Monday, May 8, 2017

Countdown - Week 8

It's been another busy week with other issues, besides selling the house, that have interfered with our work! Harrumph!!

A representative of the nursing facility came to evaluate Dad. She had some suggestions and we first had to see if a reclining wheelchair would be acceptable, and whether they could/would transfer Dad into it so he can eat in the dining room. The move took place on Thursday. It was a fantastic experience. The ambulance guys transported Dad from the back door of his building, down the sidewalk and into the Assisted Living facility. Dad smiled as he went down the hall, and was asleep before we hit the back door! Because the air mattress Dad uses had not been delivered, the staff later had to move Dad into the "geri chair" to swap out mattresses. He was all grins as we went on a walk around the facility. I think Dad is going to love his new digs and all of the opportunities he has to interact with other people. He has been confined for too long. All I can think of is Stephen King's "Misery".

Doesn't he look a bit like Don Corleone?!
In the "geri chair" heading out for a tour of the new place
It was my Stepmom's Birthday on Tuesday. I began working on a quilt for her while we were in Florida. When I returned home I put the borders on and quilted the quilt.

As far as house related projects go....
  • The concrete guys came by. Oh my, did they ever work hard! They broke up over 300 sq ft of old concrete with a sledge hammer and an adze, hauling it to their trailer with a wheelbarrow.  I think they underestimated the scope of the job, but they pressed on, pulled in some more guys and on the second day the concrete was poured. That evening a thunderstorm came through and we Dreamers scrambled to cover the fresh concrete and keep the plastic from blowing away. 

  • We finally selected the realtor we want to sell our house. We "interviewed" three and found it very difficult to choose. We finally selected the local Re/Max agent, strike that, we changed our minds. We took the go-getter from a smaller agency with better Internet presence. 
  • We had another gardener type guy come by, but when we didn't get an estimate from him decided to go with one of the fellows who gave us the estimate last week. Mr. Dreamy had called a few other numbers but they all said they were too busy. Later in the week Rene stopped by to review the project, and brought in 2 yards of mulch.
  • We changed out the chandelier in the hall, swapping a large shiny brass traditional chandelier for a smaller dark bronze fixture that is better suited for our "country home". Keeping with the bronze look, and getting rid of some more of the shiny brass, we swapped out the fan in the master bedroom. Since the hall chandelier is mounted 18 feet above the hall floor, we hired an electrician to do the work. I'm not a huge fan of the chandelier. I probably should have picked out something a bit larger, but.... oh well!

  • Representatives from TCS, an estate sale company, came by to look at all that we want to sell. We visited a sale they had done nearby and liked how they worked. But, I have requested a consultation by another company to see what they have to say. We have so much stuff that needs to go! TCS said it would be a huge sale!
  • I've packed 8 12 15 cartons for wherever we land with a real house, and 2 cartons designated for our RV lot in Florida. Mr. Dreamy says I'm being too harsh and need to bring along more things. I've also sorted bric-a-brac in the living room into a small section of "goes with us" and a larger sections of "get rid of".  I've just begun doing the same thing in the kitchen, but I can't go too far without knowing if we are going to have the estate sale before the house is shown, or after. It's a Catch-22 sort of thing: we have too much stuff and the house won't show well without removing a lot, and if we haul it out of the house we'd need to haul it back for the sale. However, if we hold the sale first we might not have enough furnishings for the house to show well. We meet with the realtor's "stager" next week and will have a better idea of which way to go. 
  • Almost all of the things that can be moved in the basement have been moved. Hooray! And if we decide to hold the sale before putting the house on the market, it will all have to be moved back - ugh! But, I would rather not have people tramping around on new carpet.
At the beginning of the project (you can see my Stepmom's quilt on the long arm machine, on the left!)

What the basement looks like now! I can see how "empty" looks larger!

  • Someone finally took us up on our Offer-Up listing for a free TV! We even loaded it in our truck and Mr. Dreamy hauled it to their apartment, about 30 minutes away. Anything to get the rear-projection dinosaur out of the basement!
  • We Dreamers worked on painting the front fence. Mr. Dreamy did most of it, and yet I seemed to have gotten more paint on me than on the fence. I am a paint magnet!  We are painting it a rust color... it will hide the rust! We only have 5 more panels to paint.

Neither rain, nor hail...... Mr. Dreamy tries to beat the storm
  • We are getting an estimate to have a leak in our bathtub repaired. 
One of my thrills for the week was having the representatives of the estate sale company noticing and discussing some pictures I have on the wall in the guest bedroom. One gal really liked a painting of a building, the photographer zoomed in on a painting on the dresser, and the other lady loved another painting. Hah! They were all paintings I did in the past few years!

I found this amazing as we have some excellent art on the walls, and only one of those paintings received a comment.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Countdown - Week 9

The house looks a bit different this week!

After visiting several estate sales last week we decided that we didn't care for the sales that were selling everything. Nice furniture and nice objects seemed to get lost in the clutter of crap. So, once we return from our trips we will have Saturday moving sales. Each week we can add more to the tables for the next week. Then, when we do have an estate sale only the better items will remain. The moving sales will also clear up space for the nicer items to reside when the house is staged. So, as I have been cleaning out and sorting items I have also been pricing some of them.

