Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Waiting for Daffodils

I should wait for the daffodils to actually bloom. That would make a better picture. But I can't wait, as I can't wait for the leaves... and a good offer on the house...

There's a house I love near Boston and it's been on the market longer than ours. I'm hoping it lasts until we can buy it. I'll be seeing it and others in Boston in 2 weeks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Painting the Porch

This morning I found keys in the garbage. Asking around I found out they were Doug's office keys. The Hackensack office of his company is closed. The computers are on their way to Boston. Doug is "working" at home for the week. I'm sure there will actually be lots for him to do once the computers are hooked up. But until then he is working on the home again.

I'm not sure if you can see the sad state of the porch floor in the following picture, but it was peeling profusely.

A good day of work (note the long shadows) and the coat is clean and smooth.

The steps are refreshed too.

Another plus for the house, in case anyone shows up to see it. No one has come to see it in 2 weeks. But we're getting ready for open houses at the end of April and early May when the leaves are out and the yard is transformed. Note the daffodils about to bloom next to the mail box.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Car Regret?

Here is Doug's rusty Dodge Dakota

and his new VW Jetta TDI.

You might think I was relieved that he has a better looking car. But I'm loving his old truck more than ever.

My sister recently turned in an 18 month old Prius for a used BMW convertible (?, don't ask). And I know people lease or drive cars for 2 or 3 years and turn them in for a newer model. I don't understand it at all.

While I pushed for this new car so Doug could do his NJ to Boston commute with airbags and better music than his AM/FM radio provided, I'm feeling bad about getting a new car while his old one still runs. For the commute he was doing from Fair Lawn to Hackensack the truck was great. It had been paid off the day we got it in June 1993. It carried logs and brush and grass seed and furniture. It was cheap to maintain and cheap to insure. He never had to worry about anyone scratching it. In fact, other people probably got out of the way when they saw it. The paint was peeling, but the toughness remains. In fact it has only about 115K miles, since it spent much of its life doing short commutes. My van has more miles, 118K.

Alas, maybe I'm just feeling bad about the car because of what it symbolizes. Doug's going to Boston, selling our house, moving, change. I guess it's not really fair to load all this baggage on a terrific little deisel that gets over 40 mpg on the highway. In fact, if everything works out, and Doug ends up with a public transportation commute in Boston, I'll probably use it all the time.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Car on the Way

Two house visitors this past weekend, but no takers. Everyday the buds on the trees get a little bigger and more flowers bloom. We've scheduled more open houses for the end of April and early May. Then the beauty of the yard will make the house look worth the price. Right now it's quite expensive compared with other 3 bedroom/2 bath houses in this town.

But still we must move along with preparation for Doug heading to Boston in less than 3 weeks. On that front Doug has been bargaining and comparing internet prices on the new VW Jetta diesel. Saturday we secured our deal and should take delivery on the new car in a few days. He'll have airbags, a CD player (in fact a 6-CD changer, standard), and 30 mph city/ 42 mph highway mileage. There are even a few friends hoping to get his rusty, classic 1992 pick-up. I'll show before and after pictures of Doug's wheels in a couple days. Tune in.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


On Wednesday, we got a pretty depressing e-mail from the realtor. He detailed reasons people who had seen the house didn't want it. No garage, only 3 bedrooms, too much yard to care for, didn't like kitchen; generally things we can't do anything about. He was also disappointed by the number of people who had seen the house (6 groups).

I called to get a clarification and felt better knowing that it was less the house than the market. Who would buy a house in the two weeks where the market fell to 12 year lows and the unemployment rate fell to 25 year highs.

So we wait.
Perhaps when the leaves come out and we redo our outdoor pictures for the on line multiple listing, more people will come and see the beauty of the house.

And hope emerges with the first crocuses in the garden this sunny March morning.

Monday, March 2, 2009

First Open House

About 4 prospective buyers came to the open house yesterday. Two were here for about a half hour each. I remember when we were looking for houses, I could tell in 5 minutes whether it was a possibility. So the fact that someone stayed a while suggests interest at some level. It makes me hopeful that come May, when the leaves are out and the flowers blooming, we will find a buyer.

No matter what we will be OK. It's only a month now before Doug heads to Boston. We are going to miss him so much. But he just worked out a deal where he will likely work from home on Fridays and can spend Sunday nights at his parents in CT so he can get to work early enough Monday morning but not have to leave here until after dinner Sunday. So we'll have him around full time 3 days/week. That doesn't sound too bad at all.