A few years ago we purchased an investment house that came with a multitude of problems.  One of the least was the 35 gallons of ancient paint in the basement.  Some was even lead based.  This was a small town and no local hazardous waste facility.  It took a lot of research, but I finally found through the local trash company’s main office a knowledgeable woman who gave me the instructions on how to dispose of all the old paint.

It took 6 months, a 5 foot tall stack of cardboard and newspaper and 300 pounds of kitty litter to accomplish.  We only have 4 gallons to do here so this will be a quick process.

PROPER PAINT DISPOSAL 1STEP 1 – Arrange the cardboard boxes on top of plastic drop cloths .


STEP 2 – Open the cans and arrange the lids paint side up along the bottom of the boxes on top of several layers of old newspaper.


STEP 3 – Sprinkle a substantial layer of clay based kitty litter over the can lids.


STEP 4 – Pour the first can of paint over the kitty litter and spread even with a paint stir stick.


STEP 5 – Sprinkle another layer of kitty litter on top and allow to dry.  This process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the paint consistency and amount.  Ideally you want to make very thin layers and not make the boxes too heavy to lift.

STEP 6 – Sprinkle kitty litter all over the insides of the empty cans.


STEP 7 – When the paint is dry, toss the whole mess in your trash can.  Simple as that.



The move that was supposed to be relatively smooth turned into the nightmare from hell.  As for the moving company, it took us 23 days to take delivery on the 5-7 day promise and with that was 2 missing tables and a box.  The boxes looked like they had been through an earthquake (interesting since we had bought all new!)  The company has NOT returned 1 phone call or email!!

DO NOT USE: PROUD AMERICAN MOVING COMPANY!   They will tell you they are not a broker BUT they ARE!!!

They arranged for ___________ to pick up our items.
GLITCH #101 – They were supposed to pick up on Monday morning November 7th 8-10AM.  We waited an extra week so we could have that specifically!  They called on Sunday the 6th to say they wouldn’t be there until Tuesday the 8th 4-6PM.  So far we’re talking 2 additional nights and delaying us into the weekend making utility turn ons impossible so actually costing us 3 more nights of lodging.
GLITCH #102 – The guy in charge was a fast talking guy with a heay accent so at times he was hard to follow.  After looking at what he was picking up for our move he told us they hadn’t sold us enough space so we had to renegotiate



If your lawyer asked you if you wanted to champion a cause to expose the bungling incompetents in a corrupt town full of bigoted, self-serving personnel, what would you do?  
By the way, there are no guarantees of winning because the local justice system is biased against “outsiders” (those with no family in the local area who were looking for small town America) and rumor has it that they can be bought also.
Oh and by the way, the town has lost multiple businesses (some quite large) in the past couple years and several more in just the past few weeks with more to come at the end of the year and is home to multiple sexual predators including the former chief of police and a current “person of interest” for an international child sex abuse pornography ring.  And the next town over has removed a stop light and reverted to a 2-way stop sign system.
Remember also that this is the same town that would “not get involved” when you were swindled to begin with when you bought a home full of black mold that was not disclosed, despite the agents and owners as well as the previous owners knowledge of it.  Every lawyer you called cited “conflict of interest” because of their involvement with either the previous owners or the real estate company and your were forced to seek out lawyers two towns away.  Remember too that of the lawyers that would even talk to you the advice was to spend the money it would take to fight fixing the problem instead of on the layers it would take to get out of the deal. 
Remember that now 5 years later you once again spent days finding a lawyer that would even talk to you because your town/country are “goofy” and “do things weird” so they don’t really want to take your case.
And don’t forget you will be footing the bill for ALL the fees until you win, IF you win.
I just wanted to give you enough background to make an informed decision.
  • 2 MOTELS



    Situated proudly on a large fenced corner lot, you will enjoy the city convenience and country atmosphere in this warm and airy beautifully restored 1892 Queen Ann Victorian gem. Log cabin barn and 2 car garage provide plenty of storage. Totally remodeled, this home is a cook’s dream with its farm style family kitchen. Hardwood floors, double mantle fireplace, large covered porch and side deck along with many other amenities too numerous to mention!

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    It’s finally here…

    The big move is just a day away… I know it seems like I have been away forever… but it will just be a few more days during the move until I return to a normal blogging schedule. I will post a update soon of the house finished – finally!

    I recently ran this post over at The Motivation Station. It shows where I’ve been lately more than anything!

    With the BIG move just days ahead I feel as if I’m behind the 8 ball as it has become a cascading catch 22 trying to organize, arrange and coordinate the moving truck, son picking up the things he’s taking, donations to the various charities, finishing projects for the house, packing the last boxes, cleaning & laundry as well as the blasted weather.

    Day 6 (we did Friday and Saturday for 3 successive weekends) of the rummage sale was successful, though I feared it might not be when the snow began to fall. Fortunately, it did not stick and while the temperature stayed a bone chilling 25 with wind chill factor, the sun did eventually shine.

