Status Change

You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.

~Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

I left you several days ago not knowing what would happen next. Wondering about those white SUV people. Wondering if we would show this house to anyone else. Wondering if we would sell this house. Well, we got the answers to all of those “wonderings” Wednesday and Thursday.

Let me set the stage . . . After I added my last post early Wednesday morning one of my online friends posted on Facebook that I should pray for peace instead of patience. I thought about this and it made perfect sense. If I prayed for patience, that meant I was asking God for me to wait and wait. If I prayed for peace within, I was asking God for calm and tranquility. So, I immediately started praying for peace (Thanks, Laura!) while I started to clean the house for the second showing that was scheduled for 4:45 that evening.

I have a cleaning system where I clean one level at a time and take a break in-between. We have a tri-level. I finished the top level and sat on our living room couch and checked my email on my iPhone. My eye immediately went to an email from our realtor entitled, “Offer on your home.” I started to read the email contents when the phone rang. It was our realtor. He wanted to make sure we had received the email he sent. I told him I was just starting to read it. He said Bill and I needed to read it all very carefully and call him back as soon as possible. I got in our Gator and drove back to the pole barn with my heart beating very fast. As soon as I saw Bill I excitedly said, “We got an offer! Get in! We need to read it and get back with Mike.”

Turns out it was an offer from the people with three children who had looked at our home on Sunday, May 19. It was a low offer. In addition, they were wanting closing cost money, too. But, it was an offer and the people really loved the place and wanted to raise their children in the home. They always say to work with the first good offer. Bill and I discussed how low we would go to sell the place. We were far apart in what we wanted and what they offered. After Bill and I talked, we called our realtor Mike. We were discussing our next steps when I heard a beep on the phone. I looked at the display and it was Centralized Showing Service. Really? I told Mike and he said to take the call and call him back.

It was a request to show our home that evening at 5:00-6:00 pm. We had the second showing people coming at 4:45-5:45. It was an automated phone call. Our options were to Accept, Decline, or Reschedule. I hit the Reschedule button. We were then routed to a live person. πŸ™‚ The first thing I said was that we already had someone looking at the house during the time the realtor wanted to show it. The CSS guy said that the realtor was aware of that and still wanted to show our house at 5:00-6:00. I asked if realtors ever did that and he said yes. I asked if we could call them back after talking to our realtor. We weren’t sure what to do. We had the offer to deal with. We had a second showing coming. Do we invite another person in on the mix?

15142960-cartoon-question-mark-with-face-pondering-creativity-or-confused-about-test-answerWe called Mike back. He said, “I love buyers. The more the merrier. Let them come.” We thought why not. We will have the house clean. Get two for the price of one around the same time. That was settled. Then we started to talk about the offer. This was Wednesday morning. We had until Thursday evening at 7:00 to respond back to the offer. We all agreed on a price with which to counter the offer and decided that we would wait until the next day before making any final decisions. Mike said that he would call both real estate agents that evening after the showings to make them aware that we had received an offer that we could work with and if they were interested in the home they would have to act fast. We had a plan.

Bill and I hugged each other and went back to cleaning each of our areas – Bill to the pole barn, me to the mid level of the house. I got done cleaning around 3:00. I decided to run to the grocery and buy some cookie dough to make some cookies for the showings and to take some over to our neighbors as a thank you for letting us sit on their back patio that evening during the showings. Bill moved Goldie over to our neighbor’s yard and I came over after I did a second vacuuming of the house and turned on all the lights. Then we waited. Right before 4:45 we heard some car doors shutting. I think I was the one who went inside Alan’s (neighbor) house and looked out a window to see if the cars were at our house. Guess what? It was the white SUV people! πŸ™‚ I felt those people must really be interested as not only was this their second showing, but we had seen them in front of our house several times since the first showing and once just a couple of days before.

We visited with Alan and their dogs safely hidden on the back patio. Goldie wandered in Alan’s yard on the side next to our house back and forth. You cannot see our house or our back yard when you are on the neighbor’s back patio. However, you can see the pole barn if you sit in one small area. That’s where Alan sat me with a chair. πŸ˜‰ The white SUV people stayed in the house for about 30 minutes – until about 5:15. The other realtor still had not arrived. Then we heard a child squealing next door and people talking. We could hear them opening the shed. Then they walked out to the pole barn. The couple looked young. They had a baby and a boy around 4 years old. They had another gentleman with them besides the realtor. We figured it was one of the parents. After looking in the pole barn they returned to the house where they stayed until they left about 5:45. The other realtor still had not arrived!

By this time, I was ready to go home. But we couldn’t. We had to at least wait until after 6:00. At 5:55, the neighbor’s wife had just arrived home from work and she said two cars had just pulled into our driveway. Bummer! That meant it would be at least another 30 minutes before we could go back home and eat dinner. We had eaten all the cookies I brought! Alan told Rhonda they needed to go out into the back yard and start yelling at each other to dissuade anyone from buying our house. He had told us many times that they don’t want us to move. We laughed about the threat. We eventually heard people outside next door and I got a glimpse of them when they walked toward the pole barn. It was a couple with a toddler and the woman was pregnant. When they headed back to the house one of Alan’s dogs started barking. From the patio Alan yelled at Possum to come. But, she didn’t. Then, we heard a child giggling. Alan got up suddenly and went into the yard around the privacy fence to get Possum. Bill looked at me and then Rhonda (neighbor’s wife) and said, “Well, there goes the sale if Alan is out there talking to them!” πŸ˜†

We could not hear anything and Alan stayed out there for a while. When he came back to the patio he said, “They are really interested in your house!” He said they loved the place and loved having horses next door. They eventually left about 6:45. We gathered our belongings and Goldie and walked back home. Bill decided to call Mike and tell him about the last showing people and their interest. Mike said he would call both realtors around 8:30 that evening.

Mike called us about 9:00 to tell us what was going on. He said the white SUV people’s realtor had sent him two emails after the showing before Mike had a chance to call him. One email asked Mike to ask us why the kitchen faucet didn’t work; what was the gurgling noise when they turned on the small faucet in the kitchen; and where was the septic in the back yard. We told Mike everything was working fine and I had just used the faucet. It’s a lever type of faucet where you push back to get hot water and front to get cold. However, you must push the lever out to get the water to come out. Apparently, they had never pushed out! πŸ™„ And, the gurgling noise was the reverse-osmosis faucet and that’s just how it operates. Then Bill told Mike that there was a very visible riser in the back yard a few feet from our back patio to designate the septic. Mike said he was frustrated with that realtor. He said the other email said his clients planned to make an offer but they felt our list price was too high. This was the second time he had reported that. Mike said he would email the realtor back with our answers and to tell him about our other offer.

In the same phone conversation Mike said he had a voice-mail message from the realtor of last showing people and she wanted to know if we had already received an offer and how quickly could we move on this house as they were interested. OMG, you mean we had three different people interested in buying the place? In my wildest dreams I never imagined that would have happened to us. Mike said he tried to call the last realtor but she didn’t answer. He asked us how quickly we would be willing to move if it came down to that. Bill said if the price was right, we could move in three weeks! 😯 Notice, Bill said that, not me!

