Celebrating a Real Estate Win

So, yesterday wasn’t all bad. The Bobcat Lair house sale finally went through and funded. That was such a relief. The way things have been going lately, I was not going to believe it was real until a check was in our hands. So, our friends and former real estate partners, Carol and Russell, drove up from Austin and brought us the check.

It’s real! Carol gives Lee the check, with happy mariachis looking on.

We met at the El Charro restaurant in Cameron, where we had delicious food and celebratory margaritas (for many of us). Other than those of us who are professional writers boring those who are not, a good time was had by all. This was really a long time coming, and we still can’t believe we sold the house for its asking price.

Me trying to wrestle the check out of Lee’s hands. Harvey was hoping it was food.

We went back to the ranch for some celebratory prosecco and to ogle the check, which was the largest one we had ever seen (mainly because we didn’t have a mortgage on the house, so there was no payoff to a mortgage company).

We were very impressed, though Russell was more impressed with the prosecco.

I’m so relieved to be able to breathe a little easier, no longer having to pay two sets of utilities and property taxes. We now have some retirement income, too. I’m feeling such relief. And I am grateful for Carol’s and Anita’s help with getting the house sold, too. They both put in a lot of work! It’s so good to have friends to help you along the way.

A toast to old friends.

A bonus to the evening was that Carol and Russell delivered a lovely gift. Carol had re-painted my old metal dining set, which I’ve had since the first house I bought with the kids’ dad (so it’s at least 30 years old). It’s now red, the color of a red crayon, just like I wanted. That made me so happy!

They look brand new!

I can assure you that my gratitude for tomorrow will be for having figured out a way to have funds for my later years, for having loyal long-time friends, and for having family that wants to be with me for holidays. We are very fortunate. That I will not forget.

Absent from My Big Day

My eyeballs are all blurry from trying to make job aids on a very small computer screen. That hurts my eyes. But, it could have been worse. I could have been supervising my move from the Bobcat house. But on the contrary, Anita did that for me. She deserves a big reward. Well, I did pay to move her stuff from Austin. A small token of thanks.

And then, the relatives in Cameron helped with the unloading. I am incredibly lucky to have such a fine support system. I’m sort of at a loss for words to express my gratitude. Yes, me, all inarticulate.

Something else I am thankful for is that Lee hung up the curtains in our bedroom and finished turning it into his office/den. I’ll just sleep there.

According to the team in Cameron, Anita’s and my stuff totally fill the place they are stored. As soon as I get home, MY work of unpacking, downsizing, and organizing begins. It did feel weird to miss my own moving day. And I hope to heck it’s the last one! For sure!

Anita in the empty house.

The moving company we used is Square Cow Movers. Or moovers. They are small and local. Sort of. They are also in Denver. There was no hassle at all booking the move, and from all reports, they were just great. They even helped move this giant refrigerator.

Lee and the nephew has to disassemble it to get it in. It replaces the nonfunctional wine fridge in our pantry.

I highly recommend that company. And the price was reasonable, too! It feels good to have positive things to say about a company.

Over here in Colorado, a nice guy at the condo place found me a good box to mail things home in. That makes up for the unfortunate fact that they installed a family with children who never stop moving the entire time they’re awake upstairs from me. The parents are also stompers, thumpers, and droppers of heavy objects. That’s good, I think, because it makes me want to go home.

It was a bit cold for hiking this afternoon, so I shall visit the hot tub and rest my eyes. And I’ll soothe my muscles from not helping with the move. Ha!

Bye-Bye Bobcat

Dateline: Austin. Today was sorta hard in a few ways. For one, I worked on so many things that my head was spinning, plus I was trying to get packed for my next condo stay. Because of that, today’s brief visit with Anita was my last time in Bobcat when I own it.

We’re looking out at the sunset, as the sun goes down on our time in Austin.

And, whoa, it was windy even for out at the ranch! Gusts were well over 40 miles per hour. It was actually hard to walk, which helped me reach my exercise goal. That’s rare. Things were banging around the chickens and the horses, so I worked on shutting them up.

I need my beauty sleep!

I got everything done in time, including horse and donkey hugs. Apache got his feet trimmed, so there was bonding time for all.

I took a picture to gaze at.

