Sunday, October 12, 2014

And so it goes...

You shouldn't be able to see light under the garage door. That was my first thought as I pulled into the driveway yesterday. My second was, "What is that cable on the outside of the door." As I quickly headed into house and through to the garage, my curiosity turned to rage. The garage door was clearly broken. The reason for the light underneath was that it was off it's track and where a tightly wound cable used to be, there was now an unattached cable. Sean who was a few minutes behind me soon returned home. Shortly after I heard him pull into the drive way I heard him step on the door from the outside. He had seen it too. Soon, there was two of us standing in the garage, unable to believe our eyes.

Perhaps you are asking yourself, why is she making such a big deal of a broken garage door? Things happen right? You would be correct, they do. Except this garage door was perfectly fine just two hours earlier. What had changed during those two hours was that our home was being inspected for our buyer. Somehow our garage door was broken during the inspection. What the hell? Even if for some reason it was about to break which I don't see as possible since there had been no problem with it just last night, a note of some sort would have been helpful. We just came home to damage, no notification of any kind. No information to our agents, no warning to us that our house was no longer able to be secure. Just another check in a long series of pain in the ass boxes that have documented this house selling experience.

There is a reason that buying and selling homes is on the top five list of most stressful life events. We Ross's don't like to do things half ass, so we decided to double down and do both at once. Except for my first year of teaching, which happened to also be the year my dad was dying of cancer, this is the worst and most stressful experience we have ever lived through in our entire marriage. Preparing this house to sell took my entire summer and all of our savings. Then we had  the water heater issue, then the rodent issue and don't even get me started on the ongoing battle of installing hurricane straps. Yes, in the Willamette valley we are supposed to entertain the idea of hurricane straps. We are resisting for now. All this adds up to about $8,000 in repairs after we exhausted our own savings, that mom has financed until we close since one of the fun side effects of buying a house is that you can't take out any debt. Great...we put mom's extra money in limbo so we can fix things that are ridiculous just to be able to sell.

Oh and then there is the buyers. So far there has been three of them. The first had no business even wasting our time since she had no money. The second dropped out as quickly as he got in. The current buyers have made it to the inspection stage, but not without significant bumps, delays and uncertainties along the way. With the addition of a broken door during their inspection, I'm not holding my breathe that their list of requests will be smooth and simple. Oh, and have I mentioned that with all the unexpected items,  and the rock bottom price with closing costs included, we will be lucky to have enough money at closing to just pay mom back.

Which leads me to the buying portion. We have our dream house in our reach. It is absolutely perfect for us, except for one thing. It is no longer a walk to my sister and the kids. That part breaks my heart. But the home is so amazing and we are in the same town that I have resigned myself to driving to visit sister instead of walking. I will not let this location change our relationship. The house is set on the side of a hill, near the top of a local mountain. It is beautiful and you can see half way across the valley from the roof top deck. Initially when we found it, we expected we would have about $25,000 to bring the original 1980s home into our century, but now we will be thrilled just to get in. We will have the rest of our lives to make it our own. Right now, we honestly just want to get home. We've got our financing in order, we've got our inspections done up there and we have done everything right along the way. It's time that our buyers get their shit together and do the same.

We are really hoping for no more bumps in the road. I'm a little concerned though because this morning the fridge is making all sorts of noise.....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The waiting game

I go back to work in two weeks. This summer has been a blur of home improvement projects to get this place on the market. It officially hit the market on Saturday. So far we have three showings scheduled along with a realtor tour and an open house this coming Sunday.

I wasn't prepared for the overwhelming emotions involved in this entire process. Binge watching HGTV is not an adequate preparation for buying and selling a home. I thought all the manual labor of the home improvements would be the worst. Nope, not even close. The worst part is living in limbo land.

See the staging people want you to have a house that looks like a home, but not a home that anyone actually lives in. So you can have the rule of 3. Three things on any flat surface. That means no appliances out in the kitchen, no personal pictures, nothing like that. So instead, we get to live as if we were in a hotel, out of a few bags that can easily be tucked away with the phone call that a showing is scheduled. The only difference is that there is no maid here. I'm constantly tidying up and poor Annie is searching the want ads for a new family. Seriously, this blows.

