Sunday, January 20, 2013

It Might Be Time for a Rather Large Garage Sale ...


Although it has always been inevitable that at some point the Gothic Mansion would eventually be sold, it seems that fateful day is finally upon us. Over the Christmas holidays, the insomniac  and her spouse made the difficult decision to put the family home up for sale this coming spring.

Having spent the last 25 years in a house we consider ourselves very fortunate to have called home, it was impossible to imagine living anywhere else in Calgary and decided now is the time to leave the city, as well. Tentative plans are being made to move to a small town to the north, but as there are a limited number of old houses and it's looking like the brick Victorian with the Widow's Walk will not be available any time soon, it is still unknown where exactly we're going. Although one is fairly certain it's not likely to have a real third-floor attic nor a dormer window.

The next few months will be spent attempting to reduce the size of one's many Collections. It was thought this would prove to be far easier said than done, but was pleasantly surprised to find it much less stressful than imagined - the William Morris Golden Rule of Useful/Beautiful being the guideline used for the weeding out process. Twenty-five years in the same house might have been a bit too long for someone who has a proclivity towards hoarding - but a hoarder with Good Taste, one likes to think.

The only real obstacle encountered thus far has been with the Book Collection; there are currently eight bookcases in the Gothic Mansion, which the insomniac  has every intention of narrowing down to three ... possibly four. Five at the very most. But each and every bookcase is filled with art, antique and needlework books, making it an onerous task trying to choose which should be kept and which should be relinquished, as every single book seems to fall into the category of either Useful or Beautiful or, worse still, both. Later today, the 33 books selected for elimination this week will be trundled off to the second-hand bookstore. The spouse suggested once the books have been sold, it might be wise to beat a hasty retreat from the store before finding another 33 to replace them.

Acquisition of new stock for the Attic will be temporarily put on hold until future plans have become more definite. The insomniac  will do her very best to stick to the weekly blog post schedule, but anticipates there will be the occasional week when she collapses into a sniveling heap onto the Wilton carpets while sorting through twenty-five years' worth of memories. During such moments of high drama there will likely be no post, as no one needs to share in that melodramatic nonsense.

As each room has been gone through and properly “staged” for the sale, one plans to take pictures for posterity and is even considering hiring a PROFESSIONAL photographer to ensure a decent photo before it's too late. The realtor has already indicated it will not be necessary to banish the Taxidermy Collection to the basement, as he feels it adds to the ambiance of the house (obviously, we have chosen the perfect realtor). One has taken his advice to heart and is expecting the arrival of the latest addition to the collection sometime next week - one more ebony bird won't be that hard to pack.

For those who have expressed an interest in seeing more of the Gothic Mansion's interior, there will be numerous Before and After shots of the renovation during the coming months, hopefully serving as a deterrent should one become tempted to purchase yet another “project”. Probably not the brightest move for a couple who are most definitely on the downward slide towards sixty.

The insomniac  is already eagerly looking forward to future projects in the new home, and in substantially smaller living quarters she can already foresee how much easier it will be to achieve that cluttered decorating style. The only truly unbearable part of this sale is the probability she'll be expected to dust more frequently than every six months. That, and having to live with plain white walls in the new home until the budget allows for the purchase of the next batch of Wm. Morris wallpaper, which should last right up until the time of one's final relocation - hopefully feet first out the front door ...

... unless  someone would care to pass this post along to The Lady of the Manners and her Stunt Husband, in which case the insomniac  would like to suggest this might be the perfect location for the Haunted Mansion ElderGoth Rest Home they've been planning. And she would be delighted to offer her services should they require assistance in locating some pink Morris wallpaper.

Capacity for at least 20 black rocking chairs on the veranda,
with plenty of elbowroom for waving one's
wolf's-head cane at the other residents ...

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA

43 comments:

  1. Wow, it will be hard moving out! At least moving will help clean out all the junk/ treasures. I am amazed how much I throw out every time I move! And I hope you will find a lovely little Victorian cottage!

