Friends taking a look at the blog!


Be careful what you ask for……BANG! Dang.

            I was out with my daughter Maria yesterday driving along the road and started talking about what has happened during this year. Not specific topics but the year in general.  She said “you know this year for us was just making it.” “Just making it?” Wow. Who would want that. She was right unfortunately and we both agreed that next year would be our year. “Great things are going to happen to the family and us individually!“ she said and I believe her. Made me think about how powerful your thoughts and words can be.

              You ever use  catch phrases like, “I’m as serious as a heart attack,” “if I’m lying, I’m dying” or “just shoot me!” We all do it.  We don’t think anything of them.  There are a ton of those phrases we use all the time, every day.  I know I never thought about how many times I would say “just shoot me” in reference to being frustrated or upset. Well, three years ago while my son Patrick and I were driving through my friends upscale sub-division, there were these two young kids hanging out in front of one of their houses. Of course I was talking and I’m noticing that Patrick is not paying attention (no shock there) but I was looking ahead to the road, when all of a sudden I heard “BANG!”  Patrick yelled that one of the kids had a BB gun and took a shot at my car. As God is good, it only hit the back window of my van which thankfully no one was sitting there. I threw the car in reverse and parked it in front of the kids house and screamed for Patrick to call 911. I knocked at the door and the kid answers and I say as calmly as possible - “why did you just shoot at me?” I’ll never forget that day or moment when I thought to myself, I’m always saying “just shoot me” and someone did! Think about it. The thought of being shot at is so slim to none given where I live (thankfully) that who would ever think that one day I would be shot at. Be careful what you say - you just might get it!

                        I had a conversation recently with a friend that I was so distracted by how many times I heard the word miserable, dejected, depressed that I really couldn’t tell you exactly what the conversation was all about.  I know that sounds horrible but how else could a person feel when the words you choose dictates how you WILL feel. 

                 When we were on the Oprah show (see previous blog) Dr. Phil was saying to another guest that her words were like knife blades cutting through to her heart. She told him it was the first Christmas without her kids and she knows she will be  heart broken, devastated and despondent. And he said - yes you will be. He was not making fun but told her to look forward to the times she would be with her kids to make that time the best, most memorable time in her life. To look for something positive rather than something negative.  Ironically - it was him helping her that changed my life, not the advise he gave us!

               I really do think about what I say before I say it as your words are very powerful. To this day, I have not been shot at again…whew. Ton o’ blessings to you until next time…………….


A dryer sheet, a cat, a Vet and the eleventh hour reprieve.

        I came home from work to find my daughter in tears that our cat, Quinnie (real name) had eaten a dryer sheet. She said that she was able to get “most” of it out of her mouth but not all of it. I figured, it’s a cat - it’ll survive. A day or two goes by and the cat is not eating. Now I am getting nervous and decide to go to one of the local pet stores that have veterinarian services in the back to see what product I could buy to “push” that dryer sheet along. The very nice assistant tells me that if the cat has not “pooped” it could be serious.  I tell her, of course she has pooped (not really knowing if she has or not) and isn’t there a kitty enema I could buy? She says - “do you really think you could give your cat an enema?” Good point. She told me to watch the cat and I should really go to my Vet and have her checked out. Only problem - I had no Vet. She suggested a animal hospital down the road that she would call first to let them know that I was going to go home and get my cat. She said that they were really nice and that they would help. 

        Never really bringing the cat out of the house for anything, this was going to prove harder than I thought. We had no travel container so I got a large hamper and my husband and I put the cat in there with a towel over it. If anyone knows that horrible cat screeching noise that they make - it goes right through you! We were going down the road and I saw an animal hospital and told my husband to pull over. I got out and ran inside to ask if anyone had called them about my cat. I was greeted with a nasty “you have to wait your turn.” There was no one in front of me or at the counter so I was like - ok? I politely asked if anyone had called about the cat who ate the dryer sheet and if someone could help me. She looked at me like I had three heads and told me to sit down and she would get to me in a minute. I knew this was NOT the hospital I was supposed to be at. I turned around and said that I was in the wrong place and left. Three blocks down there was another hospital and I ran in asking if anyone had called about a cat and a dryer sheet. The very nice person behind the counter thought it was the start of a joke until she saw that I wasn’t laughing. She said no, but that, of course they would help me out. I got my husband and the cat and they were the absolute nicest, most caring people that I have ever met. They told me they would keep the cat over night and get back to us. 

        The next day we got the call to come in. Unfortunately, the dryer sheet was blocked in the intestines and she would require surgery to remove it. This was five days before Christmas. This was also thee worst year for us. The surgery was over three thousand dollars. We were devastated. Knowing right then and there we could not afford to have the surgery, we made the decision to put the cat down. My husband had put down, in his childhood, two dogs and knew the pain that came with that decision.  The next heart wrenching decision was to tell the kids that the cat would not be with us anymore. I had come in to say “goodbye” to the cat and started to cry. I tried to stay with the cat as long as I could. They were all hoping that something could be done. I thanked them for being so kind to me and my cat and left. The cat was to be put down at three o’clock in the afternoon. I told my husband to be there with her toy. I told him, do NOT call me when it’s done. I had called my family and closest friends and we all just cried. Then my cell phone rang at two forty five and it was my husband. I immediately thought “why can’t husbands just do what they are told?!?!” 

        I answered the phone yelling at him “why are you calling, I told you not to call, I didn’t want to know when they were doing it….” He as calmly as he could, said “ they didn’t put her down.” I said “what?” He said “if you would shut up for a minute, the Veterinarian (who is also the owner) said that he couldn’t do it.” Said that he would volunteer his services as well as the other people in the operating room would volunteer their services. Now in front of me is my young daughter Maria, who is still crying and I am trying to tell her that everything is going to be ok and that Quinnie is gonna live!!!  The cat had the surgery and pulled through just fine. She came home Christmas eve day. 

                After the surgery, my son Matthew for his eighth grade project started the “Quinnie Foundation.” We raised over eight hundred dollars to be used for people who could not afford food or medical supplies for their animals at the hospital. That was three years ago and the cat is still going strong today and we will forever be grateful that on that day - someone cared enough to save our Quinnie. That hospital and everyone in there will forever be our Christmas angels. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.

                       The day we brought Quinnie home Christmas Eve.


Do you believe in Miracles? - No it’s not the 1980 USA Hockey Team story, it’s mine.

       How many of you really believe in miracles? I mean really believe in miracles.  How many of you want a miracle and feel silly asking for one. But this is based on real life miracles. Why are you afraid to ask for a miracle, afraid it won’t happen or if it happens would you believe it was just a coincidence? There are no coincidences my friend.

