Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Murphy's Law

In case you haven’t been paying attention, we decided to wait until spring to list our house for sale, in the hopes that the DC market will have suffered only a minor dip, while the Lewes/Rehoboth Beach market will have experienced a more significant pricing adjustment. Besides, in the spring there will be more buyers who will fall in love with our lovely home, right?

Unfortunately we just can’t seem to stop ourselves from thinking about and looking at homes. We justify this by claiming we’re doing our ‘home work’, pun intended. So last Sun Joe & I decided to drive through some of the neighborhoods we like to see if there were any open houses we hadn’t already been inside. (At this point we know we’ve been inside 90 homes. No, I’m not kidding.)

We started in downtown Lewes and found only 1 open house. It was a house we’d been in before, back in the spring when we first started looking. We ruled it out because:
A. It was too small, and
B. It was very over-priced.
But we’d seen on that the house had been reduced twice. It is now listed at $130K less than it was 6 months ago. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about. We decided to take a second look, since the price had been reduce so drastically. We came to these conclusions:
A. Its still too small, and
B. No matter what the price, it will always be too small.
That’s it. I’m not going through that house again.

Next we drove through Edgewater Estates, the Lewes community that surrounds Red Mill Pond. We drove past the original house I liked that was too small but I designed a 2-story addition for. Guess what? The buyers are completely renovating the house inside and out, adding rooms just like I would have. That was validating. Next we drove past another waterfront home with the best view on the Pond. Its been reduced by $70K, but is still too high. We don’t really like the house, but with its waterfront location and dynamite views, for the right price we could make the house into anything we want. You can’t change a house’s location, but you sure can change a house’s floor plan, space, and appearance. We agreed to keep this one on the radar screen.

Next we went to Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club, where the “water house” and the “pool house” are both located. We saw signs for 3 open houses. The first one was for a waterfront new construction house we’d been in before, so we didn’t go in again. Its way out of our price range, and the upstairs floor plan is a complete disaster. The second open house didn’t merit a tour either, because Joe didn’t like the look of the house or its location in the neighborhood.

Instead of leaving the neighborhood the way we came in, I decided to take another street we usually skip because it has mostly older homes on it that we don’t like. We happened to see a gray cape code with a big “OPEN” flag in the yard. At first Joe didn’t want to go in because he didn’t see any cars. He assumed the realtor must have left temporarily and locked the house. But having no other homes to see, I suggested we give it a try anyway. There was a sign on the door welcoming visitors so we went in. There was no realtor so we could take our time and talk out loud to each other.

The first thing we both noticed was the beautiful, custom-looking light fixture hanging in the 2-story foyer. It had shades made of ‘bubbled’ glass and could easily be a work of art. Then we noticed a chandelier in the adjacent dining room that matched it. Later we would find two sconces in the 1st floor master bath that coordinated with it. I love consistency and attention to detail like that, and we both loved those artful lighting fixtures.

As I normally do without even thinking about it, I started checking off the rooms we want as I walked through this house. Wow, it had all of them: formal living room, formal dining room, family room open to the kitchen, 2-car garage, a 1st floor master bedroom and bath, and 4 additional bedrooms and a ‘bonus’ room upstairs. Next I checked the floors: oak hardwoods finished on site and stained the medium brown I like. Then I heard Joe talk about the dual stainless steel wall ovens and 6-burner gas cook top. When I entered the kitchen I was struck by the beautiful cabinetry and miles of sparkling granite. “This kitchen has everything I want” Joe said.

Around the corner from the kitchen and near the entrance from the garage there was a walk-in pantry and a huge laundry room. On my way to the other side of the house I passed through the family room again and noticed all of the gorgeous, heavy woodwork trim and shadowboxing around the fireplace surround.

Next we went into the 1st floor master bedroom. (There are 3 masters in this house.) I was immediately struck by the beautiful tray ceiling accented by more of that heavy molding. As you’d expect, the walk-in closet seemed more like a Manhattan apartment. The bath had beautiful cabinetry, a 10-foot long granite countertop with 2 sinks, a soaking tub, and a tumbled travertine tiled shower room. A ‘dream bath’, to say the least.

