Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

We’re done now. Yay. 43 homes viewed in total. Did we have fun along the way? Absolutely. Being able to be a voyeur in someone's home WITH permission is rather enjoyable. And, with that in mind, here are 13 highlights (or lowlights?) from those 43 houses.

1. Rug in the bathrooms. Both of them. What were you thinking? What is living/growing under there now?
2. The Magic Bullet. Yes, Corrie & Pam, I saw one, happily sitting in someone's kitchen. And when I did, I smirked. And I wondered if they marveled at making quesadillas in 3 seconds.
3. A framed photo of Barbra Streisand quietly sitting on the end table in a living room. I'll give you a concert photo framed in your rec room. Heck, I'll even give you a large movie poster type photo in your hallway. But, a 4x6 photo in your living room? Interesting.
4. Incense. This one home had several sticks of incense burning in their basement. Maybe you're NOT trying to hide something but burning incense certainly makes it look like you are.
5. Stairs to the toilet. Within the bathroom itself, stairs leading up to the toilet. Heh?
6. Buddhas in every room of the house. Seriously, I felt like I should kneel or bow.
7. The deck coming off a bedroom. I’m sorry if that’s your only design option. Unfortunate. 'Cause I gotta say, I'd rather not carry food or lead guests through some messy teenager's bedroom.
8. Mustard yellow rug. When was this EVER a good decorating choice?
9. No dining room and only enough room for a 4 person table in the kitchen. Seriously, do these people never have guests?
10. Mint green rug covering the entire main floor (except for the kitchen). When you were putting that in you didn't for a MOMENT consider that one day you might want to sell your house, did you?
11. Wallpaper in Every Single Room – even the kitchen and bathroom. Oh my. (see #10)
12. A black master bedroom. Walls and ceiling. Oh yeah, with a large gold foil frame glued directly on the wall. Again, I'll give you a black kid’s bedroom. I'll even give you a wall or two in black. But, all 4 walls AND the ceiling AND black curtains. What?
13. Saving the best for last: A large rubber shark mounted to the wall of the living room. Apparently, a replica of one the owner had caught. I'm not talking a huge room. I'm talking a rather small living room. Did you catch that? LIVING room. Not the basement, not the rec room, not the spare room. The FORMAL living room. And it was big. Probably 5’x2’x2’. And rubber. Wow.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

7 Things

I was tagged. And so, seven completely random things about me. Because, hey, if a blog can't be narcissistic what's the point?

1. When singing in the car I usually sing harmony rather than melody.
2. I hate making icing. I like baking so I usually look for recipes that don’t require icing.
3. J-L and I started dating on July 26th, we got married on June 26th and we bought a house on May 26th. Seems to me our next child should be born on April or August 26th, no?
4. I don’t believe I’ve ever made a pot of coffee. Yes, I drink coffee but (a) only 1 cup a day usually and (b) I don’t like it first thing in the morning and (c) I have very few friends who drink coffee.
5. I get easily annoyed with tags on shirts. Most of mine are cut out. I’m delighted that a lot of T-shirts now come tagless at the neckline. Now if only they’d ditch the ones on the side of the shirt as well.
6. I haven’t read a book in quite some time. Lately I seem to be reading a lot more short stories and quick-read items. I’m not quite sure why although I do think it might have something to do with me not quite knowing how to read for long periods of time now that I’m a mom.
7. I often think about city planners and am fascinated by them: being able to figure out traffic lights and where to place them and how long red lights should be etc. Don’t get me started on how interested I am in subway systems.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What we did today: a photo essay

Had a sword fight.

Went out for breakfast.

Did laundry.

Went for haircuts (well, 2 of us).

Baked some cookies.

Oh yeah, and bought a house. Yipes!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I love this.

Kudos to the original artists AND the techno-artist that put this together. Wow.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Life with a toddler

It's hard to know which is more frustrating, that she turned our printer Spanish or that she locked our vcr/dvd player and we have no IDEA HOW TO FIX EITHER.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I think this blog should shortly be renamed "all lists, all the time".

Thirteen Things I'm Hoping to Do This Weekend to Avoid Thinking About House Hunting.

1. Go to some garage sales.
2. Have a picnic with my extended family.
3. Put some flowers on my dad's grave.

4. Work on my as-yet-undiscovered talent of whittling.
5. Spend the night in a hotel with my boy and my babe.
6. Walk through a park.
7. Find Osama bin Laden.
8. Eat some cheese. (Moodge, that one's 'specially for you.)
9. Splash in a pool with my girl.
10. Go deep sea fishing.
11. Relax in a hot tub.
12. Pick some lilacs.
13. Break my heroin addiction.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hey, I still have my sense of humour

They say... can't buy happiness. Most days I believe "them", today I'm struggling a little.

