Read on for the latest news in real estate in Wayne, Nebraska and the surrounding communities as well as useful tips for buying and selling your home. Bonus features include a look into the good, the bad, and the ugly of homeownership as shared by blog author, homeowner, property manager, and real estate broker, Trisha Peters.
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Thursday, January 17, 2019

On the Next Episode of "Hoarders"...

The first step to self-improvement is admitting you have a problem.  Here goes: "My name is Trisha Peters, and I am a hoarder."  I literally keep everything until it is no longer useful (i.e. past the point of repairing).  I have dishclothes with the edges so shredded in my kitchen drawer that they wind up in a huge ball in the washing machine because the strings knot up.  I have my adjustable plastic locker shelf that was last used in 1999 because I think my 2 year old might use it in his locker someday (like that's cool, Mom.  By the time he is in school, all his books will be stored in 'the cloud').  I have mix tapes of music taped off the radio in the 1980s because every product of the 80s needs a homemade Casey's Top 40 mix tape.  (Ironically, I do not have a tape player!)  You get the picture.  It's a problem.  One that has been lurking in the darkness of my basement, and that has only recently come out to play as I try to regain control of my life.  Combine this trait with a husband who shares the same characteristic, and we are one chromosome away from being a TV reality show.  For crying out loud, he literally saved the boxes for all the toy tractors that he has displayed in a glass case.  Every time I look under the basement stairway, I want to pour gasoline on them and burn them in the backyard. But, that would get me arrested. And, jail would not be favorable to me.

Why in the world can't we throw anything away??  I blame it on my Grandma.  She used to wash out Ziploc bags and reuse them (guilty as charged).  When something can't be effectively reduced, reused, or recycled in our family, we just store it until it's dead or someone else renders it useless and throws it out for us.  Because, you know what, the second I throw those mix tapes out, I'm going to need them.  Happens. Every. Time.

Case in point, digging through a box last Saturday, I found my old Alphie II robot computer and Smart Start calculator.  I carefully replaced the 16 size C batteries each one required back in 1987 and waited anxiously to show them to the boys when they returned home from the farm with their dad.  By this time, I am well on my way to winning Mom of the Year.  Man, did their eyes light up when they saw that little plastic robot sitting on the kitchen counter.  I was tickled pink! Then, the highly unanticipated Scenario B played out. A huge fight ensued as I introduced the iPad of my day to the boys.  Little brother was ready to rumble for possession of that little robot even though he had no clue how to read the cards or answer the questions.  The oldest one deemed Alphie as "not working" because you have to push the buttons just right to get it to register the answer.  Seriously?  I played with that thing for like an hour Saturday afternoon and had no troubles!  Why do you think I didn't get any vacuuming done?  C'mon man!  This thing is retro...a classic!  As it turns out, my nostalgia is not the same nostalgia my children share.  Who knew?  Since then, I've managed to stub my toe on the dang thing seven times in the middle of the night because the only thing the kids think its good for is to have his face light up in the dark as they are laying in bed.  If anything can be said about 1980s plastic toys, it is that they were built to break a toe or at least roll an ankle! iPad, shmy-pad. Whatever, Bill Gates.

I guess the moral of the story is that if you are storing stuff in boxes that you haven't used since the 1980s, pour gasoline on it and burn it in the backyard.  Just don't let the cops catch you.  Jail isn't all real estate and roses. Welcome Home.

(Disclaimer: Blog author, Trisha Peters, does not encourage you or any others to perform dangerous activities. Pouring gasoline on anything and burning it is not recommended.  Advice is given strictly for comedic effect and is not meant to be practiced in real life.) 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

'Til the Cows Come Home

The first week in January means that it is time to start the migration of the Hansen cow herd towards the home place from their winter feeding grounds.  This three mile trek over pasture and county roads requires a minimum of five off-road trail vehicles, a lead tractor and hayrack, and two grandmas (one to watch the littlest cowkids and another to stop traffic when we get the herd out on the road).  It's quite a production, and one that I haven't missed in many years. Here's why:

"Phase One of Annual Herd Migration complete: Three mile drive thru rough terrain. Mud made it inside the vehicle. Touch and go for a few seconds there. Maxed out cool points with the kids again. Tiny cowboys and cowgirl yelling between steel horses giggling about the anatomical differences between bulls and cows. Herd will get used to their nonstop banter just as humans have. In all the commotion, three whitetails stumbled into the action. What a sight! Herd secure. City Slickers home from the ranch."
Working our way across the section

Make sure the window is up before you go mud running!

