I’ve been growing out my hair over the last couple of years and I think the grey has doubled in the last month. With the spare time we had waiting for the house to close I decided I’d like to get a perm. Although Mitch had never done it before, I was certain he would do a great job. I always seem to rope My sweetie into doing my hair, and this time was no different.
He was a bit apprehensive about the curler size, (3/4 inch) thinking it might make me a poof ball, but he went along with it anyways.
I got all the necessary supplies at sally beauty in Kingman, AZ and was given great tips by the lady in the store.
Putting in the curlers took quite a while, everything else pretty easy. The smell was strong enough to bring me back to my younger days when everyone got perms.
After a rinse, he put on the neutralizer, and then…tada!
A couple days later I took Mitch for his first mani/pedi at a Bit of Heaven here in Kingman.
Nettie and I got pampered too, and we’ve already scheduled again for next month.
We are supposed to close on the house tomorrow, April 29th. Hopefully it’ll be the last of moving things for quite a while. For now, I sit in the warm Arizona breeze, beneath the dancing trees, listening to the birds sing, hoping that is what tomorrow will bring.
Today, April 27th 2022 we woke the the birds chirping and the sun shining. Hopefully in two more days we will be moving into our new home. We decided to go sight seeing today, and took a drive to Oatman, Arizona.
It’s about a 45 minute drive from Kingman, and halfway there it has lots of twists and turns. thankfully there’s a rest stop halfway up.
Along the way, at the top of the mountains people have placed memorials for loved ones passed.
Oatman Arizona has wild burros, they are on the roads, in the hills and they roam the town.
The story goes, burros arrived in this town before it was a town. The town was established in 1906 and Early day prospectors brought the burros to haul rocks from the gold mines, carry water and supplies. After extracting over a million ounces of gold by the 1930’s the mines began to close and people moved away. The burros were released into the surrounding hills when they left.
These burros are the legacy of those who were left behind. They are wild, they sleep in the wild and rule the town.
We had no idea it was biker week until we arrived. They usually have an old fashioned shoot out in the streets on the weekends at high noon and 2:15pm, but since it was a special week, we too got to experience it.
To be honest, the heat, the hunger and the smell of burro droppings sent me into the hotel in search of cooler temperatures and food, but I heard it, does that count?
The history inside the hotel ( now a museum, shop and restaurant) is more than you’d imagine. As you step inside there’s an ice cream parlor on the left, straight ahead are stairs up to a museum/ gift shop and to the right, is a bar. Passed the bar and down a few dilapidated stairs is a restaurant covered in dollar bills.
On each bill is someone’s name, a date or a saying
We had to ask the waitress,” what’s the deal with all these dollar bills?” She stated that back in the day, people would take their earnings from working in the goldmines, write their name on it, nail it to the wall and use that money to pay for their tab.
The food was good, we all got burgers, Mitch got a buffalo burger and said he’d have it again, Gotta say, other peoples food looked tasty as well. Chili dogs, sub sandwiches and hot dogs. There are plenty of shops with tons of souvenirs, something for everyone. Just be careful with the mustard, nettie didn’t know her own strength.
After devouring our lunch, I was chomping at the bit to head upstairs. In 1939 Clark Gable and Carole Lombard stayed at this hotel for their honeymoon. They say Clark Gable frequently returned to the Oatman Hotel (named the Oatman in 1960, unsure of the previous names) to play cards with the locals.
Not only have they recreated the room to preserve the past, but legend has it…that it’s haunted by the ghosts of Clark and Carole. The whispers and laughter of the couple has been heard from the empty room.
Other strange paranormal activities have been noted at the hotel, from those who have passed. Drinking glasses lifted in the air, lights flipping off and on, toilets flushing on their own…but oddly enough, no ghosts have paid their tab in gold.
Nettie and I got ice cream cones and toured the town, while the guys went and checked out knives and swords. Route 66 goes right through the town, just adding more history to this uniquely preserved town.
If nothing else impresses you, you gotta be excited by the fact that they have ZOLTAR! He will give you your fortune for a dollar. The movie Big with Tom Hanks will forever be synonymous with this machine.
To top off a wonderful day of sight seeing and exploring, we got a call from the title company about 10 minutes after returning to the VRBO. The lady stated that she had our check if we wanted to stop by and pick it up. Yup, we got our earnest money back! It was a good day indeed.
On day 2 of our travels, we got a late start. The guys caught up to us in Ontario, OR, everyone filled up with fuel at Loves truck stop and we got back on the road around 11:30.