Next we went upstairs to see the other 4 bedrooms. Two of them had private baths, making them master bedrooms, and the other 2 bedrooms shared a hall bath. All of the bathrooms had beautiful cabinetry and granite counters. Over the garage was a good size ‘bonus’ room, which I could easily envision becoming my home office. Before heading back downstairs we paused on the catwalk that overlooked the 2-story foyer on one side and the 2-story family room on the other. “This is a REALLY nice house” I said out loud. We could feel each other’s excitement.

Back downstairs we went out the French doors from the family room onto the large screened porch with stained bead board ceiling. Attached to the screened porch was an even larger sundeck made of that composite decking that resists warping and mildew and never needs to be stained or painted. We walked around the generous yard and noticed the beautiful cedar fence. “Can you believe this? We wouldn’t even have to pay to install a fence – its already here, and its cedar!”

Literally there wasn’t anything we didn’t like. Even the driveway and additional parking area was done in gray pavers that really complimented the color and style of the cape cod. There were trees in the backyard, and a vacant lot on both sides, although we knew the lots wouldn’t stay vacant forever. Even the location of the house was great. Just around the corner was the back exit out of the neighborhood. We clocked it at 1 mile from the house to Rt 1 and the entrance to downtown Rehoboth. We imagined ourselves biking to the beach and not even having to cross Rt 1, due to the underpass.

When we returned to our beach house I poured over the listing brochure, photos, and builder’s feature list. I hadn’t even noticed the Andersen insulated windows and doors, the security system, the irrigation system, the landscape lighting, or the ceiling fans in all 5 bedrooms. The more we thought and talked about this house, the more it became apparent that it was perfect for us! There were enough bedrooms and bathrooms for our family to visit and be comfortable, and even a dedicated space for my office. All the finishes were beautiful and top-notch, and the location was so close to downtown Rehoboth without actually being in downtown Rehoboth. This was it – we’d found our house!

On Mon I excitedly emailed our VA realtor and asked her about the current market conditions, and told her we were considering listing our house now rather than in the Spring. Then I emailed our DE realtor, told her about finding the “perfect house” for us, and asked her to provide us with comparable sales in that neighborhood within the last 3 months. Then I emailed Kerry with the good news. I wanted to send her the listing for the house, but couldn’t seem to find it. This should have been a red flag.

Several hours later I got a response from our DE realtor. She told me the house was already under contract. In fact, it had been under contract the day before when it was open. The builder decided to open the house to showcase his work.

I was so disappointed I just couldn’t believe it. Then I got a little pissed off that the listing agent and builder left the brochures in the “open house” without any explanation that the house was under contract.

When I talked to Joe on the phone that evening I hated to tell him, but knew I needed to. Like me he was very disappointed. But I shared with him the slight glimmer of hope offered to us by our DE realtor. She said she would ask the listing agent if the builder would build the same house on another lot he owned. We haven’t heard back from her on that, and I’m not holding my breath.

Just when we’d resigned ourselves to waiting until next spring because we had no suitable house to buy, we find our dream house. Murphy’s Law. Then after deciding to list our house anyway in order to get our dream house, we find it’s not really available. We’re now back to having no real properties under consideration. Damn Murphy’s Law! Or, is it the Universe ‘speaking’ to us?

Then I started wondering if the Universe was trying to tell us something. We worked so hard to get our house ready to list, and then found ourselves smack in the middle of a transitional market, deciding it better to wait until the market stabilized, since the chances were that the DC market would not adjust as drastically as the Lewes/Rehoboth market. Our offer on the “water house” was beaten by a higher offer, and the “pool house” went to auction before we were able to act. Still we trudge on and find what appears to be the perfect house for us, only to find it already belongs to someone else. Could the Universe be preventing us from acting too quickly and buying something that will soon be valued at less than what we would have paid? Could the Universe be making us wait so we can get a ‘deal’ later on?

I sure hope so.

Drag Queen name of the day: Claire A Net

Monday, September 25, 2006

My turn

This passed weekend was my turn to drive so we can be together on the weekend.

I left work at 2:45 on Fri and didn't feel guilty at all, since I'd worked through lunch 3 days that week, and had stayed late 1 day. I packed a bag and tossed Jordan into the car and headed up to the beach at 3:30. It wasn't very sunny, but it was warm enough to have the top down on the car. I think its funny to see the expressions on people's faces when they see Jordan riding in the back seat of my convertible with the top down. I can almost imagine what they're saying: "Look at that Diva dog", "Driving Miss Doggy", etc.

