27 September 2006

The auction is over and as far as we know, we did OK.

Tuesday was another busy day. It started early and ended late. Jim cleaned up the breezeway and gathered various "things" around the property that we wanted to take with us. He swept the deck and breezeway, put all the things the Gerlachs wanted in one area, and the things we were taking in another area, etc. He then went to the market and picked up some smaller boxes for Linda's books!

Linda, on the other hand, stayed inside. Her office books were packed, a Lititz 250th Commemorative print was photographed and put on Craig's list and miscellaneous paperwork was done.

The ad for THE entertainment center appeared in the morning's paper and we thought it was a bust. Zero telephone calls. . . . until 11:00 when the first call came in. The man seemed interested and said he'd be here within an hour. At 12:45 when we were getting ready to leave for the auction he appeared, and bought it for the exact amount we had paid! While Jim was helping him load it, Linda was cancelling the ad. One call, one sale. Works for us.

Off we went to Farmersville! When we got there the place was packed! We have never seen so much "stuff" there! As we walked through, we did NOT find our table! We started to panic and then walked outside where they had put more tables! First time we've ever seen that! . . . .and there was our table! close to the spot our "outside" stuff was. At the end of the day, we made over $200 on those two, with Linda's Amish puzzles the big winner to Jim's surprize. Linda knew they'd go over big since that's what the Amish and Mennonites do in the evening! Instead of buying lunch there this time, we each had a chocolate milkshake! What a treat!

Linda, true to her word, tried not to buy anything. She really tried hard, but temptation overtook her and she purchased very old Pennsylvania and Lancaster County history books. Now when I say very old, I mean very old! One of them dates back to 1845! Fifteen books with ten of them being keepers, all for $40! In addition, I "just had to have" a Roseville vase and a wicker dress form. I only made three purchases. . . . . . .

We left the auction about 3PM and followed a farm machine home for about 45 minutes! The traffic was backed up for as far as we could see behind it. After a nap and a sandwich for supper we headed back to the auction to see the furniture.

There was a whole section of Amish-made oak pieces and we went home with a TV stand and end table that matched for our new TV room. After being there for about 2 hours and estimating at least another hour until they got to the area where our "stuff" was, we decided just to leave and find out on Wednesday how we did there.

Today Jim will go back to Farmersville with the van and pick up our furniture purchase and get the final printout of what we are due. On the way home he will stop at the local thrift store and drop off another pile of clothes that have been weeded out as Linda has packed. That is one thing that Farmersville does not take. We'll settle for the tax deduction!

On Thursday, Linda will take more to Farmersville to take just a few more things and pick up the check while Jim goes to work to rest!

26 September 2006


Now that we've reached the two week point, things are moving rapidly! The pace is picking up and sometimes things seem overwhelming!

Last Thursday, after several gentle reminders from Jim, Linda finally booked her flight to California. Usually she goes in December to celebrate Blaine's and her birthday with a joint dinner. Because of Mom's condition it was decided an earlier trip would be better. Ticket was purchased for the first week in November, and not a cheap ticket either! Since there should be minimal packing charge on the move, thus saving us over $700, logic dictated that Linda take that extra $700 and apply it to a Business Class ticket! Jim's suggestion because of the ankle problem. Linda cried because of his kindness and then booked the ticket.

Friday night when we returned home from dinner with friends, there was a call on the answering machine from Bud and Cherrie telling us Mother was back in the hospital!!! Now the ticket to CA is NONREFUNDABLE and if a flight to CA is necessary in the next week or two, do we throw away the $$ or does Linda take two trips?????

. . . . .and if Linda has to go to California in the next week or two, who finishes the packing? Who signs documents at closing? Who directs traffic when our furniture and boxes are delivered? These questions plus many more keep popping up!

Sunday evening we sat in the family room and with the laptop running, chose our telephone service, telephone number, internet option (DSL), yada, yada, yada. We chose Verizon since our cellphone account is with them number one, and number two they were offering some very cheap rates as an "internet special." Today, via e-mail, they notified us that they had sent the DSL kit to the new address and it will be arriving today. Now they confirmed the connection date of 10 October, why on earth did they send the kit now??? Another call to Stacie to tell her to set aside that package!

In addition to that, Verizon called to inform us that the "previous" owners had not disconnected their phone service and it must be disconnected before our service would start. DUH!!! I explained we were not taking possession of the home until OCTOBER 10TH and that was the date they had confirmed via e-mail. She said. . . .. and I quote "the current residents have an independent phone service and it takes longer to disconnect than if they had Verizon." Huh?? I told her they had ATT and she said it was an independent phone company. Hasn't ATT been around longer than Verizon???? Can't argue with customer service! After all they just graduated from high school and know much more than I do!