Mike blind cc’d us on the two separate emails he sent to the two realtors. Basically he said if they made an offer to make it their highest and best because he would not go back for a second round except for the first offer. And, if offers came in, he would tell the first people that we had multiple offers and they could choose to hold or make another offer.Β  Sounds a little like poker, doesn’t it?Wallingford-Real-Estate-Wallingford-PA-Multiple-Offers-Bidding-Wars

Talk about not sleeping Wednesday night! I purposely left my phone downstairs so I wouldn’t check my email all night long. But, even that didn’t help. I bet I slept two hours all night. At 7:30 Thursday morning, we received an email from Mike saying that he had a long talk with the last showing realtor. He said she had sent us a great offer. He said he was forwarding her cover letter. It went like this:

Hi Mike! As always, very nice talking to you!Β  Attached is a full price offer . . .

I got that far and screamed for Bill! Did I read that right? I suggested we go down to the desktop computer in the family room and pull up the email and the offer. It was true! They were offering us our full listing price but asking for $3000 in closing costs and the home warranty we had offered in our listing. The kicker was, they needed to close on the house on June 7 and wanted possession no later than 5:00 pm on June 10. That was less than three weeks away!

shocked_faceWell, Bill and I looked at each other and said that this was a no-brainer. Unless Mike thought there was a reason not to, we would accept this offer. We hugged each other and then quickly called Mike. We talked about how to handle the situation. What did we do about the first offer? After much discussion, Mike said that there was probably no way the first couple would come up to full price from what he gathered from the agent. So, we checked the Accept box, signed, dated, scanned and emailed the acceptance page to Mike. We checked the Reject box, signed, dated, scanned and emailed the rejection page to Mike from the first offer. OMG! We sold the house in two weeks after it was listed! Well, at least house listing status has changed from Active to Sale Pending.

Now, we just hope that the house appraisal and inspection go well. We don’t expect much wrong from the inspection as so much of major items are new. We already had a well inspection done before we put the house on the market. Bill emailed Mike to ask him if there were any special things he should check before the inspection. One of the items was electrical and the other was having the HVAC serviced and cleaned. So, Bill scheduled having a routine check-up on our 3-year old HVAC system done on Tuesday. Bill is switching out some electrical boxes/switches on any wall that might be close to water to meet a new code requirement, too. The inspection has been set for May 30. We got word yesterday that they are doing the appraisal tomorrow – on Memorial Day! Oh well, we’ll be here. And if everything goes well, we are set for the June 7 closing!

Bill and I went into panic mode on Thursday after we accepted the offer on the house. We called movers. We are tentatively on one mover’s schedule for June 6 and on another mover’s schedule for June 8. Both are coming out next week to give us estimates. We contacted both our children to tell them about the offer. Jim had some suggestions for Bill to see if there was any way we could get that pole barn built before we moved. That has not panned out. It will probably be the end of June or first of July before that will be done. But, Jim did find us an excavator for the pole barn and our new driveway. They will start that on June 3 if we don’t have rain delays.

Even though we know we have to pack up this house, we had to finalize our new house plans and specification document. Jim wants to send out bids this week. Bill and I spent about 5 hours on that Thursday evening. We still had some gaps of a few items before we could complete the specs. So, we dedicated Friday to settling on bathroom cabinets/vanities; granite for kitchen and bathrooms; and what to do about a safe room.

Here are pictures of the granite and bathroom cabinets:

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Jim called us several times on Friday before and after they left town for the holiday weekend. Before he left town he asked me to email him what we had for our spec document so far so he could read over it while he was out-of-town. After we had gotten home from our all day vendor shopping day and stops at Home Depot to get more packing boxes and a new mailbox for our new place and Staples to get reinforced tape, Jim called us and wanted to talk. He had a long list of items we needed to do or which we had to make decisions. Jim was on the ball to get moving on our pole barn and house bids.

Bill decided he wanted to take one load down to Jim and Jill’s over the holiday weekend. J&J said we could store some things in their garage. Bill & I decided we did not want the movers to move any of the new cabinets Bill built or any of the items we purchased for the new house (lights fixtures, ceiling fans, door hardware, etc.). So, Bill and I worked a very long day Saturday in the pole barn. We dismantled, coded, and did some shrink wrapping of all the cabinets Bill had made. Then he wanted to move every thing we had stored in bins on one side of the storage area of the pole barn out into another area. He wanted to dismantle a large section of storage shelves so he could take them down and put up in J&J’s garage. I told him my way of organizing is only to move things one time. And, we needed to find a space where we could store the bins so the movers could get them. We cleared out a section of the pole barn and burned a lot of scrap wood. And, then we started to get out all those bins I had filled for almost two years.

Bill had started an inventory sheet for his boxes he started packing in the pole barn. I wanted to do the same. All of my bins were labeled. All I had to do was add a # to each box and write that # on an inventory sheet along with the box’s contents. We had a routine. Bill and I loaded bins on a table on wheels. Then we rolled them over to where Bill had set up two wooden work horses. I would quickly do the inventory and mark the appropriate # on the bin in several places, then Bill would take the bin and shrink-wrap it and then stack it. We did that over and over again. Some of those bins were heavy. We inventoried, shrink-wrapped, and stacked 44 bins! There are still a lot more on the other shelving unit! I had weeded through everything over the last two years and given away, sold, and trashed so much. I thought I was done. Haha. There are bins of things I’ll probably NEVER use. But, time is running short so we are moving them. Bill and I came up with the idea that the grandkids might want to go through all our unwanted things once we’ve moved and they can have a yard sale at our place. They can keep all the proceeds. Sounds like a plan! We’ll see if they like that plan. πŸ™‚

Here are some photos of all the crazy things we dismantled and packed on the trailer and truck yesterday.

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We were exhausted by the end of the day. Tylenol for me. Aleve for Bill. We both slept well last night.

The plan was for Bill to drive down to J&J’s early this morning; unload the shelving units; install the shelving units; unload all the items from the trailer and truck and store on the shelves; dig a hole and install the mailbox; and then drive back home. But, that’s not what happened. Bill got ready to go and drove the truck out to the pole barn to hook up the trailer. When he cranked the trailer hitch to the truck the truck really started to sink down. Bill knew he was at the maximum weight to pull. He looked at me and said, I can’t do this! 😯 He said he felt he just could not afford to spend a whole day gone with so much to do around here. I think he had hit his panic mode. I could see it in his face. He said he wanted to rent a storage unit around here and store all the stuff he wanted to move himself into it. That way he could move it down to J&J’s a little at a time and without rushing it in what is now a 2 week period. He knew I didn’t want to rent a storage unit up here. But, after thinking about it, it’s the best decision. We do not have time to travel over 3 hours both ways 4-5 times in the next two weeks. And, Bill is determined he will move certain things himself . . . period.

Bill decided he needed to work on the electrical stuff today. So that is what he has worked on all day. I spent about 3-4 hours on the specification document for the new house and finished it. Yay!!! I emailed it to Jim. But, here is what my computer area looked like while I was working.

