Archive | March 2018

Other Kate continues

In my list on Monday, I actually forgot that I have been saving up some Other Kate material.  I almost feel bad because at this point AUKate is like a friend.

(check the “Other Kate” tag for more on the story but basically I have a common email address so I get other peoples mail accidentally but way more frequently then you think)

In this episode of Other Kate, she gets a new boss.  The Australian heroine we already know is a fancy doctor, my reader who loves this storyline best should know that ironically, AUKate could work at her hospital as that is her practice area.  Anyway, in a very mass email, the new “acting” CEO of the hospital introduces himself.  I feel that is a nice way to reach out to everyone, good move hospital administrator.  Good luck though because your name was not followed by an ‘MD’ or a ‘PhD’ and the adjective ‘acting’ isn’t really a recipe for respect.

I forward it to the right address with no comment, AUKate, she can decide if she wants to ignore him or send him cookies.  I don’t know what doctors or Australians do.

A few weeks later, Mr. NewGuy, writes to inform that someone has resigned after years in the position.  Intrigue?  Did this person leave in a huff because she was passed over? Was she fired for some soap opera reason? Is Mr. NewGuy a really bad boss because you know, you don’t quit a job, you quit a boss….  The person who left was named Fiona and of course, that struck a note with me.  I sent along the email and this time added a note about my Fiona, because AUKate is my friend now, and also let her know that maybe she can tell Mr. NewGuy her real address.  She is super nice and replied saying she didn’t know this Fiona, likes mine, and wonder why people still get these things wrong!

As an aside – AUKate also gets stalked by drug reps and people wanting her to participate in studies.  They get one forward each and then they are direct to the trash.  We, Kates, stick together to avoid spam.

The great paint scam

Ah, fresh paint…. so pretty.  I agree!  Every designer I have ever heard talks about how easy it is to change a room with paint.  The totally temporary decision, changeable like the wind…. (kinda)

I actually agree that paint is pretty easy to change but it is time, effort, and around $50 in supplies depending.  When I got this house I happily picked paint and did every room because I was owning my house and I was super tired of white walls in an apartment or dorm.

My argument with the current status quo is that one MUST paint a house to sell a variety of very neutral colors.  Regardless if it was already basically neutral, you need to have a ‘freshly painted’ house to give it that new feeling that buyers want.  Therefore, buyers are conditioned to feel that if a house isn’t freshly painted it isn’t well cared for.  Isn’t the very first thing you, buyer, are going to do is paint the house the colors you want?

Like the compulsion to buy candy and flowers on holidays, I think we have created a compulsion about fresh paint.  Personally, I worry that fresh paint might be covering up something bad…

Good reasons to paint;

  • you had a very strong, dark or unique color – I agree dialing the color back to neutral is nice for the new person to have a clean slate to work from.
  • Minor dings or scrapes from life that a fresh coat cleans up

Gray areas

  • you needed to do some repairs like taking down a mounted TV – that leaves holes and those holes should be fixed and then the wall should be one color without spackle cloud.  HOWEVER. this actually goes to my ‘cover up’ theory because if you are really bad at fixing things you can do a pretty bad job and just cover it up with paint and when New Buyer goes to put a wall anchor in to mount their TV they find a metal mesh with a rag stuffed behind it and a thin layer of plaster… oh yeah, and paint.
  • The walls are dirty.  Well, the paint will make them look nice but dirt isn’t the best base.  You really should just scrub it if you care about the next owner’s happiness and then clean, it may not need painting anyway.
  • It just needs paint – like its faded.  I can see the standard of a move in ready room but again, the new person will probably also paint.

Stupid Reasons

  • a kids bedroom that is not gender neutral.  Seriously?  You can’t imagine your son in a pale pink room?  Feel free to paint it when you buy the house!!!  Like ask your son; “Son, do you want green or gray or yellow or hey, do you like pink?”
  • Because you have to have ‘fresh paint’ everywhere just because…


You know what I would do if I was not painting?  I would be cleaning things that actually matter more.  Or fixing things that I know are broken but you can’t see as well as ‘fresh paint’.  Or packing or, heaven forbid, spending some time with the kids.

