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houston: Efficiency is Appreciated! - 04/29/13 06:13 AM
It has been our experience that dealing with anything related to Government is slow and laborious. We braced ourselves for a repeat performance of the most recent dismal visit to the appraisal district.What a pleasant surprise was in store!Before our move last week we had gone to the EZ Tag Store to turn in our ez tag. We will not be dealing with the toll roads anymore! Less stress!We were greeted by a pleasant young lady who told us what we were expected to have. She then directed us to the appropriate line. What, no number machine ?The line was short (3 comments)
houston: Moving with house plants - 04/27/13 08:56 PM
If I had to do the move to Durango over, I would leave all the plants we have nurtured for yearswithnfriends and relativesBetween the loading challenges and the bumpy ride, some did not survive the trip. Add to the moving experience the fact that the vegetation was impossible to water and you have very unhappy campers.We still do not have a place to live after four days of travel and four days of searching. Wish I had known what we would be putting them through! (1 comments)
houston: Update on our Alzheimer's learning - 04/14/13 06:51 PM
We made another run at closing the house where the seller had health issues that caused the Title Company to prevent him from signing his papers.Since Friday a week ago the seller and wife have been running around trying to fulfill the requirements the title company attorney was requiring.The doctor visit was still not forthcoming so the Sellers attorney was looking for solutions. I have still failed to figure how the doctor visit was going to prove that the seller had been in his right mind when he signed the power of attorney several months ago...What they came up with was (6 comments)
houston: Lucky Penny - 04/14/13 06:03 PM
One of the things that make moving such a an emotional experience is the saying goodbye to friends and family as your new life's chapter opens up.Monday night was one of those evenings. A son who lives about three miles from our house that is now sold, met us for dinner about halfway to his house at a cafeteria.It was an opportunity to visit with the grand kids that we only saw on the baseball field in the six years we have been back here.The visit was pleasant and lasted two hours... The children were well behaved all that time.After we began (1 comments)
When we passed this crane this week, I was grateful that our business does not require us to spend time up in the air.This gentleman was laboriously changing lightbulbs in all the lights along Cypresswood. It is good that it is being done before the temperatures soar.As I was considering how fortunate we are to be able to work with our feet on the ground, it occurred to me that although our feet are firmly planted, our business situations are subject to ups and downs.
houston: Never confuse.... - 04/13/13 05:28 PM
"-Never confuse movement with action. " Ernest HemingwayThis quote was on my emaIl this morning. I chuckled!How many times have I stepped out in faith figuring that it will be easier for God to direct my steps if I am in motion?The answer is MANY!It is so true that motion does not necessarily produce any definitive results. It is also true that no motion produces nothing.The phone calls that do not get returned, listing appointments that do not get kept, marketing materials that do not get prepared with our best efforts all result in less than desired results.If we slow down (3 comments)
Corridors of water run everywhere!Houston was basically built in a swamp. One of the reasons it is known as the Bayou City. The Allen brothers had great vision and utilized one of the larger bayous, creating the Houston Ship Channel. All the rivers and bayous empty into the channel on their way to the Gulf of Mexico.The channel also supported the creation of the Port of Houston. Great numbers of industries evolved in and around the Port. It is doubtful if Houston would have become the Metroplex it is without the Ship Channel and the Port of Houston.Having been born (2 comments)
houston: Packing Joys - 04/13/13 12:13 PM
One of the joys of packing is that once the essentials of cooking and plating are accomplished, one can no longer prepare meals.O.K. So force me to abandon my pots and pans for a week or so. We will not have as much control over what goes into our food but for a few days we will just have to rough it.We will make that sacrifice in order to get out from under high property taxes and an aggressive HOA.The idea of returning to the most tranquil place we have ever lived is increasingly appealing! The stress of packing and getting (6 comments)
houston: Where can I get one like this? - 04/09/13 09:03 PM
While lunching at one of our favorite restaurants we heard a sudden terrified screaming coming from an adjacent table.A previously well behaved child had begun to wail. We saw nothing out of the ordinary until we focused in on "the Hat," Ralph asked " do you suppose it is the hat?"I had no clue but knew that if someone sat down beside me with a hat as large as I was, I might scream too!Within a few minutes the child and the bedecked woman were sharing forkfuls of something and the shreeking had ceased.The question is, where does one get a hat (7 comments)
houston: Who would you refer to? - 04/07/13 06:21 AM
If you had spent years building a business and then had two weeks to decide who you wanted to take care of your clients, who would you select?All those people you have established rapport with, built trust and even come to love dearly need to have the best service you can provide. Trying to serve their needs long distance is totally impractical! Be kind! What are the criteria you would consider for a referral agent?Ours have been broken down into the following.Who would take their needs to heart.What experience do they need to be able to handle most of your clients?Who would (7 comments)