House plans, spec document, catalogs, quotes

House plans, spec document, catalogs, quotes

I need to clean the house for the appraisal tomorrow, but found it difficult to clean when Bill was testing and turning off breakers. And, two of the boxes/switches he had to install were in the kitchen. Poor guy, he had a really tough time figuring out the wiring on those, but he finally did and they are done. While Bill was working inside on the electric, I cut the grass. It appears as I’m typing this that the outside boxes Bill is replacing are going a lot quicker than those inside ones. He has one more to do on the outside of the pole barn.

Folks, that’s where we are. I’m procrastinating cleaning with this blog post. Let’s just say that I haven’t run the vacuum cleaner since our last showing! Goldie’s been happy, but I need to clean. We need the appraisal to match the offer price. I don’t want to even think about what we have to do if it doesn’t. Prayers are welcome!!!

Next: You might not hear from me in a while if everything goes well. I’ll be so busy packing up what’s left in the house, outdoors, shed, and pole barn. June 10 is closer than I want to imagine.

The Emotional Roller Coaster

funny-quotes-emotional-roller-coaster

This house-selling stuff is not for the weak of heart or the emotionally unstable or one who hates to clean! I do believe I fall in the last two categories, but I keep plugging along. πŸ™‚

Counting this evening, we are up to six showings. When I last posted we had a second showing scheduled last week on the 16th. Guess what? They were a no-show! 😑 Well, technically, they were a no-show until they called Central Showing Service (CSS) about a half-hour after the showing window was up and we were already back home. Of course, I was upset. We had worked so hard to get the house lookin’ good inside and out before they came back for their second showing. And, then we had left the house with Goldie for 1-1/2 hours – which was becoming more and more of a feat each time. Goldie doesn’t like me vacuuming all the time. Goldie doesn’t like being taken out of her comfort zone and forced to get into the back seat of my car. Yep, it’s safe to say, Goldie doesn’t like showings. 😦

So, the real estate agent for the second showing said they were running late and had to cancel. Of course, the judgmental side of me said, “You didn’t realize you were running late during the 1-1/2 hours we were out of the house?” Of course, then I felt guilty that I was feeling judgmental, and I tried to come up with lots of reasons why we didn’t get a phone call until later. Stuff happens. Get over it. See how this emotionally unstable thing comes into play? Of course, it also helps to be married to Bill. The man is my stabilizer. He is my rock through all of this. He puts things into perspective for me. Thank you, honey!

The morning after the no-show (May 17), the real estate agent apologized for the cancellation on the CSS feedback page. And, also said that they were going to reschedule. Oh goodie!!! So, like, when are you going to reschedule? I wait. I check email hourly. I check to make sure the phone is working. Why haven’t they rescheduled yet? I wait all day and no reschedule. Then, I think why aren’t we getting any phone calls for others to see our house for the weekend? It’s only the second weekend since we listed the house. We should have someone scheduled. Why hasn’t that person in the big white SUV who keeps driving by our house really slow the last several days scheduled a showing? OMG, we are not going to sell this house!

Going Crazy

Zero to 60 in ten seconds. Yep, I’m telling you some days my emotional stability isn’t the best. I knew I would be tested during this time. I have my stack of inspirational books including my Bible which I read each morning. I pray for patience. I pray that God will bring the right person to our house. I pray for strength to keep cleaning. I pray for a lot of people and other things that have nothing to do with this house. Believe me when I say, I pray a lot these days. πŸ™‚

By Saturday afternoon I had given up that we would have a new showing for the weekend or that the second showing would happen. I decided to take a nap. Just as I was laying down, one of my sisters called me. She listened to me while I tried to explain my craziness. Then, suddenly, I heard a beep on the phone and saw Central Showing on the ID. I immediately said I have to go and hit the flash button. The automated voice asked if we would confirm a showing appointment for the next day at 1:00. Well, of course, I would confirm it! Hmmmm, this wasn’t the real estate agent for the second showing. It was a new showing. Wonder if it’s the white SUV people?

Guess who didn’t get a nap on Saturday? I walked out to the pole barn to tell Bill about the next day’s showing. I told him he didn’t predict that one. He asked me if I could just hit the no button when they called for showings. What? Are you crazy? Well, yes, I think Bill had reached my level of craziness. But, I understood. It’s hard for him. He is working on the cabinets. He gets going and then he has to stop and clean up the pole barn. These cabinets for the new house aren’t making themselves!

We decided we would try a new plan for getting Goldie out of the house for the Sunday showing. A couple of days before this our next door neighbor said if we wanted to let Goldie in their back yard during showings, we were welcome to do that. We weren’t sure how she would do with that by herself, so Bill decided he would sit on the neighbor’s back patio (which is totally hidden from our house with a very tall privacy fence all around) and let Goldie out in their back yard during the showing. This worked out okay. Goldie moseyed in their yard the whole time. Bill stayed hidden on the neighbor’s patio. I went to get a pedicure and to sit in one of those massage chairs to relax for a change. Bill and I text during the showing window.

Me: Is it the white SUV people?

Bill: No.

Me: How is Goldie doing?

Bill: She’s lost.

Me: Literally, lost?

Bill: Wandering.

Finally, Bill text me: “Gone” after the people left. He did say that our neighbor saw three children out in our back yard during the showing.

Did you know that you are supposed to turn on all the lights in your house for a showing? Even in the middle of a bright sunny day? Well, you are. And, we do. Bill got Goldie back home and went through the house turning off all the lights the realtor didn’t turn off. I got home shortly after that and as we put away groceries Bill and I talked. We both said we didn’t think this house was big enough for three children. So, we came to the conclusion there was another showing down the drain. But, we would like to hear what the agent would say about feedback.

The next day (May 20) came and there was no realtor feedback on the Sunday showing. Yes, another showing down the drain. However, we did get a phone call for the rescheduled second showing! They wanted to come today (Weds., May 22) at 4:45. Honestly, we didn’t think these people would come back because of the feedback after the first showing about the price and the cancellation the week before. So, maybe they are interested! Emotions – up and down, down and up!

I quit checking my phone for emails early that afternoon. I decided to give myself a break. Bill said he felt our showings would taper off. Maybe one a week. Auuucckkkkk! This wasn’t fun anymore. And, I felt like we were trapped waiting for the next showing. Always having to be ready.

Yesterday morning we woke up to tornado sirens going off a little before 3:00 am. Bill made coffee. I went down to the bottom level and turned on the TV to see what was going on. We were under a tornado watch until about 6:00 am, but our county was under a tornado warning until 3:30. It appeared it was for the southern part of our county. Shortly after 3:10-3:15, they cancelled the warning. I went and fixed me a cup of coffee since it appeared that we were up for the day. That is when I sat down and checked my email on my iPhone. There was an email from our realtor with the subject line: May have an offer coming. What?????!!!!!!

Here is what the email said:

I did have an agent call me tonight that apparently saw your property in the last few days.Β  He said he had a family very interested.Β  They have to determine if they want to have two kids in the same room as they have three kids.Β  They liked the home and knew it had been maintained properly.Β Β  The agent was trying to pull comps and you and IΒ  both know that is very difficult on your home.Β  Hopefully I will hear something tomorrow but don’t get your hopes up too high.Β  However, I need to pass on to you what I know.