We were making better time than the day before, but about 5 hours into the drive some travelers were ready to call it a day and others weren’t. We decided to split up after making it to Jackpot, Nevada. Mitch with Taylor as his sidekick, Eli and Cassey wanted to keep driving through the night. Angela, Nettie and myself stayed at the Pilot gas station in Harvy the RV for the night. The RV heater wasn’t working, so it got pretty cold overnight again. My hedgehog Kiwi, who’s very temperature sensitive had a 10 hour microwave heated warming pad, but since it was so cold I put him in a small cage, and cuddled him all night.
They made it safe to Kingman, AZ at 4:30 am and slept in the trucks for a couple hours before contacting the sellers of the Vineyard. The couple, in their late seventies were kind enough to let us store some of our stuff in their shop since we’d be moving in soon.
Us girls woke early on the 16th of April and began to last leg of the journey. The wind was crazy bad, so for me driving the RV, I had sweaty palms, white knuckles and couple gusts that threw me into the opposite lane. I think I forgot to mention I’d never driven an RV before this, ever. I was always so intimidated by the size and length. I actually ended up loving it! With this wind though, I was not loving it..There was even a semi that got blown over on the side of the road! By the grace of God we too made it safely to Kingman around 4:30 pm.
After making the 1,144 mile trek we were ready to settle into our temporary home. The VRBO we rented allowed 6 people and pets, and it met our needs. Ideal, it was not. The floors are carpeted and the scents remaining from previous pets created instant chaos. Tyler took his dog Axel, but not before he too left a calling card. The other dogs immediately followed suit. Every time we turned around there was something to clean up. A passcode is required to get into the building, stairs up to the apartment, the second passcode into the place and the fluorescent lighting helps to ensure we don’t get too comfortable. There is a law office below, it’s situated behind a Walgreens and no matter how many times I try and contact someone, I’ve never gotten a response back. Today is the 26th of April and we are supposed to be out by 10 am today. I’ve called, texted and sent emails stating we needed a couple more days. Nothing… so we’ve decided just to stay. We’ll see how that turns out.
Ok, back to the other story..On Easter Sunday, the 17th of April we unload the last of the three Penske trucks into a storage unit. The going rate here for a storage unit is 200-250 dollars a month! Thankfully Angela’s sons Tyler, his friend, Kaelen along with his wonderful wife Olivia came from Lancaster, CA all to help us! We gave away some things to those who helped as we unloaded, realizing the abundance of our items and just as a way to say thank you.
Monday April 18th Angela, Taylor and their dog Chloe decide to head back to California while we wait for the house to close.
On march 18th We offered full asking price for the Vineyard, $800,000. We also put 10,000 earnest money, 5,000 non-refundable. We were all in, and beyond excited to begin this new life. The one thing holding everything up was getting an appraisal. Why so long to get an appraisal you ask? A couple of reasons. At the suggestion of the sellers, having a great experience with rocket mortgage and us having a horrible time with ours (neighborhood loans are awful, they were going to charge us 16,000 to give us the loan!) and because the vineyard isn’t a typical residential home, it was harder to find an appraiser.
We’d been in communication with the sellers since the beginning, they were going to teach us everything we needed to know about a vineyard. They were kind, generous, including all the equipment for the land, a couch, a bed and so much more. They were willing to work with us, and us with them. When their movers were going to charge them and things got delayed, we offered to help them move when the time came. We were going to get through this together.
At the request of the sellers we set up a meeting with them on Wednesday, April 21st at 8 am. Mitch and I show up with special new note pads and pens, ready take notes on all the things we were going to learn about the vineyard. Come to find out, it wasn’t that kind of meeting. We were confronted with three options, 1- tell Rocket Mortgage that the deadline is the 26th of April, get it done because there would be no extension 2-come up with 650,000 cash and they would do an owner carry loan for the remaining 150,000 for 90 days. If, for some reason we couldn’t refinance and pay them off in time, not only would we lose the 650,000 dollars but the house also. 3- the deal is off. I was dumbfounded, as they explained that they needed something to happen, and couldn’t stay in limbo. They questioned our decision to buy the 40 acres nearby (we planned on making it a place for family to build onto) along with saying the truck Mitch wanted to buy from them would still be available down the road. Even if we didn’t get the land and truck, we wouldn’t have that kind of cash.
My eyes began to fill with tears, realizing that this dream we’d been holding onto and working towards was dead. I sat in silence, in disbelief, while they kept talking. After selling three houses, uprooting our entire family and doing everything in our power to make this happen, this? I take a deep breath and state, “there is no way we’d risk all of our money doing an owner finance. That’s not going to happen.” Mitch steps outside, needing some time to process how we could still make this work, and I just sit there, paralyzed with confusion. Didn’t they say they’d work with us? Where’d this come from? I thought we were on the same page. Why are they suddenly playing hardball? Do they think we’re made of money? Finally the husband steps outside and I ask the wife, “this deadline of the 26th, to tell the mortgage company, is this just to pressure them to get it done, or are you serious?” The wife states, “ no it’s a serious deadline, they picked that date and they have to meet it, no extensions.
