Being a realtor during the housing crisis was definitely challenging.
I got my real estate license in 2002 and quickly worked my way to top producer. But by 2008 I was not only no longer a top producer, it was all I could do to make enough money to cover my costs of being a realtor.
Something had to give.
Surviving a bankruptcy and losing my homes was not easy.
Even though I knew they were just “things” I was losing, it was still painful. But, I had a distraction through it all, which made it so much easier.
I met Judd in November, just before the holiday season, and he took me to one holiday party after another. He sold advertising for a local publishing company, and his job came with a lot of invitations.
We had a lot of fun, and I felt like Cinderella.
For Christmas he gave me a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that he had specially ordered for me. He said it was a Wonder Woman bracelet, because I reminded him of her.
My Wonder Woman bracelet
Have you noticed she stopped writing her story? I wonder what’s going on. I mean, she was all gung-ho sharing all the details of her life before. Over-sharing might even be a better way to put it.
So what’s going on now?
Honestly, I don’t even know what gives her the right to share this stuff anyway. First of all, who really cares? And secondly, why in the world would she want to put herself out there for the entire world to see?
Kind of silly, if you ask me.
My birthday is a big deal to me.
I know birthdays are not a big deal for everyone, but for me, they’re important. Maybe it’s because I was born on Mother’s Day 1959 and I’ve shared my birthday with that holiday many times since.
Or maybe it’s because I only remember having ONE birthday party when I was a kid. And I’m pretty sure that was the time my brother stood on the fence and pee’d in front of everyone, effectively ruining my birthday.
He thought it was funny.
John’s family in Northern Ireland loves it when he comes home. They don’t say he’s come to visit, to them John is home.
After our hike up to see Cloughmore Stone, and a bit of breakfast, we packed up and headed to Poyntzpass in County Armagh. I’ve been there once before, for John’s Uncle’s funeral service, and to lay some flowers on a grave.
When John and I were married, his sister told me of an Irish tradition of the bride placing her bouquet on the grave of a relative instead of throwing it to the single ladies.
Knowing we were going to Ireland a few months after our wedding, I saved part of my bouquet to lay upon John’s Father’s headstone in Poyntzpass. So we headed back to the little church and graveyard to pay our respects. Continue reading
I have been super busy with family needs these last five days, and haven’t found the time to write. I got back home last night and this morning I’m working on catching up with a few things.
It’s interesting how life is filled up with busy moments and I get caught up in it all. Then something happens to remind me that it’s all just little stuff. It’s okay that I haven’t written here in a few days. And it’s even okay if I’m behind on a few reports due.
It is also okay that I take some “me time” to regroup and replenish.
It’s not all here!
If you haven’t already, please follow me on my Facebook page. I share different posts there and each Friday do a fun mind teaser. Continue reading
I will never forget the realtor that worked with my banks to ‘short sale’ my homes. She was a bitch.
Yep, I went there.
She treated me with such disrespect and down right contempt. I was already mortified and embarrassed, but this woman was actually enjoying kicking me while I was down.
And speaking of down, have you ever experienced bankruptcy? It is a life altering decision to make in the first place, but oh once the process starts you’re put into the “undesirable” category.
Which is where you will stay for at least 10 years.
Have you ever cleaned houses for a living? It’s hard work. Really hard. But if you’re good, like I was, it pays pretty decent money. And now.
Only it doesn’t pay enough.
I couldn’t keep my head above water as an independent realtor any longer, so I moved my license from ReMax over to a smaller company that only took a portion of any commission I made.
It was a defeat, but one I had to accept.
2007 was just an all around crappy year for me. Being a realtor who owned two homes during the housing crisis was a double whammy and just about sent me off the deep end.
Not only was I losing my homes, but my income had plummeted. And if you don’t know how it works for a realtor, let me explain.
We pay for everything.
What do you do when you have too much on your plate?
Take something off of it, right? I’ve got a busy day and had to prioritize and exercise won out over a new blog post.
Speaking of plate, I thought I’d share this little post I wrote about an evening of “cheating” with some Italian. I love Italian food. It’s amazing and delicious and satisfying to all my senses. And since I’m still working on losing a few more pounds before our spring vacation, I’m changing up the menu just a bit.
I’m making turkey Bolognese (heating up would be more accurate) and having it with zoodles and broccoli, instead of pasta and garlic bread … #notthesame Continue reading
Last year in photography class I learned what a photo essay is and how to create one. It was one of the funnest assignments for that class.