Just when you think a showing went down the tubes, you might get an offer? An offer after just one showing? And, what do you mean, don’t get your hopes up too high? Really? Of course, I got my hopes up. And, I checked my email all day long. Nothing. No phone calls either. Talk about an emotional roller coaster!

Emotional Roller CoasterIt is now the morning of our second showing. Not sure what today will bring. Bill and I are counting our blessings. We have a roof over our heads and food to eat. We are healthy. We are blessed to have loving children and grandchildren. We have family and friends who are praying for us. And, honestly, we do not have a deadline to sell this house. We will begin building the new one when this one is sold.

However . . . we are getting anxious to get that pole barn built. Jim worked on our elevation plans last weekend and surveyed our property. He was planning to meet with some excavators some evening this week to show them our property and discuss what needed to be done to get that pad ready so we can get that pole barn started. Nothing like talk about an offer or a second showing to speed up the project. πŸ™‚

Next up: Heck, I don’t know!

First Week on the Market

I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am. ~Albert Einstein

Our house has been on the market for one week. We have had four showings. Two showings on Friday, May 10; one on Saturday, May 11; and one on Monday, May 13. All-in-all, we are pleased with the quick traffic. And, so is our realtor. I guess, I feared we’d be sitting here just waiting for someone to come see our place and to appreciate the setting. The great news is . . . we have a second showing on Thursday! πŸ™‚

We have a large group of people praying for the sale of our home. In addition, Bill affirmed his Catholicism and purchased a St. Joseph’s “sell-your-home” kit online. Yes, he did! πŸ™„ And, he buried that St. Joseph’s statue in our back yard. I told him I only believed in the power of prayer and that he really needed to pray about this. He says he’s praying every day. I, however, pray daily that God will guide the right buyer to us who will appreciate this home and be good neighbors to those on our county road.

Why is it we tend to let the negative comments rise to the top of our thoughts instead of the positive ones? Honestly, I think I’m a very positive person. I don’t feel like a Pollyanna, but try to surround myself with positive people and energy versus negative ones. But, now and then, I slip. I guess that’s what happened when we got realtor feedback from the four showings. I was extremely pleased with the first three reports from Friday’s and Saturday’s showings. I was fine that the buyers were not interested in our home for various reasons. I was happy because the realtors reported that our house was nice. I guess that was important to me.

Here is a snapshot of the report on the first three showings:

Feedback from Realtors

Feedback from Realtors

Now, fast forward to Monday’s showing. Yesterday morning I got the realtor’s feedback:

Monday's Realtor's Feedback

Monday’s Realtor’s Feedback

Do you know what bothered me the most about the feedback? It was “Condition is okay.” πŸ˜₯ Really? The house was sparkling inside and out that day. What do you mean, condition okay? Bill laughed at me. I felt it was a personal attack on how I kept the house. Silly, right? Most people would be concerned about the second part of the feedback. The part about not finding comps to justify listing price. However, I couldn’t worry about that since our realtor did all the comparisons before we listed it. And, we saw them. I’m not a realtor and don’t pretend to be one. That is why we listed this house and didn’t try selling it by owner. Granted, we know the price for square footage is a little higher when you only consider the house alone on this listing. However, you have to also count the acreage and pole barn to justify our listing price.

So, yesterday I was taken back with the feedback. I said it didn’t bother me, but it did. So, I began praying that God would send us someone who would appreciate the place. And, I started to feel a lot better and kept reminding myself that the house had only been on the market for one week. The housing market is picking up around this area – but it has not gone crazy with people flooding to see places and sellers getting multiple offers. At least not out in our area.

I have to confess that Bill is kind of freaking me out with his “intuitions/predictions.” He’s always had a sixth sense. Sometimes I laugh about it. But, I try not to discount it. On Sunday (Mother’s Day) he told me he felt we would have a showing on Monday. But our realtor had told us that Mother’s Day was a slow day for real estate and showings. Therefore, I did not expect to get a phone call and we did not. Our realtor has us set up with Centralized Showing Service. They call us to confirm showing times. For the first three showings we received calls the day before.

Monday morning the phone rings and Bill just happens to be by me and we see Central Show on the caller ID. We both start laughing and I pick up the phone. It was a request to show the house Monday evening and we accepted. Well, that is all it took for Bill to now believe he is a bit psychic. Yesterday after receiving Monday’s showing feedback, he tells me that he “feels” we will either get a phone call on Thursday OR we will have a showing on Thursday. πŸ™„ Needless to say, I was totally surprised when we got a call that the people who came on Monday evening want to come back for a second showing on Thursday evening. 😯

I find this house selling stuff unpredictable. We will see what happens. Maybe the people had a change of heart. Or maybe they might give a low-ball offer. Or maybe they want to just take another look. Don’t know. But, it is exciting to have a second showing this early.

The hardest part about these showings has been dealing with our dog Goldie. Poor thing, she’s old – 16 years old. She’s having problems with her back legs. We can empathize with her. We have problems with our legs and knees and shoulders and hands – well, we’re old, too! πŸ˜• The first two showings we decided to take the truck and had a really hard time getting her in and out of it. She doesn’t have the jumping power she once had and she doesn’t want us to help her. In fact, she was upset with us after the first showing and after jumping out of the back seat of the truck, she ran away from Bill a couple of houses down the road. I finally got her to come to me in the garage. But, when I tried to wipe her feet before coming into the house, she nipped me. She’s never done that before! Since then, we’ve taken her in my car which sits really low to the ground. This is the position she would rather stay in instead of leaving the house for showings:

Goldie

Goldie

Oh, how I dread how she will deal with our move.

Bill is trying to make cabinets in-between cleaning the pole barn before showings. He is presently using some new dove-tail equipment/technique on the drawers. He made the first of the kitchen cabinet drawers. He said this new system will be so much faster than what he used on the laundry/pantry cabinets. But, the man is turning into a perfectionist. He plans to re-make the first drawer he made because he said it would bug him the rest of his life if he didn’t change how it looks. The drawer front isn’t on the drawer, but it looks fine with me. He says what is wrong has to do with seeing the dove-tail joinery on the side versus the front. So, I guess he’ll be remaking this drawer.

First drawer

First drawer

To brag on Bill’s talent a bit more, here is a picture of the cutting board he made me for Mother’s Day. I think I’ll be displaying this in my dining room cabinets some day instead of using it. It’s too pretty to use it! πŸ™‚

Cutting board

Cutting board

I better get busy with my daily quick house cleaning schedule. I have to cut grass today. We’ve cut the grass twice a week to keep it looking nice.

And, about any future showings, Bill said he’s not feeling anything now. πŸ˜‰ Wonder if that means we’ll get an offer from the second showing?

Patience and a Gift from Above!

