It over…..we’re doooommmeeeddd!!!
As expected, new inventory has hit the market in our zip code. Several homes have come on the market in the past couple of days, in similar size, with garages, in our price range. I do believe this is the end people and I’m resigning myself to the futility of this house selling exercise.
I know, I’m such a Negative Nancy, and I have much to be thankful for, but this still sucks. We’ve had plenty of traffic come through our house, and not one single offer. Generally the comments have been “we love the house, but it’s a little small,” or “we really need a garage” or “we love it, we just need to get financing”. Arg. I understand about the space issue, and I get that a garage is desirable, but definitely, buyers right now are looking for the ultimate package and aren’t willing to actually spend any money.
Yesterday articles like these came out, forecasting recession and proclaiming 10-year housing lows. Frankly, the headlines were so depressing I didn’t even bother reading the actual article, and somehow I was lucky enough to miss the coverage on the nightly news. Today the big headline is the wholesale inflation – so good news people, when we’re stuck at our house for the next umteen years, I’ll be paying more for gas to get to my job thirty miles away and more for contaminated beef and double the price for any wheat-based product. Yipee!! Isn’t there a war they can cover, or some more pictures of Obama dressed in a dashiki?
To look at the bright side, I’m so extremely grateful that the choice to sell our house is our own – we’re not being forced out by rising interest rates, a crummy ARM, loss of job, etc. Unlike almost everyone else selling their Auburn homes right now, we are banking some serious dough every month because we are in Serious Savings Mode. Which, by the way, also sucks. At the end of this process however, if our house doesn’t sell, we’ll have enough money to take some really nice vacations this summer. Take that failing economy!! We’ll show you! We’re going to trade one hell – house selling – for the ultimate hell – air travel. Muhahaha….
We decided this weekend that we don’t want any more feed back if it’s along the lines of size/garage/financing. We were hiding around the corner watching a family come through on Saturday. Did I just say family? I meant village. It was a true caravan – an Escalade, a Suburban, and a coupe. I swear, there must have been more than a dozen people walking up to the house, and at that moment I knew it was a lost cause. Our house was going to feel incredibly cramped the moment you put a village inside!
In the past week or so, Tom seems to have resigned himself better than I have. At first, I was the more patient one, but now I’m just anxious about the whole thing. I want my life back – I want to be able to plan summer vacations, resume my riding schedule, pick out weather appropriate summer clothes and shoes. Where am I going to be in 6 months, and I should schedule a dentist appointment with the devil I know or wait until we get to MN? Should I continue my wait-and-see approach with my doctor, or should I take care of the problem before we move?
I’m out of meat in the freezer – should I go to Sam’s and stock up? Or will Karma bite me in the ass if I purchase $60 worth of beef and pork?? Is that what it would take to get an offer because $60 would totally be worth it to get this process rolling.
So you see, it’s more than just a vague feeling of wanting the house to sell or even wanting to move. I want to go back to planning things. I’m a planner, I think months out. It gives me something to do when work is boring. Now we just clean the house on Friday night and keep it spotless on the weekends. If I want to make something nice for dinner, I have to wait until 2:30-3 p.m. to make sure there won’t be more showings that day. Even the dogs are getting tired of having to remind us to “find” their beds and bones we put away for the showings. It’s taking quite a toll on Lola really. Think about the poor dogs, they never know who’s going to be tramping around their house, stinking the joint up. And don’t get me started on the room freshener we have to keep plugged in near their bed! How two dogs can create such a stale-Frito smell, I don’t know, but the industrial strength air freshener used to neutralize the room has got to be frying their nasal passages.
Anyway, in the time it took me to whine/rant, we got a call. Someone is coming out today to look at our house for a second time. OMG. I take back paragraphs two, three and four. I’m feel much better just knowing that someone out there likes our house well enough to take a second look. I know that he’s not going to actually buy it, why would he, but just having that glimmer of hope…it makes me choke up thinking about it. Obama, if you can make me feel this way all the time, you have my vote!!
Maybe I’ll go buy some meat this weekend.