       It’s the holiday season and for so many people this time of the year it ……sucks.  You don’t live up to the expectations of others or you are not as happy or joyful and you’d rather not be out there at all. Why? You really are control of your own emotions. You dictate how you feel. It is such an easy spiral downward if you let it. One sad, angry, emotional thought becomes two thoughts and then you ask yourself - how am I going to get out of this? 

     What miracle would you ask for right now.  I’ll wait……..go ahead, just ask.  Do you think it’s too big? Think about the whole world, and all the people in it. My mother used to say “put your problems in a hat, and you’d still want to pick your own out.”  I never believed that until I got older and saw what problems are out there.  Sometimes it gets to me, that I am complaining? You know someone, right now who is suffering, physically, emotionally, financially or spiritually? Why not direct your thoughts for them. Direct positive prayer, positive energy towards that person or their family. You have power right now that you are not using. 

      I am so thankful for the daily miracles that happen to me and my family each and every day. Today a miracle happened to me and while I am holding it close to my heart, and someone might not see it as a miracle - I do. Isn’t that what it’s all about. Finding the good in all situations, and choosing to be thankful not ungrateful. Choose something to call a miracle today. Who cares if someone doesn’t think it’s a miracle - you think it is - THEN IT IS!
      My Christmas wish is to see your miracles posted on my blog. Leave it anonymously if you want. You reading this is my miracle - yes you are a miracle to me. Ton o’ blessings AND miracles to you until next time. Love you my snow angel.


Don’t judge a suit by it’s outsides - ya neva know what’s on the inside.

       Keeping with holiday spirit and that it is definitely better to give than receive, I am reminded of a special woman named *Claire from Missouri.

       After a few years living in Missouri and becoming more active in my church, I decided to join different clubs. I loved going to church (still do!) and fondly remember the people that I would see every Saturday night. I enjoyed those that really got dressed up for church. I would admire this one woman who always wore nice suits and always presented herself beautifully. I would smile at her and always give a hearted hello as I was a greeter. She always just smiled back. I never took it as an insult that she never really stopped to talk but that she was shy or that she just wanted to get inside quickly.

       I was asked if I wanted to volunteer for the Care Service organization. It was just beginning with a wonderful new building adjacent to the church that was more like a warehouse. It was stocked with canned goods as well as offices for people to go who were having a hard time making ends meet. I was more than thrilled to be apart of that group. I started volunteering Tuesday nights as that was the night for the food distribution. We had shopping carts set up for the people to get and wait on line. The local super markets would donate produce and meats that were about to expire instead of throwing all that food out. 

       It is bittersweet that you start to have “favorites” that come  every week. One night, while the hustle and bustle of getting people in and out quickly, I noticed the woman who I see every Saturday night on line waiting for food. She was still dressed so nicely but had her head down. I immediately went over to help her and put my arm around her and asked her what her name was, she had said *Claire. Still not looking at me, I said “it’s ok, we are all here to help.” She barely smiled back. Over the next couple of months, every time I would see Claire in line, I would rush over to make sure I was the one to fill her shopping cart. Not that I would give her more food, but to make sure that I got to hug her and always whisper in her ear - “it will get better - trust God - it will get better.” She and I began a sort of friendship even though we only saw each other Tuesday nights. She then began to tell me what had happened. Her husband was laid off from his job making quite a lot of money and then went through their life savings just to keep the house a float.  Looking at her, you would never know that her family was struggling. You would pass her on the street and think, wow- she must have it all by the way she dresses.

       It was a few weeks before Christmas on that faithful Tuesday night that I saw Claire on line.  This time, she had her head held high. She was actually looking for me! I ran over and we hugged as we did, and I saw she had tears in her eyes. She whispered, “this is my last night coming for food.” In a strange way, I was sad. She then said with a big smile “my husband got a wonderful job and we won’t need for me to come anymore!” I started to weep with joy for her. I loaded up her cart and walked her to her car. She told me “I never gave up because you were right - it did get better.” We hugged again and true to her word, she never came back.

       Shortly after that time, I had made the decision to switch masses and I never did see her again. She always lives in my heart but especially this time of the season. You really don’t know what is behind that suit someone might be wearing - do you.  Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.

*Named changed to protect my friend.


Positive thinking and yes, I was on Oprah and the show begins....(Part 2)

          The next morning we were having breakfast in the hotel where apparently famous movie stars have been and of course, I couldn’t eat a thing. Bill on the other hand, ate great. He wasn’t nervous at all. I did my makeup and met the other guests that were to appear on the show in lobby as we all got into the huge limousine off to the show. We were truly brought into a “green room.” I thought that was just a saying until I saw it for my own eyes, a green room. We were then seated after the audience had their seats and Bill and I were in the front row. I had the worst seat. I had my feet up on what seemed to be a speaker and was quite uncomfortable. Did I care? Heck no - I was on Oprah. Then the doors opened up and Oprah comes out to do a sound check. She checked the names of the guests that were on that day and she got to mine. She looked at me and said “you cut your hair?” I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about until I realized that she had the picture I sent into the show along with my “problem” on a blue card. I said “why yes I did - do you like it?” She smiled.  Then the show began and I swear to this day - it was like a blur. I tried so hard to be in the moment. Was I going to say something stupid or stutter? I better pay attention. 

         At this point Dr. Phil walks out and yes, he is extremely tall and intimidating. I look over to Bill and a sweat bead forms on his head and at that point I truly felt bad for what was in store for him. Then our segment came on. They showed the film of our “background” and why we were there. To be honest, it really did seem stupid.  Dr. Phil calmly looked at me and asked “is your husband a good man,  he good to you?” I was like, “yes, sir” and in that minute, I knew it was over. This was not going to be good for ME!  Dr. Phil went on how it was MY fault for not being more specific in what I wanted as a gift. That most men “aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed,” and why am I complaining. Bill instantly said - “yeah - what he said!” Oh great, when is this going to be over. As our segment ended and going to break, they started another film segment on the next couple. As the film was being shown ( a huge screen behind Oprah and Dr. Phil,) I could see Oprah staring at me and nodding. I met her gaze and nodded back seriously saying to myself “oh my gosh - Oprah is nodding at me and I am nodding back at her!) After the clip stopped she said to me, “I thought this could be related to what you are feeling - and I said, “you’re right,” smiled back and thought, what the heck is she talking about. I’m going to say no to Oprah? I don’t think so.  Of course when all was said and done and I actually watched the show, I then understood why she said that to me.  I was too in heaven at the time to “analysis” what she was saying.  