We have found our dream house. I'm not sure if that makes this game we are playing right now better or worse. There is a goal in mind, but it is just feels more unattainable with each showing that doesn't produce an offer.

Let's just hope that we get an offer soon.  Patience is not my forte'.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Change in the air

July is a big month for the Ross family. We will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on the 29th. I have no idea how in the world that ever passed by so quickly. That will be the subject of a later post.

The bigger news is that after 16 years in our starter home, we have decided to entertain the idea of moving on. Our street has become busier and we have just decided it is time for a change for us. The problem with this idea is that we have not done much around here other than minor improvements over the past few years. This includes some pretty bold paint colors. We have also, let the yard go to chaos and the back deck has long outlived it's lifespan. So we have quite the project list out before us.

We got a good start on it last weekend, but I certainly did not think when I ordered the tiny dumpster. Wednesday the large one will arrive and that should make short work of getting the deck and all the yard trimming I did all weekend out of the yard and into the dumpster. That will also allow for us to get going on returning the majority of our back yard to grass. Since we live in a nice family neighborhood and in the boundaries of two of the best schools in town, we hope that the bigger lawn will attract buyers.

So, I suspect over the next few weeks I will be typing out my frustration and experiences as Sean and I move into the uncharted territory of house sellers and buyers. When we moved in here it was a one stop shopping experience which is why we jumped on it. I'm nervous and hopeful that we can make this happen kind of quickly, since we have our eye on a diamond in the rough property that we'd love to move into sooner rather than later. Time will tell. As my brother told me "your house will sell for what someone will pay for it on any given day."  I hope this day is soon and the price is enough to get us where we want to go. I guess it's time to put away the computer and get back to work. My worker gnomes have yet to have appeared even though I wish for them daily.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Post 30

So it turns out I was terrible about documenting my 30 day clean journey. I had to do a ton of that with the program itself and it never quite migrated to the blog. My bad for not realizing what that would actually entail. However, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few photos. 
Front view: Before and after
 Side view: Before and After
Back View: Before and After

30 days of clean eating speaks for itself. I feel stronger, I've lost 9 pound and 5 inches and there is no way I'm going back.  Seriously. I love the way I feel and for the first time in 25 years I'm starting to love the way I look.  I can't wait to see what the next 30 days will bring. I'm officially done with the challenge, but honestly, I'm adopting this as a way of life for now. Hmm, eating real foods is not a bad thing. So I'll just keep with it.  Perhaps I will have a piece of cake or cookie at some point, but the detox from the sugar was exceptionally brutal so I believe I will avoid that process again in my lifetime and just stay clean.  This whole experience has given me a new found respect for any kind of addicts trying to kick a habit.  Who knew it was really that hard.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm heading off for my first biking event. Not only has this new lifestyle given me a new found energy. I also have a new embracing of things I've always wanted to try. If not now, When?


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 3

Here is the food:

 Repeat of the egg muffin and cantaloupe and blueberries.

Lunch: Left over turkey burger and sweet potato fries. Sugar snap peas and strawberries.

Dinner: Left over chicken breast with asparagus. Delicious!
And the physical challenge:
One mile run.
Today I felt really tired. I had a headache for some of the day. I think it is the lack of sugar. I'm hoping this gets better. It is worst in the morning. All in all though I think it is going pretty well.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

30 Day Clean- Day 2

Here is what today's food looked like:
Out of order of course:
Lunch -Mason Jar Salad with Walnuts

 Breakfast, repeat of day 1. Mini egg loaf with strawberries and blueberries
Dinner: turkey burger, romaine lettuce and homemade sweet potato fries. Yummers

The food is delicious. My energy level is low, and I was pretty cranky. I'm sure it will get better. I'm still struggling to get all my water in.

I did still manage to get a 3 1/2 mile jog in after work too. I sure hope this gets easier. Right now it is pretty all consuming between workouts and food prep. Oh, you know and things like life and a job.

I see why those biggest loser people get to go away to a ranch to change their lives.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Clean in 30 Challenge- Day 1

I spent a lot of time yesterday prepping for success for today. Good thing I did because as usual I was late getting out the door. Thank goodness my food was already ready.

