June 29, 2010

Seller Beware!

Yeah, I know it’s usually “buyer beware” but once you read this, I think you will agree THIS seller got the short end of the stick.

When we had to move my mom to assisted living last September, we immediately listed her home for sale.    This past June 14th she would have lived in that house 40 years.     For the last 10 years or so, I’d stay after her to do some updating and maintenance from time to time but she just didn’t see the need.    I knew that the house would require some pretty extensive cosmetic fixes to get it in shape to sale.     However, no one had the time nor the resources to do major updating so we did what we could and then listed the house at a reduced price hoping for a quick sale.      We did not get even one offer until Mother’s Day weekend!     

After going all those months without any offers, I made the executive decision to take $1,500 of her money and have the house completely painted inside, painted the outside shutters and front door and quite a few other things to make the house appear fresh and updated.     We then reduced the price AGAIN and finally got our one offer!    We were so excited as the tentative closing date was scheduled for the weekend of my mom’s 90th birthday.    

Then an inspector came through and threw a stink bomb in the plans.    Let me tell ya’ll----if any of you have your home for sale, get ready for a real eye opener when the inspector comes through.    He came back with 2 pages – and more than 20 items – of the most ridiculous things I’d ever seen to be fixed!    The prospective buyer was getting an FHA loan and it was my understanding that he was covering his butt with FHA but I could not believe the items he had listed!       After I calmed down, we agreed to do all the items on the list with the exception of 2 minor things and we were willing to put some $$ on the table so the buyer could do those items herself.    

Wellllll, all of a sudden the buyer got cold feet and would not get in touch with her agent.     By this time, I had talked to her agent myself and he told me she would not return any of his calls.     When he finally heard from her, she had changed her mind!      And now I understand that the contract states she can change her mind and get her earnest money back which is being held in escrow!!!    Of course, I am leaving out a lot of this whole sordid story as I am getting mad all over again just typing this.     Basically, here’s where we are:     We went in and did everything on her “wish list” which were cosmetic in nature and offered her $$ but she still wants out of the contract!    Personally I think this woman would never be happy with anything we did at the  house.     So she gets her $500 back and we’re back to square one.

Does this seem fair to you?     Being a legal secretary, I was ready to take this woman to small claims court and had begun preparing my case today…..however, due to the language in the contract, I would probably lose in the end.      And after I got to thinking about it, I don’t want this person in my mom’s home at all.

Okay, my rant is over.    We desperately need to sell this home!    Please keep our family in your prayers that the right buyer will come along SOON.

Thank you!

June 27, 2010

Painting A “Big Girl” Room

I’m happy to report that we finished painting McKinley’s new “big girl” room this past weekend.     It was not something I was looking forward to as much prep work had to be done before we could see the results of our sweat equity but I’m really pleased at how the room turned out.    

My son and his wife are expecting a baby boy in August so we had to move “big sister” out of the soon-to-be nursery and into a bigger bedroom.     The upstairs children’s den was going to be turned into McKinley’s new bedroom/play room.     When my daughter-in-law found out she was pregnant we immediately started coming up with ideas on how to prepare a new room for McKinley.    Fortunately for me, Jennifer (DIL) loves most all of my ideas and she quickly got on board with the color scheme I suggested.      I took my inspiration from one of my favorite blogs “My Sweet Savannah” that she had posted on her Rate My Space page a couple of years ago.    

So here’s the room as it looked Friday morning (office desk and computer not moved out yet as they are going to be relocated).

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The wall colors we used are Brown Teepee by Behr and Shrimp Toast (doesn’t that sound de-vine?).    Two walls were painted out in  Brown Teepee and two in the Shrimp Toast.     The window wall got a base of Shrimp Toast then we went back and striped every other stripe with the Brown Teepee.    

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Here’s the Shrimp Toast but I didn’t get a picture of the Brown Teepee.

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Favorite (and only) son taped off everything that needed to be taped off.    We used the Frog Tape and let me tell ya’ll, it’s the best stuff around.    A little more expensive than the blue stuff but well worth the cost.

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While Shane did all the cutting in, I got busy rolling paint onto the walls.    Then it was time to tape off the stripes, not a job for the faint-of-heart !     

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Above is the window wall ready to be taped off.     

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He used a CD case to get under and over the window as the level would not lay flat.

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Let me tell ya’ll about my son….he’s a perfectionist!     That’s a good thing for me cause I sometimes take the easy way out of a project.     After deciding how wide we wanted the stripes I was going to start on the left side of the window and work my way across.    Oh, no, that’s not right, my son said.     So he measured the wall and figured out how many stripes we’d have.    Then he found the exact center of the wall and worked his way out left to right from that point….does that make sense?     Well, he was right, it worked out beautifully.     And the best part was the first stripe on each corner was painted in the Brown Teepee which meant we didn’t have to be careful where the walls meet in the corners (see picture below – it makes more sense that way).

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You can see here where the two colors meet.

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This is what I meant by the brown stripe and brown wall meeting so we didn’t have to tape off the corners.

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And now you can see the feature wall all done….this took longer than painting the other three walls.