I truly believe in my heart, that positive thinking got me to that show. I do not believe in coincidences and this was such a desire in my heart that came true. Everyone has that power within. It might not happen tomorrow but I do believe I will get on the show again. So every time Oprah’s Favorite Things show comes on, Bill is quick to say - and all we got was a mug.  

I treasure this mug as it does remind me - God is good and dreams really do come true. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.


Positive thinking and yes, I was on Oprah.

                     You truly do not know the power you possess within you. I certainly did not know that eleven years ago. I had always said that I wanted to be on Oprah. Never believing I could get on Oprah but always wanted to. I would see myself on those ugly yellow chairs chatting with Oprah about whatever! I loved dreaming about being on the show. It was only a dream- right?

                 I had gone on her website as it was asking people to email a new guest (Dr. Phil) with any problems you might have for the good doctor and you can possibly get on the show. That was in 1998 when I emailed the show. At that time, there were quite a few things going on that were not good with my marriage. It was more cathartic than anything. I got so much off my chest and to be honest, totally forgot about that email. As God is good, the marriage got back on track as we moved from Missouri to Florida and the start of our new life began. Then in November of 2000, the phone rang and on the caller id it said “Harpo studios.”  I answered the phone thinking “no way, can’t be.” It was a producer from the show saying that they had read my email and that they thought we would be  great guests for Dr. Phil. I truly had no idea what she was talking about. I told her “great - and.... what again did I write?” She had said that she felt that Dr. Phil could help us get on the right track with our problems. Ewww - of course I could hear my mom say “don’t hang your dirty laundry out for people to see!” I quickly asked what the show was specially about and if I could narrow down “our problems” to the fact that I thought my husband was a bad gift giver.  She thought that would be perfect as it was to air around Christmas time. My husband (Bill) comes home and I said “honey buncher (as I call him that today as well) the Oprah show called and they want us on it.  Even typing that today makes me laugh. The absurdity of it. Bill quickly asked - “why?” I told him that it was going to be a “light and funny look” at gift giving (or the lack of!) He said ok as long as Dr. Phil doesn’t yell at him. (Um…..I thought to myself …he better yell at you - you’re the one who doesn’t put the whole thoughtful ideas together!!!) I said, “of course honey, he’ll yell at me!” Oh how those words got me back.

As soon as I gave the OK, film crews arrived within a couple of days to film at our home. We moved furniture around and taped the kids coming home from school and a nice family gathering around the table playing backgammon (which Bill hates because he never wins) but hey, it looked cozy.  A day or so after that we were off to Chicago and put up in the nicest hotel. I can say I was literally pinching myself the whole time saying, “holy crap - we’re going on Oprah!” Next blog - let the show begin. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.


Hey Facebook and Twitter Fans - For better or worse posts?

           Isn’t Facebook and Twitter great? Yes, they can be and sometimes they’re not.  Since being on Facebook, it has allowed me to connect with long lost friends and family that I haven’t spoken to in quite sometime. I have always wanted to try Twitter but didn’t get how to use it until recently.  What wonderful friends I have met through both. But let me address my FB family. Over the past couple of months, I have been praying on a new and positive venture for which I am sure I was looking for support from anyone! That support came from my FB family. I would just ask for people to send positive waves and prayers my way to help me see what I believe is the path that I want to take. I had posted on my FB page: 

              " Expect miracles and they really will happen. Just ask me. :)"

           Not thinking anything other than that is a true statement, I got several private messages asking for me to pray for them for a miracle. Not revealing what miracle they needed (nor did I ask,) was honored to do so. I wrote back all that messaged me with words of encouragement and not to give up. My family has had huge ups and downs this year but in the end - we choose to be positive and keep smiling (well, laughing if you know our family.)

You never know what you say as a “thought, or status, or feeling” is going affect someone.  I was driving home and turned the radio on to hear this quote and thought I would post it after my previous quote to kind of “piggy back” on what I meant. The quote is from Deuteronomy 31:8.  

8It is the LORD(N) who goes before you. He will be with you;(O) he will not leave you or forsake you.(P) Do not fear or be dismayed."

and again, was greeted with new private messages telling me that they needed to see that and it helped them in their own way. What a blessing to touch someone’s life in a positive matter.  

  Now for the flip side of social networking. The expectation of reuniting with friends (and family) sometimes doesn’t go the way you’d hope for.  I had that happen to me but after a while, shrugged it off to say, the people that know me and love me are present in my life and even those that don’t speak to me often,  mean the world to me. FB has a wonderful tool that you can “hide” the person who you are happy to reunite with but don’t want to see their negative quotes everyday. You hope that their lives get better and pray for happy quotes, but they don’t come.

It’s different on Twitter for which I am finding out. You really are involved and see people’s conversations (so to speak) what is on their “timeline.” You can do private messages as well, but most “chat” directly with friends by their Twitter name beginning with an @ sign.  With that said, lately I witnessed horrible fights and nasty bantering among people that I thought to be friends. In a way, you feel like you are prying on their conversation as it scrolls down the timeline. A wonderful friend I recently met had put on her blog what she believed to be etiquette rules of Twitter.  With her permission I’ve added the link.        

 What I thought would be a little blog turned into a sermon but felt in my heart had to be said.  Ton o’ blessings to you this joyous holiday season and hope big miracles to come your way.


From Skating to Surgery - and again, the Angels we meet.

          *Big disclaimer as the name of the doctor in this story has been changed for good reason. 

      It was Patrick’s thirteenth birthday.  Like all good moms, I wanted to throw him a party.  I thought having a roller skating party would be good and all I needed was the cake and the kids. I enlisted my best friend Liz who was the queen of birthday parties to help me with this endeavor and of course, she gladly obliged.  

       It was a Saturday and the party was to be from one in the afternoon to four. I loved skating as a kid and was very good at it. I had kept the party to only a few of Patrick’s friends.  One of his friends had not really skated before and I enjoyed “teaching” her how to skate.  The party was going along great and we were just about done in an hour or so when I was going around the rink when the girl I was helping to skate grabbed the back of my sleeve and pulled me down. One of the last memories before that was me seeing my feet up in the air and seriously thinking, this can’t be good.

      I landed on my wrist and thought, why can’t I get up. I then looked down to see my wrist was at a ninety degree angle. Not wanting to upset my son at his birthday party, I just kept saying, “it’s ok - go eat the cake!” My friend Liz came over and her face said it all. This was bad. Enter angel number one, a paramedic who was there with his son skating. He immediately told me not to try to pick up my wrist. He got a board to put under it and they “scooped” my wrist up to the office. Oh the management. They kept saying, “you know this is not our fault and you skate at your own risk.” Gee, thanks.  I told Patrick that I would be fine that I was going to get it “checked out.” Liz graciously offered to drive me so that my husband (and hers) could wrap up the party. 

