The Welcoming Committee

Moving to warmer weather has been a treat since the first day we arrived. Sunny skies greet us in the morning, and blooming cacti sprinkle the landscape with vibrant colors.

The vast variety of birds sing throughout the day, and make us wonder what it is they have to say.

We were able to close on the house yesterday, Thursday April 28th, 2022 at 3:15 pm. We’d packed up most of our items a couple hours earlier, just leaving out the essentials after hearing it was possible we could close a day early. Bringing in our basics and getting the beds from storage was priority one. Thankfully they guys had organized the storage shed so they were easy to access. The frames were buried, so we just slept on the floor. Normally that wouldn’t have been an issue, but the first time we looked at the house, Eli saw a live scorpion inside the front door. I was hoping it was a fluke, but when Mitch was testing the sprinklers he found another one. Last night, while Mitch, Eli and I went to grab a bite to eat Nettie encountered a scorpion on the back patio. EEEEKS!

These kind glow under a black light

Not to be ignored, another species made their presence known last night. A cockroach! He was in the kitchen, acting like he owned the place. Maybe it was because the house had been vacant, I don’t know but I’ve never had roaches! Now, I’m not about killing bugs out in nature, I respect their space, but the minute they try and invade my space, it’s a whole other ball game. Unfortunately, while unpacking today I found another, larger cockroach. We have an exterminator scheduled for next week but until then, those creepy crawlers are going to keep me on high alert.

Living in Washington state we had bugs, but not these kinds of bugs! We’d get ants, frogs croaking somewhere in the house, and bats swooping around from time to time and of course the dreaded mosquitoes. The locals here in Arizona also state that tarantula’s, black widow spiders and rattle snakes are also around. I’m hoping not to have any encounters, but we’ll see.

Here I am, editing the post around 8 o’clock at night, enjoying our enclosed patio when suddenly something falls onto my head. I scream so loud, Im sure it was heard throughout the neighborhood. I jump up, knowing it has to be a scorpion! Where is it? Every fiber of my being is tingling when suddenly nettie see’s the cats chasing it. It was a grasshopper! Having been traumatized by my brother at a child with a grasshopper (he’d pin me down and held it so close to my face I could see my fear reflected through its eyes) it was almost worse than if it were a scorpion. So I killed it.

Now onto a welcomed kind of welcome, a lady down the street knocked on our door yesterday. She said her name is Ruth and wanted to introduce herself. She’s in her 70’s and had a welcoming smile. She offered insight about the neighborhood and stated that next weekend is the community yard sale and if we had items that we decided we didn’t need it would be a perfect opportunity to let them go. She couldn’t have been more right. I am beyond over all our crap! Before We moved I refered to them as treasures, valued items or memorable keepsakes. At this point, I find myself fed up with every little thing I see, the 8 dust pans, the 40 stained mismatched dish clothes and 20 blankets strewn across the house, the 4 ladders paint stained and the same size, I want them gone. I feel suffocated by the abundance of randomness. In the end I’m sure I’ll be grateful for this move, making us realize how unnecessary the majority of our stuff is, especially having more than one of certain things. As for now, it’s getting through the thick of it, assessing necessities and letting go of the excess.

Just a glimpse of the chaos

Spa time

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 watched a couple YouTube videos so he totally knew what he was doing

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.

He channeled his inner beautician with an accent

I got all the necessary supplies at sally beauty in Kingman, AZ and was given great tips by the lady in the store.

I tried to scare him with a bark, but he’s a pro

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.

Waiting time after putting on the activator

After a rinse, he put on the neutralizer, and then…tada!

We were all happy with the result

A couple days later I took Mitch for his first mani/pedi at a Bit of Heaven here in Kingman.

Needless to say, he loved it

Nettie and I got pampered too, and we’ve already scheduled again for next month.

This little piggy went to market

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.

Oatman Arizona

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.

On the way to Oatman

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.

They sure do have a sense of humor around these parts

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.

mama and her two week old baby strolling 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.

Although Willy Nelson’s picture is up on the wall, the waitress stated she’d never seen him since she’s worked there.

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.

The room where Clarke Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon

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.

To the right of the 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.

The marriage license stating they got married in Kingman, AZ

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.

Moving to Arizona part 2

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.

The three Penske trucks ahead

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.

On the road again

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.

We there yet, asks Bentley

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.

We’ve made camp at the VRBO

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.

Easter dinner after unloading the last truck

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…