Thursday, May 31, 2007

Scared of weigh-in tomorrow

I have used the house stress as an excuse this week to not be very "good". I haven't been good with WOW (wine seems a nice treat after yet another stress-filled day...every day). I haven't been good with food (haven't been bad, but not perfect). I have been good with exercise. One out of three ain't...good.

I know I need to get a grip and maybe a bad weigh-in tomorrow will do it. Although I'm still hoping against hope that it won't be TOO bad.

And we met with a real estate attorney this morning who really made me feel much securer about all the issues that had been worrying me about the new place. I think we are in very good shape. We won't be able to move into our owner's unit right away when we close escrow, but I will be able to move into one of the 1BR apartments right away, DB will move into the other 1BR in mid-July after those tenants leave (and he'll continue to rent that one from me for his office/studio) and we'll move into the 2BR unit sometime in September, leaving the unit I will have been in to rent out. It's not really as complicated as it sounds. And, as DB says, it will be an adventure -- and we'll kind of ease into living together by living across the courtyard from each other! Of course, this means a lot of my stuff will be/stay in storage until September. I'll be taking the bare minimum with me to the 1BR apartment.

I really can't wait until things get "normal" again. I have to buckle down with food and WOW in the meantime or I'll be a blimp.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to the program

Had a great and relaxing weekend...wrapping up with a food fiesta like I haven't had in a long time so today it's strictly back to the program!

DB got back late Friday night (yay!). We slept in on Saturday, then I went to get my hair cut, did some shopping (to get my mind off real estate worked!), went to the gym and we went to a special restaurant near our new home for dinner after a leisurely stroll at the beach (yes, we "stalked" the new house!).

Sunday we slept late (even more!) then went to breakfast at Souplantation (not the best, but I figured if I was going to eat pasta -- which I've been craving and refuse to eat at night -- morning was the best time). I ate well, but not perfectly. Then I spent the afternoon in my garden chatting with a friend who was over with her dog (she had an open house because she's selling too -- it was nice to be able to reciprocate for all the Sunday afternoons that I and my pets sat in her garden!). I also cleaned my closet in preparation to move. After my friend left, I took 3 garbage bags of stuff to donate and got a mani/pedi (I learned that Sunday night is the best...NO ONE else was there and it's usually packed on Saturdays!). Then DB biked over and we went for sushi dinner, then home to watch the Tenacious D movie (I fell asleep less than halfway usual when he's around...he's like narcolepsy for me when we try to watch a flick together!).

We slept in again (even more!) yesterday, then got up and had our most social day: BBQs at each of his daughter's houses including b-day celebration for 4-year-old granddaughter (Cutie Pie), then back to our neighborhood for BBQ at a friend's which was super fun. Among the sinful things I ate yesterday: full fat tortilla chips (too many), half a hamburger (no bun), multiple beers (and I don't even like beer, but Memorial Day, you know?), macaroni salad and cheesecake (that was, by far, the worst thing...but I share a piece with DB so it was less bad than it could have been). It was yummy, but my digestive system is begging for relief today.

Now back to reality...and praying that the scale stays the same this week (DB was up 2 pounds from yesterday until this morning!)...

Friday, May 25, 2007

TG so much IF!

Worst things first: weigh-in today shows I'm up 1 pound. Considering this was pre-bathroom this morning, that I haven't been perfect with eating or WOW this week and that my "skinny" pants still fit comfortably today, I'll not be too upset about this. (I did do well on exercise -- two times to gym and one pilates during the weekdays.) But I definitely need to get a grip and really get back to being serious next week. Of course it's TTOM so all bets on losing might be off!

More stress about the new place: yesterday we learned that the tenant in "our" unit of the new place will not leave voluntarily before we close escrow. This means that we have to evict him which is a pain in the neck but (a) we'll save money because the price of the property falls by $15K if he's not out, (b) we will keep a lot of that money because evicting him (which we can totally do, it just takes TIME) will cost a lot less, and (c) we can live in the two 1BR units for a few months (DB will be in his "office" and we'll sleep there, I'll live with the pets in the other unit). It would be nice not to have to move twice, but I guess we just have to work a little harder to make this dream come true and we'll DO IT. :-) Of course, I won't feel totally happy until escrow is closed on both my sale and purchase and we are moved in to OUR unit.