               We got to the hospital and you know emergency rooms, you wait forever. Then I got x-rays and even the technician got squeamish looking at my wrist. I was put in the back of the ER and met second angel *Jeanette. She was the nurse on call that day. She kept saying how was I not passed out from the pain. I kept myself positive that I would be ok. Liz never left my side. Jeanette had called the orthopedic doctor on call to have him come immediately to the hospital to take care of my wrist. That was at four in the afternoon. The doctor said he was busy and he would get there as soon as he could. Two hours later, Liz got me some food so I could try some pain medicine. Another call to the doctor and still the same response that he was busy. Jeanette then sat down next to me and looked around and said, “do you know about patient rights?” I said I had no idea what she was talking about. She basically said that if I did not like the doctor prior to him starting care, that I could refuse his service. Hmm….interesting.

       At eight thirty pm, enter *Dr. Nutso.   He finally shows up all six foot three tall and wide. Comes in and sees me sitting on a chair outside an examining room and barks at me to get in here and sit on the examining table. Now please picture my friend Liz who on a good day, is five foot nothing. She helps me on the table and the doctor tries to push me down and says, “let me just put some medicine in your wrist and we’ll cast it up and you’ll be home soon!” Anyone (including myself) could see that it was much more serious than that. Then Jeanette over his shoulder mouthed “patient rights.” I then took my wrist away and said I was refusing service. He got in my face and told me how dare I tear him away from his dinner to just refuse his service. Dinner? I’m dying here with a broken wrist and you’re eating? Liz then took control. My little sergeant. She looked up at him and got in between us and started yelling at him to get away from me and how dare he make us wait. I can still see her looking up and pointing her finger at him.

       Thankfully, the doctor walked out huffing and puffing. I never saw him again. I did require surgery that had my wrist in four metal rods that were in for eight weeks. The doctors said I would be lucky to retain only fifty three percent usage at best. I retained ninety five percent usage, thank you. I know my thoughts of staying positive combined with the positive people that we’re put in my path, kept  me sane. Haven’t skated since then but you never know…..maybe one day. Until next time, ton o’ blessings to ya.


Can God talk to you through a baby monitor? Well, He did for us.

    When our oldest was born (nineteen years ago!) we were still living with my mother in a condominium complex. We were at the end of the building in a two story town home. We were so excited after Patrick was born to use all of our new and exciting gifts that we received at my baby shower.  One was a new and improved baby monitor. You got to love those things.  I remember the first time putting the remote right near Patrick’s head so I can hear him breathing. It picked up every noise he made. Way back then there were no television remote so all you had was the other remote to listen to. So I had the remote strapped to my waist  and thought I better put it on my shoulder so I could hear it better. Well I started to hear Patrick make cute little “I’m starting to wake up now” noises which lasted about fifteen seconds. Then it was a full blown scream like a firehouse station siren right outside your window! Thought I was going to have a heart attack. Of course, my dear sweet child needed to be fed and God forbid you didn’t have that bottle ready as he would continue that wonderful scream until you stuck that bottle in his mouth.  Ok, lessons learned, don’t put monitor right next to the baby (on a dresser will do fine) and certainly do not put the other monitor next to your ear. No wonder the kids today think I’m deaf. Thanks Patrick.

    One night before Patrick was born and we were getting the nursery ready, my husband Bill was putting together the crib and took out the monitor set as well. After putting the crib together, he decided to put the batteries in the monitor and see how they worked. Being a new dad he was anxious and story goes prayed quite a bit to be a good father. What happened next could only be described as miraculous as he turned on only one of the monitors and was about to turn the other monitor on when he heard this mans voice coming through. Being a bit freaked out as the other monitor wasn’t on, he heard this voice say “put your hands together like this, and pray with me." “Our Father who ark in heaven, that’s good - keep it like that,’ hallowed be thy name.” The Lords prayer continued to the end and then the voice said that everything will be great and that God loves us. Bill was by himself and looked around to see if this was on an episode of “Candid Camera” or something until he realized that it wasn’t.  I came home and he told me the story breathless. He was sure God was talking to him and that everything would be ok. 

I didn’t know what to make of the story until I asked my cousin who had the same monitor what she thought. She told me that the monitor picks up other monitors when  one is not on. I guess like a walkie talkie. I then realized we had a neighbor down a few houses that had a little boy and that it was probably him on the monitor.  To this day, we choose to believe it was God that faithful night who saw into the future to let us know - yes, everything will be alright. You just never know when God will talk to you. Are you listening?  Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.


Things aren’t what they seem to be - tongue depressor? Not going to work.

              It was the end of Matthew’s eighth grade year of school. As usually, kids get rowdy and a girl in his class decided to do a cartwheel right near Matthew in the hallway, which wasn’t very smart. Matthew raised his hand to block her from kicking him. Afterwards, he complained that he hurt his finger. He asked to go see the nurse which the vice principal was there as well. He was greeted with, “no big deal, put your finger in between two tongue depressors and it’ll be alright.” I was called to come pick him up (for which again, mother of the year) wasn’t happy. Everyone in the office said that they thought Matty was just fine.

Matthew got into the car and said it really hurt. I knew from times past, that if Matthew said he was hurting, he must be hurting. Case in point, he broke his collar bone and didn’t tell anyone how bad it hurt until he fell on it (again) for which we took him to the orthopedic doctor who informed us that he had broken it TWO weeks prior! He never said a word. How the heck were we supposed to know! Not wanting to repeat that ordeal, we went right to the orthopedic doctor and they took x-rays. At first, the doctor thought all was ok and wrapped his hand and told him to take it easy. Matthew being Matthew, was hungry. We were in the local grocery store when my cell phone rang and it was the orthopedic doctor telling me that Matthew’s hand was much worse than expected. We were to immediately  go to the orthopedic surgeon right away. Ok - that got my attention. We did as we were told and when we got there, this surgeon (as Matthew and I affectionately call him Dr. Bedside Manor) said if Matthew did not have surgery tomorrow his finger would immediately start to heal crooked and he would lose the use of his finger for good. Ok, this train is going to fast, I want to get off now. We called the school to let them know that Matthew wasn’t fine, and to pray for him tomorrow as he was going to have surgery!

          The next day came and we were in the surgical center bright and early. It was supposed to start at ten in the morning but no, it was closer to one in the afternoon. I called the school at noon to find the vice principal frantically telling me that they stop classes at ten to pray for Matthew. I didn’t know what to say other than, “thanks - I’m sure the prayers will hold over to one o‘clock!”

