Blonde Moments, Family Ties, Kvetching

I Am Thankful For %&$*#@!

Oy vey.

I love the holidays, but deciding to sell my house during them?

Oy. To the. Freaking. Vey.

“Oh, but I lost my job, I’ll have so much time to do everything myself!” -Me, 5 weeks ago, being a dumbass.

“Surely I can just sand that chipped paint on the bathroom ceiling!”

Oh… that’s not paint… it’s like, like… giant chunks of plaster…
…and now it’s everywhere.

“Oh, I’ll just buy a new french door lock from Home Depot!”

“I AM NEVER F&#$%^^* coming off, so just go eat some more turkey and leave me alone.” -Door Lock

“It’s sooo cheap to get a truckload of mulch! Amazing!”

5 -literally- full days of mulching and this eye sore still remains at the foot of the driveway.

“What a great opportunity to declutter!”


“Free boxes from someone on Craigslist! Yay!”

Do you think I can get rid of these 57 extra boxes on Craigslist before the first open house?

“I’ll just spackle over those holes downstairs!”

Spackle dust doesn’t actually stay in your lungs, does it?

“That swing set out back is so old, it’ll just come apart with a good shove!”

3 weeks later.

And the latest and greatest, the pièce de résistance, my attempt to clean a carpet yesterday:

I can’t even talk about this one.

What also happened yesterday? Babs (mom) sent a picture of my niece’s latest art project. She had to list her favorite relative:

Booya. Right up there with chickin.

I guess I do have a lot to be thankful for.


Got any house selling tips? This is a first for me. …Clearly.


86 thoughts on “I Am Thankful For %&$*#@!”

  1. “LEAVE A REPLY. BECAUSE I LOVE YOU.”….. yeah and we love you too Jules. Really really not laughing ‘at’ you, but that post made my day.

    I’m a great one for later on (always later of course) thinking “Whose idea was this?”. I guess I’m not alone!

  2. I have reached the point that burning my house down is preferable to getting it ready for sale. As for the carpet buy a rug to cover the spots. People don’t tend to lift up rugs to see underneath them in an open house. Then by the time they move in it’s too late.

    1. Ha! YES. I did find a bottle of lighter fluid by the fire pit when doing yard work the other day…

      There are so many little “oh dear god hopefully they won’t notice / care…” spots right now. BREATHE, JULES.

  3. I feel your pain. I truly do. Selling a house is one of the most demoralizing experiences. I don’t know if I have any good advice, but my husband and I rented a storage space to stick all the clutter in so we didn’t have to actually deal with it.

    1. That’s right – it wasn’t too long ago that you experienced the same hell, no?

      I wish Hugo were bigger; I could just stick him on top of the carpet stains. He’d keep insisting I install shag, though, wouldn’t he?

  4. You’re right up there with chickin! See, there’s always a silver lining, JD.

    I’ve sold three houses in my time (I know, I’m crazy) and yes, staging is big. Lots of lights on, lots of windows open, lots of cinnamon candles burning. This helps fool the buyer into thinking good positive things so they can ignore the fallen plaster on the bathroom floor. I remember reading that a buyer’s first impression is key to selling. Maybe put out a buffet in your kitchen, like free samples of bacon or gin?

    1. I don’t even need to open the windows; I can let the bitter cold breeze blow through the broken window panes! (We’re actually glad we’re selling in winter because a) less landscaping, and b) we can pretend the pool doesn’t exist.)

      I am actually planning to bake snickerdoodles for the first open house.

      1. haha! I meant open up the curtains on the windows, let all the light in, makes the house cheery. Although…opening the windows would make them freezing and possibly distract them from the carpet.

        Snickerdoodles? No worries, you will sell this house, no problem.

        1. But THEN they’ll see the bright winter light shining on all the dirt on the windows that I can’t get to because this house was built in 1975 and they don’t flip out like the new-fangled ones these days and some of the dirt is on the INSIDE oh my god someone hand me a Snickerdoodle STAT.

  5. Like Darla, was going to suggest cookie scented candles. Who doesn’t love cookies?

    I would just do the mulch and swingset because those are big. When we looked at houses, we ignored the little stuff that we—er, Kiefer—could fix.

