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


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,
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....................

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.  :)