            The surgery was a success and afterwards, Dr. Bedside Manor said that this type of surgery is only performed maybe one or two times a year! So much for it’s no big deal.  It came time for the stitches to come out and Matthew and I went together. I know I was more scared than he was. We were sitting there and all I kept saying to Matthew was “look at Mommy, look at me!” “Don’t look at your hand!” Dr. BSM calmly said - “stop it, he can look if he wants to.” Matthew was a trooper and all went well. Thankfully, he has almost one hundred percent recovered from the accident and we look back and laugh (now) how what started out as a ordinary day at school turned into a nightmare turned into a blessing. We had everything, everyone that was supposed to be in our path those days and weeks. Again, angels amongst us…even Dr. Bedside Manor. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!


Matthew my 3rd grader - the criminal.

     After Patrick’s wonderful sleep away camp was over, we made the decision that maybe this wasn’t going to work out for our younger son Matthew. As Patrick went on about how horrible it was for him, he did speak so highly of the “ knife badge” project. He proudly displayed his knives when he got home and I was shocked to see not one but two switch blades! I guess I didn’t know what to expect to see in reference to the knives. Maybe I was hoping to see a butter knife or plastic knife for that matter. Patrick could take these knives down to the South Bronx (no disrespect) and hold his own! Need-less-to-say I told him to put them away and to not bring them out. Mother of the year, I should have taken them right then and there. But no………

       It was about a week or so after Patrick came home with the knives that it was a Wednesday (you never forget the day,) when I got a call from Matthew’s elementary school principal saying Matthew was in the office and for me to come pick him up. The principal was calling? She was so nice as I couldn’t hold back my shock that my “sweet, quiet child” needed to be picked up.  “For what may I ask?” She calmly said, “he pulled a switch blade out in the boys bathroom to give to his friend to show his brother how cool it was.” I nearly fell off my chair and couldn’t breath. She said that Matthew was sobbing telling her he didn’t mean any harm that he thought showing it to his friend  was really cool. I went immediately to the school to find Matthew in her office, red face and snot running down. What was I suppose to do? I just stood there - arms crossed and gave him that look like, what the heck?  The principal said they had to suspend him due to school regulations on weapons. Weapons? Ugh. He was supposed to get one week but she felt sorry for him and gave him only three days suspension which would go on his record. Great, my third grader - the criminal.

         His first day of incarceration, I mean at home, we went to daily mass where all the little old ladies thought that was really nice I brought my son to mass. Ok, forgive me Father, for I have sinned, I just smiled and yes, it was.  For three long days, my son tried to convince me that it wasn’t his fault, that “stupid Patrick” shouldn’t have brought them home. After his stint was up, I was convinced that being a lawyer was in my son’s future. Now he is a junior in high school with only a year left to go before he is off to college and who knows, maybe it will come true! Sometimes, things happen for a reason!  Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!   


Weeblos? Not for everyone…..just ask Patrick.

                  Keeping in the earlier years of us moving to Florida, we wanted to have our children be involved in the local community. What better way than to put Patrick (our oldest) in “Weeblos.” That would be the boys version of “Brownies before Girl Scouts!” Not really knowing if Patrick actually wanted to join, we threw him in anyway. Wanting to be that “Weeblos mom” was like wanting to be that “soccer mom,” and we know how that turned out, this had to be different. It was going along smoothly (so I thought,) when the subject of the sleep away camping trip came up.  I don’t know if it’s a first born thing but, Patrick was not thrilled at all to be leaving home without us.  The day arrives where we meet early in the morning and we (his father and I) were so excited to hand Patrick over for the week! Unfortunately, Patrick did not share our enthusiasm. Not that he went “kicking and screaming” but if looks could kill,  we wouldn’t have made it out the parking lot. I thought things look strange when twelve people got into a ten person van. We stood there, said our prayers  and off they went. Patrick tells the story that they stayed at a strange persons house before going up to the camping grounds in Georgia. He said that the house was small and they were ALL sleeping on the living room floor. He was smack right in the middle and the poor thing had to go potty but couldn’t move.  No one was letting him up. It was cold, dark and scary and they weren’t even camping yet.

           When they arrive to the camping ground, they were told it would be two per “tent.” Tent being the operative  word. It was a wooden frame with a canvas covering the two small beds. It had a wooden floor board with about ten inches between the floor and ground. Story goes, it was covered with so many spider webs, roaches and quoting here “mosquitoes the size of hawks!” Interviewing my son for this story apparently brought up some very bad memories. The first night it rained. Actually it rained the whole time he was there. Patrick says that he heard animals under the floor boards so he never slept worrying something would attack him in his sleep. We gave him forty dollars for the week which we were told would be more than enough as they provided three “balanced” meals daily. The money could be used for the Trading Post store located on the grounds. Apparently, Patrick used thirty dollars in the first day buying beef jerky and a rabbit pelt to keep warm at night. The pelt was eight inches by a foot on a good day. 

           The boys had opportunities to earn badges, fun - right? Well, there was the “knife skills badge” which Patrick wanted so bad to earn.  Only problem - no knife. With the rest of the money, he bribed this kid to sell him two knives on the black market.  Some things are better not known. He successfully earned his badges and was told he could call home. He called us and started to cry saying that I promised him, if he was not having a good time I would come up and get him. I wanted to get in the car right then and there. His father had other ideas. “It’s nine and half hours north and we’re not going. This is a great learning experience!” Did I mention this was day two. As God is good, they did manage to get through the week, albeit Patrick was out of money by day three and returned home. To this day, Patrick says that was thee worst week of his life. He did go to Boy Scouts, for one year and hung up his belt and badges. What happened to those knives? Next blog - Matthew and the switchblade. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!  


Hurricane Wilma - Blown anniversary (literally) and the angels we meet.

             Now that Hurricane Tomas is no threat to anyone anymore, praise God, it reminded me of what we went through with Hurricane Wilma back in 2005. Living in Florida, we are blessed to have hurricane warnings to prepare for the worst.  Living through some of what we thought to be bad ones, we had no idea just how bad it can be. It was our eighteenth wedding anniversary and we all were watching Hurricane Wilma approaching Florida. We had the shutters up and plenty of candles, water and can goods at the ready. Gas in the grill and a ton of batteries for the flash lights. Eight Oh three am. The house starts rumbling and the windows and back glass door start shaking. We are watching the television when I said, “can’t believe we haven’t lost power yet!” You guessed it, the next minute, lights out. That would be the start of twenty one days without power. You have no idea until it happens to you how much you depend on electricity. This was the start of the most unusual anniversary ever. Looking for the positive side of things, we got to know our neighbors so well, as who wants to stay in a dark house and do nothing. The kids were playing outside and out came the grills. Having to use up all that was in the freezer, we ate like kings! I made my ribs, next door made the best pork loin, the other neighbor made hot wings and so the marathon eating began!  I would make pancakes in the morning on the grill and the neighborhood kids would come over and I set up a table and chairs for them to sit and eat. I made every kind of pancakes known to man. Chocolate chip, spice pancakes, blueberry, you name it, I made it. Then it wasn’t really “fun” anymore. 