Three whitetail deer decided to see what all of the fuss was about. It was fortunate I got to share this quiet moment with my oldest son as we waited for the rest of the gang to get the herd moved to our position.

Billy Crystal should be jealous of this yearly undertaking.  Unfortunately, in all these years, we still haven't found Curly's Gold (that's a '90s movie reference for those of you who don't remember)!  We do get the Karsky Family out of town for extra assistance, and with all the littles around these days, we adults have to keep our sweet talk for the bosses rated PG.  The weather was nice the Saturday we moved the herd, and we had some trouble getting the cows rounded up and through the first gate to start our journey.  Believe it or not, livestock actually moves more willingly when the weather is poor.  They felt good, but once they figured out where they were going, they didn't cause any problems. 

This is a therapeutic undertaking for me.  The farm has always been my sanctuary. A necessary haven  to restore the balance of my introverted personality with the demands of a sales career.  Coming down from the rush of the holidays and an extraordinarily busy December market, it was a chance to spend a morning doing something a little out of the ordinary.  There is something to be revered about a Nebraska sunrise, fog in the valleys, and frost on the fence posts.  Just me and my family, a few close friends, the smell of burnt clutch and scorched exhaust, and the cows. Each doing a little part while working as one cohesive unit, doing what we have always done, 'til the cows come home.

Onto new feeding grounds for a few weeks.
I'll admit, I don't get much time anymore to really spend with the herd.  I used to know every cow...her demeanor, her tag number, her given name.  Some of that has gotten away from me as the pressures of a full-time career and family have taken precedence.  My herd has shifted to one made of people.  I don't regret that shift, but I do love a chance to look over the cow herd once in a while. Like people, each head of livestock has its own personality.  Over time, you learn to look for those wild-eyed heifers who like to keep their head up in the air.  They will be the first to spoil a good day.  These spirited cows aren't loyal, and they can ruin your taste for the whole business if you let them.  Eventually, you find that the best way to deal with a cow like this is to haul her to market, but not before she breaks down some of your fences.  While mending fences, you learn how to look for the signs next time and protect yourself before another one jumps over your brand new shiny gate and makes an oversized U-joint out of it.

Those wild-eyed heifer types give you new respect for those cows who have paid their dues and methodically plod at the back of the main herd as they make the trek home.  Those are the stubborn bosses who are upwards of 20 years old and might have even been a part of the study group for your Neihardt Honors Colloquium at Wayne State College. There is a lot to learn from the wherewithal of those old cows.  They have endured because they produce good calves, give good milk, and weather the storms successfully.  Once the heart of the herd, they are the bloodlines to all the younger stock.  Those old girls have a hard time keeping up, but they have played a vital role in the overall success of the herd.

Knowing where the two extremes lie makes it easier to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the rest of the herd.  It is safe to say that if they do their part, I will do mine, and all will be rewarded with greener pastures in the end.  There are many correlations that can be made between that cow herd and my human herd so long as you don't get all sensitive on me and take offense to the comparison.  Farm life taught me how to take care of my human herd.  If you put your trust in me, I'll do my very best for you right up 'til the cows come home.  After all, what fun would life be if it was all just real estate and roses?  Welcome Home.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Lock Down