    1. I am all over the candles! My one concern is that it’ll make it look like I’m trying to cover the smell of my blood, sweat and tears.

      I keep trying to remind myself about the 100 DIY things I DID accomplish in the past month. And then I look at the carpet.

  6. You Realtor will be your best friend. They will buy you a coffee and a cruller. They will babysitter your iguana or poisonous pit viper. The day after you close it’s Who the heck are you….

      1. Oh god no! I did that when that joke “Help U Sell” was in business. At the last second the guy backed out and there is no one to go to… It was a living nightmare… My post today will be about realtors.. The scurvy bunch!

        1. We’re hoping the fact that we have realtors/lawyers in the family will keep us out of hot water, but, oy. Yes. We haven’t been in the house long (i.e., haven’t paid down the mortgage much), and can’t afford both buyer and seller commission, so I keep saying I think we need a Christmas miracle.

          1. Take about stress! Been there done that! Good luck. I swear homeownership is over rated. I have this mortgage free house with a near dead septic system that will cost 40k to replace.. I don’t have 40k.

            1. Thank you! Oy. That stinks. One silver lining to this place – they put in a brand new septic system right before we moved in in 2010. And we just had it, ah, ‘serviced,’ and all is good.

              Congratulations on mortgage-free living – that’s seriously the only way to go. Which is impossible in New Jersey, unless you’re, like, the guy who invented Sham-Wow or ‘stache glasses. 😉

              1. Vinnie’s got enough problems of his own.. Isn’t his real name Mordy. The sham wow guy.. Isn’t he doing time for his, “sniff sniff” issues? House selling is the worse.

          2. “Holiday Miracle” = “We only had enough oil for the menorah to burn for one night, but it lasted long enough to burn the entire house down!”

  7. Is this some kind of veiled cry for volunteers? Because I’m way the hell out by the shore. Nowhere near you, I’m afraid. Plus, my guy-skills are pretty much nothing. I don’t hunt, fish, fix cars, play sports, drink excessively and I CERTAINLY can’t fix-up houses.

    1. Ha! Thank you for having my back. Luckily, it’s laminate flooring in that room. That we installed ourselves. (That was supposed to take ‘one day! Be done in time to have a dinner party!’ 4 weeks later…)

  8. I won’t mention the bleach on the carpet, Jules, but dang…

    I sold two of my houses using for sale by owner, so it CAN be done. I’m praying it’s sold by Christmas! Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate??

    1. Ooh, you did? That’s amazingly encouraging! Why am I not constantly interviewing you via FB?

      Ugh. The bleach. I could try to defend my method in a number of ways, but I am just a dumbass.

      Empire Carpets should be here soon.

        1. Sorry! They’re the only people I could get out here quickly, and are supposedly having a 60% off sale, which I can only assume means they’ve jacked up the prices 200%. Babs tells me they show you nice samples, and then install a crappier version. But since I want the crappiest version possible to start, er, JOKE’S ON THEM.

      1. One day, I’ll read about something that Rachel did that didn’t turn out perfectly. I’m not saying I want to hate her, but I want her to stub her toe or burn a pie pretty badly. Lol. Hey, you have a nice chunk of land there so somebody should be interested in the house mostly as is. It’s just luck, really. We sold the one I bought as a single man because Obama was giving out money to first time homebuyers so there was an incentive, plus we got $5 or 6 grand to boot for out new house. We’re still in over our heads, but whatever. I’m sorry that you have to go through this, because selling a house sucks. Hang in there though, it’ll all work out in the end. Or it might turn out like that hilarious boat rental excursion you had, but let’s hope not.

        1. I’m trying to think of something that isn’t perfect about Rache to make you feel better, but I got nothin’.

          That’s exactly what we did – got the gov’t incentive/FHA Loan, so we spent very little to get in here (thankfully we’ve been here over 3 years, so don’t have to pay it back now!), but it also means we’ve not paid off very much of the outstanding loan. Hence For Sale By Owner. SIGH.

          The house does have a ton going for it, but like you said, it’s all luck. This not being able to PLAN is killing me. These days I’m really realizing how poorly I deal with uncertainty. Give me my drab cubicle and steady paycheck, please. DOUBLE SIGH.

