Into the fire


So AGMA’s planning on ignoring the elephant (literally…) in the room.

There are those of you out there, far more eloquent than I, who will be addressing the news of late surrounding the orange squatter in our White House here in ‘Murica.  I’m pretty sure I’m out of words to describe just how loathsome Individual #1 and the GOP that is enabling him are.

But can I say that Nancy Pelosi is a total BAD ASS??  Please….

Last night, she created one of the most iconic moments of tyrannical resistance in US history by ripping up the traitor’s SOTU “speech” that was full of lies and hate.  The Boston Tea Party patriots would approve.

I wanna be like Nancy when I grow up.

Amid the backdrop of impeachment and Presidential primaries and the destruction of America as we know it by the GOP, AGMA has decided to jump out of the frying pan.

Hubs and I have decided to sell our townhouse this spring.

This may not sound like such a big deal to most of you, but for those who live in Casa AGMA, it’s YUGE.

Your first question might be…  Why?

And it’s a good one.  We LOVE where we live.  We love the neighborhood and our proximity to great restaurants, shopping and all that the city has to offer.  And we love our townhouse.

The reality is that Hubs mobility issue gets a bit worse (he has a genetic disorder that is causing him to lose the use of his legs) with every passing year.   And our townhouse has 4 floors.

Because of that, AGMA has always had to do the heavy lifting (so to speak) when it comes to hauling stuff from one place to another.

But now I’m having spine issues that make it difficult for me to fulfill my previous position as pack mule.  I’m more like a pack squirrel now.

Damn it.  I hate it when that happens.

We always knew that we’d have to go to a single level living situation eventually, but my back issues have accelerated that timeline.

Plus, we think that the this might be THE time to sell to get top dollar for our place.  “They” are all saying that the real estate market is due for a “correction.”  We’d like to bail before it corrects.

“But where will you go AGMA?”

I’m glad you asked and the answer is….  We have no idea.


Anybody got a spare room for two charming seniors with two adorable cats?  One is an introvert and keeps to himself.  The other is an AGMA.  The humans, not the cats.  The cats are sweet and loving as long as you ignore the occasional hairball and the fur clumps.



Barring any fabulous offers from one of you, we were thinking of renting a place in Chicago this summer to be closer to the grands for a few months.  Not really sure how Son#1 and my DIL would like that though.  They’d get used to us I’m sure…

After that, who knows?

We talked about getting an RV and driving around the country for a year, but the more I read about it, the less I liked the idea.  It all seems like a lot of work.  And from what I’ve heard, KOA’s are hotbeds of MAGA folks.  Now THAT would be interesting.

But I think we’ll take a pass.

We’ll probably rent for a while here in Atlanta.  But then again maybe not.  Son#2 may be moving soon for a job yet to be found.  He’s finishing up his MBA and is currently “in the hunt.”

If he moves, will we follow him?  Depends on where he goes.  Or we could move back to our adopted hometown of many years, Cincinnati, where we still have some wonderful friends.  Or not.  Or we could move full time to the Chicago area.  Brrrrrrrr (even with climate change.)

Also, Hubs and I want to see how the election in November turns out.  If the Big Orange Cheeto cheats his way back into the WH with his BFF Putin’s help, we just might be political refugees.

AGMA had my annual “check to see if you have any moles look weird” check-up this morning.  I passed inspection (whew!) and they asked if I wanted to make my appointment for next year.  I said, “No.  I might not be living in Atlanta next year.”

There’s actually something weirdly intoxicating to me about not knowing where I will be in a year.  Is this something that I should be worried about?

In the meantime, before the end of March, I need to clean out 10 closets, figure out what to do with all my Ebay sh*t I haven’t sold yet (boxes and boxes worth), go through about 20 boxes that haven’t been opened in 8 years since our last move, make untold trips to Goodwill, and arrange to get rid of furniture that is taking up too much room.

We also have to replace a broken ice machine, fix a broken gas fireplace and whirlpool tub, make repairs to our dormers, fix a hole in our garage ceiling, paint our main living level, have the bar on our kitchen island removed and replace all the counter tops, paint our kitchen cabinets and have a new tile backsplash installed.

Before the end of March.

But here’s the thing.  Hubs and I leave next Tuesday for 2 weeks in France.  Awesome, but bad timing.  Then I’m home for two weeks,  Then AGMA leaves on March 11 for a 2 week tour of Turkey with a friend. Again awesome.

But REALLY bad timing.