I started my day with mini-egg loafs and strawberries and blueberries. Delicious. The egg loafs have bacon and spinach in them. 

By the time lunch came around I was starving. I had a spinach and prosciutto salad with cantaloupe and avocado. The dressing was balsamic and olive oil made myself. Again, delicious.

When I got home I ate a banana while prepping the stuffing for the chicken breasts for dinner. Then I hit the spin bike for ONE HOUR of spin and core work. OUCH. It felt good to be back but damn that was hard.

The challenge of Day 1 for non-food was 90 seconds of tap squats. I did 34. Then I had to see how many push ups I could do in 2 minutes. The answer was 26, barely. On my knees.  Sensi Donadio would have my belts back if he knew how far I've slipped.

Dinner, chicken breast stuffed with artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, pine nuts, garlic and paprika. Served with asparagus. Um, yes please and thank you very much.

So far so good. I'm really struggling with the idea of all this meat. I'm going to cut out the salty meat for a while. It's tough for me to drink all my water, but I'm working on that too.

I sure hope this works. I also hope that my hunger signals mid morning and mid afternoon disappear. That could get old really quick.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

She's back!

It feels like it has been a really long time since I've been here. Not much has changed, except, I'm about to make a huge change.

I've decided to take charge of my health and my fitness. I'm tired of feeling tired, and flabby and generally not really knowing who the person in the mirror is anymore. So a friend and I signed up for the Clean in 30 challenge. We are going on a 30 day clean diet where we eliminate, dairy, grains, gluten, soy, alcohol, corn and gulp...sugar.  Additionally, there are workouts that we are expected to do as well.  I'm looking forward to taking charge. They have even given us shopping lists and the first few days of meals ahead of time so I'm going to spend time preparing and freezing them for the week tomorrow so I don't have the chance to fail. I know my track record.

I've also taken up knitting. I've been taking classes and labs with my sister and I really enjoy it. My sister is kicking my ass with her mad skills, but I'm having fun anyway. I make many, many mistakes and sometimes get myself in over my head and have to head to the shop for help, but they are great about it. We have even attended a couple of social nights. Right now I'm working on a scarf sized shawl that has lace work. It was a bit ambitious, even though it was labeled as "easy".  I'm excited.

Work is work. I really don't know where I stand on that right now so I'm not going to comment on that at all. I will finish out this school year and see what I feel like doing after that. I'm honestly not sure how much longer I will work in this field. Right now I want to focus on getting healthy before I make any major life changes like that.

Anyway, I think I may chronicle my journey on here. It depends on how it goes. I have a feeling it really could be life changing.

I'm ready to change. I'm done with this. As the wise Master Yoda says "Do, or Do Not, There is no Try."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring?? Break!

This has been one bizarre winter. We had 8 snow days, all of which are required to be made up by our school board. What does that mean? Well, it means that I will be teaching for almost all of the month of June. It is going to be one long haul from here on out, so I was really looking forward to spring break.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature has a different plan. Pouring down rain has been the weather this week. Windy too! Yuck. I hate that. We are supposed to go camping tomorrow, but we have decided we can have more fun at home than being cold and wet huddled under an easy up. 

It has been a fun week so far. I spent a day with Madeleine when we had a day of sun. We rode bikes, worked in the yard and played with Annie. Since then I've visited a friend with a new baby and gotten happy bright pink toes. I have loads of projects I should dive into at home, but so far have yet to find the drive to jump into it. This is the middle of the week though so if I'm going to do something I probably better get it going soon.

Or, perhaps those projects that were waiting for spring break will just wait for summer vacation. After all, everyone in my life has real jobs now, so I'm going to have a whole lot of project time come summer.

Now if I could only have the weather to match the season name.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Yesterday I turned 45! It has been a bit of a shock to see these numbers. I had no trouble with turning 40, but 45 has thrown me a little.  Between not yet being healthy from my pneumonia and my hindered running, I've felt older than I should lately.

Last night was spent celebrating with some wonderful people who made me remember how lucky I am and how much I have in this life. So, rather than feeling sad for the years that have passed, I need to embrace the years yet to come. I am going to live in the moment enjoying every second of this beautiful life.