Tag Archive | packing

A Home Buying Wine Tour

So, it’s one week until closing. We are just waiting, and getting the last bit of our packing finished. Our financing has been finalized for weeks, so other than packing, we really haven’t had a lot to do. Our buyer, however, is still not ready to go with her financing and it is making me nervous. Her mortgage officer is trying to reassure our agent that everything will be ready to go by closing, but I’m still nervous. I can’t understand why it should be taking so long if things are happening as they should. So, in the meantime, I’m trying not to think about it.  Yes, I’ll admit it – I try to be very organized about these things, and it annoys me to no end when other people are not, if it affects my world. And this certainly affects my world.

I have been a bit absorbed with this whole home process lately, and my wine and travel blog has been suffering. We haven’t had time to do much wine tasting! I’m looking forward to turning that around once we move and get some semblance of a normal life back. That said, we did do a local mini-tour last weekend in honor of harvest weekend with Jon’s mom and sister. We went to two local wineries – Willow Tree and Glacial Lake Missoula.

Willow Tree Vineyards is a new winery in the area, having opened their tasting room in April. As you drive in, it certainly doesn’t look like much. There is a ramshackle single-wide trailer on the driveway to the winery, and the winery itself is housed in a non-descript pole building. Which isn’t that uncommon for wineries in this area. Don’t let that deter you. Once you walk inside, the tasting room is tastefully decorated, with a fireplace, comfy seating, and a stand-up tasting bar. They also have had chocolates and cheese and crackers out each time I’ve been there, which is a huge bonus. I’m usually hungry in the afternoon, and the nibbles are great to hold me over until dinner. The co-owner is usually serving, and she is warm and friendly and knowledgeable about their wines. It is a winery where you feel welcome!

Willow Tree has several whites, including a Sauvignon Blanc, two vintages of Chardonnay and Viognier, and a Pinot Gerwurztraminer. My favorite of these is the Sauvignon Blanc, which has a crisp minerality that I enjoy. Jon likes their more heavily oaked Chardonnay. Willow Tree is currently having a labeling issue with the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency) on their “waiting to be released” Blue Heaven, which is a Blueberry Riesling. Yes, Riesling combined with Blueberry juice. We got to barrel taste it, and it was delicious. Which makes the fact that the ATF has now rejected 7 versions of the label especially frustrating for Jon’s mom and me, as we have to continue to wait to buy it! Willow Tree also has several good reds, including a Carmenere, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. Unfortunately, all the reds are currently sold out except for the Cab Franc. So, we are eagerly awaiting next year’s releases. What a nice problem for a new winery to have!

After we left Willow Tree, we headed out to Blaine to visit our favorite local winery, Glacial Lake Missoula. Tracey was holding down the fort with a friend, as Tom took a trip down to Oregon to pick up grapes. They are branching out and producing a Chardonnay and a Gamay Noir. I’m very excited about both. The Chardonnay will be another “enrobed” wine, which is Tom’s name for a white wine that is colored (and flavored) with the skins of red grapes. A white wine that looks like a red. And depending on the temperature you serve it at, it can taste completely different. Their current “enrobed” wine is a Marsanne, which is excellent, so I can’t wait to see what they do with the Chardonnay. And Gamay Noir is one of my favorite varietals, so I’m super-excited to try this one. Of course, as they are just crushing now, both wines have awhile until release. It is just so hard to wait!

I’m sensing a theme with this post. Waiting…. One of my least favorite things to do. Hopefully in one more week, the wait for the house will be over. Stay tuned.

P.S.  After posting this, I learned that our buyer’s loan docs are finalized and at the title company!  So everything should be good to go now!


The Top 10 Suckiest Things About Moving

In honor of buying a new home, and staging and selling the old one, and the insanity that we’ve gone through between then and now, I thought I would try to define the worst parts of this whole process.  These are in no particular order, because I think they all suck pretty equally.  Feel free to disagree, or suggest your own!

1.  The miscellaneous boxes.  You know the ones.  You pack the whole box of dishes, and then you find the two that were hiding in the dishwasher.  Or the whole box or garden tools, then you find that one trowel in the yard.  So you end up with all these boxes of odds and ends!

2.  The strangers coming in your house.  Even if you aren’t there, it feels so intrusive!  They look in your cupboards, and critique your decorating style, and when you come home, you know they were there…

3.  Staging.  Everybody knows that when you put your house on the market, you have to make it look like a trendy, stylish person with absolutely no stuff lives there.  Which means you have to pack most of your stuff. So when you want a specific book to read, it’s packed, and when your sis-in-law calls looking for a specific recipe in a cookbook you own, it’s packed.  And that puzzle you were working on is packed too!