I gotta tell ya, I had moments of doubt through this process, them wanting to get the appraisal waived( I wanted the appraisal), him saying it’s just another way for lenders to get more money. Considering the work involved in a vineyard and what would happen to the Rescued Relics business, but it also seemed to be a unique opportunity to do something new and different. Not to mention the price of it all! Was it really worth the 800 thousand? we would once again be house rich and money poor… but then again it was an investment and our future…
Thankfully, life lessons I’d had in the past culminated into this one moment. Having been pressured into a deal in my younger days, and then making a rash decision because I felt under the gun that I would later regret, came flooding back. It was as if God was saying to me, “ my child, you’ve had these lessons before, and they were for this moment, have you learned?”
We went straight to our realtor and began looking for houses. We called our lender while we were there and they stated that they’d just scheduled an appraiser for the 17th of May. Based on the conversation with the sellers we knew that wouldn’t work and even if it did, the rose colored glasses had come off. We were ok with giving them the 5,000 non-refundable money. There were no hard feelings, and we were ready to move on. A couple hours later we got notice that our loan fell through due to unverifiable information while we were looking at other houses. We assume it was because of our online selling and how volatile it is. No matter the reason, it’s was the universe confirming that we weren’t supposed to get that vineyard.
The comedy of it all, we had more money than we’ve ever had, and yet we’re homeless. To celebrate this momentous occasion we took Eli and Nettie out to Chili’s.
The sellers were still cordial as were we, accepting that the deal had fallen through. Then comes new information, there was to be an appraisal on the 9th with results coming back on the 13th. NOW they were will to give us an extension. Thankfully the loan denial is what will give us back our other 5,000 Ernest money.
The next day we found an amazing house, in a great neighborhood. We’d still able to buy the land and Pay off all our bills. It all worked out the way it was supposed to, we were at peace with all that had happened… but now half of our stuff is still in the shop at the vineyard. We offer to pay the sellers a couple hundred dollars for allowing us to keep our stuff there and tell them about our loan being denied.
Friday the 22nd I’d gotten a much needed massage, feeling relieved and revived I see that our realtor had called, so i called her back. She had received an addendum stating that the sellers do not believe that our loan denial is legitimate and want the other 5,000 dollar earnest money!
Needless to say, my disgust of their greed knocked me for a loop, I was beyond disheartened. These people who we thought were kind, generous, nice people not only lay down a hammer of unobtainable deadlines and absurd options 5 days after we arrive, already have 5 thousand from us, but are now wanting the other $5,000!? Talk about doin us dirty!
Hours after being notified of their intentions, the husband texts Mitch and asks when would we be coming to get our stuff from his shop, and so it goes; we rent another storage unit, rent a uhaul, hire help, ask our friend Mike to help us, and with 7 people including nettie, spent the entire day on Saturday moving things once again. we took two trips to the storage unit, filled it full and we’ve decided on keeping the third and last load in the uhaul, paying daily for it.
So let our experience be an explanation as to why it’s not a good idea for buyers and sellers to communicate. I’m grateful the deal fell through, we are in a much better place, Financially, physically and emotionally. We may have gotten knocked down, but being on the ground has given us a much better perspective. Check out our new home…
For those who don’t know our story, my husband Mitch and I, owned three houses on the same block corner in Medical Lake, WA. His son Elijah lived in one, his sister Angela lived in another with her granddaughter and his other sister Annette lives with us. Not only that but we have 3 cats, 2 dogs and a hedgehog.. plus Angela’s dog Chloe and her sons dog Axel.
So if you add it up that’s 6 people, 8 pets and dream of warmer weather.
So many things have happened since I last posted, I am writing to you on Thursday April 21st at 9 am in 68 degree weather from the unique city of Kingman, AZ.
In the last month we have uprooted our family from our beloved town of Medical Lake, WA, sold our three houses and planned on buying a Vineyard. But as the saying goes, the best laid plans often go awry.
We have wonderful friends that live here in Kingman, who introduced us to this town. The friendship, health issues related to the weather, the opportunity to own land and the reselling business inspired us to make the move.
The houses, scheduled to close as follows; the yellow house on April 4th, the big house on April 8th and the little house on April 20th and we were to be moving into the vineyard in Arizona on the 18th of April.