    Laundry started to pile up and when the roads finally became clear, a week or so later, I loaded up the kids to find a coin Laundromat to do our clothes. I think I had close to six large garbage bags to wash. We went to the first place I knew and of course, it was packed with people in the same situation. I got the kids to each try to carry a bag or two and we ventured in. Unfortunately, we were greeted with this woman literally stretching out her arms over some five washing machines, stating that these were hers! Are you nuts? I was so tired and I’m sure I smelled and was not looking pretty at this point when I said, “move over honey, I got laundry to do!” She said “no.” God bless my kids who didn’t want momma to start fighting with this woman and my oldest said  for us to just go. I was too tired to fight so we left. Found another one close by, a much smaller one but at least the people were friendlier. I started to put my laundry in the washing machine when I noticed this man watching me. Didn’t think anything of it. I then was putting some of the laundry in the dryer when some fell on the floor and you would have thought that I just lost my best friend when the tears started down my face. I was trying not to sob hysterically out loud because I didn’t want to embarrass my kids. I’m sure it was all the stress by now catching up to me. Right in front of me is that man that was staring at me before. He started to help me put my clothes in the dryer and was so kind and told me everything was going to be ok. Patted me on the back and told me that God has it under control and things will get better soon. He just knew the right things to say! I thought, who is this guy? I looked down to see he had a “badge” on that said “Salvation Army” volunteer.  I almost screamed saying “oh my gosh, they teach you how to deal with crazies like me - don’t they!?” He laughed and who cares the who or why, he was my angel that day. I wish I would have taken his name or number to thank him weeks later when everything did turn up ok. You see, you never know the angel who is right in front of you! They really do come in all shapes and sizes!  Ton o’ blessings to you until next time!


Buyers……The Eleventh hour - are we or aren’t we!

    To be a Realtor, you have to have nerves of steal and be able to let things roll off your back. I learned that with many many many contracts. Early in my career, I had a client *Paige (yes, name changed to protect her) who called off an advertisement that I had in the paper to see if I could help her sell her home. She had a lovely townhouse that I knew would sell right away. We went under contract with-in a week, to close within a month, so she needed to buy right away.  Great for me, I thought. We did find a wonderful home and went under contract. Three weeks into the deals, Paige said that she had a dream that she was not suppose to sell her home right now. A dream? Really? What was I supposed to do now? There was the buyer of her home waiting to close in a week, the seller of the new home she was going to buy in a week, her movers she hired to move her home in a week…..are you getting the big picture here? She said calmly, “I need to get out of the contracts, please.” I remember going into my brokers office in tears saying “what am I supposed to do now?” My broker turned and said “stop crying, can’t take you crying and don’t worry - real estate is not life or death.” With that, I went through the proper paperwork and successfully got out of all the deals at the eleventh hour. Only by the grace of God did it happen and , I will never forget what he said. Paige unfortunately never bought or sold to this day.  
    I had clients that were referred to me by a good friend. I got along famously with them as they were my fellow New Yorkers. *James and *Cindy came down and I found them a rental to move into right away. They promised me that they would ask me to help them find a home when they were ready. Not going back on their word, it was time we went house hunting. It was a big blessing that they had relatives that were going to help them in purchasing their new home. The relatives came down to go house hunting with us but sadly, we all did not agree what home would be right for them. The relatives returned home and we continued the search. We went into this house, and we all looked at each other and said - this is it. After some negotiating, we had a contract! It was a bit different and a bit more complicated when other people are buying for someone else. That didn’t stop it from going through to the closing. 
           Closing day was upon us, and the relatives came back down to sign the paperwork. We did our walk through which was the first time that they had seen the property! Thankfully, that went well and we were off to title company to close. Movers were at James and Cindy’s rental apartment as well as the seller’s movers were waiting too! We are sitting at the closing table when the title closer said, "we have a problem." We all looked at each other (mortgage agent, James, Cindy, the relatives, title closer and myself) and you could hear a pin drop. Then the mortgage agent got up and went into the other room for what seemed liked forever and I was there to ask if anyone wanted coffee, water a bourbon, beer - what ever? I became a waitress to say the least!  I got up to go into the other room, to see the mortgage agent furious that this is happening at the closing. I held my breath and more paperwork had to be signed and faxed but thankfully - we closed. You could hear us all the way down the street screaming with delight. James and Cindy were gracious enough to buy me a wonderful bottle of Vodka (that was opened that night!) which no other buyer had ever done before! Not that I didn’t have faith that it wouldn’t close but…….it did and that is all that matters. Until next time, ton o’ blessings to ya.


Buyers….Where’s your manners?

You would think that after taking out so many buyers that I wouldn’t get shocked at the behavior of buyers and the people they bring along. Well, guess again. Oh the names have been changed to protect me!
I loved my buyer *Joan.  She and I got along so well and I truly looked forward taking her out as we laughed most of the time while trying to find a home.  One day Joan said she wanted to take her friend *Ted along because she “valued” his opinion. Ugh. What was I going to say. We met at the first property and we went into the house which I thought would be perfect for Joan.  Joan walked in and loved it. That is, until Ted said “No way - uh no, let’s go now.”  I looked over at Joan and she tried to convince him that it was a great house. Need-less-to-say, we left. That happened to the next four  listings we went to. I tried to talk to Joan “alone” in one of the listings and told her - “it’s your decision, not his, hello?” She said I was right and that she would not bring him the next time and could we go back to those other houses that she liked at another time. “OK, no problem.” 
We were at the last house where it was apparent that there was a college student going off to school and their mom (or dad) made some homemade cookies and brownies in baggies to take back. I didn’t think anything of it as Joan and I were upstairs checking out the bedrooms when Ted comes upstairs eating one of the brownies! I quickly said - “Um, that’s not yours to eat!” He said “oh, I thought they left that out for us!” I thought, when is this day going to end already. The instructions were to not lock the door on the way out so I went first to my car and Joan and Ted came out next. That is when I saw it. He had three empty bags in his hand! Ok, now what do I do. I made the decision to not say anything but smile and tell Joan I would see her tomorrow (alone, I mouthed.) Then I called  the agent of that house and said, “I am truly sorry that, not my buyer but her friend, ate some food at the house.” The other agent gasped and asked if I was joking. As it was the listing agents home! I told him I would make some brownies to bring back, for which he said, “no, I’ll just have my wife make more.” Again, lessons learned, not to leave anyone alone in a kitchen for you do not know where they are going to lurk! Thankfully, Joan did buy a home that she (and I) loved and I never had to see Ted again. Next blog - the eleventh hour - are we or aren’t we! Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!


