Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Wormhole Called Facebook

The last 24 hours of my life have been interesting to say the least. I turned 41 (ouch) years old yesterday but for the record, I'm skipping it and shall remain 40 for one more year. Not only did I mark another milestone but it was intensified by joining this little social networking site, WWW.FACEBOOK.COM. My friend Trish was on me to join and I did so reluctantly yesterday thinking I would register and in a few days get some hits from people I haven't seen or heard from in twenty plus years. It was as if a floodgate were opened. It feels like a class reunion on line. The recent photos of people jog your memory back to the black and white yearbook photos and it's a chilling reminder of how time is so damn fleeting. I must admit, most of them look pretty good. I have spent hours on it and if I'm not careful, I'll start neglecting my domestic and professional duties. What makes me feel even older is that the whole social networking site thing is so last millennium but here we are patting ourselves on the back for being so tech savvy and clever. I'm slowly turning into a middle aged housewife. God help me...

I apologize for not blogging over the holiday but just couldn't find the motivation let alone the time. I trust everyone had a wonderful holiday, filled with family, gifts and cherished time together.

I'm ready to give 2008 a firm ass kicking into the history books and move swiftly into 2009. We all need to buck up and get down to business. Stop worrying so much...wipe the slate clean, focus on the future and roll up your sleeves. We really need to turn around our economic habits and our frame of mind. Hopefully, Mr. Obama will be able to pull this out of his ass and get us back on our feet. Those of you that know me personally are aware of my feelings about our future president so just know I'm being very kind here. C'mon Barry!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Maybe some loaded eggnog would do the trick?

I am still struggling to get in the spirit of the season. My home is decorated, the containers at school are finished and we watched Elf last night. If that doesn't kick start my yule-tide emotions, I'm not sure what will. Maybe It's a Wonderful Life while making gingerbread men with my children. I'm pretty sure some of it has to do with this monstrous economic meltdown that's being shoved down our throats with every newspaper and network cranking it out like it's Armageddon. Maybe we should boycott the news till the New Year. Let's just act like everything is hunky-freakin-dory and enjoy the hell out of our Christmas, blissfully ignorant to Rome burning around us. Sounds highly dysfunctional but I'm on board.

Here's my other issue this year, my twins are ten years old and they know the jig is up with Santa. Heartbreaking and eye opening at the same time. I'm trying to reason with them with the historical account of the actual St. Nicholas, a real person who has been immortalized as a Saint. He did exist and still does in our hearts. They're having a hard time wrapping their heads around this one. More lies and far flung stories out of Mom's mouth. "Who eats the cookies on Christmas Eve?!" my daughter demanded to know. "He does", I tell her. "You mean Dad, right?" she smirks. How can I tell her no when she knows she's right? Parenthood is a bitch sometimes.

Help me out here...let me know your Christmas Cheer solutions and I'm sure some of you out there have wonderful Santa-coming-of-age stories to share. Let me know. In the mean time, I'm going to buck up and try my damnedest to be jolly, even if I have to fake it for my kids.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

You're a mean one...Mr.Grinch

After having my hands gouged by needles and tiny branches and encrusted in sap, after leaving a half a million needles all over my floor and rugs, after securing the beast in my vintage tree stand, complete with rusty metal screws and after spending another twenty minutes trying to keep in straight up in the stand...I love my real live Christmas tree. As much as I love to complain, it was worth every bloody and sticky finger. Talk to me after I string the lights later, that may be another story.

The best part of bringing home the tree is unpacking all the ornaments and reliving all the memories as you unwrap them. My jack-o-lantern from Evanston, the Mardi Gras mask from New Orleans, the Horoscope globe from Lincoln Park and my Alice in Wonderland paper dolls from Marshall Fields. (That's Macy's on State Street for all of you who are not Chicagoans). I actually cherish the imprinted gift boxes as much as the ornaments themselves. Remember the green paper tote bags, "three o'clock, time to shop!" I sound like a sentimental grandma...but those were the glory days. I digress.....I hope you all enjoy unwrapping your memories this Christmas. Having really unique and special ornaments makes it more of an event when it's time to trim the tree. You're not just strategically placing Target-$9.99-a-box-for-a-dozen-red-balls on your tree, you're reveling in each piece, like it's a piece of you on the tree for all to see. A biography of your family. My kids have a story to tell about each one. Which is the favorite, where it came from or who bought it for us as a gift. Another holiday tradition that happened without being contrived, those are the best and longest lasting. Hopefully, my kids will do the same with their children someday.

Maybe the spirit is starting to move me...a little.

Monday, December 1, 2008

All the Realtors in the house...

A quiet shout-out to all you real estate professionals out there. I know the market is brutal now and has been for some time but there is light at the end of this tunnel. I do believe we have hit the bottom. It is a tough road back. Buyers are still calling the shots but with a little help, you can give your clients a little more leverage. In this market, as always, your listing needs to stand out...way out! Please advise your clients that a few hundred dollars can get it sold. I have consulted and staged many scary, out dated, cluttered and overly personalized homes and every one of them sold within weeks of a staging after being on the market for months and sometimes almost a year! It doesn't need to be drastic (Ala Designed To Sell) just substantial cleaning, organizing, arranging and packing up will have sweeping changes.

If you have a listing that needs help but you would like to keep your relationship intact with your client, call me. I'll be the bad guy. Until the house gets an offer finally, then I get to be the good guy! I've worked with many Realtors and am happy to share referrals with you.In the mean time, hang in there, it's only going to get better from here on out.

As for everyone else, if your home needs a good once-over-twice (you know who you are) let's get together and see what we can do to make your home more comfortable, organized, livable and stylish...your style, not mine. That is what makes a good house and a wonderful home.