Tuesday, January 28, 2020

just bought two houses

Now that we've sold a house, the task of finding a new home remains.  Not gonna lie, I'm not thrilled at the thought of moving again.  Although we're not in a hurry, we did pop into an open house over the weekend.  A new listing popped up, and we had nothing better to do, so we went on in.

The house was okay, priced about right, I'd say, and in a favorable location.  Floor plan was a little too closed in and the yard was a little too big for my liking, but it was good to see a little of what's out there.

The thing that steered me away, though?  Neighbor's backyard.  There was a fire pit surrounded by a few chairs and some pilfered road signs.  It just looked like a party backyard to me, and having just moved from next door neighbors that had occassional 3am bonfires, I'm scrutinizing neighbor yards.

Thing is, I liked those previous neighbors.  They were friendly and hard-working and took good enough care of their property and such.  They weren't awful, but what's with the (illegal) bonfires and party tunes in the wee hours of the morning?  Oh well, not my problem anymore.

And I know that neighbors can change.  Our old neighborhood went through a few iterations while we lived there, so no guarantees.  At least we didn't have any crackhouses or meth labs... to my knowledge.

In the meantime, the dogs at least have some new digs.  We got this new kennel for them when we moved.  It's 6' x 16' , and I just got back from picking up matching dog houses.  Nothing fancy, just the lovely plastic shelters.  The dogs are pretty civilized, though.

The cat still pines away for the great outdoors even though I've explained to him that it's illegal in these parts.  He clearly has no respect for the law.

The lease for the house we're renting is up at the end of May, so we've got some time to shop.  We sort of have an agent here - someone we met at an open house last fall when we were REALLY just snooping.  But she seems nice and competent.  She knows we just closed the sale on our house and sent me a gift card for a local espresso and pastry.  Yes, I'll accept bribes favors.

Do you like/ dislike/ feel neutral about your neighbors?  Any horror stories?

Sunday, January 26, 2020

show me yours?

Since we moved to Ft. Collins, Magnum and I have been checking out coffee places for our weekend walks.  Geez, just typing "weekend walks" makes me feel old.

Anyway, we've built up a decent list of options, and this morning, we walked for the first time to a place I'd been wanting to try.  This particular coffee house is very near the university campus, so we figured most of the clientele would be students (a.k.a. people young enough to be our children), and we're okay with that.

I liked the place. I think I would even say it's usurped my previous choice for top spot when figuring in the coffee, atmosphere of the place, and the walking route to and from.  Additionally, while our entrance did noticeably skew the average age, I did spot other grey hairs and bifocals in the place.

No sooner had we sat down and taken our first sips, I recognized a young guy who came in and approached the counter.  He'd been a student from when I worked that boring job at the high school a couple of years ago - that boring job that revealed to me my lack of any desire to ever work at a high school.  I don't think he noticed me as he was with a companion and the place was generally pretty busy. Even if he had noticed me, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't remember me, so small was my role in his high school life.

But I remembered him as a good kid - AP honor student, very respectful, etc.  He's the same age as Meego, and it was a kind of a nice surprise to see this mini blast from the not-so-distant past.  I still feel like a bit of a stranger in a strange land after moving from Colorado Springs.

And speaking of downsizing, We Are Clamco blogged about her new computer.  It's an all-in-one that I like the minimalist look of.  I considered getting one last year (?) when I was looking to replace my desktop, but found a cute microcomputer instead.  Did I ever introduce it here?

If I did, sorry for the redundancy and laziness in searching the archives.  But I do like this little powerhouse.  It does everything I need it to do for the tutoring biz while taking up very little desktop real estate.  Here's a photo, and I've included an easily recognizable everyday item for scale:

Care to share your hardware?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

a clean break

According to my stack of digital documents, we sold a house yesterday.

According to our realtor's facebook page, we sold a "Stunning Red Hot Home in Prestigious Briargate"

I suppose there were some grains of truth in that realtor-speak.  "Red Hot" as in more buyers than houses for sale currently, and "Prestigious" in that there are some fancy-pants houses in other parts of Briargate...

But hey, whatever works!

We never actually met the buyer since we moved in December and just communicated through our agents.  Make them earn that hefty commission.  From what I do know, it seems that he bought the house as an investment to either spruce up and flip in the Red Hot market or rent out.  Either way, it's no longer ours.

