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Monday, October 17, 2016

Want to hear something funny?

So, as I announced before, we're moving to Montana. And that entails all that it implies. Throwing a house together and getting ready to sell, timetables out of my hands, quite a few laughs at times, and not a little bit of stress.  Part of this stress is from the effort of getting the house pulled together for showing.

We're going to start with some before's. Don't know where my better pics went...

The biggest pieces of this pull together was the open house. For any of you that have lived in  a house for any amount of time and have been told to "de-clutter" your house, you know this time and resource crunch.

Don't you just love what she did with that paint?

I don't know about others that run into this task and start thinking, "Why the hell do I still have this?", or my favorite, "I thought I threw this away a long time ago." but I start to use this task as an excuse to throw things away. Not just throw the clutter into a closet (Which might still happen a little bit), but to truly get rid of things you don't need.

Yes, she did just paint the cupboard doors. Don't ask me because I don't f'n know.

I am not a wonderful housekeeper. You are not going to see me on the cover of "Good Housekeeping". I like to keep things fairly clean, and I like a clean kitchen because as many of you know, I love to cook at times. But I am a clutterer. any horizontal surface collects stuff (stuff - noun: A collection of unassociated items collectively sometimes referred to as "all yo shit" that fills any empty space to the point of overflow or collapse). I have always internally chastised myself for our houses clutter but as I cleaned this mess up I've come to realize I've had help. Much of the stuff is The Guy's, though probably 60% is mine. I am slowly getting better and recognizing stuff to keep, stuff to think about keeping, and the bs that needs tossed. Maybe this slow process of learning to recognize these levels of stuff has slowly decreased my own level of the stuff enough to see that it's not just mine. Or this is all wishful thinking.

TaDa!!! These photos are from the real estate agents photographer. So much nicer than my own work, no?

I wish I could say that I've completely decluttered, but that would be a lie. I have partially decluttered a whopping chunk of what needs to be either disposed of or put elsewhere to be properly utilized. And that's pretty darn good. Mainly I don't want to take needless clutter with us in our move.

I'm noticing it's much easier to not feel cluttered with those painted countertops that were so busy you lost things in them. Yes, they were painted, which I've seen done quite well before. This was not a good job of it, and she forgot the vital part. The sealant. That's why in that top pic you see the piece of butcher block on the counter. Rolling out bread or pastry dough on painted countertop doesn't work one bit. It peels right up into your dough, so that was my two year work around when The Guy found that for me.

I think all the original appliances were white when we bought the place... I think. As they needed replaced we went to stainless to suit what was already there and then when we did the rest here we went ahead and put in a new functional dishwasher that I think we still haven't used. My dishwashers are on the end of my arms.

I can say, I'm going to miss that stove, mostly. Not the oven feature that dings at me because I have the door open. Yes, I know stove, I'm in the freak'n thing, I know it's open. Seriously? Who the hell needed that as a feature? If you make a habit of walking away with the oven wide open while turned on, maybe you shouldn't be cooking in the first place. How about a ding to tell me I left it on and empty when I was done and in the hurry to pull the dinner together I forgot to hit off. That would be a better yet still extraneous feature.

It's not the greatest quality of stuff, but it's much better than what was there when we moved in and a better utilization of the space. We decided it's up to the next owners if they want to keep the oak shelves that mask the laundry shoot. We had a fix in mind, but it's truly not a necessity for us to dive into.

The downstairs bath has gone untouched other than the toilet from upstairs replaced the short little kid one down here. It would often burp a bit when the upstairs one was flushed and then with a damp lid because we shut lids in this house to keep animals from them, it would mildew on the bottom. Lovely. So that was a simple fix that cost little to make something fairly comfortable. And I don't mind this soft lavender.  I know, this pic makes it look pink but it's more lavender.

I can't believe we bought a place without a fireplace... It's just shocking as we've always had one. Even though we use ours very very little, it's nice to know we have it in case we lose power for an extended amount of time. Yeah, just like in Casper on that snowy October of 2013. That fireplace kept things comfortable. There might be a wood stove addition in our near future.