The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter. ~Paulo Coelho

Waiting and hoping is a hard thing to do when you’ve already been waiting and hoping for almost as long as you can bear it. ~Jenny Nimmo, Charlie Bone and the Time Twister

Today was worthy of a two-quoter! I’m trying to be patient with my lack of patience. πŸ™‚

Our house is officially on the market. We listed it on Monday, May 6! It hit the MLS later Monday evening and was up with all the photos by Tuesday evening on all the sites. It’s Thursday and we haven’t had a showing yet. “Patience, Grasshopper!” The flyers aren’t out by the sign yet. Those are supposed to be delivered sometime today. I’m not sure of the statistics of whether flyers help or not. And, since I haven’t seen what they look like, it is hard for me to judge. Our realtor emailed yesterday and said that he hopes we get traffic this weekend. However, he cautioned us by saying since Sunday is Mother’s Day, it may be a slow weekend. He also said not to start worrying unless we’ve been through two weekends without any interest.

Here is the listing description:

This Home Has All The Best Of Country Living! This Sprawling 2.43 Acre Property Has A Huge Pole Barn With Storage Area, 200 Amp Service, And Heated. Open Floor Plan, Recently Remodeled Kitchen, 3 Seasons Porch, Skylights, New Roof, Gutters, Windows And Front Door 2012, New Hvac 2010. Newer Hardwood Floors, Reverse Osmosis Water System, The List Goes On And On! Quiet Country Living NearΒ  Conveniences. You Must See This Home!

Here are some pics – most from the listing.

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Today we are going to put down mulch around the trees. Other than that, we don’t have any other improvements to do – just maintenance. I’ve developed a quick house clean each morning and if I can keep it up, we shouldn’t be too stressed if and when we get a showing appointment.

Now, on to the news I promised I’d share about our new build.

A little back story first . . . Bill worked for a company years ago which was bought out by another company, which was bought out by another company, and so on and so on. Bill received paperwork every so often through the years from this company. About two years ago, Bill started to check to see if he was vested with this company. From everything he read, he thought you had to work 5 years to be vested. He called them and they sent him paperwork to say that he had worked 4 years, 11 months. So, Bill left it go . . . until about two months ago. He got to thinking that he had invested his own money through those 4 years, 11 months into a retirement plan there. So, he called again.

This time instead of asking how many years he had worked, he asked if he had money still there. The guy helping him said that not only did it look like he had some money there that he had invested, but it also appeared that he qualified for company retirement funds. Really? 😯 The guy couldn’t tell him how much he had, but said if Bill wanted to start receiving benefits, they would start the process and send him a packet in about two weeks. Honestly, Bill thought he might have a thousand dollars in there. And, with interests from the years it was there, it could be a little more. We were thrilled. Manna from heaven!

When the packet arrived in the mail, Bill opened it. The first page was a welcome to benefits page. Bill turned to page 2. It showed that he had invested $1,435.03 from 1979 to 4 years, 11 months after. Yay! Then, Bill turned to the next page and was totally shocked at what he saw. It turned out Bill qualified for Part A and Part B of a retirement fund. And, it was a nice substantial amount. OMG, OMG, OMG! Double and triple manna from heaven!

So, while we were down at Jill & Jim’s over Easter right after Bill retired, Bill hatched a great plan. He said since the manna from heaven was a gift from God, he would like to see if we could use that money outright to build our new pole barn now. It sounded like an answer to our prayers. If we could build the barn soon, it could solve a lot of problems for us. We could start moving stuff down there; we could have a place to store all our furniture and belongings while the house was being built; we could use part of the pole barn as an office for Bill while he is being General Contractor for our house construction; contractors could have a secure place to store their tools; Bill could continue to work on cabinets while the house was being built. And, we would not be financing the pole barn into our construction loan. And, that meant we would not have to take out as big a mortgage! πŸ˜€ Yes, it would solve a lot of things that were troubling us.

We got word last week that we got the permit to start building the pole barn!!!!

Yay!

Yay!

We notified Jim and he was going to re-draw the pole barn on our site plan and then remark the property where the pole barn and house will be located. And, he is supposed to be sending out bids for excavation. Hobgood Post Frames said they could begin constructing the barn two weeks after we have a pad. So, first will be surveying by Jim, followed by excavating bids. Then we break ground! We are also getting bids for heating, plumbing, and electric. Bill is going to use radiant heat cause he doesn’t like his feet getting cold while he’s working in his workshop.

Bill ordered the windows for the pole barn from Kight Lumber Center this week. We want the pole barn windows to match the exterior finish of the house windows – dark bronze. Kight had vinyl windows that were a perfect match. So, we are on our way. Another thing to check off our list!

There will be no stopping Bill from being down at the property while the pole barn is built. Whole process should take about 10 days. It will also be good for Bill to practice his General Contracting on our first project. Time will tell whether I’ll stay up here while that is happening or not. All depends on where we are in selling this place.

I’ll keep you posted!

One for the Market, Two for the Show . . .

Philippians 4-13

I recited Philippians 4:13 every morning since January 1. But, I started praying it all day long once we went into high gear getting the house ready to put on the market. Bill and I needed as much strength as we couldΒ muster to finish the long list we had to tackle after meeting with the house stager.

At first I thought the list was daunting. But, each day I crossed off moreΒ and more items.Β I worked onΒ whatever I could in the interior. Shrink wrap became my new friend when packing up stuff. πŸ™‚ Bill alternated between cleaning the pole barn/making room to store our garage full of new house items and doing the many items on his list.

Here’s just a sampling of the 6 page list we had.

Sample of the To Do List

Sample of the To Do List

We had many exhausting days and evenings. In fact, one day Bill said he had never seen me work that hard. I quickly said, “Excuse me! What do you think I’ve done for over a year de-cluttering this place?” 😑 He laughed and said, “No I meant all this physically challenging work.” And, he was right. πŸ™‚ My brain thought I was still in my 40s. My body sure reminded me that I was not. Bill lived on Aleve. I lived on Extra Strength Tylenol. The goal was to put the house on the market before I went down to Jill and Jim’s on April 21st.

Jill was going to Africa for her business, Karama. I was going to be down at their house for two weeks taking care of the grandkids and chauffeuring them to and from the bus stop each day and taking them to after-school activities. Anyways, I wanted to get the house ready for market and not worry about it when I was down at J&J’s. As the time got closer to April 21, I decided to just wait and list the house on Monday, May 6, after I returned into town. That way Bill would not have to worry about keeping the house spotless and have to leave on a whim’s notice if we had showings. Plus, I have a little control issue that I think I keep the house cleaner than Bill. πŸ˜‰

I won’t bore you with everything we did on our to-do list, but here are some photos to show some of the progress we made.

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If I never paint again, I’ll be happy. Bill probably feels the same way. I did all the interior painting (except the fireplace) and Bill did all the exterior. I was very frustrated with our roofer who never came back to caulk the areas they didn’t caulk and re-paint. So guess who got up on the roof and spent most of one day up there caulking, priming and painting? Not me!!! But, Bill did. He will tell you that I hate him getting on the roof. I get especially anxious while he is on the roof. Scares me. 😯 So, to keep me occupied in-between holding the ladder when he climbed up and down, I decided to clean the garage. I was close by if he needed me, but not staring up at him praying every second. The garage never looked so good. I even vacuumed the floor. And, the best outcome . . . I got to park my car back in the garage after having it outside for months.

