June 24, 2021 – All bark and no bite.

If you had told me that once we made the decision to move, that we would have our home listed in just over 2 weeks, I would have told you to get your head examined. Knowing what needed to be done in order to get it ready to put on the market, 6 months rather than 2 weeks seems like a much more reasonable timeline. “We can even wait until next spring,” my husband suggested, “That should give us sufficient time to complete all of our projects.” Ha! Six months?! Apparently, as much as I lament my slow speed these days, I do have the ability to get some serious work done in a timely manner when it counts. Now, that’s not to say that my physical well being isn’t negatively impacted from putting in so many long days. I’m basically a walking zombie. I’ve been staying up until four and five o’clock in the morning and waking up at eight or nine in order to ensure everything on my ‘to do’ list gets checked off. I’ve just kept moving and hoping that once the photographer arrived to take photos of our home, everything would be done.

And ‘done’ it is (sort of). There is still a lot I want to do but it’s nothing that will prevent the house from being shown or getting placed under contract. It’s just stuff that I feel obligated to work on because I don’t like leaving things half-done. If somebody wants to buy our home and spend a big wad of cash, I cannot leave nail holes in the trim (on most of the baseboards…which I keep finding somehow) or only prime (and not paint) the three windows in our bedroom or fix the back of the cabinet door in the kitchen where we store all of our medication. Nope, I can’t do it. I cannot leave the nasty residue in the tracks of the slider or not apply ‘Mop and Glo’ to the less shiny of the two halves of the slate floor (because I only applied sealer to one half and now they don’t match) or suck up with a vacuum every last dog hair from every possible surface (and there are a lot of surfaces, let me tell you). Oh my goodness, how can one dog make such a mess??!!

Ok, I have to admit, my dog’s been driving me nuts! She is probably incredibly confused as to why I keep barking at her so much because she’s doing the stuff she’s always done. Every single day, when she wakes up in the morning, she tumbles onto the floor and onto her back and writhes around on the carpet. She then walks over to the window and presses her snout against the glass and leaves a bunch of snot on it. After that she runs down the hallway, staying in contact with the wall to her right, leaving a nice, wide, filthy dirt smudge from one end to the other. Once she reaches the kitchen, after getting her treat, she proceeds to hang out in a number of various locations, leaving hair and snot wherever she goes. Of course, the kitchen isn’t the only place she leaves a ‘trail’. All you have to do is walk through each room and there’s no denying that a very hairy dog lives here. I just have one question. Must she ‘make herself at home’ in every single chair we own?

I have to tell you, I really woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday! After 4 hours of sleep, I awoke to find her peacefully resting on one of our wingback chairs (the ones I just spent hours cleaning). Does she have her own massive, well padded, dog bed to sleep in? You’d better believe she does! She actually has a bed or has claimed an upholstered chair in nearly every room in our house. And that giant dog bed worked out just fine until I went to the trouble of cleaning all of the hair off the wingback chairs in order to use them for ‘staging’. In her mind, she must have seen yet another chair she could ‘destroy’ and didn’t waste a minute. I was not amused. After I barked at her to ‘get down’ and she refused to budge, I stood up and tipped the chair to get my point across. That’s how my day started (after staying up until 5 in the morning painting numerous items, including a linen closet in our bathroom that had previously been turquoise and then yellow).

Things didn’t improve after the ‘chair incident’ because after that, my husband proceeded to shampoo a couple of nasty spots in the carpet. Why were they nasty? Because our dog loves to lay down in the dirt and then come inside and lay on our bedroom carpet. There is no mistaking where those places are because of the difference in the ‘hue’. One spot was at the bottom of the stairs (on the landing) and the other spot was at the top (next to the window). True to form, right after my husband shampooed the landing, she immediately laid on it. Oh, great! If that wasn’t bad enough, within minutes of washing the windows, there she stood, snout pressed against the glass. “Get downstairs!” I barked at her while simultaneously stomping my right foot. What sent me over the edge was when the realtor showed up in a short dress and my dog ‘went for it’. If you have a dog or have had a dog, you probably know what I’m talking about.

