Friday, June 24, 2011

I hate packing...

Not because it's necessarily difficult. It's just time consuming and a pain in the butt. And I hate the process of clearing out an apartment that's been home for the last year and that has so many memories attached to it. I so look forward to the day when I can move into my own house and stay for a LONG time...maybe even forever. It's a nice thought.

Another reason I hate packing is because I can't stand to just throw things in boxes randomly. It has to be organized. Especially this time, since I'm faced with the task of figuring out what I'm going to need to access immediately, what can be lived without for a little longer and what can be put into storage for relatively long term. This is proving especially tricky with my kitchen. At the moment, we're not sure if we're actually going to be able to move straight into the barn by the time we have to be out of here. So we may be looking at spending several days or a week (hopefully no more than that...fingers crossed) with Jase's family until the barn is liveable and has passed inspections. While we're with them I likely won't need any of my kitchen stuff. But once we're actually in the barn, I'll need a few pots and pans and utensils for making simple meals on the stove that mom and dad are bringing....whenever that happens. Most of my baking stuff is going into storage at least for a while... :( That makes me sad. I suppose I'll live. :)

My growing stack of boxes in the back room. It may not seem like much, but in my opinion it's a bit ridiculous considering that we are only two people and that's maybe HALF of our stuff. I'm still trying to figure out how in the world two people need that much...and I've weeded out a lot over the last few months in prep for moving. *shakes head*

Packing station...

And this is why it's taking so freaking long to get things into boxes...My list so that I know what is where...I'm a little OCD...But I NEED to know where things are or I'll go crazy. Each box is numbered and has a simple label...then the list contains a more comprehensive list of what each box contains.


The girls came over to help the other night. My original plan was to have them help me pack. But by the time they got here my control issues had set in and I couldn't cope with the idea of not sorting, wrapping, packing and labelling things into boxes with my own two hands. So instead they helped wipe down bathrooms, sweep floors and help me clean out my fridge and freezer which were long over due...the help was wonderful. :)

Most of my cupboards are emptied...I hate living in the clutter, but I put it off long enough. We're down to 4-5 days before we have to be out of here. The month ends next thursday but I garauntee they will be wanting us out by the 28th, which is next tuesday. They're gonna have to live with that not happening. :) I'm expecting to likely be out by next wednesday or at least be finishing up moving the last few things, finishing up the cleaning and turning in keys by thursday morning...we'll see...

This is what my pretty living room used to look like....I miss it already...

Better get back to work...

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Barn...

As of about 1 week ago, we made the decision to take up an offer of a 'house' on a farm on the north side of Springfield. The landlord attends our church and gave us a generous deal that will allow us the opportunity to save up a lot faster for land and a house of our own than we were accomplishing living in apartments.

It's not technically a house. More of an apartment and it's built inside of a shed/barn. When it was first offered to us, we immediately dismissed the idea because of all of the work that was still needed to make it liveable. I hadn't even seen the place (Jason had helped put the flooring down years ago and was familiar with it), so in order to not just blow Dan (the landlord) off, we decided to go take a look at it (just to be polite) and keep adding to our already established list of reasons why it wouldn't work out, so that we could sit down with Dan and thank him but explain to him that it wasn't for us.

By the time we had finished our first walk through we were still pretty convinced we didn't want the place, but we were seeing ways that we could make it work if we chose to take it. It wasn't until a night or two later that it dawned on us...if we were willing to make some sacrifices and put in some work to make the place liveable, it was an opportunity to do two things that we had been wanting to do for some time: pay off some debt that we acquired last year and start saving towards our own land. Of course, those were two things that could be done anyway, but this was an opportunity that was going to allow that to happen MUCH easier and faster than any of our other options at the time. So we went to look through it again and started a list of questions for Dan.

A few days later we had the opportunity to meet Dan at a nearby McDonalds and sit down with him to discuss our questions and options. By the time we walked out of the restaurant we had decided to take it. And then life started to get hectic...

We were about 2.5 weeks away from having to be out of our apartment and I didn't even have boxes yet. We had to call and cancel our reservation for the apartment we had planned to move into (and which we had already put down a nonrefundable prelease on :( ). And the list of things that had to be done at 'The Barn' was growing. It had to be cleared out and cleaned. The electrical needed work and additions such as smoke detectors and a few other things to pass inspection. We had to figure out how to get internet out there so that we could continue working online. A septic system needed to be put in, which required a soil sample to be done and a permit before we could start installing the system. And so on...

