Transfer Case Woes

We arrived home from Phoenix late Tuesday night. My first task for Wednesday (after picking up the beast), was to get my Cayenne to the dealership to find out what was wrong with her. Good news – it didn’t take them long to diagnose the problem. Bad news – it was an expensive repair that required a part to be sent overnight. Good news – it was covered under the warranty.

The transfer case needed to be replaced. Since this is a massively expensive repair for an expensive vehicle with less than 20,000 miles on it, I googled it when I got home (via a loaner Cayenne). Seems like this has been a problematic part for Porsche due to some design issue. So I quizzed the service guy when I picked up my baby this afternoon.

He admitted they had been performing transfer case replacements with alarming regularity over the last few years, but assured me that the problem had been addressed and that I should now be fine. I certainly hope so, because I do not want to be facing a $4000 repair after the warranty runs out. For now my baby is back and purring like a kitten. She’s also the cleanest she’s been all winter. That won’t last.

Another Brutal Round

Once again we managed to accomplish well over a week’s worth of work in a little over three days. I actually got to take a shower a full two hours before the cab was scheduled to arrive this time. We caught a bit of a break because the people buying our home decided to buy most of the furniture, so we didn’t have that to deal with. The remaining pieces (primarily the guest bedroom furniture and a desk and chair) will all go to charity.

We were so wiped out after working all day Saturday that we crawled into bed at 7:30 pm. Consequently we were awake at 3:00 am on Sunday. That trend shifted slightly over the next few days, with a 4:30 am rising yesterday and 5:30 am today. During those days I managed to pack 15 paintings, 2 mirrors, 2 large and oddly shaped pieces and around 30 boxes. I also took two car loads of stuff to charity.

Today I stripped the bed in the guest bedroom and bagged up most of the linens, towels and bathroom rugs. I now have 4 large plastic bags in addition to the furniture earmarked for charity. The only things not packed are a few kitchen essentials, limited articles of clothing and one set of sheets and towels for us to use when we come back in April.

I can honestly say there wasn’t anything I planned on doing that didn’t get done. It would have been nice to eat out once, instead of relying solely on delivery for meals, but that’s a minor quibble. We only have a few days to wrap things up in April, but I’m totally ready for it. I just wish I could say the same thing about the new house.

Once More, With Feeling

We took my dad on a tour of our new house today. He hadn’t seen it since the basement floor was poured last summer. I think he was impressed, but honestly, it’s hard to say. At one point when we were driving around afterward, I noticed my car seemed to be behaving oddly. It would lurch when accelerating at low speed.

Great, just what I need to deal with. But not today. We dropped off the beast just before 5:00 pm and headed to the airport for our flight to Phoenix. Fortunately, we just made the train to the main terminal. Then we just caught the tram. Things were starting to look up. Or so I could hope.

Our flight to Phoenix was smooth and landed on time. The airport was way less crazy then when I arrived in February and we were at our house just before 10:00 pm. So this is it. The last big push before we come back to close on the house. I have just under four days to get everything packed and ready to go. It’s gonna be gonzo. I’m ready.

We Will Rock You

Drywall, aka “rock,” has commenced at our new home. Why do they call it rock? It’s short for Sheetrock, which is actually a specific brand of drywall. It’s a Kleenex kind of thing. The drywall guys are swarming the house and the music has changed from Russian to Mexican. I felt sorry for Vladimir, who was working alone on the second floor, tiling our laundry room.

The regular tile guys are gone, having completed everything except the laundry and bathrooms. The wiring for the bathroom floor heat has been installed, but with a one man crew, it’s going to take a while. Apparently, only Vladimir and his son Victor, who owns the company, do the sloped and/or heated spaces. So the drywall guys are staying out of those areas for now.

Given the speed with which they are working, I don’t know how long that division will last. Yesterday was only their second day and the basement was nearly complete, along with a significant portion of the first floor. Hanging the drywall is fast work and I think there were six guys doing it.

The taping, mudding and sanding is much more meticulous work and likely will involve a different crew. That process will take weeks and the house will be pretty miserable to enter while it’s in progress. Yesterday was bad enough, with just the residual dust from cutting the drywall. The effect of hanging it is transformational, though. It’s finally starting to look like a real house.

Finally Some Fun Stuff

We went shopping yesterday. Our original goal was to purchase just one mirror, at Design Within Reach. We had seen it some months ago and the store was having their semi-annual sale, so we decided to just go and pick it up. Didn’t quite work out the way we planned, but things rarely do these days.

First of all the mall was crazy busy and it took us a while to even find a parking spot. Next, we found out that not only did they not stock the mirror (or anything else, for that matter) but they had a ridiculous delivery fee. I guess they expect you to get a whole truck full of stuff, not just one mirror. So I felt the need to find something else to purchase. We settled on a set of four red chairs for the conservatory.

Next we decided to head to Peter’s Billiards to check on lead times for ordering our pool table. Again, we picked out the table quite a while ago, but had no need to order it. The pool table needs to be in the house for the start of the show on June 8th, as the staging company obviously doesn’t supply one. Peter’s was also crazy busy, because they were having a sale. A huge sale.

We ordered the table and then we ordered a sofa for my husband’s study. As we were walking to pick up a copy of the order, I spotted a counter stool that was perfect for our new kitchen island. So we ordered four of those as well. We got a great deal on the pool table, a small discount on the stools and zip on the sofa. (It’s one of those brands that’s price controlled)

In the end, a very expensive day. But it’s nice to be in a position to finally order actual furniture for the new house. We probably won’t be getting anything else for the house right now, since my husband will be building a couple of things (our bed and dining room table) and we want to see how it’s staged before we get any living room furniture. But we do need to look at furniture for the conservatory. I don’t think the stagers are going to know what to do with that space.

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.