all she did was to forward my email to the person who stood me up in the first place.  The job posting was relisted by a different recruiter, then taken down 5 days later, so either they filled the position and can't be bothered to tell me OR they decided not to fill the position and also can't be bothered to tell me.  And today, when the GOP-controlled House is about to pass a bill that will totally screw people with cancer, among every other disease known to man, I'm glad I'm no longer with a health charity.  When I worked for the American Diabetes Association, the number one call I received at the state office was people who couldn't afford medication or insurance.  That was during Bush jr.'s presidency.  Bill and Hillary Clinton had tried to pass Universal Health Care, but "EKE!  Socialism!  We can't do that!  It's scary!"  And out of curiosity, I started asking the people who called my office if they voted Republican.  100% said yes, but they really just weren't smart enough to connect their for-profit insurance party line with the reality that the business of for-profit insurance is to be a barrier between people and medical treatment.  That is how they make money.  Obamacare limited the amount of profit insurance companies could make by requiring that they pay out a certain percentage of the money they took in--we had to receive a refund from Blue Cross every year since it was enacted, but of course Trump removed that provision immediately.  Idaho has LONG had one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation, but Idahoans HATED Obamacare--wanted to secede from the US over it.  So you know what, if more Idahoans lose their health insurance today it's not my problem to try to fix.  This is what they voted for, and they need to live with the consequences.

Time to go find the knitting! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I Could Have Been Knitting!

Today's plan:  have carpet stretched and cleaned early in the day, then mop the upstairs bathrooms and laundry room to be ready for photographs at 4:00. 

The reality:  carpet guy shows up late, has been here almost 3 hours already and has only NOW started cleaning the carpets as there was a LONG personal phone call after running the hoses through our house, scaring the living daylights out of the cats who may never recover, and leaving us wondering if we'll have time to get everything finished in the next 3 hours, provided there isn't another personal phone call.  In the meantime, after wrenching every visible dandelion in both front and back yards out by their fat little roots and taking care of what was left to do outside, I actually have been sitting here with nothing to do, but the yarn is upstairs and after 3 hours, I certainly don't want to risk slowing this guy down.  We'd have to find him a bed for the night.

Is this over yet??????????

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday

I think it counts for Me Made May that I am lounging in my penguin pajamas while drinking my coffee.
I haven't used pajamas for Me-Made Mondays, but Me-Made-May is a bit more of a challenge.

Today I have a phone interview, but the rest of the day will be high-gear cleaning.  Yesterday for excitement I took my valuable jewelry to the bank to store in our safe deposit box.  And it WAS exciting.  Seriously, I walked into the bank and didn't have to check their paint for spots or their carpet or anything--truly exciting. 

Yesterday launched the second Race To The Bottom challenge on Ravelry.  In 18 months, the idea is to use up (or donate) 30,000 yards OR use up the rest of one's stash.  I failed abysmally at the first challenge, but this time I saved the two skeins of acrylic to donate DURING this challenge to give me a bit of a boost, as my knitting time has pretty much evaporated right now.  It would take me closer to 18 YEARS to knit up my yarn stash, but maybe there's an unforeseen point in the whole selling/moving thing that will entail lots of free time for knitting.  I have my doubts, but it's a nice fantasy to have right now.....

Monday, May 1, 2017

Me Made May!

I know I've tried this before, and this month is likely to be quite insane as the photographing is SET now for Wednesday afternoon and that means listing the house and all sorts of craziness, but for right now, I'm doing Me Made May. 

It's cold today, so it was a perfect day for this:

It's the first of the jackets I made from my now-favorite pattern, and I honestly wondered at times if I would ever finish it.  Sort of like the house preparations.  Speaking of which,
last night we repainted much of the hallway after the "touchups" with the unopened second can of paint didn't come very close to the original paint.  Today has been a cleaning frenzy, and tonight will either be cleaning or a bit more painting as I didn't go close enough to the carpet to "blend."  Seriously, after all this, we are SO ready to sell this house. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

None of Us Are Unscathed

So far, I've been locked in the bedroom, Andy got locked in a bathroom, all but one of Calisto's favorite sleeping spots are gone, and I had to brush some white racing stripes off of Theo this week. Selling a house is not for the faint of heart.

We've had to push the photography back a bit so we can get the carpet stretched and cleaned.  But today is STILL another fun-filled prep day.  I have forgotten what we used to do on weekends, but I'm sure it was much more fun than house prep.  Then again, what isn't?

Thanks for your encouragement, everyone.  The thing I realized this weekend is that not ONCE in any of the interviews I have done have any of the organizations acted IN ANY WAY like this was a mutually-beneficial arrangement or that my skills were something they should want.  All of them have been about why they should hire me.  That's a fair question, of course, but especially in the nonprofit world, I am nowhere NEAR entry-level and have often had more experience than the person I am interviewing with--that should be worth something.  I am good at what I do, and no one is doing me a favor by hiring me--I bring a lot to the table too.  We can afford for me not to work, so if it takes more time to find something, that's fine.  I left the music store partly because the owner didn't respect his employees.  I don't need to make that mistake again.

