Whole Bunch of Change

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Yep, it’s me, LG, on a quiet Sunday morning. I worked yesterday so I wouldn’t have to today… but I decided to work today for tomorrow so I could attend a meeting (which will inevitably result in more work), then maybe golf tomorrow afternoon.

So, the change… well, after almost 2.5 years, we finally sold the house in TN. I will admit that from beginning to end the process was one huge, expensive, slightly stressful pain in the ass. Let me expand on that…

  • I have been to TN 8 times this year. (Funny, I’m going to Nashville for a girl’s week-end next week)
  • We have done countless updates and repairs. The other owner (P&J) did a lot of painting and awesome staging (she’s a designer)
  • Although I sold real estate for 10 years, I felt like an idiot with regard to how it works in the states. It didn’t help that my realtor left many questions unanswered until just days before the closing (like here, each party needs their own lawyer).
  • The IRS held a significant chunk of the proceeds, as I am not an American resident – although I brought up to both realtors giving P a ‘quit claim deed’ to avoid any residency tax related issues – no one answered my questions… so now it’ll be a fight to reclaim that money. Super!

There’s a whole lot I could say about the entire TN house thing… it’s the first time in 15.5 years that I have only owned 1 house… for a stretch of 1.5 years, I was part owner of 3! It’s sad, oh so sad to say good-bye… I was there when the house was being built in 1984, and have been there literally hundreds of times. The house was a major pain in the ass – I took care of everything (I’m sure neither P or my husband could name the lawn guy, the furnace guy, the plumber, etc. etc. etc.) – I really feel if those responsibilities were equally divided we wouldn’t have sold, but the fact also remains that a) We didn’t really see ourselves retiring there b) North America (and the world, really) is too big and awesome to ‘always go to TN’ c) it’s pretty expensive owning a place so far away and d) we always felt obligated to go there (‘hey do you guys want to go golfing next week-end in Michigan?’… ‘Well, if we’re going to spend $800 on a golfing week-end, we should probably go to TN and clean out the gutters while we’re there,’ – kinda thing.)

My husband and I came home from a TN vacation on July 6th, and he was back there on July 30th, and I drove separately and arrived July 31st… so we had one last great week-end there. A little stressful, a little work (going through stuff, cleaning) and some really good times.

So this is a major change in my life (talk about #firstworldproblems #isoldmyvacationhousewahwahwah)… it’ll be nice to not have those expenses (it really sucks to buy a washer and dryer, it sucks more to buy a washer and dryer that you hardly ever use!), it’ll be nice to not feel obligated to go to TN, and it doesn’t hurt that the Canadian dollar is at an 11 year low (we won’t be changing all the funds over, as we do travel to the states so much and we’d lose on exchange…).

So that, is that. Let’s look at some pics!

Bye Grandad’s piano… I left you there, but no regrets (yet, lol).

4127 Klamath Circle (6)


My room

4127 Klamath Circle (11)

Big bedroom.

4127 Klamath Circle (16)

My grandmother’s/great – grandfather’s table… it’s coming home with us (it’s in PA right now…)

4127 Klamath Circle (21)

Front/side view.

4127 Klamath Circle (26)

My favourite place to hang out.

4127 Klamath Circle (28)


That’s about it for now…

More annoyances

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It’s been a frustrating last few days.

– Hot, hot and humid. Too hot to walk the dogs, so they’re rangy and bored.

– A million small things to do. I think I’ve done them all.

– Didn’t golf last night – Kiki had some issues at home to deal with, and although I could have met up with some other ladies, I didn’t feel like going to the effort for only 9 holes. So I spent a few extra hours working. Boo. Hopefully will golf Thursday, then of course in Club C (as we’re not going to TN) on Saturday and Sunday.

– Power was out for 3 hours yesterday – that actually worked out pretty well, as I had just finished working online and was reading a book. It was just starting to get really hot and humid in here when it came back on around 8:30pm.