          1. We didn’t have any luck selling it ourselves but it sold the first day it was on that realtor website. That’s the key, getting it on that site! If you have any friends that could help you with that….score!! Good luck, doll! You’ll be back in a good place with your house and job one day and laugh that you ever let any of this crap bother you. I bought an egg mcmuffin for a smelly homeless man yesterday who had pretty clearly peed his pants at some point and he was so polite and thankful that I gave him $10 to go buy some liquor too because that’s what he said he would do with it. Who cares? If he’s lucky, he’ll sleep in a nasty shelter tonight, but more than likely, he’ll be drunk so they won’t let him in and he’ll sleep in the cold somewhere. We have much to be thankful for if we’re just able to sleep someplace warm tonight. Ok, no more preachy bullshit.

            1. You’re so right, Don. (And you are such a nice guy, I don’t care what anyone says about you.) I can almost start to see my gratitude through this layer of spackle dust and regret.

     has a package that gets you on MLS and ALL the major websites – and we’re offering commission to buyer’s agents – fingers crossed this does the trick!

  9. At the risk of being depressing: Selling a house sucks. This is only just the beginning of the suck too. There’s still worse suck yet to come.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. I love that his name is Ricky. Have you ever seen/heard Mitch Hedberg’s comedy? “I wish I hadn’t seen Ricky on the sidewalk!” (Not funny if you have no idea what I’m talking about.)

  10. Oy vey indeed! I feel for you. I hope you get a Christmas miracle and all that crazy-stressfulness gets done AND you sell for a great price. You really deserve for something amazing to happen to you. Here I’m looking at houses for the first time, wondering what it’d be like to be a home-owner. I know it’s probably over-rated. BUT…I am really SO over paying rent. I might as well just throw my money out the window and let the wind take it wherever it wants to go! Why am I talking about myself now?! ANYWAY…don’t go crazy trying to make your house perfect. There are lots of things people wouldn’t notice. And watch all those house shows on TV, they give good tips sometimes. 🙂

    1. Well, Lilykins, I know a great house with some extra mulch that’s about to go on the market in about a week… 😉

      Seriously, though. Homeownership can be great, as long as you’re realistic about what you can live with day to day. And by that I mean, don’t have mortgage payments that amount to 90% of your take-home pay, and don’t get 2.2 acres when you detest yard work. 😉

      1. Lol. Seriously, good luck! Yup, I know what I can afford…or better put, what my bf can’t afford. Is that mean? Lol. So I’m looking on the cheapest of the cheap ends. 😉 We’ll see! Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Ok, this is what you do . . . put down the bottle of bleachy cleaner, the pot of spackle and the packing tape. Go directly to your couch and sit your ass down. Turn on the TV and go to HGTV. Fall into a TV coma while watching marathons of Home Improvement, Moving and Selling shows for about 4 days. By the end, you will be rested, relaxed, less stressed, and will know exactly what to do to stage that house of yours (or at least come up with creative descriptions, like “handyman’s special!”) for almost immediate sale. Done!!

    I’m assuming I don’t have to mention that you will have to have a few bottles of vodka and some bacon chocolate bars handy before you sink into couchy oblivion, yes? Thought not . . .

  12. You’ve totally got this! Granted I haven’t sold a house but I did buy one, and here is what mattered when Country Boy and I bought: a good lay-out, nothing structurally wrong (roof, septic, etc), and friendly and honest sellers. You’ve got all of those things going for you, so work those angles!

    None of that cosmetic stuff mattered to us since we knew that we were going to put in our own floors, repaint the whole house in our own colors, and replace the appliances to make the place our own. We just needed a house with good bones and an affordable price to start with (meaning I would rather have a cheaper selling price than new carpets), and I think there are plenty of other young, ambitious first time home owners like us floating around out there.

    Maybe through it up on the market as is and only tackle the fixing up if you don’t get any bites?

    1. Aw, thanks, my friend! I am TOTALLY sweating the small stuff at this point – deep breaths – the house has a ton going for it. It’s just so hard not to freak when you can’t predict ANYTHING.

      Oops – carpet guys are here, LOL

  13. I am reminded of my attempts to do all the fix-it projects at home before CC got back last year. They all sucked. I’m a shitty handyman. There’s still a piece of masking tape around the chandelier per the stairs that I can’t reach without the spider-infested extension ladder. My only advice: whatever your realtor says, do NOT paint your entire interior a dirty off-white. Whomever buys your house will thank you for it.