The traffic was unexpectedly heavy, both in the city and heading east on Rt 50, so it took me 3 hours and 20 minutes (instead of 2 hours and 30 minutes) to get there. Several very unusual things happened too, such as having to wait in Ellendale for the train to pass. That's never happened before. In 5 years, all the times we've gone to and from the beach we've never had to wait for the train in Ellendale.

Shortly after arriving we went to dinner. Joe suggested we try Jerry's Seafoood in Lewes. It wasn't very busy, but the food was VERY good and reasonably priced. We liked it so much we went back for dinner on Sun! After dinner we drove to Rehoboth and walked the entire length of the Rehoboth boardwalk, then treated ourselves to a small cone at Kohr Brothers before heading back to the house. Joe had his usual: orange and vanilla swirl. I had the new Fall flavor: pumpkin and cinnamon swirl. Mmmm...

Sat Joe picked up bagels from Surf Bagel and we ate breakfast at home, cleaned up the house a bit before our new friend Steve arrived at noon. We sat and talked for nearly and hour, then went to the Collector's Car show in Rehoboth. It was GREAT! There were cars from the 20s to the present. All of them were gorgeous, especially the convertibles. There was a spectacular '54 Hudson convertible with a pink and white two-tone paint job. What we really liked was that none of the cars were 'souped up'; they were as original as possible. The day was muggy and overcast, but rather breezy so it was quite pleasant. We really enjoyed the car show a lot. Then we followed Steve back to his house in Dover and hung out while he made a Weight Watcher's lasagna recipe, which was quite good. His partner George was finishing an audit with his accountants. Then the 4 of us visited until it was time to eat, and talked even more after dinner. We had a lovely time.

George and Steve are both retired, and used to live in the DC area too until 5 years ago. We got connected with them via one of Joe's former staff. George used to volunteer as a massage therapist there. When the staff person learned that we were moving to DE, they gave us contact info for George & Steve and I took it from there. I emailed them, explained that we were also moving to DE and asked if they'd like to get together. We had dinner with them and a group of friends last Sat night after DE Pride, and then they invited us to their house this passed Sat. They're very nice guys and I predict they will become friends with whom we'll connect frequently.

Sun we picked up a few necessities at the Dollar Store, and then looked at Lowes for a stackable washer/dryer for the beach house. I suggested that Joe simply bring his laundry home to wash every other weekend, but he feels he should have a washer/dryer there, so we looked. Turns out a Frigidaire stackable set is $697, which is less expensive than we thought. But we're going to wait a bit for that, so we can 'recover' from all the money we spent on the improvements to our primary home. Perhaps in the meantime he will see that with a little forethought/planning, he CAN do laundry every other weekend when he's at home with me.

This coming weekend is his turn to drive so we can spend the weekend together. I'm also making plans so we can spend time with his family and some friends, too.

My temporary tattoo is still there, after 10 days, although its beginning to fade. I've been careful not to scrub my arm with the loufa when showering. I really like the tattoo and when it finally wears off I will probably get another temporary one. It makes me feel HOT!

Drag Queen name of the day: Marsha Dimes

Week #2

This is the start of week #2 of me and Joe living separately during the week.

Last week was kind of hard on Joe. You know how it is when you start a new job and you don't really have a lot to do yet. For him its even more like that because he's not actually working in his office yet. He's spending his days with his supervisor at his supervisor's office, learning the computer system and talking about the goings on of the agency.

I feel a little guilty because it seems that Joe is bothered much more than I am by this separation during the week. Perhaps because I'm still at our primary home, with the pets, with the computer, and with our friends and family close by. I've actually enjoyed being able to watch all the decorating and home improvement shows that he doesn't like to watch. And truth be told, I sleep better alone.

When he gets home in the early evening from work, he really doesn't have much to do. He's been going to the boardwalk every evening to walk, which is good exercise and takes up some time. Its 2 miles from one end to the other and back again. Then he comes home, makes and eats dinner, and its only 7:30. He starts to feel lonely.