– I haven’t been sleeping great. I haven’t been eating well, and I haven’t been exercising enough. Ugh.

Doom and gloom – wow, I’m coming off as miserable lately, eh? I’m hoping for a change soon – but really I don’t see it happening. We have to deal with some of the issues in the house in TN, I’m starting a new project this week (ACK! But should be manageable), something else kicks off maybe tomorrow, which should increase my workload a little (and permanently) then try to get things done online so the social media wheels don’t fall off the proverbial bus while we’re away in September.

But really, life is good. Financially we’re good. We’re all healthy. Everything is fine. I would really just like to get rid of some stress.

So very annoying!

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I’m completely frustrated with a situation that is beyond my control!

We have our house for sale in TN, and we had an offer conditional upon an appraisal and house inspection, and although nothing huge came up on the inspections – there were many little things… and the people decided to not go through with the purchase.

It sucks. We had it all planned out to go down there and remove what we need to. It was supposed to close at the end of September which would have been perfect, as we had just enough money in the bank until it closed.

Plus, I had already spent the proceeds of the sale. Of course! Rats!

Super annoying! So much wasted time and thoughts!

I really wish the people would have come back to us to negotiate more, the home inspection clause was pretty wide open, and they actually might have found a house they liked better.

Annoying! Ugh!

Life’s… UGH!

Random and lately

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I’ve been on the computer almost all day – but I’ve committed myself to write a post (I haven’t even had dinner yet and it’s 8:30pm!) – so… you’re welcome (just kidding of course, it feels good to write and get this stuff out of my brain.

Point form is a good form.

– Went to TN and back with Kiki. Had good times, fun times, golf times, party times, shopped, and did stuff around the house. Finished a couple of projects that have been bothering me for almost a year! Yeah me.

– My back is brutal. Sciatic pain is really starting to get on my nerves! It effects my golf game immensely and not for the good!

– I’m done the pond. Thank Jebus. What hell that was. Seriously I’m quite pleased with myself – I’ll post pics once I finish grouting the small patio area near the pond.

– Still so much to do – massive picky tubering (probably not a word) completely overtook the raised bed where the asparagus grows. I’ve tried digging, I’ve tried pulling – now I’m going to try a careful application of the equivalent of a nuclear spay to kill kill kill them! (Bought in the States, so it should work – Canada stuff is all natural AKA – Sucks and isn’t effective) More weeding to do around the hard (hate weeding in the areas of clay – bah!). Fun stuff to do like put out the bird feeders, plant pretty pretty flowers, etc. Saving the pretty stuff for last so I stay motivated!

– Ack. I wouldn’t say I’ve been ‘slacking’ at my job, but man I got a wake up call in the form of an email from our marketing company. Yikes! I was busted out on all types of things I’m not doing… combine that with the ‘new guy’ (great guy) going to a social media seminar and giving me a list of a bunch of other stuff to do (all excellent, completely relevant tasks) and f-balls – I have a LOT of work to do. Just throw on that I need to create a ‘system’ for my job (so essentially I could hand my system off to anyone on the street and they could do my job) – important in case something (ACK!) happens to me, but also so we can package that to our clients (uh, we do business development in case ya didn’t know).

– Did you read above? That’s a LOT of work – just want to make sure you know.

– Husband is good. Dogs are good. Some people suck. MomG is on vacation in Tennessee, and awful awful awful – her brother dies a day after she arrives. There is a small memorial service tomorrow that William is attending (2.5 hours away!) – I don’t think I’m going with. (guilt? probably

– My mom turned 70 on Monday. Wow. Crazy. Here’s a cute pic of her when she really young – and a picture of her granddaughter (one of my nieces) – they look a bit alike!










– Life is good. Really, honestly, truly good. Satisfying, happy, contented fun life. It’s just the sciatica is killing me!

This week

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I’ve been meaning to blog about many exciting things for the last few days, but I haven’t. Maybe because nothing exciting has happened.

