la da dee la dee da

Every day for the past three months, I have awoken with Crystal Waters’ voice in my head. Her dulcet tones taunting me…

She’s just like you and me
But she’s homeless, she’s homeless
As she stands there singing for money.

La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da 

Back when I sold my home at the end of October, the March 30th closing date we agreed upon seemed a lifetime away. Surely FIVE MONTHS would be ample time to find a new place to live. I mean, how hard could it be, right?


An endless stream of weekend open house tours vaporized in a disappointing haze. I’ll bet I’ve walked through over one hundred homes. Each more depressing than the last.

La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da
La da dee la dee da 

And month after month ticked away. Until I found myself with less than 45 days to my closing date. And no home to move into.

Enter my trip to the UK, when I would be inaccessible for 8+ hours of flying time, followed by time zones that would make communication a challenge, not to mention no access to printers and scanners and all the tools needed to transact a legal contract.

So, of course, as the law of Murphy would dictate, the house we FINALLY felt we might want to make a play for happened to be holding back offers until 6pm on Monday February 16th. Exactly the time that I had to leave for the airport to catch my flight to Manchester.

Convenient, that.

Somehow we made it work. Scrawling my signature across way too many “x”-marks-the-spots, on too many pages, I shoved the package into the waiting hands of my realtor as I flew out the door, speeding for the airport.

Enter three rounds of negotiation, across multiple time zones, with the added bonus of a bitchy attitude, courtesy of sleep deprivation, and it’s a miracle we arrived at an agreement.

But a miracle is exactly what happened, friends.

We waived the final condition in the contract this past Wednesday, after a satisfactory home inspection on Tuesday (while I was in Atlanta).

Yes, you read that right. I was back at home in Toronto approximately 32 hours in between the UK and Atlanta trips. Nerves frazzled, a walking zombie from lack of sleep, and yet somehow agreeable to the nickel-and-diming bullshit that the sellers subjected us to.

I blame temporary insanity.

Or a fear of homelessness.

Whatever it was, it’s now done. I’m done.

I woke up Saturday morning and had to check myself. What’s this? No open houses to look at today? What will I do with all this free time???


Apparently I will be spending every free moment for the next 4 weeks planning a massive renovation.

One kitchen will be full gutted.

One disgusting main floor bathroom will be transformed into a 2-piece powder room and a brand new master bathroom.

Two bedrooms will become one kick-ass master.

And then there’s the list of not-so-fun but oh-so necessary work: replacing windows, installing a new furnace, water heater and air conditioner.

Plus lots of other cosmetic work to help restore this house to her former 1960s Midcentury Modern glory.

Pinterest, you and I will be spending some quality time together…


Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

p.s. I owe you a London Trip Report, along with the announcement of the lucky winner(s) for the Not Without My Father contest giveaway. Will attempt to get this done this week. Travel to Montreal may throw a wrench in that plan though.

110 thoughts on “la da dee la dee da

    • Andra, I was ambivalent at best when I arrived home from Atlanta Thursday night (after the deal was done). Even through Friday I was feeling a bit of buyers’ remorse. Finally yesterday I started researching the reno options and the excitement started building. Now I’m nearly giddy, dying to get started. I think I’ve fallen in love. It wasn’t at first sight, but it’s good none the less. 🙂

      Will document the operation-restore process, for sure!

  1. Nancy, you really are WONDER WOMAN. No one else comes even close to what you have juggling and what you accomplish even while traveling. I admire your ability to stay afloat, woman! After renovating bathrooms, painting and God knows what else in your old place now you must now tackle your new home. I am tired just from reading about what you have going on. *takes nap* OK, I’m awake now. Dios Mio! Please try to take care of your zombie self! Abrazos! xo

    • Not gonna lie… that week in the UK was not my best week ever. If I hadn’t already organized the get together with Sam in London, I might have tried to fly home early – that’s how stressed I was. Then the fact that I had to miss the home inspection Tuesday because I had to fly straight back out to Atlanta almost pushed me over the edge. I gave Mr. Enthusiasm his marching orders: while the home inspector does his job, YOU GO THROUGH THAT HOUSE WITH A FINE TOOTH COMB!!! I wanted to have any excuse to go back to those horrible sellers and nickel and dime THEM to death. Cooler heads prevailed.

