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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. 

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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. 

Β The ending of chapter 16. Beginning chapter 17.

1 Jan

2016 was a very flirtatious year for us, homeownership wise. The flirting is over. Let’s seal the deal.
For most of 2015 we planned on finishing our house and getting it on the market by the spring of 2016. Big surprise it came way too fast. We were close to being done for maybe 6-9 months. So close, but not quite there. For me, it didn’t really feel quite there for a long time, I drug my feet. I was proud of what we’d done, learned and, to be honest, I drug my feet because I was sad to let it all go, although it did make sense to me. While there were great people that I had met and personalities I really wanted to be around more these last few years, it couldn’t outshine our life there as a whole. At the end of every day, or from the start, all I wanted was to be home with our little family. My door was always open but never knocked on, but in reality, sometimes you have to leave and close it behind you as well, and I seldom did that. So, in being rational, logical, and monetarily smart, let’s do this. Shooting to get on the market in the spring but, not unsurprisingly, the months just kept creeping up and pushing us back. So many details and nuances. So many uncertainties. So many T’s to cross and I’s to dot. Needing to buy this and sell that. Clean that and throw away this. What to take and what to pack. So many ridiculous amounts of, What? But we pulled it off. The last few months, or year(s), in San Diego was so amazingly eye opening. Tiny confirmations that we were making the right decision, from friends new and old, to family or surroundings that were wearing thin. So we did the unfathomable and proceeded to put ourselves and our fur babies’ needs first.

The time had come and we drove out of California with a blank roadmap. Drive North was about as much as we’d mapped out so north we drove. Searching over a small but generous part of western Washington, driving by dozens of houses and looking inside dozens more. There were houses that weren’t worth taking any pictures of, and some that were solely for comical purposes, and then there was a prospect that became a fit for us! And oh-my-fuck-yeah we found a house! Supposedly we should be getting the keys next week. Like, next fucking week!! It’s been one of those hurry up and wait scenarios. For months it’s been pretty much up, down, back and forth. We’re ready to sell! Wait. Sold! Hurry up and move out! Drive. Camp. Drive. Searching for the new house, found one! Wait. Paperwork. Ready. Go!! Waiting for the keys. I don’t think I need to paint an exact picture for you, I can’t. I’m convinced this is going to be an extremely interesting first month of 2017. 

My only hopes, wants or needs right away are, in this order: a secure fence for the dogs, that the old as fuck oven and fridge work for now, and hot water. Everything  we own outside this trailer is sitting in a POD is SD, for a couple more weeks it turns out. Thankfully our trailer has a mattresss that we can pull out and sleep on the floor in the house for the time being, and that will be the only piecce of furniture in the house until then. We have a space heater and plenty of blankets and pillows to cuddle up to and animals to use as blankets whether they like it or not. I know our possibilities when we start on this house are unlimited, that we will make a home for us forever or for someone else in the very near future. Making a tough or inconvenienced situation a warm and happy one, is rewarding and part of the journey itself. We try not to keep things boring around these parts. 

Cheers to a Merry New Year to everyone. And, if needed, a nice tree outside you can hide behind and piss on 2016. ❀🍷

The house that sooo wasn’t.

2 Dec

Here’s a peach we looked at. A great corner lot, nestled off the road, no through street and no street parking. Surrounded by properties valued well above this listing, meaning instant equity. Beautiful big yard, mostly fenced in, AND it was located on Bing street!! Bing!! The online listing had only exterior house and property pictures. It’s a renter occupied home so getting a tour inside takes a minute to coordinate, you know, to give them time to tidy up. 😬 Well, YAY! We got a viewing !! 


There’s a nice quaint front porch with seating area for your morning coffee. Look, there’s a couch!
Lots of closet space.
Roomy enough bathroom, there’s no tub but that’s ok, it has a nice pedestal sink. Space saver. 
It does have a small laundry room, outside on the side of the garage, complete with water heater and built in shelving, with what appears to be bird seed.
Also, the garage has shelving and was pretty big. My favorite part of this was when our realtor asked the occupants of they knew they had rats, due in part to the bag of garbage on the floor. 
The kitchen may need some work but it has a nice little dining area. I think we could figure out a small 2 seater table.