So, to update you, we have finished the house. It’s as ready as it is going to be. Our realtor is coming in the morning. His assistant took interior, pole barn, and pictures of the back exterior before I went down to Jill and Jim’s. She was supposed to have come back and taken pictures of the front exterior last week. Our realtor, Mike Puckett, is coming tomorrow morning to have us sign the contract. We’ve already filled out the disclosure form and given them all the other stuff they needed a couple of weeks ago. Mike is supposed to put the For Sale sign in our yard tomorrow and we should be up on the MLS tomorrow evening or Tuesday. Yay!!!

Now, some news on the new home front . . .

We struck water with the well drilling!!!!!!! We are so excited! And, it was in the spot where Bill’s willow rod went down. It is a slower producing well, but it’s plenty of water with deep storage in the well casing and the water is clear and the sodium taste can be filtered out with a reverse osmosis system. Here are some pics.

In addition to everything else that’s been going on in the last three weeks, Bill and I checked another thing off our new house list. We purchased our remaining appliances. We said we were not going to buy them until after we started building . . . but, famous last words. πŸ™„ Turned out Sears had a one-day sale of their Kenmore Elite appliances for a minimum of 30% off. We had never looked at Kenmore Elite stuff. So, I checked Consumer Reports and they were rated up there with the LG appliances I “thought” we were going to buy. We initially went to go look at their trash compactor as we said we thought it would be small enough to move. But, after checking out the appliances, taking a lunch break to think it over, and me praying about it, we bought them all. We got more off by opening a Sears charge card (which we will pay off as soon as we get the bill) and by having a Sears/K-Mart Rewards card, we racked up another $50 savings by buying some appliances first and then applying the $50 toward another appliance. We had a terrific saleswoman. So knowledgeable about all the products and how to save. And, the best part . . . they will hold the appliances and deliver down to our new place when we schedule it. We don’t have to move them!

We ended up getting a refrigerator with two bottom freezer drawers, washer, gas dryer, two pedestals, trash compactor, and an upright freezer. And, it turns out that LG makes the Kenmore Elite appliances! So, I have the same look I was going for, but actually liked some of the Kenmore Elite features better.

Next up: We got great news at the end of last week about our new build. Can’t wait to share it with you.

The Spring that Never Sprung!

Spring is the time of plans and projects. ~Leo Tolstoy

As soon as I flipped the calendar to March, I immediately started to panic. It was time! This is the month of spring . . . or NOT! Everything we had done since we purchased the property back in fall of 2008 lead to this very moment in time. And, now that it was here, the reality of it all smacked me right in the face. 😯

It was time to sell our present home. It was time to call the realtor. Bill and I had interviewed a couple of realtors last summer. We kind of clicked with one – Mike Puckett. Maybe it was his age. Maybe it was his business background. We had not talked to him since June of 2012. I gave him a call and we scheduled a meeting for March 12 after Bill got home from work.

As soon as I hung up the phone with Mike, I called our window guy so I could see when they would be able to repair those front windows. I refused to put the house on the market and have pictures taken before the windows were fixed and the house paint touched up around the windows. Steve (window guy) said there was one or two days later that week which were suppose to be warm enough but they were already booked to finish a job. Then, they were scheduled to be at the Indianapolis Home and Garden Show for 10 days. He asked if I could give them two weeks to get out here. That was March 4th. We are still waiting for them to come. 😦 Granted, this long winter has not been kind to us. But, we need those windows fixed! As I type this frustration, I wonder if this will be our life when we are building the new house with delays after more delays. I’m going to put Bill in charge of calling all the contractors for the new house. I think I’m too nice. πŸ™‚

Our temps did reach low 50s two days that weekend. I itched to get outdoors, even if it was to pick up sticks/branches and clean out the flower pots on the back patio. At least it was a start. I remembered the year before having 80 degrees during March and I cut grass a lot during that month. Not this year. The grass is still brown, trees bare, and no new spring buds sprouting up. We still have a lot of work to do outdoors before selling the house. Unfortunately, it entails using the power washer. You can’t get that going until you can turn on the outside water. It’s been too cold for that, too.

Shifting gears to the new house, I had to do some more online ordering. With the change of the vault and the mirroring issue, we discovered we needed another light fixture (for the entry) and another door knob (for the pole barn). I was waiting to order the door knob when I had other materials to order so I could get free shipping. This was perfect timing because we had gotten our tax refund back. When we changed the vault orientation of the family room, Jim had lengthened the entryway of the house. The entry has a 9 foot ceiling. I had purchased two sconces for the entryway, but now that wasn’t going to give enough light. I actually let Bill have final say for the light fixture. Surprised? I think he was, too! Actually, I’m trying to be more open to listening to his reasons. I was looking at a chandelier fixture. He thought it would be too large and would hang too low. He was right. (I’m sure he will have a huge smile on his face when he reads that sentence!) Here is the light fixture we picked. It matches all our other interior light fixtures.

Entry light

Entry light

I found the light on sale at an online store for $50 cheaper. Build.com matched the price.

The other big purchase on this order was flood lights. Should we buy incandescent, halogen or LED lights? We determined that the LED flood lights were too expensive. Halogen lights cost less than LED but more than incandescent. Bill put me in charge of researching the difference between the incandescent and halogen.

Here’s what I found:

Halogen bulbs function similarly to incandescent bulbs, but with a few key differences: They’re composed of a small, pressurized, peanut-size bulb inside a larger outer shell. The gas inside this inner bulb is halogen. When tungsten evaporates from the filaments of these bulbs, the halogen combines with it, escorts it back to the filament where it’s redeposited, then heads out to round-up more escaped tungsten particles. Since there’s less soot on the bulb’s shell, light output remains strong, and since filaments are constantly being rebuilt, the bulbs last longer. But the key differenceβ€” and the quality that makes them useful and uniqueβ€”is they emit a whiter, brighter and more easily focused beam of light, almost like real sunshine.

For outdoor use, halogen floodlights cast a brighter, easier-to-see-by light. And since they last twice as long as standard bulbs, you won’t need to struggle to reach hard-to-access outdoor fixtures as often. They have other benefits too. They’re 10 to 20 percent more energy-efficient and cheaper to operate. They burn brighter longer (a halogen bulb will still be cranking out 94 percent of its original light output near the end of its life, while a standard bulb diminishes to a measly 82 percent).

We decided on the halogen flood lights. I had to find a really good deal because we decided on the twin lights and wanted the motion feature. I finally found one that would match the house colors. The lighting manufacturer had the lights on sale for just about 1/2 off. I couldn’t believe it. That made the price just a little over what the incandescent lights would have cost. The sales rep at build.com said they could not match the price because it was too low. When I said I’d buy them elsewhere, he quickly said he’d match it since we had purchased so much from them. πŸ˜€ Here are what they look like:

Halogen motion flood lights

Halogen motion flood lights

The realtor called us on Sunday, March 10, and apologized that he now had a conflict for March 12. He said he could meet with us the next evening, March 11. Before I could change my mind, I said, Yes. I went into cleaning mode the next morning.