I'm hoping for a very quiet plans for tomorrow except hair cut and gym (and may have to go up to Nearby Town to get my fix of DB smooches unless he gets to come home tomorrow...that's up in the air) and no firm plans for the whole rest of the weekend. I'm looking at this as the last stress-free, don't-have-to-pack-yet weekend for a while...

Wishing everyone a really FUN long weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hump Day

What person in their right mind would get up at 4:30 in the morning?! A dutiful daughter who (not so graciously) had to get up to take her mother for a colonoscopy this morning. I know some of you get up that early (and earlier) each day and I do NOT know how you do it. Yuck. I feel like I've had a whole day and am ready for bed and it's only 2 o'clock so I've got 4 more hours of work, then evening activities. Sigh...

My mom's doc told me that because my dad had colitis and my mom has now had her second colonoscopy that showed a lot of polyps that I should start getting colonoscopies at 45. "FORTY-FIVE?!", I said not TOO dramatically, "I'm 45 NOW". Double yikes. Another fun thing to look forward to...maybe next year. ;-)

Other than waking up before the crack of dawn, I'm feeling pretty good. Did the Pilates DVD that Vickie recommended on Monday night (now I need a good yoga one), went to the gym last night, my knee is better (from Disneyland mystery injury), I've been good (not perfect) with WOW this week and good (not perfect) with food so far this week. Tonight I'm getting together with Old Friend and his travelling companion and another friend of mine for dinner...all have been warned that I will be uncharacteristically tired tonight after my pre-dawn adventure this morning. :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Disneyland and more!

I was so busy this weekend that I didn't even have time to think!

I'm running on empty today -- I've had two cups of caffeinated coffee this morning (and I usually don't do caffeine at all) to get going. Saturday I went to pick up an old college friend at about 9:45 at the airport and we spent Saturday catching up and walking all over beach, canals and rest of town. We haven't seen each other in over 20 years (probably closer to 25) and haven't kept up at all until we reconnected by chance last year (he was temping at a network in NYC and I was doing a deal with someone there -- he overheard someone saying "Helen [my last name] calling" and thought there couldn't be too many of those so he called me!). I really can't believe we didn't stay in touch...we just fell right back into our old friendship and had a great time. I feel very lucky to have had this happen!

Went to get DB's Oldest Granddaughter (a/k/a Princess) at her house (above an hour from me)around 4 on Saturday then she and Old Friend and I went to dinner and home for hot tub and early bed. We got up at 6:30 yesterday in order to be at Disneyland by 9 (Old Friend works for Disney and so we got some fantastic and fun perks)! The weather was yucky -- chilly all day until the sun came out about 4:30. We did a TON (both at Disneyland and California Adventure) and didn't leave until after the fireworks at 10 so...after driving Princess home, I got home after midnight. I also did a number somehow on my OTHER knee and was in a lot of pain it's very swollen...I'm hoping I can get it to go down without going to the doc.

DB is in Nearby Town for the week. His mom had a bad fall last week and cracked her pelvis so she's now in a convalescent hospital. I haven't had a real chance to talk with DB about it because things have been hectic up there this weekend with no less than two of his other siblings (including Evil One) up there to help. They aren't able to care for both his dad and mom with just one there...mostly because his dad needs constant watching like a 2-year-old. You might think that this would make them realize they need some professional elder care, but you'd be wrong. Both parents are pretty far gone mentally, but physically just keep trucking along. It's really sad actually...and reminds me how lucky we were that my dad went quickly...both for him and for us (although, of course, it doesn't feel that way when it happens).

Holding down the fort here, hoping no drama with the house sale/purchase this week since my realtor is out of town on vacation. And I have a hugely busy week. I need to get to the gym (tonight if possible with the other knee problem) at least twice, take my mom for a colonoscopy at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am on Wednesday (which means I'll probably have to get up around 4:30...yikes). And I hope to get to see Old Friend again before he heads back home on Sunday.

