Monday, July 30, 2012

On Their Way to LA!

My car and the Maven's car made a moist exit this past Friday from their usual parking spaces at our house.
After I took this picture I hopped in Mr. T's car, which will be staying in Orlando with me until the final move-out, and headed to a nearby street for a rendezvous with a truck that was going to haul them to California.

It was a bit of a nerve-wracking process watching the truck driver load them up on his rig.  Mr. Tennis closely supervised.

Finally, they were both successfully loaded.

They are probably somewhere in Texas today (Sunday) we estimate and it is strange to think of our cars traveling on their own, loaded with linens and clothes.  

They are supposed to arrive at The Writer and Sammy's place on Wednesday, which is perfect since Mr. T, Bumby  and I will be there from Tuesday through Friday looking for places to live.

Hope everyone has a great week.

  I hope to take pictures during my short stay out there.  I will leave Mr. T to check in at his new office, hopefully get settled in the rental (with minimal furniture) and then he will return August 18th to help with final packing, the closing and then the looooooooong drive across the country.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Oops I Did It Again...And I'm Happy About It

My name is Ann and I am a Blue Ball Jar addict.
Okay, there are worse things to be addicted to, and I always try to not go above a certain price when I purchase one.
This one was special.

Can you see it on my desk?

I love how people are re-purposing these beautiful jars and this one caught my eye immediately while browsing with CG one day at a local shop.

I bought it because I love it, and I want to make more of them at some point.  Perhaps to sell.
Now, YOU can see how simple this is to do too!

Let's face it. 
 I couldn't wait to make one of my own and I just wanted it and it's not that big to pack.

Besides, Bumby loves it!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Swan Song?

I was given the most thoughtful gift last week by my friend, known on my blog as The Country Mouse.  Take a look at it:

It is part of Orlando's iconic original fountain that sits in the middle of our downtown Lake Eola.  Country Mouse and I both raised our kids here in Orlando and between the two of us we have been to Lake Eola over the past 27 years or so, hundreds of times. 

In particular I can remember taking The Writer and then The Maven to storytime at the downtown library where afterwards a trip to the Lake Eola playground was a must.  Country Mouse and her sons joined us on many of those storytime trips and in later years, she and I have met at the outdoor cafe they have along  the edge for lunch.

Before we lived in our current house, Mr. Tennis and I lived near downtown and Lake Eola was a favorite place to walk and take visitors to when they were in town.  Ducks and swans wait to be fed and large grassy areas ask to be run across.

The park was a favorite of my parents.  A visit with us was not complete without dinner out and a walk around the lake afterwards.  Many picnic lunches were consumed under the massive oak trees, celebrating birthdays, Easter, Father and Mother's Day, or just "let's have a picnic"!

When my parents moved to Orlando to live in a nursing home they chose one downtown close to this lake and as they aged not many a Sunday went by that we didn't wheel them from the nursing home over to the lake for an outing. A lot of my last memories of my parents include this city park.

So, Country Mouse hit the nail on the head with this special gift.  I take with me in my big move a small peice of Orlando history as the city cleverly carved peices of the old fountain acrylic into the lakes signature image, the swan, when it was replaced by a newer, yet looks-the-same fountain exterior.  A clever fund raising trick, a re-purposing exercise and a way for many to remember the days they spent in the center of Orlando, The City Beautiful.

Thanks Country Mouse!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hollywood Bumby

Mr Tennis and I are taking a reconnaissance trip next week out to our soon-to-be stomping grounds in California.  We need to get our feet on the ground and look at some rentals and Mr. T needs to meet up with his new office people.  

I will fly back and he will stay until a few days before closing on the house, when he will fly back again and then we make the trek across country with the Bostons and the moving van.

And Bumby you ask?

Bumby will be flying with us on Monday!  She's thrilled!  She's excited! 
She's not! 
We have a visit to the vet planned tomorrow so we can get her records and some happy pills for Miss Bumby.  Wonder if I can take them too.

Bumby has gone all diva on us and demanded a fancy carrier. 

 We like to call it the "Kardashian Kat Karrier".

Bumby likes to call it a torture device.  
Miss Darcy likes to call it "mine", since we are actually borrowing it from her.
I've been putting her in it everyday for a few minutes so she is familiar with it and she gets a treat.

So, it should be an interesting 5 hour flight with a tranquilized cat and an uptight cat momma - yes me!  I don't like flying much either, so I will have the human equivalent of Bumby's happy pill to take.
Don't you pity Mr. Tennis having to drag us both around the airport and then sit all that time with us on the plane?  He's a good sport!

So here's where we will be looking for rentals:

The circled names frame the new territory Mr. T will conquer out west and we are going to try to rent a house within that area. and Zillow have become my closest friends lately as I am constantly on those sites looking at GAZILLIONS of rentals which after a while all blend together.

So. Now you know the latest!

No Bumbies were harmed or mistreated during the photo session connected to this post.
Okay, she wasn't happy about wearing the glasses, but for a few treats she put up with it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Simple Sunday Sadie

If there is anyone around this house who knows how to relax, it's Miss Sadie on a Sunday morning.
She always sits with Mr. Tennis while he reads the paper via his iPad.