No, she didn’t start humping her leg (although she does like to do that to my husband and my daughter). What she did do was walk right up to the realtor, oh-so-carefully poke her head under her dress, and then proceed to press her snout right into the realtor’s lady parts. Look, I know that’s how dogs greet each other but humans don’t necessarily take too kindly to these types of introductions. Humans tend to prefer hugs, handshakes, or fist bumps. Fortunately, the realtor has had her share of ‘dog encounters’ and wasn’t too fazed but I was so damn embarrassed! Once that happened, knowing that the photographer would be coming over within hours to take pictures for the MLS listing, I told my husband we needed to board her. “At least until the house goes under contract,” I assured him. Thank goodness the lady who we use had availability and we were able to get our dog ‘out from underfoot’. I feel bad because I know she’s got to be wondering what the hell is going on.

If she could talk, she’d probably say, “Hey, Ma, why are you so angry? I’m just doing the stuff I always do. Now when I do it, your face turns red and you bark at me. And since we’re being candid, I would also like to know what happened to our every-other-day walks because you haven’t bothered to take me out for over a week!” No, I haven’t. Instead of walking her, I’ve been painting fences and doors and closets and pony walls and trim; I’ve been caulking hundreds of nail holes, and gaps in trim (so many). I’ve been on my hands and knees scrubbing floors and applying sealer, sweeping off the roof and cleaning out the gutters, and ‘staging’ the house so it looks pleasing to the eye. Lord! Who came up with this concept? Do you want to know how much time I spent trying to figure out a way to make slip covers for those two wingback chairs in our bedroom? Hours, my friends, hours. As easy as it would have been to simply buy them, time was of the essence (literally). I had less than 12 hours to come up with an idea or leave them ‘as is’.

Because none of the local stores sold slip covers, I had to figure something out. And because we intend to sell or donate the chairs once the house goes under contract, I didn’t want to waste any money on trying to dress them up. Turns out, if you’ve got a couple of large sheets and blankets, you can make them look not half bad. I would have loved to drape a sheet or blanket over the top of each one and call it good but I wasn’t able to find one large enough to cover up all of the dark burgundy (which didn’t match anything else in our bedroom). What I was able to find (that worked) was that if I used sheets to cover the lower half of the chairs, I could use a blanket of the same color to cover the rest. It actually worked out pretty well. It required the use of some rubber bands and safety pins, but I was able to conceal them by using the blankets. I’ve actually learned a lot of ‘tricks’ trying to get our house ready. On top of how to get around buying slipcovers for chairs, I learned that by using a ‘paint pen’ from the local craft store, white worn areas on the linoleum floor can be disguised.

What else did I learn? I learned that in order to get the house ready to be shown, I had to shove a lot of crap in drawers and closets and cabinets and any possible place that had ‘room’. Our little built-in desk is usually covered in ‘stuff’. Presently, all there is is a radio, a phone, and a box of tissue. I think it feels lonely. Normally, it’s piled high with paperwork, ‘things to return’, ‘things to donate’, phone books, coats, and hats. All of that stuff has been ‘redistributed’ and is now being temporarily housed in various locations including the hallway closet, the office, the coat closet, and the laundry room. When I think about it, I could say the dog has been ‘redistributed’, too. Albeit temporarily. Poor thing. Hopefully, she’s having a good time. I’m glad we went ahead and boarded her because I was getting tired of barking at her and I’m sure she was getting tired of being barked at. Geez, I sure will be glad when this ‘process’ is over with. I know it’s just the beginning and it’s only going to get tougher, but I think once we get the house under contract, we’ll be able to finally take a breath.

Wait. Who am I kidding?!! If I think it’s bad now, give me a month. Once the house goes under contract, we’ll then have to pack what we’re keeping and sell or donate what we’re not and then arrange to move several states away. And once we move, until we find a place of our own, we’re going to be staying in my in-laws’ basement. Oh, Lord! I’m in trouble. Even though I’m ‘all bark and no bite’ right now, there’s a very good possibility that might change. Someone better get me a muzzle!!


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