Wednesday, March 4, 2009

. . .decluttered the house

and cleaned it up so that the realtor coming today won't think I'm a total slob. It looks pretty good. (Don't go in the basement. . . it's like one of those horror movies, you know something terrible will happen if they go to the basement.) I think we improved the place while we lived in it, except for the nasty carpet in the family room. A few things need attention, I'm sure. . . there is a central vac system that I always hated and never used. I think it's screwed up. The water softener is probably kaput, too. A few nicks and dents in the painted woodwork. Just stuff you know is messed up but you learn to live with it until you can afford to fix it or forget about it because you don't really use it. Soon it will be time to clean up the yard and work in the garden, and if potential buyers see the garden in spring, it will blow them away.

So I had no time for making art yesterday. As I worked in the house, I noticed that I had almost no art on the walls, with the exception of a couple of small pieces I had purchased or received from other artists, and a small piece of my own that is small and perfect and that I can never duplicate. I have some spare mats and maybe a frame or two hanging around, so maybe I'll put a couple of my random art pieces up, the ones I create from leftover paint as I make the big pieces. Maybe it will be advertisement to potential buyers, both of the house and the art. That's assuming facts not in evidence: that there will be potential buyers coming through the house.

I have been involved and buying and selling a number of houses. Once it took two years, and we had two mortgage payments. Back in the day when interest rates were 18% or so, it was tough to sell a house. One time the kids and I lived in a house for months until it sold, while the husband lived and worked three hours away. So when we sold the house we had before this one in four days, it was a wonderful surprise. I am thankful that this is not an emergency situation. If needed, I can stay here for a while. And I don't have to take a low-ball offer, I don't have to arrange a short sell.

Everyday I hear another sad story about the effect the economic situation has had on families close to me. Very few of these people lived beyond their means. They were like me. . . we worked hard, saved up, didn't owe a lot, and somehow ended up losing everything. I sound whiny when I say it, but it just doesn't seem fair, does it?


Jazz said...

You're right, it isn't fair. And it pisses me off to no end that all these companies that have been living way over their means are being bailed out by taxpayers money. It drives me crazy - they get handouts while the little guy loses his home.

Things never change.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

It isn't fair. So, I'm curious. Can we see the little perfect piece you will never be able to duplicate? And as you are rich in art, I say hand a lot of it. Relish being rich in art. It is good for the soul.

Carol Wiebe said...

Good luck on the house selling, Mary!

I loved your comment about "random art pieces--the ones I create from leftover paint as I make the big pieces." I do that too, and many times they end up being favorites of mine! It must have something to do with the freedom and looseness that comes with the attitude of "It's just leftover paint." I guess the trick is to transfer that attitude to the big pieces (I am speaking for myself here). It's much harder to do than image transfers.

Regina said...

I agree with Carol.
I really like the art you posted today. I see tension on it that seems appropriate for what you wrote about. (I see the tension where it looks like the circle wants to roll off the horizontal surface - maybe it's just me).

A rambling rose said...

I hope it all turns out good for you Mary and that you find a new place which will feed your artist soul - tough times also over here in the Uk with many families suffering from the economic crisis - For me the lesson is to embrace life each day because it is so fragile and unpredictable

A rambling rose said...

Forgot to say I love the piece of work!

Carol Wiebe said...

Mary, your key points about the sale of your house were "I am thankful that this is not an emergency situation. If needed, I can stay here for a while. And I don't have to take a low-ball offer, I don't have to arrange a short sell." I really wasn't being glib about wishing you good luck on selling: I have great belief in "meant to be." Worrying will not increase or hurry a sale, so try to concentrate on your wonderful creative gifts and let the house take care of itself. I have been there, I know it can be hard to let go of such things, but it is better for the soul if you can.

Mary Buek said...

Thank you, everyone, for the positive thoughts and support for me re selling my house. Here's what makes me sick: Strangers coming into my house and judging the way we live, our possessions, our taste. And staging the house, which in my case involves moving the sofa out of the family room to make it look bigger, forgetting that I live in that room, I live on that sofa, I don't want it to go anywhere else while I live here. So I have almost decided to bite the bullet and just stay here as long as I can scrounge up the cash to make the payments and then as long as it takes to foreclose or whatever the current plan for economic stimulus may be.

Jazz: Oh, I hope you are wrong about things never changing. What pisses me off is I have never needed any government assistance in my life, and I just need a bit of help now to get back on my feet. When my poor 80-year-old mother offers to financially assist me, I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed to have to ask for financial assistance from anyone. I'm embarrassed that my home may have to be open to scrutiny. Obviously, I gently suggested that my mother keep what she has, but thanked her for thinking of it.

Leslie, I am not even rich in art right now. All I have left around here are the odds and ends, nothing even to put on the walls. Except for your piece, which has been moved to the living room and looks great there. I hesitate to show that piece. . . what if it's not as good as I think. We'll see.

Carol, you are absolutely correct. It is that freedom, that feeling that it doesn't matter, you can always paint over something you don't like, no one is going to see it anyway. The little random piece I put up in the hallway got several positive comments yesterday from the realtors. And I, too, have a great belief in "what's meant to be" and with patience and thoughtfulness, a solution will arise. I just need to be smart enough to recognize it when it does.

Regina: Interesting comment about the tension. I don't feel tense, but perhaps I am. I really do a pretty good imitation of mellow most of the time. Perhaps my feelings really do come out in my paintings. That's thought-provoking.

Rose: Good thought...embrace life, be thankful for what I have. Don't think about what is lost. Look for the opportunity in everything.

bob cornelis said...


A really wonderful piece - if it is one you've done recently it just goes to show that terrific, expressive art can be made regardless of our circumstances - and that is a true gift!

Martha Marshall said...

Oh Mary, I am so there! Went through this exact same process getting this place ready to sell. We are having open house every Sunday afternoon now, bless my realtor friend's heart! Crossing fingers for both of us.

(The main difference, though, is that in Florida we don't have basements. So it's "don't go in the garage!")