I had plans of making the above dish (HCHwMS) for Valentines Day. Officially, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I like to get into the spirit by making a nice dinner and I thought this sounded fancy yet do-able. Additionally, I had halibut in the freezer, courtesy of Gail, and a bag of marionberries, courtesy of Dooger’s cobbler from a month ago.
The recipe was easy to follow, and I got it off of on Oregon Marionberry Grower’s co-op website. However, I took about two bites and decided I really, really didn’t like it. The sauce was okay, nothing special, I might have preferred it a little thicker. But the halibut….I didn’t like the texture and I didn’t like the crust. It wasn’t much of a crust because it was fairly soggy. Maybe halibut is naturally a softer fish, but the whole thing just didn’t have a good mouth-feel and the flavors didn’t feel complementary. Tom preformed greatly, telling me that he thought it was good, but eventually when I made it clear I wasn’t going to eat another bite of mine, he stopped eating his too. We’ll be giving the leftovers to the dogs.
The salad was great. It’s a recipe Tom first made for my birthday last year. It’s a spinach salad with homemade poppy seed dressing. The salad contains toasted almonds, sesame seeds, bacon, and cranberries. The salad, rice and bread were enough to get us to the piece d’resistance – a strawberry shortcake layer cake from QFC. It was light and sweet and delectable, and in holiday-themed colors!
For the record, this is the first thing that I’ve made that both Tom and I truly disliked. On a regular night, or if we didn’t have a good salad and dessert, we would have been making an emergency trip to McyD’s. But you gotta try stuff and at least I cleaned out my freezer of two items!
On Friday, we drove through Black Diamond on our way to Enumclaw to sign our taxes. What’s a trip through Black Diamond without stopping at the Bakery for a cinnamon roll? Did you know there is a Smoke House right next door to the bakery? Tom stopped for some Loggers and purchased these for the dogs.
Tom was so thoughtful, he got two big ones for Spice and two little ones for Lola. These were some prime bones. I know we’d never given Spice a marrow bone before, so I was sure this would be entertaining. First, Tom needed to alert the dogs to the goodness to come.
Lola knows what that smell is, but Spice is a little unsure. It seems kinda messy to her but Lola didn’t hesitate getting down to business.
Look at the claws! Lola must be part cat because when the need arises, she unleashes those claws and wields them like no ones business. Spice on the other hand, is confused. Not an unusual state for her, mind you. Is she supposed to lick the outside, slowly making sweet bone love to it?
No?? That doesn’t seem to be very effective. Maybe she’s supposed to chew it. That always seems to work for her other bones.
Hmm….that doesn’t seem very effective either, and hard on the teeth. Don’t chip a tooth, Stupid Dog!! Sure, I could move so she could see what Lola was doing to her bone, but I needed to get good pictures. Maybe Tom can help her figure this out.
Okay, now she’s got it. Lick the innards out. That’s pretty tasty, isn’t it Spicy?
Wow, that seems to be good stuff. Good thing her tongue is so long, this could take a while.
Meanwhile, in the three minutes or so that we were teaching Spice how to eat a marrow bone, Lola was making incredible progress with her bone.
That must have been almost two inches deep. The dog has a tongue like Gene Simmons. Spice’s progress…..
And Lola’s progress….
Would you look at that? Lola is actually pushing the marrow out the other side of the bone with her tongue!! Right now she’s got about an inch exposed. And just about thirty seconds later, the bone was clean.
The bones are now licked clean and look like they’ve been bleached. The dogs still carry them around and make love to them. Do you know how loud the sound of a beef bone dropped on a wood floor is? I’m tempted to take them away just so they don’t dent the floors. We still have another set to give them – more entertainment for a night with poor tv choices.
