Progress on the Home Front

We had another realtor set off our alarm in Phoenix on Monday morning. The panel is ten feet from the front door and it’s on a 60 second delay, so I’m not sure why they are having such a problem with it. I’ve confirmed that our realtor will be there for the inspection and appraisal, so we don’t have this problem again. The listing has officially been updated to “under contract,” so we probably won’t have any more people coming through. The Monday showing was scheduled before we signed the sales contract.

We’re flying back down to Phoenix in a week and I’m busy making a list of all the things we need to get done while we’re there. I’m trying really hard not to have a panic attack about it. Meanwhile, on the home front, our fur baby is back to his usual crazy antics. He seems to have recovered completely from his cold in near record time. Plus side – less long naps on my lap, minus side – back to being bitey.

The tiling of our new home is almost complete. Basement and main floor are done and covered with paper. We actually got a small bonus area of tile, as they mistakenly did the working garage mudroom. It’s only about 100 square feet, but they are going to eat the labor cost and we just have to cover the tile, which is cheaper than what we would have paid for epoxy. Grouting of part of the second floor was being done yesterday. The only areas not tiled are the (heated) bathroom floors and the laundry room.

Most of the interior doors have been installed. More drywall was delivered yesterday, although they have yet to start actually installing any. Hopefully that will start next week. We are buttoning down a few final selections. We picked the granite for our dry bar yesterday and we’re visiting a few tile stores this afternoon to finalize the guest kitchen backsplash and bathroom tile. Three months to the finish line.

Poor Little Kitty Cat

When I picked up Ripley from boarding last Tuesday morning he was totally fine. He even snuggled with me later in the afternoon, forgoing his usual “I hate you for abandoning me to that evil place” snit that lasts for a day or two after he comes home. He sneezed a bit more than normal on Thursday, but I chalked that up to my cleaning and stirring up dust before leaving for Phoenix.

By Friday it became apparent that he was under the weather. The sneezing was frequent and explosive. I called the vet Saturday morning to see about bringing him in, but based on his symptoms they didn’t think it was urgent, so I made an appointment for Monday afternoon. By late Saturday he was spraying when he sneezed, rubbing his nose frequently and napping on me for longer and longer periods.

Our sweet little fur ball picked up a cold while he was boarding. I felt terrible for him. There’s nothing worse than a poor little defenseless creature who feels miserable and doesn’t know why. It wasn’t a fun weekend for either of us. Monday morning the clinic called and asked about his symptoms. Since he was clearly suffering from a cold and not displaying any significantly worrisome symptoms, they advised that it wasn’t really necessary to bring him in.

It was a relief, because Ripley hates getting in his carrier and I really didn’t want to stress him more while he was sick. I ran the shower extra hot and long yesterday to help his sinuses. It seemed to work because he hung out in the bathroom until the middle of the afternoon before coming to take a 2+ hour nap on me. Ripley’s definitely taken a turn for the better this morning. He ran around like crazy, ate half his breakfast and then disappeared. I predict a quick recovery.

Two False Alarms and One Real

In an act of serendipity, we managed to set off our alarm here on Saturday afternoon. The door from our house to the garage doesn’t shut tightly and it blew open slightly while we were parking the car. Apparently the monitoring company here has different standards for false alarms, because they called the house and left a message, but didn’t require a call back. Not sure how I feel about that.

After a somewhat sleepless night on Saturday and some deep conversation over Sunday morning coffee, we decided to accept the offer on our house in Phoenix. Getting completely out by April 9th will be a huge stretch, but then we’ll be finished and can fully focus on our new house. We made a few minor term changes on a counteroffer and sent it off less than an hour before the 6:00 pm Sunday deadline.

The buyers signed the counteroffer less than an hour later. So, I guess we’re doing this thing. Unless they find something in the inspection that gives them pause. Which is unlikely. The buyers had listed their current home just a few days before viewing ours and had an offer within days. The April 9th close date is being driven by that offer – they want to sell their current home and buy ours on the same day. So unless they find something “unfixable,” I don’t think they are going to back out of the deal.

The only things that I see as potentially derailing the deal would be concerns about the HOA (doubtful) or the termites (slightly less doubtful). Now we have to wait on the inspection and appraisal. Meanwhile, we are heading back to Phoenix again at the end of next week. Even if this deal falls through, we have plenty still to do there.

Anniversary Present?!?

I was in the kitchen this morning when the phone rang. The caller ID listed a number from Paradise Valley, Arizona, so I answered it, fully expecting to be tormenting yet another real estate agent trying to get the listing for the non-existent house on our empty lot. Nope. It was the monitoring company for our alarm in Phoenix. Yikes.