I was inside the school building when the lock down occurred today at Wayne Community Schools.  I cannot begin to explain the range of emotions that went through my mind when the Principal announced that the school was in lock down over the loud speaker.  However, my first thoughts were, "Thank goodness I am here with my child." And, "We need to keep all of these kids safe."  In the organized chaos that followed as we quickly shuffled to safe zones, I scanned the halls making sure I found my nephews, the exits, self-defense weapons, and protective cover.  My heart was pounding.  I realized how every teacher must feel in these situations.  We had no idea the severity of the threat, but every threat needs to be taken seriously.  We need to keep our kids and educators safe.  To every teacher, staff member, school nurse, or administrator, I thank you.  Thank you for taking care of our kids.  Thank you for putting your life on the line.  Thank you for getting them to safety first.  The school and the Wayne Police Department did an excellent job of communicating today.  We are fortunate to have law enforcement and school administration who exercise great care in keeping our kids safe.

It is hard for me to express in words the feelings those few minutes in lock down produced. My mind immediately went to worst case scenario. I even went so far as to text my husband the, "School in lock down, we are OK. Stay by your phone. Love you!" message just in case. That being said, it causes me great distress that our educators and our children have to be subjected to lock downs.  I am sad that certain threats have created a need for such a thing as a lock down.  The fear it creates forces our children to sacrifice a part of their innocence.  So many questions follow from both the children and adults.  This has become our reality.  Our children deserve better than this.  We all deserve better than this. We need to keep our kids and our educators safe.  Choose kindness, choose love, choose to be a better person.  Life is so special. Life is not all real estate and roses.  Welcome Home.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Not All Real Estate and Roses

After a long hiatus from blogging and writing, I am hopping back into the proverbial saddle to start the New Year.  I have received much encouragement from friends and family to share my experiences not only in real estate, but as a mom, wife, daughter, aunt, housekeeper, do-it-yourselfer, and otherwise, jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. Several of you kept up with my harvest logs via Facebook this fall, and seemed to enjoy the struggles of balancing a full-time real estate career with family life while lending a hand to those near and dear as they were bringing in the harvest.  Here is a sampling in case you missed it:

"Harvest Log Day 12: Through a Divine act, managed to get clothesline base installed after church. Realized it gets very little sun in new location. Must be strategic about when to tell husband it must be moved. Best to breach subject when he wants to buy expensive tools or equipment to lessen the blow. While helping brother fix fence to turn cows out on corn stalks, kneeled on a bed of sandburs. Effectively stapled jeans to knee. Ouch. Returned home approximately 8 pm to discover a tricky Smurf had planted a blue crayon in the clothes dryer. Children admiring newly tie-dyed apparel. Currently researching crayon removal techniques online."

It seems that 2018 was the year I got behind the eight ball on quite a few things.  It is time to get back to basics.  I am drawing inspiration from my youngest son.  At some point last night between bath and bedtime, he launched his "bink" (pacifier) into the air and effectively lost it amid all the Christmas clutter and toys still making a home on our living room floor.  My husband and the boys searched for a good amount of time to find it, but had no luck.  On top of that, the projectile pacifier was the last holdout in the house as we have been trying to wean our youngest for about five months to no avail.  I reasoned that he was essentially "addicted" to his pacifier, and we were working through a 12-step process to get it away from him.  At far past bedtime, we finally convinced the little guy that "bink was all gone." He simply shrugged his shoulders, hopped into bed, and went to sleep.  He slept all night. He woke up this morning and didn't even ask for it.  He was playing us all along!

The moral of the story is that we as humans can let go of those things that we think we so desperately, pop, two or three cheeseburgers at one sitting, baggage from bad relationships, lost friendships...all the "stuff" that clutters up our lives. Whatever you need to do to get rid of it, it's time.  (Take it to Rustic Treasures, those guys can sell anything!)  It's time to be a friend to someone going through a difficult time. It's time to enjoy the sound of our children playing together in a pile of snow. It's time to understand that you can squeeze in one more tractor ride before the weekend is over. Let's open our ears, our hearts, and our minds to respect all those around us.  Yes, I know you're busy.  Yes, I know it's hard.  But, I'm throwing away the bink in 2019, and I hope you will too.  After all, the world isn't just all real estate and roses.  Welcome Home.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Recycle: It's So Easy, A Three-Year-Old Can Do It

