Katie Palm

Realtor - Remax Results

651-503-3554

katie.palm@results.net

 

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    smoke billows from the house

    in the cold, clear sunlight

    must be laundry day

     

     

    name your price

    Tuesday
    Dec282010

    The Sky Is Falling (again)...

    I couldn't help but notice that 'falling home prices' was a major trending topic today. There were at least 10 articles in my stream in addition to multiple TV and radio news reports stating that the housing recovery was completely concocted (by the government or otherwise) and that things are far worse than we all thought.  After reading all the major synopses I was struck by the same lack of important details, which prompted me to leave a few comments in the local online paper's pool of angry shark comment-leavers. At this point, no one has written anything specifically hateful to me. Here's my comment on the Pioneer Press http://www.startribune.com/business/112546709.html :

    The data in this article is skewed by the fact that it doesn't differentiate between foreclosure and traditional markets. Banks are letting properties go for rock bottom prices, and that's a good thing for new homeowners, rehabbers and investors, but of course lowers the average sale prices for all homes. When the sale data for the two markets is separated the damage to non-foreclosure home prices is much less severe. I've seen many homes sell quickly and for decent prices, even after the tax incentive expired. And let's not forget that with or without tax incentives/interest deductions, home ownership is still better for the health of the neighborhood and the general maintenance of the home.

    Pretty much, enough said. But call me if you want to talk more - coz as usual, I know what I'm talking about. And one more thing that Britney Spears would likely agree with, media hype is often bullshit.

    Sunday
    Apr252010

    the ladder of suck-sess

    Yeah, I think I'm channelling PW with this one but what the hell.

    I'm the first to admit about the last thing I ever wanted in life was to wantonly pursue a career. Just the word grosses me out a little. A college-prep path in high school that led to a liberal arts degree in college was only a means to a better perspective and hopefully decent vocabulary. But 80 hours a week with an expense account? No thanks.

    Of course, as the world turns, I have a job. Selling stuff. Big things like houses.

    Some of my friends tell me I might be better off if I shower, and not go to meet my clients in the same outfit I just ran 6 miles in. But I really have to talk myself into it some days. Especially with the people I've gotten to know over time. Why should it matter if I'm wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. The heart of my work is to deliver the best service and expertise to my clients, which, in my mind, doesn't include acting like I'm on the runway for fashion week. I tell myself my look is endearing.

    But when you're five feet one with a squeaky voice, people don't always take you seriously. It doesn't seem to matter  that I can answer just about any question you're willing to throw at me. I often feel like I'm climbing out of some sort of pre-conceived dumb-dumb well.

    I don't know if my work personae will ever develop into a more sophisticated look. I think I'll continue to go with whatever makes me the most comfortable at the moment, but I'm sure that concept will change. So for the time being, world, could you please just get off my back, look past the conception you have of me, and listen. Because I'm about to tell you something you didn't know.

     

     

    Monday
    Feb152010

    Baby Daze

    While sitting at a bar this weekend, talking to strangers Tim met the usual response when revealing that we, in fact, have three teenaged boys. “What, were you married when you were 16?” To which he gave his usual, not in fact, reply, “yes, we were.” To be honest, he gets asked that question more than I do, but I get to go along with it since I’m the little wifey.

                We’ve been a little ‘off’ of the average parent age the whole time we’ve had kids. We were the first people in our social circle to have kids. And, as the torch carrying downtown bar employee couple, we might have been the most unlikely. It didn’t seem strange to set the baby carrier on the bar at the CC Club and have a beer while Tim worked the early shift. I’m not saying we had a Kurt and Courtney thing going, but I also can’t say I saw many other people there doing the same.

                It was no less weird when the kids started school. It’s hard to maintain credibility when all the other parents at the Christmas program think you’re the nanny with her boyfriend.

                Now that they’re older we fit in better. But we’re closer in age to the parents of the pre schoolers than the parents of the kids ours are graduating with. When I told someone last fall that we had just come home from dropping our son off in Chicago, he hesitated, “where, on the corner?” No, at college.

                I’m not complaining though. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. And I’m not judging the people who wait until their thirties or forties to get started on a family. Though, the actual getting started part seems harder the longer you wait, I’m sure having a career and at least some degree of financial stability probably helps with the stress factor of having young kids. But I’m also glad I was only 30 when I was dealing with three boys under 6 wrestling each other out of bed each morning.

                As usual, my point is this; as in every aspect of life, there’s been lots of learning along the way. There doesn’t ever seem to be a right way of doing things. We’ve had to give up the leisure our friends had, our decisions have been kid focused, our money is spent on tuition. We’re still in the thick of raising kids with another decade to go. But, man, sitting here at my computer, I’m not afraid to admit I’m happy my baby’s sitting over there on the couch instead of on my lap and I’ve got the whole day ahead of me.

