April 6, 2019:

Hola!

The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired

Jan

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shopping for a New House: House 1

Scrreeeeeeccccchhhhhh!  The sound of smoking brakes as Jan's plans for Maison Newton do a 180 and - I'VE SOLD MAISON NEWTON.

OHMYGODDESS.

The house was NOT on the market. I got an offer out of the blue and, well, here I am. Desperately looking for a new place to live.

I had planned on downsizing - at age 65.  I'm still 2 1/2 years away from that.

Let me tell you, darlings, after the horrid experience I had with certain listing brokers in 2009 when I listed Maison Newton for sale, I was really really gun shy about ever using a broker again.  My sale - no broker involved. It's totally private.  Totally fell into my lap from -- probably the Goddess Hera (a mother goddess of family and the hearth in the most ancient times) had a hand in this.  Maybe a not to subtle kick in the butt from the Goddess that it-was-time.  Sooooo, thank you, Hera. I think.

Here is the house I'm putting in an offer for (not at the list price of $169,900, which is too high considering what else is on the market in the immediate area).  A one level Milwaukee style ranch, partial brick with siding.  Kitchen and bath totally redone. All floors natural hardwood refinished, not a speck of carpeting anywhere.  Tile in the bathroom and kitchen/dinette.  It is not a large house -- 1073 square feet, three bedrooms (no pics of them published here but they all have redone closets with good space) and one bathroom (small, but beautiful, shower over tub). No lower level rec room or separate laundry/furnace room or bath/half-bath. It's an open basement, clean clean clean.  Potential for future build-out is there:

The front.
 
The front from an angle.

Back yard patio view.
 
Back yard rear view of house. I would put in a patio door where the
large window is to the right (dinette window).
 
Living room view from the entrance.
 
Bathroom totally redone.  New vanity (check out that hardware), mirror,
light fixture, and on the opposite side, fully tiled shower over tub with glass
doors and a 6 inch wide strip of glass accent tile.  Tile floor.  Quartz countertop.
All in neutral tones.
 
Bathroom view 2, showing tub/shower.


Kitchen - totally redone.  Maple cabinets, check out the drawer pulls,
stainless steel appliances, tile floor. Back lighting on top of cabinets.


Dinette area, view toward kitchen.


View of dinette area toward rear door and stairway to basement. Yes, I
think that window wall on the right is begging for a patio door that
would open to the backyard.  The back door opens to the driveway.
 
It's a lovely house. About 500 square feet smaller than Maison Newton but then, I don't need all of this space, just me rambling around here now that Mr. Don has passed.  The yard gives me enough space for beautiful flower beds, but is much more manageable to mow (front and back).  There is a generous 2.5 car garage, bigger than the 2 car standard I have now.  The curved patio area is new within the past year.  There is a nice sized Norway maple which will grow huge and shade the entire yard unless I stay on top of it and have it pruned out once a year.  There are only 3 entry streets into the subdivision.  There is no through traffic, only local residents, so despite being 2 blocks away from busy South 76th Street and my Walgreens, Pick 'n Save and bus stop that takes me downtown (about half a mile to the south), it is peaceful and quite here.

Fingers crossed!  I electronically signed the offer papers this evening when I got home from the office.  My buyer broker is not feeling well, so I don't know if she was able to submit the offer this evening.

I do have a Plan B, and even a Plan C, if necessary, but Plan C -- oh my!