      I’m so glad it’s over. A huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I get to just web surf/pinterest and dream about the planned renos that will kick off as soon as we move in. 🙂

  2. I’m so glad this post popped up in my mailbox because I was close to hunting you down and getting an update! Buying and selling a house is so emotional on both sides. I can imagine trying to squeeze all that travel in at the same time cranked up the volume 10 fold!

    You will have your hands full for quite a while – packing, move, reno, unpack …. Your energy amazes me!
    So obviously the house has the potential to excite you – send me details of where you ended up buying 🙂

  3. I don’t know how you manage to get everything done in a day. Between the house swapping, your job, your travel, and your fitness schedule, I’m sure the stress can get overwhelming. But how wonderful it will be when the work is done, and you’ll be able to finally let out a sigh of relief. Best of luck to you. Stay healthy!

  4. Love this song. Thanks for putting the clip at the beginning. I’ve been able to have it playing in the background while enjoying your FABULOUS NEWS. Woooohoooo! Congrats! The sound of all that reno work makes me want to curl into a ball and cry so I’m glad it is you and not me and cannot wait to see the pictures. Oh and Nancy, take it easy sister. You don’t want to burn out. xx

    • It will be a shit load of work, no doubt, but I’m very excited for it. One of my big issues in the house hunt was finding homes that were done, but not to my liking. Ripping out crap (like I’ll be doing in this house) is something I’m okay with. But ripping out expensive cabinets and granite counters just because they’re not my taste seemed wasteful (not to mention expensive – as I’d be paying a higher price for a redone home only to rip shit out).

      Unlike the renos we did in our current home – where we did all the work ourselves to keep to a tight budget and maximize returns – this time around we’ll get pros involved. These renos are for me!
      Doesn’t mean I won’t be a giant stress ball, but at least it’s something I’m doing for a house I’m staying in. 🙂

  5. Wonderful news, Nancy! I am so happy for you!!! Can’t wait to see some before/during/after photos and all the best of luck with your travel schedule. Does this mean you “get” to miss some of the packing?

    • I’m hoping I’m around enough to be able to get all the progress photos. (Or train Mr. Enthusiasm to capture those moments. :-))

      I’ll be gone just one day this week, but then all of the next two. He is away with me in Vegas next week – so nothing will get done then, but he’ll probably kick it into gear the week of the 16th (when I’m in Atlanta). We’re actually in pretty good shape because of the massive purge we did pre-video shoot. I’m also trying to sell some of my furniture — stuff I know won’t work in the Mid-mod style I’m moving into. Hopefully not too horrible on the packing front. Though I know better than to believe that. 🙂

  6. Ooh, how exciting! Can’t wait to see some photos of the “before” house and then your gradual transformation. Best of luck with it. Now, get some sleep!

    • I will definitely capture as much of the nasty before + the in-progress and finally the finished product. I’m guessing it’ll be over a period – with the top priority being the main floor: kitchen, bathrooms and bedroom situation. The other floor will probably be back-burnered for a bit. Lots of work… But you know all about that, June! 🙂

  7. Congratulations on the new house!! And woah Mrs – what is all this about renovations and gutting the kitchen??? You know what I love about you – that you’re totally up for taking on any kind of challenge, even in the midst of crazy work travel and stress, and that you never slack off. And if you ever do, you kick yourself up the backside and get back up again and out there. Love it, and can’t wait to hear all about the new place! xxx

    • Oh Rose… it needs a giant bulldozer to go through that kitchen. Well, not really a giant bulldozer, more like a mini one (because it’s a small kitchen). 🙂 The previous owners taste is not exactly mine, let’s put it that way. Like putting a massive billiards table in the dining room in place of a table…
      They actually asked if we wanted it, they’d be “negotiable’. Um. No thanks.
      p.s. You had better remove that shit before I move in. 🙂

  8. Compared to the logistics of buying a home and the actual process of becoming owner of said home, those renovations sound like a walk in the park. Cheers for not being homeless. Glad your trip was safe and fun, and can’t wait to hear all about it!

  9. Wow! I’m rubbing my hands together and warming them by the energy coming off this post. Hope the renovations get done on cue. Oh yeah, and as soon as the wind chill here in Erie is above 0 again, I’ll be moving again. Peace, John

    • Moving again?? As in the actual move to the smaller house – or an entirely different move??