I tried to help him come up with some things to do in the evenings in addition to walking and watching TV. I suggested getting some magazines or a good book to read. There's a library right in Lewes so he wouldn't even have to buy the magazines or books. We also learned of a men's discussion group that meets every other Wednesday evening. I also suggested looking for a volunteer position. I think he's just so used to having me and the pets around, its very different for him now.

So I hope this week will be better for him. Once he gets into more of a 'rhythm' of living there he'll want to have Jordan stay with him, which may also help. But since there's no fenced yard, she will have to stay indoors while he's at work so he doesn't want to do that just yet.

We talk on the phone every night. We catch up on how each other's day has been, plans for the upcoming weekend, and any correspondence or phone messages from friends. Its nice to talk every night, but I hope it doesn't make him miss me more. I try to remind him of the big picture: we want to live and work near the beach. We've got the work part of it all figured out. He's started his new job and I can bring my job with me. Its the living part that's going to take a little time. But it is temporary, and we do get to see each other every weekend.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Drag Queen name of the day: Polly Ester

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Monday's trip to Richmond wound up better than I'd expected.

I made a point of arriving early so I could be sure to get set up (and successfully logged in) with the borrowed computer and speaker phone for my 10am client training session. That went well, and was followed by back-to-back meetings. This is literally how my day went:
  • 10:00-10:45 client training session
  • 10:45-11:00 bathroom break and check email
  • 11:00-12:00 product meeting
  • 12:00-12:30 weekly sales meeting
  • 12:30-2:00 enhanced reports meeting
  • 2:00-2:45 damage control meeting
  • 2:45-3:30 new offer meeting

You'll notice there was no lunch break in there. When I realized that all of these meetings my boss and I were scheduled for didn't allow for a lunch break my boss suggested he'd bring lunch in. I knew what that meant: pizza. My boss loves pizza and would eat it every day if he could, so I knew he wouldn't miss this opportunity.

The meetings all went well (ie: no screaming, steamrolling, or bullying) and I was almost surprised how quickly the day passed. I was pretty much spent by the time my last meeting ended at 3:30. I had thought I'd walk around the office and peek into several people's cubicles to say hi, but decided to simply get the hell out of there. For some reason that office has bad energy. I really don't like going there.

Fortunately the trip home was uneventful (no highway closures like last time) so I sailed up the highway with the top down, making it home in just under 2 hours. It was very warm (about 88 degrees) but it was sunny and there was plenty of breeze when you're going 70 mph.

Joe started his new job today. I talked to him this evening and got all the scoop. Already its difficult not being together in the evenings.

Drag Queen name of the day: Mae B Someday

Monday, September 18, 2006


On Sat we went to DE Pride, at Gordon's Pond in Rehoboth Beach. There I fulfilled a desire I've had for months: to get a fake tattoo. I think it looks hot!

I haven't shown it to anyone yet so I haven't gotten any feedback. Tomorrow I'll show the guys at work. After that it probably will have washed off.

Drag Queen name of the day: April Showers

Cell phones

Its no secret that I am not a big fan of the cell phone. I would not own one except for the fact that my employer issued one to me, so I carry it with me during work hours, which is somewhat redundant since I can normally be reached at my desk during work hours. Save for this, I would not have a cell phone.

Its not that I don't see a purpose in them. I have used my phone a few times and found it very convenient. When I was trying to find a friend in a large crowd of people at last year's AIDSWalk, we 'talked' our way to each other, describing landmarks we saw, etc. On my way to the grocery store directly from work I've called Joe to ask if he wanted anything specific. If I were ever to be involved in an accident I'd be glad to have a phone. But I wouldn't pay to have the cell phone.

I've also gotten rather annoyed with some people who it would appear are incapable of drawing a series of connected breaths without their cell phone. How annoying is it when you catch up with a friend you haven't seen in a long time, and they're constantly answering their cell phone? Like they're the President of the United States who must be told that the country is under attack or something.

I think some people used to feel that having and using a cell phone made them feel important. But now you see 13 year olds sitting in Starbucks giggling with their friends on their cell phones. Everybody's got a cell phone now.