And, of course, I'm back on the WOW program this week...getting booze consumption in control again, getting back to good eating (although I didn't really eat much last week at all and was pretty darn good -- at least as good as you can be -- at Disneyland this weekend), etc. I feel better already. :-)

Needless to say, I am looking forward to the long weekend coming up...A LOT.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The All-Alcohol Diet

I have eaten very little this week. I have drunk a lot of booze this week. I only went to the gym once this week. I gained 3 pounds this week. The All-Alcohol Diet stops today.

At least my old "skinny" jeans still fit me today...

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Our realtor pulled a hat trick today and found us a great buyer who signed contracts with me tonight to buy my house! We're back on track...feels like a magic miracle, but still scary. We're jumping off this cliff into debt, living-togetherness (which is both exciting and scary), and our dream come true. Of course, there's always potential that things will go off-track, but we have protected against that as much as we can. Wow. I'm almost nervous to post this and jinx things, but I think this is really happening and want to share with all of you since I shared my despair last night. Our realtor said St. Joe was whispering in his ear all night...yes!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Our "buyer" was fake. We can't buy the new place. We're done. It's hard. Yes, I know you will all say that something better will happen, but that is NOT my experience with real estate: my past two houses were not better than the ones I lost. OK OK...we're happy as we are...but it sucks to not have our underwear together...damn. St. Joseph? Whatever.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Please St. Joseph...

...I need this buyer to buy my house!

We countered the buyer this evening and asked for an answer by tomorrow. This still won't let us remove our contingencies on the house we're buying by Thursday, but our realtor is going to ask the seller for an extension in the hope that he will want to take the chance of selling to us and not having to put his place back on the market. We are at the end of our rope here. And I just ate some cheese.

(Don't worry, I'm going to the gym tonight. How many extra minutes on the elliptical will it take to erase those cheese calories?)

Monday, May 14, 2007

One offer, sick stomach

Despite 50 (approx.) groups of people through my house this weekend, we ended up on Monday (after bargain-basement pricing) with ONE offer. It's not a BAD offer, but it's substantially less than I bought this house for two years ago (a given) and we somehow expected more. Maybe tomorrow, but maybe not. The truth is that we are going to end up either (a) removing contingencies on our sale without a solid sale on my house, or (b) walking away from the new house because we don't have a solid offer on my house. We have exactly three days to make this happen.

No surprise then that I am having stomach issues. I feel nauseous most of the time so one would think that overeating is out of the question. But nooooo...there's a part of me that says "my stomach feels bad, must be hungry, must put food in to numb the discomfort". I noticed this today and did not do it. Did not numb the pain with food. Did numb the pain somewhat tonight with the booze. But food? No.

DB is great throughout. He truly is being a pillar of strength and sunshine (usually my job) and I am so grateful.

Now if we could just SELL THIS HOUSE! Thinking happy thoughts...or at least trying to...and chanting for relief...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thinking positive

DB ran an open house today (our realtor is out of town) and I took the pets to a friend's house while that went on. Another one tomorrow. People seem interested -- we HAVE to have offers on Monday. It only takes one REAL one, but more than one would be nice...we have seriously dropped the price and are in bargain basement land. I will lose money, but we still can buy our new place if we can sell this one. If we don't get real offers on Monday, we're going to have to rethink.

I got to spend the last day or so with a dear friend from college and that was a nice break from all the stress. Tonight we're home, resting. Another big day tomorrow.

Please St. Joseph, do your thing.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The ONLY good news

I am down another 2+ pounds. I guess the stress diet really works.

HUGE thanks to those of you who have checked in with your support. I am still feeling pretty crappy. Cried so much last night that I can't even put my contacts in this morning. :-(

Thursday, May 10, 2007


My house fell out of escrow. I guess the idiot buyer's realtor didn't tell them that inspections always LOOK bad. I'm hysterical, freaking out, sick at my stomach, crying. It's dangerous -- there are cupcakes in the office next door. But I'm saving my hysteria calories for DRINKING...after I go to the gym.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Better day, but discombobulated post

Structural engineer confirmed what we thought we should do to fix the foundation on the new house so...sigh of relief! AND it cost 1/3 of what I thought it would to have him give us this peace of mind. :-)

Still waiting for the buyer of my house to come back with any fixes that they want after their inspection...they have to remove the inspection contingency in the next couple of days so it will be hectic with that (anticipated) negotiation.