Tom took me to my Lady Doctor appointment for a small procedure. His purpose is to hold my hand during the procedure and keep me entertained and occupied while waiting in the exam room for the doctor (and not stray, under any circumstance, south of the border). I’ve had this procedure a couple of times and I’ve learned my lesson. The exam rooms are scary places to wait by oneself – they leave the instruments sitting on the counter to mock you in their medieval-torture-ness. How has modern medicine come so far and the instruments still look so primitive? Also, I like someone to drive me home. I did it once without him and let’s just say that having a receptionist watch passively while you faint into a chair without alerting someone…not very reassuring about the standard of care provided by the overall practice.
Anyway, we were waiting quite some time in the exam room. You know babies, they come on their own schedule and this one was nearly 9 pounds and the mother was refusing anesthesia. I’d ask her if she was high, but I guess the answer is apparently not. Tom was doing a pitiful job of distracting me. At one point I was teasing him that his job was pretty easy, all he had to do was NOT FAINT at the sight of blood, meanwhile my job was to not faint from the actual blood loss. He agreed, he doesn’t do well with the sight of blood, his or anyone elses.
Tom: Yeah, you’re pretty lucky. If I was going to kill you, it would be by a bloodless method. I hate blood.
Me: Thanks, that’s very thoughtful. So you’d poison me, a long slow death, over something quick and painless because you’re a little squeamish.
Oh no, it would be quick and painless. I’d bludgeon you or suffocate you to death.
Bludgeon me?? Wouldn’t that be kinda bloody?
No, I’d hit you on the back of the head and you’d be out quick. And if there was any blood, I’d just run away. But I’m leaning toward suffocation. With a bag.
You do that and I’m going to scratch the shit out of you and get incriminating evidence all under my fingernails.
Well, then I’d have to wait until you got all cold and your blood congealed and then I’d snip your fingertips off. That way they wouldn’t bleed but there’d be no evidence. It would be like snapping twigs.
Check. No murders involving arterial spray for you.
It’s the little things in life that can turn an unbearable chore into something slightly more bearable. Behold, I introduce my salvation:
I call myself the Water Sherpa because every weekend, I travel to Wal-mart and purchase 12 bottles of Key Lime flavored sparkling water for Tom. Sometimes he comes with me but his patience for lines is limited so mostly I go alone. If I’m lucky, he’ll drop me off at the door, but somehow, Sherpa-ing the water knowing he’s outside but not helping is worse.
Tom likes sparkling water and since it’s calorie free and technically water, I figure it’s good that he stays so hydrated. I could get these same sized bottles at Safeway, but the regular price is $0.75 on sale or $1.10 regular price. At Wal-mart, the everyday low price is $0.50. For a savings of over $6.00 per week, $25 per month, and $300.00 per year, I schlep my butt to Wal-mart.
I have to say, I hate Wal-mart. I’m sure it might be better on a weekday when it’s not so crowded, but on the weekend it’s terrible. It’s designed so terribly, you have to fight your way past the check-out counters to get to the food section and once you’re there, you can hardly maneuver because they’ve set up displays in the middle of the aisle. You need to get there early because the water is popular and likely to sell out, and God forbid you need to find an “Associate” to check the stock room.
I know this is an unfair stereotype and probably not true of every Wal-mart, but nearly every check-out person I’ve encountered seemed to have been exposed to heavy alcohol consumption, drug absorption, or both in the womb. Why do they have facial construction reminiscent of a Cro-Magnum creature? Why do they seem to be missing so many teeth? Why do I keep coming back to a store that only has 3 lanes open on a Saturday morning??????
Oh, right, $300 a year in savings on water. WATER. Behold, I am the Water Sherpa Woman!