One time we had a couple join us for a weekend at the beach. They were our guests, supposedly enjoying spending time with us. But at least a half dozen times during the weekend, one of them would look at the caller id when the phone rang and then answer the phone, only to have conversations of no importance what-so-ever.

"Oh hey! How are you?" pause, "That's good" pause "We're at the beach with Mark & Joe. Aren't you jealous?" giggle "No, we'll be home Sunday afternoon" pause "You better not!" more giggles.

I excused the calls the 1st and 2nd time. After that I just found it rude. Because you have a cell phone does not mean you must answer every single call, especially when you are a guest at someone's home.

On Sat we were having lunch on the patio of a restaurant in Rehoboth. As soon as we were seated, 3 guys were seated at a table behind us. The one guy immediately got a call and proceeded to talk on the phone for (no kidding) 15 or so minutes about some car he was selling. His poor friends couldn't talk amongst themselves or he wouldn't have been able to hear. And as usual, when the cell reception gets a little spotty, everyone thinks the answer is to talk louder, as if talking louder will help the signal clear up. Instead it just annoys the people around you.

When he finally hung up the phone, one of the women at the table next to him said "Excuse me. If you receive another business call, would you mind taking it outside?" I didn't hear him respond, but she concluded with a "Thank you" so I assume he nodded. I probably wouldn't have the guts to make such a request. Instead I would have just stewed for the 15 or so minutes that he was preventing others from being able to enjoy their lunches. But to her credit, the woman didn't interrupt his call. She waited for him to finish and then asked him very nicely not to repeat that. I silently gave her kudos. Joe rolled his eyes and whispered "Bitch".

Drag Queen name of the day: Sue A Neighbor


On Fri Joe got a call from the HR lady, indicating his paperwork couldn't be completed because he hadn't registered with the selective service. When he told me of this, I laughed out loud.

In case you're wondering, there hasn't been a draft in over 30 years, and he is WAY passed the age limit for the draft. What possible point could there be in his new employer verifying that he had registered with the selective service department when he turned 18, 24 years ago? Apparently it is a matter of procedure. It doesn't make sense; it doesn't have to. Its just the procedure, and the HR lady's gonna follow it.

She told Joe she had gone to some website and put in his name and social security number and the site responded that his records couldn't be located. To her this meant he had never registered, and that is what she told him. He told her he had indeed registered, and could not have been admitted into college and grad school without having registered. Unfortunately, it was too late on Fri to call the selective service department, and since this procedure was a requirement for employment, this "glitch" meant he wasn't going to be able to start his new job on Mon.

This morning he called the selective service office when they opened at 9am, they located his original registry and provided him with the number. He called the HR lady with the number and she said she'd have to finish processing his paperwork and would call him back. An hour or so later she called back and said "Okay, you're processed. You can go to work now." He told her he was not in DE, but would report to work on Tues.

So he took some more clothes with him and hit the road this afternoon, to beat the rush hour traffic in the city. He'll start his new job tomorrow. Good luck Joe!

Drag Queen name of the day: Anita Raise

Friday, September 15, 2006

Slow week

Last weekend we had Joe’s mother, brother Louis, and sister-in-law Karen with us at the beach. The weather was spectacular! Not too hot, not too humid – it was gorgeous. We had the sliding glass doors and windows open the entire weekend, and several times we chose to sit on the screened porch rather than indoors. We had a fun time together.

Mon night Joe went back to the beach so he could go first thing Tues morning to get fingerprinted; a requirement for his new job. He decided to stay Tues night so he could meet with the HR/benefits lady on Wed and get all of his benefits selections made. He got his State ID badge too. Thurs he visited the Social Security office to request a replacement for his lost Social Security card, and then he returned home. Thurs evening we had our last Thurs dinner with Evelyn. I will continue to have dinner with her on Thursdays, but since Joe will be living in DE starting this coming weekend, he will no longer be able to join us.

Not much excitement to report. This week was the 5th anniversary of Sept 11, 2001. I lost count of how many 'tribute', 'memorial', and 'always remember' emails I got. Really now, will any of us ever 'forget' 9/11/01? I don't think so.

Yesterday I had an incredibly stressful day at work. From the minute I got there to the minute I left it seemed I was under great stress due to deadlines, service outages, etc. One of our oldest and best clients got very upset and is threatening to seek out a new vendor, due to a long distance outage over which we have no control. Things like that create a lot of additional work for me, in addition to the stress.

