Monday, August 21, 2017

It's Moving Day

The song for today is sung to the tune of "Closing Time"...




Moving day
Time to let the packers take over the job for me.
Moving day
Hope they pack it all up and nothing is left to see.
Moving day
Walk through the house that is now just an empty shell.
Moving day
When will I see my things again only time will tell.

I know it is time to move on.
I know it is time to move on.
I know it is time to move on.
Time to move on...

Scenes from the day:















Sunday, August 20, 2017

3 - 2 - 1.... Lift Off

We have two one nights left in our house. Two One nights! Our decor consists of boxes, rug pads and a bit of furniture. There are still some things to pack, but we did pay for the moving company to pack some of our stuff. I think they are getting a good deal as I continued to pack up things after the estimate - you might say it became an obsession!


Tomorrow Today we must get everything on the motorhome that we plan to carry with us. If it doesn't fit we need to be able to go to plan B and have it go in the moving van, store it and collect it later.

As far as "what's next?", we have all but 2 days accounted for from Monday, August 21 until Monday, October 1. We have reservations at a number of campgrounds north and a bit east of Oakland. We also signed up for a Fantasy RV Tour Rally in the San Francisco area. It was a "while we are there" sort of thing!


Mr. Dreamy pulled all of the liquor out of the cabinet. That cabinet is kinda like the fridge. Things get pushed to the back and forgotten. He sorted good stuff and not-so-good stuff. This morning, a helluva time to do this, we opened questionable bottles of wine, took a taste and poured them down the drain.


We tossed 20 or so empty bottles into the roofer's dumpster. Someone may wonder about our roofers! (But, maybe they should wonder since they damaged our hot tub cover and a solar light at our entry!)

Our "To Do" lists include taking stuff to a charity (towels and blankets went to the Humane Society today), taking papers to be shredded (we had a truck come to shred 5 boxes of papers.... but found more!), getting the Mini to storage (and maybe storing a few things with her), and lots of other last minute stuff that I haven't thought of yet!

This is totally unbelievable!



Friday, August 18, 2017

Adventures Await

I could begin another countdown... only X days until we pull out on our motorhome. However, I'll spare you, because, truthfully.... it scares me!

I have made reservations at Cherry Creek State Park, which is 11.8 miles from our home. We will pull out on packing day, August 21. If things go as I imagine they should, the moving crew will box everything we have not packed, and load it and our furniture into a truck. Then we will all leave. Our belongings will go to storage, and we Dreamers will head to the park.

The next day we Dreamers will return to help clean the house, barns, garage and grounds. I have arranged for the carpets to be cleaned and for a few cleaning gals to help us clean inside.

On August 23 we are slated to close. I assume that after all the paper work is completed we will come back to the property for a walk-through, where we will share as much as we can with the new owner in a short period of time.  We will head to our home on wheels and begin our trek to California the following morning.

I have reservations at several campgrounds between here and there. Nothing is an extreme drive. I've come close to sticking to the "330" rule: drive no more that 330 miles or drive until 3:30 PM, whichever comes first.


I wonder how long it will take my head to wrangle with the reality that I won't be returning to my Colorado home?!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hoofing It

A farmer traveling with his load
Picked up a horseshoe on the road 
And nailed it fast to his barn door,
That luck might down upon him pour;
That every blessing known in life
Might crown his homestead and his wife,
And never any kind of harm, 
Descend upon his growing farm. 

- from the Internet

While cleaning out the garage at the barn I stumbled upon this relic (not in the Ecclesiastical sense of the word). Do you see it? At the back of the barn? Pippin was wearing this shoe when I bought him. He had suffered a terrible case of founder a few months before the sale, and apparently an Amish farmer had crafted this shoe to support Pippin's damaged hoof. 


Here's a close-up of the hand-crafted orthopedic shoe:


Pippin's hoof was in such bad shape that shortly after I brought him home to my barn the farrier had to build up and supplement the hoof wall with epoxy. 

Seeing the shoe makes me sad. It reminds me of what an amazing guy Pippin was. I can only begin to imagine the pain he went through, and how strong he was to endure it, and come out the other side with such a spirited personality - or should I say, horsonality! In some ways the shoe represents my dream of living in Colorado and having horses in my back yard. I no longer have the horses and in just a short time I will no longer have my back yard, but I have so many wonderful memories. I placed the shoe by the tree where Pippin & Doc would stand on warm, sunny days. It's a tribute to my horses, and to my dream.... fulfilled.







Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fortnight

Two weeks from today we will be pulling into a campground in Napa, CA. Oh. My! We will be "there". I have had to look back at the calendar several times to count the days to see if this could possibly be true! I have a funny feeling that 14 days is going to go by faster than I can imagine.

There is little left for me to do. Ha! What a joke! I don't have to pack any more, as the company we hired will finish that and load everything on a truck on the 21st. But, I have a few other things to attend to..... just a few!

I've sorted most everything and I've begun to take things out to the motorhome. We will be carrying more than we usually do, so finding a space for everything and keeping everything in its place will be a challenge.

I'm to the point where I don't know what to do with much of what is left. Even though I've been sifting and sorting, there is still a lot of junk: pens, paper clips, note pads, scissors, cleaning products, aerosol paint, boxes of screws, old computers....

We have been keeping up with the yard work. It has been a challenge since we have had so many afternoon rains the grass has been growing like crazy. Weeds are going mad, too, but I haven't gotten into the gardens to take care of those recently. Well, except in the vegetable garden. It is the prettiest garden I have every had... and it is so orderly! I fertilized a few weeks ago and the plants have responded beautifully. My spaghetti squash is loving life on a trellis... but I'm running out of space! My pole beans like their trellis too, but they want to grow higher! The leaves on my squash plants are twice the size of dinner plates, and we are enjoying squash. Sadly, the wind from yesterday's storm broke the stem of three squash plants that had grown together into one huge stem. That's alright, we have more!


I put a few more things on Craig's List. I guess we will bundle up anything that is left on our "clean up" day, and take it to charity... or to the dump. There are things we can't list until the end, like our shop vac and lawn mowers. However, the new owner has mentioned he would like to know how much we want for our tractor and riding mower, so maybe we won't have to get rid of them.

We have a rug cleaning company coming to take out our wool rugs for cleaning. We have another insurance adjuster coming to check the roof. We are scheduled to have a new roof installed, maybe even by the end of the week if we can get an adjuster to come earlier. I have arranged for storage for my car, and we need to take it up to the facility later this week, we both have Doctor and Dentist appointments and we have friends to visit and hug good-bye. Yes, I think the next 14 days will be a blur!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank

Septic tanks have to be emptied and inspected before a house can be sold. During our inspection it was discovered that a pipe leading into the tank had sunk, allowing roots to invade. This morning the septic company came to make the repair.

I was fascinated by how the big Bobcat made its way down the steep bank. The driver teetered on the edge of the bank, then put the shovel down to stabilize the machine.


The Bobcat dug out the area in short order.


The pipe was replaced, and the areas was filled in.


The Bobcat made its way up the bank. The driver turned the cab around so he could again use the shovel to stabilize the machine on the incline. 


From start to finish the repair took about an hour.

Monday, August 7, 2017

I Like to Move It

Welcome to the "I Like to Move It" exercise and weight loss program!



If I made a video to this music it would show me carrying boxes to the right, then carrying boxes to the left, all in time to the music.
I Like to move it, move it. 
Some shots would show me reaching up to shelves to get things off, and then bending down to put them in packing cartons. Repeat. 
I Like to move it, move it.
Climb up the stairs, carrying a box. Climb down the stairs, carrying another. 
I Like to move it, move it.
Pick the box up. Put the box down. Pick up another box. Twist to the right. Lift it high. Put it down. 
I Like to move it, move it.

Getting ready to sell the house and move has had some unintended outcomes. Our belongings are not the only things that have been downsized!

May 27, 2017

July 11, 2017

Since the July pictures I've lost a few more pounds. In total I've lost almost 20 pounds!

But to be honest... I don't like to move it! I am tired of moving it! I HATE to move it. I can't wait until this move is complete!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Let the Chips Fall Where They May

Most of you know that we have sold our house. It has been a long 10+ weeks of getting ready. First we had to sort through our things for an estate sale. Then we had to sort through our things and decide what we are going to keep, what we are going to give away, what we are going to take to our RV lot at RiverBend in Florida, and what will go into storage pending the location of a home with a craft place for me and a workshop space for the Mr. In addition to the sorting and packing, we had to fix things. We have had paint cans all around. We have been busy with screwdrivers and hammers. We have hired helpers for inside and outside. Life has been crazy. 

