Friday, May 27, 2011


The project manager came by today and had me sign off on the scope of's all finished, and the house looks great..

Our real estate agent came by last night with another agent to give me some pointers on staging the house. I passed with flying colors! They told me that we were "99%" there"--just a couple of tweaks: completely clear the shelves in our office, remove a 2-top table from the back patio and  remove our antique trunk from the study--easy!

So, the plans are to have a realtor open house on Friday, June 3 and a public open house on Sunday, June 5. 

Now to keep the house as pristine as it is today---

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

They're still here

Still painting, drywall patching because it "just doesn't look right yet". One of the painters left ill yesterday, leaving the other alone--he finished at 5, promising to return this morning to finish. The ill guy from yesterday and a new guy showed up today, they've been doing a lot of waiting for things to dry......

I had window washers lined up for today--they came an hour early and got started right away.

I've been cleaning the laundry room--really dusty....

Tomorrow will be my touch up painting day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The House is Winning!

The flooring installers arrived this morning and began to work right away. They had to scrape the old glue off the sub floor before they could begin to nail down the flooring planks. We went with engineered flooring and the same stain color for ease of installation (no sanding or stain or polyurethane coats required).

After 7 hours of work, the installer noticed--when he walked into the foyer under indirect lighting--that he could see each and every staple in the tongue and groove flooring. They proceeded to rip it all out. Purchased glue and will return at 7:30a.m. to glue the flooring down. Perhaps that's why the flooring was glued down to begin with?

It's mid-work, how are we doing?

The drywall has taken 1 day longer than scheduled, because they returned to remove the toilet and pedestal sink from the powder room.  This is not interfering with the flooring removal or installation. I've also asked them to paint the ceiling and hallway in the garage, so they "mudded" those areas as well and will paint when the flooring is finished.

The flooring took a full 8 hours to remove. Some of the furniture was moved into the awaiting "pod." The planks were glued down so it took extra effort not to gouge the sub floor. The guys had to disconnect the electrical outlet on the kitchen island and unscrew it from the floor so it could be moved as the flooring was beneath the island as well. I did find out after several hours that the refrigerator outlet was also turned off with the circuit breaker! All the food seemed cool...

No worries!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mini Mexican vacation

Ever heard of Puerto Penasco?

We have friends who live in Phoenix. Their family owns condos in Puerto Penasco and we were invited to join 3 other couples for a 5 day getaway.

Inspite of our trauma at home with the water damage, we decided there was nothing we could do, so we went.

A 4 hour flight to Phoenix and a 4 hour car ride to our destination. We were stopped at the border because our hosts were bringing in a smoker and alot of totes containers of food and supplies. The Mexican border patrol actually went through one of the suitcases. Then about 30 seconds into the country, we were stopped for speeding and let go because we were tourists!

Pto Penasco is located opposite the Baja Peninsula on the Mexican mainland near the northernmost part of the Sea of Cortez. It's a sleepy town, awash in souvenir shops and 2nd floor restaurants all along the main drag. Shrimping and fishing are the main employers of the locals. High rise condo complexes, in various phases of construction dot the coastline for a couple of miles outside the town. Several of the complexes have come to a complete halt in their construcion, due to the slow economy. This area greatly depends upon the Phoenix and Tucson gringos for their tourist dollars and 2nd home investments.

We stayed at the Sonoran Sea condos--right on the sea, heated pool and hot tubs, great views of the setting sun, comfortable accommodations, saw dolphins feeding early in the morning right off our beach. The tide fluctuates as much as 23 leaves many tidepools that just beg to be explored.

Our last night was in Puerto Privada-in a condo owned by the family of one of our hosts--its an upscale complex, not available for weekly rentals. Again right on the sea, heated pool and hot tubs, beautiful accommodations, large party room, approximately 1 mile closer to town than Sonoran Sea.

We had dinner out one night at "Ramones"--the one in the barrio, not at Sonoran Sea..good fish fry, all you can eat... the Cadillac Margarita, powerful stuff!! We also breakfasted at Coffee Haus, near town, really good breakfast menu..homemade apple strudel came highly recommended.

Too little time to enjoy all of what there is to offer--I guess we must return!

Belize Dreaming

Our son has to write and present a 20 minute speech on a trip he has taken. He, of course, has chosen Belize.

Last night we were discussing his speech and it brought back such fond memories!
Our last vacation in Belize was with our kids in 2004. We decided to visit the rainforest as well as Ambergris Caye. Our choice was to fly in to Belize City, rent a jeep, drive to near Belmopan and stay at the Green Dragon Dome Home next door to Banana Bank for about a week. Our meal plan was with Banana Bank. From there we explored the area! To get to the "main" road, we had to forge the river on a ferry--when it rained the ferry was out of commission and we were stranded one day at Banana Bank...we visited Cahal Pech, Tikal and Xunantunich, cave tubed, the zoo, played in the pool, went horseback riding and just enjoyed listening to the howlers at dusk. Then went to Ambergris Caye for 3 days, the flight in to the island was exciting and the view spectacular,  we snorkled with the nurse sharks and stingrays, hung out in the pool, had fun driving around in the golf carts (even though ours broke down north of the bridge!).

So what will it be like when we get there? I have spent some time daydreaming about just that....I know it'll be different than vacationing, we'll actually have to do laundry and cook for ourselves...but knowing what it feels like, smells like and tastes like only whets my appetite for more.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The house knows!


During the garage sale, we had a "coming soon" house for sale sign in our front yard. It did create some interest--a woman "had" to see the house, even though it was not ready for the market, we allowed the agent to show the house. We found out that she had a contract on another house in our neighborhood, was having difficulty with the owners and was looking for a way out of that contract. After all the hullabaloo, the 2 parties solved their differences and she was no longer interested in our house.

Easter Sunday, two days before my husband and I were to leave for a 5-day mini vacation in Mexico, our daughter went to take a shower, turned on the faucet in the upstairs tub but no water came out of the faucet--instead we heard it running down between the walls! My husband reacted quickly and turned the water off to the house. Here we are, Easter night, no water...called the insurance company, found a plumber and restoration group and had them come out the next afternoon.

It's amazing how far a little bit of water will wick! The family room and kitchen ceiling will need to be redone, the engineered flooring (that was just refinished in January) will need to be entirely replaced, the carpeting dried sufficiently well with the 7 fans and 2 dehumidifiers that ran for 4 days, but require cleaning and deodorizing.

As I write this, the insurance adjuster is waiting for approval of the estimate before we begin the repair work. I contacted our real estate agent and put the marketing plan on hold until we have a better time line.

I swear, the house knows we are planning to selling it!