The Dotted Line

clicon07-2012-a1 We woke up extra early this morning to prepare our home for the day’s events. Fresh towels were hung in the bathroom, the scale and bathmat removed. Hidden away were the kitchen wall calendar (we wouldn’t want someone to see from a photograph that our place is still for sale in May while noticing the calendar indicated it was up for sale in January, or so we were told), the toaster (I don’t know why), the cats’ toys and the large sheet of cardboard we keep on the living room floor for the cats to scratch instead of furniture. (Yes, that really works.


Cats’ Cardboard

They actually prefer the cardboard.) A few hundred additional items were also relocated out of sight, as we were advised. It will be years, if ever, that we find all the things we tucked away. The place looked good though. Really good. Maybe we should reconsider!

0120condo20for20sale_zpsciklb7pbAt exactly 10:00 a.m. we met with “the” real estate agent. We signed 6000 pages of contractual gibberish (more or less and felt like more) and initialed even more. We handed over keys for the much loved lockbox (I hate that thing), and committed our home for sale.

Immediately following the last initialed page, with precision timing, Callie arrived. Her job was to prep the place for the photographer who was on her way by turning on every light and moving things from here to there. Callie also installed the lockbox by an exterior building entrance where lockboxes live, and measured every room, closet, and incidental space with her laser gizmo.

Then Margie arrived, also with precision timing, and proceeded to take pictures of every room from every angle. Her toughest job was to lower all the blinds to the sills. She would have preferred raising them to the top of each window but the heavy wooden blinds that had not been adjusted in a full 10 years would not be raised. (We always kept the blinds about a foot from the sill to allow the cats room to sit, lie, and chatter at birds and other nonparticipating creatures.) Margie then went around the building photographing such things as the exercise room and the rooftop deck, and other relevant places.

So the game is on! Now all the paperwork gets processed, the photos get selected and arranged, the brochures get printed. The listing will go live on millions and billions of websites (or some such number) on Thursday, and next Sunday, February 7, there will be an open house.

Here we go!


clicon07-2012-a1 Saying goodbye is always bittersweet. Portland has been good to us for the past 10 years.

It is now time to go home.

Our condo goes up for sale on February 4. Here is a preview:

Emergency Lights

The LiteSaver Emergency Light is a small, compact emergency light. It contains 21 LED lights. It is plugged into an electrical outlet where it remains ready to provide light when needed. It automatically lights when power is cut off. During normal times, it can serve as a night light, rechargeable flashlight, home security light, and camping light.

Each LiteSaver contains a “smart sensor.” In bright light such as daylight or other indoor lighting, the unit will not automatically light, thus saving its charge for when needed. During a power outage, for example, the light will not turn itself on in daylight, but will turn on when light is later dimmed.

Each LiteSaver emergency light will provide bright light continuously for 8 hours. Using just one LED (the night light), it will provide light for 144 continuous hours.

For details see the Calcellular website.

Other emergency lights are also available. Just ask google.


Mail package delivery service has long been established for this building such that packages are delivered to unit doors. Most of the time that happens. Sometimes this happens instead:

There were even more packages. Several packages were removed by owners just prior to the taking of this picture. Today packages were abandoned by both UPS and On-Trac carriers, left unattended and scattered about haphazardly. Sometimes FedEx adds to the mix. The packages pictured above were repositioned by the USPS mail carrier who was unable to deliver letter mail to mailboxes until he first pushed all of the packages back against the wall.

Attention owners: Bring your reading glasses and be prepared to sort through the mess to find what is yours. There is no rush; some packages hang around unclaimed for days. At the same time, hope that your package was not especially attractive  to someone else.

The ICE Age

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005) came the realization that in a disaster, victims  needing assistance must be identified and their medical needs must be determined, and quickly. Often victims are incapacitated, or cannot speak for any number of reasons, family members may have been separated, etc.

From Katrina was born the concept of ICE contacts – In Case of Emergency.

Emergency personnel today know to check your cell phone for ICE (In Case of Emergency). ICE should be on every cell phone. In fact, it is recommended that two ICE contacts be listed, the primary emergency contact, and a backup contact.

So, add your ICE contact to the contacts on your cell phone. The contact name should be ICE. Provide as much information as possible in your ICE entry, including the name and relationship of the emergency contact person, their phone, email address, work phone, and so on. Remember to provide a second emergency contact, also named ICE, also with complete information.

Use the ADD PHOTO function to associate this picture or something similar of your choice:

This could save your life.


DIY All Purpose Cleaner


Spray bottle
1 part Dawn dish detergent
1 part white vinegar

Combine Dawn and vinegar in spray bottle.
Shake well.

Spray on area to be cleaned.
Let stand (a few minutes, more for tough jobs).
Rinse, wipe, or blot, as appropriate.


  • Bathtub
  • Shower doors
  • Toilet
  • Counters
  • Carpet stains*
  • …and more!

* For carpet stains, 1 part Dawn and 2 parts vinegar is recommended.

DIY Glass Cleaner

Eliminate a lot of unnecessary toxic chemicals and reduce cost dramatically with the following homemade, environmentally friendly, glass cleaner. It really works.

DIY Glass Cleaner

Spray bottle
2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup isopropyl alcohol

1 tablespoon cornstarch*

Combine all ingredients in spray bottle
Shake well before each use

*The cornstarch eliminates streaks. Shake bottle before using to ensure that the cornstarch  will not clog the nozzle.