So, I'm putting the job situation on hold for a while and thinking about some options.  In the meantime, I have a house to prep.  :)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday

Eke!  We said we would have the house ready to photograph on Monday.  Part of me is completely stressed out by that idea, but if we don't have a deadline, we could "prep" forever, and I think another house in our neighborhood is about to go up for sale, so it's time.

Here's a question for you:  If someone tells you at the end of an interview that "they're hoping to reach a decision by next week," and it's now Friday of that week and you've heard absolutely nothing, has that ever not been a total blow-off?  No one ever hears a week later that something just came up right, and all the phones and email were down, so they couldn't let you know of the delay in any way short of smoke signals?  That never happens, right?  So I have just gotten the professional brush-off from another charity.  Don't worry--I'm not insane (mostly)--I'm not going to consider charities as an option anymore.  They don't generally pay well, expect long hours, and, apparently, value people even LESS than when I decided to leave charities in the first place, which is sort of amazing.

At least there's one positive thing about the job search saga:  it does make prepping the house NOT the least frustrating thing I'm doing right now.  Not by a long shot............

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Almost There

It's clean and ready,
 
but I don't really get to play in it now because I don't have time and sewing makes a huge mess, or at least it does when I do it.  It's so funny that I'm this sad about not being able to sew--I originally learned to sew in 4-H and HATED it.  I think I could have enjoyed it, but for my mother, it wasn't important just to learn something or--heaven forbid--just getting to enjoy something.  Nope, it had to be about earning a blue ribbon at the fair.  Not for my sake--for hers, because I didn't care.  But sewing 4-H was about her being AT me all the time about it constantly--no wonder I gave it up for showing cattle because it was outside and I could do it myself without her bothering me.  I actually liked the sewing part, but the whole experience was so hateful that I didn't attempt it again until I was well into my 30s.  I think the saddest part is that she still has my 4-H ribbons and won't throw them out even though I have asked her to do so--I guess they mean that much to her.  Heaven knows I don't want them and can't stand the sight of them. 

Speaking of getting rid of things, I found a quarter yard of the world's most obnoxious fabric,
and some acrylic yarn lurking in the back of one of the closets.  
These are from the puppet "kits" I made years and years ago for our youngest nieces and nephews.  They aren't listed in my stash anywhere, but I am totally counting them in my stash totals for the year.  I'm not clear why they were in that particular closet, but we're kind of at the last stages of cleaning when things don't really have to make sense.  Yesterday I had to text Andy to come and rescue me from our bedroom because he had removed the doorknobs to touch up the paint, and without thinking about it, I had closed the door and only LATER found out I couldn't open the mechanism without a knob.  At this rate, having strangers traipsing through our home might actually BE the more relaxing part of this endeavor--at least for us.  We're not really sure about the cats, but at least they have access to the backyard and we have the kitty pheromone spray that seems to help calm them.  And there's always the de-stress pills if that doesn't work.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One Down

Thanks to my ever-present assistants,
the sewing room is done and ready for showing.  Now I just need to get all the rest of them finished.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

There Has Been Knitting!

I spent yesterday doing more house prepping, but I get tired and have to take breaks, which I normally spend job-hunting, but I have decided to take a break from that abuse and instead:
worked on the Begonia Swirl shawl.  It's down to just the last 10 rows, but they are LONG rows.  Still, a lot more satisfying than the job hunt.  I did sort of receive an update on the charity that stood me up for an interview, though not from the actual charity, of course, even after I had followed up with the regional manager about what had happened.  I'm using Indeed.com, and the website updated me that the position is no longer available on the charity's website.  This is how low things have gotten--the biggest courtesy I've received lately is from an automatic search engine.  It's so nice to be valued.

I think we'll be ready to list the house by the end of the week, which will be such a relief--although I guess then we have to deal with total strangers wandering through our house, so that might actually be even worse in some ways.  I see a LOT of long walks in my future.

Monday, April 24, 2017

New Life Lessons Learned:

1.  Given the right set of circumstances, one can starch the daylights out of carpet with water-soluble stabilizer and a tipped over water glass
 2.  Never decide to sell one's house in the middle of a sewing project:
3.  When you have packed your yarn stash away in a storage pod, the Knitting Gods will try to help you restore balance:
 4.  Look for the parts to rehang closet doors BEFORE you pack everything away, or have a spouse who is a really good guesser in hardware stores:
5. Even with most of my stuff packed away, my sewing room is STILL messier than any of the ones on Pinterest:
6.   There's a certain amount of tragedy in having a newly-cleaned and organized sewing room but no time to play in it:
7.  Some people might feel bad about finding fabric they don't remember.  My first thought, of course, was "Yippee!"
 8. Getting a house ready to sell can make one so thoroughly sick of the house that one will no longer be at all sad about selling.