Saturday, July 14, 2012


It's been a busy few days around the old homestead
  • My friendly neighborhood realtor came by yesterday. A bit of a reality check. You have to realize that the only other home I have sold was from afar, in Washington DC, in a sellers market. In otherwords, even though are tenants tore the house apart, the area was desirable enough that selling was almost instantaneious-we may not have made much of a profit but the house was sold!  The market has dramatically improved in Texas, but I am not really in a position to make improvements (and certainly not to do foundation repair at this time). We made a list of what I need to do in the ten days in terms of landscaping and cleaing and staging-and getting estimates of costs for things I cannot upgrade. I'm prepared to make concessions, but want to keep some of that downpayment I made in 2007, if you know what I mean. We agreed that if I were to sell, it should be now, in August, while people are househuntning (folks come to my town specifically for the schools).
  • Yesterday and today we've had our second downsizing sale, with some items added from a garage that my son cleaned out (mainly bins of little boy clothes). I'm making VERY sure that I dont downsize anything I may want to replace again other than fabric-in that case it can occasionally be out with the new and in with the more current.
  • Except for Friday, I've exercised in the pool for an hour every day this week. On Wednesday I went and sewed with a few of my closest friends, and then we took ourselves out for lunch.  This happens rarely, but eight dollars for soup, salad and bread sticks at the Olive Garden cannot be beat. I of course had to add a drink and dessert, but still! A full day of being constructive except for lunch.
  • I've slowly been working on the yard.  Stay or go, there are some things that simply have to be done. I need to put down a heavy layer of mulch (red in the front), soak around the house, and get some flowers planted.
  • I think I've finally convinced my offspring that he may need to create his own job. After much talking, I've convinced him that while at the same time he needs to search for jobs, he needs to look at learning a new skill possibly and treating his amazon business like a real job, spending at least half his time buying and selling books. The boy has not even gotten calls back when he responds to ads for flyer distribution-talk about an ego crusher. Im willing to put some of my income (a small amount) into this area to get him off the ground.
  • I've realized two things about my quilting business (better late than never). It takes TIME to make money when you start a small business, and you have to reinvest money (in my case into fabric and supplies) to make business a sucess. In other words, expecting my quilting business to make five hundred plus dollars monthly right now to change my life is not realistic. It's a long term committment, fortunately at something that I love.
  • Finally, although its a cukoo week, I have found even more free things and cheap things to keep me busy-discount movies, my meet up group, many books, canning pie filling and sunday sauce, and just chillin with the family.
what have you been up to lately?


  1. I thought of you this past week. My wife and I were in Sisters, Oregon on vacation. As you probably know, the biggest quilters show and gathering in the country is taking place in this small town this weekend. Thousands of quilters from all over get together for classes, demonstrations, sales, and social events. I ran into a group of women who had traveled from Florida just for this weekend event.

    Quilting may take time to start to pay off for you, Barb. But, the interest in them and buying beautiful quilts seems to be a very large and passionate market.

  2. Wow! With the comps in the area- are you,left with anything. Are you writing an "as is" contract if there are problems with the foundation? Will your contract let you to back out if the repairs demanded by the seller are too costly? Do you have a place to move into if your place goes quickly? Have you run this all by your money savvy brother? That is who you said you should have talked to when your husband passed. You don't want to deprive him of the grace that he will gain by helping his sister.
    Praying for all you heavy decisions.

  3. Janette..yes, no, and I dont know? My brother is in Europe for a month. Incommunicado except for emergencies. Cell phone left at home th whole bit. on purpose-told not to call unless the house burned down or one of us died. I will have estimates and inspections done this week and then we will look at the type of contract. I am waiting on costs. I do not have a rental at this point. I have not even begun to look for one. We will see. I have thirty thousand invested in this house, otherwise honestly I would go for a short sale. I am playing it as it goes. I have done enough research to know that there are lots of apartments and houses that take dogs, whichis all I was worried about.

  4. Bob, I am sure you had a wonderful time. Yes, I was unrealistic regarding the business. I've been told that most businesses dont even make a profit for the first two years and I of course am not there. Quilting is having a resurgence, as well as buying quiltied items and designing patterns and fabric, so I am on my way.

  5. WOW, lots of life changes for you if your home sells, good luck with it. I have been wondering how quilt sales would go with an Etsy shop, to me you need to see and feel a quilt to fall in love with it. Keep us posted on how its going, it will just take more time Im sure

  6. Thanks debbie, most of my large quilt sales are NOT through my etsy shop, but person to person and craft fairs. My small shop sells things like placemats and the like, and it does okay

  7. I find this blog entry to be very, very sad. It's as if you have given up. Why? Or you are jumping the gun and pre-planning your demise. Again, why?
    You are only in your 50's. Why are you thinking as if you are in your 90's? According to this post you said you had $50K into your home.
    First off, being in your 50's you can work. Get a job. Since you love quilting so much, get a job at a fabric company, such as Joann's. Bring your work with you and demand a job. My girlfriend is 60 and just got a job working for a medical company. She flies all over USA. Life is not over for you. My other friend is 58 and just got a job out of a company based in Toronto. They never gave up or out. Why are you? If you made more money you can afford repairs and fix-ups. Don't want to work for someone else, then why don't you give quilting lessons at home? Quilting is big business. Surely with your connections (church etc) you'd fill up a classroom of at least 5 people, at $15 a 1 hour lesson, done a few times per week and you'd be fine. Or you can give online lessons? Use the new technology. Why are you giving up on life? You are so YOUNG! You're only in your late 50's!!!!!!!!!
    The only way you are going to build up wealth for your real old age is through home ownership. You can't take that money and invest it in Wall Street (unless you want to go broke). Life in USA right now is best in Texas. It's the number 1 state.
    If you sell your home in your 80's or late 70's you may have between 60K and 100K in equity.
    Why oh why are you giving up now????
    You don't even know what rents are like in your area. Which can go up and up each year. Your mortgage is constant. Maybe refi to a 2% mortgage would clear up some cash.


  8. Sad---giving up----I don't get that at all. I do see a bit of a rush in 10 days-but sometimes life is like that. Seems to me that Barb turned 60 not too long ago - opening up social security to her.

    Barb- have you sat down and done a budget just using the money you have from your husband's pension and social security (excluding any money from your son) when renting an apartment/condo/ townhouse? I think that is a good first step. Otherwise it sounds like you are on your way!

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