I'm' amazed I have a fairly neutral kitchen since as you guys know, I like to add color to a house. It feels kind of odd, and now that we'll be moving someplace fairly neutral too. Don't worry, i'll get photos up of the new place as I have them.

I realized the other day when chatting with our realtor that this was the one full sized living space type of room that we utilized daily that I didn't paint. I cleaned up the chair rail with a couple coats where she tried to make it look distressed but that's it. Oh, and I removed her stencil. I'm just not a stencil guy, unless I find some more my style. I don't want my wall to give me some daily affirmation unless it's along the lines of "Tequila, it's not just for making babies and mistakes anymore, sometimes at the same time!"

Stop shaking your head at me Cindy. We already know I'm bad. That's why we went to the boudoir next... Someday, I swear, I'll have a matching bedroom set. Until then, meh. Nothing spectacular.

I need to paint that register... I can't believe that I'm sitting in this room right now typing this and didn't even think about that ugly kiwi paint until I saw it in the picture. Especially since nobody probably saw the difference in the wall color and the register color until I pointed it out.

And the new bathroom! I might have to go gray in our new one as I truly like this, but judging by what little I saw of the bathroom in the new house, it will be a lighter gray. Like the palest parts of the tub telework peeking out there. Or green. You know me and my green.

Then, my little piece of sunshine. If you recall, this room was pink and kiwi before. I still love this color. It's so bright and happy and makes the room a nice place to work on dark days. Unfortunately it was a bit of a mess before, but I think I cleaned it up well for the showings, no?

I don't have a good picture of it before, but I had yarn all over the long pine table, and fiber covering every inch of the smaller table in the far right corner. To boot, this is the room we raised chicks in this year so there was feather dust EVERYWHERE. I never knew how dusty birds were before. There's my days lesson. But after I tore it all apart, and reorganized it, I got almost all my stash in one closet.

Yeah yeah, I hear you other knitters rolling your eyes from here. Yes, my entire stash. Me. This guy that normally is regularly playing with fiber in some fashion. His entire stash fits in one closet. Because I try not to buy on the "Oooooh, pretty" factor alone. I try to buy on the, "What will I knit with this" factor. So most of my yarn has an idea or concept behind it. That one tower is just my store bought yarn. The top bin is my needles.

Now, spinning fiber is more of the Oooooh pretty part of fiber for me. I have to remind myself that just because it's nice to look at and feel, I don't need it. I remember when I had one bag of fiber. One. Yeah, I'm no longer there. I'm going to admit that when I got it all in this container, I sat on the top to close it.

And because of that, I now have an entire tub of handspan pretties. Some of them do have projects associated with them but a lot of them don't. This is where gift yarn often comes from out of my stash. When someone seems drawn to something that I'm fairly ambivalent about, it goes to live with them. That keeps us all happier.

Then you throw in all the tools between the spinning, the weaving and the knitting and you have a closet full. So much fun! And lets not discuss my kitchen tools to make amazing upside down apple spice cake. Tools tools tool. I'm telling you, it's what separates us from the chimps. An ant luring piece of grass won't cut much snuff with my needs. Well, tools and some body hair and grooming habits too.

So, now let's discuss what was so funny. Now I think it's funny anyway. Actually, at the time I thought it was going to be funny later but I was only laughing so I didn't cry or kill a dog. This one who's so ashamed at his behavior he's hiding his eyes.

Here he is still wet shortly before we have to leave the house for the open house. Sullivan too is not making eye contact because he can feel my irritation rolling off me as I scramble to make up lost time.

Stop yelling, I'm trying to sleep here!

Lost time you ask? Oh yes. Lost time in my strictly laid out day so I could get the house cleaned, some finishing touches done and out the door with the dogs all in time for people to come fall in love enough to offer us a cash deal. Okay, so maybe that's some dreaming but still. I did not have the time for this damn dog to go outside in our yard, find a young (I didn't know skunks had babies this late in the year) skunk, kill it, and play with it. That's right, Tucker has been skunked twice now.