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    1. It will be difficult, Laura but you are right. Moving out does force a person to go through everything and sort the treasures from the trash! And that's exactly what we're hoping for - a little Victorian cottage! Too bad a mossy roof is almost an impossibility here in very dry Alberta ... :D

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  2. Oh what a beautiful house! That is EXACTLY the style I want. Me and Cinnamon man were actually browsing Queen Anne houses online the night, when I attempted (and failed miserably) to be casual and optimistic, should he be thrown out of Sweden and have to go back to the States. If your house prices are in the American range I might have to consider relocating ;) I always preferred the Canadian social politics anyway!

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    1. Thank you, Ms. Misantropia! One also has a special fondness for Queen Anne houses, especially those with turrets! And on the plus side, if you purchased this house you definitely wouldn't be homesick for your Swedish winters because we most certainly have something comparable here!

      You still haven't heard anything from Swedish immigration yet? Keep your chin up - glass half full, and all that! :o)

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    2. Oh, and let's not forget - no rats!! :D

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  3. Certainly the end of an era. I wish you all the best procuring a new residence and sorting through your collection of treasures.

    Don't worry about keeping updated on the blog front. People should be understanding of your situation and have patience =)

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    1. Too funny - that was almost the title of this week's post - The End of an Era! Great minds think alike, as they say! :D

      Thank you for your kind wishes, Jessica. :o)

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  4. Oh, and I LOVE that Golden Rule, and that entire post of yours about William Morris. So many interior design truths crammed into one post!

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    1. It is a good rule, isn't it? Wm. Morris was a very clever man ... well, he's sort of one's hero, actually! :D

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  5. I`m always feel a sense of shock when people say they are moving home (Even thou I don`t really know you) I`ve only moved once, when I married, and have no intention of moving again. I think it would be even harder to leave a house as beautiful as yours looks. Mind you I`ve had my car 15 years now ! So it just might be me. I send to my very best wishes at what will be a very stressful time.

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    1. The insomniac  is still in a state of shock herself, and will most likely remain so until the moving truck pulls up out front. And nobody seemed to be more shocked than our offspring, who said they were quite sure we were going to die in this house! ;o)

      And even though one feels exactly like you and REALLY doesn't like change in the slightest, it does seem the time has come to let it go. We even discussed trying to find a nice little cottage over in England, if only it weren't so damn damp over there which would probably play havoc with the spouse's rheumatism!

      Thank you for your kind wishes, Alastair ... :o)

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  6. That is really a beautiful house!

    I hope that your moving will go smoothly and that you and your family will find a wonderful place. <3
    I have moved 11 times in my short lifetime and I on one hand I think its fun because it's a such a fresh start everytime, but on the other hand I'm so tired of it so I really wanna found the perfect house when my darling is done with school and then live happily there forever. :'D

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    1. Thank you, Lesthi! And yes, you are right - it is rather nice to look forward to a fresh start. But eleven times? Oh my - that would be tiring! :D

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    2. My mom loved to move..she says it's because of our gypsy-blood.
      No, it wasn't that much fun because it's so hard to get friends on new places all the time. :P

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    3. Harder on the children, having to try and find new friends, than the adults probably. :o(

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  7. Oh I'm so sad for you and your family, I wish you didn't have to move away from your beautiful house!

    I am a hoarder of beautiful things too - currently this is an issue as I don't have a whole house to decorate, but certainly enough 'treasures' to do so! Books are my weakness as well - I have 500 in my average sized bedroom! That's 2 large, 2 small bookcases and 5 shelves (or currently 1 shelf and some carrier bags because my dad put one up last year and then never did the rest and I can't be trusted with power tools). I hope that selling books doesn't cause too much trauma for you!

    I can't wait to find a house, to have a real home again, so I can't imagine how you must feel giving up yours! I'm still pining after my childhood home (which was sold 6 years ago, when I hadn't lived in it for 5 years previously).

    I'm sure you'll be happy once you find the perfect house to move to though. I like the moving-in part of moving, getting to decorate a new space! I'll be praying to the universe to send you a Victorian cottage!