Yesterday Jim worked, Linda worked at 20 Brookwood. All of the garment boxes were assembled and 4 of them were packed. . . . . . that is after a trip to Lowes to buy more tape! While in Lebanon, no trip would be complete without stopping in TJMax to see what neat things they have. I found towels for the guest bath and a wonderful sculpture for either the bedroom or that long narrow spot in the bookshelves above the kitchen stove. What do you think of it? $40 later, the car headed south.

Before Jim got home, Linda had cleaned out one entire closet, the linen closet, her dresses and slacks, most of her sewing room and another box of books. We're anxious to see what muscleman will carry those book boxes downstairs and into the moving van!

Jim was impressed with Linda's progress and offered to go to dinner. Offer accepted.

Today another ad hits the paper. We are still getting calls from the two we placed last week that hasn't run since Thursday! Jim has decided that the entertainment center we bought from Craig's list is too tall and will look strange so we listed it in the paper for what we paid for it. The calls should start bright and early. The earliest call we've received from any ad we've placed recently was at 5:45AM!!

Linda will pack some more, Jim will pick up yard "thingies" and pack those and we will go to Farmersville and watch the auction. Linda will try to refrain from bidding on anything. No guarantees. . . . .

22 September 2006

What a Busy Day on Thursday!

We started the day bright and early, as usual, although we did not get right to work. We sat, chatted, read our Daily Devotions and then went out to breakfast. Leisurely start to a hectic day.

When we returned home Jim rearranged the cars, taking out boxes, and just leaving furniture items and all miscellaneous items that would go outside at Farmersville Auction. We then caravanned over to Farmersville to set up. We dropped off both car fulls and returned home to fill the Van with boxes and boxes and boxes full of our excess. As we were setting up, we were informed that they closed in 8 minutes for lunch. Now why didn't they tell us that when we first got there??? Anyway, we quickly unloaded the van and did not distribute our items the way we would have ordinarily done. . . . . . and then home again!

Next trip for Jim was to Garden Spot Used Furniture in Ephrata. Jim and Linda loaded the sofa in the van, and what a challenge it was getting it out of the house and then again into the van. It was not heavy, just awkward. Jim left for Garden Spot, Linda left to get her hair cut.

Garden Spot bought the sofa and Jim followed Linda into the development as we both completed our errands at the same time. That aint't never happened before.

We then had to go to Landisville and pick up our entertainment center that we had paid for on Saturday. Fortunately for Jim, the couples young son was there to help load it in the van. That sucker is one heavy puppy!!! We got about 5 miles from their home and Jim realized that we had not got the crown moulding piece that fits around the top. Back to Landisville to pick it up!

When we got home, Linda helped unload it, and we put it on a blanket to push to the middle of the garage. The next time it is moved will be by the movers! Not us!!!

In the middle of this, Linda's brother called with an update on Mom and Paul. Not good. It does not look like they can continue to live on their own and Bud, Cherrie and Paul's daughter, Kathy have been researching options. They will be presented to the McCracken duo within the next week, with the Geriatric nurse and her log, present. If they decide to remain in their home, they are on their own with nobody assuming responsibility for them except themselves. That was at least a 20 minute phone call! And Bud told us details of his accident on Sunday. When it rains it pours!

It was time for Jim to take a shower and Linda to pour the wine! After the wine was gone we went into Lititz to see a computer desk that was advertised on Craigs list for $75. Wasn't the desk for us! Reminded us of various dirty houses we'd seen while searching for our home!

Home again, quick dinner, nap on the sofa and feet up for the rest of the evening!

Oh! Except for the phone call from Barry. Remember Barry? The guy who bought the sofa and then decided it was too big and wanted his money back??? Well, when he was here on Sunday he and his "fiancee" looked at the double bed we had for sale. They didn't make a comment either way about whether they liked it or not. On Thursday he called and wanted to buy it. He was totally surprized to hear we'd sold it!!! "You're kidding!!" was his comment. Like we're just holding our stuff just in case Barry wants something. Duh!

We both collapsed! It was an early bedtime after all the running . . . . . . . . . . .

20 September 2006

Less than Three Weeks to go . . . . .

Sometimes the time seems to just drag, but on the other hand, time has flown! Yesterday (Tuesday) we wrote a list and finished everything on it! Jim made phone calls about disconnecting utilities in Lititz and putting utilities under our name in Lancaster. Usually this is a job that falls on Linda's shoulders, so having Jim do it enabled Linda to accomplish other tasks. He changed addresses on various accounts and called Southern California Edison and changed our address with them. They'll notify our health insurance, dental insurance, and optical insurance! How easy is that?

In the afternoon we met with the insurance agent and went over our coverages on the new home with her. We gave her a check and she gave us all documentation we needed to close on this home. Her replacement estimate came to 50K more than we paid for this home!

After office hours, due to the miracle of technology, we changed our address with Social Security and PennDot online. PennDot's one address change covered drivers's licenses, voter registration and vehicle registrations. . . .all for one form! Social Security was just as easy. I love the internet!

