Bad Chi

I’ve heard people say that when you attempt to sell your home, bad things will inevitably happen. And they do. A while ago, a neighbour told us how he’d managed to burn down his kitchen (perhaps a slight exaggeration on his part) right before they listed to sell. Being in that position myself, I soon learned that no-one is exempt from the bad chi.
Here’s the crap list:
1. The garage door failed to work the evening before the Realtor was coming to do a walk-through. Cost to repair: $35.95
2. We put Ian down to nap and an hour later, he’s still fighting it. Exasperated, I removed the child lock for the door knob and put it on the inside of the door. About 5 minutes later Bryan went in to check on him. We failed to remember we’d placed a paint roller in a plastic bag and wrapped it for later use and left it in his room. He re-did part of the wall in a contrasting colour, striped the carpet in two different areas and had covered his hands and feet. Knowing should have been in bed when he saw Daddy, he ran for it and got latex paint on his new bed-in-a-bag set. Cost to replace: $59.99
[We were in too much shock to scold him, and he ran into the other room chanting “Ian in tubble…” He fell asleep within minutes of being placed in his crib, the little snot. See pics.]
3. That evening, I went to retrieve towels from the washer, only to find them still sopping wet. I checked the dial, it said it was done. Weird, this has never happened. I ran the spin cycle again and watched it merely aggitate the towels. On remarking to Bryan he deduced the pump must be out and researched how to fix it. Thanks to the Yellow Pages we found a dealer nearby. Cost for new part: $83
4. After disconnecting the hose to the pump and catching all the water, a Matchbox-sized extendable fire truck ladders were found. Replaced everything and kept new part aside, just in case. It worked fine. Debated for 3 days whether to keep the part (store owner told us how the motorised pumps on front loaders last anywhere between 3-5 years. Our washer is 4½ years old.) We returned the part and got our money back.
5. While painting the ceiling in the hall, Bryan lost his footing and kicked the paint can, toppling it over and spilling a mid-size dog amount of paint on the cover we’d placed on the floor. It wasn’t waterproof, but I managed to leg it upstairs before it seeped through and assist Bryan in removing it carefully.
6. The evaporative cooler hadn’t been working properly for a few weeks and we brushed it off thinking it couldn’t keep up with the high temperatures. We should have realised it was a technical issue considering it was a balmy 86ºF in the hall where the cooler was. Even though the outside temperature was a paralysing 102ºF, Bryan went on the (very sloped) roof to check for pump failure or whatever the cause was. On opening the cooler he noticed a colony of wasps had built a hive around the water outtake that wets the pads and said pads were solid. Needless to say the wasps’ nest didn’t last long and a calming 69º returned to the house.
7. We’d been holding a couch for someone and had it in our basement for a while. Knowing we were leaving, it was time to remove the couch and return it to the owner. Getting the couch down there was relatively hassle-free, however, the laws of physics worked against us while retrieving it and everything went pear-shaped. Turning the couch around to the right just outside the top of the stairs was more difficult than anticipated. It refused to go anywhere. Anywhere but forward. Luckily the momentum was stopped before the damage was worse. In its wake was a hole the size of a healthy grapefruit, all the way through the drywall. Thankfully there are small inventions called ‘drywall patches’. Nothing a $1 double cheeseburger from McDonald’s couldn’t fix, either.
There were a lot of good things that happened too. We found out solvent removes Desitin from carpet. We found an abrasive chemical that finally removed exterior paint from the doorway steps that the previous owners left. Folex carpet stain remover works a charm. Spending $10 on ‘hammered effect’ spray paint for outdoor light fixtures and house numbers makes your real estate agent think you spent $200 buying new ones. A fresh coat of paint works wonders on a front door frame. Simple Green in spray form takes out stubborn surface stains from the carpet. Removing stenciled ivy from above the pantry door changes the ambiance of a room. And neither of us wanted to be blamed of stenciling it in the first place.
Keeping the home in a pristine form has been less hassle than I had anticipated. I was more concerned over the maintenance with a two-year-old.
Bryan said, “last time the house was this spotless was…”
“Before Ian was born”, I interjected.
Last week (when I wrote the previous entry) we were back in the Missoula, Montana area looking for a new home. We found a half-acre rambler, 3 bedrooms, 2 bath that suits our needs. The great thing is it’s a new build with great upgrades to the home: maple cabinets in the kitchen, a tiled master bath with a jacuzzi tub, a solid wood front door with a stained glass panel to the side and tiled entry, and underground sprinklers with sod as standard (complete with a few trees and bushes included).
I still feel apprehensive in moving and all the change that’s going to take place. I am more reluctant to leave family behind, but I am grateful that it’s within reasonable driving distance (7 hours non-stop). See what happens when you say, “Bryan, I’ll support you in whatever job you decide to take”? Now we’re off to Montana.
Bryan flies out on Monday evening to start work Tuesday. I feel a little reluctant to be left alone with a rambunctious two-year-old.  Oh, and by the way, did I mention I’m 21 weeks pregnant with another active boy?
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