A to Z: Selling Our House (Letter A)


We are wanting to sell our property, our oneacrewoods, the two conjoined houses that we, my parents, my children, and numerous friends and family have lived in for the last 24 years.  It’s seen some very good years of our lives and we have “feelings” for it. It is lovely, it is home, and it’s going on the market. 

And why would we be leaving this lovely place when the whole world seems to be moving to Florida?

A is for Asking price (as distinct from “getting” price.)

I have just read that most homeowners ask too much for their house when they set out to sell. It’s out of love, of course. We don’t want to do that because we would LOVE a quick sale. We know that the prospective buye may or may not love our house and is certainly not interested in paying as much as possible to live in it. So, we have the matter of determining an asking price. It should be one that is reasonable for the market, taking into consideration the age of the house, the neighborhood and numerous other factors. And it should probably be one that we are willing to lower. I don’t like that selling a house is kind of like bargaining at a flea market.

We had a realtor look at our house. He wanted to help us find a good asking price. The place most realtors start is to look for what they call “comparables” – houses as much like yours as possible in the same area. Since most residential properties are not two full houses on one parcel of land, there really aren’t any comparables in our neighborhood. Our way of thinking is to take the price of one nearby sale and double it, right? I guess that’s not the way it works though. We had a hard time accepting the price this realtor suggested.

After waiting, downcast, for several months, we met another realtor who was a little more encouraging. We have what is becoming more common these days, a multi-generational property. I didn’t realize it, but more and more people are living with a couple generations together in the same house or an attached apartment of some kind. Our houses are much more than a mother-in-law room over the garage, and the acre of yard full of huge live oaks in the quiet, central part of a block is something everyone admires. Everyone who comes to our house wants to live here.

Our realtor is with Better Homes and Gardens Realty. I’m thinking that if BH&G thinks they can sell our house for what we’d like to sell it for, we’re going to let them try. I’ve seen their magazine and they seem to know a lot about houses, just sayin’ …

I am in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. If you found this by clicking the link in the A list, then you know I made a mistake in my link. Here is the correct one to my site. So sorry!  https://shirleyjdietz.com/2018/04/01/a-to-z-selling-our-house/

A to Z in April


I’m committing to this blogging challenge because I have finally found a purpose for it. A purpose that will make it easier to survive April. It will be my angst release valve. Let me explain.

The husband and I have been talking about selling our house and moving for, well… ages, but we are now to the point of having a realtor as our new best friend. It’s my new job (in addition to paring down) to make the house go on the market in the next month. I’ve started a new level of preparation in the last few weeks and it’s made me so busy and preoccupied that writing about anything has gone to the bottom of my to-do list. I didn’t see how I could possibly write for the challenge with all that’s going on.

Then I started thinking of all that I’ve learned, all the interesting new people who’ve come along, all the snags and complications. It would be easy to write about this experience, emotionally beneficial and more socially acceptable than sitting in the driveway screaming/crying/pulling out my hair. It took my family all of 15 minutes to think of a topic for every letter of the alphabet. Yes!

The things making up my days are now going to make it into writing in the month of April. If you’ve ever thought of buying or selling a house, you might learn something useful. If you’ve done it before and know all about it, you might like to compare your experience with mine. Either way, follow along. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

#AtoZChallenge: My Favorite Things Y

This pelican has nothing to do with the post subject but posts are better with pictures and I’ve always wanted to use this one.


I have spent many years being very fond of the word “yes”, except for a brief period around two years old when I was probably practicing “no” more than “yes”. It has been not only a joy to have said yes to many things but it has been the source of adventure that has made life rich. It is hard to go through life without any regrets, but I can’t think of a single “yes” that I would take back if I could. (Perhaps that’s just the blessing of selective memory? Perhaps. ) You know the results of the things you say yes to. The times you answer “no”, you always wonder… what if I had said “yes”.

When I was very young, I said “yes” to God, which was about the only thing I had a choice in. Kids aren’t aware of all the choices they have because they don’t really seem like choices. Should I obey? Should I lie? Should I hide? But the chosen answers do start the formation of character.