Not a lot of counter space but hey, I’ve been making it work in the little trailer πŸ‘πŸ»

Like I said, maybe just a little work. 
Well, we talked it over and it has some foundation issues so that was the deal breaker, that and only that πŸ˜‰. Oh well πŸ˜”  

Damp, Damp Dampness

24 Nov

First I’d like to share that growing up in Southeast Alaska I never owned an umbrella. If you opened and closed an umbrella every time it rained, well, there’s a few years of your life wasted. The first time I bought one was after I moved to San Diego. Moving back up north, rain will come into this blog over and over again.
So anyway, after our treacherous hike in Brinnon (11/16) we curled up and watched a movie, ready to leave the next day. We researched RV parks, somewhere closer to the next vicinity of “Operation House Hunt” but none had a dog run so we headed back down south to the first site we stayed here in Washington that had the amazing gated area for the dogs to be off leash. We will gladly exchange 20 or so extra minutes of travel time for all the freedom the kids can get a few times a day. Because they need this. ​​

   β€‹We arrived and the first order of business is of course the park. As per any dog park I’ve ever been to, or simply walking your dog, it’s well known to clean up your pets shit. Well, there was a nice pile that wasn’t Lily’s, next to Lily’s. Then the next morning, there were a few bags of shit by the entrance. I mean really!! You bag it but can’t walk it to the dumpster?! Assholes. Then the next day James filled 5 bags of shit while out with the kids! We don’t want to leave it because, 

A: Our dogs, or selves, could step in it while playing or,

B: As noted on the gate, “Please pick up your dogs poo. Thank you. Otherwise the gate will have to be locked.” (They are so much more PC than I am). Why must people be so inconsiderate and selfish? Just why?

Dampness. Back in San Diego you assume it’s going to be clear, mostly sunny and probably a warm shorts and tank kinda day. In the Northwest you assume it will be wet, in some way shape or form. Damp. James has commented on the fact that it’s not always rainy persay, but just, wet, he now understands the irrelavence of an umbrella. Granted it is winter, but still relevant. It’s a factor in the trailer as well. Condensation is puddling in the windowsill and also, our carpet. We’ve used the blow dryer a few times, to keep it at bay, but the next purchase is a dehumidifier. Like, a good one. I will say though that Daddy does not mind the amount that graces our windows with it’s presence, for instance this morning I was woken by the sound of the Venetian blinds rattling above my head. Homeboy crawled under the space of the closed door and stretched his head behind the blinds to lick the drops off the window. I can’t blame it all on him though, the last few days I have happily let him in and opened the blinds. He knows Mom has the goods and will ensure he gets his fix. But apparently today I slept in too late.  β€‹

​  β€‹  Any who, we’ve been milling over the property in Bremerton. It is, like I’ve said, a huge project. But it has potential and that’s what we’re looking for. I’m not in love with the town, I’ll be honest, it’s, “eh,” but that’s only part of what we’re looking for. Access to materials we need to rehab, further prospect to resell, a place to house all 6 of us as soon as possible, etc. It seems plausible, it has hope. Again, milling.

We take Sunday off, football of course. Time to talk over everything. Nice day for the dogs to spend time in “their” park, yes there was poop again, dicks!! It turned into a rainy day and night. This little park has dvd’s for rent so we all cuddled up, (yes, this is a recurring theme) and I’ll tell ya, 2 grown adults, 2- 50+lb dogs and 2 cats in one full sized bed, tight fit my friends. And as much as we all want, we cannot sleep like this every night. 

