Bella Rum

Image: Outer Banks, NC 9-11-11

Silliness and More Packing

Yesterday, H dropped me off at the salon. He needed a few things from  a nearby store. So he did that while I got my hair cut. I finished before he did. It was a beautiful day, and I decided to strike out in the direction of the store. I could get a little exercise, and I would see him on the way. So I threw my purse over my shoulder and chose my fate. I walked halfway there, and then it occurred to me that he could have returned to the salon by a different route. Not the route I would have chosen, but you never know. I walked all the way back. He still was not there. I sat on a bench in the parking lot across from the salon. After awhile, it occurred to me that he could have returned while I sat on the bench and parked just around the corner. I walked about twelve feet, peeked around the corner of the library, and there he was… waiting patiently for me. It was like one of those silly, old movies. We are so different. If I choose salt, he chooses pepper. If I’m cold, he’s hot. Why would I ever think that he would choose the same route or park in the same place that I would?

After we returned home, H mowed the lawn while I packed. We found these great dish packs that have dividers in them. We didn’t find those on our last move. The glasses fit nicely in them. I’ve used a  number of the small (book boxes) and medium boxes for heavy things. I hate to pack super heavy boxes. It’s so hard on the movers. I put clothing, sheets, towels, etc. in the large boxes, and I only use a few of the extra-large boxes for pillows, wreaths and other things that are large but not too heavy. You know I can’t function without a system. We bought a couple of the wardrobe boxes so we can hang a few things.

I have to try to get the house back in order now. The home inspection is Monday morning at 9:00 am. Boxes and packing paper are everywhere. The desk is covered in papers, the kitchen table and island are scattered with a variety of things and every floor needs vacuuming. H has a doctor’s appointment at the same time as the inspection. So we would have to leave the house anyway. That worked well.

That’s it. Packing and cleaning. Nothing exciting happening at the moment, and maybe that’s good. I’ll be glad when the home inspection is over. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but we had a nightmare of a home inspection in MD. The inspector saw a crinkle in the siding where I had backed into the side of the garage door, and he claimed that it was crinkling because the entire house was listing. We tried to tell them it was where I hit the garage door, but they would not believe us. He also claimed that the chimney was falling down, and that the garage was sinking because he saw a crack in the floor. Our water heater was fine on the morning of the inspection, but started leaking during the inspection. Really? We had to bring in engineers for the “listing” problem, and a professional to check the chimney. Of course, we had to buy a new water heater. So you can see why I’m gun-shy about home inspections.

Too Much for this Girl

image

H shot this photo of the pasture behind the new house with the iPad. It was a rainy and overcast day. Can you see the horse?

We marked a lot off our list yesterday, but it was a little too much for me. I’m goal oriented, and I had a vision in my mind of what I wanted to accomplish. I pushed hard until 1:00. H helped me go through a couple of kitchen cabinets in the morning, making a Goodwill pile as we worked. Then he disappeared upstairs to make an appointment with the floor sander, and, more importantly, to get insurance on the new house. He got new car insurance while he was at it, both at a  considerable savings. We went with USAA. It’s for veterans, active duty and relatives of…

Getting the insurance squared away was time-consuming. I was left to my own devices. I accomplished a lot, but I was exhausted by the time I finished. I packed everything that was left in the dining room. The auctioneer will send someone to take the dining set away next week.

I’m waiting until after the home inspection to remove decorative items, and that includes things hanging on the walls, sitting on furniture: lamps, pictures, vases, etc. I want the house to look like it did when the buyers made the decision to buy it. No buyer’s remorse. We’ve seen them riding by to check it out. Dreaming and planning, no doubt.

The termite inspector arrived before 2:00. He gave us a clean bill of health. We thought that would be the case, because H had already looked for the telltale tracks and found nothing. The inspector  said that 19 out of 20 houses in our community have no termites. Isn’t that something? This area has no dearth of termites. All you have to do is lift the concrete tray for the downspout or turn over a rock and you see them wiggling around. Gross! H thinks the houses were probably treated when they were built. Interesting.

I was entirely wiped out by this time, but it was time to meet Marlene and the floor sander at the new house for an estimate. I was not in a position to make any decisions by this point. I just wanted to lie down, watch something mindless on television and drift slowly and mercifully into a coma. And that’s pretty much what I did.