As a young adult, I’m glad I said “yes” to the hard work of schooling, to marriage, to employment opportunities, to children.

I’m glad I said “yes” to travel experiences in a faraway part of the world. I’m glad I spent time camping on the Appalachian Trail. I’m glad I said “yes” to riding a horse across Florida.

I’m glad I said “yes” to all the beginning conversations that ended in long time friendships. I could really have missed out there. I’m glad I stretched myself to come alongside some who were in need. I’ve been repaid for those “yeses” as they have given me a sense of purpose and a chance to share burdens with others without going through the hardship myself – vicarious learning.

I’m glad I said “yes” to writing – years of corresponding with friends and family, years of journaling, and years now of this blog. It is my record of life.

To be fair, the word “no” is not bad just because “yes” has been good. “No” finds its rightful place more often now and it feels more like wisdom to say it. I am only content in saying it because of all the times I’ve said “yes”. (No, I don’t want to go waterskiing. I’ve done that and I have no desire to have my arms pulled out of their sockets today. Thanks.)

There is a whole world of “yes” out there, still to be explored, no matter who you are or what your circumstances.  Think about it.


What unregretted “yes” pops into your mind as you read this?


I am afraid of my blog. 

I am afraid it will punish me if I don’t write in it. I haven’t been to it in a couple weeks and I know it’s sitting out there with an attitude, I can feel it. I want to go hide from it. I want to teach it a lesson, that it can’t harass me this way just because I don’t feel like writing. You know, sometimes you actually have to live life in order to have something to write about, duh?


Hey blog, maybe I forget to take a picture of every little thing I do, maybe I just don’t want to, and of course I can’t post without a picture to go with it, or so you say. When we started this whole thing blog, you never told me that my media file would get full and that it would be nag, nag, nag.  “Make me a premium blog and I’ll give you all the media storage you want! (he, he, smirk)”.  You never told me it was going to take an hour every Tuesday just to delete emails from all the other blogs that actually have people writing in them regularly. Guilt trip, guilt trip. Do you think I have nothing to do but read blogs all day? And just maybe I’m becoming aware that my family is nervous every time I do something with them because it’s going to be a blog post.  I get that look, you know the one.

When we started this relationship, it was a dear diary thing, something my mom could read so she would know I’m still alive, just a record of my mundane life.  I really just want to be reminded of what’s going on from day to day because I’m so old that it’s hard to remember.  What was I doing a month ago, a year ago? But now I have Facebook for that and I don’t even have to ask them.

But you, blog, you have become a weight on my soul. Although I’m all for discipline, I need it for other more important things (like eating my vitamins and taking baths) and can’t see using it all up on you. There are a lot of other things I’m not doing right now but are they hanging around making me feel guilty? No, not usually.  And you aren’t the only game in town either – maybe I’ll write a book. Yeah, a book, a little book with short chapters and you’ll see how important you aren’t!

Okay, maybe I’m just having a bad day week month and I’ll be sorry next week that I “lost it” and wrote about you like this. Maybe, maybe not. I’m just sayin’, you need to quit making me feel bad. That’s all.

The Next Cup

To write about things you like is fun.  To share what others have written about things you like is fun. To hear back from others about what you like is rewarding (and fun).  Probably the most fun of all is when others are stirred to do something, maybe something surprising, that acknowledges they have read what’s been posted.  They take advantage of the opportunity to engage, respond and, well… be nice and have fun.

My recent post on coffee was reblogged from James Radcliffe and in describing the perfect cup of coffee that he had made, he mentioned that he uses a hand grinder to grind the beans.  Tonight, I got a text from the husband telling me that he found a coffee grinder outside our door.  He didn’t know who it was from at first but did notice a card in it a little later.  I LOVE SURPRISES! And I didn’t have a hand coffee grinder.  I can’t wait to have that next cup of coffee with hand ground beans!  Thank you JCB, Cracker Poemer, for reading and following up with a fun surprise that made my day, just sayin’…