Turns out, a realtor was showing our house and didn’t deactivate the alarm quickly enough, thereby setting it off. The alarm company called the house and talked to her, but they needed our security code to verify it was a false alarm. Lovely start to the day. Despite my pledge to avoid manual labor, we did sneak a little in, clearing out our mudroom, as it will be temporarily serving as the art storage room.

We had a lovely dinner and settled in for an evening of binge watching, when I received a text from our Phoenix realtor. The couple who had viewed our house that morning had fallen in love with it and wrote us a full price offer. Only one tiny hitch – they needed a close date of April 9th. Gulp. So we haven’t even recovered from our last round of brutal effort on that house and now we are facing getting completely out in five weeks. And they don’t want the furniture. My mind is reeling.

Unloaded for Now

Our trailer unloading efforts on Wednesday afternoon were limited to removing the artwork, which will be stored in our house. We both crawled into bed before 8:30 pm. It seemed like a really great idea, except we were both up and wide awake slightly after 4:00 am the next day. Ripley’s schedule is officially a mess. Once it was reasonably light outside, we unloaded the big chair from the trailer. It gets to sit in the garage until we do some rearranging in the house.

We brought the boxes to our storage locker and unloaded them before stopping by our new home to check on progress. Our timing proved to be fortuitous, as they were just starting to install the interior doors and we had some tricky trim issues to resolve. Our massive front door had also been delivered and installed. The floor tile was finished on the main floor. It was great to see all of the progress.

Today our primary task was to return the rented trailer, but before doing that, we used it to take a large upholstered chair to a charity organization. Conveniently, the trailer return location was just blocks away. Donating the old chair made room for the big chair we brought from Phoenix, so we were able to move that into the house. Now that we no longer have to deal with the trailer, the Xterra can be parked on our patio and we can reclaim the garage. Tomorrow is the 23rd anniversary of our first date and I am declaring a moratorium on heavy manual labor for the day. I think we’ve earned it.

The Long Drive

The six days I spent in Phoenix ranks as the most physically and mentally exhausting period of my life. At the end I got to fly home, First Class. My husband preceded my arrival by four days and was now faced with a thirty plus hour drive home, pulling a trailer. So I got off easy. By the time I left for the airport at 4:30, it was obvious my husband was in no shape to start the drive.

Instead, he parked the car and trailer back on the street and finished cleaning up a few things around the house. After eating, he took a hot bath and crawled into bed around 8:30 pm. He woke up early the next morning and was on the road by 4:30 am. I was able to track his progress via his iPhone. Gotta love technology. I wanted to make the drive with him, but we also wanted to minimize the amount of time we needed to board Ripley. Given how much his departure ended up getting delayed, we made the right choice.

I ran by our new house Tuesday morning, before picking up Ripley from boarding. As usual, he was a little clingy and needy. So other than a few essential tasks (taking my mom to her orthopedic appointment and helping our friend get his Xterra off our patio to make room for my husband’s Xterra) I spent most of the day being a playmate and nap pad for our little fur baby.

My husband intended to make at least one overnight stop on his journey. But, it turns out that sitting and driving is a lot more restful than what he was doing for the previous ten days, so he never really felt tired enough to stop. He pulled in just after noon today, approximately 31 1/2 hours after starting. Now we get to unload and find somewhere to put all this stuff.

The Final Push

Yesterday morning we had cleaning people scheduled to come to our house at 8:00 am. We also had a plumber scheduled to arrive between 8:00 and 10:00. Why? Because we discovered on Saturday that we had a small leak in one of the pipes connected to our water softener. We also had an ongoing issue with a small leak in our kitchen sink, which my husband was originally going to fix, but he ran out of time.

It turned out to be a good thing that we called a plumber, because the small leak in our sink was actually due to a crack in the disposal and it needed to be completely replaced. He also replaced large sections of pipe going into and out of our water softener. Apparently the plumber that installed it did an shit job. So, $800 later, we were leak free. Fortunately the plumber arrived just as the cleaning crew finished, so they didn’t have to deal with the water being shut off.

Next up was the realtor and the photographer. We had staged everything that was going in the trailer in our garage, so the inside of the house was clear for the cleaners and the photographer. Loading the trailer took way longer than expected, which was the theme for the week. I ran a car load of stuff to our storage locker when it became apparent that not everything was going to fit.

I am not exaggerating when I say that we finished loading and locked the trailer about an hour before my cab to the airport was scheduled to arrive. I straightened up what was left in the garage and hopped into the shower. My cab showed up ten minutes after I got dressed. Talk about cutting it close.

Front Row at the Shit Show

It wasn’t bad enough that we had tickets to the shit show, we were seated in the poncho section. Everything seemed to be conspiring against us. First, my flight to Phoenix Tuesday night was late. Not because of an issue with Delta, but because the Phoenix airport had a runway shut down due to construction, so they were delaying inbound flights. When I finally arrived at the airport just after 11:00pm, it was a total zoo. My husband was waiting in the cell phone lot and he said people were trolling for spaces.