So today we meet up with an agent in Olympia to look at a property James came across online. We had done a drive by through the town before but never any walk throughs. Her initial phone call to schedule was a bit like, “Are you sure?” We meet her and she was spot on. Umm, no. Asked if we’d like to see a few others so we obliged. One was a tear down so no! The other was a very cute, ready to move in house, nice lot, nice deck. When we walked upstairs she noticed a very prevalent, not her first time at the rodeo, smell. Mold. Saw some rotting wood and she straight up said “No.” On our way out she even commented on not wanting to leave her card, (there’s always stacks of agents cards that have shown the house before) she didn’t want anybody to know she had shown the house. I really loved the total honesty, no sugar coating attitude. 
Update: (11/23) The property we looked at and were milling over in Bremerton has become a pending sale. So, at ground zero again. Haven’t found an area yet that feels close to home, so we’re going to start broadening our horizons. Meaning more trailer living for we don’t know how long. 

Β To flip or not to flip? That is the question.Β 

13 Nov

Well, we have our lists’ of properties, we’ve done our drive-by looksies spanning from Rochester up into Tenino, Yelm over to Olympia and all small towns in between and around. Our next tour of the state was northwest from Brinnon to Port Angeles. We took off on Friday to explore and do our next round of drive-byes, and well, we did it! We decided to actually call an agent and look at a house. Its a cute corner lot with a park right across the street 

The next day we drove back up (11/12) to Port Angeles. We knew full well going into it that it was rehab material. Now we know for sure it is a top.to.bottom complete rehab!! I know it’s only the first property we’ve looked at from inside but we’re starting to get our feet wet. So many factors to consider, I mean, this is our future we’re talking about. I won’t lie, walking through the house I was envisioning how much fun it would be to make this cute little neglected house into somebody’s first home. Our first house was a complete rehab as well but we had literally no idea what we were doing, so much so that our first trip to Home Depot was overwhelming! We were fortunate then to know people that knew and taught us so much, able to get help from friends and know how to get cheap labor. Those that did have no idea how thankful we are for the time and knowledge they contributed. It was trying and exhausting and took us years to complete the task. But it was also fun. So thinking about the possibility of rehabbing and selling, is exciting. 

We had our Sunday funday and spent Monday researching a new area to explore properties and we got in touch with an agent in Bremerton WA. So today (11/15) we head on over. Its about an hour drive from our site and to get there we have to drive over the Hood Canal Draw Bridge. The gps is on and as we get closer it’s suddenly taking us on a detour that changes from 30 mins to 2.5 hours. What???  There were signs that read, “if blinking draw bridge will be closed,” well, we carried on, why, because we didn’t really know exactly what to expect. In case you’re wondering, yes it was closed. Now our gps says 3 hours to our destination! James gets on the internet highway to further investigate and thankfully their website says up to 30 mins for maintenance, so ok, lets just chill for a second. One car up ahead had turned around and left, it is a double yellow line so totally not legal, but I stored that away for future possibilities of aborting a mission. After a few minutes let’s just get out of the car with the dogs and peek over the side, it’s a beautiful, (I realize I say that word a lot bc it’s always fitting, but you’re probably tired of seeing it so so I’m going to have to hit up the trusty old thesaurus), clear day, calm water and birds flying around or chilling just floating on the water. If he could I know Beau would’ve jumped over that ledge and gone swimming with them. And adorable little otters floating around too!!. Sometimes you get stuck, and sometimes you get stuck in something great, so look. The closure was short lived. YAY!! Hours would’ve sucked balls!!

So we made it to the first house, (James is a “leave early” type of guy, bc he’s smart) on time! The first house, took it off the list bc there was a big barking shepherd next door and that and Lily would get old real fast!! The next was right next to the Naval base. Twice the size with a loft upstairs and a basement as well. Nice long driveway, garage and extra shed of a sort out back. All new windows, huge plus! Still a gigantic undertaking!! Having easy access to the base could make it a potentially easier to sell, being that there will be no shortage of families moving to Bremerton, or a possible rental. And Seattle is a short ferry ride away. So who knows.  Saw a couple other houses and were both just a good old fashioned no. Let’s head back to camp.

