Friday, February 23, 2024

Cleanest House on the Block

That would be our house … cleanest house on the block. Why? Because everything was pretty much in tip top shape and freshly painted, scrubbed, wiped, etc etc (you get the idea) when the house went on the market last week. And then, almost every day since we have had lookers and re-lookers. So we go through the process of wiping down counters and floors, turning on lights, making beds and putting away clutter and personal things. And then the housekeeper was here yesterday, too. When agents schedule a showing, which they do through an online app, we have several hours or even a couple days’ notice. And we go through the cleaning and prep process again, sometimes twice a day. About ten minutes before their scheduled time, we leave the premises and do something. Sometimes we run errands. We’ve sat in the parking lot of a local shopping center reading our tablets several times. On Saturday for the Open House, we entertained ourselves by going to The Aquarium. I have pictures of that to show you for a change of pace. 

The first thing we saw was this huge structure, called the EECO Voyager. It is a virtual reality exhibit that you can attend and see the various world ecosystems through. We had already missed the once daily showing, so we just went indoors to visit the various sea life and other creatures. 

I won’t bore you with all the pictures I took, but I’ll show you a few of my favorites.


Giant Clam. Notice the nozzle-thing (technical term) through which it filter feeds.

Obviously, the is RAY Charles - he’s smiling and “into” the blues…

Looks like “Sugar Ray” to me with those white spots (wink)

OK, OK, I’ll stop with the eye-roll-worthy humor and get to the sewing stuff now. You’re welcome.

This week for Round 5 of the Stay at Home Round Robin, our hostess Gail of Quilting Gail called “4” as the challenge or theme for the round. She explained that we should use an element of the number 4 to guide our additions; a star with four points (think Friendship Star), four colors, or whatever. I decided to make Rail Fence blocks with four fabrics/colors for my border.  

Although I had no more of that center parrot fabric, I tried to use all the colors of that print, including pulling in some black background prints that had the cheddar and orange in them. The strips were cut at 1.5x4.5” to make blocks that will finish at 4”. I did have to add a few extra strips as coping strips since the measurements weren’t necessarily divisible by 4. But it worked out. The quilt top now measures 39x45.5”, with one more round to go. I can’t wait!!

In between house showings (and cleaning and laundry and errands), I managed to pin baste my secret sewing quilt. I am determined to get it quilted on Sunday. Reveal will be March 6.

And we can’t forget the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. For Red February, I added four simple 8” windmills to the collection. 

And finally, I snapped this picture on a blustery and rainy Monday, which was Presidents Day here in the USA. 

As for the house sale, we’ve had one ridiculous offer. It was from investors looking to flip the house and make a quick buck. We were told to expect at least one of those. We basically ignored it and let the response deadline expire. I would’ve preferred a “Not only No, but HELL NO” response, but it’s easier just to ignore those types. The good news is that there are two different families who have visited the house twice, one couple staying an hour on their last visit. And more showings scheduled for this weekend. We expect we’ll have a real offer soon.  I certainly hope so, as we have made an offer (and it has been accepted) for a condo here in Murray, about six blocks away. But it’s contingent on getting and accepting an offer on this house within the next three weeks. Hold a good thought for us!

Friday, February 16, 2024

When the Going Gets Tough . . .

When the going gets tough, the tough have to take a one-week break from blogging. So, last Saturday I was finishing up the painting I needed to do on the house - 2 bedrooms, baseboards and a kitchen wall. We also had our contractor here adding baseboards to a closet I never finished, and fixing a leak in one of the storage sheds. The photographers were here on Monday. One took aerial photos and the other took interior photos, and we were fortunate enough to have sunshine that day. The listing went live on the Multiple Listing Service on Tuesday, and I was a crying basket case the entire day (stress relief?) The home showings started on Wednesday. We’ve had 3 showings so far (Friday night as I write this) and have an Open House scheduled for tomorrow. As well, there are 4 additional showings scheduled over the next three days plus a notice from one broker to be expecting an offer already this weekend. Head = spinning. 

But the good news (or should I say Additional Good News?) is that I actually got some relaxing sewing time in this week. Some of it is secret sewing (whose reveal date is on March 6), but much of it is Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing. 

Finished: two 12” Star blocks. I love these so much! These were done week before last. 

This week I sewed 18 string blocks at 6.5”. No plans yet for them. I’ll be linking up to Scrappy Saturday when that link party goes live in the morning. 

I’ve also been keeping up with the Stay at Home Round Robin (SAHRR). Here was my progress from week before last - Triangles, as called by Emily for Round 3. 

And then this week, Brenda at Songbird Designs called Square-in-a-Square (aka economy blocks). 

