Monday, June 30, 2014

homesickness in waiting

I was sitting at the Easter lunch table reflecting on my family and how well we all get along.  Then I realized that was the last holiday I would be spending with them for a while.  While I will make an effort to come home for holidays, flights are usually at a premium and I may need to postpone my holiday visits, which means I'd' see my immediate family more than my extended family.

I've been very lucky that growing up I had a great relationship with my (extended) family, so that is one of the biggest downfalls of relocating for me, missing out of spending time with family.  

Then I remembered the homesickness I felt when I went to college.  I'd call to check in with the family and heard them all having a great time at a party or all the fun they'd be having. I hung up the phone more sad then when I called thinking about everything I was missing.   When I was in college, my first nephew was born.  Now I have lots of nieces and nephews who I've spent a lot of time with and one on the way, I like to think we have special bonds...and I'll be leaving them.  I think they are going to go through Denise-withdrawal too because I've gone to science fairs, sports games, birthday dinners, played board games, watched movies, played at the park, had sleep overs and even started giving driving lessons.  I hope that in a few years the kids will want to come visit, with their parents or alone.  I can be the aunt they spend summers or winter break with.

Homesickness will be something I'll have to struggle with for a while, but in the end, like everything, I'll get used to it.

Friday, June 27, 2014

contract signing

I left work a little early to sign the papers for the closing.  As it is early April, we are targeting an end of May closing.  Considering this whole process started the first week of February, I am anxious to get this done.

I arrived at my attorney's office; this was the first time I met him.  We went into the conference room and he took out the papers and pointed where to sign.  He explained some of the terms and the requests from the buyers and what he was going to allow and what he is rejecting.  It all sounded great and reasonable.  I signed where I needed to without reading every word and hoped the two months would go by quickly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oh, I have a dog

My apartment listing was clear that all pets required approval by the Board.  After I accepted the buyer's offer and stopped showing the apartment but before they signed the contract, I was told they had a dog.  The rules of the building are vague when it comes to dogs, so I reached out to the Board to tell them the offer I got was for a guy with a dog...would they consider it?  I go back to my broker to ask about the dog, the size, the breed, the weight.   A few days later I get a response and I go back to the Board.  They all OK it.

That night, I was at bookclub and my friend's husband is on the Board.  The gals were asking about the progress and I told them I could move forward with this because the Board approved the dog that afternoon!  One lady asked what kind of dog it was, so I responded it was a doberman-rottweiler mix.  The wife of the Board member flipped out saying there was no way the dog was under 40 pounds, there is no way I can sell to these folks.  The next morning, the Board rescinded their approval.

Unsatisfied with that because I want to sell the place, I ask my broker if the buyers can send a picture and something from the vet stating its size.  A few days later I get this information and send to the Board asking them to but their assumptions to the side, and to review what I sent, and I am the one that suggested a 'dog interview' since the buyer insisted the dog didn't bark and was very well behaved.  The Board must have deliberated this for 2-3 weeks.  There was so much back and forth between them (and I president of the Board for 3 years not that long ago!) and between me.

I thought I brought up good points.  As a non-dog person, dogs in the apartment bother me.  The little dogs bark quite a bit, but yet, they are under the 25 pound rule.  When I asked about this 25 pounds, where it says there is a weight one could find it, it was just something they felt appropriate for the size of the apartments.  Understandable, but clearly not a deal breaker.  So then I ask about the barkiness of the dog. Here we have a big dog that doesn't bark...are they really not going to allow that in favor of another small one that will?  And what about the few people that claimed they didn't know about the dog rule and got a dog without permission, the Board allowed them to keep it!  And here we have someone following the rules, what happens if he didn't, would he have been allowed to keep it if no one complained?  And lastly they were concerned about the breed.  A stereotype indeed.  Not all dogs of a certain breed behaved the same way.  Meet the dog, you'll get a good idea of its personality.  Like I said, I had these conversations over and over again for weeks.

Finally, it was decided one Board member would meet the dog.  A day/time was set.  I happened to follow up and was told the day/time was for that evening...hmm, did they call the buyer? They don't have the information.  Woops, the Board forgot to check his schedule!  So we had to reschedule for the following week.