Yesterday (11/17) was our last day this neck of the woods and it was clear and sunny so James suggested we take a nice hike, which is good for all of us! There’s a trail 3 miles from the site with a difficulty level of moderate to hard and a lookout 2,200 feet to the top, about 2 miles and friends, up is the only way to get there. That fucking trail was ridiculous, at the base it was warned that there parts with  10%-20% inclines, and they weren’t joking! “Parts!” Where were the 0%-9% inclines?? NOWHERE! Mount Walker was it’s name. Fear it! About an hour into it, after several breaks we come upon 2 ladies walking down, and here’s me, crouched over, breathing heavy, (the air is thinner up there) “Please tell me we’re close,” her response, “Weeelllll not really. Just take it slow, the view is beautiful today.”😐 Bitches were in their 50’s! Pretty sure I just made them feel good about themselves damnit. So we didn’t make it to the top and after 10 more minutes I was over it, and I’m ok with that. I’ve seen so many beautiful views in my life that I chose to lessen the acute paralytic sensation I’m bound to feel in the morning and head down. The whole way I kept repeating in my head the lyrics to “Not My Idea” by Garbage circa 1995. More specifically, “this.is.not.my.idea.of.a.good.time, this is not my idea.”

So, onward to the next park. 

Beautiful west coast day.

11 Nov

We left our first week long camping stint (11/09) and headed northwest to Brinnon. It’s about halfway between Olympia and Port Angeles, WA. We had toured several towns around Rochester, peeked a little east of Olympia and a bit around the capital, and now we’re taking a look at the northwest penninsula. This little park we’ve unhitched at for the next week is just that, and I’m sad to say there’s no dog run for the kids. But it’s beautiful (I realize I say that a lot but I can’t help myself) and it’s alive and we’re right next to the water so their little bathroom break walks aren’t so bad. Our first full day was fresh and clear with no rain in the forecast so we chose to stay close and take advantage!! Lucky for us there’s a state park 2 miles away and and it’s been decided we’re spending the afternoon enjoying a fresh air hike. Something we didn’t know, you have to pay for access to all parks in this state. The government had to cut funds somewhere and to try to make up the difference we all have to pay the price. Should be no surprise that when states need extra money the first to cut from is the less “needy” services, like, you know, parks, infrastructure, schools, teachers. YadaYadaYada. The little things that don’t make much of a difference in our country or lives. Right?πŸ‘πŸ»

It was a refreshing timeout from all that’s going on now. On the way back to the truck we were walking alongside a stream and saw some movement! Oh! Fishes! James thinks it might be salmon but we’re unfamiliar with this neck of the woods so he asks the park ranger and she confirms, it was Chum and Coho. Took me back to my Alaska days watching the salmon run, only this time I wont be here to smell the rotting carccuses of the fish, now that’s a special kind of smell. (At least I think I won’t, the future is still unclear). And Beau really wanted to go fishing. I mean, really. β€‹πŸ‘

​

After our getaway from all that is driving, making a travel trailer a home and googling properties, well kids, your union obligated break is over! So we peeked around the area, some short drives from where we’re staying, and maybe a half dozen listings. We’ve seen a lot of “eh, it has potential” properties. And some plain old negative as in, “I’m not impressed with the neighbors or neighborhood” sort of negatived. Then we came across this gem. Nice houses, shopping close by, something to take into factor. When we pulled up to it we literally started laughing! That real laughter you have when you hear a good joke or can’t believe this is real.  Although, it does come with a car and camper trailer as well, gee, don’t be so quick to judge Desiree! πŸ˜‰ I guarantee the neighbors were looking out their windows praying we would be the ones to finally buy it and clean that shit up!! Sadly, no. Sorry not sorry.

So we called it quits for the day and went home. I attempted to write (it takes me days, obviously) and James attempted to start a fire. Bought a couple bundles at the corner store but kindling or fire starter didn’t cross our minds. Wood up here is quite different than San Diego wood πŸ™‚ It needs a little encouragement. So that was a no-go. Alright James, let’s finish that round of Speed! 😘