Archive | Home RSS feed for this section

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

21 Mar

I’m loving this move/home/life changing decision more everyday. House aside, this is a beautiful city and it has been confirmed that we did, in fact, make a great choice landing here. Moving somewhere with blindfolds on can be both scary and exciting. I made a similar, I guess virtually the same, venture in September ’05 when a good friend and I decided it was time to leave ‘The Island‘ and head, well, South. Our destination was wide open. After a few months, a handful of states, family and friend visits, we settled on San Diego. Neither of us had ever been there and knew nobody, so instead of dipping our toes in the water, we jumped! Because what the fuck else do you do when it’s time to be a grown up again? Get a job and pay bills!☹️ It was the best decision I’d ever made, up until that point. Fast forward to my current crazy adventure – except this time the husband and I did a bit more research – I had replaced that truck full of a few totes and suitcases with a family and life I had built over the last 11 years. Instead of the unknown destination just being “South,” (growing up in Alaska that means the lower 48) it was now “Northwest”. The farther north we went the air just got clearer and fresher. The water from the tap, colder and tastier. The blues, the whites, the greens, you’ll never guess! Sharper! With every mile we knew we were making the right decision.

Before leaving that POD behind with all of our belongings, awaiting our beckoning, we wanted an estimate of what it would cost to have it shipped and for that they needed a zip code. James just picked one that he figured would be a close or possibly central enough location and well, what’d ya know?! Turns out that’s our fucking zip code!! And not just ours as in Olympia, ours as in, out of over 12 zip codes in the city it was specifically ours!!! Now thats some cool ass shit.

We have yet to do much city and outskirts exploring, spending the bulk of our time within a maybe 5 mile radius of our home, consisting mostly of the grocery store, Home Depot and walking the neighborhood with the dogs, but it is beautiful. We have a gate in our backyard that accesses a little pathway connecting us with surrounding cul de sac communities, a 20 minute walk to a beautiful big park, the streets are quiet and I love it, as do our fur babies. Then the birds. There’s a window over our kitchen sink that looks out to the backyard, and there’s our sliding glass doors opening to the back deck allowing us all to have the opportunity to watch our outdoors do as it likes. The house next to us has a handful of established bird feeders which, fortunately for us, means there’s already word in the hood that there’s access to food around these parts. My mother-in-law sent us this amazing bird feeder, (she’s a bird fan πŸ‘πŸ») and we were quick to add to it and I can’t tell you how often minutes just get lost watching the action in our backyard, this is all day action my friends. Zen. Lily has found a new obsession, because her current and never ending one with the cats just isn’t enough. Are you familiar with the movie ‘UP’ ,those dogs and their distraction word “squirrel!” That sums up Lily perfectly. We have been mimicking that for years joking about her attention span and how quickly she’d come to attention with the mere mention of the cats or their names. Well, we can no longer utter the word, she now knows it actually means just that, sadly, we have a few little fuckers that come and steal the bird feed and flare up her neurosis.

 

We’ve been downtown a handful of times. The capitol building overlooks a lake with a park and wrap around boardwalk. A weekly farmers market, cute ‘small business’ shops, restaurants and the like. I’m looking forward to springtime weather for the patios to open up and enjoy a brew with the four legged crew, we apparently moved here in the “off season.”

I’m well versed in the weather up here and I know that this kind of wet/rain is different. Those clouds, rain or not, are mostly just, there, and, as it did before it makes those blue sky days so amazingly majestic. I’ve missed having more than 1 type of weather 3/4 of the year -San Diego, 70 and sunny – is kinda it’s slogan. β˜€οΈ One of my favorite weather days thus far I woke up to a light snowfall, then it turned into blue skies. Which changed to sleet, followed by rain, blue skies again, then, BAM! Downfall of big balls of hail, which lasted about 1 minute and quickly petered off resulting in light rain. This was all in a span of about 6 hours. Ahh, I’ve missed those “every type of weather” days. I know my honeymoon won’t last forever and some days or weeks or months the rain and gray may just get old for me again, much like it did those 17 years I spent SE Alaska. But I also know that on the clear blue sky days I’ll forget about all that rain and take a deep clean breath in and smile at how amazingly beautiful this place I now call home is.