This week's accomplishments include:
  • Another landscape guy came by to give us an estimate. The estimate includes doing all of the stuff I normally do in the spring as well as adding some rock and a lot of mulch. In addition we are getting estimates for removing 20 Russian Elms which are all in different stages of dying or trying to grow new shoots, as well as for putting in sod in the front lawn area.
  • A friend and her husband came by to look at the house. They wanted to consider the house before we were under contract with a realtor, but decided they didn't want the acreage. 
  • Our friends found some fake rock to replace a missing piece on our fireplace. Now we just need to adhere them. 
  • An electrician came by to look at the scope of the job. We have hired him and he replaced a bathroom fan, put some wires in a conduit to meet code and fixed a four-way switch we could never figure out. It turns out one of the switches was bad and another was wired incorrectly. 
  • Mr. Dreamy bought a ballast and new bulbs for a fixture that has been on less than half power in our closet for months. It turns out, all it needed was new bulbs!
  • Our furnace and A/C was inspected and a capacitor was replaced.
  • We had a presentation by the final realtor, and now need to decide which we want to use.
  • We Dreamers counted door knobs, and counted door knobs again, and a third time... and kept coming up with different numbers. Mr. Dreamy is replacing the shiny brass door knobs with dark bronze knobs to update the house. He is painting the hinges to match. 

  • Our son came by to help me move the Christmas tree and the sofa. But, when Mr. Dreamy went to GoodWill and the Salvation Army, they refused to take the tree. I guess it will go in the "Free" pile at our moving sales.
  • Our weather took a turn for the worse. Rain was forecast for Thursday, along with falling temperatures on Friday and Saturday.... and snow. The replacement of some areas of broken concrete had to be postponed until next week. 
  • I scattered grass seed and wild flower seed in different areas of the yard before the snow came, capitalizing on the moisture it will bring. 
  • We continued to clean up the basement so we can get carpet installed. These are panoramic pictures of the largest part of the basement.
Last week
This week
  • I've begun packing a few cartons, some designated for Florida and the remainder for California... or wherever. On the last move I found it helpful to create lists for each carton on the computer and tape them to the outside of each numbered carton. Inventory and a packing list!
  • I put some exercise equipment on Craig's List. It would be nice to get those pieces out of the basement. (The treadmill, bicycle and elliptical machines don't show in the pictures of the basement, they are in a nook behind me.)
We have an RV rally with friends beginning on July 7. I am so hoping we can have the house go on the market that weekend. It would be so much easier if we were gone and didn't have to deal with day to day clean up and dog hair removal!!

Other things going on this week:

The snow made a lot more work, and now a lot more mess for me. The old horse, Malachi, (pictured above) is ostracized by the herd. I take him out to feed him extra goodies, and when I went to put him in, he ran away from the gate. He was clearly telling me he'd rather stay under the porch than chance being stuck out of the run-in in the wind and snow. He was shivering, so I blanketed him and let him stay. The next day he had ripped open his heel. He has continuing issues with that one heel. It was bleeding. He was clearly uncomfortable. So, Mr. Dreamy and I went down to the ranch supply store to get dressings and more food. We had burned through a lot during the storm and colder weather.

Our trip into town for supplies. Roads were only wet despite all the snow.
I barricaded the door between the stall and run-in by screwing some boards across the doorway and put Malachi in there, where I cleaned, dressed and wrapped his boo-boo. The dressing stayed in place. I had to remove it the next day after he was out in the snow.

Now that the sun came up and it warmed up a tad, snow is melting and the paddock is pure mud. Evidently Ladybug doesn't care for mud, she pleaded with me to let her out into the yard!

 The other huge event for the week was that Carol, my Dad's caregiver, dropped the bomb on us that she had a full-time job and would need to leave. She agreed to stay on for a reasonable amount of time while we found someone else or another agency. Finding caregivers who will put up with Judy, my stepmother, has been problematic. Judy is anal about how things should be done and I guess she screeches at caregivers if she doesn't like the way the do something. Carol had a great way of putting up with all that. For example, one day Carol was making jello and Judy, peering over her shoulder, said, "that's not the way I do it." Instead of entering into a set-to about it, Carol merely handed her the spoon and said, "Here, you finish it then." We have gone through so many caregivers in the last three years I can't even begin to count them. And, in most cases, I feel certain it's Judy's behavior that drives them away. They all say how much they like my dad, leaving the other side of the equation blank. So, damn, here we go again. Judy will get so uptight, people will come in and go because they can't put up with her, she will be even more critical as Carol has been amazing. While talking about options it was mentioned that perhaps it was time for Dad to go to Mill Vista, the assisted living and nursing facility on the campus of their current independent living apartment. Judy put her back up immediately, but Carol suggested they go look at it, and she could be there to observe and question care. Off they trotted, and came back with positive vibes. Judy took me over to see the facility and the room they picked out for Dad. We began the steps that would be necessary to move Dad to that facility. We all agreed that he would get great care there and Judy can stay by his side as much as she wants. This would also be a nice transition for Judy. First, she'd have less work at home, and with her shoulder injury that would be a good thing. Second, she could begin living all by herself again. No Dad. No caregivers. But, Dad would be there and she could visit him. It wouldn't be as much of a shock to her system as if he died. The plus is that Dad will have care 24 hours a day instead of 10 hours. So, I trotted back home. About 2 hours later I received a message from Carol. Apparently Judy had contacted a former caregiver, who is now in management, and she came by to visit. They began talking of Judy hiring another former caregiver and paying her under the table. What???!!! No. No. No! That's not going to happen! When I talked with Judy, about another subject, she told me of her thoughts. I told her of mine. For the time being things are still in motion for Dad to go to the facility. We'll see how the drama unfolds this coming week!

So day is done. Week by week we move forward, a little bit at a time, just like eating the proverbial elephant!