Lowell river walk in the morning mists and rain

I was in the kitchen cooking a batch of cookies when I saw Tucker playing with something. Tossing it up, thrashing it around. Whatever, I have a hot batch of cookies to tend to. A Few minutes later after the damn oven tells me that I have left the door open too long while I check cookies for doneness, I glance up and out again and see him rolling on the mystery item, and I have that, "Oh F&$%" feeling settle in. So I pulled the cookies out, pulled on some shoes and opened the back door. And the smell hit me and I knew I was screwed.

King Flour Mill

I have less than 6 hours at this point. I still need to clean up the kitchen, tend to the cats needs, vacuum, clear off animal guards, wash windows, take a shower myself and skedaddle. And our dear little F&$%er Tucker has skunked himself. There was a mad rush to remove said dead animal and all his parts from the yard, spray down where he was playing with it and hope the sun worked on the smell before liberally soaking Tucker with peroxide and ditching him while I prepped hot water and dawn dish soap for a scrub down.

He wasn't happy, I was sure as hell not happy, and we were both wet when I spoke to our realtor who dropped everything and ran over to check things out because I was so far nose blind that I didn't know if anything smelled. Who wants to have an open house when it reeks of skunk butt?

I lucked out. It was a young skunk and I think it tried to run rather than stand it's ground. It had sprayed but I think it had missed mostly. He still did have a funk going on but I think that was more from rolling in the grass on on the poor thing after the fact. He didn't seem to have taken a direct hit like last time and definitely not to the face like before. We made it through in just the nick of time and he's looking a bit redder again from the bleach job.

He's still alive, and I find it funny now, even though I wanted to cry a bit. Just a bit. They would have been tears of frustration. Dog cleaned, Open House done, mission accomplished.

These last few shots are just from our walks lately as autumn continues its march through our area of the world. The morning with these tree shots there was a mist and bright sun and it was just lighting up these bands in the trees. Unfortunately all I had was my phone on me.

Colors seem to be a bit better this year as we head into the season. Last year was wet and cold and mostly just yellow. Very strange and I heard a lot of natives making comment on it too.

This is Lepard Park, one of our daily walking areas so we notice the shift in seasons here. See Tucker's reddish head?

Spot the spotted dog! It's amazing how frequently my biggest dog is the one I have to look around to find. I noticed on Shiela years ago how her spots broke up her outline enough to allow her to blend better than many dogs do.

We were just chilling out post walk to give the realtors time to get out of our house and it was a great sunset photo opportunity. Beautiful skies are something I am looking forward to again. There's a lot of cloudy days here and hidden dawns and dusks. However, those clouds are why we have rain and beautiful trees so it's all about the trade-offs.

The other morning of the skunk our dawn walk was gorgeous. Yes, I am walking through a cemetery. Halloween season is a great time for it, no?

That night we had our first frost, and it wasn't a light one. My shoes were soaked and it was  chilly enough morning I was a bit cold, but it was great walking weather.

That's about it guys for this entry, I think I gave you enough photos, my goodness! The last two pics are not for those who don't like the amphibians like I do. See, wasn't that nice? That little warning so you didn't scroll up on your phone to a big slimy thing?

I was happy to stumble across some of these before we left as I've never seen one actually out and about before. Salamanders!

Unfortunately I saw this one because there was a family with kids rolling over logs looking for them, and picking them up. They didn't believe me when I told them that the bug dope on their hands would kill them shortly. One of the reasons I've never laid eyes on them is that I try not to disturb where I walk with the dogs. I even get after the dogs when they potty and feel the need to kick behind themselves. I know nature can recover from a lot of this but I prefer not to add to out impact needlessly. I would be fine with the kids lifting logs to find them, but put the nurse logs back they way you found them and don't touch the amphibians with the skin that lets everything including oxygen pass through. But isn't that our societies problem in general? Just look, don't touch.

Speaking of eye candy, just an FYI for filthy minded Harry Potter fans.

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