I’m off to get my hair cut later this morning. Some things take precedence even when in extremis. H will mow the grass while I’m gone. Today will not be as crazy as yesterday. No worries, there will still be plenty to do, but it will not be over-the-top crazy. But this weekend, just when we’re on a roll, we will have to stop. I’d like for the house to be clean (at least a path from the front door to the back) for the home inspection on Monday. Was it only a week ago that it was so perfect? You should see it now. It looks like a bomb went off. Still… I’m in a good place. It will all be worth it.

 

Moving on a Prayer

Yesterday, we found our mover. Marlene recommended a local company. She couldn’t say enough good things about the owner, both professionally and personally. She mentioned that he was African American and very religious.

He sent the nicest young man to do the estimate. He was nothing like the guy from Allied. There was no hard sell, and he gave us a flat rate on the spot, and it was reasonable. He told us right off the bat that they were a Christian based business, which I already knew,  but he did surprise me when he said that the movers would arrive early and gather together and pray before  starting. Just to make it clear, I do not care what religion my movers are or if they are religious at all. It’s just that I haven’t had this experience, and I knew that I would tell you about it as soon as I wrote a new post. The owner called us a couple of hours later and we locked in our date. When Marlene’s mother became ill and had to move closer to her children, this company moved her possessions down a mountain in a snow storm. Marlene was very impressed with them, so hopefully we’ve found ourselves a good mover. I feel good about it.

Today is for packing, making an appointment to meet the floor sander at the new house for an estimate, and getting insurance set up for the new house. We’ve been thinking about shopping around for a new insurer for our car and house anyway. I think we’ve been paying too much. What’s new?

Oh, and the termite inspection is today.

My doctor was thrilled with my weight. I’ve lost twenty pounds now. It’s been slow and pretty easy because I haven’t starved myself. I believe I started January 6. I hope to reach or come close to my goal sometime in autumn. That’s plenty of time and doesn’t put any pressure on me. I don’t do pressure these days.

Now, after I just bragged about my weight loss, I have to tell you about my recent indulgence. I’ve gotten hooked on Cabot’s extra-sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches on a grainy bread. I get the block cheese, not slices, and shave it. I found a bread at Krogers that I use. Sometimes I manage to get over to Fresh Market (not lately) for their spelt bread. Yum! I only use one slice of bread because the slices are big and oblong. So, technically, I only have a half sandwich. I also have a bowl of one of Progresso’s one-point soups with it. It’s comforting and delicious. I wish I could eat cheese everyday.

That’s all for today. Stay tuned.

Working the List

Yesterday, I packed a few boxes. Like painting, there’s something soothing about it, and rewarding. It’s satisfying to see a roomful of packed boxes, to watch those boxes accumulate. I try to do a few each day. We’ve made two or three more trips to Goodwill since I last posted. I don’t think there will be many more trips. I cannot tell you how glad I am that we started this process over a year ago. There’s hardly anything left in the attic. We still have plenty of stuff, but it does  not even begin to approach what we had the last time we moved.

In the morning, while H prepared for another trip to Goodwill, I packed boxes. Then Marlene met us at the new house. We took measurements and checked the gas fireplace and the lamppost that didn’t work during the home inspection. They both work now. After that, we made a trip to Goodwill. A mover came at 3:00pm to give us an estimate (He used the word awesome at least fifty times. I stopped counting at 25). We have another appointment with another mover next week, and Marlene gave us the name of a local guy that she likes. She said his price would be lower. We left a message, but he hasn’t called back yet.

We contacted an antiques dealer. We sent him photos of our furniture. He’s interested and will move the furniture for us next week. That was a good one to scratch off our list.

We decided to move up the closing date on the new house. We hope to get someone in there  to sand and refinish the hardwoods. And while they’re at it, I’d like a darker stain. It would be great to get that done before we move in. And… H and I have come to a compromise about hiring the move. He agreed to hire someone to move our furniture and boxes, but he will move his garage. He has a lot of antique tools and would rather move them himself. Moving the closing date will give us plenty of time to do all of this. We cannot do this in a rush. We’re still a good team when it comes to this kind of thing, but we’ve lost that willingness to kill ourselves to save a few bucks. I don’t even want to tell you how crazy we were on our last move. Never again!

The termite inspection on this house is tomorrow at two o’clock, and the home inspection is Monday. I’ll be glad when that is over and we have the results. The home inspection is when the new buyers get a taste of reality. That gorgeous home they just bought will need a new roof in a couple of years, there’s a dead tree in the front yard and a cracked window in the guest room. Reality really does bite.

I have a doctor’s appointment this morning and lab work after. And I have an appointment to get my hair cut on Friday. Life must go on… even during a move.