So, I am current with this, too! Yay! 🎉. I can’t remember the size of the top offhand, and I’m ready for bed and am NOT going down to the studio to check it. I think it’s 30-something by 40-something at this point, with two more rounds to go. 

By this time next week we hope to have a sold home, a newly purchased condo, and be well on our way back to sanity. Oh wait, then there will be packing and moving. Oh well, sanity is overrated anyway….

Friday, February 2, 2024

How to Pass Winter in the Blink of an Eye

Yeah, I know there’s plenty of winter left here in the Northern Hemisphere. But it did feel like spring for several days here this week, which is like an unplanned vacation in my book. I actually was able to get out in the yard for a couple hours on two days to spray weeds and do some garden spring cleanup.

And the winter really is flying by, helped by the relentlessly-approaching mid-February deadline (self-imposed, but now set in stone by a date with a photographer) to get the house photographed for the MLS listing. So let me gab for a few paragraphs about that before we turn to the meager sewing I got done this week! 

Last Saturday my son Ryan and DDIL Kim came over and helped us take stuff out to the backyard junk heap. We had lovely, sunny weather. Then we shuffled desks, bookcases, beds, etc. to make the three upstairs bedrooms more presentable (staging the house for showings). Kim and I hung or re-hung photos, put out fresh greenery and bedding, etc. Then we relaxed and went out to dinner and just had fun. 

On Monday I went to get my annual cortisone shots in my shoulder, so I didn’t do any wall painting this week per doctors orders. Oh, and we got the credit pre-approval process done with the title company we’ll be dealing with. I arranged for the windows and screens to be cleaned on Tuesday, inside and out. We also scheduled the junk dealer to come on Tuesday. They hauled away so much stuff, and the beauty of it is that they will donate/recycle anything useable (bookshelves, some electronic equipment, wood, etc. So on Tuesday all of that - windows and junk removal - happened according to plan. Big sigh of relief. I still have some furniture to give away and will be posting those photos to the community website later this weekend. 

Later in the week, we looked at a condo, made an offer, then spent a restless night of dread, realizing the work that needed to be done on the new place was not what we wanted. We don’t need a renovation project, just a future home. So we rescinded our offer before the sellers had a chance to respond. In so doing, I came to realize that I’m overly anxious about this process of timing the selling of this home with the buying of a condo. Basically, I’ve never done it before! When I was married to my first husband, we built the two homes we lived in. When Bruce and I got together 22 years ago, we rented this house for the first six months. We fell in love with it and bought it. Easiest “move” we ever had; went to the title company as renters and returned home as owners. 

So, all that to say that my sewing time was precious little this week. My first priority, however, was adding the second border to my SAHRR (Stay at Home Round Robin) piece.  

Also, I’d like to apologize to everyone who left comments last week. I read and appreciated every single one, but never got around to answering any. Shame on me. I’m thinking maybe sleep time is overrated, 

This week was Anja’s turn to call out the next round, and she chose “two colors” as the challenge. I wanted to pull out some orange from the center area, so chose orange and white as the two colors for my next round. 

That bottom edge looks a little wavy, which happens with borders if you’re not careful. But it might be my pinning. Either way, it will be corrected before the next round.  I’m linking to the SAHRR link-up for Round Two  at Anja’s blog

I didn’t forget my beloved Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week, no matter how busy I was. But truth be told, it took next to no time to whip out these Color Stix blocks by Cynthia Brunz in February’s RSC color of the month, red. 

The Color Stix quilt, when completed, will be sent to Cynthia Brunz for her Compassion Quilt drive. 

And in case you were wondering (or even remembered) about my personal Quilt Kit Challenge, I did not finish the third January quilt yet. It, along with the “green strings and blobs” quilt top I made still need to be basted and quilted. But they have backings and are ready for their turns under the needle. 

But that didn’t stop me (and Ruby and Cousin Kim) from picking the numbers for my three quilt challenge packets for February. The numbers we picked were 15, 21 and 22.  Here are the corresponding bags of scraps and yardages: 

On Kit #15, which is another bag of 2.5” strips I coordinated at some point, I am so tempted to do another quilt where I merely sew the strips together along the long edges, like the one I did last month. It would show a total lack of creativity on my part, but desperate times call for desperate measures. On the other hand, if there are too many (I haven’t even counted yet), I could do a simple rail fence quilt which would be easy and fun. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

So tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to an Open House for a move-in ready townhouse in nearby Holladay here in the Salt Lake Valley. And then a stop at Target for another comforter and Home Depot. I will also be spackling holes in two walls of our downstairs office/bedroom in preparation for painting next week. 

There is a light at the end of this house-prep tunnel - I can see it! Or is that an oncoming train?