Friday, March 16, 2007

The Dogs Must Be Crazy

Trying to sell my house is turning out to be a full-time job. When I sold my loft in Berkeley seven years ago, it was simple: hire the Merry Maids to give it a once over; list the place on Thursday; go out of town for the weekend; realtor holds open house Saturday and Sunday; take multiple offers Monday night; accept the highest offer which was 30% above asking price, and voila! A quick and painless procedure. But down here, the average time to sell a house is three to six months.

I mean, hell. Do you have any idea what it's like trying to keep your house perfectly clean 24/7, always ready to show at a moment's notice, for three to six goddamn months???

While I am no domestic goddess by a long shot, I do tend to drift a bit towards the Felix end of the tidiness spectrum. But holy mother of crap. It's no picnic in the park trying to keep this big old funky place blindingly spotless, day after day after long relentless day. I'm astonished to realize what a horrendous mess two tiny dogs and I can make, living here all by ourselves.

It's bad enough that we work in the garden for a few hours every day and track in all kinds of mud and leaves and grass and other miscellaneous gradoo. But we also sleep in the bed, take showers, change clothes, cook ourselves a meal or two, bring in the mail. And before we know it the damn place is a pig sty. So when a realtor suddenly calls to give us the requisite two hour notice before showing the house to interested gawkers, we have to scurry around like mad primping and preening and polishing every surface, trying to make it look like nobody except maybe Martha Stewart's OCD housekeeper lives here.

But then comes the fun part, the part of selling the house that is a picnic in the park. Literally. Whenever the realtors want to come by with gawkers in tow, the girls and I have to vacate the premises. Luckily for us, there's a beautiful big city park just four blocks away. It's several hundred acres so we can stroll around for an hour and never sniff the same puddle of pee twice.

So here's a photodocumentary of how we spent this lovely sunny spring morning, exiled in the neighborhood park while strangers tramped through our rooms and peered into our closets.

This is the nearby city park. Lots of open space for walkies, as well as several tennis courts, little league diamonds, rec centers, and playgrounds. Unfortunately we forgot our racquets today.

This shady live oak is a great spot for one of our favorite sports, squirrel watching.

The bushes are full of rabbits and squirrels, but we know if we try to lunge off after them we'll be sentenced to six weeks at boot camp with the dreaded Dog Whisperer.

We love to mill around the picnic tables where other people may have tossed their nasty greasy old fried chicken bones.

Those of us who have hair enjoy the breeze in it.

Some of us are brave enough to try the slide; others are scared shitless.


Some of us enjoy the swings; others would rather be boiled alive or devoured by the evil vaccum cleaner.

We're not sure if this is an alien space craft, or if we've wandered into the middle of a Brobdingnagian golf course. Whatever it is, we like to lift our legs on it.

Spring in the park is quite pleasant, but we hope to hell somebody buys this place before it gets too hot for us to spend an hour outside without dying. Which will be in about one more month.

For sale: One big old purple house with wrap-around veranda and eight million rose bushes that are just about to bloom.


Blogger ms. jared said...

hee! those pictures of your dogs are awesome. i wish i could take my cat for walks but she'd rather hang herself with the leash.

i also wish i could buy your house coz it's lovely!

3:03 PM  
Blogger County Gardening said...

Your park looks like a dream compared to the fields of mud we have up here this time of year. Lots of puppy towels on my front porch!

Good Luck with Everything!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Elan Morgan said...

I think that alien thing is a water tower. I've loved those things since I was a kid.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Jezebella said...

I think it's completely hilarious that your dogs play on the slides and the swings. I'll have to try that the next time someone lends me a small dog.

I wish I could buy your purple house (I heart purple), fold it up, put it my pocket, and bring it to where I live and work.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Meredith Jones said...

What a beautiful house. I want it, but I can't have it. Your posts are wonderful, as always.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Tarr said...

I can see why you love your house. But the adventure of designing and building your new place will be so exciting.

If you are at all interested in seeing how a tiny cabin can be built without much money, knowlege or experience, come visit us at

9:27 PM  
Blogger Ya Looblue said...

yay...dogs at the park...
ugh. i'm so jealous of your weather. after two days of a spring tease, it blizzarded here today. #*(!@*)($*@.
xoxo *~sarah

9:52 PM  
Blogger johnieb said...

I don't want your fucking house; I want you! Virtually speaking, of course. How the kids, dearest one? Having no hair to cut yourself so fucking sucks, eh?

I think it ought to be purchased for a Historical site, but the money'd probably only go to some medical practice, we'd just need to get some people to do some fund-raising or get it to be a line item in the state budget; call it "The Good Life: Living with Style as the Millenium Turns." Somebody at least donate it.

Love from Hartford on a Snowy Night in Lent

9:49 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I love the picture of the poor girl scared shitless. When I put my dogs through an obedience class, on the last day there was a hat and a camera - I chased my dog backwards with the hat - which he thought was a new torture device. The trainer thought I was the cruelest thing in the room - he'd 'never seen a dog more scared.'

Huh. He wasn't around when I was training the wee poor beastie that the kennel was a goodly, warm and cosy, safe place to sleep and to hide when need be. Or when dog finally came around to realising that the foot moving past him was not going to randomly swing out and boot him one.

Bailey *was* a little wild-eyed that day, but he looks like Marty Feldman at the best of times. I honor his trust in me and would NOT arbitrarily betray that. If I thought he was truely frightened to that extent, I wouldn't have gone for the picture. No more than you would shove your leary princess down that slide for shits and giggles.

Her expression is priceless... HELP ME? DOWN! NOW?

11:01 PM  
Blogger Elbow said...

I am weeping with laughter at this post. Your dogs are awesome by themselves, but with your commentary, they are hysterical! Thanks for the late-night laugh.

9:47 PM  

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