Oh, I almost forgot. I have to order a new Mac today. I can’t believe I haven’t already done that. I hope it will be as good to me as my old one was.

 

Old Movies, Macs, Sun-Bleached Sofas and Attic Clutter

I’m using the iPad so don’t judge me if my spelling and grammar are worse than usual. It isn’t easy to see what I’m writing and that autocorrect oughta be shot.

I made like a vegetable yesterday. It was wonderful. I don’t know how some people stand constant activity, going from one thing to the next without a moment to reflect. I have a friend and a cousin who thrive on that way of living — not so much thinking but constantly doing. I always think they must accomplish a lot outwardly, but what about internally? They are both enormously successful. So there’s that.

I watched an old movie, “Stanley and Iris.” Jane Fonda teaches a man, Robert De Niro, to read, consequently, changing the course of his life and then her’s. Reading is a powerful thing.  Punctuation is really swell, too, but I missed the memo. I wish I’d paid attention  that day.

We couldn’t get an appointment with the Mac geniuses until this afternoon. I hope they can breathe life into my poor baby. I love that machine. It was wonderful to me for a very long time.

I enjoy interior decorating, and have been daydreaming about it. The opportunity to ‘do’ a new house is exciting. We’ve never owned a rancher. This will be different.

I’ve decided to keep my sun-bleached family room sofa. I like its comfort and style. It was left uncovered those years we were at Dad’s. The light poured through the full-length window in the backdoor. A simple shade would have saved the couch, but I had other things on my mind. By the time we returned home, it was ruined, and one of the springs broke when a friend’s little boy jumped on it. It’s large and L-shaped, two things that do not lend themselves to versatility. Since we were looking for a smaller house, I wasn’t sure if it would fit in the new space. It will. Now I have to find someone who does re-upholstery work. For nothing more than its comfort, it’s worth saving.

More packing is on the agenda today, and another trip to Goodwill. We took a load from the attic a couple of days ago. Most of today’s load came from the attic, too. One of those big galvanized metal tubs and an old trunk are among the rejects today. I do not want to fill the new, harder-to-access attic with stuff that will never be seen again until my son and DIL clean it out for resale. I’d say we’ve reduced the contents of this attic by about 90%. I’d like to get it down to a few large things like my crab pot, which I would keep within easy reach at the top of the pull-done stairs, and things that I only use once a year – seasonal decorations, etc.

The date for the home inspection on this house is April 20. Fingers crossed.

That’s all for today.

 

Packing, Scheduling, and My Poor, Pitiful, Big Mac

My iMac died this morning. Last night, it showed signs of distress, refusing to fire up once. When I went into the office this morning and tried to turn it on, there was no response. I tried several more times. I could hear it running, but the monitor remained black. We will take it to the Mac store, but I’m afraid it’s gone to Mac Heaven. I’m using the iPad now.

It felt good to stay home yesterday and do a little packing and scheduling. H set up an appointment with two movers for estimates, talked to Debbie at the bank, and talked with a couple of auctioneers. He found one that has auctions every Thursday. We will send them photos of our pieces. Hopefully they will want our stuff.

I packed a few things. In the process, I found more stuff to purge. So we made a trip to Goodwill, and then hopped over to Home Depot for more boxes and stopped by the grocery store for some salad fixings.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that we purged on a regular basis over the past two years. I’m even going to give up my mother’s punch bowl. I’ve only used it once when I gave a  friend’s daughter a shower. It is pretty, but who will ever use it? There are pull-down stairs to the attic storage at the new house. Someday, my son and DIL will have to remove every single thing we stash up there.

II did all the packing for our last move. H had a million other things to do, but he will help me this time. I like to do the packing myself. Then I know what’s what. Know what I mean? It also feels good to pack your own stuff. It’s productive and forward-moving. It’s good.

Our across-the-street neighbors told H that he couldn’t leave the neighborhood without telling them his secret to beautiful grass. He told them, “Adam.”

Yesterday, when Adam came to service the yard, H asked him if he would be able to take care of our new yard. He said that our new house is still in his territory and that we should request him. Adam always writes a note about what he did to the yard and usually a few tips on the info sheet. He leaves it on the doorknob. Yesterday, he wrote a nice note about looking forward to servicing our new yard. With all the change, even though it’s good change, a little continuity is nice. Our bill should be less, too. The new yard is much smaller. It really needs some help. The house has been vacant for over a year.