I don't know whether Sadie realizes it or not, but she is a dog.
I don't know whether we realize it or not sometimes.

Here's to relaxing Simple Sundays!  Linking to Elaine at Sunny Simple Sundays. Click here to check Elaine's blog and the other bloggers participating.

Thanks Elaine!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cheap Retail Therapy - It's The Best!

I haven't been in the buying mode much lately as I am more likely to be selling or getting rid of things in preparation for our move.


After experiencing my little lapse in memory skills yesterday, it was apparent I've not been stopping to smell the thrift stores often enough these days.

Well, I think this is actually the one in another part of town, but it's the best I could do off of google.

I headed to our favorite nearby thrift with one of my favorite people and keen-eyed CG spotted this piece of pressed aluminum - of which she collects and owns a fair amount.  She immediately put it back and I hardly gave it a glance because I thought, the last thing I need is a napkin holder.

But, wait....

Out of the corner of my eye I saw some familiar images that are close to my heart.

And it was under $2 of which I had a few in my clutches.

My motherland.

I thought the details were great and had to take a good look at the area I grew up in  - suburbs of Toronto.

And of course, my birthplace, Montreal.
Oui, I am from Quebec, mon amis. 

Didn't want a napkin holder, but I thought it could be used to hold cards - you know, thank you cards, birthday cards, etc.

And it's sitting right next to the lamp my dad used to have on his desk in the den in Toronto.

I like it!
And it doesn't weigh much!
And I feel good!
Thanks for all your kind comments - they made me feel less, oh what's the word?

Can't remember!

Have a great weekend!

P.S.  Inspection came up with a few annoying items, nothing too major.  So now we move on to next phase which is buyers' financing institution's appraisal. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Of All The Things I've Lost....

....I miss my mind the most.

Well, folks, it finally happened.  I have cracked. The perfect, calm, smiling, smart-as-a-whip veneer has worn away and this morning it showed.

I'll set the scene for you.  Mr. Tennis and I arose bright and early to do final wiping and fluffing before the inspectors, buyers and realtor showed up.  Had a cold breakfast so the house wouldn't smell like eggs and made Mr. T go without his morning shower so mirror wouldn't fog and bathroom wouldn't be humid.  Took dogs to kind neighbor so they wouldn't be underfoot.

Mr. T went into his home office and kept busy with office-stuff.  I greeted first the inspector and then eventually the real estate agent and two strangers with a small child.  I took the realtor aside and said "Who are these people?".  She gave me a funny look and said, "These are the buyers".  I looked at them again and, nope (!), they didn't look familiar.

Cue Twilight Zone music.

In my memory (which is very short apparently) the buyers were a couple about our age and there had not been a child.  The woman looked slightly familiar, but her husband looked nothing like I remembered, not to mention they were about 20 years younger that I thought they were.  


I did confirm with them that they had a Boggle (Boston/Beagle mix). Obviously the only thing I focused on during their previous visit.  I felt much better when I was able say something to them that made sense.  We all chuckled and I talked with their sweet son who is four years old to cover up my humiliation.  He and I seemed to be on the same wave-length.

And in my defense, these nice people told me that their son hadn't been with them when they came to look at the house. Whew! At least I hadn't totally erased the poor kid. Just his parents...

As the inspection continued I slunk out to the office to admit my faux pas to Mr. T.  "They didn't hear you ask that did they?".  Well, not exactly, but my performance afterwards was surely a clue that I did not recognize them and that I am one step away from being tested for memory issues.



I have nothing else to add except we now wait for the inspection results and see what those people who were here today (apparently our buyers) say is the next step.

It's me again. 
I realize this was a result of a week of stressful (some good, some not) events.  A lot has gone down in the last seven days.  Including Mr. T's procedure at the hospital and him finally hearing that he will be able to transfer with the company he works for.  As for me, I think I'm thinking too much and not concentrating on what's going on around me, so I am determined to be more aware.  One more thing, this really rattled me and I feel like I got a glimpse into what someone who struggles with Alzheimer's must experience, especially in the early stages.  And no, I don't think I have that - not yet, but really, who WERE those people?? 

May the weirdness resume.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

All Is Well

Thanks to everyone who sent their best wishes for a successful "scoping" session for Mr. Tennis.  We really appreciate all those positive thoughts and prayers.

We are sticking our tongues out because the scope is over, Mr. Tennis is feeling well and there was no bad stuff found during the procedure.  We are truly fortunate.

Thanks again!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Positive Thoughts for Mr. T on Tuesday!

We are feeling a bit upside as we approach this week.  
Mr. Tennis will undergo a final scope procedure Tuesday morning to hopefully eliminate one last possible cause of his low blood levels a few months ago.  He is feeling strong and good, but we just want to make sure our bases are all covered.

We can always use the positive bloggy vibes from our virtual and RL friends.

Thursday morning brings us inspections on the house (I am a little nervous about these, but am told to "hush", it will all go well)

So pretty soon we will be as relaxed as Miss Sadie sitting in the sunshine with her tongue out.  That's always her sign that there are "no worries".