Kinda bittersweet actually.  It's a relief to have the house off our books, but we'd lived there for almost 16 years, so our kids really grew up there and we made a lot of memories.  It's the longest I've lived anywhere other than the family home where I lived and grew up for 18 years.

But rather than dwell on what I miss about the place, I'll count off a few things I won't miss:
  • the partying millenials next door
  • the old crappy fences, subjected to high winds
  • all that space to maintain for just, now, two people
  • the sprawl and traffic of Colorado Springs
In the meantime, Magnum's fighting off some crud virus.  Had to drag his sorry butt to the notary public to sign the closing papers.  She was probably thinking, "look at this Mr. Excitement over here".  We didn't mention the crud virus to her, and in hindsight, maybe she thought we were doing a divorce sale - Ha!

I get the pencil sharpener.


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
1. Write a blog post inspired by the word: break.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

eternal sunshine, pubic pies, and a bear

We watched Midsommar over the weekend.  Seen it?

It's weird.  And disturbing.  And weird.  And certainly not for everyone.

It's about these American friends/ grad students - including one romantic couple - who accompany their Swedish friend to a Midsommar festival.  Sounds like a good time and good material for an anthropology thesis.  Well...

Oooh, won't this be fun and wholesome?

Turns out to be a big ceremonial observance thrown by a cult involving all kinda Pagan ritual sh*t.


I liked it 😳.  So bright yet... SO dark.

And it's one of those movies  that could be watched multiple times to see things not noticed before.  Lots of symbolisms and camera angles and hidden details that make much more sense once the story plays out.

It's also hard to know "the truth" because the revelers are often tripping on mushrooms.  Was it real?  Or just a drug trip through one character's experience?  Either way, I liked it. Talk about an "escape"!  Maybe I'll watch it again at some point.

As I look out my window now, it's cloudy and dreary out.  I could go for some Swedish sommar (without the drugs and offputting [spoilers]).  Then I remember it's January.  Maybe I'll go ride my winter bicycle to feel better.

It's pink.

Have you seen Midsommar?  Like/hate it?  Any wintertime movie recommendations?

Monday, January 13, 2020

eau de Pepper Potts?

Remember, a while back, we'd had our big P.E.O. wine and cheese fundraiser, and I was going to publish photos in our newsletter, but alas, I didn't take any photos?  Neither did anyone else?  Looks like I did it again.  Apparently, I'm just not on board with the snappin-pics-all-the-time culture.

Yesterday was Chaco's birthday, so we all met up at his place for some birthday acknowledgement.  I meant to get a photo of all the guys because I'm still in touch with the woman who cared for them when they were babies.  I don't have a recent photo and meant to get one for her.  Oops, forgot.

Well, I'm okay with it.  I know some people on the other end who take multiple photos and post them on social media for every little thing.  Some of us have to balance it out, right?

So it was a nice get together.  I find it difficult to get gifts for our kids.  When they were little, we never did the wait-for-your-birthday/Christmas-and-you'll-get-it.  If they wanted something we deemed appropriate, we'd typically agree to get it no matter the calendar date.  Chaco's birthday in January, but he's outgrown his bicycle in June?  Why wait until January when it will be snowy and icy?

Now that they're grown, it only seems harder to bestow a "special" gift, but always worth a try.  And we had a nice meal.

But speaking of gifts... I saw a headline about Gwyneth Paltrow selling a candle that smells like her vajayjay, and just rolled my eyes.  Honestly, I'm not surprised.  I didn't care to read the article.

This morning, I opened up my newsfeed which included another article about Gwyneth's hoohaa candle and a link to an anti-Gwyneth video.  Fine.  I investigated.

Gwyneth has a website:  full of  (questionable?) health topics and information.  It also features a shop for a variety of things including the now famous candle.  For $75, one can own a Gwyneth Paltrow vagina scented candle.

Oh.  Wait.  Nope.  It's sold out.

Well, of course it is.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

so... what're you wearing?

I've been away from the blog for a few days.  Turns out being unemployed and homeless can keep a girl busy.  BUT, it's all good.