Dinner tonight with DB at a great Japanese grill restaurant...lots of veggies and protein and no starch (trying to avoid that at night...DB can have his rice, but not me!). I feel perfectly full, but not too.

Best (well, not best, but most FUN) news of the day: got my Police tickets for June and they are excellent seats!!!! Yipppeeee...I used all my music biz mojo to get these (not to mention more money than anyone should pay, but...). Happy happy joy joy!

Now have to run and watch American Idol...not that I care anymore. But that's another blog...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Stressy Struggles

I'm struggling with WOW right now...the real estate stuff got hectic today and I felt really like I was the only one on the team bearing the brunt of the stress: gotta get a structural engineer out to the new house NOW or...or what? Or the seller's contractor is gone on vacation next week so it won't be as convenient for him to fix the bad foundation problem that HE CAUSED? Or our deal will go up in smoke? Or it's just that our realtor is a total pussy that is being pushed around by the seller? Who knows? All I know is that MY realtor who is supposed to be on MY side was totally pressuring me today to find a am I supposed to do this? I am not a "real estate professional" like he is. Grrrrrrr. I totally freaked. BUT, being Super Helly, I did find someone who can be at the property tomorrow ('cause you know it's gotta happen like NOW...who says? who knows?). But I definitely get some points for burning calories today for stress.

To add to all this fun, I've got my oh-so-elusive period that comes when it damn well pleases despite promises from hormone treatment that it will be oh-so-regular. Not. I'm sure this is why I lost it tonight with DB...totally taking out on him my frustration with idiocy of our realtor. :-(

So because of all this, I have been drinking some on the weekdays. And, yes, it's probably an excuse. And, no, I don't care right now. The best I can say is that I have been super duper careful with food. When I've had a drink or two and head to the fridge, I actually THINK before stuffing food (always good stuff, but still) into my mouth. This has led to no stuffage. So tonight, for example, I had a bunch of green beans with spicy sauce, a salmon patty (80 cal, 1 gm fat), a sunchoke (raw) and a popsicle (50 cal). And a vodka martini and one small glass of Campari. With going to the gym tonight and eating totally perfect all day, this doesn't seem to me to be a bad day. Of course, the scale will tell on Friday. But I do wish I was clean with WOW...I'll keep shooting for that...

Monday, May 7, 2007

Weekend Whirlwind

I was so excited on Saturday morning that I couldn't get back to sleep after I woke up a little before 7 (which is EARLY for me!). I was so excited that I was shaking in bed like a little girl on Christmas morning! I laid in bed and read until DB woke up. Both of us couldn't want to get to our inspection of the new place! :-)

Our inspector turned out to be great and there are only 2 big things to get fixed. The seller has already started work on one of them (replacing some stairs). The other one is a little trickier (foundation issue) and we're all working to solve it. Luckily we have 14 days to remove our contingencies so I think we'll have time...but it might be close!

The house is just so great...DB couldn't sleep last night because he's so excited and was up thinking thinking thinking! :-)

The buyer is inspecting my house tomorrow...I know they will find some stuff and I'm prepared for that. So that will be more stuff to deal with this week. Never a dull moment!

We managed to squeeze in some celebrating of Cinco de Mayo on Saturday night with some friends and dinner last night with another friend. I also managed to get a mani/pedi and brow wax on Saturday after the inspection (I really needed that!). AND I made it to the gym yesterday. And wore another pair of long-in-the-back-of-the-closet pants last night. ;-)

Whoot whooot!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Whew, Whatta Week!

First things first: I am down again this week. By about 2.5 pounds. This feels right, but is a little shocking because I have not been perfect with the WOW program. In fact, there was only one night this week when I didn't have a drink. (What can I say? Buying and selling real estate, moving in with DB, all BIG stressy stuff!) While I probably didn't NEED those drinks, some of them definitely helped me keep it together this week. AND I think I was very good at balancing the calories in the booze with food calories. If I was having a drink, I ate very carefully. For example, yesterday afternoon, I cracked open a bottle of wine at the office to celebrate The Big Day, so I didn't eat my afternoon 100-calorie popcorn snack, I went to the gym and when I got home I really wasn't hungry (too excited!) so I just had some Pad PrikKing (Thai green beans with spicy sauce) and two slices of fat-free turkey. And a couple of glasses of wine.