We shall have to write a poem about this…

The Fun of #AtoZChallenge

My post on figs triggered a memory in one reader – a restaurant under a fig tree in Portugal! They actually have to warn patrons about the falling figs, and I would suppose if one falls on you it would be yours to eat. They look delicious as you can see in the tiny picture, bottom right. I Just have to Say

Thank you Joy! You are a delightful, interactive reader. Just sayin’…

As you may have noticed by now, this alphabet challenge is about a lot more than the alphabet, a lot more than practicing our writing, a lot more than seeing if we can post something consistently for a month.  If you will treat it as such, it’s like a month long party with chances to meet and get to know a very eclectic bunch of people. And you can go in your pajamas… How sweet.  I hope everyone is enjoying the interaction. I sure am.




Mind – a four letter word…

I happened upon lindaghill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday with the word “mind” as a prompt. http://lindaghill.com/2015/08/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-2215/  I have not linked to something of this kind before so we’ll see how it goes.

What it brought to MIND was the way people around me seem to be in fear of losing theirs.  One example is the husband, who is always shaking his head over something he’s forgotten he did.  He makes notes at work so he can look back and remember.  He looks at the notes and can’t believe he wrote them.

So I forget things too, and I have to say I forget things more than I used to.  Sometimes I am talking and I know what I intend to say but I can’t think of the word I want to use.  I can try to say the thought in a different way, but I want that one word.  I know I’ve used it many times and it is a friend of mine but it won’t come out.  I used to never remember the word for this awesome flower, hydrangea, and I would mull it over for a couple hours…” what is that word, what is that word, I think it starts with C, no J, no G, no…” and then I fixed the problem by calling it water flower because I can associate water with hydro and  *presto!* it pops into my MIND.

And I have trouble remembering what kind of dog Charlie is.  I can always remember terrier but not the specific kind.  Conquered that too, it’s Wheaten.  And he is the color of wheat so will I forget it? No, it just takes me a couple seconds to remember what to call his color.  He is not a Beige Terrier, or an OffWhite Terrier.  I’m confusing myself.

And so what if I remember to lock the door but leave the key in the lock on the outside.  I don’t know how a person does that but I’m sure it’s because I get distracted with all the things on my MIND.

I have had several clients with Alzheimer’s  and that is indeed something to fear.  Whatever it is that messes with their minds is really an enemy and I have deep compassion for people who lose family members to that disease.  My mom always says that she hopes if she gets it she won’t be upset because she won’t remember being any other way.  I hope if I get Alzheimers I will do it in a happy way, and everyone I am with will be like meeting a new friend every time I see them.  That would be lovely.

Hey we all forget. And we forget more as we age.  But we don’t forget everything and I’m praying about it, thinking that it’s just one more thing under God’s control.  If I’m his servant, then I’m his problem and he can figure out what to do with me.  I don’t MIND.


Maybe you would like to do a SoCS post? If so, here are the rules and the link to use is in my first paragraph.

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

I’m a little too challenged…

Believe it or not, every now and then I do something to learn how to be a better blogger/writer.  Not that it always shows, I know.  The latest effort is called something like “10 days to a better blog”  and every day there is a lesson and a challenge for me to complete. I have learned some useful things.  It’s supposed to take 15 minutes a day but it’s turning out to take way more than that.  It’s a good thing I have practically nothing to do out here in Seattle…

Like today.  The challenge was to categorize all your posts into major categories – 3 to 5 of them.  For some people this is a 15 minute task, I understand.  But for me, having written my 500th post recently, and having no real system of arranging them, this is going to take the rest of the week. And that’s if I figure out how to do it quickly.  My head hurts.

There’s also a Facebook page where all 600 of us taking the free course are supposed to share our work and get to know each other.  It’s like going to the mailbox and reading two or three hundred letters every day.  That’s a 15 minute job, right?  It’s a good thing I have nothing to do in Seattle….