When Mike arrived he asked for another tour of the house. Then we settled down at the dining table and talked about comparisons of houses around the area. He came up with a listing price. We were happy with that price. I provided him with a list of all the improvements we had made to the place in the last several years. He said I must have read his mind. We talked about how we would be contacted when someone wanted to see the house. He said he would write-up the contract and email to me within a couple of days. Mike pays to have a home stager meet with his clients to go over suggestions before taking pictures and putting the house on the market. We decided to leave the listing date open until after we met with the home stager and see how much more he/she might suggest we do.

Two days later I got a called from Gary Barnett at Home Matters to set up an appointment with one of their Property Stylists. Bill wanted to be here when the home stager came. We made an appointment with Gregory Henry for Tuesday afternoon, March 19.

I’m a HGTV addict and watch all the shows – House Hunters, Property Brothers, Kitchen Cousins, Love it or List it, Income Property, Candice Tells All . . . I’ve watched them all over the years. I knew that de-cluttering was a big thing. I thought I had done a pretty good job so far. However, I knew I had to go back and re-organize the kitchen cabinets that held food items. And, since Mike suggested that we sell our refrigerator with the house, I needed to clean that, too. I wanted to get that done before Greg came.

Here is how I go about my de-cluttering. I take everything out. It forces me to do something with all that mess after I get it out of a shelve, closet, or room. Then I clean the empty space. After that I categorize whether to pitch or keep. Last, I place the keep items back into cabinets, closet or room in a way that will work for us.

Before

Before

Here are after pictures.

It got to be a crazy week and weekend between the realtor and the arrival of the home stager. I shifted gears again and focused on Medicare medigap insurance plans, drug plans, and dental and vision plans. We finally got word from the retirement specialist that I would have health insurance after Bill retired, but neither one of us would have dental and vision insurance after the end of March. We had worked for several months with a Medicare insurance broker, Matthew Frankic of Crosspointe Insurance Advisors. He was helping Bill and me understand all the different supplement plans and the ones that would fit Bill’s needs in health care and prescription drug coverage.

Bill asked if I could do research on all the dental/vision plans that Matthew had sent us via email. Going through all this Medicare stuff the first time isn’t easy. I ended up pricing out the 4 or 5 options and creating a spreadsheet so Bill and I could sit down and compare the plans. My head was spinning. I had reached a point where I didn’t even know how to compare what we would spend each year. Unfortunately, Bill and I spend a lot of time in the dentist chair. 😦 We were a little anxious not having insurance. We ended up sitting down together on Saturday, March 16, to study the plans and make a decision. After much discussion and I think only one flare-up πŸ™‚ we decided we would self-insure ourselves. Meaning, we decided that we would be paying so much money out of our pocket for the insurance premiums that during a good dental year, we would not get our money’s worth. Decision was no dental or vision insurance. It was a risk we thought we’d take. Then we settled on which medigap supplement plan and drug plan for Bill. Whew! We had a phone meeting with Matthew on Monday, the 18th, to sign up for those. Glad that was done.

Bill spent the rest of the weekend out in the pole barn re-working the cabinets and trying to straighten up the pole barn as best he could before the stager arrived.

Jim called me on Sunday in the middle of de-cluttering and asked if I had time to go over house plan changes I had emailed him a week ago. Told you we’d have more! πŸ˜† There really weren’t many changes: switched two closets; made closet door 36 versus 32; added bi-fold doors to the garage utilities area; added notation where gas cooktop and wall oven would be located; verified where 8 ft soffit was located in master bathroom; eliminated the shower window; added back a wooden front door with sidelites (see picture below); corrected the window schedule with which windows had grids and which did not; added the exact flooring we wanted for the laundry room; and added lights in the attic to the electrical plan. See, that wasn’t that much, was it? πŸ™„

The two things Bill and I have struggled with the most on choosing for the new house are flooring and the front door. I’m hoping we get the flooring settled this weekend when we go to a couple of flooring stores down south. We saw the fiberglass front door we originally picked out (not cheap) at the Indy Home Show in January. We thought it was too lightweight. Neither one of us wanted to install it on our house. So, we went back to looking at wooden entry doors. This is the one we think we are going to buy. But, we are waiting to order it after we move south.

Wooden Entry Door

Wooden Entry Door

Monday and Tuesday, March 18 & 19, I cleaned house. That’s all I seem to do these days. We were ready forΒ  Greg, the house stager Tuesday afternoon at 1:00. When he arrived, he said we would start outside and then come back inside the house and go room by room while I took notes the whole time. We started out front and the first thing he talked about was the paint around the windows – you know, the windows that were damaged! We shook our heads and said that would all be fixed. He mentioned something about cleaning up the front landscaping when the weather ever got warmer. It was really cold and windy that day. Then we went back to the three-season porch and he suggested getting rid of the metal table and suggested a way to place the furniture we had on the porch. Next, we headed out to the patio area. He said to pulled the patio furniture out and place it around. When we got to the pole barn, he was intrigued with Bill’s cabinet building. He loved it. Honestly, he looked around and said, “Bill, just straighten up the best you can.”

When we got back to the house we started in the kitchen. He opened my cabinets and grinned. Then he said, “I could blog all day how good this looks!” He told us what things to put away during showings (like trash can, my utensil crock, my knife caddy, and paper towel holder). And, he staged some of the items I had – I took pictures so I wouldn’t forget.

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He suggested we paint the dark burgundy walls in the dining/family room. 😦 Suggested we move out our sofa table, take out the TV and stand in the dining area, and take out my large L-shape desk in the family room. He suggested purchasing some lighter colored pillows for the burgundy sofa and love seat in the family room and some solid color ones for the living room couch. No surprise, they want us to store all items for the new house somewhere other than the garage. And, the list went on and on and on. I had four pages of notes by the time he was done. He kept saying how nice the house looked and the great job I had done and what we had to do was not bad at all. But I still had this long list. By the time he left, I was depressed. πŸ˜₯

So, folks, this is where we are now – working our butts off trying to get as much done as we can. I thinned out silverware and utensil drawers and packed a bin of stuff. I cleaned out the coat closet. Want to see what three down coats, two long winter coats, one heavy leather coat, two pair of insulated over-alls, and a slew of other jackets look like in those space bags? They work!

Compressed winter coats

Compressed winter coats

I emptied my shoes from the rack that is installed on the inside of our bedroom closet and put them in under-bed containers. I need to take the rack down. I bought three different size candles for the coffee table, a small silk flower arrangement for the dining table, new pillows for the sofas, and storage boxes for the closets to store loose things. I made another trip to Goodwill with a trunk full.

I’m crossing off the list as I go. The biggest thing now is getting the stuff out of the garage and deciding if we are going to paint. Bill thinks he can find room in the pole barn to store our new house items. He doesn’t want to spend money on a storage unit or a pod yet. I have two closets to pack up and I think I will be ready to start painting. We are hoping Bill can work on some of the outside stuff next week/weekend if we ever get a break in this cold weather.