4.  Inspections.  Enough said.  I think I’ve blogged about annoying buyers and annoying inspectors enough already!

5.  Knock down, drag out arguments.  Jon and I have argued more in the last few months than we ever have.  Which box should that widget go in with… how many art prints can I put in one box… And would you please take the hoses off the faucets and wrap them up to be moved already!?

6.  Kitty PTSD.  Kitties are very sensitive, and ours don’t really like these new developments.  They fight more among themselves, and they really hate that I leave all day to go to work.  They are looking forward to this all being over too. 

7.  The illusion that you can organize.  You know that the packing never really ends until the last day, when you have the truck, and you can just throw all the rest of your crap in there!  So until then, you try to figure out a way to make this whole thing organized, but it is really just a unattainable dream…

8.  The waiting.  After you go through the financing hurdles, inspections, appraisals, etc., there really is nothing more to do but wait.  So you imagine what life will be like in your fantastic new house, but your buyer asked for such a ridiculously long close that you still have several weeks to go.  Which means the kitties have to have Kitty PTSD for that much longer…

9.  The Beg and Plead.  We all hate it.  Helping people move.  If you say you like it, you are either lying, or crazy.  I’ll let my therapist sis-in-law try to figure out which one.  But when you move, you have to throw yourself on the mercy of your friends and family, because you can’t even come close to lifting your half of the China hutch.  And lugging those dressers up the stairs is beyond your 5’3″ frame’s capacity.  Yes, I’ll admit it, I have weakling arms.  Thanks in advance to all those willing to help!

10.  The exhaustion.  When you add it all up, this process is exhausting.  I’ve fallen asleep on the couch when on a packing break, and getting out of bed in the morning has been a lot tougher lately.  I’ve had a brain fog that is not typical for me.  The half marathon I did last weekend was a walk in the park compared to this!  I’m trying to keep my eyes on the prize, but after this I don’t want to do this again for a VERY, LONG Time! 

An Appraisal and Fifty-Seven Packing Boxes

Hopefully we are coming to the end of the home purchase transaction. It has been a long tiring road! We are waiting for the appraisals to come back and a re-inspection on the house that we are selling (DAMN dishwasher!) Then we wait. Well, and we finish packing. I have already signed, scanned, faxed and emailed enough documents to last me a good long while.  More repair people have been to the house in the last month than in the previous 3 or 4 years combined (why is it that we spruce up our houses to sell them?) Our savings account, I admit, has taken a bit of a beating too, as we get things in order. We just have to get through these last few weeks until we close and can move!

My kitties are feeling a bit anxious and unsettled as well. Oliver, who has never been much of a lap kitty, has been wanting to sit on my lap every chance he gets. Which I love, except when he is standing on my bladder. It makes Jon laugh because he says Oliver is almost as big as me! It is certainly tough to have both Oliver and the laptop on my lap at once. Martini has been letting him sit with me for awhile before she comes and boots him off my lap. She really is a bully, but it is pretty comical to watch a 7 pound cat intimidate a 17 pound cat! They have their system. Although the other day, she did let her guard down and let Oliver sit on my lap with her. That was a sight to see, but I couldn’t get a picture.

In packing news, we are almost down to the miscellaneous boxes. You know the ones. When you run out of the big stuff to pack, and all you have left is all the random stuff that never really has a good home. The junk drawer… that shelf above the washer and dryer…. I stand in the house staring, thinking of what I can possibly pack next that would make any sort of sense in a box together. I know it will get to the end and I will just have to shove some things in a box somewhere. I was trying to avoid that, but I guess we will just be heading across town, so that will have to do. I’m down to mostly the essential stuff, the stuff I think I might need in the next 25 days, which makes it tough to pack those items. What if I have to dig it back out?

I can barely remember the days when I lived in apartments and moved every year. I can no longer imagine a world where it took me three days to pack and move. I feel like I have been working on this for weeks, and I still have weeks to go! Apparently Jon isn’t as effective at breaking our glassware as I thought he was! I do hope that we are nearing the end though, because to be this tired for much longer is not something I’m looking forward to. But I guess I have to remember that since we decluttered the house to put it on the market, I haven’t been packing as diligently as I was, so no wonder it is taking awhile.

Even Jon has been feeling nostalgic for his things that are packed away and inaccessible. I would so love to do a puzzle, or pick any book off the shelf to read. I only kept a few books out – so when I finished the book I was reading on Saturday, I was at a loss for what I will read now. Jon keeps watching house hunting shows on TV, and has pointed out that it is nowhere near as easy as they make it look on TV. Poor guy – he is a home-buying virgin no more. I’m sure he would have loved to remain in ignorant bliss.

25 days until moving day! I can make it to the end of the tunnel! Just as long as we remember that the couch has to go out the front door and not the back….