More Buyer Stories…Oh no she didn’t…..

         Please know that I have to have the disclaimer that the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Especially in this story!

            My associate/friend *Mary was starting out in the real estate business right about the same time I was. I would share my buyer stories and she would share hers. I really think to this day this has to be thee top ten memorable one!
         She was doing floor duty when a call came in from a very high spirited woman asking if a realtor could take out her and her family to go see “really nice houses!” As any good realtor would do, Mary asked her if she was pre-qualified for a loan and “*Momma Pat” said that she was coming into a “boat load of money” soon and she wanted to be ready to buy that million dollar house! Well, of course, that got Mary’s attention and they set up a time to go out the next day. 
                    Mary set up to see five houses in the price range of five hundred thousand to one million. They met at the office and to Mary’s dismay, there was seven of them that marched out of the van. *Momma Pat lead the way as she was the grandmother, then her daughter, son-in-law, niece and her children went inside the office. Momma Pat explained she won a lawsuit and that it was getting close to payoff time. Mary had Momma Pat in her van and the rest followed.  The very first home was a beautifully decorated five bedroom/five bath home with all the upgrades that anyone would love to have. Momma Pat said “naaa” next? Same thing happened with the next three elegant homes. Finally at the last home, which was one million dollars, Momma Pat was thrilled. Loved the whole house and they stayed in there for over an hour when Momma Pat said she had to use the “little girls room.” Mary knew she was in trouble as the son-in-law begged her to just wait until they got back to the office. She said she couldn’t and she would be right out. Twenty minutes later, Mary got anxious and asked the daughter to see if her mom was ok. What next, something out of a bad “B” rated movie. The daughter knocks and Momma Pat said “watch out, I’m opening the door!” Door opens, toilet over flowing (I’ll let your mind ponder that,) the smell was something left out on the counter for a day too long and water everywhere. Big poo and toilet paper all over the marble floor and out to the wood floors in the hallway! Momma Pat said “oops, sorry - must have ate something bad.” All Mary could think of was, how am I going to leave this? She said that she would “take care of it” and that they could go out and see more tomorrow. With that, Momma Pat and gang filed out of the house leaving Mary to “clean up” the evidence. Thankfully, the owners were out of town so Mary took towels, and a mop and cleaned it all up. Unfortunately, the big payoff never came and the twenty one times she took them out, never paid off. What we don’t do for our buyers! Next time - buyers that eat, eat and eat some more? Ton o’ blessing to ya until next time!


Open houses and the people we meet!

I have to  start off by saying these blogs are when I was new in my real estate career. Looking back, I absolutely made mistakes, but who doesn’t at first!  Open houses were introduced to me as a way of “showcasing” a home and the opportunity to meet potential buyers or sellers. 
I was asked to do an open house for a friend who had a very expensive listing (over one million dollars) in a prestigious neighborhood. I jumped at the chance.   I turned on all the lights (bright and airy ring a bell?) light my Yankee candle (Christmas Cookie, of course) and  I was ready. I put up my open house signs around the neighborhood and on the street that lead up to the home. I really believed that as soon as I stuck that sign in the ground at one o’clock, they were going to come in like cattle!  I sat there for what seemed like hours near the window like a dog waiting to go out and pee.  Finally someone pulled into the driveway! Here it is - my potential buyer for this million dollar house! Yippeee! I was so anxious that I bolted to the door and swung it open with a smile larger than the Grand Canyon when this man gets out of his car and strolls up to me and says, “you can’t have open house signs in neighborhood - and I took them.” “Please do not do that again.” He proceeded to unlock his trunk and dump my signs on the lawn and drove off. Ugh.  My heart sank. All this work and for what - nothing. I waited until he drove off and stuck one right in front of the house - what were the chances he would drive by again? A good one. He started up the driveway again, but I ran out and just waved my hand and took the sign down.  
That didn’t stop me. The following weekend I had a plan.  I bought cookies for the man at the gate and told him that I was having an open house and could he give people my flyer so they could get to the listing without me putting the open house  signs out!  He loved  the cookies, and it worked. I did have a few people that were looking around and was so excited. Then this handsome man name *Paul comes in and zooms through the house and says he wants to make an offer. Holy crap. He said he had to look at one more in the neighborhood but he would be back and he wanted ME to represent him!!!  I proudly stood there and said “I would be honored!” He left and I started to do the “happy dance” in the kitchen when I realized, I didn’t get his name or cell phone number. And you guessed it. He didn’t come back. I called my friend/associate and she tried as nicely as possible to say - you didn’t have a sign-in sheet, ask for his number, nothing? Nope. 
A few days later my cell phone rang and I answered it “this is Dina” and I heard a voice say - “oh good, I found you.” Yes, it was Paul from the open house! I would love to say there was contract and closing but, as the week went by - not only did Paul have me as his realtor but apparently he had three other agents as well doing work for him. And to this date - he never bought anything. Nada.  Lessons learned, do your homework and don’t waste time with people that you have that “funny feeling” about!  Next blog - more buyer stories - Oh no they didn't.... Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.


Buyers 101.…..What really is behind that door.

          As my real estate career was progressing, I was feeling more confident with acquiring  more sellers and more buyers. I had met a buyer who was interested in seeing two bedroom, two bath condos in town. I had set up appointments and felt I had interesting and great investment  condos to show him. We love those that say they are vacant as you don’t have a seller waiting for you or even worse, the seller stays in the home and starts to do your job by giving your buyer the “grand tour!”

*Mike (name changed to protect the innocent!) and I got to our first condo which was on the second floor facing the pool area.  Nice location and even better, it was “vacant.” Or so I thought. I got the door open and we went into this condo that was dirty to say the least with food on the counter and clothes on the floor. It was a split floor plan (one bedroom to the left and one to the right) and Mike said he was going to check out the one on the left. I said ok and that I would go to the one on the right. I thought I heard something strange like a wounded animal when I opened the door to see two people having sex and apparently didn’t hear me opening the door. Feeling like I was going up chuck breakfast - I came running out of the room and grabbed Mike and said - “um…this is not for you - let’s get out of here!” He agreed saying it just didn’t feel right inside. I didn’t tell him what I saw because it was supposed to be vacant!  