Bill’s last day to work is tomorrow – March 28!!!! He will be officially retired! Friday, we are going down to Jill and Jim’s for a long weekend. Monday, April 1, we drill for the well. We can use all the prayers you can spare that we hit water! We plan to meet with a couple of vendors while we are down there. We are changing our stone choice. Surprise!!!! We hope to pick out our hardwood floors and carpet and tile. And, we plan to meet with the pole barn builder again and see about other options. I’m sure I’ll be taking lots of pictures while we are down there.

From here on out, I hope that my posts are current and short. They probably will be because I won’t have time to ramble on like this any longer. Our adventure has been on an upswing all these years. Now, I think we are approaching the summit and heading down.

I hope it’s smooth sailing . . . πŸ™‚

Mirror Mirror . . .

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. ~Socrates

February 2013 was a month of de-cluttering again for me. I got back out my list I had made way back in the summer of 2011 and looked to see what items were left to do. Like the quote above, I didn’t want to fight with this old stuff anymore. I just wanted to concentrate on building the new house. 😦 But, to get to the new – I had to deal with this old.

I cleaned out and organized the spare bedroom closet, all three bathroom vanities, a bathroom cabinet, the linen closet, and an antique cabinet.

Bill was able to squeeze in a day where he replaced bulbs in our tract lighting in the kitchen and dining area and patched up some areas around the house. A couple of days after that I did touch-up painting over the repaired spots.

We were also able to get our taxes done early and e-filed by mid month. Woohoo! Nice refund.

And, just about every Thursday evening we got a call from Bill’s retirement specialist. Bill would repeat the same questions almost each week and add another one to the list. Each week the retirement specialist would promise to get us the answers. One of the most pressing questions was about health insurance for me until I turned 65. We were both covered on Bill’s insurance until the end of March with Bill retiring on March 28. Bill will go on Medicare starting April 1. Bill was grandfathered in on a benefit that covered spouses after employees retired for a minimal amount of money. We were trying to verify if that was still in place and how much it would cost. And, they had my name on file as Sandra K. Williams. πŸ™„

And, if that wasn’t enough, Bill got a letter from Social Security confirming that he would start receiving benefits in March. 😯 Nooooooooo! It was supposed to start in April; he’s still working in March. After more phone calls to Social Security, he was told he had to go down to the SS office in person to get it straightened out. He decided to take off work and get there before they opened so he could be one of the first in line. He came home with a couple forms. His work had to fill out one form and we had to be fill out the other. Once we got those completed he asked me to drop the forms off at the Social Security office the following week. I wish I could say that took care of the problem.

As weather permitted, Bill continued to build cabinets for the kitchen. The corner base cabinet and corner upper cabinets were a pain for him to build. One exciting thing he tried was a tinted Danish oil technique on the mahogany instead of stain. He had gone to the woodworking show in January and watched a demonstration on it. Bill said it was so much easier to apply versus stain and he thought it would give me the dark rich look I was looking for on the cabinets. The left piece of wood is veneered mahogany (sides of cabinets) and the right piece of wood is solid mahogany (all the cabinet face-frames). There will be many layers of finish on top of the Danish oil so it will be even brighter when done. I was very pleased with the look. Unfortunately the tinted Danish oil doesn’t work with maple – the wood which Bill made the laundry/pantry cabinets. Those will need to be stained.

Tinted Danish Oil on Mahogany

Tinted Danish Oil on Mahogany

Remember my last post when I said we thought our house plan changes were over? πŸ˜†Β  When Jim sent us the digital version of the forms at the end of February he sent us two other options of how our house and pole barn could be placed on our property. He called us and said that with the very wet winter, the ground was saturated. He thought if Bill ever wanted to drive back to the pole barn he would mess up the yard. This was how we originally had the house and pole barn situated. We planned to share Jill and Jim’s driveway on the left.

Original Site Plan

Original Site Plan

Jim said there was no pressure to select another site plan, he just wanted to give us options we might not have thought about. He said he had a “favorite” site plan he had drawn up, but he would not tell us which one it was. I even begged him to tell us and told him we respected his opinion but he wouldn’t tell us before we made up our own minds.

Here was Site Option 1. We would still share Jill and Jim’s driveway, but the drive into our house would be longer, the house would be pushed farther to the east side, and pole barn would be moved to the west side of the property. We would have a gravel drive off our driveway to the pole barn.

Site Plan Option 1

Site Plan Option 1

Here was Site Option 2. We would have our own driveway on the east side of the property next to Jim, Sr. and Joan’s property. The driveway would extend all the way to the pole barn. The driveway towards our garage would be much wider and allow for double parking or plenty of room for backing up and turning around. The house would be pushed more toward the west.

Site Plan Option 2

Site Plan Option 2

Bill and I really liked the idea of Option 2. We did like the idea of having our own driveway and it did offer driving to and from the pole barn, which Bill does a lot where we now live. But, here was the kicker. If you looked closely, you will see that in Option 2, the house’s orientation is flipped horizontally – it is a mirror image of what it originally was. I was having trouble wrapping my head around that switch. Whenever I cannot visualize something about the new house, I turn on the laptop and start up the 3D house design software. Bill asked me if there was a mirror feature on the software (which I had never used before).Β  We found there was a mirror button. Yippee! I didn’t have to redraw the whole thing!

As Bill and I looked at the mirrored floor plan we started to notice some issues. Really? Nothing is easy when making changes. One of the biggest issues if we made the change was the kitchen cabinets. Bill said that his corner cabinets would not be correct. The sections of the corner cabinets were not symmetrical. On the base cabinet Bill had made a blind corner cabinet. We had purchased a Rev-A-Shelf Blind Corner Cabinet Organizer. What he had built was in the orientation of the picture on the left. If we mirrored the house, the corner cabinet would have to look like the picture on the right.

The upper corner cabinet was such a bear to build in the first place and Bill determined that most of it would have to be rebuilt. Here was the inspiration photo for the upper corner cabinet.

Inspiration for upper corner cabinet

Inspiration for upper corner cabinet

In addition to the corner cabinets, Bill would have to remake a couple face-frames for cabinets on each end. And, he had to remake the side panel for the microwave/wall oven cabinet. The list was mounting.

The second biggest issue was door hardware. We had already purchased all our interior and exterior door hardware. In the mirrored house plan the doors were swinging in the opposite way than our original plan. If you used knobs as door handles, that would be no problem. However, we had purchased all lever handles. Bill and I got out all the handles and double-checked to make sure they would still work for the doors. The handles were reversible, so we were fine except for the front door. That door in-swing could not be changed. Because the front door is in the middle of the wall, we decided that we could keep it opening the same way as we originally planned.

I let Bill make the final decision whether we made the mirrored plan change or not. He was going to be the one that had to remake cabinets. I would never intentionally ask him to do that. Plus, I worried about his time to get all the cabinets done period, let alone going backwards and remaking a bunch of cabinets. Bill gave the nod to Site Option 2 with the mirrored house plan. He said he would remake the cabinets because the new site option was a better plan.

We called Jim the first part of March and told him our preference. It wasn’t until we made the decision before he would admit that Option 2 was his first choice, too. Thank goodness, Jim had a mirror image feature with Auto-Cad and didn’t have to re-draw all our plans from scratch. Of course, that didn’t mean there weren’t more changes to be made.

Next up: Meeting with our realtor and a house stager.