The last time anyone asked me for ID to prove my age was in my early 30s and a waitress asked to see my license before she'd serve me a beer. I was quite happy to show her how old I was and she seemed a bit sheepish when she realized I was many years past 21. Wednesday, I went with my two realtors to a 55+ condo community to look at some units. The realtor from the listing side didn't believe I was 55 and insisted I show him my license before we started looking around. He was very surprised that I actually was 55. That was fun! Unfortunately, they allow only one pet per unit, so we won't be looking at that development anymore.
It was good to get a view at what 1100 square feet looks like. Oh man, I've got a lot more clean out to do in the garage. The kitchens in those units didn't have much storage, so if we move into a similar kind of space, we'll have a lot more purging to do. For example, we have a few hundred cookbooks that fill one entire set of shelves in the kitchen. Those'll mostly have to go. Of course, I don't really use cookbooks; they are all either from my mother (who left them behind when moving out 23 years ago) or from Skip, who used to be a chef and continued to buy cookbooks for years, even after she'd stopped cooking.
On Tuesday, I went to 3 storage auctions. Bid on a number of units but wasn't willing to go as high on each as other bidders, often by a significant margin. The first auction had 40 attendees and 5 units available. I'd say the crowds were of similar size for the other two and, coincidentally, there were 5 units at each of those as well. The last unit I bid on was the one I wanted most. It was mostly filled with older, wooden furniture. Hanging from pegs on the ceiling were 7 chairs for the kitchen or dining room. Smack dab in the center was a treadle sewing machine. I still have the treadle machine we got last summer at an auction although it was on Craigslist for months and is now in the furniture booth we have in central Mass, so was a bit concerned about the ability to move this one. I figured $300 would be a good price for the unit. The other bidder countered me on every bid and I finally gave up at $500. I couldn't rationalize that I'd make even that on the furniture and I would have other costs as well, including the effort of the guys who'd clear out the heavy stuff.
Ideally, to determine my max bid, I estimate the value of everything I can see and divide it in half. That mode doesn't work very well when most things are in boxes or the unit is very deep and you can only see a small fraction of the stuff. Then, you have to get clues from the way things are packed and cared for and the type of stuff you can see. I am tired of going to auctions and getting nothing, though. Sooner or later, I'm just going to go for the gusto and buy something even if I think it's overpriced.
On Thursday, I got a handyman over to give me a quote on the bits and pieces of work that needs to be done. He brought along a colleague who paints. Their prices were excellent! The repairs and painting begin on Sunday. They're going to paint all of downstairs, the upstairs bathroom, 2 exterior doors, 2 garage door and stain the low fence that surrounds the yard. Whoopee! All the repair and paint work should be completed by mid-week.
On that same Thursday, my brother and the two guys who helped with my mother's move came over to do a variety of projects. They took the entertainment center, a glass front cabinet and a grandfather's clock along with a bunch of boxes over to storage. This really cleared up a lot of space in the living room and dining room, so they look bigger. While my brother and one of the guys worked on building a window well cover, BW (who is a really really hard worker) took it upon himself to organize and clean up the garage. That night, for the first time in 9 months, I pulled The Toaster (aka the Honda Element) into the garage!
Shortly, I'll be leaving the house for a day trip back to Foxwoods. Had so much fun 3 weeks ago, I've decided to go back. And, to make the trip more interesting and fun, I'll be meeting up with 2 folks I've met through blogging, Very Josie and the Crafty Southpaw (both their blogs are on my blogroll to the right).
One final note: I had to put word verification back on because I was getting a ton of spam comments. I figured word verification was the lesser of two evils; the other being not allowing anonymous comments.
Update from Somewhere South of Chicago
2 hours ago