We put an offer on a home yesterday. Our offer wasn't chosen. Why? Too low. We went $10,000 above listing price, the house sold for $30,000 above listing price. Such is the market these days.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Advice to home sellers and real estate agents:

1. HS: Mow your lawn before an open house. It’s amazing how unappealing that is to a perspective buyer.
2. HS: Don’t have dirty underwear in the closet for the buyers to view. I’m sorry if you didn’t have time to do your laundry before the open house. Hide it away somewhere.
3. REA: Don’t drive a huge SUV or a sporty Mercedes convertible. I know you’re doing well and you want your toys but maybe have a second average looking vehicle to park at the open houses. I just don’t know that I want to give you my money if you’re that rich already.
4. REA: If someone has booked a viewing with you please show up on time or have the courtesy to call if you’re going to be late.
5. REA: Don’t be too desperate and practically attack us when we walk in the door.
6. REA: Alternatively, don’t spend your entire time on the cell phone when we’re viewing the house.
7. REA: Sometimes, you might just have to fake that you love the house you’re trying to sell. It’s okay to point out some of the negative aspects but also try your hardest to find some of the positive as well.
8. REA: If you are calling me or emailing me please try to get my name. (Over the span of 2 days I dealt with one agent who misspelled my name 3 different times on emails and mispronounced it on the voice message. It’s not that tricky a name.)
9. HS: If you have 1970s wallpaper adorning your walls, take it off. I know it’s a hassle and a lot of work but it can turn off a home buyer in an instant.
10. HS: If your home smells of curry or dog pee or smoke try to do something about it. Something. Anything. Get some helpful advice online, I’m sure there are things you can do. (Incidentally, the three smelliest homes we saw are still up for sale even though others around them are selling in mere days.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Little Birthday Bonus For My Boy

May 8, 1967

So, there it is. 40. My boy is 40 today.* Wow. And, in his honour, what I do best: a list...

Ten Things I Love About My Boy

1. He is kind. Very kind.

2. He is funny. I’d say a minimum of once a week I’m laughing so hard I can barely breathe.

3. He loves me.

4. If I care for someone he cares for them. Automatically. He would do anything for my family and friends.

5. Those eyes. Those dark, beautiful brown eyes.

6. That smile. It lights up a room and my life.

7. We genuinely love to hang out together. We do 90% of our mundane, everyday tasks together whether it be laundry or grocery shopping or cleaning or doing dishes. I remember when I was growing up my brother used to beg me to come help him clean out the pig pens. Believe me, it would take a lot of begging. But, if I refused he would then just say “well, at least come be my companion”. He wanted nothing more than to have me sit on the sidelines and visit with him. To this day I still love that word “companion” and I feel extremely lucky to have found that in a spouse.

8. He is completely fine with me doing things on my own or with a friend. Not even ONCE has he made me feel guilty for abandoning him or leaving him to care for Abby on his own as I trot off to X concert or Y movie.

9. He is an optimistic person. This is a nice balance to my leaning towards pessimism. He hopes for and expects the best. I hope for the best but expect the worst.

10. He is a incredible father.** He loves Abby dearly, he has loads of fun with her but then he also recognizes when it’s time to discipline and put his foot down and he does that as well.

Happy birthday, Moodge. I love you.

* Yes, there will be a celebration. But, we're hoping to have a combined birthday/housewarming party.
** Honey, I threw the grammatical error in there just for you so you better have noticed it. It just about killed me but it's worth it if it makes you smile.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Note to my family and friends

Housing prices in Winnipeg are extremely high. I won't be able to get my dream house. Well, I suppose I could but I'd still like to eat and buy clothes sometimes and save for our retirement. I'm a bit crazy and frivolous that way. I've come to terms with that and shed a few tears over that. It'll be okay. We may not get a house we love but hopefully eventually we'll get one we like a bit. This is where you come in. Please pretend you like it. I'm sensitive and vulnerable that way. Even if the carpet is a bad colour or it's small or the layout isn't the best please fake it when you come to visit me for the first time.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Dream With Me

Yes, I am obsessed, I may as well admit it. I visit and several times a day. Don't expect posts about anything OTHER than houses for the next little while.

Thirteen Things I'm a Sucker For in a House
Note: There are way more than 13 items in this list. I cheated.
2nd note: In no way,shape or form am I suggesting I'm LOOKING for these items in my home. Hence, the "dream with me" subtitle.

1. A nice, big backyard with wonderfully green grass.
2. Room for a vegetable garden (preferably already dug up).
3. Edging (preferably brick or wood) around the front (particularly brick or wood) of the house to keep the perennial garden looking clean as well as a lot of nice soil for healthy plants.
4. Sunroom.
5. Big, bright kitchen including an island. Ideally the window needs to look out into the backyard and the cupboards need to be new. Oh yeah, and a double sink.
6. Hardwood floors.
7. Fireplace.
8. Jacuzzi (or at least big, roomy tub).
9. Screened-in veranda.
10. Gables.
11. Vaulted ceiling in the living room.
12. Lots of closet space and storage space.
13. A fully finished basement.

What would be in YOUR dream house?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

House hunting - update

Yeah, that house that kept me awake Sunday night? We're not taking it. We walked through it again and there were several issues that came to light the second time through that we hadn't noticed the first time. And it's okay. Our house is out there somewhere, waiting for us. And we have time. Lots of time. Our lease is only up October 1. (Although, in my ideal world I'd like to move in summer rather than fall.)

And now I'm signed up to receive emails about houses from various agents as well as comfree. And it's fun to receive emails and to have my heart racing as I open them and wonder with delight "ooh, is THIS my home?"