That’s all there is to tell. Today is Saturday. We have nothing that we have to do. I can hardly believe it. I know we’re in the eye of th storm. The dreaded home inspection is next. The one on our last house was a disaster. This one has to be better.

 

Sold


sold-sign2The interested buyers made an offer yesterday morning. We countered immediately and they accepted. Done! They are a young couple with a little boy. That’s a bonus. Mason lives across the street. He’s three-years-old and is a very busy fellow. He loves trucks and tools and anything to do with moving dirt around or building things. He’s adorable and will be happy to have a buddy across the street.

This house is perfect for a young couple with a growing baby, and this neighborhood is a great place to raise kids. There are tons of them here, and there’s a pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, etc. Every time the community association makes improvements, it’s about the kids. I’m happy for them and for us.

We will close on our new house a week before we have to close on this one. So we’ll have seven days to move. That’s a hell of a lot better than one day, which is what we had in MD. I’m not up for that anymore. It takes me longer than that to put my socks on, let alone move them to a new location.

We still have a lot to do, but it was great to lie back and prop our feet up last night instead of having to leave the house for two hours so buyers could view it. And now we can leave the sponge in the sink or the utensils on the counter. I’m so glad that part is over. We still have a lot of phone calls to make and organizing to do. We still have to get an auctioneer in here, decide how we want to move to the new house and arrange it, get insurance on the new house, get the termite inspections, and a number of other things.

I think we need to hire someone to move us. H is considering getting a pod and doing the move with my son and maybe my nephew or hiring a couple of guys. I want him to hire someone and direct the traffic, but I know he will be involved. It was 98º the day we moved into this house, and he kept pace with the young, incredibly strong movers. One of them came to me and said, “I don’t know about Mr. H. He’s something.” Yep. He’s something alright, and I’d like to keep him.

I am so glad this is my last move and last real estate deal. It’s a stressful event, no matter how well it goes, and this has gone pretty smoothly so far. It hasn’t even approached the level of horror that was our last move. It has been exhausting at times, but that’s because we aren’t as young as we were during the last move. But we’re okay. Each thing that’s stressful seems to get resolved  just about when we’ve had enough of it. And we’re together. This has to be more difficult when you’re the only one making all the decisions and doing all the work.

I was a handful during the MD move. I don’t know how H tolerated me. Of course, he had his moments, too. It was tough. We had to deal with two crazy people, the wife of the couple who bought our house in MD, and the woman who sold us this house. Neither of them were stable. One of them had some kind of compulsive disorder and God knows what else was going on with her. The other one was simply at a low point in her life, vulnerable and afraid of her future. That made her more volatile than the average stressed person in that situation. It made even the simple things difficult. I know we’ll run into annoying things, but I’m hopeful that it will be normal things: time issues, someone dropping the ball. Things like that, not the seller throwing the lockbox across the yard and refusing entrance to the house we just bought.

The seller of our new house is an elderly woman. She and her son have been reasonable so far. I can’t imagine her going berserk. Everyone involved made their decisions and everyone seems okay with what was agreed to. So far. So good.

Now, if the home inspector on this house doesn’t try to nail us to the wall, all will be well with the world. There are a few things that he will find. They always find something, but hopefully it will not be anything that will squelch the deal. I do know that the new buyers will have to reroof in a couple of years, but the roof is not compromised at this point. I don’t think that’s anything we can be held accountable for. We’ll have to keep the house somewhat clean until the inspection is over, but not June Cleaver clean.

We’ve done some packing already, but we’ll  start in earnest soon. Today will be about exercise (neither of us has exercised since this started), phone calls, research into homeowner’s insurance, etc. I will unplug the phone this afternoon and we’ll take a bona fide nap. Well, H will. I’ll certainly give it my all.

Sold!

If It’s 2:30, This Must Be Home Depot

IMG_9393Yesterday

My days are getting confusing. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going until I’m told. I have to sit here for a minute to put all the different parts of yesterday together in my mind. I feel like a secret agent who’s deep-sea fishing a couple of miles off the pink sand beaches of some tropical isle when he gets a call on his burner phone or a recorded message that self-destructs five seconds after it finishes playing. “If you choose to accept this assignment…” And you always choose to accept the assignment. Everyone knows that.

Morning

Yesterday started early. We had to leave the house by 9:15 am. A buyer had an appointment at 9:30. That meant we had to get up early, shower, and put everything back in its place that we’d moved or used the previous night.