    Saturday
    Jan302010

    On The Edge

    I’ve been thinking about the notion that most things happen in stages. Stages of awareness especially. What I’ve come to understand, and feel strongly about is this general layout of the personal evolution of awareness: 1. Birth. Something is born, be it a person, idea, relationship, whatever. There is a feeling of newness that is exciting, intoxicating. It takes over for a period of time and overrides all other priorities. I always felt when my children were very young that the world to them must be a constant and continual feeling of ‘wow!” And this feeling resurfaces when we run into something new in our lives. It becomes all you can think about for a proportionate time relative to the impact it has on your world, despite the fact that you really have no idea what’s going on, objectively or academically. 2. Adolescence. Growing awareness and movement toward mastery. This is a time when you are aware of the concept you’re working on. It seems like every thing we work on goes through this stage, be it a talent like playing piano, understanding the plot of a classic book, knowing how to put the right ingredients for good cooking, or just living life. We have to face the fact eventually that we can’t be good at something until we actually know what it is we’re doing. And we don’t seem to see that until after we’ve put the time in and gotten though some of the hard parts. Only then can growth and awareness blossom. 3.Mastery and teaching. Once you become really good at what you’re doing you form a desire, or perhaps inner obligation to pass this knowledge along. You can’t keep from consciously or unconsciously teaching others because your knowledge has become who you are.  4 Awareness or Enlightenment. Call it whatever you want. As far as I can tell most people, ideas, actions never make it to this point, not in this life anyway. But I guess that’s for another discussion. Let’s just suffice to say that once this level of awareness is achieved, every other degree of its pursuit falls away.

                So, as I look at myself and my priorities, I often notice that I get stuck in the second stage- the learning stage. I think this is probably common for the average person. Or may be it’s just me, I don’t know. I can feel a growing awareness as I become better at what I’m doing. I can even say that I feel mastery of some things. But making the next leap always proves too difficult, or overwhelming. I become afraid that I’m going to devote too much time to this thing at the expense of my other desires or obligations. So I back off and let it simmer, thereby putting a lid on my understanding of it.

                Mostly, I’m talking about hobbies, like playing guitar or yoga, etc. But even parenthood, which would be considered by most people to be a teaching role, feels like a pursuit to me, albeit one of the highest on the list. I would really love to feel like I had an understanding of the big picture of what it takes to raise a family, but I’m stuck trying to figure it out.

                Maybe this elusive understanding only comes from the lack of its pursuit – like that thing you can only see out of the corner of your eye. And maybe it’s okay to be stuck at a certain level of awareness. After all, the real ‘big picture’ is happiness and love. And if you can find that, accept it; spread it across your world, then all the rest will fall into place. 

    Friday
    Nov202009

    My Kitty

    My Kitty died. Well, isn’t that uplifting. But there’s no hiding the fact that I’m devastated. I think anyone who has loved a pet knows exactly how I feel. It’s not the first time I’ve been through this either. In fact, I specifically avoided pets for this very reason; they have to eventually die. But I gave in to getting a cat because they supposedly live longer than dogs, so I figured we’d have years together. But here I am again with a crater of emptiness where my Kitty used to be.

    Her name wasn’t always Kitty. We went to the shelter just to have a look. There were so many cats  and I felt drawn to the ones who needed a home the most. But she picked us. From inside her cage with her paws draped over the edge, she patiently beckoned a playmate. We took her out and she wrapped her tail around my leg. I was hooked. We brought her home and named her Eva; the name we saved for a daughter we never had. But we finally had another girl in the house, so it seemed fitting for such a beautiful cat. Somehow, the name never stuck and she became lovingly known to us as Kitty.

    Anyway, Kitty’s death has got me thinking about friends. Because people call their animals their friends, or companions or whatever. You can’t deny the understanding and acceptance felt between a pet and their caretaker. Especially when you’re someone who works at home like me, you sometimes spend your whole day with that animal. And you really get to know and love each other. Kitty followed me around all day long, protecting me I’m sure. I had to make room for her wherever I sat; even on the kitchen stool she would find a way into my lap, watching me type, often stretching her paw to have a try. Or she would try to lie across the keyboard as if to say I was giving that thing too much attention. If I sat too long she would bug me to get up and let her out, shortly to scratch to get back in. She waited until I left to sleep, but amazingly came thumping down the steps every time I returned. She knew the sound of my car.

    She really had her own place in our family. My oldest son said that she thought she was on a higher plane than us, and that we were her servants, but she was really just keeping us in line, gently pushing us to be conscious of our lives together. She put up with whatever we dished out, grabbing her out of a sound sleep to play, pulling her tail, rumpling her fur. And she could play a great game of cat-and-mouse, as long as you were willing to be the mouse. She loved to hide in the laundry basket as if she couldn’t be seen and then attack just when she thought you weren’t expecting it.

    And when I woke up at night, she was always there, next to my pillow, perched on a corner of the bed, watching for intruders. Or if we stayed up too late, she stayed with us, keeping an eye on whatever we were doing and who we were with. She didn’t complain when she didn’t get fed the next morning either. She’d sleep in with us.

    But during the week she was our alarm clock. She seemed to feel that was her role/relationship with my husband, who isn’t necessarily a cat person. She would bug him until he got up to feed her, and forged a loving friendship where there might not have otherwise been one. She was intuitive in that way.

    So now we have to get up to the alarm clock. Now I wait for her to come around every corner. Every noise I hear I expect to be hers. And everyone says we should get a new pet. But I just can’t imagine going to the Humane Society with the idea that I will be able to somehow ‘pick’ a friend as perfect as Kitty.