Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Ups and Downs of Selling the House

I had gotten used to the idea of happily spending another Christmas in the house.  I was beginning to think that it might be safe to start looking at airline tickets for kids to come home for the holidays.  The weather was beginning to get a touch (a VERY little touch) cooler.  Clark would have another semester without us being in "his" town.  I could ease back onto the ebay/craigslist bandwagon and leisurely get rid of the last of the "stuff."   Plans for the new house were slooooowly coming along.  There were many reasons that it just seemed wise and natural to plan on being here for the winter-- or at least through the holidays.  

After all people haven't been exactly beating down the doors to come and view the house.

Then we got a call for another showing and were back in turmoil again.  Strangely my reaction to this showing was unlike any other.  Instead of being excited or hopeful, I was a bit perturbed.  Neither of us were sure that we really wanted to sell at this particular time and so we grudgingly cleaned things up and left for the morning.   

Did I really want to leave in six weeks?  Could we get it done?  Though I've sold a lot of things and the attic is looking positively empty.... well sort of!  There is a LOT to still sell.... saddles, Triumph stuff, extra china, toys (anybody want a giant Pink Panther?).  And then there is the actual packing and loading and unloading that we'll need to do.  It can be daunting to think about.

After the showing, we got the realtor's report and heard that the couple, who were expecting a baby in December, liked the house but would be unable to do anything for at least two weeks due to being out of town.  I began to come around to the possibility that these might be "the ones" to buy the house.  Probably knowing that there would be kids in the house made this more appealing to me and I began to prepare myself for an actual offer on the house.  

Then the two week window came........ and, as of this afternoon, went.  

So here I am sitting on the front porch enjoying a cool breeze and back to happily thinking that we'll be here for the holidays.  Back to assuming that Clark's nonrefundable ticket that he bought to go skiing (BR to CO) won't cause him to have to spend Christmas with the Steibs!   Back to thinking that Kathleen will get to spend more time getting to know the place that has meant so much to Owen.  Back to wondering if we should stick with our current realtor or switch agents at the end of our six month contract in November.  Trying to decide about flying or driving to Parent's Weekend the first weekend in November.  Guess I'll buy those tickets for the symphony's holiday concert at the church.  

Oh wait.... someone just stopped and got a flyer.  Seriously, I'm not making this up!  Nice car, but an old couple (mid 50's, ha!)........ they should save it for a young family.   I want kids laughing and tearing the place up when I'm gone.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hooptie is Really a Word!

I wasn't sure that there was such a thing as a hooptie car or if it was just a word that someone in our family came up with.

We were heading into Baton Rouge and saw this lovely sign!  And don't you just love the slight paradox of Hoopties being at an AutoPlex?!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Walking for a new ipod

The last time that I did more than stroll (other than when Cathy tried to kill me on a forced exercise walk in San Francisco) was before I turned 40.  Do the math.... that's almost ancient history!  I thought it would be neat to celebrate that milestone by getting in the best shape of my adult life and entering a 5K walk/run on the week of my 40th birthday.  So a few months before the big day, I started walking and then doing a little jogging.  I used to walk regularly  before Clark was born, so this wasn't total lunacy.  

I had slowly built up my pace and total mileage and I was doing about half running and half fast walking for a 5K distance when shortly before my birthday, disaster struck and to my disgust I was instantly in the WORST shape of my adult life!  That morning I had felt a few minor twinges of something in my left knee at the beginning of the route, and then about 5 minutes into the walk,  the left knee just gave out.  I could barely get home and on my birthday I was walking like I was 80.  It was the ultimate backfire and to this day both knees still sound like they have gravel in them.

Despite the sound and rough rotation,  I haven't had any pain.  That is until today.  

I decided to take action, literally, in order to lose a few pounds and more importantly gain some stamina.  Riding is fine for the muscles and balance, but doesn't do a thing for your lungs!  When we visit Virginia, it's pretty pitiful to be out of breath after walking on even a slight slope for more than a minute.   I really want to do a lot of walking and some hiking after we move, so it is time to  suck it up, stop waiting for the cool weather that may never arrive, and work on getting in better shape now.  

Today was Day One..... What a revelation!!! I had no clue how different it would be to walk with music!!  I had thought that letting my mind wander and listening to the birds and nature sounds was my ideal way to walk but I'll never exercise in silence again.  I'm an earbud convert!  I was rocking along to a Genius classic rock mix and had to stop myself from singing outloud and acting crazy more than once! 

I've bought new walking shoes, a pair of track pants and socks this week (thank you Zappos!) so I'll keep listening to the iphone for now.  But here's my motivator:  after 30 separate days of walking,  I'm going to the Apple Store and buying a new Nano!!  The click wheel on my red Nano is broken which makes it pretty useless anywhere other than in the Mini with the steering wheel stereo controls.   So I sort of "need" another ipod.  Right?   

