Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vintage Family Beach Shots

What does one do on a 118 degree day?   I decided to scan a few vintage photos into my laptop from all my sorting and tossing this morning.  I'm going through all the heavy family albums and pulling the best and tossing the rest.   I suppose if you live in the same house for a lifetime and have an attic, you save everything (and make your kids deal with it someday).  This will be the eighth move in our married life and we're downsizing, so I'm definitely over hoarding all this stuff.  Well . . . at least half of it!

I'm guessing this photo was shot on the beach at Newport, Oregon circa 1987.

Craig and Michael at sunset on the Washington shore.  We moved to Washington State in June 1987 and eagerly explored the Oregon and Washington beaches.

This one's a puzzle.  Michael's obviously driving a boat since there's water in the rearview mirror.  I'm guessing this photo was taken on one of the Duck Tours on Lake Union in Seattle.  Circa 1988 or 1989?

We have about 10 days left for sorting and packing, so I think I'll relax this afternoon.  Once the sun clears the pool around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m., we'll take a swim.  If you're out of the sun and in the water, you'd never know it's frying hot out there!

Stay cool my friends!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Everyday Isla

Wish I could just beam up all my stuff and land it in the new house.  This has to be our last move because I don't think I can pack it all up and move it again.  Every day is busy now.

This morning I had an appointment for the dental implant.  I actually grew too much bone which the periodontist said is good but rare, so it took a little drilling to prep it for the upcoming crown.  Next came lunch and another trip to Walmart for more boxes and packing materials.  Tonight the antique dealer arrives to start pricing the collection of antiques I've been hoarding and need to unload.  The train leaves the station in another two weeks and we need to be ready to jump on!

I decided to fill a little bit of free time with photo editing of some April Isla Mujeres scenes.  My mind right now is disjointed, so here's a very random grouping of more pics from the island.

Friday night cerveza line.

Doggie door?

 Roof surfing.

Two-beer door.

Got gas?

Close neighbors.

Speedy delivery by maletero.

Busy afternoon on the road to Playa Norte.

Mexican style Bimbo.

Tuggi man headed to El Centro from the colonias.

Tortilla delivery man.

Now back to packing before I take a dip in the pool.  My current mantra -- two more weeks . . . two more weeks.  I'm trying to forget I'll have to unpack all this stuff on the other end.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Last Day Isla Photos

Sorry I've been too busy to post.  Busy with moving minutia.  Running back and forth from this home to that home, discovering mistakes in the new house, going to the mattresses to get it made right, waiting on a repairman to fix an electrical problem caused by the buyer's inspector (where's the steam shooting out of my ears symbol?), getting moving estimates, deciding what to sell and what to keep, packing -- the list goes on and on.

Here's something interesting.  We put some items on craigslist for the first time yesterday at 4:00 p.m.   Less than a minute after I clicked post, the calls began.  The funniest calls were related to the $35 mountain bike.  Could we drive the bike an hour to North Phoenix so a guy could look at it to see if he wanted to buy it?   Everything was loaded out the garage door by 8:00 p.m., and the only reason it took that long was because Craig spent an hour and a half helping a man recovering from a bad car accident learn the proper way to use the weight station.  It also had to be broken down and loaded into a truck.  

Yesterday when I was loading photos of the craigslist items from camera to laptop, I found some photos from our last morning on Isla Mujeres in April.  I'd forgotten the gorgeous view from our last breakfast at Bally Hoo!

Sun's comin' up got cakes on the griddle.

Actually no griddle at our place, so we walked to Bally Hoo for breakfast!  My BLTA baguette.

Craig's omelet.

Love the yellow Andrea M against the pale blue waters of the Caribe.

More gorgeous yellows and blues, but Mr. Pelican's really not a pretty bird.

Back to packing!  Three more weeks until we're down there.

Here's something funny we saw last week behind a model home in our new neighborhood.  The Jack Rabbit Lounge.  Hope he was just chillin' and not sick.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

St. Joseph in a Bag

On Wednesday our realtor, who lives right across the street, came over with a gift for us.  We'd been with her earlier in the afternoon looking at two short sales in our neighborhood just for the hell of it.  I think she wanted us to see the difference between our house and those two eyesores because I'd been obsessing about the effect those listings could have on ours. 

I actually took my phone with me and fully intended to take a few photos for the blog because they truly are train wrecks, but I got so freaked out by what I saw that I never took the phone out of my pocket.  We were too busy obsessing about hand sanitizer.

I nicknamed the first home Paint It Black.  The owners really like black paint!  Black walls, petrified lizards caught between the screens and windows, carpets that hadn't been vacuumed since they were installed, bugs, bugs, bugs, filthy bathrooms and toilets -- oh God NEVER MIND!  Paint It Black had a do-it-yourself mother-in-law's apartment remodel completed without the appropriate permits that will probably block any buyer from getting a bank loan on the house.  The owner had also turned the former 3-car garage into a man cave.  And yes, once again, the walls were black.  The do-it-yourself pebble tec pool has been empty for months in the 110 degree heat (big no no!), and the homeowner-built sunken patio/firepit was crumbling.  Some of the closet doors in the house had big lower sections cut out of them.  I'm guessing those were cat bedrooms?  At least the house smelled like it?  The people originally paid $493,000 for it and it would sell for almost that now if they hadn't trashed it.  The things people can do to screw up a house!

The other short sale was just weird, but nothing $500 worth of paint and a lot of elbow grease wouldn't cure.  I guess when the dream dies, people just want to walk away and forget about getting it sold. 

Back to the gift.  It was St. Joseph in a bag!  I'm sure you've heard the stories about people burying this guy in the downward dog position two inches under next to the real estate sign.  Somehow, I thought it would be a huge statue, but he's actually religious action figure size. What the heck!  I'm not Catholic or religious for that matter, but we'd try anything at this point.  We decided to have a go at it after dark when the temperature dropped below 112.