There are very few addresses left to change at this point, and the only thing left to do is take several loads of stuff to Farmersville on Thursday, answer phone calls for a few things I have listed on Craigslist and in the newspaper, and of course. . . . . PACK!

17 September 2006

We've got a PhD!!

That's a Pile Higher and Deeper than ever before! Time is getting short. With three weeks until the movers appear we've been hustling, hustling, hustling! Packing boxes, labeling boxes and stacking boxes was the main activity this weekend! The pictures on this page only reflects the basement pile ~ there are piles in the guest room and living room, too! The living room has all of the furniture pushed to one side of the room and the boxes on the other! The only thing in the guest room that has not been packed are some of Linda's dresses that are hanging in there. Everything else has been disassembled and/or packed in that room.

On Saturday after an intense morning of labeling and moving boxes, we went on "errands." First stop was to check out a Cherry Entertainment center we had seen on "Craig's List." For $100 this unit was an excellent deal, so we bought it and will pick it up later this week. Second stop was for more packing tape, third stop for more wine and fourth stop was to visit friends and relax!

When we got home, we had a call from Barry, a man that Jim knows from work, and he wanted to buy our sofa. On Sunday he showed up with his girlfriend and they decided to buy it. The gave us $200 and said they would pick it up later. Six short hours later, Barry called and said his girlfriend didn't think it would fit in their mobile home. Now that's a pretty good guess since they are not in the mobile home yet, (it's still occupied) so they are unable to really take measurements and they did not measure the sofa while they were here. I guess that's as good an excuse as any, though! Barry will stop by tomorrow for his $200 back.

On Monday Jim works and Linda has Physical Therapy. Before and after PT she will be packing and/or filling holes in the wall where pictures were removed in preparation for touch-up paint.

On the list for this week we have to meet the Insurance Agent, pack boxes, start changing addresses with various accounts and publications, pack boxes, Jim has a Dentist Appt, pack boxes, Linda has a Dr's Appt, pack boxes, make arrangements to have our new utilities hooked up, pack boxes, get things ready to take to Auction, and finally, pack boxes!

12 September 2006

Four weeks and counting!

Today, Tuesday the 12th, gives us exactly 4 weeks until we close on our new home. Each day I pack more boxes and each day 20 Brookwood looks a little barer. Pictures have been removed from walls in some rooms, and unused beds have been stripped. Boxes full of linens have been packed this week, and what on earth am I going to do with all of those quilts?? Extra towels, sheets and blankets I'm taking to Farmersville Auction, but I just can't bear to have my quilts that I have put so much time and love into, sold for pennies!

Sunday I painted the very old metal clothes hamper that Jim wanted me to throw away. I painted the legs and lid a glossy black and the wicker-looking mesh I painted a beige so it looked like wicker. Last night I made a padded top out of camel colored micro suede and but a black glossy button in the middle. It is hot-glued to the top and is a pretty sharp looking piece, if I must say so myself!

Today I will pack a few more boxes, cover the pillows for the white wicker chair and footstool that matches. I will use the same camel colored micro suede and all three pieces will go into the sitting room off of our bedroom. A theme and color scheme has been established.

We did place 4 ads in the Bargain Spot that runs from today through Thursday. The calls began at 6AM for the riding mower and I've received one for the entertainment center so far. We also are advertising the sofa and push mower. Hopefully they all go today. We've priced them low enough. . . . . .

My best friend (who coincidentally happens to be my husband) and I are really looking forward to our new life in Lancaster. We keep thinking that the time is dragging, but in reality, it is flying. Katrinka is confused, but then what is new?? She climbs in empty boxes and jumps from packed box to packed box.

We know she'll love the new house as much as we will. There is so much for us all to experience in Lancaster. City life will be exciting for all three of us!

07 September 2006

It's a new day every day! As each morning dawns we have no idea what the day is going to hold for us! Makes for an exciting life, doesn't it?

Yesterday we made a few more advances towards our eventual sojurn on West Walnut Street. Jim found an Insurance Agent in Lancaster to replace our agent in Lebanon. No sense in traveling an hour just to handle insurance matters now is there? Same company, different agent.

. . . . and then last night we took a ride out to Interiors to see if we could find a sofa we liked. We had already looked at Lazy Boy, JC Penneys and Pier 1 to no avail. Well, at the most expensive furniture store we've been to, don't you know we found THE SOFA??? It was comfortable, yet firm. It was the color we wanted and the length we wanted. It was also a queen size sleeper and can you believe it, it was also in the markdown area?? Besides that, the store will hold it until after we move and deliver it then? How could we go wrong?