Earth Day is Saturday, April 22nd.  Over the last several years, there has been a movement towards reducing our carbon footprint on the planet.  Recycling is one of the biggest ways we can do our part, and even my three-year-old can do it (still struggling with my 40-year-old husband, but we are making progress­čśä).  The best news is that you don't need a high dollar recycling bin set up in your home to do it.  Here's what we use, and it only takes up a small space in our garage:

Check out our high-tech recycling operation

Each reusable bag is designated for the specific recyclable item.  One bag holds plastic products, another for cardboard, a third for newspapers/magazines and paper products, a fourth for glass, and a final one for aluminum cans.  We also have a separate bag that holds light bulbs, batteries, and other items that can only be recycled at special recycling events held throughout the year.  Do I label the bags?  No.  My three year old can't read anyway.  He's smart enough to look inside to see what each bag holds.  Plus, if we put them in the same order every week, he knows which items go where.  When the bags are no longer usable, guess what? We recycle them.

Every Saturday morning between 8 a.m. and noon, we load up our four (or so) bags and take them to the Wayne Transfer Station located at 110 Windom Street.  The Transfer Station is also open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  They usually have staff on hand to assist you if you need help unloading your recyclables.  In addition, the containers are clearly labeled so you know where to dump your items. Plus, if your kids help, the staff provides them with a special treat to keep them excited about helping each week!

Recycling isn't hard to do.  In fact, it's so easy, a three-year-old can do it.  Although it takes a little extra time and effort, recycling is one small thing we can do to keep our planet in good shape for future generations who will be calling it home.  We can all make a difference.  Welcome Home! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Tale of Two Houses

I can't remember a time when I've cried tears of sorrow and joy all at the same time.  Is that even possible?  It happened.  And it was all caused by a house. Well, actually two houses...

Flashback to Tuesday, February 21st at approximately 7:45 p.m.  I was in the pickup driving home from a church meeting and suddenly came to the realization that this was my last commute to our home in Wisner. Seriously, the last one.  We moved to Wayne the next day.  Something I had done almost every single day for the last five years was suddenly going to end that night when I got home, and my life felt like it was spiraling out of control at that very moment.  What was I doing?  What was I dragging my family into?  How would the boys react?  How would my husband adjust?  Where were we going to put all of our stuff?  How were we going to get it all moved?  Why am I just thinking about all of this now?  And then the tears started to flow.  I cried the whole way home, and must have looked a sight when I pulled into the local Pizza Hut to pick up our supper.  The high school student working the cash register didn't say a word.  He was having trouble calculating the change, so he had bigger things to worry about than the rivers of mascara flowing down my cheeks.

Once I got home, I kept it together through supper.  My husband and I discussed our game plan for the next day and tried to keep it civil.  Emotions have been running high on both our parts.  We have been pulled in different directions throughout our married life mostly due to job and family commitments.  A move to Wayne simplifies our life in many aspects, including work, child care, school, and church.  Nonetheless, Tim has strong ties to his family and their farming operation, which lies about an hour in the opposite direction.  My hope is that we will both have more time to devote to that important aspect of our lives now that we are spending less time on the road each day (between the two of us), but I have yet to convince him of the benefits.  He still reminds me that one of his unspoken marriage vows was, "We shalt never live any further north than Wisner."

Bedtime came for the boys, and my oldest son begged me to read him one of his new favorites, Beauty and the Beast.  The tears welled in my eyes as we laid in bed and I thought of all the stories we had read in our Wisner house.  A whole bookcase of children's books was packed up and ready to move the next day.  I just couldn't stop thinking about the fact that this would be the last time we would lay together reading a story in that room.  After all, this was the house to which we had brought both of our boys home from the hospital.  It is a great house, and it has made a great home for us.  I have so much pride in the improvements we have done (and are currently finishing).  The tears of sorrow flowed thinking of bygone days, happy times, and special moments together...