    I'm looking forward to seeing the before and after photos though because your house is so beautiful I want to see more of it! I'm glad you found a Realtor that understands the house too!

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    1. It's funny you should say you're still pining after your childhood home ... although the offspring haven't lived here on a regular basis for probably five years or more, they were quite sad about the upcoming sale. The first thing the eldest said was, “But what about all the memories?” And this from a young man who doesn't appear to have a sentimental bone in his body. Who knew? :o)

      500 books, you say? That's awesome! Having just gotten home from the second-hand bookstore and receiving $60 for the first batch of books, guess what one promptly spent it on. Ah well, once a book hoarder, always a book hoarder ... ;o)

      It might take a while to find the perfect house (and yes, a Victorian cottage would be lovely, but they're in short supply in this part of the world, unfortunately). But should nothing become available, we can always throw everything into storage and maybe come and visit all the lovely cemeteries in England until something does! And that would be lovely, too! :D

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  8. Think of all the interesting treasures you're going to unearth....

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  9. Maybe you could rent a big old house. All of the fun, and none of the headache of the upkeep.

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    1. We are definitely giving that idea some serious thought too, Rhonda! But the insomniac  has the utmost confidence that whatever may happen, it will all work out exactly as it should. What a dreamer, eh? ;o)

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  10. Good luck with tackling such an enormous task! Minimising one's possessions can be so liberating ... but psychologically (and physically!) difficult at the same time. Try to see it as the former rather than the latter ;)

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    1. It actually does feel good, Michelle - and one was very surprised by that! Sometimes a person can hold on to things for far longer than necessary. And after hearing a recent story about someone's parents who had been in the same house for 45 years and were now dealing with downsizing at age 80+, we're quite happy we've decided to do this now! :D

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  11. So sad to hear about this... My family has moved out so many times through the years that I developed kind of an allergy to changes.
    However, I am sure you and your better half will find an amazing new place to call home. And who knows? Maybe the fairytale is just around the corner.

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    1. Oh don't be sad, Violette! Things can't stay the same forever, no matter how much some of us would prefer they did! And yes, we're sure we'll find some place that we'll come to love just as much as we do this one - and hopefully it is just around the corner! :o)

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  12. What a huge project requiring decision making, fortitude, and perseverance.
    Maybe the offspring could offer assistance in sorting and packing?
    I wish you well.

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    1. Ah well, one doesn't like to be a burden to one's offspring, you know ... That being said, before anything goes out the door to the thrift store, they do have first choice as to whether they would like to relocate it to their homes instead! ;o)

      Thank you for your kind wishes, Tess. :o)

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  13. While I completely understand that you have to do what you have to do, I do feel pangs of sadness knowing that the Insomniac may soon be leaving the Gothic Mansion. In a way, the words "Insomniac" and "Gothic Mansion" have become almost synonymous to me. It's a beautiful house with a rich history--one worthy of your creative abilities. Still, I feel confidant that wherever you go, your abode will be something unique and wondrous. I wish you the best; and may you find something that gives you comfort.

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    1. One had thought all the sniveling was over and done with, and then she read your touching words, Nightwind!

      The Gothic Mansion will always hold a special place in one's heart, but a cozy little cottage with a fantastic Taxidermy Collection doesn't sound too bad either ... :o)

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  14. Bohooo! I feel like I wan't to weep :'(. I'm so sorry that you have to leave the beautiful house and sell your treasures. I do hope that you'll find people who will cherish your treasures and a family that will take care of the house properly. I do hope that you'll find a lovely cottage at the countryside with a big garden for your partner to grow roses in.

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    1. Oh noooo, Linnea-Maria, don't you start weeping, too!

      We're hoping for a lovely family who will fill the house up with children and many pets. And being the eternal optimist, the insomniac  is POSITIVE there's a nice little cottage with a huge garden for the spouse to putter in and maybe a cozy little room with a fireplace that would be perfect for reading and sewing for herself out there somewhere. And it's bound to come on the market very soon. Any time now. Fingers crossed.