Now that the house is sold and the inspection is past (although we have not passed), we have a bit of a lull before movers arrive on August 21. I have had a chance to attack the "Do Not Sell" shelves and weed out things that were stored there very carefully in the beginning, and then not so carefully, and then things that were just chucked into the corner. As I was once again sorting I came across my paint chips! Oh, yeah. I am supposed to be doing something creative with some sort of medium using these colors predominately. 


As a member (and I think I agreed to be Vice President) of the RiverBend Creations Guild I came up with the brilliant idea to have an art show. I dubbed it the PaintChip Challenge. It sounded like a wonderful idea in the coming of spring and all of the new-found energy that comes with that change of weather. It still sounds like fun, but it is also sounding like work!


So, the idea of the challenge is that folks go to a store with Glidden paints and select the called upon paint chips. (Dapper Tan 10YY 55/163, Racy Red 64RR 12/436, Luscious Moss 70GY 27/154, Gold Strike 20YY 46/425) Then, using whatever their choice of artsy stuff is, they are to come up with a piece for our show in January. 

Since I was sorting through things that go to 'wherever we land', and things that need to go to Florida, I thought to myself, "Self, it might be a good idea to find some fabrics in your bins that are destined to go 'wherever we land' and pick out the colors that closely match the paint chips. so you can have them with you in Florida."  I looked in this bin and found some pinky-reds. I looked in another bin and found some greens, and so forth. I ran down to the local quilting shop to pick up something that was "Dapper Tan". 

Ta-Da.....  here are the results 


Now, what to make of it? I'll have miles and miles to imagine and sketch ideas and dream about this project as we head towards 'Wherever we land'. And, of course, I will do a show and tell whenever I finish my project. And, of course, you will hear all about the PaintChip Challenge at RiverBend, and how all of that works out.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Without a Roof Over Our Heads

The dreaded day for inspection came. We stayed out of the way, hanging out in the RV and making phone calls and dealing with stuff. We'd occasionally make a foray into the house. We had to get a charger for the phone. We needed a bite to eat. We had to use the bathroom (yes, the motorhome does have a potty but we don't have a way to dump the tanks, so we prefer not to use it). We would catch snippets of what was going on inside.

Mr. Dreamer heard the buyer-to-be planning where to put furniture in the living room. He wants to be able to see the fireplace, the TV and the barn from where he sits! I understand. I love looking out and seeing the yard and the barn, too. I also love NOT seeing a house right next to me. That's going to be a difficult part of the move. Wherever we end up, we will have neighbors close by. We certainly aren't used to that.

The inspector seemed to be very thorough. When I came in to grab something for lunch he was sitting on the floor by the kitchen sink talking about the reverse osmosis filter, and inspecting the hoses. He had hot water in the sink, presumably seeing if the stopper stops water; the stove was warm and the dishwasher was running. Then he moved on to the dining room. He pulled up both of the floor vents and used a nifty mirror/light combo to look in the ducts. OMG I bet he found a kitten (or two) equivalent of dog hair!!

We were both dreading the report. We didn't want anything wrong with the house that would queer the deal. The last time we had a house inspection for a move the prospective owner had a list off 20-some things from the report that they wanted addressed. Luckily, their realtor was much more reasonable and told the woman to pick 5.

Within 24 hours of the inspection we heard from our Realtor. There were 3 things on the list. But, oh... they are big things! Oh, and there were a few little things that they didn't ask us to fix, like a slightly wobbly toilet upstairs, an uncapped gas line in the basement and a slightly sagging piece of sheetrock in the garage, to name a few. But the biggies....
  • The roof needs to be replaced. 
  • We need a bunch of GFCI circuits installed
  • The septic system needs to be repaired - we already knew about that, and it is scheduled for next week.
The roof has hail damage. I was beating myself up over not washing out the little bits of stone from the shingles that had collected in the gutters. We had a roofer stop by that day to give us an estimate. He took great photos of the hail damage. It is more than the little bits of stone. When large hail hits a roof it leaves a small, sunken divot on the roof. In the beginning it is black, over time it oxidizes and turns grey or white. The area under the divot is compressed and compromised and might begin to leak in 10 years or so.  So, not unreasonable for someone to want a house with a roof that does not have damage. We made a claim with our insurance and the adjuster will meet with the roofer next week. They have hail maps, showing when hail has impacted specific areas. Yes, we have had hail this year, but will any of the recent damage show? Regardless, we will pony up and pay for the new roof. If we were the buyer we would expect the same.