Eventually, the relatives returned from their duties at the Hermits Rest Home, as I secretly dubbed the farm in Yorktown. After watching the dogs frolic in the wind and staring at the pool, Lee and I headed to Austin with my luggage. As Lee shared how thrilled he was to never go over the speed bumps again, I got all sad about selling my house.

Maybe it’s homely outside, but it was a refuge.

Lee reminded me that we plan to come back each month for book club, so it’s not like I’ve left forever. But, I’ll really miss this haven of peace and quiet.

Anita painted the deck!!! What a gal.

I was so sad that I really couldn’t hang around long. I’ll just call Anita Saturday and really talk about her house, her job, and plans. Good thing she’s such a good friend.

My buddy

So, we headed over to the always unique Austin Airport Hilton, the one that used to be an Air Force command center.

View from our room.

They recently redecorated, and it’s really nice now. It was nice of Lee to join me. We’re enjoying some local-ish bourbon and watching some football. I’m glad we get to spend the evening together peacefully.

Quite nice.

I’m looking forward to my trip to Colorado tomorrow. I’ll get to hang out with some old friends, see some snow, and do my annual solo retreat. Of course, I’ll be working, since contractors get no vacation! But I’ll have plenty of afternoon and evening time, thanks to 6 am meetings starting my day off long before sunrise!

It will be fine. I love working in new places. I’m not so worried about getting sick, with all my vaccinations, too. It’s getting better, a bit. Maybe. Knock on wood.

Complaints? Nope.

Well, it’s been a nice couple of days, that’s for sure. The worse thing that happened to me was driving through the confusing world of Dallas, Texas traffic. But, I lived! So, what’s up?

Here’s the progress on the little baby blanket I’m working on. So far it’s very blue and purple, but you can see that will change soon.

House News

The first good thing is that the Bobcat Lair house finally sold! We were surprised it was on the market for so long, but we guessed it’s because the house has zero curb appeal. You literally can’t see anything but its miniature driveway! But the best part is it sold for what we asked for, minus an allowance to replace the deck, though apparently the new buyers are normal people and not afraid of a house with imperfections. Anita says the folks are nice and will fit in well, which makes me happy for our wonderful neighbors.

Pool News

We have good pool news, too. Yet another surface is going in (probably done by now, since I’ve been gone for a couple of days), this is some lovely flagstone that is covering the “beach area” where we can sit in little chairs and the dogs can safely enter. It was another one of the works of art that the tile guys do. Laying the flagstones was like filling in a jigsaw puzzle where you’re allowed to tear up the pieces to make it fit! In the end, it turned out really pretty. I can’t wait to get home to see it all grouted in and smoothed out.

They also did a pretty cover for the fire pit. By the time I get home, it will have a circular opening.

Horse News

Before I left yesterday, I checked on Apache’s eye. It looked way better. However, it sure was hard to keep his head down to put the drops in. I ended up with a sore arm! Glad I had help, for sure.

I look better. I don’t like drops.

Fun Times

I’m in Plano this morning, because I drove up to attend my bonus daughter, Ellie’s baby shower. I’m so happy she and her cute husband are going to have a baby! They announced the name by showing us a cute sign they’d had made on Etsy. I was thrilled to see her name will be Ruby. And they were all dressed in ruby clothing. So cute.

The baby’s middle name came from her grandmother.

I was so happy to see Ellie. There were multiple extremely long hugs exchanged. She is just a dear person and has done so well with her life. I met her when she was in college with my older son, and our families became good friends after we let her stay with us while she was doing summer internships and stuff.

This young woman is a therapist in her own practice now. Go, Ellie.

I am so happy to have also gotten to see her mom, Pouri, who has been a great friend to me for the past decade and more. She is one of the kindest and most generous people I ever met. And the best cook. If you’ve never had a home-cooked Persian meal, well, I’m sorry for you, because they combine some of the most interesting and delicious ingredients. I still dream about a beef dish with some kind of fruit in it that Pouri made once, no exaggeration.

My dear friend, Pouri.

Anyway, it was a sweet party, and then I got to spend an evening all alone. There were no dogs, no noises, and no distractions. I enjoyed knitting, reading, and watching mindless HGTV. Pouri and I agreed that that’s the best part of any trip or vacation!

