[After fiddling around with WordPress tutorials and not getting very far I’m just plunging in and seeing if I can get a post out while not pulling out my hair. Please forgive formatting glitches. For example, I have typed in the title “Unraveled,” but it doesn’t show in the preview.]
One reason the WordPress changes have me so flummoxed is that everything has me flummoxed right now. It’s not even the pandemic: the adults in our household are fully vaccinated; the grandchild is going to school in person and cases in our community are staying low. It’s spring, after a truly awful winter. But now it’s already too hot–into the high 80sF or even some days well into the 90s. Along with the heat, I am dragged down by, let me just say, the challenges of my family responsibilities, and leave it at that.
The last two items I knitted have been pulled out (known as “frogging” in knitting lingo, because you “rip-it, rip-it”). This seems so emblematic of my life, spinning wheels, pulling out yarn, running around without getting anywhere.
We have been house-hunting. We want to downsize–no pool, smaller yard, fewer trees, a more compact floorplan–but it’s not a buyer’s market here, or anywhere in the country. We have looked at eight houses, put an offer on one that we loved (twice!) and we’re still looking. Here’s a rundown, mostly for my historical reference:
- N. St.: Pluses: Loved the interior: stained concrete floors; pretty kitchen/dining/great room; beautiful master bath and walk-in closet; convenient floorplan. Minuses: Busy street; no garage, just a run-down shed that would have to be torn down to build a garage; an outbuilding that could be fitted out as a rental or AirBnB–I do NOT want to be a landlady; priced to include the potential for rental space.
- N. Ln.: (Under construction.) Plus: big master bath with soaking tub, walk-in shower and huge closet. Minuses: tiny laundry closet, which is walked through from garage to a really tiny kitchen; master bedroom right off the living room (TV ears, anyone?); backyard going back to a 90-degree wall of a hillside; too small and too expensive.
- S. St.: Pluses: Beautiful renovation–quartz counters; all appliances conveyed; white shiplap walls and nice light; split floorplan with master bedroom not off the living room; pleasant fenced yard; outbuilding that could be fixed up as a studio. Minuses: too small, too little kitchen storage space; no garage (except in the outbuilding, via an alley); granddaughter hated the neighborhood (which is a bit working class with some gentrifying); too expensive per square foot.
- L. C. (1): Pluses: Pleasant, convenient neighborhood, an oval with maybe 40 houses or so. Minuses: too big and expensive; dated, stuffy, carpet, lots of florals; dead animal heads on the walls and even in the closets! (There is not enough sage in the world to smudge out all that negative energy.) Too expensive.
- E. Dr.: This is the one we put two offers on. Nearly perfect. On a cul de sac, backs onto a woodland park; immaculate; plantation shutters on all the windows; nice layout; convenient kitchen; all appliances (including a second refrigerator) conveyed, as well as a beautiful dining set with eight chairs; tons of storage; beautiful covered patio; water collection system. Obviously a well cared-for home. The owners had been burned by a deal that fell through. Then the second one fell through, but neither of our offers was accepted. Granddaughter had already started choosing paint colors for her room. We’re still mourning that loss.
- P. Way: Pluses: woodsy neighborhood, closer to the high school where we’ll be headed next fall; fairly good renovation; extra bedrooms and bathrooms (which meant studio space for me and a bathroom for each of us!). Minuses: outside city limits; septic; no garage; a really creepy outbuilding that I wouldn’t want to try to fix up; older heating system. I call the cosmetic renovations on older houses “lipstick on a pig.”
- L. C. (2): Pluses: nice layout; pretty kitchen; breakfast area I might have turned into a studio; that good neighborhood again, but… Minuses: near the front of the oval, too close to a busy road–traffic noise on the patio was annoying, and a church playground was on the other side of the fence; carpet; again, too expensive for what it was.
- L. St.: Pluses: gorgeous backyard, with a water feature, a seating area, swing. Minuses: garage was on a lower level, too many levels (built into a hillside–with Parkinson’s we must have a single level); another house that showed its age despite the reno; only 1 1/2 baths (I had considered that we could add a shower to the half bath if we otherwise liked the house).
So we keep looking. Our agent has me on an auto notification list and I check Zillow every day. We’re not in a hurry, we already have a nice house, and something will turn up. Or not, and we stay here a while longer. In the meantime I try to do little fixes around here either for us or for increased value.