We had a yard sale and let go of a third of our belongings, would you believe we still had to rent two 26’ Penske moving trucks just for our stuff! A quarter of it was from the reselling business but the rest was all us. I don’t know if there’s anything that makes a person want to purge their belongings more than moving!
With the sale of the houses, we had to meet requirements of the appraiser resulting in a whirlwind of event’s colliding. Packing up and moving out of our house, tearing down a shed and painting peeling paint on the little house, all in the same weekend. To top it off, Mister (one of our cats) got stuck in a pine tree across the street at the library, and just like the wonderful town it is, the fire dept came and saved the day. Mitch was already in the tree trying to get him down, but the ladder didn’t reach high enough, as small crowd gathered to witness the rescue.
The family that bought our big house lost their home in a fire, they have 6 kids and they were ready to move in exactly at the time we were supposed to be out. On April 8th at 5 pm we were still scrambling to get the rest of our stuff out and they pulled up with a uhaul to move in. An hour and a half later, while they waited, watched and tried to help out, we got the last of our belongings and said goodbye to the big house.
Without taking a breath, we turn our attention to the little house and addressed the issues that were holding up the sale. An old leaning shed and peeling paint. We’d already accepted the fact that the buyer, although they offered over asking price was completely financed and we would end up having to take 50 thousand dollars less than what was agreed upon. But we had an end goal..get the vineyard in the allotted time. No time to re-list and wait it out. We were going to do everything in our power to make it happen.
Having friends and family helping us through the entire process made it possible. We were treading water, just trying not to drown with the overwhelming amount of work that was required for it all to happen.
The peeling paint was a whole other issue, I was overly concerned that the appraiser would look the place over with a fine tooth comb, so every inch of every building was addressed. It took 7 people 10 hours to scrape, paint and vacuum the paint chips off the ground. Come to find out, his concerns were the casita and the shed, and that’s really all he checked on. Oh well, better safe than sorry.
Monday, the 11th of April after a weekend of so much work, we got the all clear from the appraiser. Finally we we could redirect our attention to getting Angela packed up and load the last of three 26’ Penske trucks.
After days of sleeping on the floor, in harvy, together, in beanbags and unable to find this and that, we woke on Thursday morning the 14th of April to a couple inches of snow on the ground. Mother Nature was giving us a snowy send off. Friends had given us a care package for the road that we broke into days before.
The convey was as follows, Mitch driving a Penske truck towing Angela’s CRV, Elijah driving a Penske truck, Cassey (a friend of Tyler’s) driving the third and last Penske, I drove Harvy the RV, Nettie drove itlldo with Taylor as her sidekick, and Angela drove her car. We did one last lap around the block, waved goodbye to our saving grace good friend Lori, honked “so long” to our post office people and headed out of town.
Five minutes into our drive Mitch calls and says “the pharmacy was able to fill my prescription, we gotta go back and get it” and so we came to stop and waited while Angela ran back to our sweet people at owl pharmacy and picked it up.. this was going to set a precedence for half of the drive. Whether it was driving through a blizzard, someone needing gas, having to go pee or a blown tire on the interstate. Things were not smooth sailing…but as I’ve learned in life, “to appreciate smooth sailing, one must endure the storm.”
We’d drove a couple hundred miles, made 3 or 4 stops already, and kept in touch with walkie talkies we’d purchased the day before to communicate with the whole convoy and everyone had their own handle. Mitch-Big Daddy, me- flower fly, Angela- nana-banana, Annette- nettie noodle, Taylor- miss priss, Eli- Ol’ Yeller and Cassey- Billbo Baggins. We all talked with random accents and had fun with the radios. Near La Grande, around 250 miles into our journey and Mitch calls me and asks,” who’s that smoking.” I told him, “I’d smelt a burning tire smell, but I thought it was one of the trucks we’d passed.” Mitch in that moment said, “oh shit, that’s me! the trailer tire blew.” The whole convoy pulled to the side of the road.
After calling Penske it would take two hours for them to get to us, so Mitch and Eli stayed behind and the rest of us headed to Ontario, OR two hours away. Of course when the tire guy arrived they stated that they couldn’t fix it and we’d need a different trailer and the closest one is in Portland, OR.
While the guys waited on the side of the freeway their tummy’s began to rumble and if you find a hotspot with your phone dominos will deliver. They got dominos delivery to the side of the freeway!
The guys ended up staying in a hotel in LaGrande, I stayed in Harvy with Bentley, Zoey and our hedgehog Kiwi at Loves truck stop in Ontario and Nettie, Angela, Taylor and Cassey went and stayed in a couple hotel rooms. Mister escaped a couple times, during the process, the heater wasn’t working in Harvy so it was very cold over the night. We were all worse for wear at this point.