H had a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 am. So that was convenient, killing two birds with one stone and all that. I sat in the waiting room watching HGTV’s Love it or List It. Those shows should come with a warning label. If I walk through the room while one is playing, in a millisecond, I’m glazed over, mouth-breathing, and barely cognizant of anything going on around me. It’s a sickness.

On the way home from the Doctor’s office, Marlene called to tell us that the 9:30 buyer had loved, loved, loved the house, but her husband hated corner lots. I knew the corner lot could be an issue. Every house has an issue, but I thought it would be the roof. The roof is original to the house, and will need to be replaced in another year or two.

We returned home, ate breakfast and promptly fell asleep for an hour.

Afternoon

Then we got up, cleaned everything up, put everything back in its place, and left the house at 1:30 pm to accommodate another buyer that would arrive at 1:45 pm. We went to lunch at Panera Bread, then Marshall’s where I bought sheets and a long, skinny spiral tablet of lined paper with “I (heart) Lists” emblazoned across the front of it. For H, of course.

We were on the way back home when Marlene called to tell us that another buyer wanted to see the house at 3:00 pm. So we couldn’t get back into our house until 4:00 pm. Fine. That’s fine. Have to sell it. Only way is to let people see it. We went to Home Depot and bought packing boxes and then drove by the new house. The neighbors will call 911 soon. We’re stalkers.

At about 3:30 pm, Marlene called again to tell us that the 1:45 buyers were considering a contract. They have already sold their house. Presumably, they have some cash and will qualify for a loan. She asked a few questions about the property line, and told us to keep our fingers crossed.

We returned home. Finally.

Evening

We had leftovers in the fridge for dinner, so we poured a glass of wine and sat in the quietude of the living room and talked. We did not make a toast because that would most definitely tempt fate. And who needs that?

As we sat there, we saw a small SUV drive by the front of the house, which faces the cul-de-sac. Then stop. They sat and looked for a while. Then they drove slooowly down the garage side of the house, which faces the other road. We continued to sit and talk. In fifteen or twenty minutes, another car drove slowly by and parked on the cul-de-sac side and looked at the house for awhile. Then a woman got out of the car and started walking up to the porch. H got up to open the door. I think she saw him and started back to her car. Awkward. I think she wanted to walk around the porch or something. She came back to the house, embarrassed, and explained that her daughter had looked at the house “earlier today” and thought it was pretty. Then she said a few nice things about the house and left.

We can’t be sure if it’s her daughter and SIL who are considering an offer. It could be that the 3 o’clock people are also interested. Or not. We never would have seen her if we’d been in the family room.

Then we ate dinner (salmon cakes and creamed peas), slithered up the stairs,  and crawled into bed with fingers and toes crossed.

So far, we have two buyers scheduled for today 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. We won’t have access to our house  until 7:00 pm. Who knows if Marlene will call and try to schedule another buyer or two earlier in the day? We don’t dare cancel or rule out anyone until we have a signed contract. You know how this goes. They could sleep on it and change their minds, especially if they dream about replacing that roof, painting that porch, and maintaining that corner lot.

We should know sometime this morning.

Mid-Night Missives

Yesterday

Since we started this process, I’ve written all of my posts in the middle of the night. That’s when I have the time, and I’m awake. So why not?

Yesterday, was a busy day. It started with a call from Marlene at 8:00 am. She wanted to come over and take more photos. The carpet cleaner arrived at 8:45 to clean the stairs and hallway. We had all of the carpets cleaned last year. With the exception of the stairs, they all still look fine. The carpet guy left at 9:30 am, and our Realtor arrived at 9:35 to get a few more shots.

Then we ran a few errands and bought a mirror to replace the mirror in the .5 bath downstairs. I want to keep that mirror, so we changed it out. Having been up since 3:30 am, I grabbed some lunch and stretched out on the sofa. Just as I dozed off, the phone rang. It was our Realtor. Someone wanted to see the house at 4:30 pm. Of course, we’d done some normal living since Monday, so I had to do some dishes, sweep the kitchen floor, etc. It wasn’t too bad, but it was enough to steal my nap.

Then we went to Sam’s because we had to get out of the house. By dinner, I was one pitiful pup. H, my hero, cooked dinner: eye of round roast, red potatoes and broccoli. Yummo! Then we cleaned up the kitchen, climbed the clean stairs and poured ourselves into bed. By then it was about 9:00. For the second night in a row, we tried to watch Madam Secretary, but I fell asleep before the first scene could play out. I was a bucket of Jell-O. A spineless amoeba. Dead to the world until 3:30 am.

Feedback on the house.