When I was at Trader Joe’s this weekend (the polar opposite of a Wal-mart and the place I go to cleanse my soul), I noticed these cute reusable sacks designed to hold bottles of wine. I instantly thought about their practicality in terms of schlepping a dozen water bottles out of Wal-mart. After testing it with the widest bottle of wine I could find, I purchased two of these little beauties, all for the ridiculously low price of $1.98. I figured if they worked, it would be the best $2.00 I might spend in all of 2008. I might be so inclined to go back and purchase more for the eventual day in which the originals breakdown, if they live up to their promise. I wonder what the TJ’s checker thought when I purchased two bags, with a combined 12 wine bottle capacity, and no wine. 🙂
I brought them home and was so excited I almost made an immediate trip to Wal-mart. Then I took a deep breath and sat down until the feeling passed. Yesterday was my inaugural trip, and Tom came with me. Not because he was willing to share in the Sherpa duties but because we needed to vacate the house for a showing and it was someplace to go. Voila! The bags neatly and snugly held the water as promised, the handles were neither too long nor too short, and the bags stood upright in the back of the truck for the ride home. Gone are the days of putting three bottles in a double-plastic bag only to have them roll out all over the trunk, clanking around at every stoplight and requiring me to do a full-body layout to reach the farthest one from the trunk crevasse. No longer do I need to burden my body with four or more plastic bags full of bottles smacking me about the calves as I waddle to the car and hoist them into the trunk. I was neat, efficient and oh-so pleased.
I must say, I’ve been thinking more and more about purchasing some of the reusuable grocery sacks. Not because I feel the need to take Al Gore out to an environmentally friendly restaurant for a meal, but because each week I bring home so many of those plastic bags and then throw them in the trash and waste precious garbage can space – space that can better be used to empty some of the Tupperware Science Experiments currently living in my fridge. At less than a dollar each, if I purchase just one or two bags each time I visit the store, in just a short amount of time I’ll have what I need and then I can feel morally superior whenever I check out next to the young crack ‘ho with a baby on each hip and not enough food stamps to cover both the formula and the Venti Caramel Macchiato Frappuccino. Now I just need to find the grocery store with the prettiest bag. I don’t like the ones at Albertsons, they look cheap and don’t say “I’m a morally superior shopper”. Safeway has nice black ones with red lettering, but the ones from QFC are green and gold, quite a lovely color combination. I’ve ruled out the bags from TJ’s because even though they are a better value being the same price but bigger, I fear the larger size will be cumbersome and too heavy. Maybe I should get one or two of those for trips to Sam’s Club?
It’s all about the simple things in life, and just as having the right construction tool make a project easier, my little purchase has giving me new purpose on my weekend errand runs. I will Sherpa water with a lightness to my step and joy in my heart. And use my new ten-pound bags to knock smart-mouthed, ill-behaved children out of my way.
It’s official, Lola has recovered. Last night when I came home from riding, she greeted me with unbridled enthusiasm, bouncing around, getting trampled by Spice, and generally being lovable. She especially enjoys when I come home wearing my chaps because they must smell oh, so, delectable, and, as a bonus, provide a bit more traction so she can stand on her hind legs, balance on my chaps, and get to the better smells 12 inches off the ground.
Later, while we were watching American Idol, Lola was laying on her couch and Spice was stretched out between Lola’s couch and the coffee table. Spice appeared to be sleeping, or at least resting quietly, but Lola was keeping up a constant, low-level growl. I figured it was because Spice was looking in Lola’s general direction. I’m not kidding, sometimes that’s enough to set her off. After about 10 minutes of this, I began to realize that perhaps Lola wanted to play and this was her way of initiating play. So during the next commercial break, we encouraged Spice to “get up and get her Lola”.
Turns out Lola only wanted to create a distraction so she could swoop in and get the rawhide bone Spice was sleeping with under her paws. Yep, as soon as Spice got up, Lola darted over, grabbed the bone, and ran off to the rug in front of the door (where she has an unobstructed view of her approaching enemies and several escape routes).
I think she’s completely recovered if her machinations are any indication.
And, apropos of nothing, check out the Superbowl ads at MySpace. In particular, if you haven’t seen it already, you must watch the Budweiser Clydesdale ad. The music is the theme from the Rocky movies. I knew it sounded familiar, but once Tom told me where it was from the commercial made even more sense.
Well, I don’t know for sure if this is Spice’s first haircut, but it’s the first time we’ve gotten her trimmed. Tom had a traumatic experience with his previous Aussies – he took them to the groomer with explicit instructions NOT to trim them, and of course, they did. Except they apparently took way too much fur off, and when it grew back, it was stiff and coarse and not the silky, soft original texture.