I think I will go sit outside and stick my tongue out for a bit.

Here's to a good week for everyone!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Good News!

When I got up this morning-Friday the 13th, I might add-and read all the wonderful comments on my HH post/rant, I had no idea that within a seven hour period, starting at 10am today, we would have people come look at the house, want to come back and look again 2 hours after they left, make an offer within an hour of that, we counter offered and by 5 o'clock this afternoon we accepted an offer for our asking price!

I know that's a run on sentence, but so what!!!!

So, now we have an inspection to go through next week and a closing date towards the end of August.  I know it's not done until it's done, but we feel really great/sad/excited/scared/stressed/relaxed.  Well, at least I do, Mr. Tennis takes these things more in stride and is happy that he gets to play his Saturday tennis game tomorrow and not come home to a neurotic wife, feverishly cleaning and fluffing.

And, me?  Well, I can't tell you how tickled I (although I wanted to take it with me, but am glad someone else liked it as much as I do) was when the buyers said they wanted to include this in the contract:

Bought it at the thrift right before we had the wedding reception in our backyard last September... 

It's all good.

Oh, and they have a Boggle.
A Boston Terrier/Beagle mix.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

House Hunters Has it Wrong!!!

First I must say that I promise every post I do in the next few weeks will not have to do with the sale of the house, packing or the move.  I will find other topics, although this is all I can think of these days.  That said....

House Hunters has it so wrong!!  I have been taping and watching that show like a woman possessed the last few months.  At first to pick up tips on what looks good in a home to potential buyers.  Pretty soon I started seeing an annoying pattern in what these buyers were looking for.  Did I have any of these "hot button" items?


Worried. Worried.  Worried that our smaller, older, modest home would not be appealing enough.  Especially to young couples who House Hunters seem to feature the most.  And the most likely candidates to buy in our area because of the very good school district, dead end street and stable community.

This is how our house stacks up against the "must haves" according to HGTV's House Hunters.

MUST have double sinks in Master Bath.

Hah! We have laughingly referred to our small, "cozy" bathroom area in our "Master Suite" as our Master Bath, but it would never hold two sinks. We seem to have survived 23 years sharing a sink.  But can we survive 23 more?!?!?

MUST have luxurious water-jet soaking tub separate from glassed in shower.
Ahhhh. Hello? Well we do have a pulsating shower head.

Just the fact that I have put a picture of our shower in here is a big step for me.  Baby steps, Ann, baby steps.  It's all going to be okay and no one has freaked out over the shower. In fact, it seems to be a non-issue.

MUST have stainless steel appliances.


AND we have a stainless steel sink in there too! So there!
Oh, was that supposed to mean a fridge or oven?

Well, we have them, but we have white ones.  
Because... when we moved in we had a "Mustard" colored  fridge and beige appliances.  Originals to the house I might add which worked well up until about 10 years ago.  Then we went white because, well the kitchen was kind of dark and needed lightening up. And, I like them!

There's that pesky ice and water dispenser.  Lime Away has helped - A LOT!  Thanks to those who suggested it! BTW the fridge doesn't have that much stuff on the front of it now, mainly the cute baby pictures.

MUST have granite counter tops.

Shnope. Formica baby.

MUST have an eat in kitchen!

Check! So what if it's right beside the dining area. It's in-the-kitchen. 
It counts!

And the fur-children have their own eat in kitchen too:

Which is cleared of any wet food and wiped before each visit. Don't worry.

MUST have custom cabinets. 

Well, I'm sure in 1963 these cabinets were custom built for this house and they have held up darn well.  Painted them white awhile back to bring some lightness into the kitchen and added the knobs. 
Hey, and there's my stainless steel appliance over there!

MUST have vaulted ceilings!

Again, 1960s ranch home. Eight foot ceilings, popcorn to boot!

MUST have an open floor plan!

Got it!

 Hah, House Hunters, our floor plan is so open we can see Russia, I mean, almost the entire house when standing in the middle of it.

MUST have a room for a home office!

 Good thing The Writer moved out so you-know-who could move her stuff in his old room.

Can you tell this is my space?

Why do I say they have it wrong?  
Because the young couple who seem so interested in the house came back to look at it again last night and said they just love the old Florida homes. Good construction, character.  What seemed to concern them most about the bathrooms was if the water pressure was good. It was, they went and ran the water.

They LIKED the kitchen, said it was efficient and cozy.  That the open floor plan was great and they loved the flow of the house. 

I know, I know.  I was stunned. And happy. 
 Happy that a young couple starting out their married life appreciated an older home and its quirks. 

Yep, made me feel really good.

I will still torture myself and watch House Hunters because yelling at the TV is a good stress reliever in these times.  And because I know the truth. Reasonable buyers are out there.

Disclaimer: This is my attempt at humor and in no way do I want to offend anyone who has some of the beautiful upgrades mentioned in this post.  It is more a jab at HH which, in my opinion, does not always show a well-rounded view of the selling/buying situation out there.  Besides, who knows what I will have in my next home! In California!  I might go all granite and vaulted ceilings.  We will be renters at first, so it's all up in the air.