This evening we will pack up most of Joe’s clothes and head to the beach in separate cars, since he will not be coming home with me on Sun. Sat we will be attending Delaware Pride, being held (conveniently for us) in Rehoboth Beach. It will be nice to visit all of the informational booths and find out about political and social groups we might want to investigate. We’re also planning to meet a couple at the Pride event who (like us) moved from the DC area and now lives in DE, and then join them and other gay men for dinner. That should be fun. The weather forecast for Sat looks a little sketchy, but Sun looks good so I am looking forward to the weekend.

What I’m NOT looking forward to is Mon. I have to be in Richmond at the corporate office all day. Originally I was asked to come to participate in a demo/meeting from 12:30-2:00. But since I was going to be there anyway, my boss decided to schedule me for two additional meetings, and I have a client training session and our weekly sales meeting that day. I will literally being going from one event to another. I doubt I’ll even have time to sign into my email. I hate being in the Richmond office so I’m dreading Mon, but looking on the bright side I only have to do this 3-4 times a year.

Drag Queen name of the day: Robin D. Cradle

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Okay, I know. Nobody likes it when you normally post once or twice a week and then you go more than a week without posting. I know I hate that when I go to read my favorite blogs. If nothing else, you were probably dying to find out the Drag Queen name of the day. But lemme tell ya, it sure wasn't because I had nothing to say. In fact, I have so much to say that I will have to break it down into sub-posts with bold italic titles.

Homo Improvements
The painters finished last Thurs and the place looks great! I calculated that between all the rooms I/we painted since we moved here nearly 6 years ago and this recent wave of painting we paid for, every room in this house has been painted. Some of the rooms weren't in bad condition, but the paint colors were so sad and depressing that it made the walls look shabby even when they really weren't. While cleaning/organizing the basement I found the left-over paint cans from when the previous owner had some of the rooms painted. The paint cans had computer-printed labels indicating the date of April 2000, so the painting had been done just a few months before we moved here. But the colors were called "Exhausted", "despondent", "Given up", "Suicidal", and "I'm an Old Fogey", so they HAD to be changed.

Rather than go to the beach as we always do for Labor Day weekend, we decided to stay home and tackle the rest of the organizing/cleaning/sorting/throwing away/etc needed before the realtor's return visit on Tues. We worked liked dogs, putting the "labor" back into "Labor Day". But it was satisfying at the same time to see the fruits of our labor. We also had time for some fun.

Little Miss Sunshine
On Sun we met up with Kerry, Hugh, George, Kelly, Ana, Maura, and Evelyn to see 'Little Miss Sunshine'. What a great movie!!! Its both a comedy and a drama, or a 'dramedy' as Kerry reminded me. Its the story of a dysfunctional family that learns that being 'family' really is something. There are some sad parts, but they are greatly outnumbered by the side-splitting parts. A definite "must-see". Afterward we had dinner at Capitol City Brewing Company.

Stress and Arguing
For weeks now we've been working hard to get our house into the best possible showing condition. Making appointments with tradespeople, meeting estimators, reviewing and comparing estimates, selecting workers, checking the work, paying everyone, doing some painting, organizing, cleaning, sorting, throwing away, furniture moving (on several occasions), and even hauling a new/used refrigerator home ourselves - it was more work than we expected. While I was at work all day every week I kept expecting Joe to accomplish things at home, and when he didn't I finally decided to let him know on Fri how disappointed I was. As you might expect, this lead to a big argument. Then Sat morning when we were starting to move furniture (again) we got into another argument. On Sun it happened again and we both got a little out of control with the stuff we said. I'm not going to name names, but one of us threw a cup of dry dog food across the room at the other, in a fit of anger. It was all because of the stress we've been under for the last few weeks. Of course we made up, and Mon turned out to be a much better day for us.

A Welcome Diversion
On Mon Kerry called and invited us to meet them for lunch, and afterward she & I could work on the sewing projects I'd asked her to help me with. So after posting digital photos to the ads I'd written on Craigslist, we drove out to meet them. We walked to a nearby restaurant and ate outside, eventhough the weather was overcast. When we got back to their house we got to sewing and talking and laughing. Afterward the four of us sat on their front porch and talked some more. Before we knew it it was 8:00. We had such a good time, and it was a welcome diversion from all the work we'd been doing.

