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In Loving Memory

2 May

I can’t express the hole you’ve left in our lives. 

I can’t explain the heartbreak I’d witnessed before my eyes.

My last moment with you, my very last goodbye. 

I thanked you.

For what you gave to her, for how you made her feel.

And how that carried over, you were infectious.     

 You were real.

So I thanked you. 

I’ve never held back so many tears while wanting to cry so much and so hard. 

Lowering my gaze, staring off in the distance, 

I fought to stay strong, to keep up my guard.  

We can only fight so long. It’s proven to be true.

And at the end, I thanked you. ❤️

http://www.gofundme.com/danbelair  

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

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. 

There’s still beauty in the world.

10 Nov

After our first venture out exploring land and looking at the properties with the criteria we envisioned, we took a few days off. Had a rainy weekend ahead of us. The RV park had a no tarps rule so of course we were concerned about that small leak we had our first rainy day with the trailer. After about an hour of rain (in the middle of the night) James got up to check the leak, fully prepared to climb on the roof and pitch that tarp up and face the possible consequences and plea for them to allow us to keep it up until the rain passed. And..YAY!! No leak. Remember after our first leak we were hoping it was just an issue with the trailer being level, so we picked one up, and my friends,  Level! Level, Level! Add that to your travel list. So we had our rainy days, we curled up together, watched movies. (Cable is shady and the campground had dvd’s to rent, for free, how cool is that!!)

I’m glad cable is shady. I’m glad that I don’t have it to rely on. I’m not gonna lie, it’s fucking killing me that I am weeks behind on some of my shows!! And I’m serious about that people, not a proud thing to admit to. But sometimes we need restrictions to remember that there is still life without tv’s and iPhones. It’s called human interaction. So here comes the good old fashioned games, the ones you don’t need anything for but light. The game Tenzi, I highly recommend it (thank you mom for buying it for me last xmas, love it)! Played several rounds but it can get a little loud with all the dice throwing and yelling and we don’t need to scare the neighbors. So lets try cards, how about Speed (I’m not a poker fan)? Haven’t played that since maybe middle school in the commons on lunch break, you all know what I’m talking about.  😉  So we look it up for a refresher and it all comes back, easy enough and I need to show James the ropes so we take several practice rounds, yes I went easy on the guy but when it came time to make it count, I slayed him!!! Which is an actual feat. This guy kicks ass at anything he does. The absolute most adorable moment was when he beat me and I swear it was as if he won the World Series! I laughed so hard with nothing but love in that laughter it was so great. The kids did not love the screaming (much like they don’t when our baseball or football teams are kicking ass) and jumping, they just don’t understand, but I loved how excited he was about winning a game, we’ve played many a rounds since then and he’s getting better, but not up to my speed. 

Well, after our fun indoors days we took a day trip up north to Olympia, and WOW was it a beautiful day. We took some time to walk around downtown area by the capitol building and around a lake. So many people out running or walking their dogs, just anything to enjoy the day. Beautiful sunny days are much more appreciated than they are in San Diego, I mean we (they) do have about 300+ of them a year. And the fall colors here, something I haven’t experienced in I don’t know how long. Refreshing. Back to house hunting. After looking at rural properties in need of rehab, just focusing in the area around our rv site, taking into account what would need to be done, where we’d get the means to do so, time, money etc. we talked about the what if? Yes, we came out here with visions of land and raising chickens and gardening and who the fuck knows what else, but without seeing and traveling the area in person you can never really know. So James broadened the search. Now properties and stipulations and criteria are malleable. Perhaps we buy a property in a higher price bracket, maybe flip?? Maybe less rural with acreage and more quaint with promise?

Well now I don’t fucking know! Neither of us do. The adventure continues. 

