Dirty dogs and sweaty men.

This time of year, it seems like I can’t keep Adele clean enough. I don’t want to over-bathe her, but after only a week past her last grooming, she’s starting to smell like the yard and Fritos. Her friend Saffie came to see her last week and they spent a lot of time hanging out in the yard or on the deck. They were both green with pollen at one point. But I’m not going to worry too much about what it’s done to the house at the moment.

Oh, I’ll do a little cleaning, for sure, but I’ve also had workmen coming in and going out – while a torrential rain was happening. They were all – from the smell of it – smokers. Since it was raining, they used the garage to cut the butcher block countertop to go in my kitchen. Between their work in the garage and their exertion while pulling the wood stove out of its position and hauling it from the den, through the wet backyard, and around to the front, they left a funk behind them that can only be described as eau de sweaty men. My house does not usually smell like that! So yes, I’ll be doing some cleaning before the weekend is over. And when the workmen come back and finish what they started, only then will I toss my rugs in the wash and do a deeper clean.

Getting the house ready to sell means I want to do a little sprucing up that does not require me to pay anyone for help. I just had to spend a couple of hundred dollars at Lowes. I got a new sink stopper for the kitchen, clean white shelf liner, a long-handled Swiffer (for dusting the baseboards before the painters come), some spider-free gardening gloves, and pretty flowers to put in the neglected pots sitting around the outside. Hey, it’s been 2 years since I had the energy or desire to do anything out in the yard. It’s progress. I also got a pretty new welcome mat that is covered in pastel flowers and says, “Hello!”

I want someone to love this house as much as I have.

In my last post, I was certain I was calling off the search for a house in NC. It’s like I’m in one of those damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situations. Stay here with my friends and my house and miss my son, or move closer to my son and miss my friends and my pretty yellow house. Well, remember I told you I had two showings already booked for houses last weekend, after which I was calling off the search? Yeah. Well. I liked one of them a lot. It was just the size and location I had been looking for, and on CrimeGrade, it was in a green (safe) area between Shelby and Boiling Springs. I put an offer on it above the listing price (of course … in this market). I determined if I were going to make an offer, I damned sure didn’t want to be outbid again. If I had done that on the very first house, I think I might have avoided all the frustration, but this is a good house. Once I went through the inspection report with someone I trusted in the business, I felt really good about it. Now I just have to see what the appraisal says. The way the market is, I don’t think there will be an issue.

And then I’ll list mine, once all the work is done. The inside of my house has been a bit of a work in progress over the last 8 years, especially after it was rented out for 3 years. I’m anxious to see what it looks like when the fireplace hole is closed up and the fresh paint has dried. It’s going to be hard to leave. But I hope it sells quickly. I hope the things I do are enough to make a family fall in love with it. It needs a family, with its 4 bedrooms and big living areas. I rattled around in here, outnumbered by pets. Rooms sat empty and unused. That’s a sad thing for a house.


It’s Memorial Day and I’m thinking of taking the day off from packing. If anything, I might just start going through my desk to clear it out and get my office things put away into the closet. My sore muscles need a break from all the activities of the last three days. Progress has been made, though! My den is 90% packed, so I can move the rest of the furniture away from the walls before the painters get here. The outside has been spruced up with fresh flowers. I went through my garage and, while it’s not done yet, threw out a bunch of stuff, gave away a bunch of stuff, and set up piles of keep/donate/toss items. Letting go feels good.

Since the contractors didn’t seal and treat the butcher block countertop, I went to Lowes yesterday (second trip of the weekend) and picked up the stain/sealer to do it myself. It’s a lovely hazelnut color. I wanted something lighter, but they were out of everything except hazelnut and ebony. Ebony probably would be pretty, but it would be too modern for this kitchen. I rubbed in a coat, waited, sanded, and re-applied. It’s been drying overnight and is just beautiful. Next I’ll start oiling it to get it ready for the next owners to use. It was a fun project and it’s got me thinking about whether I truly want Quartz for the next kitchen. I might just stick with butcher block.

Moving my body has felt good. Recovering from cancer takes a long time, so I have to take this job of packing in small chunks, though I admit I have pushed it this weekend. I took a couple of extra days off with the holiday weekend, because things are happening fast now. Lifting, moving, packing, working, planting … it has been a lot, and I have sore spots all over but it’s a good kind of sore. It’s the kind of sore that is giving me more confidence that I can do hard things. Now, do I think I’ll ever be buff and have a strong back? I’m not counting on that, but after spending so much time in treatment and recovering, it feels so good to know that my body is coming back.

Sixty. I’m old enough now for the senior discount at the movie theater but young enough to still do a move like this. I guess I’m not doing badly at all.

Peace and remember our fallen heroes today on Memorial Day! Blessings…Jude

4 responses to “Dirty dogs and sweaty men.”

  1. Good for you Jude. Our last move I was 63 and it was pretty exhausting. Now after the PE 22 months ago I have to do things in small bursts of energy and rest in between. I don’t think at this stage I could move again.


  2. I went through this in 2020. We spruced up the house a bit with paint and some flowers in the yard. I sanded and stained the butcher block counters myself. Our realtor said some nice gay couple would buy the house and want it to be their project to renovate it. So he said any major renovations would be wasted. We got four offers in four hours — two over asking. We took the one that said “no inspections.” I missed my old house for about a year and now I’m finally loving my new home.


    1. That’s kind of what I’m hearing, too. I’m now allowing my mind to wander toward projects for the new place!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My Realtor is saying something similar.
      And I’m letting myself dream of projects for the new place!


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About Me

A writer and solitary soul in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

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