Shortly before Craig threw steaks on the grill that evening, our agent called and said a buyer wanted to see our house in 20 minutes.  It would be her third viewing.  When the call comes, we take it.  We threw dinner back in the fridge and did the mad dash, vacuuming our way out of the house.  Evidently, St. Joseph's mere presence in our house could be the lucky charm!

A little after dark, Craig buried him by the real estate sign.  Twenty-four hours later -- liftoff!  Signed contract.

Tomorrow's inspection day.  Everyone assume the fingers and toes crossed position again please!

If everything goes well, we should be down the road by mid-July.  We'll rent for a few weeks in our new neighborhood while we wait for the new house to be completed. We'll call it our summer stay-cation!

Plop plop fizz fizz . . .

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Driving the Back Road

We're hunting for diversions to get us out of the house.  I think the old saying a watched pot never boils might apply.  We need to find ways to pass the time while we wait for this house to sell so we can get on down the road.

A few weeks ago on a Monday morning, we took the back road down to check out what we hope will be our next home.  We got up early, put a quick polish on the house just in case, and headed straight south on the two lane road that cuts through Indian reservation land. The map showed the route was almost 15 miles shorter and possibly more interesting than I-10.

Not far south, I made Craig stop so I could take a photo of  this Catholic Church on reservation land.

Instead of bypassing Florence, we drove through the historic district in the old downtown area.  That's the Pinal County Courthouse clocktower.

Love this old blue flower pot filled with rocks (copper?) hanging by the old blue door on the historic casa below.


 The Cosgrove House was built in 1878 with adobe bricks.  

This old brick building also has an old blue door.  I hope the dentist's office within has more modern equipment than the exterior.

Cacti are now in bloom.  We flew by all the beautiful saguaros with their gorgeous white blooms, but I did manage to get a photo of this prickly pear.  Lovely to look at, but not to hold!  These things have tiny little stickers that latch on to your skin.  I learned that the hard way once when I bent over a pot at a local nursery.  We were both ripping clothes off back in the car trying to keep the stickers from embedding into our skin.  I spent hours with the tweezers after I got home.  Note to self -- don't plant prickly pears! 

Craig was happily anticipating a BBQ lunch at Bubb's Grub after our meeting with the construction superintendent, but Bubb closes on Monday.  I have a feeling our next meeting won't be on a Monday!

Instead we decided to explore more future neighborhood dining options.  We stopped at Carlota's for salsa, chips, and taco salads.

On the way home, not too far south of Chandler, we drove into a dreaded dirt storm. I got the immediate headache.  I'm not looking forward to monsoon season.  The air's actually much cleaner where we're moving with fewer dirt storms (haboobs) since most of them form in areas like the above just to the south of Phoenix where the desert crust has been plowed up for farmland.

The real estate market seems to have really picked up this past week.  We're pooped from the spit and polish routine with showings on 7 of the last 8 days.  Last night we were getting ready to put steaks and corn on the grill when the phone rang.  Thirty minutes till show time!  Yikes!

The vacuum cleaner is torched from overuse and Craig's dying to throw away the lawn mower.  No more grass.  Ever!  Fingers and toes crossed.  Can't wait to get past this!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Something to Go With Your Monday Morning Coffee . . .

Just some random photos from the island to flavor your Monday morning brew. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mama's Got a Brand New Rug!

Cue James Brown!  Papa may have a brand new bag, but Mama got a new rug.

For the life of me, I don't know why I wait until I'm selling a house to put on the finishing touches!  It happened last time when we lived in Bellevue, WA, but that house sold in 24 hours.  Phoenix ain't Seattle!  Too much land where they can just keep building.  So the staging and obsessing continues.

The restaurant tour also continues.  Last night was San Tan Brewery in old Chandler with friends.  We snarfed the pizzas so quickly, I forgot to snap a photo.   They also have a pineapple wheat beer served in a large cold mug with a huge slice of pineapple in it that everyone else was loving on.  I truly think I need to take up drinking again!

Craig, of course, already had the beer at home in his refrigerator collection.  He'll probably be bee-lining to the store today for a big pineapple to toss in his chilled mug.

Showing today at noon.  Cross your fingers and toes.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Eat, Work, Eat

What do we do all day now?  We get up early, take the morning bike ride before it heats up into the 100's, and then we work keeping the museum ready for the infrequent showing.  Yes, supposedly houses are selling like hotcakes in the Phoenix area, but not so much in our price range.  This could be a long haul.

After all that work, we seek the easy diversion. Why mess up that clean kitchen when lunch is extremely easy on the wallet around here?

 Mexican's one of our favorites!

When we move, we're going to miss our local neighborhood Mexican joint -- Casa Blanca.  That's my favorite above -- the ground beef tostada with charro beans.

Tuesday is $1.50 fish taco day at Rubio's.  Now that's a cheap lunch!

Mandarin Chef's another close favorite.   We often split a carryout order in the evening, but they also have a great lunch special with egg drop soup, egg roll, and your choice of entree.

The one thing I find disturbing there is the placemat!  I'm a Snake!  I'll let you guess my birth year.  

Craig ordered egg foo yung with chicken and let me have a large bite.  Very tasty!

And here's my Kung Pao chicken.  Spicy!

Yesterday after a trip to IKEA to pick up an extra pillow and some placemats, we stopped off at our go to Italian joint in Tempe -- Rigatoni's!  That place is packed at lunch, but we managed to beat the crowd.  The lunch special starts with their signature salad and bread.

And comes with the pasta dish of your choice.  We both ordered the Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage.  OMG!

Hmmmmm.  It's Thursday.  It's 8:41 a.m.  What's for lunch?