This is what’s going on:

– William is in Tennessee. The weather there is perfect for golf. I am here and the weather here is certainly not. Boo! Today was a balmy 45* with wind. Luckily I had the forethought to pick the asparagus in our garden before they froze. Whoopee! (that was kind of sarcastic btw)

– The local guy from our town who won the chance to play in a PGA event by winning the reality show The Big Break competed in New Orleans this week and didn’t make the cut. Boo. The good news is that after experiencing a tour event, he is now more determined than ever to play at that level. Awesome!

– Pretty happy with the NFL draft (which I did not watch 16 hours of like I did previous years). I was told their new RB will make me forget Hillis ever existed. That’s cool. Also with the schedule released, I’m pretty certain of the dates of the games we’re going to see – yeah! So that’s good, but trust me… I want from now until then to pass slooooow. It’s just the start of golf season silly!

Hm… what else… I’ve actually been quite productive in the last few days. I’ve done my taxes for the first quarter, normal work stuff, special work stuff, free stuff I don’t get paid for, (but hey, occasionally I’m nice like that) golf league stuff, house stuff, walking the pooches, and I’ve been out golfing with Kikipants a couple of times (of course it was windy!). I’ve also made some fabulous meals for myself (when William is gone I either eat great, like bagel and lox, asparagus risotto, broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken, or terribly boring like oatmeal and Lean Cuisines), and drank all our vodka. Boo.

I wonder what I meant to blog about this week? Hm… I guess that’s all for now. Life’s good. 

Shank and Halia think life is good too…

Stress balls

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Yesterday I started my day as normal checking emails. Surprisingly, it was one of those odd days when there was nothing ‘to do’ in my inbox. How nice for me.

I checked my ‘other’ email address, which I do everyday, but it’s mostly junk (facebook messages, groupon – that kind of thing). Because I didn’t have any actions to take work wise, I sifted with a bit more care through this inbox. No biggie, right?

I saw a statement of what I wrongly thought was our Tennessee phone/internet bill, which I opened just for fun. Now, a bit of a back story…

In the fall last year, I put the phone and internet at the house in TN ‘on vacation’ – so instead of paying about $90 a month, our bills would be about $20 a month. I planned on ‘turning it back on’ around now – mid April. In late February I received an odd (I’m saying odd because I don’t usually get them) bank statement from TN – our account was overdrawn. I was shocked and bothered and stressed to say the least. In the winter, we generally put enough money in the bank down there to cover all the aut0 bills that come (insurance, water, phone/interent, and power). After a little investigation I realized that the phone company never put our service on vacation, and had been charging us the full amount all winter long!


So I called the phone company, and of course they had no record of my request (even though the woman I spoke to actually called me at home in Canada, as she couldn’t put our phone on vacation unless we had ‘digital phone’ – which I agreed to)… blah blad blah. I actually had awesome customer service and the phone company agreed to credit us for a full 6 months of bills. Yippee.

So during this time our bank account was drained. When I was in Florida the first time, I sent a money order to cover the house’s expenses until we have some rental income. HOWEVER, I neglected to consider the other bills that came into arrears during that time, as well as the growing NSF charges. Duh! ARG!

Sooooo…. I opened our electric bill, which I thought was a credit for our phone bill, yesterday and saw a balance of $243, which is crazy, as our monthly bills usually top our at $35 a month! So again, more NSF charges, interest… blah blah blah!

So in a call down there I learned:

– I could not discuss the account with them, as the account was in PF’s name (I charmed my way around that… I think ‘my husband is going to kill me’ really helped).

– Our electricity was turned off as of March 15th. Awesome.

– They tried multiple times to call us, but had a WAY wrong phone number.

– They have our wrong address, so no mail!

So all in all, it was totally my fault. A completely stupid oversight on my part not considering all the other accounts in arrears with NSF charges. I don’t make a habit of checking the TN bills as I ‘know’ there is enough money to cover our expenses. Duh! That won’t happen again.

