Mountains

Friday, April 24, 2015
Country House

Yesterday I woke up at 3:55 a.m., and did not go back to sleep. I was too excited to sleep, and had a lot to do!

The first thing I did was lie about in bed for an hour with Diesel. He loves cuddling up in the bed, lying next to me with his front legs draped over my arm. It would be the last of this shared morning ritual, at least for now, so I wanted it to be a good one.

At 4:55 a.m. I was up, wandering around, coffee cup in hand, making sure all the last minute things were tossed into boxes and lined up at the door. By 5:10 a.m. I had finished my coffee, eaten my breakfast, and started to load the car. By 5:38 a.m. I was setting off out of the driveway. Light was just beginning to filter into the sky. I drove for four hours, with one stop for fuel, two hours into the journey. At 9:38 a.m. I wheeled into the town near our country house, with the list of things Attila needed from town. By 11:00 a.m. I was home!

It started snowing as I headed north near the beginning of the trip. Sometimes it snowed hard, and sometimes it snowed wet, and sometimes it cleared up a bit. The road was wet and clear despite the snow, except for one stretch where it had accumulated on the road into a slushy mess. It was snowing when I got to the country house, it snowed last night, and it is snowing again today. Yikes!

I am too busy to notice the weather right now. The stack of backed up administrative paperwork is, well, it is staggering, it is a mountain. Yesterday I worked to organize it, I sorted it into piles. I also did things like activate my credit card, which had to be done from the telephone here at the country house. There were several missives in the mail that required that I go online to fill in forms, which I could not do from the little house because all the required reference documents are here at the country house.

Now to the good part of the day yesterday. Attila! He managed to come home for lunch, so that we didn’t have to wait until evening to see each other. I spent some time in the morning yesterday, cooking a rice and bean casserole for our lunch. So, at last, we were sitting across the table from one another eating beans! What can I tell you, it was one of life’s special moments.

Today I am at it again! Two of my clients had issues with their web sites, so I resolved the problems. I had to spend an hour or so on the line with their web hosts to get it sorted, it helps so much that they have authorized me to work on their accounts, I can accomplish a lot more when I don’t keep having to seek permission to do things with their accounts. Sometimes these little issues seem like a big deal to people if they are not familiar with how the sites work. Luckily the fixes were simple, quick and easy. Everyone is happy!

Yesterday I sorted the paperwork that was here at the country house. Today I was hoping to sort the paperwork I brought back with me, but it doesn’t look like I am going to get that far, at least not today!

Laundry! Over the last two weeks I saved my dirty laundry for the country house, where we have a washer and dryer of our own. I have been doing laundry since yesterday afternoon, and I am not done yet! The drying rack is at the little house in the city, as I needed it down there. I washed my laundry at the laundromat all winter, and hung it up to dry in the house. I waited with these last loads though, to come home to the country house. I don’t like laundromats. I have met some lovely people there, but then I have also had to spend time around people I didn’t want to make eye contact with. Attila compares laundromats to sleazy bars, full of unhappy people. He has a point. But only to a point, because after all, I was there!

Today was bill paying day, and Attila and I are very happy that the financial crunch came, and the financial crunch went. We paid back the money we robbed from Peter to pay Paul. Now Peter and Paul are both happy. It works for everyone!

As I am sorting paperwork, cooking, doing laundry, sitting and talking to Mist, I am also getting distracted by computer work that needs to be done. I just realized that Google hits my old site files first, and has decided not index this site because the original journal was hand coded html, created long before cell phone use was common. I’ll have to change that, I have a few ideas, but I won’t be trying implement anything until after the country house goes on the market.

I also found a better program to handle the book I am currently writing, and have purchased it and downloaded it. I want to play with it now! But the paperwork and the cleaning have claimed my time, for now at least.

The house is not ready to go on the market. It is a lot closer than it was when I left to stay at the little house for the winter. Attila replaced the baseboards in the family room, and it is a big improvement. Other than the bathroom floor replacement, and a few little maintenance jobs, we are down to cleaning. Heating with wood is a messy business, we have a lot of cleaning to do!