Painting where there is no reason to paint slows down the other things so much.  I can’t clean a room that is in the middle of being painted.  I can’t arrange the furniture or get the room ‘done’ until not just the paint is dry but I put back all the switchplates and scrub the drips off the floor and pull all the tape and then I can arrange the room in a way that a buyer can see themselves in the home.

Oh well, just like holidays that I feel compelled by the (not so) silent pressure of hallmark to celebrate in a certain way I will be painting so the house is ‘fresh’.  I do hope someday this cycle will end because I guarantee that the new owner will be down at the paint department asap.  I wonder if rooms get smaller with layers of paint?

House update; Day 18

Status; We have a second floor, and, a handy mud moat to keep out invaders (and me until I get boots)

Next step; Still no floor in there but I assume more structure.  We have an apt with the plumbing people Monday and I know plumbing install is coming up fast.  We also should have a roof at some point soon.

Current level of competition; 15 of 1000



I’m counting from breaking ground, they have done so much in just 18 days!


Topics in my brain

Feast or famine over here with ideas.  Sometimes I  have to give thought to what is important and interesting enough to post, sometimes I have so many things vying for attention in my brain that they get in a massive brain scrum and only one ever gets out…  Just in case I don’t get around to complete posts on these things here are the brain scrum contestants;

House building!  Massively fast.  Now we have exterior walls and wrapping and the floor of the second story is done.  We also have a list of homework that includes making appointments at 2 places and going to 2 others.  I think we picked siding… I’m not sure, it starts to blur.  Did you know that garage doors come in colors?



House Selling – did I mention we have moved back to the selling side of things?  We figure we can fall back on rent to own but the market is good and one of our townhouses will be available in June so we could interim move there if the buyer can’t wait.

House logistics – that plan in the point above is just one of many many things we have figured out ‘just in case’.  Plans range from staying here to the kids and I going to NY and Lars moving in with a friend.  And about 45 combinations and permutations of where our bodies, pets, and stuff would go in every situation.

House renting – this is technically lower on the list of worries but keeping my ‘house’ category full.  If we don’t move there we must rent it, if we do move there we must fit into it.  Either way we need to help our friends who are moving out into their new place but I’m not much factored into that equation,  I may be short one strong husband on their moving day but that is peanuts in the circus I’m running.

Painting – new listing needs new paint.  I panted both bathrooms, our painter friend is painting the Green room.  Our bedroom also needs paint but we have about 10 days to get it done.  I have an internal rant that painting ones perfectly reasonably colored house simply to sell is a paint store racket similar to the hallmark compulsion to give candy on Valentine’s day.  The buyer is going to paint ANYWAY, this is double dipping!


Easter – guess what?  there is a holiday coming up.  I’ve collected a few things for baskets but our actual baskets and all the other things are deeeeep in storage.  I got new eggs in a salute to defeat but I have to do something about baskets.  Being April Fools day I think I can get creative but the top idea of Halloween buckets won’t work because they too are in storage.  I should also bake the traditional Fagoli and dye eggs and figure out dinner all while making a minimum mess because house pictures are the Monday after Easter and it goes live sale on Wednesday.



Took a break to go to the town egg hunt in the snow…


Niamh’s Birthday –  Good thing we had basically planned this one and Niamh really really wants it so she has been great at getting me to actually make the plans.  We are going to a puzzle room, one where you have to figure out the clues to get out in time to win.  After we will go out to eat.  Thank goodness for Vacation Mom who is taking the other 2 so Lars and I and our team of 10 year olds have a chance of winning.  Birthday parties are hard for my shy girl.  She does not have too many school friends (all the better to avoid drama in my opinion) but hard for parties when her BFF#1 has an ever-changing hockey tournament to plan around.  BFF#2 has been pressed into service by her family, rightly so, her grandma had an epic leg break so her mom is taking care of her and she is holding down the fort for her siblings w her dad.  (10 year olds are actually really good at things).  I hope our little group is festive, 10 is too young to feel like your not important enough for people to show up for.

