The Thick Of It

We are in the thick of it now!

The realtor comes tomorrow to assess the house.

The cleaning isn’t done.

Attila stayed up until 2:30 a.m. last night to keep working on the main floor.

The cleaning still isn’t done.


How did the place get this dirty!!

Wood heat requires constant cleaning, which Attila had no time for last winter, here alone, battling the cold, for the duration of the coldest winter since 1934. He got through it, and has the grime to prove it.

I am finished the main living area of the house, the kitchen, dining room, living room, and main bathroom. Now there are two upstairs bedrooms to tackle, the family room, the downstairs bath, the downstairs bedroom, and the downstairs kitchen. I am tired just thinking about it! We must press on!

Thankfully we have garbage pickup once every two weeks, and today is the day. That is why Attila worked into the night, gathering up bags of things we are purging, filling up garbage bags, which are now out at the curb. Recycling is grand, but we do not have the luxury of time. Also, if we sell and move to the little house in the city, we will be moving from an average size bungalow to a very small house, under 680 square feet. We cannot keep all of the things we have accumulated (few items were purchased, we have been master recyclers, aka hoarders in training, who have yet to graduate).

Like Mist, the house is purring with all the loving attention it is receiving.

Choosing a realtor, or choosing not to employ a realtor, is a tricky business where we live. Most of the realtors in the area aim to sell the 1/2 million to 10 million dollar properties that are common here. They don’t really consider selling an ordinary bungalow to be worth their time. Relatively speaking, I can see their point. But that leaves us in an awkward position.

On Tuesday I called two realtors to ask for assessments. One of them, a young woman, was very forceful on the telephone, implying in subtle ways that the house would not measure up to much in comparison to other properties, that there were only so many buyers, so we should “price to sell”, a euphemism for “price it low so I can sell it quick”. She seemed awfully snobby to me, but we did setup an appointment for today. However, the thought of having her in my home didn’t feel quite right. So I wrote her an email message outlining what I was looking for, and mentioning that we were getting several assessments from realtors for the house. Her reaction was to reveal herself. She immediately wrote back to inform me that she “doesn’t compete with other realtors”, because she “doesn’t need to”. She is not coming to assess the house. She wishes us luck. We are relieved to have averted that visit!

When you think that you are paying the realtor $10,000, or much more, to sell a property, you would think they understood they are working for you. Ha!

When we sold our house in the big city before moving to the country, we had an outstanding realtor; she was amazing! She got us a good price for the house in a difficult market, and always stayed positive, towards us, and towards the house. We were spoiled, and we know that a good realtor can make the process a lot less painful!

The other realtor I called yestereday was very friendly, a young man, who answered his cell phone while driving. It was noisy, he apologized, exiting the road and parking to speak with me. I had a good feeling about him, but the proof will be how he reacts to the house, and us, after he has seen the house. On the telephone he had no way of knowing that we are not selling a multi-million dollar home, so I would have been exposed to his best foot forward, treating every potential customer like an appreciated customer. We shall see if the other shoe drops.

For a lot of business people in this area, the only appreciated customers are rich customers. So that pleasant demeanour, that the realtor presented, may not last. We have experienced this phenomena over, and over, and over again, living in the shadow of the rich. Many of the business people here are very friendly until they discover that you are not rich, then you are suddenly invisible, not worthy of their time or notice. So we shall see what this young man is made of when he comes to assess the house. At least he is smart enough not to make assumptions, and can interact with a female without any underlying hostility; those points are in his favour.

I was exhausted yesterday after cleaning all day, and dealing with the issues around realtors in this area.

My advice to unassuming persons, it is ill-considered to live anywhere where the entire economy is based on service to the affluent, it isn’t pretty, a lot like “The Truman Show”. The backdrop looks idyllic, beautiful, peaceful, but it is virtually empty of economic diversity or balance. As one Elder of a local Reserve (Aboriginal) said in an interview, serving the rich is not an economy. So succinct, intelligent, and right on the mark.

We did take a short break from our cleaning frenzy to make a brief visit to our camp on Sunday afternoon. All is well there. The building next to us, which is over 100 years old, and has a distinct lean to it, has a demolition order stapled to the siding. I am relieved, it was a scary building, and a variety of wildlife had moved in. The building will be gone by the end of the summer.

The highlight of our visit was the wildflowers, which were blooming all over the camp site. The Trout Lilies are in full bloom, as are the Mayflowers. The Trilliums were about to bloom. The Hepaticas are not blooming yet either. We will try to make another trip over there soon, I want to visit the wildflowers!

While we were there Attila loaded some of the firewood we had stacked last fall, after clearing the lot. If we need another fire for heat, now we can have one!

And as a final note in this entry, the NDP Party has formed a Provincial Government in Alberta, Canada. This is the party, at the federal level under Tommy Douglas, that brought universal health care to Canada. They are not perfect, but I for one wish them many years of success in improving the lot of the majority of Albertans.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 6 May 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 6.9°C
Dewpoint: 4.4°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: N 2 km/h


“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”
551 BC – 479 BC

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Hi Maggie,
I am wishing only the best for you, Attila and Mist concerning the sale of the shiny house. You are both working so hard to get it in shape for the realtor to come. That must be frustrating with so much left to do but I know you will both get it done. Maybe you’ll need a vacation after!

The snobby realtor I think fails to realize that there are folks who are not rich that also need homes. I realize she thinks in terms of only what she can get out of the deal but it is a small world. How does she know that the average person who may end up purchasing the shiny house does not have a friend or relative filthy rich looking for a home too? Connections are connections. I would guess she is not really into her work but herself instead. I am glad she went in another direction!

Let’s hope this young man proves he is open enough to want to help you and someone move into the shiny house who will love and respect it. Fingers crossed.

I did not realize you had a camp too. The wild flowers would have made my heart sing. They used to be so prolific and now they are dwindling quickly. I used to be able to forage so easily in NY and it was so wonderful. No longer. Development has put a huge dent in that. Here I am worried about the poisonous snakes.

I hope the cleaning gets caught up and your visit with the young man goes extremely well. x0x0x0x0x

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

So glad that one realtor removed herself from the running. Nice attitude – not.

Sending you many strength and energy vibes as well as some supportive hugs, as you get into the final assault on the country house clean up.

Joan Lansberry

I hope the young realtor serves you well. Strength and blessings to you, as well as hugs.

Irene Bean

Good heavens! You sure have been busy, busy. The first realtor was disgraceful. Period. I am wishing ever so hard that your home sells soon.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Glad to hear the meeting went well! Sending best wishes for a smooth transition to getting the property up for sale and then sold!

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

I felt like that on selling the first car I’d ever bought with my own money. It was getting old and unreliable but it broke my heart to let it go.

As much as you love the house, Maggie, we both know it doesn’t serve you well when you’ve found you can no longer handle the winters there. Time to move to the area more suited to what will be comfortable for you and Attila all-year-round.

As so many things in life, an ending that is also a new beginning.