Within the first two days after our talk with Dan, we had it cleared out and had accomplished the first round of wiping down walls, setting of bug bombs, sweeping out dirt and bugs, scrubbing floor and windows, had internet figured out, etc. Yesterday the soil sample was completed and we are now waiting for everything to come back from that so that we can apply for a permit to start installing the system. We still have to install smoke detectors, figure out water heater details and stove hookup details.

Today is a little frustrating because it's my light work day and Jase's off day and we could be spending the entire day out there working on things, but everything is on hold while we wait for permits and such. I finally have boxes and we're picking up packing paper from a friend today so I'm in the process of packing. And we're about a week away from needing to move. I'm learning patience.

At first I was super excited about the prospect of moving out to the farm. I still am. But I've had a day or two already where I couldn't help but ask myself 'what have we done?'. Ha. Even with everything that we're hoping to have accomplished by the time we move it so that it's liveable, there is still alot of work that will be needed before it's really a house. There will be two bathrooms, but only one is finished. There is no kitchen, only hookups for a sink and a water heater. Dan has the wood to make cabinets but they will have to wait until we're in and we figure out how to make them. So they will be a work in progress after we move. As soon as a stove hookup is installed we should have a stove, because mom and dad are bringing their old one afew days after we move in. I'm super grateful for it, because I was planning on only being able to use things that could be plugged into the wall for making my crockpot, foreman grill, griddle, etc. We still need a fridge but we'll have to make do with borrowed space in a deep freeze and a cooler filled with frozen water bottles and cold packs. It's gonna be interesting for sure..

But when it's done it will be nice. The only thing that will not happen, ever, is washer and dryer hookups. I'm still trying to adjust mentally to the idea of not having my own washer and dryer for several years. Fortunately Jase's parents are just five min down the road and we should be able to do laundry at their place once or twice a week. It's going to take some getting used to.

As far as the 'house' itself, it's gorgeous. Red walls, white trim, beautiful hardwood floors and stone tile in the bathroom. For now we're moving into the downstairs and eventually the upstairs will be made liveable too, with the second bathroom up there. The levels are not connected so we have to walk out into the shed to access the stairs to the second floor. Not super convenient or comfy but definitely doable. For now the upstairs is storage.

It's definitley small, but the location is gorgeous. I've been missing my fields and trees and country air really badly, especially over the last year. Now I'll have a nice long driveway for walks and jogs, plenty of fields and creeks to walk and explore. I may even learn to ride the horses that we will be sharing the 'yard' with.

The wall where the kitchen cabinets will go. The sink hookup is under the window and you can see the water heater hookups to the left. The bathroom door is on the right.

The bathroom and the 'back' door to the right. These pics are all before we cleared it out and did the first round of cleaning.

The living room view from the kitchen with what will likely be used as the 'front' door once we're moved in.

The closet area that will be used as a pantry. I want to line the walls with shelves to give me plenty of storage until I get cabinets.

Part of the downstairs bathroom. Once the water is turned on that hole will be patched, the walls will need to be painted and the trim finished out.

I'll upload more pics later. My internet keeps dying on me...better post what I have before I lose it. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Office

Guest post of the week by Robby Sykes

Ever since the snow started I have been thanking my lucky stars that we got satellite TV. It has been so cold that we have barely left the house and instead have been watching back to back seasons on the office on our new I have been hearing all about how great the office is for years now and just never found the time to add a new show to my TV watching schedule so I figured snow days were the perfect time to see what the fuss was all about. I am so glad I did because that show is hilarious! It is now my favorite sitcom and I cannot wait until I get all caught ! up to the current season. My favorite characters are Pam and Jim because of course I am a hopeless romantic and I love a good chemistry. Plus they are just so together and the dialogue that is written for them is just perfect. I also love how this show is filmed in a documentary style. The glances at the camera when Michael does something dumb are always perfectly timed. I know I am late to jump on the bandwagon but I cannot get enough. I have watched 3 seasons back to back and if it snows again tomorrow I may just start in on my 4th season.