We hope that by the end of next week we will have progressed far enough to bring in the realtors for evaluations. Then we will need to chose a realtor, pick a price, and get the sign up at the end of the driveway.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Friday 24 April 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.7°C
Dewpoint: -7.9°C
Humidity: 49%
Wind: WNW 26 km/h

Quote

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”
Booker T. Washington
1856 – 1915

[It seems to me that big business and politicians believe in talking up while pushing down.]

First Snow Autumn 2014

The week has been eventful.

Our national media community has been rocked by revelations of violent behaviour towards women, by one of Canada’s prominent talk show hosts, Jian Ghomeshi. Plenty of news about him everywhere in the Canadian media, so I do not want to discuss him here. Also, the Ebola virus continues to spread, and people in Africa continue to die, there is no way to tell if this issue will impact all humans on the planet, or if it will be contained, another issue well covered by the media, so that I do not want to discuss it here. I mention these two events only to mark them in my personal journal, this journal, as an acknowledgement of the larger context in which I live.

Closer to home, the real estate listing for our country house expired yesterday. The realtor called to inquire if we wanted to extend the listing, we did not. She came by later in the day to remove the signs and we had a brief and friendly chat. She said it was the quietest year for home sales she has ever experienced. She is retirement age, and has been selling real estate in this area for more than three decades. That puts our experiences, or lack of of it, into perspective.

We decided to let the listing expire for the winter at least. Heating with wood is hard work, and messy. Most of our lower floor windows and some of our main floor windows will be boarded up for the winter, so that we can afford to heat the place. Both of these things do not make for an appealing home for sale. Someone with a higher income would enjoy this house, using the electric heating system, the masonry heater for pleasure firings, and not having to worry about the extra heat loss from the beautiful windows.

Yesterday was cold and wet and blustery. I fear the weather was very unpleasant for little trick or treaters as they made their visits. There were no trick or treaters within miles of us, and I only remembered it was Hallowe’en because Terra sent me a picture of herself, in costume for her workplace.

This morning is much the same, cold and blustery, with one addition, our first snow. It fell during the night, leaving a light dusting on the ground and above, where it was underlined as far as the eye could see by tree branches.

The First Snow: Autumn 2014
First snow fall 2014

I spent the yesterday morning helping out at a local business for a few hours. It is quite a change in activity level, going from being sequestered in the living area of our house for weeks, then working at mild physical activity. I was exhausted! So much so that I went to bed early, and slept in until almost 6:00 a.m., well past the the time when I usually awaken.

As for our plans for today when Attila gets home from work, domestic tasks are at the forefront. Attila will board up the windows for the winter. We have thawed a turkey and will have a turkey dinner with dressing and all the trimmings for dinner.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Saturday 1 November 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -0.9°C
Dewpoint: -2.9°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: NNW 17 gust 28 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Quote

“The world is round; it has no point.”
Adrienne E. Gusoff

The First Step

Well we did it, our house went on the market today, the first step has been taken toward change. After humming and hawing over whether to list it myself, through a site like comfree, or to list with a realtor, I decided to go with a realtor. There were pros and cons on both sides of the equation, but in the end, that inner energy source guided my hand to pick up the telephone, call the realtor, and setup a meeting. I signed on the dotted line this morning and now we are off and running.

The realtor I chose is accustomed to selling properties like ours, and is not solely focused on multi-million dollar cottages.

We may or may not sell the country house at this time. While it is listed with a real estate broker we will be on our guard, as business people are only in it to make money, and that would be at our expense. So we must keep our chops up, and carefully watch how we are being played during this process. The realtor gave a lot of clues as to where she was coming from and what she thought of our house and us, in what information she chose to share, and the questions she asked me. I am pretty sure what kind of client she has in mind for this house, and what kind of emotional appeal, for a low selling price, she is going to present to me when the time comes. I did not give her any concrete clues as to how I was going to respond, I really don’t know myself. What a game the whole thing is! We have to play it, one way or another, if we want make a change. It is sort of like swimming in shark infested waters.