Update; while editing this the local news just stated, “this is the rainiest winter in over 2 decades.” Well ain’t that some shit 😊🌧

Break On Through…

10 Mar

When shopping for a new home there are many things to take into account, the 2 big ones, in order I believe. What’s Wrong? And. What can be improved? For us we were in agreement that, floors aside, our major project was to knock a wall down that serves no purpose whatsoever and open up the living room to the kitchen.  
The fact that it was not a load bearing wall was a huge bonus and now, after so many, many weeks, demo day has finally come. I can’t run from it any longer. Tearing down this structure, while it being the first thing we said we would do, still made me apprehensive. There’s electrical and cable in those walls somewhere. In my head I always psych myself out so I may have, maybe, drug my feet on this one. James tackles projects, like everything else, with confidence, something I do not possess, and after the first one or two times I push something back until “tomorrow” it’s no longer a question but more of a, “Ready because we’re doing this!” From him.
So we prep, cover furniture, lay some plastic and get out our tools. As with our past few demo ventures, James lets me take the first swings, and with the first many more flow freely, like a waterfall. I tread lightly to begin, knowing there’s hot wires in there, but once I find their freeway it’s an open road for me. Suddenly I’m in the demo zone. Another important tool to have at your disposal in these times, music. (Pandora Marilyn Manson is a great station, just saying.)

Lily was the first to show her curiosity. While I was on one side of the closet banging on the wall she was on the other side, trying to figure it out. In her defense, she’s always been pretty sure that everything has something to do with her, and must have the Lily stamp of approval.

Lily’s the most emotionally transparent of the family, and yes, we’re keeping her. We’ve broken through! Those little beady eyes are hers on the other side, still curious. Tear down that wall baby! It’s fun, and makes for easier cleanup when you can pull off nice big chunks of drywall instead of piles of crumbled bits. He pulled this baby off and hey, what’d ya know, we found a carbon footprint they left on this house. πŸ™‚ 

With little under my belt of the demo/construction/how to build shit circle of life, this, as far as framing goes, seems overkill and ridiculous. It’s a structure. Built for nothing more than to hold a few shelves. Below. It seems to be built strong enough to park a small car on top. I mean the best you could do with the space up there is maybe some faux plants. But then you’d have to climb up there every so often and at least dust them off. I’ve seen it up there. It is a dust collector, all alone, by itself, with no way for anything to ever visit. And dust is not that heavy. 
Our first house we bought we had a similar situation. Open up the walls between the kitchen and the living room. I sense a pattern of preference here, open spaces. 

(I would like to apologize that you had to bare witness to my poor attempt at using a fancy app to trick out my pictures. I don’t know how you people do it.)

We busted out a good 4 hours of demo today. Everybody who knows, knows that you always have to add at least an hour on after you call it quits for clean up duty and to put away the tools in their rightful homes, which make it there about as often as shopping carts get to their homes in the parking lot.

Bring out the big tools baby, because tomorrow, it’s on! As for tonight, my little wrist is tired from the repetitive hammering. Must.Save.Strength to lift my glass of wine. 🍷

Settling In

7 Feb

We unloaded the trailer with the remainder of our belongings, all 4 fur babies included, on January 19 and this house, our new home, is slowly becoming just that. These first few weeks have been a fuckery of hurdles! We are still sleeping/living/eating/sitting, all cozy and together, in the living room, trying to keep the back two rooms as empty as possible for their complete makeovers. Here’s a before picture to prove their worthiness of of said makeover. 


All those delicious looking water stains, well, we assumed dogs lacking frequent trips outside to relieve themselves, and dogs were a good assumption as there were many remnants of tennis balls in the fenced in backyard, it just made sense. Luckily for us the previous tenants removed the assumably prestigious looking carpet and as this is a no carpet household they just saved us a step. During the inspection Mr. Inspector simply states, “Looks like this was used as a grow house,” with little to no shock or surprise. Turns out that the water stains were just that. Overwater much our little amateur friends? Getting the ball rolling is the hardest part, just ask any aspiring gym-goer in January. For me, right now, it’s paint. I want color. Color that flows and compliments throughout so I sit, and I stare at the walls for minutes on end trying to envision something, (with what seems like every possible paint swatch The Home Depot had at my disposal) anything to cover up this disgusting sea green blotched bleh and these beat down white walls. I’m finding it more difficult than our last house because here the walls transcend over and into the kitchen, two long walls spanning the length from front door to back. Ahhhh!!