We went to the next condo which was still in the same town and I knew this had to be better. We drove up to the condo and this one was on the third floor  over looking the park. Should be nice - right? Well, we knocked on the door and I was just about to use my realtor key to get in when the door opens. One word to describe what we saw - “Hoarders”.  If the mess wasn’t bad enough, the smell could kill you. I’m thinking, good let’s get out of here when Mike said “this has ’good bones’ - right?” Good bones or not - this was filthy. This owner had to push clothes aside so we could walk through it. There was kitty litter boxes with poo inside in every room. At this point, I was begging Mike to leave. I had never seen anything to that extreme and when I asked her, did she have a time frame to leave, she calmly said “I could be out in a month.” A month? Are you kidding? You’d need a year to get through this stuff. Thankfully we left that one and I thought, Mike is never going to buy anything through me as I was batting a hundred in the weird condo search.   The next three condos were uneventful (praise God!) and he said he would think about what he saw and get back to me.  I never forgot those condos and when it said “vacant”, I would then knock hard, scream “hello” then go inside - regardless if there wasn’t a piece of furniture or anything inside. Ya neva know. The next blog, open houses and the people you meet! Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!


The Great Escape……part 2 of What we don't do for our sellers!

*Disclaimer - big time.  This is a true story and the names have been  changed to protect the innocent.

I just kept telling myself “I’m just the realtor, I’m just the realtor.” That’s what I thought. After selling *Ethel’s sister-in-laws  condo (see previous blog,) she and I started more of a friendship than a client/realtor relationship.  I’ve always felt a connection to my clients but after what Ethel asked me to do next, it was definitely going to the next level.  It was very sad to hear that *Marge was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and did not have any immediate family (other than Ethel - who was 86 at the time) to help her out.  That is why I helped with removing everything and selling her car.  Ethel told me that she did not like where Marge was and thought best to move her to a better facility that would take better care of her.  Her family (up north) put her, how do I say this tactfully, in a cheap “home” for the elderly. 
            Ethel and I went to go visit her to bring her some items left from the condo and what I saw made me sick. Please do not get me wrong, the “supervisors” were very nice but the home (actual single family home near by) was small. There were three elderly people sitting on a couch watching television and one in his room (wasn’t going to look) and another on a lounge chair knitting.  To be honest, it smelled. This was not good.  Not sure of the circumstances but, Ethel asked me to “kidnap” Marge and get her out of there.  Obvious question - “why can’t she just leave?” Well, I guess there was the family up north that wanted her there because it was “paid” for and the home wanted her there because it was a contract. Either way, we were getting Marge outta there. The next day we had our “plan.” Ethel had her car and I had my van (to put Marge’s belongings in.) We got there and told the supervisors that we wanted to take Marge’s clothes (which were so old) to have them cleaned and some of her stuff to donate. No one said a word.  Marge’s room was in the back and we got all of her stuff together quite quickly. Marge was such a sport about it.  We kept telling her we were going on an adventure. Well, it was, really. To think, it was only three garbage bags of clothes and a box of pictures and collectibles that we got.  I told Ethel to stay with Marge as I calmly took everything to my van and came back to get Ethel and Marge out without anyone suspecting anything.  
         Like a scene out of the movies, I had to help Ethel who had a walker and Marge who walked slow with her walker out the front door.  Again, no one was saying anything until we got the front door. “Where are you all going?” My heart stopped and I said quietly to Ethel, “get Marge to your car - I’ll take care of this” You guessed it, Ethel said “what honey? I can’t hear you!”  I cringed. I just opened the door (which was locked) and practically pushed these women out the door.  Not pretty, but they got out.  I coolly said that I was going to take Marge out for lunch and we’d be back by one in the afternoon. Ok - forgive me Father for I have sinned. Big lie.  I had to get both women in Ethel’s car and me in my van and while I’m doing that, I’m now screaming at Ethel to “hit the gas and get out of here!” She did.  

We arrived at Ethel’s new “home” which was a wonderful facility for specifically for such diseases as Alzheimer’s and had on staff real certified care givers.  I have never forgotten that day. The post-script to the story, the family up north “forgave us” and the “home” got their money for the time Marge did not come back from lunch. I still to this day talk with Ethel and am blessed to have met her and her family. Next blog, buyers 101. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!


Sellers 101!

Just starting out in my office, I was informed that I had to do “floor duty.” Back then, it consisted of sitting at the front desk and answering phones.  Ugh. I had to answer phones, greet people and if a call came in asking if there was a realtor they could talk to,  I got it.   Then the phone rings, and what happens next changed the way I looked at floor duty forever.

*Disclaimer time again. Names changed to protect my clients. I answer the phone to hear this old, raspy, cranky and down right rude voice on the other end asking me to come to her condo down the road - NOW to list it for sale.  Great, I thought, here’s a winner.  Not being a real estate “snob” (one who does not care if it is a fifty thousand dollar condo or five million dollar condo) I told her I could come in the afternoon (after my shift was over.)  *Ethel didn’t like the answer but said if that is the way it has to be…..ok. I looked up the property and did a market analysis to find out it was only worth forty thousand or so.  I got all my papers together and went over to the condo.  When I arrived, I was greeted by not one, not two but three people eager to ask me every question imaginable.  It ended up being Ethel’s niece and nephew (around my age) “interviewing” me.  I really thought I did quite well, when Ethel’s nephew said “we’ll be in touch.” I was there three hours, went over every detail to the tee and what?  You’ll call me?  Ugh. This real estate gig is harder than I thought.  As I was walking to the car, Ethel came out (all four feet nothing!) looking up at me said “Honey, I like you and don’t worry, you’ll list my brother’s property.” Didn’t know whether to be happy or worried.  Guess I was both. 

I did end up listing the property and it did sell quite quickly. Thank God.  I guess I was a bit too good as it was shortly after going under contract that Ethel said she had her sister-in-law’s condo that had to be sold too.  Super.  Same type of condo but was more in value. This one was a bit harder as she needed help getting everything out after we sold it and she needed to sell her sister-in-law's car as well. Now I was a mover and a used car salesman too! In a span of a few years, Ethel had given me five deals that when added up, I really did quite well. More than that, she became a grandma to me and a mentor. She told me that we were connected and she would never forget what I did for her and her sister-in-law.  And it wasn’t selling her condo.  Next blog - the great escape.  Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!