For family and friends who have been reading what I write, this means that once in a while you are going to see an old post come up.  Probably with a new title.  There is this very cool site that will analyze my titles for free and tell me how to make people want to read the post.  I’m supposed to use power words, and emotional words, and common and uncommon words, blah, blah, blah….  Did I try about 20 words that I thought were emotionally appealing before I found out that “in the” were considered emotional? Yes. That challenge took more than 15 minutes too, but it’s a good thing I’m here in Seattle where there’s nothing else to do…

So, bear with me.  The ten days is almost up and then I will probably go back to the same old format, same old colors, same old fonts, and same boring titles I’ve always had.  I might need a little encouragement or feedback.  If there is anything you like or don’t like about what I have to say, here’s your chance.  Actually, did you know you could comment on any post?  I can’t stop you, hahaha, so put it out there. I’m just sayin’, figuring out what people want to read, what they need to read and what I want to write is sometimes a little too challenging.  But hey, I’m here in Seattle…

Why Is It Important?

I haven’t been writing lately. I’ve been doing hard physical work in the yard, reading, walking, knitting. It’s been a bit of a holiday from electronic gadgets. It’s been nice but I have wondered why I’m not thinking of things to write and making myself follow up on them. Sometimes it takes so much effort to make meaningful statements about a rather ordinary life. I started thinking…

Why is this important at all?

Who cares?

Why this struggle to write?

And it was surprising to me when the same kind of question came up this morning in my study of the Bible. There is a chapter in Numbers that is a long list of places that the Israelite tribes camped over the 40 years they spent traveling around the deserts in the Sinai area. Probably over 30 records that go kind of like this “They left the desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah. They left Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.” and on and on. The question was  “Why was it important to record the stages in Israel’s journey to Canaan?” I wasn’t really sure why it was important and had to think about it. Imagine that, having to think…

The whole chapter reads a lot like something you’d find in public records today – place names and once in a while a fact or reference to a happening at that place.  To me that means it really occurred and is a historical record. Those people lived and they did that. And there was my answer, or one of them, as to why I write. It’s important to me to leave a record, whether or not I know it’s importance to anyone.  Numbers chapter 33 is not humorous, not really inspiring (well, maybe it is when you realize that 40 years of camping is really a LOT of camping), not much any variety of expression or word choice.  It’s about as lackluster as the details of my week’s activities.

I’ve come from a family of letter writers and journalers, some as far back as four or five generations.  Because of those writings, which I find very interesting, I don’t have to wonder what life was like for them, what they thought about, what their worries were, what kind of families they had, what hardships, what joys, what fun, what they believed and why. I find things in those letters that speak to me about who I am and who I want to be.  Only a few people have access to my family’s letters but there is an internet today that gives anyone with a computer access to what I write.  Who knows when it might be found interesting, or by whom?

The other reason it was important to record the stuff in Numbers 33 is because, as the author said, God told him to write it.  I guess we don’t always know why we’re told to do things, particularly when it’s God who does the telling.  I don’t hear God’s audible voice telling me to record that I cleaned the rain gutters on the house today.  What I am aware of is a lifelong love of writing things down and communicating them to others, an awareness that occasionally others affirm the worth of what I write. In a way that is a command to be using what I can do.  That’s why I get concerned when I don’t feel like writing, when I don’t know what to write.

You mean I have to write that!? No, please…

I’m just saying I wonder if the author of a book like Numbers felt the same way when he wrote chapter 33.

No Easy Button Here

I need one of these, please.

I woke up this morning with a vague memory of having published a post last night, in my sleep.  I remembered trying to focus and finish the last few sentences with open eyes at least four times.  It’s a little scary when you don’t remember what you wrote but you do remember hitting the publish button.  I had to go to the site and read what I wrote.  Blogging is not always easy.  I can’t think of anything that’s always easy.  Tonight I’m even more tired so this is a short one.

I realized yesterday what an eclectic world the internet makes available to me.  In my everyday travels I meet only a few people and mostly ones of my same ethnicity and culture/world view.  When I go to my blog reader I trade ideas and thoughts with such a variety of people that it is mind boggling.  Hardly anyone is like me.  And yet I can always find one or two things that we have in common, which is how we find each other.  It is a marketplace for sure and my goal is to learn to express myself plainly while showing curiosity, compassion and encouragement to those I interact with.  So many people, so many blogs, so many words… just sayin’.