A photo essay is a visual story and my challenge was to tell that story in only seven photos:
Lead photo: emotional portrait or action shot
The scene: set the stage and describe the scene of the story
Portraits: capture emotional expression, humanizing the story
The details: relevant object – be informative
Close-up: tightly cropped, simple shot represents the elements
The signature shot: summarizes the story, captures key elements
And the clincher: what do I want the viewer to walk away with?
I chose my son and his dog for the assignment. They have a love for each other that is beautiful and unconditional, as so many pet owners do. Continue reading
I’ve said before that my favorite job is Event Planning, and my favorite event is a wedding celebration!
I am in San Francisco meeting with the bride and groom to go over details. And what better place to do that than Mama’s in North Beach. It was worth getting in line early to be the first in the door.
The beginning stages of planning a wedding
After breakfast we talked about everything from venues to honeymoon destinations. So very exciting! Continue reading
I purchased my dream house in May 2006, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Every thing about this place spoke to my soul. I truly felt as if I was “home” for the first time in a very long time.
The back yard was quiet and beautiful and I spent most of my summer days out in that yard or on the deck. Inside my house was decorated exactly how I wanted it. Everything was perfect.
I love this picture of my boys laughing and joking in my back yard
many days spent on that little deck
Everything was perfect
Except for the two house payments I had.
I had this stone topped antique table that weighed about 300 pounds that I absolutely loved. I bought it sight unseen from an antique dealer in Eastern Oregon. A friend of mine knew I was looking for an island table for my kitchen at my farm, and when she saw it, she called me right away.
The owner of the shop told me it was an old print set table for a local paper, back in the day. There was a twin to the table, but no others like it, and to this day I don’t know why I didn’t buy both of them.
Of course everyone who has helped me move that table from house to house could tell you why. There was a two-inch solid marble stone that slid into the three-sided wooden top.
And it weighed a ton!
Well, not really a ton, but you get my meaning. It took at least two strong men to move just the top of that table, and they were usually cursing me through the entire move.
But that thing had so much character. I thought it was black when I first got it home, but on closer inspection, realized it was just covered in ink. I used oven cleaner to get the stone clean, and started scrubbing the old wood.
Layer after layer of dark sticky ink came off to reveal a lovely dark walnut color. After several layers of ink were wiped away from the top, a beautiful old pitted stone presented itself.
It was a work of art.
2006 was shaping up to be a good year for me. I met “Tom” in May and by the end of that month I had another wonderful surprise.
My real estate business was going strong and I was making great money. Everything but the kitchen and exterior of my ‘70’s house had been remodeled, and I was feeling confident and accomplished.
I was having fun dating Tom and, because of our polar opposite views on religion, we were having wonderful conversations that would go on for hours and hours. It was stimulating and as someone who is a bit of a debater, I loved every minute of it.
Tom was a charming gentleman who loved a good glass of wine and a lively discussion.
Dating in my 40’s was so very different from dating in my 20’s.
When I first started dating, in my 20’s, I was wide-eyed and innocent. Every date was like a new opportunity to meet an amazing person. Or even to just have a good time. Dating in my late 40’s was so very different.
I was anxious, nervous, and guarded – as were many of the men I met. Most of the guys I dated were divorced, and the few that weren’t, I was suspicious of. What was wrong with them that they hadn’t found a partner yet?
That was the guarded, judgmental side of me.
Not like flu sick, more of just a chest/head cold. It’s not too bad, and I’m able to function well enough to take care of myself. But chores like laundry and dishes or cooking are a strain.
I’m even struggling to write, which is why I missed my post yesterday. Instead, I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook. I put up a photo of me on my bike and asked a question: Do you workout if you’re feeling sick?
A week on the road with John sure set my diet and exercise back! Not only did I spend a lot of time sitting, but I also reverted to my husband’s eating schedule. Eating two big meals per day works well for him.
For me, that plan doesn’t work so well. In January I went back to eating the way I have for most of my life. I eat five times per day, making sure to get breakfast in within 30 minutes of waking up. And at 58, it’s how I keep my metabolism going.
That and exercise.
My husband’s job is in outside sales. Because of that, he is on the road a lot. Most weeks he’s gone three or four days, traveling around southern California, into Nevada and Arizona. It’s a good job for him, because he’s a bit of a wanderer anyway.
It’s good for me too, because I get time to myself to do my own thing. That, and the toilet seat’s down the entire week. But there are times I like to tag along with him. And that’s what we did this week.
It was fun riding shotgun and taking in the views along the drive. Continue reading