I hope, so dearly, that all of you get a chance to enjoy your friends, rest, or recharge this weekend or soon in the future. All of this good stuff has really helped me, and I wish it for all of you.

Anticipation of Positive…Stuff

Well, why not? Thinking about good outcomes is way more comforting than listing the major stressors you’re dealing with all at the same time, I think. So here I am anticipating better hair.

The older I get, the more I look like a bunny. Oh well, I declare it to be cute.

I’m also anticipating a nice meal with a friend this evening, and the sale of the Bobcat Lair, which is going more slowly than we’d hoped. The professional photos are up now, though. Check them out!

Ooh. We are in an upward transitioning community.

But, for me, the big anticipation is that Pool of Dreams! Dudes showed up today with bullnose tile for the edges of the pool, and the pretty tile for the waterfall.

Limestone with much character!

I couldn’t see the fancy tile, because they hid it to protect it. That’s probably a good idea.

The pretty stuff is under the black plastic.

They also took away all the forms around the gunite, so it’s ready to get pretty. I can’t wait to get home to see it tomorrow (I’m in Austin for the hair thing.)

Just getting started.

I’ve been enjoying the new job, but it’s making me tired, trying to learn so many things. At least I know the software! So forgive me if all I can muster up are some pictures of my latest ranch office updates. I have matching linen curtains and some art from the Bobcat house up. I like being around my needlepoint and Mom’s embroidery.

I’ll work on being more coherent tomorrow.

Staging the House

Poor Carol has had to work so hard staging the Bobcat Lair to sell. And Anita has done an incredible amount of hard cleaning and packing. But, wow, it looks so different!

The den (Anita’s living area), where you used to just walk down a narrow path.

Removing a zillion books and doo-dads that Anita and I love has made the house look all modern and spacious. It’s weird.

The mirrors are finally up in this bathroom. It’s so beautiful.

Yeah, barely looks like my house, but it should sell fast, we hope. I mean, heck, it has a wine room!

I needed that yesterday.

So, if you know a rich person who wants to live in a beautiful, quiet neighborhood in Austin with amazing neighbors, I can hook you up. Enjoy some more pictures. The professional guy comes today, and of course, it’s raining.

What Makes a House YOUR Home?

Last night, while waiting on some guests to arrive, I took some pictures to remember the Bobcat Lair, my house in Austin, where Anita and I have enjoyed about four years now. I mentioned earlier this week how much I’m going to miss the neighbors, but I’ll also miss having a house I could set up however I wanted and decorate with what pleases me.

I got to have orange things, and dainty furniture (just a bit too much).

I know I’m lucky. Anita’s had to live with my stuff since she moved to Austin (well, she had her own area with her stuff in it, but no kitchen of her own). And Kathleen and her spouse have had to live much of the past two years in someone else’s house, crammed into a bedroom. That’s got to get old pretty fast! Most of the ranch house I tried to keep neutral, brought in the big furniture our residents prefer, and confined my collections to small areas. The Bobcat Lair was all me, with touches of Anita for good measure of course.

I got it all modern, where you can see all through the house.

I love how airy the place is and how well Anita’s plants grow in it (most of my plants are gone). I loved my little kitchen with lime green accents and shiny counters, too. I love shiny things.

Such a pleasant kitchen, and I designed it myself!

I guess I just want to honor all the work and planning that went into fixing this house up (at last) to be a nice home. I wish I could have spent more time here, but the time I did spend was restful, calm, and free of stress. That was the real luxury of the Bobcat Lair!

And my happy yellow bedroom, just for me and my stuffed sloth.

The fact that I got to have my happy colors, my flower art, and my quirky décor items just made my parts of the house MINE. I think we all deserve a place like that, where you we comfortable, because it’s ours. It’s been great having a whole house like that, but now it’s time to move on, and I will, after dwelling a bit on how much I liked my home. I’ll just work on sprucing up my Hermits’ Rest office, and it will be great. There are always options, and I am not complaining at all, just remembering. Enjoy some photos of what made this house mine.

This post was mainly for me, to act as a photo album, but I hope you enjoy peeking in at someone else’s house. I always do!

I also wanted to remember how nice the back of the house looks with the new flower beds and electrical box surrounds. The neighbors did great work.
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