houston: Eating Healthy... Think before you eat. - 04/07/13 05:40 AM
One of the hazards of our profession is the tendency to grab meals on the run.That habit can cost you. Not only monetarily but in your health!We learned the lesson the hard way. It cost us two years of my life and scared Ralph daily and put him through rough stuff!We changed our diet and added exercise, mostly a daily walk, and have now reversed the damage almost completely It did take four long years.Watch what you eat and drink. Ask yourself every time you put something questionable in your mouth, " is the taste of this worth causing suffering?" Probably (4 comments)
We are on the little league ball field which is a sure sign that it is spring! The fields are a verdant green and beautifully manicured!Most lawns do not look this good... But most lawns are not AstroTurf! This tournament was at a newer facility than the usual one and it is state of the art. It has real toilets instead of latrines and there are food courts close to each field. Comfort was clearly factored into the planning equation.The boys are full of vim and vitality. They are fun to watch. They appear to have grown a lot (2 comments)
houston: Worth a thought? - 04/06/13 06:32 PM
This morning one of my emails had the following piece of wisdom. "Do not ask The Lord to guide your footsteps, if you are not willing to move your feet!"Well then! How often have we all been guilty of that sort of thought?It is so easy to ask for direction with the idea that if we do not approve of it, we don't have to go.It has been my experience that God does answer prayer. He may send us where we do not wish to go. He will however not send us anywhere that He will not sustain us.He does provide (0 comments)
Years ago we bought the fountain in the photo at an arts show in Durango.We have enjoyed it as a bright spot in our decor.We have not enjoyed the scum which formed on a regular basis. Sort of makes you wonder what is in the water.The regular cleanings have become more and more difficult over time. When it became time to pack the bowl, I was determined not to transport gunk.Several scrubbings and then a two day soak in water with CLR netted some results but we still had hard water scum on the outer edges.Then Ralph came up with (0 comments)
houston: Did the rules change...? No... - 04/06/13 03:33 AM
In a recent transaction, the buyers agent heard a different drummer.When it was time for the inspections to be done, no appointment was made since the house was vacant. She simply went when she wanted to. We found out on one of our weekly house checks. This house had a stove stolen after a showing, so we have been careful to keep checking it regularly after that.When the walk thru was due, she did call to let us know, and to be sure the lockbox was still there.On our way to the closing we stopped to get the lock box and (2 comments)
houston: Today's Learning... A Client with Alzheimer's - 04/05/13 06:42 PM
We went to a closing today... Our sellers are long time friends and we have been helping them liquidate their Real Estate holdings due to his onset of Alsheimers.It is a vicious steadily debilitating disease, and is painful to watch. In the past year he has retreated into more and more darkness.Ralph felt he should alert the closer that our client might need a few more courtesies and time to respond to instructions. When he told her what was going on, she said "oh, we cannot close!"After 60 combined years in this business, we knew that there might be a need (2 comments)
houston: Wrapping up loose ends and scaling down - 04/05/13 05:14 PM
After the successful contract on our personal home, time began to speed up. Adding packing and trying to get the remaining inventory in our business sold has caused us to try to make good use of every minute of every day. We obviously should have been doing that all along!In addition to getting rid of lots of things we no longer use or need, we have tried to market quickly since our destination is to go out of state.Yesterday we had a call from a previous client who has a friend in from New York. We told her we would be (1 comments)
Last year we splurged to buy this bougainvillea .As I shared with you then, we had had dismal results with a previous attempt to grow one.This year the plant had climbed the trellis but did not produce any blooms. In total frustration I administered large doses of Miracle Grow. We also sprayed the vine with insecticide and trimmed away unproductive limbs.Today after a day of rain... This was observed. Not a bad award for a little tender loving care.It also helps to have an avid photographer in the family! So glad we dared to invest in this blooming beauty!
houston: When the MLS goes down - 04/04/13 06:19 PM
Imagine trying to show a client without the aid of the MLS system. We are slaves to that. Gone are the days when we had paper books of the current listings and comps.Those books took up lots of room and were not up to the minute but they sure worked well for information dissemination.This weekend the system went down... (Thank God our local provider did create a limited search for us) Just makes us appreciate it all the more when it came back up Completely.If the electricity does go down for very long, as it has been predicted it may... We (5 comments)
houston: Motion-X - 03/31/13 06:33 PM
Have you ever really considered how incredible technology is?A few days ago we ventured off our established paths. We have come to count on GPS devices. There is one on our car and we carry an auxiliary Tom Tom which was purchased about ten years ago.The latest is one called Motion X. It is on Ralphs iphone and has become his directional expert over the past year. It has only let us down two times.One was not really its fault. We were vacationing in Washington DC. Driving a lease car is already unsettling. Coupled with that was the fact that the (13 comments)
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