So, I regroup and pick our new laminate flooring first, to compliment the kitchen tile that is already in place, and then proceed to find paint(s) to flow throughout the house. Let’s work from the bottom up so at least now I have a focal point. Find the flooring, find the paint. I finally settled on colors, plural! And by that I mean the lady in the paint department made a WOW comment to James when he gave her my list, and now, finally, we can get started on those back 2 rooms. A nice thing about these 2 rooms, with their wonderfully exposed floors, no stress about paint dripping or covering of furniture needed. Stay messy my friends. πŸ˜‰ Day 1, room number 1, (our bedroom of course) heads under way. After a bit of work I hear, “Have you seen Lily?” Well, guess who managed to find a loose board in the backyard? Yep, with her shepherd nose and curious mind she just walked on out. Luckily she was standing on the other side, (I speak Lily so I know what she thought was,) “Oh shit, I’m not supposed to be here! I’ll just wait.” It has now been decided that the fence will take precedence and steal James away from me starting tomorrow. Commence painting for today and all 4 walls, ceiling and closet get their first coat so we call it just before dinner. 

The next morning I get a call with some family matters and need to leave town for a few days and, well, James has a fence to mend/build so painting gets put on the back burner. Those 4 days I was gone James was building the fence. He planned on just rebuilding the sections that needed it but the weather was great and I was gone so he did a little more. And then when he thought he was done, a rotted post! Argh! Fuck it, just finish the damn fence, and damn it he did. This last week since he’s finished the fence have all been less than favorable outside weather so, I’ll say it, thank you Lily for showing us the faults in our borders at the right time. I may speak her language but she doesn’t speak mine so she’ll never know she did right by leaving the premises. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ• Paint on! Well, we did it! One room down, rest of the house to go! A complete remodel is chock full of tiny victories, innumerable amounts of high fives, setbacks and many, oh so many, trips to the (in our case) Home Depot. I’m pretty sure we will all be close friends by the end of this venture, or at least them and our dogs.

 Piece by piece. Box by box. Wall by wall. And when you look at the piece, open the box and see the wall. Fuck. More. Seems never ending. And that is something I’d like to keep up.
Tonight, we sleep in this bedroom, finally. 

The first (of oh so many) overnight.

22 Jan

We finally did it!! We are officially pulling away from our little trailer, our home for the past 3 months. Spending the last few weeks getting us to move-in ready we’ve had a, I’m pretty sure, regular amount of speed bumps. There was a back and forth until we got the heating unit functioning, it just so turns out it needed to blow some cold air out its ass, (yay for not having to spend money on new parts, and labor!!) and in the meantime there was a separate but equally fun back and forth with the City to finally get the water turned on, heat pending. FINALLY. Water and heat βœ”οΈ. Lastly, the POD that contains the remainder of our belongings is set to be delivered and we can officially make it our home!! All of us and everything. 🏑 Before we left San Diego there was this tiny issue of the key breaking off in the lock and we said “Fuck it for now.” Well now is that time to give that fuck. Alas! 2 hours and $200 later we got in that damn thing and it’s time to unload!!!


My favorite part of Delivering Our Belongings Day was meeting some amazing new people. A dear friend of ours back in SD has family here nearby-ish that we had been on a back and forth with for months trying to get together and, well, the best excuse/make it happen reason is moving day. So these people we’ve never met, and have had a mere texting relationship with, drove about an hour to meet and help us unpack our shit. The introduction was a hug, like we’ve already met, kind of thing. Nothing was forced or awkward. After about an hour or so of, shooting-the-shit-get-to-know-you, face to face we unloaded the POD went to dinner and, it was simply a great day. 

We are home. 

Living Small

14 Jan

I’m going to miss this tiny little home, tiny little kitchen and our tiny little shower. Our kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom are all about 2 feet away from each other. The bedroom is maybe a whole 3 feet away. We have all essentially been, “right here, an arms reach away,” everyday close to 3 months now. Many of you might think I’m totally crazy, but it’s been great, sans a few times I wish the bathroom was more than 2 feet away, for all of us, or how convenient it was to have 2 bathrooms, but mostly great. Living small is fun and creative. Like a puzzle you put together and take apart everyday. When packing for this journey it was hard to decide what to take, what we might need and how fucking long I’d have to plan for. I think I did pretty damn well. The only thing I overpacked was the clothes. Now keep your smart ass, of course you did you’re a woman, thoughts to yourself because it just so turns out, chilling in a trailer with nothing to do and no place to go, rocking your comfy clothes and hitting the shower every few days is not too shabby my friends. And I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to have only worn a bra a handful of times! And even in those times it wasn’t necessary, there was no need to take my coat off!! Ladies, you’re jealous and you know it (but my ladies have loved itπŸ˜‰)!

