Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our new home in Englewood Florida

So we dodged our first real estate bullet and scored on our next find (previous post, Part II)! This is a picture of me with our closing papers in our lanai room next to our cloud shaped pool (Jeff has informed me that this is the official shape of our pool). I think I'm in love now! I think Jeff feels the same way, but I feel so at home here. I know the dogs like it and I will do my best to post a video of Sadie and Max near the pool. Fenway will absolutely go out of her way to completely avoid the pool situation at all. We got her in the pool once to see what her capabilities were when we were right there. The poor dog was so scared and did not even try to navigate the steps (as Sadie and Max learned fairly quickly). The video and/or any photos of the pool will likely NEVER include Fenway. I will see what I can do about posting a video or two on TotheMax!
See you soon.

Bringing back brunette: the end result with a photo!

So as promised to my mom and to the satisfaction of many as well as myself, I shut down the blonde project. That experience is finito. I went into a salon and wanted to get my hair back to brunette. The responsible stylist and colorist DawnMarie at New Wave Salon in Englewood, Florida (my new home town by the way) assessed my needs and wants and told me to come back at the end of the week and warned me it may take a while to recover the normalcy of my brunette self. As normal as that is. We discussed that she would get all the brunette out.
On Thursday, I walked back through the same door and selected a few pictures that would give me a super fresh start at being the brunette that I am. I realized that a cut would be in order. I wanted to chop off any last dead ends and just START OVER. So what you see is the end product! DawnMarie got me to a very fresh easy to style (well, relatively took me 45 minutes to do it myself, but the more I do it, that number should be shaved off by at least 12 minutes I hope!). I am really happy with it! I think that maybe, down the road, I may get highlights. DOWN.THE.ROAD!!! I am going to savor the dark dark brown. I am taking very good care of this healthy crop of hair this time around. I have a great shine agent (and yes, I got it at Walmart: Rusk works pretty well, though!).
If I can achieve my own blow out looking something like this, I will be quite satisfied. Until summer humidity in Florida.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Header for my blog description seems obsolete, I know!

I was reading my profile description and my blog's header/tag and I realize I need to update this and update some photos. I think I will need to get new photos to show we found our warm climate. I am off to grab some last minute things before I pack to head back to Golden to pack up the Colorow property. I will fix this all in the next several weeks!

A real esate saga in two parts: PART II: Finding the dream house

So, it worked, for a day. We looked at Craigslist rentals. I found one immediately and Jeff said, "go for it, that sounds great". So I responded to an ad for a rent to own near a quaint little village called Olde Englewood. This was an area that our first waitress hinted at on our first day EVER in the Venice/Northport area. She actually continued to hint and we took the hint. How long did this take? January 22 to about February 6 or so, to be exact!

We decided that February 9, we had to be out of our RV park, so we were going to have a nice lunch in Olde Englewood around February 6th or 7th, stalk this place that I found (the owner responded back, stating that dogs were fine as the owner liked dogs, but there was no fence), then off to Punta Gorda to reserve space at the RV park. We loved the neighborhood instantly. There was an arts alliance gallery, a playhouse, gift stores, some antique stores and even a corner market (on the corner closest to the mystery property. I told Jeff that I did not have an exact address, just an intersection, so we were hoping there would be a for rent/sale sign to give it away.

We found the house and a couple fixing something on the side. It turned out to be the owner and her platonic guy friend. I apologized for stalking her property, but she laughed and said she was glad I stopped by. Jeff & I walked in. Instant Love. I am telling you, this was it. This IS it. The only thing there was to fix were a few things that the owner brought up. We even got a flooring/dishwasher allowance. We had a pool. We had a ONE level layout. We had a wonderful home. Now, about the closet space (my compromise in the real estate bullet): Dolly (owner) took ME (not Jeff) to see my future closets. Yes. I said CLOSETS plural. I had TWO walk in closets. Jeff has one closet in the bedroom and another shelving area near HIS bathroom. I am partly speaking in jest. Of course, he can use the master bathroom (complete with dual sinks, garden tub, vanity table and stool for me, closed off toilet room, spacious shower stall, fully tiled), but he has his own. That way, he can put his stuff around the way he likes and I promised I won't nag him. I am getting ahead of myself. We have barely finished the tour of the house. The pool /lanai room is another story. Wow! There are drains in and around the pool, a hurricane shutter (as well as special window coverings), and a pool closet for all the pool supplies. She took us on a tour of her property (both lots) and Jeff was very impressed with some water plumbing stuff I did not know much about. I think he also liked the shed ("I could do all my stuff out here"). I am thinking he really loved it too. I did not have a list of anything, but the carpet, to fix. That was pretty impressive and I told Dolly so (as I am pretty picky). We immediately liked Dolly and her friend. Dolly worked in Denver for quite some time and we knew of some of her work in the music industry. We were not dealing with the same mentality of person as we were just days ago. We knew we had to make a deal. She had some what of a deal with other people. We made it happen. We both knew it was "the house" for us. We went home and smiled all night and talked much of the evening about our plans to take care of the Colorow property. I didn't get sick. I didn't feel nauseated. I felt right. We realized that we had dodged a big bullet because we were meant to be ready for this opportunity.

The next day, we had everything ready for our closing. We got our paperwork pretty much done on February 8 & 9th and we moved onto the property on that Tuesday. We felt like even though we are going to make some sacrifices in order to get into this property before selling the RV or the Colorow property, the sacrifices were completely worth it. We are so excited about the new property. I will see if I can figure out the photo in the blog deal and show you a few pictures.