There's a countdown ticker on the bottom of the blog page.  Does anyone want to take bets on how long it will take?   

If anyone does decide to wager on the outcome, I'll be honest and admit that  I'm wondering if I'll be able to go much past Walking Day Number One.  Toward the end of this mornings walk, I had a twinge or two in my knee and about 30 minutes after coming inside, it was really beginning to bother me.  Just sitting here on the sofa, it's been throbbing  and I'm not sure what will happen after another day. 

Oh well!  Positive thinking!!  

Those pretty Nano colors!  I'm not an orange person.  Too old for pink.  Already have red.  Purple, yellow, green or blue?  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Newest Lake Jolie Vue Residents

Twin Fawns!  What a beautiful sight in the pasture this morning!  Though they stayed fairly close to the back fence, they didn't seem particularly bothered by me as I walked out past the pool to take some photos....




Friday, September 3, 2010

A Mattress Story..... Who'd Have Thought?

Is there a "Mattress Police"?  What is the deal with the  "Not to be Removed.... etc" tag?  Read on....

We bought our Simmons Black Label mattress set two years ago and paid a small fortune for it.  More than I'd have ever have thought that a mattress could cost.  How mattresses have come to cost so much in comparison with other home goods is a mystery.

We convinced ourselves that as part of our bedroom renovation, we "needed" not only a bigger bed but a top quality mattress since Joe's hip was in its final stages of residing inside his body and he was miserable at night.

Sweet Dreams Mattress (internet company and brick/mortar store in NC) gave me spot-on advice about different models, free white glove delivery.... and no sales tax.  Even before Joe's hip replacement, he got better sleep on the new Simmons Black Label and though I'm still not convinced that we should have spent so much for it, it has been ultra comfortable for both of us.

So last month when I was doing the weekly sheet changing and saw Joe's side of the bed sunken down a little and the sidewall bowed out about 3 inches,  I was horrified!  First step was a call to Sweet Dreams, who discussed my options.  Armed with my new found knowledge, I called Simmons and was promptly emailed a letter detailing what I should do to start a warranty claim.

In addition to some paperwork,  I was to take a series of specific photos and then if it was merited,  a representative would be sent out to inspect the mattress.

I got my email and began to read.  There was a laundry list of photos needed.... Top, sides, foundation, slats,  photos of the problem area which included measuring tapes and straight edges etc.

And OMG!!!  They wanted photos of both the "Not to be Removed Except by Consumer" tag and the floppy satin side label!

Not just photos of the tag in any sort of capacity.  Photos of the tag and label both FIRMLY ATTACHED to the mattress!!!!

My heart sunk to my toes.  I remembered after getting the mattress thinking that since the crunchy consumer tag was right under the pillow area, I should just take it off.

It doesn't say,  "Not to be removed except by a consumer who no longer cares if their warranty will be voided if this tag is removed."  To my amazement, I had no claim if those labels weren't "firmly" sewn on!

I went back to the bedroom, yanked off the sheets and thank heavens both labels were still there.  I believe that after delivery, I had given one of them a tug and then was afraid that I might damage the seam so I left them alone.  Disaster averted.

With some contortions worthy of a Twister game including a mattress, boxspring and a camera we got the photos taken.   I'm not sure what an elderly person who didn't have a digital camera, email and the strength to haul an 18" mattress around would have done.

Simmons agreed after seeing the photos that they would give us a replacement.  They wouldn't even need to take the step of sending a representative out for a visual inspection.  But if those labels hadn't been still sewn in place, we wouldn't be getting a new mattress!

This morning, we mailed away the final paperwork AND.... the labels! 

I was more than a little hesitant when I started snipping with the scissors but according to my last letter from Simmons, both tags must be in their possession via Certified Mail before they'll release the new mattress for delivery.   

Who would have thought?  Leave those mattress labels on until told otherwise!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Carter's Quick Visit

Carter was here on a whirlwind visit.  I had hoped he'd stay longer, but I know that he needs to get back to Arkansas and find a place to rent.

We picked him up at the airport on Monday, he caught up on his sleep on Tuesday and then hit the road for Little Rock this morning.  

I wish I had thought to take some photos while he was vacuum sealing the salmon that he brought back from Alaska.  When I saw the box on the luggage carousel, I never imagined that one medium sized cardboard box could hold so many salmon steaks!   They're a brilliant shade of .... yes, salmon.  He left us enough for several meals and I can't wait to taste it.  I'll have my fingers crossed that I can do it justice when I cook it.   

He headed out this morning right after I snapped this picture......