It was early December (12/12) when we put the bid in on this house. We had been looking for about 6 weeks, spreading over several towns and counties, changing and adjusting our criterias as we went. Our limitations were still just that, limited. For a second there we were weary of finding what we could handle in the area we hoped our next home would be. So we sat down with a nice box of wine, yes, all class in this trailer, and began toying with the idea of hitching up the trailer and driving somewhere else, maybe give Oregon a try, we had no idea. Everything we do, everyday, since October is nothing but money out the door. And for what we are planning, we sort of need as much of that as possible, hence the box of wine and not bottle(s). 
Then it just so happened James stumbled across this one and called our realtor. Funnily enough that’s how he found our first home as well, so this must be a good sign. 🀞🏻 Ok! We decide this is doable and I’m suddenly designing the blue prints of the cuteness factor we can create inside and the awesomeness we’ll do outside in my head. So, onward my friends we mush. And by onward I mean wait. So wait is what we’ve been doing. 

The dogs get their 3 walks a day, James would make the store runs, I’d cook, we’d play games and watch the boob tube. Thats been about it. Outside of my Christmas vacation, this has really been about it. Soon, which will jump up and bite us in the ass any second, we will be unpacking our little trailer and start to fill our new home. It is going to feel HUGE πŸ™‚ The rest of our belongings will supposedly be here early next week so while waiting for that we bought the VERY bare minimal to clean inside and to secure the fence enough to get by. We have all the tools needed to do this rehab on their way in the POD so there is no need to buy more (remember, money out not in). Here’s an example of craftsmanship with refusal to buy something we don’t need, while needing something done right now.Backyard secure for the dogs βœ”οΈ

It’s all uphill from here. 

So it really happened.

10 Jan

Mortgage-0

Gingerich-1 

Remember that one time, about 2 weeks ago, when I said we were “Getting the house in a week! Like one week!” I think were my words exactly. And then how our POD would take a couple weeks to get here, and we’d have to make do and live minimal with what we had from the trailer into our new empty house for however long it took. Well, hello real world situations where, for once you have planned accordingly and I thank you. Living in said “Real World” nothing works as it should, so unsurprisingly, the signing took a week longer than planned, which lines up nicely with the delivery of the rest of our belongings, and for that, a tip of the hat to you. 🎩

Well, as I’m writing now we are driving in to sign papers. What papers and what do they mean you ask? I don’t fucking know. I just hope it means keys to the house are coming within days and driving out of the trailer park is part of that timeline. We’ve been on cruise control for the past 5 weeks, desperately wanting to get into the fast lane, so we’re ready. Seems to be it may work out accordingly that we should only be sleeping on the floor a few days until that beautiful POD arrives. And! We’ll have all our tools to jump right in with the rehab and our cleaning supplies to, well, clean. Some of these are things that I was worried we’d have to buy, and I really don’t want more stuff. Moving gives you a real awakening to how much shit you acquire that, honestly, you don’t need. Let’s all take a minute to look around you and think, “Do I really need all this?”

But the shit I do need is, thankfully, closer than I thought 2 weeks ago. I want my bed! Sleeping separately for the past few months, with the animals also sharing sleepy time, is getting old. No, not getting, it’s just plain OLD! Last night it was Lily and Meows with me. The night before, Lily and Beau. A few nights ago just Daddy and Meows. You get it, they switch off themselves between James and I bc there’s not room for us all, so we all sacrifice and now, so it seems, we are days away from the humans reclaiming their bed!!! Together!! The struggle of tossing and turning, being oddly careful to not disturb the kids, with the eventual possibility to plain old kick them out will never end, but now, again, we can do it together in the same bed πŸ˜‰.


The damn fur babies always win 😦

Update! Just walked out of the bank. Money sent, house bought. Wednesday we should officially have our keys! Timing again is our friend! Just so happens our week at the RV park is paid through Thursday and that will be our last night here. In our little house, our tiny world. Vacation will be over my friends. All sorts of good, juicy, creative and amazing stories to flood your visual enjoyment coming your way. I will not disappoint. And I thank you for reading/listening.