Of course, we have been here before, when the house was listed years ago. Things may move forward, and then again, they may not. I am a tough negotiator, and although I lose sleep, I do not lose my nerve. My smiling and friendly demeanor often lulls enterprising entrepreneurs into thinking I am an easy mark. It isn’t true, and I never claimed it was.

The realtor left me with a short list of things that need doing tonight, just in case someone wants to view the house in the next few days. Luckily they are not too time consuming, so Attila and I will have no problem getting it all accomplished. Also, she is coming to photograph the house tomorrow, so it is time to find a box and start packing up personal items, for visual decluttering.

This is a very busy week! Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment, then the photograph session, the next day my annual Mammogram at the hospital, and then a visit to sign the papers to close the deal for the camp property. Then on Friday I am working, and after work I am off to the township office for an access permit for the new driveway at the camp property. I suspect Friday night we will be at our new camp, felling trees and communiing with mother nature, and the black flies.

If we throw a house sale and a move into this mix, we are going to be very busy indeed!

Mist is tolerating visitors for the moment. She let the realtor know that the Queen of the Universe was present and due reverence. We have added a note on the listing that the cat is not to be let out, and that she is very old.

I am also trying to sell a few items that we do not want to move. I have them listed on kijiji, and have had some responses. Just another thing to think about!

Right now it is warm and sunny and beautiful. A few hours ago the sky opened up and dumped rain, buckets of it!

This afternoon I am cleaning the family room downstairs, and start on the downstairs windows. The house will be marvelously clean for the summer!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 2:24 PM EDT Tuesday 13 May 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.8°C
Dewpoint: 15.0°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SE 22 gust 32 km/h
Humidex: 25

Quote

“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts.”
Rita Mae Brown

Planning to Sell

A joint decision has been made, our country house is going up for sale, soon but not yet. We have to do the usual spring clean up before we allow anyone in to see it. Right now we are waiting for the snow to melt, and the heating season to be over, so we can tuck in and get the job done. The list is short, but since Attila will be attending to most of it, and he is short of time, the short list will get short shrift.

I am going to attend a seminar meant for people who sell their own properties, without a realtor. The last time we put this house up for sale through a realtor it wasn’t marketed properly, so that the only people who viewed it wanted waterfront property, which it is not. So no offers and no sale and a lot of intrusion was suffered to no practical end. The real estate people in this area are more focused on the half to multi-million dollar properties, and who can blame them when you think about those commissions. However, it leaves us little people to fend for ourselves. The task will fall to me, to do all the leg work in the selling process. It will be three to four weeks before we get the house onto the market.

Wish us luck!

We will not be moving to the little house in the city though, because Attila has a good job here in the country. We have not yet decided what we will do about a place to live near Attila’s place of work, not yet. In my mind there are factors to consider; thermostat heating, ploughed parking, accessible grocery store, to name a few. First we have to sell the country house, then we worry about what to do next. If the country house does not sell, there will be nothing to decide!

The snow is melting fast now, but will not be gone until well into May. There is some flooding in the bay, I watch with interest as the ice goes out, glad that our property is high and dry. Already Attila has noticed black flies. That means that this year the biting bugs are starting before the snow melts. What a “spring”!

Terra sent me pictures of their new siding, it looks wonderful! They have completed two sides of the house now, and will tackle the remaining sides over the next few weeks. The original siding is in wonderful condition, but would take a lot of work to restore. Still, there is always the possibility of restoration at a future date, as the new siding will protect the original from the weather and deterioration.

I am sitting in front of a flickering fire, listening to rain dripping from the roof, sipping my coffee, contemplating the nature of change; the risks, the joys, the inevitability.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1°C
Date: 7:17 AM EDT Saturday 26 April 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.4°C
Dewpoint: 1.3°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: NW 4 km/h

Quote

“Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.”
Carl Zwanzig