So (I need to wrap this up quickly), the phone company needed to call me back, and I attached the phone to my ass all morning and heard nothing. I learned when calling yet again, that their office can’t call internationally. Yeah, so I sat stewing in my stress for house! Super!

I could get the electricity turned back on immediately (paying the arrears plus a $30 charge) with a credit card (yeah!) – kind of important as the next bank draft wasn’t scheduled until April 29 – no good, as William arrives there on the 25th! And he would kill me if there was no electricity! I had Jen (PF’s girlfriend who lives in PA and obviously has an American bank account) fire off a big ole cheque to cover any other random charges. (I think we’ve paid more than $200 in NSF charges! Stupid!!)

The company also requires a SSN. Super. We’re Canadian. Kinda hard for us to have a SSN! Luckily PF has a US Tax Payer Identification Number, which works in these cases. If not we would have to pay a $300 deposit on top of everything else!


So trust me when I say I’m going to pay a lot more attention to what is going on down there! I have online banking for our TN account (it’s super crappy compared to what we have here), and I’m committing to checking it weekly! Our electricity will be back on today, and the woman I dealt with re-assured me that I’m not a complete moron, even commenting that in the 13 years we’ve had an account with them, we’ve never missed a payment. Still…

So it was pretty funny when William called me when I was in the middle of dealing with this  hot mess yesterday, and he asked, ‘how’s your day going?’ and of course I said, ‘good, good, not much going on really. How’s your day?’

Yeah… live and learn. Life’s (still) good, just a little more expensive than it was!


A dilemma of sorts

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On Monday I’m flying down to Fort Myers, and I leave the next day, heading home, driving my husband’s boss’s car.

I spoke with my husband’s boss the other day, confirming flight times and the like. They fly home early on Tuesday afternoon, and he said, ‘Are you going to drive us to the airport, or should we try to find a ride to the airport?’


Just the way he worded the question, of course made me think that they would prefer me driving them to the airport. Which is fine. Which of course I said ‘no problem’. The problem is, it’s a solid 21 hours drive home. If I don’t leave until noon (their flight is at 2pm) I will have to drive 11 hours, until 11pm, just to be half way home. I think it will rather suck to check into a hotel (motel really) at 11pm – knowing that I’ll be up and ready to go at the crack of 6am to avoid traffic (I’m quite schooled on rush hour traffic in TN, KY, OH, and MI) Boo.

So, what to do, what to do?

If I’m leaving at noon on Tuesday, I know that I could push it a bit and drive nearly 12 hours and stay at our place in TN – which is only an hour out of the way, but there is no way I could get up early (to avoid Knoxville, Cincinasty and Detroit rush hours) and drive 10 hours home if arriving around 12am! … If I could stay 2 nights in TN, it would be worth it, and my husband’s boss would save paying for one night’s (he really doesn’t care though) hotel… I think, however, that they would like their car back sooner (they of course have 2, but after spending a solid month together in FL, they may just want the freedom to go their own way in their own cars).

In the pic, you can see that 1-75 travels from Chattanooga, through Cleveland, then up to Knoxville. The route I would take to our house is a bit parallel and west of 1-75 – also a bit slower posted speed wise…

Hm… I guess I’ll see. I think going to FL was more fun than coming home will be…

Super productive

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Wow, I’m amazed at the stuff I accomplished yesterday. I’d list it, but it wouldn’t mean anything to anyone but me. So…

I still have one issue absolutely plaguing me. The guy who installed the furnace in TN never came back to build the book which covers the ducts which do into the crawlspace of the house. With winter coming and a wide range of critters looking for a place to call home, and water pipes in the crawlspace this little job needs to get done.

I don’t know why he didn’t come back. He was supposed to in later July. I called him when I was down in September and nothing, I never heard back (multiple messages, texts, etc.). It especially pisses me off for the following reasons:

= He had more than a month’s notice of when the job needed to be done.

– I paid him full in cash before he started the job (I’ve known him for about 7 years btw), so he could immediately pay his supplier.