We’ve had Diane bathe Spice several times already, so Spice is a pro at the groomers. Diane commented that she’s never had such a good dog before; the first time Spice was there she had to be coaxed into the tub but from there on out, she just jumps right in. I’m not surprised that Spice loves her Spa Days, after all, this is the dog who thought a trip to the vet was the highlight of her year.
Anyway, as promised, the Before picture of Spice, from the side.
And now the After view.
Most importantly, Diane cleaned up her pants. I didn’t get a picture of her butt until about a week after the trim, but please trust me when I say it looked like the sheep right after we’d fitted them. It was soft, fluffy, and perfectly formed to her rear end. No longer does the fur on her butt move independently from her. The Before….
Eww, lock at all that unruly fur. No style at all. And the After…..
Bootylicious. To another dog anyway. Not Lola. Despite their lesbianic tendencies, Lola doesn’t find Spice attractive in that way. Spice however….well, she might be a little confused.
Lola’s grooming was same-old-same-old….here is her fluffy Before picture. She wasn’t even that long, and it had been about ten weeks. I think it’s really helped that she’s been inside the house staying dry and therefore doesn’t have the opportunity to develop those nasty mats under her sweaters.
Her Before photos (the Pookie Carnage photos were taken the night before the trim)….
And the After shots. Here she’s growling at Spice to maintain a 5-foot distance from the food bowl. I think this picture accurately sums up the Essence of Lola at 5 p.m. I believe it says “Back off Bee-yotch, or I’ll go Medieval on yo’ ass“. Really, she’s pretty insistent that Spice doesn’t come near her, look at her, or breath the same air while she’s eating. Yet she only eats when I’m in the kitchen. Perhaps Lola had a traumatic experience as a puppy and wants a human around to administer the Heimlich Maneuver on her should she start choking on a piece of kibble. Maybe that’s why it has to be me, as opposed to Tom, in the kitchen while she’s eating.
Here is another After shot. This wasn’t the best one of the bunch, but it serves two purposes. First, with her eyes closed, you avoid that pesky Demon Eye problem. Secondly, it really shows how enjoyable dinner time is for Lola. There will be no posing, there will be no standing still, there will be no pretty pictures because I’m hungry, Bee-yotch. Didn’t you get the above memo??
She’s going to liiiivvveeee!!!
Lola is doing much better. Sunday she didn’t have one wheeze-attack, and in fact, barked her fool head off to the point I threw her outside. She did relax a bit with me on the couch and at one point she was playing quietly with Spice. Her tolerance towards Spice seems to be at a low point, but perhaps that will pass. Or perhaps Spice will learn to be less annoying to Lola. We’ll have to wait and see on that front. I have decided, for the moment, to keep her in her sausage sweater full-time. She might be slightly cold and if I wait a few more days I think she’ll have adjusted to the cold weather better. And by cold weather I mean the icebox we call our house.
Lola would like to thank you for the thoughtful Get Well card she received in the mail today.
A card?! For me?! Why, I’m so honored. What do I do with it, mom?
It seems to have a particular scent to it. It smells like Ode D’ Salmon Munchie!! Oh, wait, I see, you just snuck one there to get me to pay attention. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it, cute card. Now read me the darn thing while I chew my Salmon Munchie.
Treats?! Did someone say more treats?? I’m feeling better already. Now set me down so I can go flaunt my Salmon Munchie Breath in Spice’s face.
That was so cute. When Tom called I told him “Lola got a card in the mail today.” Poor Tom….that just isn’t a sentence that computes for him. It’s like hearing a sentence where the words make sense but the sentence itself has no meaning. Guess the dogs need to start getting him more Hallmark cards for all the useless holidays. Like National Sticky Bun Day – February 22! Mark those calendars.
And yes, I did sanitize the countertop after I put Lola down so don’t give me crap. I couldn’t figure out how to take a decent picture without laying on the floor – one drawback to having a pint-sized pooch. Extra bleech, I promise.