Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I made some rhubarb pies (with rhubarb I bought for $2.89 a pound !?!) to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving tomorrow. To all my Canadian friends: Happy Thanksgiving!

We've been trying to clear out our house to match the unreasonable expectations of the realtor. That is, we're trying to make it look like Ken and Barbie live in our house, rather than five real people. We rented a spot in one of those storage places, and started putting stuff in there today. We're also throwing out a lot of dreck.

So far the kids have been real troupers. We'll see how long that lasts.

Speaking of the kids, they asked me to bury a robin they found in the back yard. I was going out there to get a shovel and perform the grim task, when the youngest shouted "Wait! Wait! I need to get a hat with a veil to lift up!" After they got their hats, I was allowed to perform the funeral.

They all declined to say a few words over the grave, but they were stylin' in their funeral hats.

In final news, the drought here has caused a lot of cracked mortar and even cracked bricks in the houses in our area. As the clay continues to dry out, it shrinks; and all the brick houses are settling into it. The most common advice is "don't worry about it, rain will fix it;" which is probably true. But it doesn't show well in the meantime, and it could potentially cost some money to "fix" the foundations (which will presumably become "unfixed" when the drought breaks). Hopefully the ugly cracks won't be deal-breakers on getting our house sold. If they are a problem, we might be able to get them "fixed", but it could cost a few thousand dollars. We'd appreciate everyone's prayers.


Ames said...

That was some good 3.14.

Gwen said...

I googled tips on selling houses, and it seems your realtor is right on all counts. De-clutter, slap on some boring white paint, take down all personal pictures, ditch half the furniture, organize your cupboards. What a lot of work.

clumsy ox said...

Yeah, realtor figures price difference of $2k based on whether or not we go with boring white paint. It's unlikely we'll paint, given the time and effort involved. Maybe, but probably not.

The rest we're doing. Organizing cupboards, throwing out stuff, moving furniture to the storage unit, removing personal pictures. All of the above are getting done.

Too much work just to move, not too much to move back north.

Shan said...

Regarding the cracked bricks and foundation, think "shrubbery". Foliage covers a multitude of sins.

Chuck said...

[Everybody sigh] here comes the dawg with his perfectly provencal opinion.

This doing away with personal effects thing is, I firmly believe, a "northern" phenomenon. Having been in the real estate industry for 21 years, and it wasn't until recently that I noticed this particular fad in home marketing came into vogue.

Traditionally, down here one wanted to make the home look as cozy and personal as possible. But nowadays most buyers aren't natives and apparently any personal touches take away from the "utility" of the house. And that's what people are now looking for -- usable space, (and nothing that might give them any different ideas).

Additionally, in the 30+ years I've been in this locale I've never seen heat and drought like we're having.

Is there a connection???

You're smart to get out of here... hope we can get out, too, someday.

Ames said...

Anyone know where I can get some decorations that have a South-of-the-Border flare?

Stace' said...

a el mercado.

I'm sure you'll find one close by.

clumsy ox said...

You know chuck, I have a great sympathy for southerners. I would love to have seen the south in its glory, but at least it's not personal with me.

When I go home and see what Canada has become, it gets personal. And while my sisters may well be right---Canada may still be far better than anywhere else on earth---I know I'm in for a lot of disappointment when I finally get back. The very fact that they have Wal-Mart and Taco Bell up there now seems offensive to me. And I haven't done more than drop in for a visit in 13 years.

It's hard to mourn something's passing when the media and pop culture keep handing you a counterfeit and insisting it's the real thing. It would be like having someone dressed up as the deceased at a funeral.

Gwen said...

Canada is the best place on earth for Canadians. It's not Elysium; there are freaks and weirdos all over the place, and the politics would drive any sane person over the edge. People are the same all over the world, and North America is becoming more homogenized by the minute. You will probably be disappointed, as your memory of living in Canada is quite distant, and just a little rosy.

But I still think it's a good move for you.

clumsy ox said...

Well, it's no worse than the US, and it's home for me. How well Ames adjusts to it is what remains to be seen. Had I not met and married Ames when I first came down here, I would have returned home a decade ago.

That's not to be interpreted as regret over marrying Ames, of course; nor regret for the last 13 years in the US. It's been good on many levels, and I've made some wonderful friends. Chuck and Stace' are a testament to that.

Ames and I knew when we got married that at least one of us would be away from home at all times: such is the nature of international marriage. But she's graciously agreed to try living in my home instead of hers for a while. And I find the prospect of going home exciting.

We'll see how it all works out.

Eryn said...

hey! it's another one of your former students popping up! sarah traxler gave me your link. i read most of your blog so i think i have caught up on some of your life. i would love to see pics of your kids ( and you and amy) somehow.
how is the house selling going? we just went though that last year, what a pain! i hope canada is worth it! say hi to amy for me.

clumsy ox said...

Eryn, So happy to hear from you!

You need to email ames or me for pics, and I hope you do very soon.

Eryn said...
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