Likewise, we will make an adjustment to cover the estimated cost of the electrician. We were aware of some wonky wiring, but not everything the inspector found. I don't totally agree that we need GFCI circuits down in the barn where the outlets are nowhere near the water.... but, if it means selling the house or not selling the house... let's just give them the money.

As I discussed in a previous post, we were aware of the need for the repair of the septic system and that repair is scheduled. There are a few other things on the inspection report, but nothing that the prospective owner wants addressed by us. Maybe he felt that if he asked for too much we'd tell him to forget it! We know the prospective owner really, really, really wants this house!

So... onward we go. The earnest money has been sent to the title company. The buyer is serious about buying. We are serious about selling....

I think!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Quack, Quack, Quack... I Want My Money Back!

As a student of Early Childhood Education, I was required to take Children's Literature classes (and to be honest, I loved them!) Among the tales that I enjoyed while studying classic tales was Drakesbill, where Drakesbill goes to see the king, and swallows animals encountered on the trip, who later help him out. All along he repeats, "Quack, Quack, Quack, I want my money back!"
I think I am a modern-day reincarnation of Drakesbill!

And, here's the back story!

Among the objects I collected  from my father's apartment for the estate sale was this ceramic piece that we called "Italian Ducks". These were on the list of my grandfather's possessions at his death in 1990.



My cousin happened to see the picture on a blog post I put up about the Estate Sale.  She asked about buying the ducks. No problem. She deserves them as much as I do. Later, she was watching Jeopardy and the image for one of the questions was similar to the ceramic piece, and the correct response was, "What are Grebes". So, now we know the name of the weird looking birds.

After things slowed down around here I took the grebes and headed to a local FedEx office. I had all of the packing material needed, but, life was still rather hectic and I'd just as soon have the pros manage the packing of this piece.


After weighing the pottery it was whisked away and packed. The piece was swaddled in bubblewrap and plunked in a carton surrounded by crumpled paper. I paid the bill, while swallowing hard in disbelief at the cost (in excess of $86!!) But, heck, I didn't have to find a box, find packing material and put it all together. In hindsight, I sure wish I had taken care of things!

My cousin reported that the grebes had arrived, but were broken. What? Yikes! How tragic. The picture my cousin sent makes me want to vomit. What a travesty. 


Tomorrow, with receipt in hand.... with pictures in hand... I'll be heading back to the FedEx office... 

Quack, quack, quack.... I want my money back!

PS - Cousin has found a restoration company on the east coast and will be sending the grebe pieces to be put back together again. The bill will be handled by FedEx.... or else!




Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stitched Together

When our son took the photos using the drone he accomplished three things. He took some still images of the house, he had the drone circle the house and take video footage, and he "mapped" the property, taking photos shooting straight down while the drone followed a regular path going back and forth on our property. The drone was programmed to take 116 shots, and later my son stitched those photos together to create an aerial image of our property.

Click on this link to see the image.

If you view the image online, instead of simply looking at the screen shot I have posted, you can see many details with amazing clarity. I was surprised by the tracks left from the truck when it removed trees in May. Those tracks can be seen on the left center portion of the property. It shows how fragile our Colorado high desert land is.


It saddened me to see the "road" through the pasture. This was created by traffic during our estate sale. Our driveway was too narrow for two-way traffic so we had no option but to cut the fence and route traffic through the property. We have used the drag harrow to try to "rough up" the tracks, and we have spread some dry-land prairie grass seed mix, but it will take years to recover, if it ever does.

You can zoom in on my vegetable garden raised beds, the green rectangle just south and west of the house. I was tickled by the row of bright green lettuce. Do you see the red Zinnia blooming? I had some packets of Zinnia seeds and planted them to fill in here and there in the vegetable garden. They are beginning to bloom and they look great!


Oh, and look, just east of the garden you can see the drag harrow and the scuffed up earth behind it!

