Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Glad That Weekend Is Over

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

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

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

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

I Think The Crafting Gods Handle Real Estate As Well

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

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

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

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

We got a call for a showing this morning.

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

Who knew holiday weekends were for house shopping? 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

We USED To Be Interesting People

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Crafting Friday!!!!





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

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

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

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

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

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



Cheers!

The TriTech & Zuercher Talent Acquisition Team


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


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

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I Sewed Yesterday!

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Want to Buy A House From Us

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

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

And TODAY I might even get to sew!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

25!

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

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Furry Friday

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


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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Not All Charities Are Monsters!

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

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

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

Monday, May 8, 2017

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

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

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

I Found My Knitting!

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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Good and the Bad

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

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

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

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

Time to go find the knitting! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I Could Have Been Knitting!

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday

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

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

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Me Made May!

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

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

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