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The Recessionary Rock:

Not for the Faint of Heart


Among my most pleasurable hobbies is cross-stitching, samplers in particular. The wonderful Brenda Keyes taught me all I need to know about the craft, and its humble but endearing and artistic origins and history. I’ve enjoyed using her books. She writes with a sense of whimsy to help you create family heirlooms.


One method of achieving that old-fashioned-vintage look for your sampler is to dye the AIDA fabric (which always has an operatic ring for me) with tea before stitching your design. I employ this method. Taylor of Harrogate’s Yorkshire Gold works the best for the tone I wish to obtain, along with the operatic ring!


The other method is, as Brenda states, not for the faint of heart: dye the cross-stitch AFTER you’ve completed it. This method I’ve not even contemplated!

I’ve used this expression often during the past six months, from mid-April 2018 until now, mid-October. The most recent cross-stitch of my life has involved the sale of the family homestead in Newcastle, California.


It had been 20 years since Dear Husband and I sold and bought a domicile, a domestic setting in which to raise the family and live in tranquil yet foreboding anonymity, away from the throng of suburban masses that had been driving me mad.


I understood that we were a bit behind the times in terms of Real Estate, especially in light of the Subprime Real Estate Debacle, and especially in Placer County, California, where Bay Area refugees flocked in droves during the past two decades.


The # of forms to fill out had quadrupled, but what’s a little paper?! There’s virtually none left for printing magazines and books of quality, but, no matter! The lawyers must be fed, and the paper must be shred, preferably with the Clinton Turbo-Razorback 2000.


On Labor Day weekend, our first, and only offer, came on the Mid-Century Cottage we’d vacated in late April. It was, as our Realtor, euphemistically said: A bit low.

I accounted for the fact that the swamp cooler (which I found extremely beneficial to my sinuses and skin) would be replaced with sinus-drying air-conditioning; and the roof on the house and the barn of a garage needed to eventually be replaced. The Homestead survived the deluge water-year of 2017 just fine, although I had a tantrum or two from Cabin Fever.


We got the Meet-the-Buyers letter, complete with family portrait. That schtick was a new one to me. I prefer not to know too much about who is going to be taking over the Ancestral Home. Names and occupations suffice. The realty agents, however, told us that this approach (which I smelled as an odd ploy) was now common practice.


We accepted the offer. And then we spent the next two weeks experiencing a blatant shake-down by the Prospective Buyers who hauled in inspectors and a Roof Doctor and appraisers to try to lower the formally agreed-upon-price. Their slimy agent demanded a reduction to the tune of over $30,000.

Our agents were stunned by this brazen behavior. I’d already cancelled any emails regarding this attempted scam, after telling our Realtor that when someone this low looks a gift-horse in the mouth, especially this gift-horse, Karma is already getting them.


“What rock did these people crawl out from under?” I inquired.


Evidently, the first wave of opportunists post-Great-Recession has emerged during the first wave of opportunities post-Great-Recession for the sensible and stable among us to move on with our lives.


This Meet-The-Buyer letter was a formalized Go-Fund-Me tactic, complete with details of the Kiddies, who got whored by their mother so she could get a nice house with acreage at a cut-rate price.

You learn something every day, although the lesson is not always of your choosing. In all things, give thanks. I therefore give thanks to this rude rip-off attempt at a real estate purchase because it taught me that the parasites of the Subprime Spending have crawled out from underneath their recessionary rocks. They’re ready to take advantage of anyone selling or renting anything.


Be wary, my friends. Don't stay thirsty.


The art of the deal, any deal, is not for the faint of heart!

Two days after putting an end to this financial farce, Dear Husband and I accepted a superlative offer on the “Peach House” as it has come to be called, after its private-road moniker. We’re currently in the home stretch of sealing this deal and heading toward the not-for-the-faint-of-heart moments of Home Construction.


I’m carefully checking the rocks near our construction site. You can never be too cautious before you take on the spirit of adventure!