So a new chapter of our lives begins. I went out and got us new iPhones, which we love, with our new area code. I have submitted our new address changes to the USPS. I have been known to hit Walmart 1-3 times a day almost daily since our move date. At what do you know, I am about to head there very soon. For a person who was committed to NEVER going to Walmart, it is a sure sign that times, they are a changin'. Thank God, the Walmart is at least 6 miles from my house. We have no chains in Olde Englewood Village. We have a coffee shop with free wi-fi and it's NOT a Starbucks. We have a corner market for extras and it's NOT a 7-11. We have several hair stylists and none of them are Great Clips. I am truly happy. I have one fear and that is making friends. That's another blog. Another time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm done with blonde

I am done with blonde. know, in case you didn't hear me the first time. The roots were too insane. Not emulating the whole Desperately Seeking Susan look at all. That's what I was shooting for, you know. It did NOT quite work out that way. So, in an effort to get honest with myself, I found a nice and blunt woman originally from New York (but settled in Florida) to help me find me self via my hair color. I told her that a new hair style to start over wouldn't hurt either.

So I made an appointment with Dawn Marie at New Wave Salon in Englewood, Florida (see other blog posting for information on my new neighborhood and the whole real estate deal). She brought my hair back to a very very dark brown (how easily I forgot where I came from) and chopped off a few inches when I showed her a dramatically short hair cut in a look book. She, in three short hours, transformed me into a brunette with a fairly easy hair cut. Right now,with the frizz, there is a bit to be desired, but with a blow dryer and de-frizz stuff, I think I will be a-ok. It feels softer and I am back to being a brunette.

So I was thinking, some highlights would be really cool. Just a few blonde streaks. Just kidding.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A real estate saga in two parts. PART I:Dodging the big real estate bullet and little black faces

So, we dodged a VERY big real estate bullet. It was so big and we almost did not even see it, till it almost hit us both in the head. Yes, it was that big. And I am afraid, a bit embarrassing. I am almost ashamed to tell this little story. I think it is a true testament to staying true to oneself at the bottom line, though we almost did not do that. The bullet was whizzing by pretty damn fast.

Jeff and I decided it would be prudent for me to get a rental/real estate broker to just take a look at what was around here. The rental broker said there was nothing available for dog owners. That was inconsistent with the Craigslist information, but I decided to see what the real estate agent had for me. She showed me a few houses, including a nice little short sale for 78,000. Yes, that would be 78,000. I really liked this house and the next day, I actually had Jeff see the house and he liked it; the agent hinted that her house had a view of the intersecting canals and was for sale. We went to her house.

She showed us her house with nice terrazzo tile; however, I think I started making some mental compromises about the closet space and the decor (wall paper and other tile issues I wanted addressed and fixed upon move-in). I saw past these issues and tried to see the place for what it was, a very open home with a great little floor plan and a view of canals. I swear, though, when she mentioned the alligators, my eye balls dilated a few millimeters. Ask Jeff. I even learned to see past the alligators. Then the agent had to open her mouth and share with Jeff and me the real reason she thinks her house has not sold. So let me tell you and please don't judge me, we should have walked out right then. Really, Jeff and I should have said "thanks for your time, but I think we will keep looking". We did not. We listened to the agent explain that "the people across from us are from Haiti. They are quiet enough and one actually is a nurse. But I think their little black faces are really hurting the neighborhood and my chances to know they are nice and all but those black faces scare people". OhMyGod. See.I told you. We should have not just walked out, we should have RAN out. The fact we hung out for more in order for a shot at this house made us feel dirty at the end. So not only did the "little black faces" disgrace her neighborhood, she went on to say she had a "suspicious contract from homosexuals" who may have wanted to sign a contract site unseen. She refused to sign it because she wanted to see who was going to live here, because, after all, she was going to be living up the street in her new house (another red flag we ignored immediately, but not ultimately). She actually could have had this house sold if that was all that mattered. It was NOT all that mattered. She wanted to see WHO was living in her house. And what do you know, she said "the homosexuals" refused to come to the table to sign the documents (do you think they were concerned about being judged?hmmm...). This was another opportunity to run very fast and very far away. But we didn't, because we thought we liked the place. We thought it was too good of a deal to pass up. So we left and had a deal. I went home and vomited. I felt sick and I didn't know why.

The next day when the comment about the "little black faces" and "homosexuals" and their "bad" contract came up. By then Jeff and I had lunch and he made me painfully aware of all the things that I would have to be satisfied with and made me commit to being okay with upon move in. It occurred to me that I was not okay with these compromises (carpet, wallpaper, kitchen decor). We had a financial deal that we were going to present to the agent/owner. When we got to the house and she started to mention these 'little black faces", I started to get the nauseated feeling. I think that is the dirty feeling that I got over all when we walked away from this. Jeff cringed, I think. I am not sure,but I know he was feeling a bit spiritually under the weather for taking a deal from a racist bigot. Fortunately and some how, she did not want to accept our financial proposal. We said we would call the next day with our ability to accept the proposal she presented. We left.

That night, we realized we were not taking that house. Honestly, we felt like shit. We felt dirty for almost accepting a deal from someone so racist. Although both of us found it slightly humorous that I would probably befriend the Haitian nurse and compare nursing stories with her. We knew we could not buy this house full of disrepair and bad karma. We knew she would be right up the street. I could not bear to show her the changes I made in the house. We gave each other a big hug and I promised Jeff if he did the morning dog walk, I would call this woman. The next morning when I called the woman, she informed me "oh after you left, I felt so sick and had an immediate headache and stomach ache about the whole thing". "You got sick?", I asked!! No, I didn't really ask (and some of you are wondering,I know...because you know me). She "totally understood" that we couldn't make the financial commitment.

We dodged that real estate bullet. Big Time!
So then, we said, for sure, we will stick with going through Craigslist rentals and not making such a big commitment.
Until the next day. Literally.