We saw Knives Out last weekend and were NOT disappointed.  All that "Kentucky Fried Chicken, Foghorn Leghorn BS" *snort*.  You gotta see it if you haven't.  Very fun and creative.  I just read an article about Chris Evans' sweater in the movie.  He wears a thick, cabled, off-white sweater that's a bit ragged in places.  The article gets into all the things the sweater "says" about Chris Evans' character as well as some of the clothing of the other characters.  The movie plot is a murder mystery, so it's all about clues, and apparently there's been much discussion about the sweater.

Do your clothes tell the world who you are?  Do mine?

I was thinking about this more along the lines of the house we currently have for sale.  I mentioned the realtor's virtual photos made the house nearly unrecognizable to those of us who recently lived there.  I also think the house has attributes that aren't even mentioned, like the new sturdy windows we installed a year ago, the capable and smooth running furnace, the lovely whole-house humidifier.

I was reminded that, in general, Magnum and I are more about function than aesthetics.  Even in previous homes we've had, while they may not have been the most "house beautiful", the mechanicals have been robust.

Function before form.

Maybe I'm thinking about these things because it's a new year, and the whole "new year, new you" vibe is going on.  Plus, we just moved to a new town to further bring on the makeover.

Looking at my current clothing choices, I'm wearing some comfy jeggings and a stretchy pullover.  They're comfortable and functional, but not very flashy. I guess the same can be said for me.

Boring?  Maybe.  I think of it more along the lines of "blends in easily".  Makes it unlikely to be chosen from a line-up.  Just in case.

What are you wearing?

Thursday, January 2, 2020

show and tell

What day is it?  Thursday, you say?   Anybody else lose track of what day it is during the holidays?
Looks like we made it into the start of another year.  2020, let the vision puns begin.

We don't make much of a big deal with Christmas gifts since the kids have gotten older.  I still like to buy them things, but their interests get more specific and expensive with age.  So we prefer to give experiences - trips or something to "do" rather than "have".  This year was very low key since we just moved and didn't want to leave the animals to fend for themselves just yet.

I remember when I was in elementary school and teachers would have a show-and-tell after winter break for kids to bring in stuff they got.  That practice probably ended years ago, since not everyone celebrates Christmas or receives a big haul.

With that in mind, I do have some newness that I bought for myself for show and tell.  So not necessarily holiday gifts, but they coulda been.

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 1 is this mini waist pack thing I picked up for a steal at Sierra Trading Post.  It's tiny and lightweight and stretches just enough to hold my phone for when I go running.

I don't like to carry much with me when I'm running, and usually don't bring my phone.  But since we just moved and the surroundings are still a bit unfamiliar, I feel better having the phone with me for now.  This belt/ waist pak has served me well already

Next up...

this marijuana lotion I found at Whole Foods yesterday.  I did go there for lotion, so this wasn't a spur-of-the-moment purchase.  As I was deciding which Andalou Naturals to pick, I noticed two of the choices had what looked like a marijuana plant on the labels.

Upon further examination, I found the lotion includes hemp stem cells and organic hemp seed oil.   I have no idea what role those would play in skin care, but it was the same price as the  non-weed lotions, so what the hell.

I have not used much of it yet.  I'll keep the blog posted as to whether it makes me happier/ more mellow or not.

And speaking of show-and-tell, our house back in Colorado Springs is officially on the market now.  It's weird to see it online, all dressed up.  In reality, it's sitting there empty.  Online, it's been virtually staged as if someone still lives there, but... who?

Pictures including tasteful furnishings, rugs, plants, and wall hangings make it nearly unrecognizable to those of us who know of its most recent appearance.  I'm all, "Where are the gaming consoles?  The amateur artworks? The guitar amps? The pet toys and random shoes and what not?"  It looks like a showcase from "Let's Make a Deal" or "The Price is Right".

So we're entertained by the transformation.  Kids have texted things like, "... so uncomfortable", "the weirdest...", and "holy sh*t..."  One most humorous thing is the much loved you-crank-it pencil sharpener that Magnum hard mounted to a corner of the kitchen counter many years ago.  It's still there.  Here's one of the fancy-pants realtor pics

See it?  The pencil sharpener?  It seems almost to speak to me..."take me with youuuuu!!!!"

Have you Secret Santa-ed yourself?

Linking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
4. Did you buy yourself any gifts this holiday season? Share what you selected for yourself.