      It’s awesome you have the flexibility to stay in your existing while you wait for the right timing to move into the new place. No such luck over here. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. 🙂

      Good times!

      p.s. How did Micah react to his Christmas gift of cock soup??? 🙂

      • The actual move to the smaller house is set for mid March. Then the renovations to the old place start. Ugh. No, I meant getting my fat ass moving out on the pavement again and getting the old marathon running John back . . . or at least the reasonably fit, vertical, and ambulatory John. Sounds like an intense four weeks ahead for you, but you got the chops for it. Micah loved the cock soup, and it was good for much laughter around the earthy Coleman’s Christmas tree. I keep forgetting, I need to send you a photo of the man cub with his infamous soup. Peace.

      • Hahaha! I can’t wait to see the pic. Sounds awesome!

        Don’t even get me started on the fitness thing. I’ve fallen so far off the wagon, all I see is the dust cloud it left as it sped off without me. I’m thankful for my super active Saturday with Sam in London. I got nearly 26,000 steps in – which is just a wee tad more than my average these past 2 months. 🙂

    • Yes, yes, yes and YES! I’m signing up for a world of hurt, but I really think it’ll be worth it in the end. The property it sits on is so lovely – backing onto ravine and river. Very picturesque. The fact that we’ll need to drain, parge and repaint the concrete pool (plus replace the heater and convert it from chlorine to a salt water cell) is just a little bump in the road. 🙂

      Actually, the more things I list off that need fixing, replacing or outright gutting, the more I’m worried that I’ll be renaming this place the Money Pit… 🙂

      Wish me luck!

  10. Well, that’s out of the way now! Congratulations on the purchase. Now for the real fun – dealing with contractors and suppliers! Ah, but you’ll have time to de-stress on your travels…. 🙂

  11. You survived! You did it! You will not be homeless! Life’s smiling, right? By now, you’re are skilled in renovations…so that will be a piece of cake…with lots of calming icing.

    • Making the commitment to buy was the hardest thing indeed, Tiny. Everything else will be a cake walk compared to that!
      Hand me that sledgehammer, would ya? 🙂

  12. Congratulations Nancy! I’d say lucky you, but luck had nothing to do with it. I’d love to be getting my teeth into a reno project right now. Still looking. Boohoo. Poor me. Send some magic house-finding dust my way. 😦
    Good luck with the move. Well done!

  13. Congrats, Nancy, and welcome home for a nano-second! I am sorry I missed you here in Snowlanta, but maybe next time?

    I can’t wait to start seeing the before pics and hearing how cathartic that demo work will be. You are the energizer bunny, that is for sure!

    • I’m back in Lawrenceville the week of the 16th. It will be a hairy few days – but maybe dinner Wed or Thurs night? Wed is my better day – but both would work.

      • Sounds good! I’ll email you sometime Tuesday. I don’t get into L’ville until ~1:00 am Monday night (after arriving into Toronto on the red-eye that same morning) so I’ll be a zombie Tuesday. My partner in crime and I will be heads down all day Tues and Wed preparing for a big meeting Wed at 4pm. Once I’m done with that meeting, I’ll be breathing a sigh of relief. Come to think of it, Thursday is probably the better night as I’ll have finally gotten some rest (hopefully) Wed night. That said, I have to be up Fri morning at 4am to catch a 6:45 flight out of ATL…
        HOLY CRAP! What a mental week. I’m already feeling sorry for myself…

      • Nancy, Thursday is fine with me too, actually even better. We don’t have to make it a late night, for sure, but if this is all just too much, we can postpone. I will be here another time when you come. And your schedule just sounds NUTS! 🙂

  14. Congrats, happy you finally found it! And that you were able to get the purchase done even when the schedules were not easy on you (I thought we were pressed on time but no, we were not. Not in comparison 🙂 ) Hope you now have fun making the house look like your home when renovating it!

    • It was an act of God that made this happen, Vilma. Seriously, I was ahead 5 hours, without access to a printer, scanner, etc. I still don’t know how we did it. Craziness! I don’t recommend this approach to others! 🙂

  15. Wonderful news that you’ve found your home! I am quite amazed that you are making such large moves while in the middle of so much travel. When you speak of “keep moving” I wasn’t thinking of geography! 🙂 Good news! I’ll look forward to any photos you might post of the renovation process. I always find that exciting. I’m happy for you Nancy. Hope you get the chance to slow down just a little bit!

  16. Pingback: london calling | my year[s] of sweat!

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