So that’s  what we did this weekend.      We have an antique bed similar to the one below that I’ll be painting and distressing white.   A nightstand will also be painted and distressed to match.    consigning interiors 017



Remember this frame I made for McKinley’s room?     We plan to use it above the headboard.     But you never know, once we start pulling the room together that may change.      We have several frames we’ll be using in the room.    I can’t wait to start the actual decorating and I’ll be sure to share the final reveal with you.


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I took this picture of son’s house.    He lives in such a pretty neighborhood

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The people that live in the house above always have such a nice yard.     

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I love this arrangement so much that I stopped at Old Time Pottery and got some white hydrangas so I could make a similar one.

So that’s how my weekend went down.    Hopefully things will slow down for a few days around here….maybe I can finish some things at MY house!

June 22, 2010

Landmark Birthday

Today my mama turns 90 years young!     She is such an amazing woman, and at 90, can you imagine the changes she’s seen in her lifetime?    Her second cousin is Elizabeth Dole and she remembers playing with her as children (Elizabeth is younger than mama).    She is also closely related to Billy Graham, the world renown evangelist.    Pretty good group of folks to be related to, huh?

My mama and I have not always seen eye-to-eye, especially during my teenage years.    I remember saying some terrible things to her but her love was unconditional.    Fortunately, our relationship was not permanently damaged and we’ve had some wonderful times in my adult years.     After I got divorced, she was my anchor and travel buddy….she loved traveling, eating out and was pretty much game for anything.     Even now, she is still “prissy” and always wants to look good.     Every Monday at her assisted living facility she gets her nails done then heads up a bingo game 3 times a week!      Last Friday at the beauty shop she got a new “do” for her birthday then she wanted to go shopping for a summer purse!   

So last Saturday we had a big shindig at my sister’s lake house with 3 of her children (me and my two sisters), grandkids and great-grandchildren.      Her best friend, Catherine, who turned 90 last January, was included as those two “girls” have lots of fun when they get together.

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Catherine (left) and mama on the right – true Steel Magnolias!

The weather did not cooperate for most of the day as we got some pretty heavy rain and had to stay inside all afternoon.    But around 5:00 the sun came out and we took a spin in my brother-in-law’s new toy.    

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My sweet little grandson Jackson was wishing the rain would go away so he could get his life jacket on and get in the lake.

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I thought these were real and was surprised to see they were “fake”….aren’t they beautiful?

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Jackson loves trucks and he loves to figure out how things work.    These were just a few of the toys the boy cousins got out.

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Let the eating frenzy begin!

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Taylor is always ready to give her MiMi a big beautiful smile!

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“Real” men cooking in the rain!

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Homemade hamburger, baked beans, bread-and-butter pickles and marinated vegetable salad (recipe below)

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My handsome son Shane and my sister Betsy

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The birthday girl’s favorite cake – Coconut

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Shane, me and Taylor (notice bad hair day due to rain)!

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Shane, me (looking way up at my baby boy), daughter Shannon (her hair NEVER looks like this!), granddaughters McKinley and Taylor

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The two birthday girls, me and my sisters Betsy and Kim

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I put together a family collage for mom’s birthday….she loved it!   I also have one I will be giving her from just me that has old black and white photos in it of her and my dad in their early years, her folks and me as a baby.    Since I was an only child for 5 years, I thought she would enjoy seeing her “favorite” child before the other rug rats came along!

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Jackson finally gets to get in the water!   

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Taylor riding on the Sea Doo with her Uncle Shane….she just loves him to death!

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Betsy’s son-in-law and her littlest grandson Austin

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Now it’s Taylor’s turn on the boat!

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Our own personal escort!

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Granddaughter McKinley was having such a “large” time she actually fell asleep on Shannon during the ride

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My sister waiting for her turn to ride on “her” boat!

Everyone brought enough meat for their own family and other special dishes.     One of my contributions was a yummy marinated vegetable salad.     I was served this at a Mother’s Day church banquet a few  years ago and loved it so much I begged for the recipe.    It’s a great summer salad and very easy to make.

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Marinated Vegetable Salad

1 = 11 oz. can white shoepeg corn

1 = 16 oz. can French green beans

1 = 16 oz. can green peas

1 med. onion – finely chopped

1/2 c. celery – finely chopped

1/4 c. bell pepper – finely chopped

1/4 c. pimento – diced

Drain vegetables, mix all ingredients together

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 c. vegetable oil

1/2 cu. white vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Mix all together & heat until sugar dissolves.    Pour over vegetable mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight.

In other news (I sound like an announcer!) this week I’ll be going to my son’s house to begin the makeover of McKinley’s new bedroom.    She will be giving up her old room for her baby brother who will be arriving in August.     My goal will be to get the room painted…I doubt we’ll have time to do anything else.    I have been making some frames and will be painting and distressing her bed and nightstand here at our house and then later delivering them to Birmingham to get the room set up.     We are painting brown and pink stripes on one feature wall, then alternating brown and pink on the other walls.    Her furniture will be a creamy white.    In my mind, it sounds pretty so here’s hoping it turns out like I’m imagining it!     Otherwise, I’ll have to come up with a Plan “B”!

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