December 23, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here and getting colder by the day, brrrrr. By December 26th the high may be only 3 degrees above zero. Yuck! But it's nice and cozy inside, and filled with the scents and sights of Christmas and Yuletide!

Today I made a crock pot full of my easy-peasy Beef Burgundy, made with a soup can full of sweet red wine (to rinse out the soup can, of course), and four other ingredients: beef (this pot I used beef already sliced in the package for beef stroganoff, and then cut the long thin strips into bite sizes), a can of Golden Mushroom soup, an 8 ounce package of whole button mushrooms cut into halves and thirds (depending on cap size), and a packet plus a little extra of a second packet of dried onion soup/dip mix. I also added a generous helping of ground pepper, dried thyme and dried - and aged (a year and three months, yikes!) of whole basil leaves that I ground up in between my fingers. Then the pot cooked on the "low" heat setting for 4 hours, with only one stir half-way through. The scent permeated the house and even managed to waft out to the street - wowsers - guess I need to get some additional insulation in these 1956 walls! My mouth was watering by the time I made up my first dish (over on-purpose a bit dry mashed potatoes) and gobbled it down, then had half a second dish as well! Now I want a nap.

I have my dark chocolate covered Queen Anne brand cherries (a Christmas must!), Beringer White Zinfandel wine, plenty of new fuel for my gel fuel fireplace and a host of Christmas movies to watch. Best of all, Solstice is done and we had a bit of sunlight day, late this afternoon. Every day, although it is not noticeable right now, it will get lighter a few minutes earlier and the Sun will sink below the horizon a few minutes later each day until the Summer Solstice on June 21. The worst is over, except for the bitter cold of January and February. I think I will go visit my friend Isis in Las Vegas in March - that always perks me right up :)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all, and may the Season's blessings shower you with good fortune for all of 2018.

Jan

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shopping for a New House: House 1

Scrreeeeeeccccchhhhhh!  The sound of smoking brakes as Jan's plans for Maison Newton do a 180 and - I'VE SOLD MAISON NEWTON.

OHMYGODDESS.

The house was NOT on the market. I got an offer out of the blue and, well, here I am. Desperately looking for a new place to live.

I had planned on downsizing - at age 65.  I'm still 2 1/2 years away from that.

Let me tell you, darlings, after the horrid experience I had with certain listing brokers in 2009 when I listed Maison Newton for sale, I was really really gun shy about ever using a broker again.  My sale - no broker involved. It's totally private.  Totally fell into my lap from -- probably the Goddess Hera (a mother goddess of family and the hearth in the most ancient times) had a hand in this.  Maybe a not to subtle kick in the butt from the Goddess that it-was-time.  Sooooo, thank you, Hera. I think.

Here is the house I'm putting in an offer for (not at the list price of $169,900, which is too high considering what else is on the market in the immediate area).  A one level Milwaukee style ranch, partial brick with siding.  Kitchen and bath totally redone. All floors natural hardwood refinished, not a speck of carpeting anywhere.  Tile in the bathroom and kitchen/dinette.  It is not a large house -- 1073 square feet, three bedrooms (no pics of them published here but they all have redone closets with good space) and one bathroom (small, but beautiful, shower over tub). No lower level rec room or separate laundry/furnace room or bath/half-bath. It's an open basement, clean clean clean.  Potential for future build-out is there:

The front.
 
The front from an angle.

Back yard patio view.
 
Back yard rear view of house. I would put in a patio door where the
large window is to the right (dinette window).
 
Living room view from the entrance.
 
Bathroom totally redone.  New vanity (check out that hardware), mirror,
light fixture, and on the opposite side, fully tiled shower over tub with glass
doors and a 6 inch wide strip of glass accent tile.  Tile floor.  Quartz countertop.
All in neutral tones.
 
Bathroom view 2, showing tub/shower.


Kitchen - totally redone.  Maple cabinets, check out the drawer pulls,
stainless steel appliances, tile floor. Back lighting on top of cabinets.


Dinette area, view toward kitchen.


View of dinette area toward rear door and stairway to basement. Yes, I
think that window wall on the right is begging for a patio door that
would open to the backyard.  The back door opens to the driveway.
 
It's a lovely house. About 500 square feet smaller than Maison Newton but then, I don't need all of this space, just me rambling around here now that Mr. Don has passed.  The yard gives me enough space for beautiful flower beds, but is much more manageable to mow (front and back).  There is a generous 2.5 car garage, bigger than the 2 car standard I have now.  The curved patio area is new within the past year.  There is a nice sized Norway maple which will grow huge and shade the entire yard unless I stay on top of it and have it pruned out once a year.  There are only 3 entry streets into the subdivision.  There is no through traffic, only local residents, so despite being 2 blocks away from busy South 76th Street and my Walgreens, Pick 'n Save and bus stop that takes me downtown (about half a mile to the south), it is peaceful and quite here.

Fingers crossed!  I electronically signed the offer papers this evening when I got home from the office.  My buyer broker is not feeling well, so I don't know if she was able to submit the offer this evening.

I do have a Plan B, and even a Plan C, if necessary, but Plan C -- oh my!