Bad News
On Tues evening the realtor came, expecting us to sign on the dotted lines to list our house. But first we wanted to know the actual price she recommended we list at. Unfortunately it was not good news. When she'd initially come to the house a month ago she gave us a suggested price range with a $55K spread. Then a few days later we got a letter from her with more info, and reducing the spread to $30K. On Tues night she said the market seemed to be getting worse and that she recommended we list the house for $20K LESS than the lowest number of the price range! Its not that she doesn't know what she's talking about. We selected her because she is a neighborhood specialist and she really tracks the local and national markets. Basically she said 'this is probably the worst time to list a house'.

Needless to say, I was crushed. I felt like I'd spent weeks and months, working and sweating for nothing. It made me think of people who had birthday parties planned for the evening of Sept 11, 2001. Or people who'd spent a year planning a big wedding, only to get appendicitis and have to spend their 'wedding' day in the hospital. Something devastating comes along and takes all the wind out of your sails, leaving you with little more than a sore back and not enough sleep. That night Joe & I stayed up late talking about our 'options', and then when I finally tried to go to sleep, I just couldn't turn my mind off. After tossing and turning for awhile I just got up and watched a movie on Logo until 3am. The next day I called in sick because I was exhausted, disappointed, depressed, and completely deflated. I literally did nothing all day long. It actually felt great.

The Decision
We decided not to list our house for sale right now. Technically we don't need to sell our house right now, since we don't have any house in DE on which we want to move forward. We figured that waiting until next Spring to sell will give the market here a chance to improve, allowing us to get a better price for our house - and - it will allow the DE market to 'catch up' with the DC market (since it is always several months behind). Hopefully in the Spring the prices in DE will have lowered so we won't be selling here when prices are low and buying there when prices are still high. We have our beach house, so there's no need to do anything if the market conditions aren't right.

Joe's New Job
However, regardless of the real estate market, Joe will be starting his new job in DE on Sept 18 so we will be moving his clothes and some personal things to the beach house the weekend just before. Coincidentally, that same weekend is DE Pride so we are happy we will be in town that weekend and plan to attend the Pride festivities and hopefully meet some new friends.

We do not want our house here to appear that no one lives here, so we've decided that I will remain here and continue working in my current office when Joe moves to the beach house. We will see each other on the weekends. Plus, since I've been banking all my vacation days the entire year, thinking I'd want to use them when we moved, I have lots of vacation days that will allow me to have several 3 or 4 day weekends. On the weekends that he comes back here, it'll be just like we still live here. At least that is the plan for now. We'll see how it goes.

Why I Love Craigslist
We don't want to take everything with us when we (eventually) move. Some things just don't work out as well as you think they will when you buy them, or you just grow out of them. Rather than throwing them away I decided to separate them into 4 categories:
  1. Things to throw away
  2. Things to donate
  3. Things to give away
  4. Things to sell

Easy enough, the stuff to be thrown away was bagged and hauled out to the curb and picked up by the trash collectors. Out of the blue we got a call from Value Village, indicating that their trucks were going to be in our neighborhood, asking us if we had any clothing or household goods to donate. I said YES. We went through Joe's chaotic closet and bagged up about 8 bags of clothes he no longer needed, wanted, or could fit into. Value Village came and picked them up so I didn't even have to drop them off anywhere.

Then I put ads on Craigslist for the free lawn mower, gas grill, screen door, and wheel barrel I didn't want. Within hours the wheel barrel and screen door were gone. The next day the lawn mower was gone, and the 3rd day someone took the propane tank but left the grill behind. 3 out of 4 isn't bad.

I also put ads on Craigslist for some rarely used exercise equipment I wanted to sell. Two days later I had $170. cash-money in my hand for 2 out of the 3 items, and I have an inquiry for the 3rd item. Its worked out so well that I am considering listing some more stuff to sell.

Oh, and did I mention the new/used stainless steel refrigerator we bought (and brought home ourselves) came from Craigslist?

Drag Queen name of the day: Anne Tellope