Sunday, April 06, 2014

Home Tour

People keep asking me to post pictures of my new place once it's decorated.  I'm not quite done with it yet, but I'm getting there and I can share some photos of the areas that are done.  I say areas because it doesn't exactly have rooms per se. It's one big open floor plan, with the bedroom at the end and the kitchen in the middle.  

I am on a very limited budget and I'm proud to say that I was able to put the place together on very little money.   Almost all of my furniture and decorations came from Craigslist, or was stuff I already owned.  The rest came from discount stores like Home Goods and Big Lots.   I'm not embarrassed about that.   Big Lots has actually started carrying some really awesome home stuff very inexpensively.  They have some really great patio stuff right now.  

Anyway, here is what I've done with the living room area. 

We got the couch off of Craigslist for $30.   We had a hard time finding one that would fit through our sliding glass door.  It's like a mini door.  Everything about the place seems to be on the small side.  It's a Cost Plus World Market couch and it's in excellent condition.  It's very clean and the only thing wrong with it is that it's a little saggy in the middle but I'm going to fix that with some upholstery foam.  I also want to get some decorative pillows eventually.  

I got this awesome coffee table also on Craigslist.  I think it's the most expensive item I bought, at $85 but I couldn't find another one like it and I really wanted one with storage. In such a small place it's all about the storage.  I had wanted to put baskets in the cubbies but they are like $8-$10 each so I'll have to wait on that a bit.  For now I have spray painted some Tupperware containers chocolate brown.  I'm going to mod podge that burlap onto the fronts and tops.  On the sides I'm going to put some chalkboard labels.  

I didn't buy too many knick knacks or decorations, (with the exception of the kitchen).  I already had quite a few things stored away from our two bedroom apartment.  Plus I wanted to keep it simple.

On the coffee table I put a burlap runner and lace placemat.   I've gotten more use out of the yard of burlap I bought two months ago than I thought possible.  Such an inexpensive material to decorate with!  Lisa is making me some burlap curtains for the bedroom and kitchen windows.  On the left is a glass jar filled with Jade we have collected from Big Sur over the years, as well as some drift wood and coral from local beaches.  In the middle is a cute picture holder I got in Tahoe eight or nine years ago and on the right is the awesome rock candleholder Lisa got me for my birthday in Big Sur.  I love it!

There isn't a lot of wall space in the living room because it's mostly all windows(which is awesome!). Photographs are very important to me though, so I was bummed there weren't that many places to hang them.   I used every inch of space I could find to hang what I could and the rest will go in the bedroom, since there are such large empty walls in there.   

I even used the narrow space above the sliding glass door to hang photos. I have blurred out the images in the middle because I don't want to give credit to the person that took them.  Lol.  It's definitely time to have some updated photos taken.  The curtains and valances came with the place.  The valances are not exactly what I would have chosen if given the chance, but they finish off the windows and it's one last expense I had to worry about.  

We have this antique armoire that we've had since before we were married.  It doesn't fit in the space that well but it's a beautiful piece.   We couldn't bear to part with it and I don't want to pay to store it, so we made it work for now.   The space would be much more open without it, but we are storing quite a bit of stuff in it so we will leave it for now.  It's over a hundred years old and really is a beautiful piece of furniture and the only thing we own of any value.  

I wanted to have at least one more place to sit in case we had guests.  This chair was originally in Sophie's room and it fit perfectly.  The "side table" is actually a plastic Tupperware three drawer storage container that I need to finish painting brown.  I put another piece of burlap and lace placemat on top and finished it off with a picture of the kids.  I'll probably end up re-thinking that area but it works in a pinch.  We are going to hang the paddles on the wall like we had in our last place. 

Next to that is the only bookshelf we were able to keep.  Joe was pretty bummed about that.  He had to give away most of his books when we lost our apartment.  We had seven bookshelves in our one bedroom apartment.  Seven!  One day we'll have space for more bookshelves again but for now this is it.  

It came with this built in area with cabinets for the television.  We had a cheap old tv that we got on Craigslist that was too small for me to see(I have become so blind in the last three months!).  Then when Lisa and the kids came to visit Cameron wanted to bring his own tv so he could play his video games and when they left Lisa said we could keep the tv!  Score! It's still pretty small but it's a flat screen, unlike our other one.  One day we'll have a bigger tv.  For now this one works fine.   

Just today our friends K, P and S(and JJ too) gave us this awesome table.  (I can't figure out to make links with my ipad or I would link to their blog).  It fits perfectly and it's beautiful!  Now I just need to scour Craigslist for some barstools or chairs. 

Lastly is the bathroom.  It's a pretty tiny space.  There are a lot of mirrors though, which makes it seem larger. 