It was a March Madness game night.  I told the buyer to come 10 minutes early or so, so the dog could get familiar with the apartment prior to the interview.  Last thing I wanted was for it to bark or jump because of the new surroundings.  The buyer and his real estate agent arrived 30 minutes early.  Now, I am not a small talk person.  But here we all are in my apartment and I tried hard to make them feel comfortable.  The dog was unbelievably well behaved.  Not one peep or jump or anything.  It made me consider for a moment that having a dog like that would be a great thing.

Eventually the Board member showed up.  He was the most resistant to allowing the dog but yet, he also had a non-barking bigger dog so I was not sure why he was so against this.  He was in the apartment for all of 5 minutes.  Met the dog asked a few question to the owner.  Then left.

The buyer and the agent must have felt comfortable enough because they said another 15 minutes.

A hurdle was overcome.  A three to four week delay...but now things could start to move along.  Now we can sign the contract.

Monday, June 23, 2014

inspection takeback

The buyers decided they wanted an inspection, and after all the back and forth between the two offers a whole week passed, I said yes of course.   I doubted the inspection would turn up anything alarming and I wanted to be as accommodating as possible to make this transaction move along.

They had the inspection the following day, and sure enough nothing came up that would make them decide against purchasing so it was time to sign the contract.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

the offer

I had a couple look at the apartment a few times, they were considering purchasing it as an investment by renting it out.  But time kept passing and I never heard back.  They were also purchasing an apartment in Manhattan and that took priority.  A few months later they resurfaced and looked at the apartment an additional two or three times.  I was so happy they were still interested and I figured an offer would come soon.

It did.  But it was extremely low.  My real estate agent even told them I wouldn't accept their first offer, they had to do better before she even contacted me.  Bonus point for my agent.  For about a week we negotiated, they were not going to come up to where I needed, so I started to crunch numbers to see if I could go as low as their maximum offer.  I'd still walk away with some cash, but not as much as I would have liked...but then again, I'd save some of that money after closing which would help put a small dent in the difference.

But before the contract was signed, I had another showing and they did not leave any feedback.  My agent called them to ask if they were interested because I had an offer.  Turns off they were interested, they also submitted an offer at asking price.

Asking price would have been great!  Their offer letter also stated no inspection would be necessary.  Aside from the more money, what I liked about offer #2 was that the person was going to live in the building and not rent it.  Since I lived there and was on the Board, I know the importance of not having too many renters. I accepted this second offer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

selling the apartment

Eight years ago after I breakup, I considered moving far away, but I realized I was sad and needed my family more, so I moved near them and bought a condo.  Three years ago, I was doing a lot better and again thought about moving far away.  I applied to jobs in all locations, and decided to rent my apartment so if these far away places contacted me, I could leave quickly and accept the job.  I ended up taking a job in NYC.  When my tenant left, I listed it the apartment for sale but moved back in after a few months because it looked better with furniture.

Having a place on the market while living in it, as many of you know is a lot of work.  Before I left for work everyday, I walked around the apartment to straighten it up and then in the evenings I would dust, clean, wash dishes, etc.  The apartment was always immaculate just in case someone decided to stop by to look at it. 

The apartment generated some traffic, but I didn't have any biters until February, and then I had two.  There were pros and cons with each, and in the end I chose the buyer that offered more money but I spent hours for a few weeks working on getting his pet approved by the Board, delaying everything by 3-4 weeks.  We signed the contract in April and hope to have a late May closing.  

Selling this apartment means a lot to me, not only because it gives me the freedom to move wherever, but also because of what this apartment symbolized.  The apartment was purchased in heartache and was good for me to live alone and be independent; heal from that sadness and emptiness.  In the end the apartment is sold in heartache because it reminds me of ManFriend and all the time we spent here together.  While the apartment was a constant in my life for six years, it is time for those memories to fade even more as both of those men are out of my life forever.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

it melted my heart

I was sleeping/resting in a king size bed with my eight year old nephew.  We had a really late night so when I heard him talk, I wasn't sure if he was talking in his sleep or was awake.  He said "I love you Aunt Denise" and then fell right back to sleep.  I told him I loved him too, and brushed the top of his hair.  It was the sweetest thing. Moments like that, I am so grateful for the wonderful relationships I have with my nieces and nephews and that they appreciate it.