– I was completely flexible and not demanding about when the furnace was installed. His mom was having health issues and he had to cancel out a few days and I was cool with that – as long as the job got done.

– He initially told me they would need to add some cement to the pad as the furnaces now are apparently a different shape then they were 25 years ago. They actually did not need to pour cement. This really cut down in their labour and the number of times they needed to come to the house – thus increasing his profit.

And now… crickets. I don’t want to threaten small claims court or reporting him to the BBB. I just want the freakin box built over the ducts like he said he would do.

It’s a little frustrating too as I’m so far away from the house in Tennessee. Luckily my neighbour is awesome (he’s the one who just did our roof down there…) and will check to see if the job is done. If it comes to it, I can always pay my handy neighbour to build the box. Of course I would pay him, but then send the bill directly to the furnace guy.


Awesome roof pic – actually it just shows the soffits and facia, but still, awesome!

Random observations of a Canadian in America around July 4th

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I have been in TN on or around July 4th before. I remember when I was 20 a girlfriend and I decided to head from my place in TN to Gatlinburg, not realizing it was America’s holiday week-end. It was insane. Crazy busy packed until all hours.

This time I am here solo and although it’s barely dark I can hear 3 sets of fireworks being set off… one sounding dangerously close… me, I’d rather sit outside and look for fireflies (lightning bugs, what have you). Americans love their explosives.

Holy hell – don’t go near a WalMart the Saturday before July 4th. I was nearly trampled near the paper plates, and there was a run on hot dog buns that resembled the the near downfall of Bailey Brothers Savings and Loan.

Everyone is either in town (I’ve seen 2 neighbours that I assumed died in their homes 9 years ago – they probably think the same of the occupants of this house), out of town or has a plan. I’ve overheard so many conversations about bean salad, barbecues, camping and fireworks.

Nothing to do with the holiday, but everyone knows I’m Canadian, and it has nothing to do with the ‘I am Canadian’ tattoo across my forehead. Apparently I say, ‘eh’ a lot. To the cashier at Walmart, the pro at the golf course – everyone asks, ‘where in Canada are you from?’ Then they tell me that they’ve been to Canada once and how lovely Vancouver is… that’s like living in New Mexico and comparing it to Maine fyi.

It’s all good though. There’s some very patriotic stuff going on around here, and that’s nice to see, but of all the rah rah American I see, this little Canadian bit always makes me proud… of course it’s a beer commerical… 😉

Then there’s this too which is pretty funny if you happen to be Canadian and a Trekkie…

Either way, any way – I’m proud to be Canadian… and half American… I won’t say which half… 😉

Back to blogging?

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I realize that I haven’t posted anything since our long week-end in May, and now it’s our long week-end in July! Shameful!

Nothing annoyed me more when clicking, ‘new post’ in than reading the first line that said, ‘I know I haven’t blogged in a while…’ and here I am doing exactly that!

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say! Everyday I think of things I would like to post, but after a day on the computer (as I have mentioned before), often the last thing I want to is write.

I’m currently in TN. Again. I was here about 3 weeks ago with Kikipants. Now I’m back here solo for the purpose of having a furnace installed. I waited all day today (a beautiful day, 82*, no humidity or wind!) for one of the contractors to call me (yes, I’m still cell free and no voice mail in TN, I’m just happy we have internet!). So once again I offer the question: are they contractors because they’re late, or are they late because they are contractors?’ Hm.

Well this waiting around gave me the perfect excuse to take care of 2 projects, and several smaller things on my virtual to do list. Check check check!

I chose to come here alone this week to really focus and take this online course that will help me and give me more validity in my role as a social media strategist. Of course I’m going to golf, do some yard work, things around this house and go shopping – but being here alone allows me the freedom to take care of business on my on schedule without the distractions of my husband (a good distraction), the pooch, our house, and my jobby. Ahh… I’ve already accomplished way more than I expected today, but I have been working since 6am! Nothing better to do while waiting to the furnance guy…

Life’s good.