I got this really cool shower curtain for eight bucks(big lots!).  It was exactly what I was looking for. I love trees.  

Just got these bath rugs yesterday.  I went with brown to tie in with the trees.  

Two hooks and my hanging jewelry holder help with lack of space/storage.  I also have two baskets under the sink.  

On one wall I hung a couple of photos I took in big sur at Christmas time(matted on more burlap).  I am using the blue/green towels I got for Christmas to bring in the color of the ocean but I haven't decided if that works with the brown yet. 

On the other small wall I hung some postcards of big sur that I framed.  They turned out cute.  We are calling this our Big Sur bathroom. Lol. 
I don't know if it comes across in the picture but the tub is teeny tiny.  The shower part doesn't feel small, partly due to one of those curved shower rods, but the tub is so small.   Like, I barely fit in it when I take a bath.  But I make it work because I love baths and was one of the things I missed the most over the last 18 months of not having a home.    Well, besides a kitchen.  I can't believe I didn't have a kitchen for over a year!

So that's it so far.  I'm still working on the kitchen and bedroom.  I have some pretty lofty plans for one of the big walls in the bedroom, if I can pull it off.  I'll be sure to post pictures if I do. 

It's not fancy, but it's cozy and it's mine and I absolutely love it.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The moving post

I had not intended to stay away so long.  The weeks leading up to our move dragged by so slowly  and I couldn't wait to get out of our old place and then when it came time to move things got crazy.  Really crazy. 

I thought I was so prepared to move.  We were almost completely packed. We had everything set up at the new place for all of our utilities to be installed when we got there.  I had asked my friends to help us with their trailer and  we had plans to met up on Saturday morning.  

You can probably see where this is going.  Everything started falling apart on Friday morning when we found out that the highway in/out of our our new home was going to be closed.  All weekend.  

It's ok, we thought.   They usually only close it overnight, from twelve am to six. 

Nope.  Going to be closed all day.  

Certainly not for the whole weekend, we thought. 

 Yes.  The whole weekend. 

But they will let residents in right?(they usually do)

Nope.  The highway would be closed.   No one in or out. All weekend. The weekend we were supposed to move.  AND we had to be out of our current place on Saturday, as they already had someone moving in on Sunday. 

Turns out they were going to repair the sides of the mountains that had suffered rock slides due to the rain a couple of weeks ago and needed the entire road closed for the entire weekend to do so.  


Cue total freak out.  At work no less.  

So what's a girl to do?  

I'll tell you what.  I left work immediately(so thankful to my job for being so understanding).  Went online and rented a UHaul truck.  Drove over to pick it up, then joe and I headed back to our place to load it up.   You know how you always think you are ready for a move and then you start moving and  realize you still have far too much crap and there is still a lot to be done?

Yeah. That. 

I also wasn't prepared to be helping joe with loading the heavier items, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  

Every time I move I'm reminded of how much I hate moving. 

Took us a couple of hours to get loaded up. 

Then we headed up the road to our new place around six pm. Unloaded, headed back down to clean the old place and return the truck.  Back to the new place at nine, where I literally fell into bed, exhausted.  

That's what I like to call gettin' it done.  

Still. So stressful. 

But it was done.  We were moved. 

Of course all the pre planning I had done for our utilities fell apart too.   No one could get up or down the road so neither the phone company nor cable could come to hook us up.  And the Internet was down too.

Best laid plans.  

On Sunday the electricity went out, and because the water comes from a well with an electric pump, the water was out too. 

 Welcome to the country.  :)

No phone, cable or internet(or electricity or water for that matter) meant we had plenty of time to unpack.  My favorite part. I hate packing but I love unpacking!  Setting up a new place is always exciting.  

I'm having fun decorating.  I'll post finished pictures later.   

For now things are still kind of a mess and there are still a lot of boxes outside on the deck.  And inside the house. Pretty much everywhere really. 

That's the one part of unpacking that I don't like.  

The most important thing is that we are moved, and the new place is wonderful and I love it there.  Truly love it.  I don't have a lot of pictures but I took a few.  

This was the last time I ever had to go  in/out of this.   Ever.   

I wasn't brave enough to drive the uhaul up the mountain so I had joe do it. 

This gives me anxiety.  Thankfully it looks much better now.  

Road closure.  It was so funny because people who were coming up from the other side would drive all the way up to the barricade and stare incredulously at the barrier like they couldn't believe theroad was  really closed.  As if every sign they saw on the way up had been lying.  Doofuses. 

Taking a break from unpacking to enjoy the view from my deck.  Love these oak trees. 

For our first meal in our new house I made chicken with homemade gravy and sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus and boysenberry pie.  So yummy. 