I spent Wednesday packing while my husband patched and painted walls. Thursday afternoon we went to pick up the rental trailer. Then we headed to a home improvement store to pick up some pick sheets of styrofoam insulation that I would be using to protect the paintings. We took the only through road to get there and the traffic was horrific. We soon found out why, the road was completely shut down about two miles from our destination. No warning, no signs, just flares and a couple of cops standing there and not bothering to direct the chaos as vehicles lunged to the left or right.

We caught a break on Friday, as the road resurfacing for our condo complex that had been scheduled for that day got postponed until March. It saved us because our alternate plan to park the trailer in the garage Thursday night turned out to be impossible as the trailer was roughly an inch too tall to clear the garage door. Early Friday morning there were a couple of dumpster divers in a broken down truck parked in our lot most of the morning. After they left we parked the trailer and loaded the less valuable/fragile items.

The original plan was for my husband to leave Friday morning. We quickly realized that wasn’t going to give us enough time, so we delayed it to Saturday and then Sunday. Everything took longer than we thought. I had to pack 25 paintings and each one took at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, my husband ended up having to paint the entire garage because the touch-ups were glaringly obvious, giving the walls the look of a bad rash.

Our meals consisted entirely of food delivered from one of two nearby pizza/Italian restaurants, with the exception of one nice dinner at our favorite fish place on Thursday. By this morning, it became apparent that we would not be able to get the trailer loaded and my husband on the road today. I had a quick dinner with a friend and brought him back a sandwich to eat while I packed the last couple of paintings. Tomorrow I fly home. Not sure how we’re going to get this finished.

The Cat is Suspicious

I had to take Ripley in for boarding yesterday morning. This was significant in that it’s the first time I had to put him in his carrier by myself. Normally, our method involves my husband picking up Ripley while I hold the carrier and we both sort of shove him into it. Ripley does not like going into his carrier, because he’s smart enough to realize it means a car trip either to boarding or getting his nails trimmed.

I tried to be clever about the whole thing by taking his carrier out of the corner a few days in advance and moving it around, thinking that would desensitize him. My final step was to put it in the bathroom. I was hoping to shut him in there, thus minimizing his hiding spots. My deepest fear was that he would crawl under the center of the bed and refuse to come out. So I shut the bedroom door first.

That put him on alert immediately. Then I shut the doors to our TV room. Now he knew something was up and no treat would lure him into the bathroom. At least I had limited his movement to the hall and bathroom, thus eliminating any serious opportunities to hide. I donned a pair of leather gloves and wrapped him in a towel. My first attempt was unsuccessful, but at least there was no blood.

I managed to get him in on the second try. Once he was in there and I had shut the door, he hunkered down with a look of resignation. It made me feel incredibly guilty. I’m so sorry buddy, but I had to get you to boarding. The rest of day flew by, as I had a landscaping meeting at our new house at noon and then a bunch more stuff to get done before driving to the airport at 5:00. As I was backing out of the drive, I got a text from Delta that my flight was delayed 20 minutes. Deja Vu.

All the Single Ladies

My husband flew to Phoenix Friday night and left me alone with the cat. Since Ripley is a boy, I guess the title should really be all the single lady, but that sounds pretty stupid, so I’m going to pretend to be plural. Unfortunately, my husband’s flight was delayed and he ended up arriving several hours late. Not a very auspicious start to the trip.

His first day in town got somewhat derailed, as he had to deal with getting the nine heavy hardwood doors out of our storage locker. These doors were salvaged from my dad’s house when it was torn down a few years ago. We intended to use them in the house we intended to build in Phoenix. But you know what they say about intentions…

Since none of that happened, we needed to get them out of storage. I did a number of rounds with a potential buyer on pricing and even contacted a couple of charities, trying to arrange a pick-up, to no avail. I finally got it worked out, but spent a chunk of Saturday texting back and forth with both my husband and the buyer. It was not how my husband wanted to spend his first full day in Phoenix.

Meanwhile, I was sorting out an issue with Amazon on some cat food I received a few days earlier. I made the mistake of not checking it as soon as it arrived and it turned out that Amazon sent the wrong kind for two cases I had ordered and needed for Ripley’s upcoming boarding stay. I sorted it out with Amazon via chat and they sent the correct kind, with one arriving Saturday and one today.

Just in the nick of time, as I have to bring him in for boarding tomorrow morning. I spent yesterday and today cleaning and doing laundry. We had some wicked sleet this morning, so I was grateful not to have to leave the house after I returned home from working out. Tomorrow’s going to be a little crazy.