A couple with a pocketful of cash looked at the house. They had just sold their house. Their Realtor told Marlene that they loved it, raved about it, and claimed that they would have written a contract on the spot BUT for the corner lot. Well, I can’t change that. They probably had kids and were worried about traffic even though there’s little traffic. It’s a quiet street. Maybe they were worried about privacy. When the trees leaf out, it is a very private backyard, but that hasn’t happened yet. It will feel completely different in another week or two. Or maybe they didn’t like the idea of the extra maintenance. Who knows?

Two more couples are looking at it today, one at 9:30 am and one at 1:30 pm.

Last Night’s Dream

I was looking at a house with my son. There was a pretty girl in the house who was selling doves. My son bought one for me. Martha Stewart helped us choose the dove. Then Martha and the girl were gone, and we were looking at the house again. My son wanted to spend the night in the house, but I felt bad vibes and wanted to leave. He insisted. Then he told me that he was going to leave his wife, that he was having an affair with a beautiful blond soap star. I was devastated and angry with him and worried about The Grand Trio. By now, I had very strong feelings about leaving the house, but he wanted to stay. The house began to shake. There were bad spirits in the house. We ran for the door. We made it outside, and we were safe, but he ran back in with a vacuum cleaner, shouting that he had forgotten to vacuum the living room carpet. When he was inside, a huge human skull appeared in the sky. I woke screaming.

The Twins

twinsOur Realtor is a twin. We’ve worked mostly with Marlene. She was the one who showed houses to us, but we’ve met with Darlene a couple of times. Yesterday, they both met with us at our house to take photos, look at comparable pending/for sale/sold properties in our community, and sign the contract.

When only hearing their voices, it’s difficult to discern one from the other. They have similar coloring, faces and general appearances, but I think a lot of that is enhanced by makeup, fashion and hair. They dress alike, not identically, but the exact same style. They are petite with trim bodies, in their fifties, and I’m sure they have some of the exact clothing and colors in their closets. I bet a quick phone call in the morning is the only thing that keeps them from becoming the stereotypical identically dressed twins. “I’m wearing the blue jacket, you wear the pink.”

Though similar in personalities, appearance and proclivities, Marlene’s edges are sharper than Darlene’s. Similarly, Marlene’s boundaries are well-defined. She’s wrapped tighter, laser focused, eye always on the ball, never late and always prepared for any eventuality. Darlene is all of those things, too, but in slightly smaller doses.  They both have blond hair (Marlene’s a little lighter/brighter) that has been removed directly from the curling iron and sprayed within an inch of its life with hairspray (I asked) so that it sticks up. Marlene’s is always stiffened to perfection. She could spear small children with that hair. Darlene’s is slightly softer in color and stiffness but similar.

They dress professionally, wearing colorful, short jackets, always with well-fitted, expensive black pants. They are extremely neat in their appearance; Marlene’s a little neater, a little slimmer, a little more perfect. They both get mannies and peddies on a regular basis, French tipped fingers and toes, filed straight across and fairly short. Long nails might interfere with counting their money.

They wear colorful, feminine jewelry that matches their outfits. Yesterday, Darlene wore a pink jacket with matching pink flower earrings and necklace. They both wear the same expensive watch, and identical sapphire rings, surrounded with diamonds. When I commented on the rings, stretching out their hands for my inspection, they were quick to tell me that they were not identical at all, that they didn’t even get them at the same place or the same time. Whatever you say, ladies.

It was funny to see them interacting. They are both neat freaks who pay an inordinate amount of attention to detail. This is good for business, but difficult to live with, I imagine. Marlene is the bossiest, checking everything behind Darlene and pointing out any discrepancies, and she did not like it when Darlene told us anything that would lead us to make a decision other than the one Marlene wanted us to make. Darlene, while as anal as Marlene, is a softer person internally.

Marlene must have corrected/disagreed/directed Darlene at least four or five times while they were here. Darlene pushed back a little, but you could tell that this pattern had existed from birth, and she was fighting an uphill battle.

These two anal retentives were pretty wowed by the house. They’ve both been here before, but I guess it looked fairly average with our regular-life stuff all over the place, but it cleans up pretty. They decided we should put it on the market for $10K more than they originally thought. It’s spring; sales have picked up and so have prices. I’m glad because H and I had decided to tell them that we should push the price up a little. Now I think it’s priced right. I hope so because I don’t want it to languish on the market. There’s a fine line between enough and too much. We need to sell it and move on.

Open house on Sunday.

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