I admit that it is easier for me to "just say no" to food as the week gets along to my weigh-in day on Friday. And I don't think that's a bad thing as long as the scale keeps going down little by little and my clothes get more and more comfy or loose.

The relative success the past few weeks has really motivated me too. I am religiously sticking with oatmeal for breakfast, stool softener at night and artichoke for evening snack when I have them. I'm also watching carefully that I get veggies at night and try to stay low on the complex carbs at night. I am sometimes going to bed with a little "peckish" feeling in my tummy and that is not a bad thing to get used to again. :-) Success makes it easier to walk away from all that "just one bite" stuff too...

I think The Stress Diet probably helped this week too. Luckily, the days of that being in effect are far from over:

Today escrow opens on both my house sale and house purchase. For those of you not in California (or maybe some other states who have this concept as well), once an offer is accepted, the escrow company organizes getting all necessary paperwork, monies, etc. in order to make the escrow close (i.e., the house purchase/sale be final) on time. For the place we are buying, we have a 60-day escrow (to allow the soon-t0-be-former owner to get as many of the tenants out as he can -- he gets bumps in purchase price the emptier the place is). For my house, we have a 30-day escrow and I have an option to "leaseback" for 30 days (that way, I'll have my purchase money to close on the new place, but I won't have to move until we own the new place -- or very close to that time). The way these two transactions is structured is pretty complicated this time, but we have had a lot of time to work with the concepts and have a good team (realtors, mortgage broker, friends) working with us so I know we'll be OK. :-)

The next practical step is that we have to inspect the new place -- I don't know how this works elsewhere, but here you hire an inspector who comes out and tells you everything he possibly sees wrong with the house. This allows you to (a) know if there are any imminent repairs that are not obvious to the untrained eye, and (b) to negotiate the price down a bit if such repairs are pricey. We really don't expect any such thing with our purchase -- the seller bought the places in 2004 and completely re-did it in 2005 so EVERYTHING is new. It's like buying a new house, but that was built in the 1920s!

Of course, the buyer on my place will be doing a similar inspection on my house. There is nothing BIG wrong with my house, but there are a few things (like broken sprinklers) that they might want to negotiate down for). I'm not too worried about that and we'll see what happens.

Both inspections will be happening within the next week. (I'm really excited for the inspection on our new place because we'll get to be there and hang out for several hours while the inspector works and we haven't had access to the interior since we first saw it several weeks ago because of the tenants.)

Anyway, it's all very exciting and scary and EXCITING.

(And thanks again to Vickie for pushing the St. Joseph idea last week. We buried him last night in my garden and will take him with us when we leave.)

Thursday, May 3, 2007


And the buyer for my house came back and they've offered OVER asking!!! We'll be going into escrow on BOTH PLACES tomorrow!!!!


Thank you, St. Joseph (he arrived today right before I got the e-mail about selling my place). I'm going home to bury him right away tonight!! :-)


THEY ACCEPTED OUR OFFER!!! Whooo hooooo!! :-)

Now we just have to close (and close on the sale of my house)....keep sending that good energy all gods, goddesses, saints, family friends, acquaintances!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Wild Wednesday

I'm almost out of energy today, but wanted to write a quick update...

We countered the people buying my house today AND we countered (hopefully for the last time before he says "yes"!) the guy selling his house to us. There are so many balls in the air, that it takes all my energy to keep track and sometimes I lose it. This morning, I was trying to juggle an intense work project with discussing counter offers with DB and I just got so very cranky (Lori, I want the Ms. Crankypants 2007 Award, please!). Luckily DB understood (after a while) and all is good with us. I am a super multi-tasker, but not if more than one of the tasks requires serious thought/consideration and I had at least three going on at once this morning. Super Helly is not THAT super.


The good news is that I got on the scale this morning and it seems to be continuing to go down. I'm not sure how perfect I can be with the no booze on weekdays program (WOW) this week, but so far I'm doing well. And I've been pretty darn perfect with food since we got back from camping. Plus all this stress has GOT to be burning a TON of calories...along with raising my blood pressure! ;-)

Looking forward to going home tonight and cooking a nice healthy dinner for DB and me, watching American Idol results and RESTING and (hopefully) not talking too much about real estate...