...and tears of joy streamed from thoughts of our new home waiting for us in Wayne.  The new carpet and paint looked so fresh and clean, and the walls just seemed to be begging for us to start moving in.  This move would be a time saver for our family.  Between their mom and dad, my boys will get an extra two hours of time with us EACH day outside of a car seat!  We will be home before sundown so we can go to the park, hit the library, or actually do something fun besides eat a quick supper, take a bath, and go to bed.  No more making five or six trips to the car in the morning to make sure I have absolutely everything I need because I can't run home over lunch to get it.  The commute is over, and it is going to be life changing. 

Tears of joy and tears of sorrow flowing at the same time over two houses.  That, my friends, is the impact a home can have your life.  More fun to follow later regarding our move, the days leading up to it, and the upcoming sale of our Wisner home.  Welcome Home!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pardon Me While I Be Selfish

As many of you know, a special delivery arrived on August 15th about 5 1/2 weeks early for our little family. Little Baby Luke, as his big brother calls him, is as perfect as we could have hoped.  However, he is dealing with many of the issues that accompany a late pre-term infant (labeled as being at a gestational age of 34-36 weeks). Luke was admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) shortly after delivery and has been here eight days now.  The time has gone quickly for us as we develop a "new normal" at least for the time that he will be spending here.  All of the doctors and nurses have advised us to be prepared for him to stay here until his original due date, which means we have at least another four weeks to go.  Seems like a long time, but they keep us so busy, I'm sure each week will go as fast as the first.

If there is one request I can make of my dear clients, customers, friends and family it is this, please let me be selfish.  Right now, my priorities rank in this order: 1. Luke; 2: Me; and 3: Logan & Tim (my 3 year old son and husband).  As much as it pains me to say it, everything else holds very little importance right now.  It pains me because all of you have been so loyal to me, and have provided me with the opportunity to have a career, friendships, and a life that I never could have imagined having without you. I have come in early and gone home late to help others. I have stayed up into the early morning hours working on paperwork at home just to keep ahead while still trying to spend time with my family. I have missed birthday parties, bridal/baby showers, lunch dates, and time with my family to spend it with yours.  And, in 12 years, I have never cashed in a full two weeks worth of vacation.  All I'm asking is that you let me be selfish and cash it all in right now.  What I need from all of you is 8 to 12 weeks to spend with my family, to get Luke home, to make sure he is healthy and to make sure our family is whole again.  Because, you see, without my boys, work really lacks all importance whatsoever.  And, I'm of very little use to you if my head isn't 100% in the game.   

I know I overpromised many of you last week when I said we might be home in a couple of weeks and that I can work from the hospital.  I was running on pure adrenaline, a high dose of morphine, and some crazy mom-power that comes with delivering a baby. Right now, my "office" consists of two folding chairs pushed together in a tiny corner of an intensive care unit hospital room where my computer plays music for Luke throughout the day.  This 10' x 10' room also serves as my living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and baby room. And, it also comes with all the custom "bells and whistles" of an intensive care unit.  I do have a temporary housing situation established, and can run back and forth for a shower or relief from the day's activities, but that isn't always practical when 12 hours of the day is dedicated to feeding and the other 12 are dedicated to supporting Luke's behavior and brain development.  This experience has truly opened my eyes to the stresses other families in this situation have endured, and I apologize to anyone who I have not shown compassion to as they were traveling this journey.

So, I beg of you, please let me be selfish.  Please let me help my baby grow and develop.  The few weeks that you must sacrifice now will mean a lifetime of health and well being for Little Baby Luke if we can establish the groundwork needed here to get him running at full steam.  The only way I know how to do this is if we work together with trust, understanding, and patience. Although this came as a surprise, the team at 1st Realty is ready to help, and they have been working hard to fill in during my absence.  They will never know how truly grateful I am for their help and kindness during this time.  It truly does take a village to raise a child, and if you will be a part of my village right now, Luke and I will make sure to find you the houses you need to make it a home when we get back!  Thank you all for your patience, kindness and understanding!  Welcome Home.