From this view our land looks like it is just dirt, but looking at it from ground level it does have a lot of plant life!


And, speaking of plant life, if you zoom in by the house you can see the purple-blue clumps of Russian Sage, and in the flower garden in back of the house I can see the wild sun flowers, some day lilies, my purple Monardia, and even my Echinacea. Outside of the picket fence I cracked up when I saw the hose. At first I thought there was a line drawn on the map for some reason!


And then there is my not-so-round pen! When I set the pen up I used a rope attached to a metal rod to "draw" a perfect circle. This past fall Mr. Dreamy installed a weather station on one of the fence posts of the pasture. In order to keep curious horses from "playing" with the weather station, I moved two panels to block off the weather station, and closed up the round pen. I bet you can see from where those panels were taken! I can!

If you know where to look along the fence line one can even see my bird houses. I have over a half-dozen to encourage our bluebirds. This year we had a few couples that managed to fight off the swallows and maintain ownership of their houses. It has been wonderful to see bluebird families in the yard. And, it has been fun to have this birds-eye view of our property.




https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com/maps/public/1332c3798b6e47e5bf2d4a43d042afb1

Friday, July 28, 2017

Twilight Slide Show

On Monday, past, we still did not have a signed contract. To expedite putting the house on the market our Realtor chose to get the photographer to our house to take pictures to use on the MLS listing. The listing was supposed to come out Wednesday. However, we had a contract on Wednesday, nothing went to MLS. We were given a link to a slideshow that had been created with some of the photos that were taken. I am in awe of our house. Is this our house? What fun to see it in this format.

Click HERE to see the virtual tour.

And, don't believe for a second that my house REALLY looks like that. It's amazing what some sort of wonky lens can do! But, I do get a kick out of looking at it!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Whose House?




Whose house this is I thought I knew
But that was before the contract fell through;
The deal was great, so it appeared
But they had to close first and my anxieties grew.

Passersby must think it weird
To discover the realtor’s sign disappeared
And then it was back aside the road
We won’t tell them it was us interfered.

Folks stopped to enquire, it was getting old
We couldn't say a second deal was on hold
We had to stay mum it was our secret to keep
But the counter was accepted, our house is sold.

We don’t have to show it, nor constantly sweep
We’ve been through a lot in the past few weeks
And all we want to do is go to sleep,
And all we want to do is go to sleep.

Just last week, on Wednesday, 7 days ago, a couple toured our home and made a full price cash offer.  On Friday another couple came through and upped the ante $20,000 above asking. The first couple countered. However, they had a contingency and they were having trouble with that contingency so we declined their offer. We countered back to the 2nd couple with the top price, and they accepted. 


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sky View

Our son, David, works for a commercial landscape company. They use a drone to map locations for their jobs and to get images of the properties where they have projects. Our son is a drone pilot for the company. He uses a variety of software to plan the drone flight and to map the results. He can program a flight from takeoff to landing and once programmed, the drone does everything on its own. Or, he can fly the drone manually, and by looking on an iPhone screen attached to the controller, he can tell the camera to take a picture. Once the flight is complete the data he has collected connects with other software and he can create maps and diagrams. Fascinating!
The other day he stopped by with the drone and took photos and videos. I was in awe of the entire process. I was also in awe of how adept my son is with all of this!
First he programmed a circular flight around the buildings on the property. He uses coordinates to tell the drone where to fly. He can tell it at what altitude to fly and how fast. Here he is showing me on the iPhone screen that manages the flight, what he has preprogrammed.


The yellow circle is the path the drone will fly. 


David takes the drone out of the backpack,



and attaches the propellers. 



Within minutes the drone lifts off.



Up, up and away!



This is a link to the video the camera recorded on the flight. 
The file is too large to upload to Blogger. 


Next, our son took over the controls, and while looking at the iPhone screen, selected individual photos to shoot. We Dreamers were enthralled with what he was doing. It seemed strange to sit on the porch and see images on the iPhone screen of what the drone was seeing, even on the other side of the house. 


And, here is what the drone saw:









The last program our son used required that the drone fly in a pattern, back and forth, from one end of our property to the other. The drone took shots periodically, 116 in all. David will "stitch" the pictures together with other software and create an overhead view of our property.

Here are two of the 116 shots. It will be very interesting to see the finished "map".