I posted this picture on instagram with hashtag movingday and uhaul commented on it asking if I would enter it into a contest to have it put in a collage on some of their trucks.  How cool would that be?  I hope they pick me!

All in all it was a stressful move, but it's over and we are all settled in and I love it.  I truly love it.  Every day I come home and think how lucky am I that I actually get to live here?

So very lucky.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Coming along

We went to the new place last weekend.  We had to drop some boxes at my friend's house(she's letting us store them there), so we thought we may as well check on the progress. 

I hadn't realized until I posted these on Facebook that I haven't shared a picture of the new place yet.  I have been kind of hesitant to do so. 


Totally stupid reason. 

Part of me was embarrassed to admit that we are moving into essentially a mobile home park.  I have heard many words to describe the type of dwelling my new home is. Park model.  Pre fabricated housing.  

But let's be honest:   It's a single wide mobile home. 

And I love it.  

I never though I would be thrilled to say I am going to be moving into a single wide mobile home trailer. 

But I am. More than thrilled. Ecstatic actually.  

WHO CARES WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK??  They can take a long walk off a short pier.  

Like my Sees-ter said to me the other night: Lots of people move into mobile home parks when  they retire!  You're just getting a head start!  Lol.  

Also, the saying "you don't know what you've got until it's gone?"  It's 100% true. 

For 18 months I have been without a home.  

Without a faithful companion(the furry kind). 

Without a functioning kitchen. 

Without privacy. 

I did not realize how much I took those things for granted until I didn't have them anymore.  

I'm over the top happy to be having these things again.  I will not take them for granted again. 

And I have always, always wanted to live closer to nature.  It wasn't something I thought I could ever do, living in such a suburban area.  The fact that I can do so now, and still be relatively close to work is amazing.  A dream come true.  

So, the new place is coming along. They are still working on the deck.  Next the skirting will go on. After that the electricity.  We will have a land line telephone installed, as we don't get cell phone service up there.  

I'm still on the fence about cable.  We simply don't watch a lot of tv.  I hate the thought of paying to not watch tv.  We watch most of our shows online.  I think if we have Internet that will be sufficient. 

I'm not sure.  We'll see.'s some pictures of the new place.  

This vantage point is from what will be our "driveway". We will have to have some gravel put down so it doesn't get too muddy when it rains.  Not that we have to worry about that with the drought we are having. 

See the oak trees?  Beautiful!  And we are building a fence around the outside for when we get a dog The fence there on the left(next to the tree) is the boundary of our property, so it will be a nice sized area for a yard.  And a garden. 

This is so much better than apartment living. So much better.  

Here's the inside.  It's teeny tiny.  

And it's perfect for us.  
Come quickly, March 15th!

This has truly been the longest six weeks of my life.  

22 days, 6 hours, and 53 minutes.   

Friday, February 14, 2014

All You Need is Love

I've gone so back and forth as to whether  to post his here. I kind of wrote it as something private and didn't intend to share it with anyone but Joe, but then on a whim I entered it into a contest on fb and I won.  I agreed to let it be shared there, so I figured why not here too?

It is our anniversary after all. So here goes. 

Once upon a time there was a blued eyed girl. She was lonely and sad, until one day she went to a New Year's Eve party and she met a handsome brown eyed boy. 

The blue eyed girl and the brown eyed boy fell in love and decided to get married.

 People told them they were too young (she was 22 and he was 24), and that it wouldn't last. 

They didn't listen.   They loved each other very much and they decided to marry anyway. They were married in a little clapboard church in the middle of a snow covered field. 

And they were happy. 

After about five or six years(they didn't want to rush), the blue eyed girl and the brown eyed boy decided they would like to grow their family. They threw away their birth control and were giddy with happiness at the thought of becoming parents. 

But parenthood did not come come easily for them. Years of trying led to nothing but loss and heartbreak.  Tests and painful surgeries, and lots of money(lots and lots of money) was spent in the quest for a baby to grow their family. 

Still no baby for them.  

The blue eyed girl would cry herself to sleep every night and the brown eyed boy would hold her and tell her everything would be alright, as long as they were together.  

After five  years of trying to get pregnant, the blue eyed girl's sister welcomed a beautiful little Chinese girl into their family.  It was love at first sight for the baby's aunt and uncle and it was decided on the spot that they would stop trying to get pregnant and that they too would adopt a baby with almond shaped eyes from a faraway country.  

They filled out a lot of paperwork(so much paperwork). They spent lots and lots more money. 

But finally, after a year of preparation the Chinese government sent word that they were approved to adopt a baby from china.  