Friday, June 13, 2014


I had a work meeting in Portland, OR. I was looking forward to getting away for a few days, even if it did mean long days.

Chocolate Mousse
My first day there, after my meeting, I met up with Mountain Man and his friends for dinner.  We went to Ringside Fish House, where I had an amazing meal.  We  had a few drinks, split oysters and I had the rockfish, and split the chocolate mousse.  And then we were flirting.  Since we got there much later than his friends...they all left and it was just him & I eating our entrees.  We walk back to the hotel, and I made the executive decision to go to his room.

VooDoo Doughnuts
The next day I had off, and ventured to Voodoo Doughnuts.  I am not a huge doughnut fan, but everyone was talking about them.  Since Mountain Man was going to be hungover, I figured I'd get some doughnuts for when he woke up.  But the problem was what kind to get???  I didn't just want to get a regular one, I wanted something weird, and there was plenty to chose from.  I also don't know what kind of sweets Mountain Man likes, aside from that he doesn't like peanuts/peanut butter.  I keep him waiting because, well, of course there is a line...not bad, only 40 minutes.  Was it worth it? I don't really know.  They were OK...if there was a sign like DisneyWorld that said "wait time from here 40 minutes" I probably would not have waited.  But it all worked I was late, but he was hung over and off to a slow start.  We caught part of the Portland Rose Festival before picking up the rental car.

We headed out to Seaside and Cannon Beach, about a 90 minute drive.  A beautiful ride through the forest to get there, we had a quick bite at The Crabby Oyster (clam chowder was lumpy and was worse tasting than campbell's, the shrimp on a skewer were OK, but not worth the $15 price tag, and even worse was the crab cake melt, which not only looked disgusting, but didn't taste that good either).

The coast was beautiful.  We spent a few hours walking the seaside beach and then decided to visit Cannon Beach, we were hoping to find some rocks/pools of water, but it was just another beautiful beach.

We walked, we skipped sand dollars into the water, we sat in the sand.  The water was too cold to go in for a swim, but of course we went in up to our knees.  It was such a relaxing day, I felt a million miles away from all the stress.

 Mountain Man had dinner plans that evening, mine were cancelled, so we ended our trip and headed back.

The following day we had a work function and afterwards we got drunk again and had an amazing night together.  When it came to saying goodbye..I wanted more time with him, I felt like were just getting into a much better grove than previous times, and I wanted it to continue a few more days.  The goodbye was simple, just a quick kiss, no I hope to see you soon, no I'll miss you, no I look forward to next time.  Just...have a safe trip home. Muah.

Then he left and I continued to work/sight see on my own.
I used the MAX light rail, saw the International Rose Test Garden, visited Powell's bookstore, walked around the town, had some other great meals out, toured the USS Bluebird and met up with my Friend who lives in Oregon for dinner.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Some people, while stressed, lose weight.  I am not sure if it is lack of eating, a higher metabolism or something else.  Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.

When I am stressed I gain weight. Sometimes I'll indulge in cookies or ice cream, a few pieces of chocolate or maybe even something fried a few times a month.  As an indulgence, it shouldn't be enough to make me gain 5-10 pounds, it isn't like that is all I am eating.

I was doing really well last year, I was finally happy with my body.  And it lasted for months.  Then came the certification examination - I was extremely stressed and nervous for a month before hand, then waiting the 6-8 weeks for the results.  Since that was in December, my indulgence were some cookies. I wouldn't say I ate a ton of them either!  And my breakfasts and lunches have been the same thing I've been eating for the last 4 years.  My dinner are very similar as well, very basic, a protein, sometimes a side vegetable, sometimes not.

So that was November and December worried about the exam.  January and February was the loss of ManFriend and the realization that Mountain Man was a dead end.  March - June has been extremely stressful regarding the apartment.

It is so frustrating.  Every time I make it to a place I am happy with my weight, some major stressor comes up and I have to start all over again.  I'd love to be in a frame of mind with little to no stress where my body weight will be more constant.

Or maybe my weight issue isn't stress, it can very well be endocrinologic....but I haven't found a good endocrinologist yet and that would require me to go off birth control (so the doctor said).  It is definitely something to consider.

The good news is all this stress hasn't increased the white hair significantly....I still have them but it hasn't triplicated.  And my hair hasn't started thinning more...although that usually happens after the stress is over for me.