I enjoyed seeing the pictures of our property. I have always been fascinated by Google satellite shots, but these allow one to zoom in a bit more. I also loved seeing how at home my son is with the software and the drone. He has a unique skill set!



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Countdown - Week 1

Tick. Tick. Tick. The hands of the clock are moving on, whether we are ready or not! This week has been a whirlwind. Just read on to see what I mean. You won't believe it!

Waaaayyy back in April I began the countdown; ten weeks of work to get the house show-ready.  It was just a guess. Perhaps more of a challenge I made for myself. We won't make it, but we will be darn close!

Here is how this incredibly crazy week has progressed:

Monday:
  • the junk hauler/mover came back to finish cleaning out the garage. All of our extra stuff is gone. Of course, within 30 minutes or so I realized things I needed that used to be in the garage: a water bowl for Bob, insulation hangars and a can of white spray paint. I wonder how many other things we are going to realize we have sold, given away or thrown out!

  • 1000 square feet of carpet was installed in the finished portion of the basement, and up the stairs. It looks fabulous!

  • I cleaned the upstairs. The sort of cleaning you rarely do for yourself but will do for others; the "scrub the baseboards with a toothbrush" sort of cleaning. Mr. Dreamy did a fabulous job of getting some stubborn spots out of the carpet. I contracted with a cleaning service to get the downstairs show-ready clean. They will be working next week.
  • We had the septic tank pumped and inspected. We failed. (I have only failed one thing, one time in my life - and I really didn't fail it but was given a "0" on part of a French exam for talking. Hmmmm, imagine that! Darn you Mr. El Kodsi, you scarred my life!) We need to have the pipe replaced as it has sunk down where it connects to the tank and roots have gotten into the tank. Mr. Dreamy is working to expedite the repair. If I'm not careful, he will get the LMOS (lawn mower on steroids) out and begin digging himself!
  • We selected our replacement Realtor. When we talked with Realtors in May realtors all came within $50,000 of each other on their estimates for a selling price. When we talked with Realtors last week they gave us estimates that were almost $100,000 - $150,000 less. Needless to say, we were quite discouraged. Then the last realtor met with us. He had done his homework to find truly comparable listings. With his research and digging, he said the house should list where the original realtors saw it listing. The other guys had simply plugged in "horse property, 10 acres, barn and 3400 sq ft house". The computer fed them matching listings that weren't really matching. The computer doesn't take into account the distance to town. The computer doesn't take into account upgrades done on the house. Also, there are very few houses like ours, that are for sale or that have sold recently, so to get "comps" the realtors had to move farther away. Even 10 miles makes a huge difference in price.
  • I posted some more items that didn't sell on Craig's List. Who knew that a pile of concrete siding that had been sitting in the corner of the paddock for 6 years would be worth money?!

Tuesday:
  • In the morning we got a call from our new Realtor. One of the couples who saw the house during the estate sale wanted to see the house again. He asked if we would allow a showing Wednesday morning. (Who asks to see a home at 8:30 in the morning?!) This meant that we Dreamers worked tirelessly (well, to be truthful we were totally and utterly exhausted!) for over 12 hours straight to clean, organize, rearrange etc. We can now walk into our bathroom. We don't have tons of extra stuff in our bedroom. The kitchen counter is amazingly empty of stuff! Additionally, the dumpster was leaving the next day so we needed to capitalize on it and load every bit of garbage we could find. 
Wednesday:
  • We did not have an especially leisurely breakfast! We ran around picking up and cleaning last minute items. I vacated the house with the dogs and went to see my dad. Scott stayed out in the RV barn and got on the RV when the potential buyers came in.
  • Our IKEA shelving system that was posted on Craig's List walked out the door, and I didn't have to lift a finger to help!
  • Mr. Realtor came by to do a walk-through, now that the junk is all gone. He liked how I had "staged" the upstairs and felt confident that we could have the house ready for a photoshoot on Monday, the house will hit MLS on Wednesday and we will begin showings on Saturday, a week and a half from now. Yikes! That timeline is really scary. List making began: Things to Buy. Things to do before Monday. Things to do before Saturday. So, it looks like we might sorta, kinda, almost make my goal after all and will be "show ready" by the end of this week!
  • A representative from the estate sale folks came by with a check. It far exceeded our expectations - even with their commission, labor expenses, food and tax taken out. Wow! Oh, and he bought one of the oil paintings!
  • I took the IKEA shelves in the living room apart, well as much as I could without destroying them. We will be moving them to wherever. For now, they are in the garage. The living room looks so much brighter and larger without them! I also stopped by IKEA to see if one can purchase the chintzy backer "board" they use on the shelves, which would break apart if I tried to get it off. Nope. Not available, so the shelves will have to travel as they are. While there I bought some new towels to make our bathroom look more lovely than it is (if that is at all possible!), but Mr. Dreamy didn't like them so I will have to take them back. 
Thursday:
  • The realtor stopped by and placed his sign at our driveway. Oh, my gosh. It is really happening.