    Tips for a successful rummage sale:

    • When choosing an items for your sale, you have 3 decisions to make: 1) am I still sentimentally attached to this? 2) Is this really junk and should just be tossed or will someone else find value in it? 3) Would I be willing to move it cross country? If you’re answer was YES to any of these questions, then it’s not rummage sale material.
    • Have plenty to rummage through. If you don’t, invite your neighbors to join in. Truly the more the merrier and the more hands to help with the work. If people don’t see a large selection, many will walk away before they even walk in.
    • SIGNS – maybe the most important factor. Make sure people know where to find you easily. Use clear, LARGE lettering and colorful poster board. List the important items that may interest people most. Adding a stuffed animal of some kind might help too. We began our sale during the local Harvest Festival so we added a colorful scarecrow from the local dollar store to the signs.
    • When having a multiple weekend event, it’s important to “ADD” to your signs. Things like “added items”, “last day”, “50 % off today only”, etc… and make sure to keep the dates straight. When I did this, I used different color fluorescents to emphasize the differences.
    • Run a simple newspaper ad. I also took the signs down between weekends and then put them up fresh just before the next weekend.
    • Place fliers on local bulletin boards.
    • Many local radio stations will run a talk time where they’ll advertise your sale for free in smaller towns.
    • Wide aisles so they can see everything and not trip over each other.
    • Say hello with your customers and have a chat. Engaging them in conversation might shed insight into what they are really looking for. I sold items that weren’t even out for sale that way. Things I just hadn’t gotten around to pricing and putting out.
    • Organize your items into like groups or ‘departments’.
    • If you’re selling linens, clothes, quilts etc… launder them and clearly mark them to size and they are more likely to sell.
    • Price items right. If you’re still so sentimentally attached that you’re asking more than someone else is willing to pay then you’re item will not sell. In my case with moving across country, it became a battle of sentimentality versus practicality. Most of what I had to sort through had become remotely sentimental by association. For example, when my father passed away and we closed down his house and antiques & collectibles business most of it went into storage for me to sort through later as I was currently working full time and going to school full time too. Just a few short months later was the Northridge earthquake. While I lost most of my personal belongings in it, the things I could save were packed up and added to storage for later while we re-built the house. A few short years later mom decided to move out of state and and many more things were added to that pile to sort through later. A couple years later hubby’s unit was deployed and things became even more hectic so the sorting was put off. After his deployment and an unsuccessful foot surgery he was forced to retire from his civilian job and we bought this investment house turned nightmare. We moved it all cross country with us. We are finally dealing with all that remote sentimentality after 16 years. Trust me, it would have been sooooooooooo much easier to deal with years ago and actually saved money and time and emotions to have already dealt with it.


    Summer – Where? Frost – Really? & Unacceptable Terms

    We’re still trying to get some outside painting done here while the house is for sale, but it has been such a strange summer, and I use the term summer loosely. I just checked to see what we’re in for the next few days and I found a frost advisory for tonight!! We were on frost advisories into very late June – no one’s gardens are growing much here… I guess there isn’t going to be a summer this year, at least not here. If I could just get the trim painted, I’d be happy, but it’s either raining, just rained, about to rain, windy, below 60 degrees or too humid – a little consistency would help.

    Now as for the house being for sale. I grew up around the real estate business, albeit on the west coast, but none the less there were certain things that were done to earn the high dollar commission that a home or piece of property brings. I even spent some time working for Realtors doing some house staging and creating home fliers. When we hired the agent to sell this house (and she was the best of the bunch we’d met) we presented her with a flyer that I had made listing all the new and upgraded amenities we were forced to do, room sizes, etc… All she had to do was apply a sticker with her name, phone number and the MLS number.

    We waited and after 2 months I had to call and call to ask for the fliers again to be added to the sign post as many people were driving around in circles looking at the house, but there was no information for them to know more about it. I truly believe fliers are a great tool. The agent had their office secretary redo the fliers and we found that it is their practice to include information that isn’t theirs to include. While the disclosure statement is available to anyone putting up earnest money, it should not be available to any Tom, Dick or Harry driving by as it includes enough information to create identity theft, you know like complete addresses, full names and signatures. We took them all apart and redid them to include only the necessary interest information.

    When I asked when the home would be caravaned or toured by local agents, I was told that is not their practice to do that here nor is Open Houses. We were told that if an agent was interested, they would contact us. It has been my experience that a first hand viewing of a property is mandatory to knowing about the property. Pictures and descriptions only go so far. I was told that taking the time to do a home tour conflicts with too many agents “other” jobs. So I ask you, am I expecting too much? They earn the same percentage commission here as in California or New York and everywhere in between, but do a whole lot less to earn it. And I say THEY”, but I’m finding that while this is apparently the norm for this county and area, it is NOT the rule. We’re thinking we should change companies as there has been no activity generated by them on any level, but apparently we need them to agree they aren’t doing a good job before they will let us out of the 6 month contract so we can list with a company and agent willing to do the whole job.