Today (Thursday 7 September) was another foggy morning. The Estimator from United Van Lines in Lancaster (Estimator #1) was expected at 8:30 and from the "Family Owned Moving Company" (Estimator #2) was on the calendar for 2PM. In between that I was going to pack more boxes.

At 8:30 sharp, Estimator #1 showed up and we proceeded to go through the house itemizing things I would pack and things they would pack. At 9AM the doorbell rang, and wouldn't you just know, but it was Estimator #2?? What an awkward situation!! I explained to him that I had him on the calendar for 2PM and that Estimator #1 was there at the moment. He apologized and left. Estimator #1 continued to inventory the home, gave me an estimate and left by 9:30 AM. I was very impressed with the professionalism and we will probably go with their company.

At noon, the phone rang and it was Estimator #2, telling me he would not be able to be here at 2PM and that Jim had set up the appointment for 9AM according to the girl in the office. I did not request another appointment and he didn't suggest it. They are out of the picture! I continued to pack.

Jim called the Mortgage Broker and we have locked in an interest rate. One more thing taken care of.

We'll see what tomorrow holds. . .

05 September 2006

We had our "initiation" into our new neighborhood on Sunday evening ~ and are we going to LOVE living there!

From what we've been told, every Labor Day weekend, The Neff family have an "End of Summer" block party. They furnish the Roast Lamb, snacks, Keg of Beer, assorted wines, soda, etc. Their son comes from New York with the Jazz Band he belongs to, and Lancaster Avenue is closed for one block. Everyone else brings a covered dish with either a dessert or a salad, and their lawn chairs. This started in their backyard 25 years ago and has grown to approximately 150 - 200 people.

Don and Stacie Main, the current owners of our new residence invited us so they could introduce us to the neighborhood. Before we went however, we spent time measuring various rooms and asking questions regarding our anticipated move. We could not be dealing with more delightful people! and their 2 year old daughter, Naomi, is a real charmer! We are more excited about this move than ever before. Five weeks and counting. . . . . .

Back to the Block Party. We arrived at the Mains about 4:30 and spent an hour with them. At 5:30 we all went outside where our new next door neighbor, Phyllis, was waiting with a couple from around the corner, Bud and Connie. Bud and Connie will be Don and Stacie's next door neighbor when they move. The Mains love the neighborhood so well, that they are only moving around the corner!

The eight of us proceeded to walk up to Lancaster Avenue with our chairs and covered dishes, chatting about the neighborhood. As we rounded the corner we saw swarms of people, a tent in the middle of the street, heard a Jazz Band playing from the front porch of one of the homes and saw THREE TABLES fulll of cheeses, marinated artichokes, marinated mushrooms, meats, breads, veggies, dips, yada, yada, yada. It was a spread fit for the Roman Empire! We set up our chairs and took our offerings down to the Neff's home. Before we could make it to their front door, however, several people came up to us and introduced themselves! What a thrill! and then we met the Neffs! Now these people own a bakery/restaurant/deli that is one of the most popular ones in the area ~ one I have to go to just before I go to California because I must bring my family Whoopie Pies from there! and what gracious and warm people they are! They made sure we felt welcome and at ease.

Several people told us the history of our home and more than several told us that we were buying into the most desireable neighborhood in the city! This is just a plus to the lovely home we are getting! We met so many people we could not possibly remember all of their names! Everyone seemed to get along well and seemed happy to see each other and welcoming to us.

Several people told us of various get-togethers throughout the year ~ progressive dinners, a Soup Supper where every one brings their own mug, somebody else has a Thanksgiving weekend party, etc., etc., etc. Looks like we'll be busy here! Central Market is within walking distance and then there is "First Fridays" in the City where the Art Gallaries and various stores stay open late, serving wine and cheese, etc. We'll be walking down to that, too.

There are so many opportunities for us to become involved it is almost mind boggling! We are looking forward to it and the time seems to drag. . . . . . . .

02 September 2006

Today was "THE" Moving Sale!

We invited the new owners of 20 Brookwood Drive, for a "sneak preview" last evening and they not only bought a few things, but we gave them a personal tour of the home, and pointed out various idiosyncrancies we thought they should be aware of.

Ernesto was in full bloom as dawn approached and we thought any idea of a sale was futile. Little did we realize, but the diehard garage salers were not deterred by high winds and downpours! They started coming one hour before the posted time! By days end when we tallyed up the receipts of Friday evening, six hours on Saturday and odds and ends we had taken to the auction, our grand total was $80 shy of 1K! This should buy a rather nice sofa, which was our goal! What is left over will be taken to the auction for a little extra in the New House Kitty!

(Know anyone who needs a sofa and loveseat? How 'bout a couple mowers or an oak entertainment center???)

Guess What?? Just as I hit the "Publish Post" button, the doorbell rang and some neighbors who had been by earlier wanted to know if we still had the Love seat. Well, this now brings our grand total OVER 1K!

The Lord is good, indeed!!