Friday:
  • I sent a text message to Mr. Realtor. I had some concerns/questions about furniture placement in the living room. I asked about his "staging" services. He called me back and said the house looks great and not to worry. Oh, and by the way, he heard from the realtor for the folks who came by on Wednesday and they are putting in an offer. He also wanted to ask if we would allow another couple to view the house in the afternoon. Why not? We Dreamers decided. So began another round of running around, picking up, putting away, wiping down and getting out of the way.
  • Our driveway was sealed. This means we have to drive through the pasture to get in or out. This also means that the couple who came to see the house did not get to see the curb appeal of our home as they drove in the stately long driveway, viewing the beautiful new lawn, the freshly painted garage and front doors, the pretty flowers I had planted (both real and fake) and the newly mowed front pasture. Oh well! 
  • It turns out that the folks who toured the house were also at the sale, at least the father and son were. The father had said he'd be coming back as soon as the house was listed. He wasn't kidding! At the sale he talked with both of us Dreamers and "toured" the house. He brought his wife back today. Their realtor indicated that they will also be putting in an offer! My first thought was that staging is hugely overrated! Both offers are coming from people who first saw the house during the sale when it was hugely cluttered and messy!!
  • The CertainTeed siding we listed on Craig's List was picked up and is gone.
Saturday:
  • I prepared an extensive, detailed list of the remaining paintings and sent it to a national auction company. I had to submit 5 photos of each picture as well as any details I had about it. It took far more time than I wanted to spend doing it.. but the list is finished and hopefully the paintings can be sent on for auction. Nicholas de Largilliere (1656-1746) painted this portrait of Ulrich Frederick Woldemar. It appraised for over well over $10,000. I am thinking my great grandfather had this piece and it has been passed down over the years. The other paintings/prints are not of this caliber.

  • We continued to work on items on the list(s) to prepare our house for showings and sale.
  • I took some time to pull some weeds and trim in the gardens. One of my gardens has gone wild! I can't even get to the back to pull weeds since the flowers are so thick. 
  • Our realtor called. He said he had some good news, and....   some more good news, and..... still more good news. The Good News: The first offer came in at asking price. Cash! Only contingent upon the closing of the sale of their own house, which is 11 days out. More Good News: The second offer came in at $20,000 over asking! A partial loan would need to be acquired but shouldn't be a problem for the buyer. And, Even More Good News: The first offer was upped to $30,000 over asking, cash, closing on August 11 and they will let us stay in the house for up to two weeks after closing if we need the time. Holy Cow!!! I think we have sold our house! 
Sunday:
  • We reviewed the contract, then discovered it was no longer accessible online. We thought it was because we had requested a change in our name, but it appears that the buyer was misinformed about their closing date. They are scrambling (I presume) to get things straightened out by 3 PM tomorrow. So we went from, "Yippee!!, we don't have to get the house ready for photos or stage it for showing!!" To hauling out the To Do list and getting to work again. The realtor has suggested that we not offer the house to the other bidder as he thinks, based on the swift interest we had from these first two buyers, that we should list the house higher and see where the chips fall. In the "Coming Soon" listing on Zillow he calls the house "arguably the hottest listing available." (And he said that before we had the little bidding war!) Hopefully he is right!
This was an incredibly busy week with events escalating to warp speed. Each time I typed something I would think, "What's next?!"  Talk about a host of emotions: scared, elated, terrified, worried, sad, anxious....

This is the end of my Countdown. We are almost there. Cleaning crew and photos tomorrow. The listing goes up on Wednesday and the house will be shown beginning on Saturday.