  The beginning of the search starts here 

4 Nov

So today (11/03) we ventured out into the big world of “Where are we going to live?” James googled properties for sale within our parameters over a few small towns around the park we are staying at and planned our endeavor. We are completely unfamiliar with the area, sans countless hours of James on zillow and other sites as such just searching and clicking. And searching and clicking. And searching and clicking. So this was just a “Let’s get our bearings straight” sorta day. Drove by 7 properties over about 4 hours. Just looking from inside the truck and again, scoping out the area. We’ve been out of our last home (that just sounds strange to say, last home, even in my head) for two weeks now. Driving and staying at RV parks, taking the dogs on walks and showering in the public bathrooms, it’s felt more like camping or a vacation than an actual life change with no idea of where and how, I’m gonna just repeat myself again, the where and how, this will all start again. I don’t know what I was expecting. I’m sure James didn’t quite either, we came in blind. You dream up visions or scenarios in your head, ideas in your mind. That will, and hope, is powerful. We trusted each other and dove in. And.We.Are.In.It. So we’re out driving, the country is beautiful, rural and small. He mapped out a kind of, lets say a letter P route, so we go up and over and around and down, through about 5 or so small towns. We’re driving to the first place and I told James, “Babe, this is it!” Or maybe we said it together, either way he insisted we must go on. Well, after our last little drive around the country, I let him lead. 🙂  Ok fine, I guess I can can see some reservations. 😉 Onward! The next stop is a few miles away, enjoying the scenic drive, the place is sort of off and up on a hill. Eh, not quite happy with the access and then, as we’re driving by the house next door there is a sad looking malnourished dog on their sad front lawn. Dealbreaker for sure! If you can’t handle an animal don’t own one!! And I will not let my dogs see that type of mistreatment. Lily is sensitive. 

So after the first two or so properties it started to sink in a bit. My brain started to rehydrate and process thoughts and my body started to calculate what would need to be done on every piece of land we drove by, looking at all things surounding as well. So many thoughts running through my mind, so many questions I’m asking myself,  “What level of rehab does it need, and where’s the nearest home improvement store?” And on that note, the road to get to and from, “How would we transport materials?” Think of how many trips we’d be making in a day and the time spent! Or when I need some milk or produce or that one ingredient I forgot while making dinner (this has happened more than I’d like to say but the corner store was just that, on the corner) “How far away is that?” Or When it comes time to work again “What is around us and how far away are we?” All things that I should be thinking of and a myriad more. And, of course, the first thing I take into consideration is and always is, the animals, our children. “Where and how fast could we build a fence so they can breathe?” Lily has known nothing but an open door to the backyard her whole life, and the other 3 have enjoyed it as well. I can’t wait to give the kids that again. “How long would the rehab be?” “Would we need to continue to stay in the trailer while the remodel is going on?” And if so, oh, hey! “Where does the poop go?! 💩Where’s the nearest dumping site?” Legit questions my friends!! Legit! So we drive some more. It feels like we drive forever on some of these country roads. A couple looked worth visiting again so we just might but we have more counties to look at for sure. It’s only just begun. 

Now let’s go ahead with the Q&A, only I’ll do both.

Q: Are you guys out of your fucking mind?!          

A: Yes. Probably. Most likely.                                      

Q: Do you have any friends, family or know anybody or anything about the area?                              

A: I’m gonna go with nope, nada, not a fucking clue as to what we’re doing.                                     

Q: You’re still young, how will you support yourselves in the future?                                           

A: Well, we don’t know at this time. I know just as much about the future as you do. Is it scary? As a fucking heartattack!                  

I’ll skip the rest of the Q&A and add a touch of visceral feelings.

Everyday I’m up and down, elated and scared. I’m either organizing or just staring at the tiny little scale of disorganization this little home can handle. I feel creative when I cook on a small scale. I feel artistic moving and moving again all the items of our home, finding where they belong, streamlining the in and the out. (James is definitely not allowed to put away mostly anything in this situation, and he is not sad) We’re making it work and will continue to do so. I believe in us and that’s the most important part. ❤️