Oh…and I am also working my part-time gig 2 days a week when I’m home, trying to keep up with my running and attempting to keep my little Ebay business going.

And blogging.

TOTALLY into the fire.




Home improvements


My friend Andrew over at Andrew’s View of the Week, besides being a poet, humorist, author and wise (cracking?) sage, is quite the woodworker and handyman. Show off.

His current project is building an enclosed raised bed garden. But, in the course of my following his blog, he has reported on completing a myriad of other projects around the house. I get exhausted just reading about his DIY exploits. Show off.

But really, I do adore him. In a jealous AGMA sort of way…

Hubs and I used to be handy around the house. Real handy. We did a lot to our first house, purchased in 1978. We were young, strong, foolish and broke back then. AGMA remembers the agony of steaming the wallpaper off of the first floor plaster walls then sanding the walls down to get them smooth in order to paint them. We must have eaten plaster dust for the next 2 years…


We put an island in our kitchen and installed a new countertop on all of the cabinets. We built shelves and installed tile around the fireplace. I made our curtains, and stained and installed interior shutters.

We did plumbing and electrical projects too. With some very mixed results… There always seemed to be elusive leaks that defied detection on the plumbing projects. The good news about the electrical projects is that nobody got electrocuted.

But we needed a larger home when our family went from two to three to four in a short 18 months.

Our second house was an upgrade. We went from 3 to 4 small bedrooms, 1 to 1.5 bathrooms and driveway parking to a 2 car garage. But the house needed work so we rolled up our sleeves and went at it again. It was just a bit more challenging this time around with a baby and a toddler.

We were restless though. Like many other young families, we were in search of that panacea, “a good school district”. And we found it. And moved again…

We stayed in that house for the next 15 years. Still 4 bedrooms, but we scored a tiny master bathroom so we were up to 2.5 bathrooms. AGMA was in 3 toilet heaven.

And you know how I feel about toilets.

But home improvements in this house were few and far between. It was a season of busyness with kids, work, volunteer “stuff” and aging parents, so there wasn’t time for DIY. And $$ was still pretty tight so we couldn’t pay anybody else to do the work.

So the dismal kitchen that was in the house when we moved in in 1987 was the same dismal kitchen when we sold the house in 2002.

We did replace things as they “died” (dishwasher, garbage disposal, carpeting, etc), but we did very little by way of improvement. We did make a half hearted attempt to finish the basement. Clearly an amateur effort, but good enough for a gathering place for kids and friends.

2002 started our new, innovative approach to home improvements.

We literally improved our “home” by trading up. As in going from one home to another on a regular basis. We moved and upgraded before things had time to die or break or go out of style.


Since 2002, AGMA’s lived in 6 – count ‘em – six different homes. Other than the home we’re in now, the longest we’ve ever lived in any of of them is 3.5 years.

Therein lies AGMA’s current dilemma. This past June, we celebrated 4 years in our lovely townhouse.

Waaayyyy too long if you ask me.

Things are starting to need attention/improvement. Our alarm system hasn’t worked for the past 6 months. We have like 20 foot ceilings and our tallest ladder is 12 feet so we have multiple burned out light bulbs in closets. A door in my bathroom cabinet is catywhampus. And we have a built-in, inoperable Jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. Nothing says 2001 like a Jacuzzi tub…

The roof and all of the kitchen appliances are 15 years old.   As well as 2 of the 3 (count ‘em three!) HVAC units.  It’s past time to replace the 3 year air filters (to the tune of $500 each) on the fancy, smacy air filtration units that are attached to 2 of our HVAC units. When we put them in 3+ years ago, AGMA had no idea we’d still be living here and have to replace them yet again.  Ouch.

Our town home has great bones, but the flesh is starting to sag a bit.

Just like AGMA.

So the question is, do we do it the old fashioned way and actually replace/upgrade things. Or do we move. Again.

The moving on a regular basis strategy really worked for us. Even through the housing crisis, we managed to upgrade in amenities and location, and still be in the black. Our home now is probably the nicest we’ve live in and is in a fabulous neighborhood in Atlanta.

But moving is hard. Really hard. Especially as you get older. Even when it’s a “corporate” move and somebody else does most of the packing and moving.

The last move nearly did AGMA in.

So I guess it’s time to put on the big girl AGMA pants, and start dealing with that sagging flesh. Hubs checked out of the DIY thing years ago, so I’m going to be on the hunt for a good handyman.

I forget, where do you live again Andrew?