      Oh, and by the time it's all said and done, probably not going to get rid of all that many treasures ... that's what basements and storage units are for, right? ;o)

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  15. What a shame to let such a beautiful home go; let's do hope it goes to an appreciative family!
    I wish you all the best with your moving-- I can't easily let go of my possessions, but then, I only really only have books, craft supply, clothes and movies lol. The necessities to my life ;)

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    1. Let's hope it does, Madame MM! And remember, if you happen to be back in Calgary for a visit before the 1st of May, you must come for tea!! :D

      Yes, definitely a lot of books and craft supplies - the clothes are currently on eBay as we speak. Because there probably isn't much need for dressing up in a town of 5000, right? And how many black t-shirts and plaid flannel shirts can one really own? ;o)

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  16. Relocation. We are facing that prospect ourselves and have already started the process of "getting rid of crap". eBay is wonderful place to sell your items. And have you looked your books up on Amazon? Depending on the book, they offer very reasonable buy back prices and shipping is free. Hubby has been doing this for a while now. There you go, some cash towards the new wallpaper. I hope your search for a new abode isn't too long. Like you, I figure I have one move left in me. After that I want the World and it's Dog to bugger off.

    Before my children confirm my place at the dodgy old folks home I'm sure they have picked out for me, I'd like to get on the waiting list for the Haunted Mansion ElderGoth Rest Home. I'm not a Goth, but the idea of sharing my declining years with folks who think mushroom is a becoming colour for A Women Of A Certain Age is making me nauseous.

    Ali x

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    1. Not that it's any business of the insomniac's, but are you thinking of relocating back to Canada? :o)

      Have already started downsizing the vast working wardrobe from the clothing boutique on eBay, as 75% of that stuff isn't wearable anywhere else than a boutique environment ...certainly most of it didn't work in an office last year! And no, had absolutely no idea there was such a thing as a buy-back feature on Amazon, but will definitely check that out - thanks!

      The fact we have no idea where we're going yet is probably the hardest thing - one prefers not to think about that too much at the moment.

      And although one does not really consider herself a True Goth because she's far too old for that label, a Rest Home for Unusual People does sound rather tempting, doesn't it? Mushroom. Gawd, kill me now ... LOL

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  17. I forgot to write here the other day! :O
    So why are you leaving your mansion? If you feel like sharing that is :) Hope you will find a new house, just as perfect as this one, to turn into your own castle! :) As always, looking forward for some gothic mansion photos! :D

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    1. You do that too? :D

      Well Sandra, our priorities are changing as we're getting older ... Now that the offspring have moved out and it's just the two of us, it seems now is a good time to move to something smaller, which would also free us up to travel more. Be prepared for the insomniac  and her spouse to arrive on your doorstep whenever it sells! (You're scared now, aren't you?) LOL!

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    2. Haha, not at all :D
      That makes sence! More places to visit as beautiful as Romania ;)

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  18. Ms. Insomniac,

    May I suggest that you check your email? There should be something there for you.

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    1. For starters, who even knew there was such a thing as Goth e-Greetings! That was delightful - thank you so much! :D

      And one is so pleased the fruitcake actually made it through the mail. The Post Office clerk was convinced it wouldn't! So glad that you are enjoying it, although it's probably not snowing there like it is here today! And please, use the mat for its intended purpose - when it wears out, another can be easily made to replace it ... :o)

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  19. You're most welcome! No, it's not snowing here. The temperature is around 60 degrees F. this afternoon.

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  20. I know you'll find a place you'll LOVE just as much as the old mansion! It's so much fun to arrange all your favorite things in a new home - gives new life to everything! I love the idea of freeing yourselves up to travel more too - hope to see plenty of goth on the road posts in the future!

    Best of luck! Here's to your NEW happy home!

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    1. Awwww thank you, Goth Barbie! Although one was overwhelmingly sad at leaving this place in the beginning, it's now become exciting adding the finishing touches to the old girl for the new owners, whoever they may be (and provided it sells!) And one has actually started to look forward to finding our next home, and is totally going for the “Weird Couple in the Creepy Cottage” look this time!

      Hmmmm. Goth on the Road ... has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? :D

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