    1. JM! I’m sitting here right now afraid to use the bathroom because someone may or may not be coming to see the house after work. I feel like a jerk for complaining, but this is definitely what my corner of hell will look like – living in a house where you have to make it look like no one lives there, with strangers who might show up at any moment and tell you everything that’s wrong with the place on which you’ve spent every dollar you’ve ever earned. The sale upon which your entire future is resting.

      Okay, I’m done now. Thank you. 😉

      My one comfort/defiant move was leaving up my green and white stripes in the craft room. I staged it as a girl’s bedroom with a white lace comforter and a couple little pink accents in the room, and it is TOTES ADORBS.

  14. That is a truly impressive spreadsheet/task list. You are such a PMP. 🙂

    I, too, have been through the house/buying/selling thang several times and highly recommend the booze and baked goods strategy. Focus more on relaxed and tidy rather than being perfectly staged. It’s not HGTV out here in the real world. And, let your realtor do the open house. It’s for the best if you aren’t there, anyway.

    1. Guh, can you believe we’re attempting For Sale By Owner? We have realtors in the immediate family, and can’t really afford the full commission. We paid for a package where we’re still on all the big sites, including the MLS (realtor) listing site, offering commission to the buyer’s agent. But man. I’m nervous. We started showing yesterday and had some appts, though!

  15. I just want to say sorry for the fact that your plight brought me to tears of laughter. Or congratulations, because you LOLed me to tears, I don’t know. Just, good luck with all of that and try not to hurt yourself.

    1. Oh gawd, Janie, I’m laugh-crying with you (and by the way, “Janie Doh” is the best blog name ever!!). I wrote this post to try to convince myself this was all actually funny and not what hell looks like.

  16. We had a faucet that dripped. I finally decided to quit screwing around and fix it. Which I, technically, did. It now won’t turn off at all.

    Clearly the time has come for disposable houses. Live in for one year, then just leave it on the curb for the garbage man.

    1. I really, really want to live in self-cleaning house, where I can just shut the front door and turn it on ‘heavy load’ every couple of weeks.

      I’m sorry, did I just say I want to live in a house?

  17. Oh, Jules. PAIN AND SUFFERING! We have been toying with the idea of buying our first home, but really– every time I go out and see what’s available (and at what ridiculous price), renting forever seems more and more appealing. We won’t even talk about the carpet bleach…

    1. Thanks for not mentioning the bleach – you’re a good woman, Dana.

      And don’t do it. Seriously. Unless you like cleaning/landscaping/handy work or have enough extra income to pay someone else to do it for you. I’ve realized as long as I’m somewhere where there’s grass/trees and they let me paint the walls, I think I’m good.

  18. Excel? Really? Not even the Ms Access task database? At least put together a powerpoint with pie charts and pivot tables…..sheesh. And you a project manager….
    As for selling your place – don’t go overboard – no need to paint and repair everything. The next folks will come in and paint it anyway. My realtor always sea to go with what you got – just do the obvious small cleanup stuff (I would include the ceiling – again just slap a coat of paint on that spot – not the whole dang ceiling)

    1. My PM skills are slipping, Cooper! Then again, if you saw the flyers I made and how I staged this mutha…. We did get some appts already (started showing yesterday)! FINGERS (and toes) CROSSED.

  19. Oh…the joys of homeownership and then home-selling! Enough to make you want to rent for the rest of your life! I hate it when you start a project that should be simple to find out that it is NOT simple at all! It NEVER IS SIMPLE! Why????? I wish you the best of luck Jules, and keep that art project near by at all times. Happy Thanksgiving to you. 🙂

  20. Wow, what a major task, but it sounds like a challenge! My two cents: think back why YOU bought the house, what attracted you to it so much you decided to go for it and focus on that! Do whatever it takes to clean the rest up (mess and dirt is very unattractive, especially on windows (but maybe that’s a Dutch thing)); and leave the bleach alone.
    Good luck!

  21. Like you said earlier, you look good in a hair net, so McDonald’s is always an option 😉
    Good luck, girl! It is probably much less stressful than you’re making yourself believe…

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