    While they agreed to the cancellation (it took 2 weeks of perseverance to even get them to acknowledge us) and have picked up their sign, they have not removed the listing from the MLS and are not returning calls. I’m going to cal the board of Realtors on Monday as well as the MLS service, but so far no one seems interested in helping.

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    Chronicles of a Bungled Real Estate Deal ~ Overall update

    We’ve been busy around here tying up loose ends, you know the little projects that always get put off until youo can no longer put them off LOL. This is the old cold storage room off the butler’s pantry that was converted into a bathroom many years ago.

    It has needed the tile work for quite some time, but I finally got it done, well almost. I still need to paint that edge molding, but that will be done this week. Hubby was using the size brush needed on a different project.

    I have been grooming these African Violets for what feels like forever and they finally rewarded me by blooming all at the same time for a change.

    Hubby is standing in the basement stairwell, not an easy place to photograph I have to tell you. This wall is the backside of the wall next to where I was tiling. Because it was a cold storage room these walls were uninsulated. The electrician had to tear into them also to run the new wire so they were left looking a bit wrecked. Hubby insulated the walls around the old cold storage room, replaced the siding over the electrician’s holes and then painted the whole thing to match the ice room conversion which is directly to the right of the brown kitchen door. All that teal green is gone now, but we do need a second coat of the wheat. We also still have to finish the landing floor. It is currently just concrete that they had old carpet over, but later this week we’re installing the same oak flooring as we did in the kitchen. Next week I will have finished pictures of the paint and flooring as well as the walk-in closet.

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    Some Thoughts on Selling this House

    A few of you have left me facebook comments that really touched me and made me think.

    Joyce over at Mom’s Musings ~ Whoever buys your house is lucky, Tamy! I can’t think of any remodeler so conscientious as you guys!

    My answer ~ I was raised to believe a job worth doing was worth doing right. There was no way we would have turned around and swindled someone else like we were by the previous owner. Right is right and this was wrong so someone had to make it right. I’ll move proud knowing this house was done right. That said, it will still pull at my heart strings to let it go. I envision a young and growing family buying it. It really is the perfect house for a family ~ now. The farm style, light and bright country kitchen has room for large groups to hang out while mom cooks or the kids do their homework. It also looks out through the many windows at the huge backyard where those same kids can run and play with their golden retriever. I always envisioned a greenhouse in the southwest corner where you could grow vegetables and herbs. There is now a first floor laundry in the kitchen area that makes life so much easier than going to the basement, especially in the winter. The formal dining room is working as a computer center these days, but would be perfect for kids and their homework so the parents are nearby. I envisioned the formal dining room and 4th bedroom (the old parlor) being converted into a master suite on the main floor. That would prevent teenagers from sneaking out too! LOL

    Diana over at Forgetfulone ~ I agree with joyce.

    Diana over at Forgetfulone ~ Come to Texas!

    My answer ~ I wish we knew where we going exactly – I’ll let you know as soon as I do. I do know it will be near family so you’re still in the running.

    Tammy over at Queen Sized Funny Bone ~ after all that tender loving care I don’t know if I could sell it.

    My answer ~ I’m really torn about selling now that it is almost done, but this was supposed to be an investment while we waited out the military benefits red tape, albeit a simpler investment, you know some paint, refinish the floors… We never planned on investing so much time, effort, money, blood, sweat or tears, but we also couldn’t turn around and swindle someone the way we were. I really believe what goes around comes around. I’ll miss the house but not as much as I miss family and friends back home now!

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    Chronicles of a Bungled Real Estate Deal ~ Kitchen Counters Continued

    Today we are 1 step closer to being done. Hubby installed the edge molding and I was able to finish the grouting between the tiles and edging. The process is so multi-stepped, but was so worth saving the money on an over priced contractor. Home depot wanted $4000 to do a composite counter top and we were able to do the marble tile for $300 by watching sales and doing the work ourselves.

    I’m still doing a bit of touch up on the grout and paint, but am very happy with the outcome.

    Below are the finished photos. Now we need to do another sanding, staining and sealing on the floors as well as install the kick boards under the cabinets and we’ll finally be done!!
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    Chronicles of a Bungled Real Estate Deal ~ Kitchen Counters

    We have been waiting to do the kitchen counters because we just hadn’t found the right thing, and then we did. We found this awesome tile and started the installation this week. Taking the sink and garbage disposal apart was the worst part of the day. They still need grout and edging, but they look soooooooooo good to me after the plywood for so long.

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    Today we buried Saint Joseph…

    You may remember a couple of months ago when I wrote about Saint Joseph being the patron saint of home sales. We thought it was pretty interesting. Since then we have talked with many people who said they did it or knew a relative or friend who did it and then their home sold. Well today we did it too. The we had to top him with concrete yard animals so the dog didn’t it up. Think positive for us!

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