Future Birthday’s –  Niamh’s party  out of the house was originally planned that way because we were supposed to be in our new house in mid-May so I figured it would be a different type of chaos.  Being 3 days after our listing the plan still holds well – we are out of the way for a day that people should hopefully be looking at the place.  My two May babies were up in the air party wise because I had hoped we could do them in the new place but now we are in selling limbo.  Will we be packing for the interim move?  Will we still be showing?  Will we be breathing easy with a buyer and an Aug close?  Who knows…  Zoe is looking for a party at a place so I think that might be the plan but I’m holding that lion of planning from pouncing on me until we get through the next 2 weeks.

Pending travel – last but certainly not least, Lars may need to get out to the east coast.  Yet another thing with no actual date but things with his brother turned from bad yet managed to ‘making him comfortable’.  This is his story, I’m in the role of supportive wife, but I might have said constant prayers the entire time I was rolling paint this weekend.  Repetitive work is built for praying anyway, but, hard to even know what I’m praying for because nobody should dwell in earthly limbo, but, nobody should have to go so young.


Writing it out didn’t do much for the brain scrum but at least no new players emerged.  There are plenty of other thing going on with School Board, PTO, and contract work but I think I can handle what is going on now with them.  15 minutes until the day starts here so I’m going to let this go and gear up for tackling today; putting bathrooms back together, more painting, a supply run, printing party invites and my perpetual Monday fav – Laundry.  Hey, at least they actually go to school today.


The fast part of house building

Status; going up fast! has a foundation and some framing

Next; More framing

Days; under 2 weeks from the first speck of dirt moved


This is actually old news already, on Tuesday the kids and I went by the house and were super excited to see first a delivery of wood;

And a very necessary tempory site improvement….

The HOUSE (not garage) now has all the vertical parts.

Wider view, you can see what will be windows and also the rocks are our future driveway (I think it will get more paved)

This was supposed to go up yesterday but we made the decision to get the house back on the market ASAP so I spent the day really getting vacation put away and knocking off tasks on the pre-sale list.  When the kids got home we had a batch of boxes for storage so we decided to swing by the house again and they had made so much progress in JUST ONE DAY!  I suppose having an on site potty means productive workers.

Driving up we have a view before we even get there (note to self, we do not have a private back yard…) and you can’t miss the work done in just one day.

There are wall like things around the main house, the garage is framed.


Our future windows are giant, using a child for scale.


Up there is the start of the second story and if you look closely you can see my last minute piano window addition.  We had a meeting Tuesday morning to talk windows and future details and I asked if we could have it and in under 24 hours it exists!


This last one is a view of the future office.  I had one where Lars was pretending to sit at a desk but without a desk it just looked…. um… wrong.  So imagine a wall about where that angled wood support is, Lars gets his own door and window.img_5602

Thats the tour so far, pretty cool to go every day and see progress.  I know soon the big steps will be hard to see and/or take pictures of so until then we are living it up.

Hope you all don’t mind joining the process.  Other things are actually happening, maybe I’ll end up writing more?  On the other hand, my real computer is failing to start so I’m working outside of my native habitat.  We have a hope a friend can resuscitate it this weekend, or at worst salvage my hard drive, so cross fingers with me.  I’ve got enough change going on, I can’t have this too.


Status; hole in ground with foundation outline and insulation.

Next step; fill, arrange plumbing and in floor heat and pour slab

Current level of competition; 5 of 1000

Here they are looking at our dining room/guest room area, that central rectangle is the stairs. Other side of the stairs is the kitchen and living room

Here is our future front porch. We asked, it gets filled and there is no trapdoor option available.

Exciting stuff even if there are still tons of details to figure out.