The blue eyed girl and the brown eyed boy were so happy. They bought baby clothes.  They decorated a nursery.  They chose a name for their little girl and dreamed of her every night.  

Then they waited.  And waited.  And waited.  The wait for babies from china had lengthened.  One year passed, then two.  They still held hope in their hearts that their child was out there, waiting for them, as they were waiting for her.  

Two years turned into three years, then three into four.  

But still they waited.  

During that time the brown eyed boy lost his job as a teacher. No matter how hard he tried he was unable to find another job. 

They fell on hard times.  They lost their apartment.  They had to pack up their nursery and baby things and put everything into storage. They cried buckets of tears, but still held onto hope that things could change and they would one day get a call from china letting them know they had been matched with a baby. 

But after five and a half years of waiting, their circumstances had not changed financially and they did not meet the income requirements to adopt from china any longer. 

They were forced to pull their paperwork and give up on their dreams of having a baby, again.  

They had been trying to grow their family for 13 years and the blue eyed girl was weary.  

Once again she cried herself to sleep every night and the brown eyed boy held her and told her they would be ok, as long as they were together.  

The stress of the adoption and infertility, coupled with financial strain took a toll on their marriage. 

They decided to separate, and try living apart for awhile.  

It was the longest six months of their lives.

 They missed each other terribly and came to the realization that they still loved each other very much and wanted to be together.  

 Having a baby wasn't in the cards for them and they were sad.  

They were sad but they realized they will be ok, just the two of them.  

On Valentine's day the  blue eyed girl and the brown eyed boy will celebrate 21 years of marriage.  

Through heartbreak and illness, tough times and bad circumstances, they made it. 


They don't have much, but they have each other.  

And they lived happily ever after.  

Sometimes Love really is all you need.  

The end. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Moving on up

I've already blabbed about this all over fb but someday I'm going to turn this blog into a book(no,really) so I wanted to post about it here as well.  

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before(snort), but I'm not happy where I'm living.  

I've been living in a bedroom.  Not a one bedroom.  A BEDROOM in someone else's house, with an attached bathroom and no kitchen.  

No.  Kitchen.   For a whole year.  

I'm over it.  Seriously over it. I've been over it for a long time. 

I've been looking for something I can afford but in my area that isn't easy to find. Or I could find a couple of apartments that I could swing but just barely. I don't want to put myself in such a tight spot again.  I wanted to find something I could truly afford, all on my own. 

I was becoming discouraged the more I looked. 

Until my friend(who moved her horse) saw this place near hers that had a for rent sign outside.  She asked me a couple of times if we had looked at them but it kept slipping my mind.  Finally two Saturdays ago I decided we should drive up and see them. 

And I loved them.  Really, really loved them. It was pretty much love at first sight. I signed a lease and paid the deposit on the spot.  

The best part?

It's up in the mountains. Surrounded by oak trees.  There are miles of hiking trails right outside my front door.  Literally outside my door.

And it's ten minutes from my friend and her horses!  That was the icing on the cake. 

Sooooo....I'm moving. Yay!!  

No more cooking without a kitchen. 

No more doing dishes in the bathroom!

No more lack of privacy(it has a bedroom!  With a door!)

No more kids running around upstairs making a racket. (That makes me sound so old. Damn kids!  Lol)

Finally I'll have my own place again.  

And it's so much better than an apartment.  

No one living above or below us.  

I'll have a place to have a garden(with a picket fence!)

I can get a dog. 

That one bears repeating:  I can get a DOG!

I've had  advice from several people not to rush into things, give myself time to adjust to the new place before adding a furry member to our family. 

Screw that.  I'm getting a dog. As soon as I possibly can. 

I still miss Gizmo very much.  I didn't know how much joy having a dog in my life brought until I didn't have it anymore.  We are going to start scouting out the animal shelters as soon after we move as we can. 

Can.   Not.  Wait.  

Be prepared for many, many dog pictures.  This dog is going to be my kid, ok?

Oh, and pictures of the new place too, as soon as I have them. Move in isn't until March 15th, which seems like forever away.  

Really it's only 38 days, 7 hours and 29 minutes. 

But who's counting?   :)

Here are some pictures of some areas very close to our place:

Isn't it Bee-yoo-tee-ful??

Oh, also when I googled images of these areas, lots of these pictures popped up:

Ummm....lots of pictures!  For now I'm going to pretend I didn't see those and live in denial about it.  We'll deal with that when we come to it(pleas god don't let us come to it too soon...or too often!)

I'm sticking my head in the sand for now.  Well, maybe not if those suckers are hanging around.  

I have a whole other post about some of the things we are going to have to become accustomed to living in the mountains.  (Like no cell phone service!!)