Wednesday, September 30, 2015

One more box ticked off....


We are no longer the owners of our little cottage in the country as of 4:30 today.

Not going to lie...today was hard on my psyche. I lost count how many times I got teary this morning while I was spit shining the house up for the final walk through (because it HAD to be as shiny as possible).

Every time I looked at something minute, like the towel bar I installed all by myself (yay me), or the deck we slaved over repainting 3 summers ago, or the cheap Walmart world map hanging on M's wall in his bedroom...tears welled up in the eyes.  Every nook and cranny holds a memory, and this sale has me feeling like I am going to lose them all.

3:00pm came and the new future owners pulled into the drive for the final walk through.  I instantly liked them...a young couple, he buying his first home, making that first step towards adulthood (and hopefully married with kids).  They were so happy, it radiated out of their faces and then they both said the those words that reeled me in: "we just love how you decorated the house!"  OK, I am now in LOVE with them and feeling so happy for them, and to be able to pass on what we've worked so hard on to make it our home the past 13 years was suddenly easier.  Because they LOVE the house, and the dirt road, and that rural feeling you can only get living in the country.  Bonus:  my neighbor was mowing his lawn so I was able to introduce them to him.  Not that it would make leaving our wonderful neighbors any easier, but it was very important to me that they were introduced so strangers wouldn't be moving in (not that they became bff's or anything in the 5 minutes we conversed, but you all know what I mean).  NEIGHBOR D, IF YOU ARE READING THIS...WE LOVE YOU AND WON'T EVER NOT BE IN YOUR LIVES!

I do believe I am allowed to be sad, that anyone who has spent the last 13 years of their life in one home (the longest I've ever lived in one house since I was a child by the way) making memories, putting their blood, sweat and tears into it, bringing their child home to it, would.  Grieve. Mourn.  But knowing that our little cottage will be well loved eases my sorrow and allows me to look towards making new memories in the new home, starting our new life...

...living the Thumb life.

Friday, September 25, 2015

CLF 2015 loot....

Enjoy this visual only post of a bit, just a bit, of the loot I came away from the Country Living Fair with...busy in VA this week preparing for my beautiful niece to marry her love tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Country Living Magazine Fair weekend, PHOTO OVERLOAD!


My sister "L" and I attended our first CLF two years ago, the Columbus location.  For her Christmas gift last year, I bought her and I Early Bird 3-day tickets for the 2015 fair.  We both decided that we do NOT need to come to the fair for more than one day (sorry Hubs!) due to the dent we put in the savings accounts.

Our whirlwind relocation plans were not even in existence back then and I probably should be home packing this week in anticipation of the big move but my niece is getting married in VA next weekend so I am spending the week helping L get ready for the wedding...she doesn't say no when it comes to doing EVERYTHING.

Back to CLF 2015...what a gorgeous weekend filled with beautiful eye candy.  It did not disappoint!  We unfortunately did not make it down to Columbus as planned on Thursday night so arrived early Friday afternoon, checked into the Motel Hell Days Inn across the street from the fairgrounds where it is held, and hit the dusty paths running.  Very hot.  Too many sweaty bodies.  BUT I got to see the always fabulous Beekman Boys, found the best barnwood wine rack for the new casa, and a few other goodies.  We were only going to peruse.  Yeah.  We lasted 2.5 hours and went back to the hotel to binge watch Ancient Aliens for the rest of the night, leaving the tv on most of the night to drown out the sounds of the partying construction workers next door.

Woke up bright and early Saturday morning and got into line at the fairgrounds for the early bird crowd.  While waiting in line we were blessed with Jelly Belly, Ranch dressing mix and Simple Green samples...thank you.  The organizers moved the starting line (felt like it anyways) of the early birders and that slightly ticked off a few of the shoppers who wanted to start at another point so they could be the first at the booth of their choice...because the 100 or so early birders in line were going to beat them there?  They were the only group running when we were let in.  If you ever go to a CLF, and there are 3 total right now around the country (Rhinebeck, NY, Columbus and Atlanta, GA) I HIGHLY recommend going the Early Bird Ticket route...so nice to shop leisurely for an hour and a half, with a few booths offering early bird specials, before the masses were let in.  And you couldn't get your pinky finger into some of the booths.

While we were early birding, took the opportunity to go visit my girl Cari Cucksey from HGTV's Cash and Cari fame.  She is a Michigan girl and got to know her and her husband back in March when my oldest friend of all time J and I attended her very first paint workshop at her then location near Detroit.  Very down to earth and loves her job.  And her paint line, RePupose Paint ROCKS!  I have never used a paint like hers...no sanding just like chalk paint but also no sealing almost never needed (would recommend sealing on any paint for high traffic areas).  The paint goes a LONG way, basically a 1.5 coat paint, and dries a smooth flat.  She is now located in downtown Holly Michigan so go visit her and tell her that Stephanie sent you!


All of the goodies I bought (sorry Hubs!) are in a jumble in the back of my sister's car right now but when I arrive to VA I will get them out and take a photo of them...some of the purchases will be a surprise to me as I'm having trouble remembering everything I bought right now.  In the meantime, enjoy the photo overload of my visit to the 2015 CLF.










                                          My sister and big bag o' pillows.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tip for the day...

This may not be a new tip to most, but definitely new to me.

As I remove a plethora of "collections" from my walls (EVERY. WALL.) to pack, some of the gaping holes left behind have really bothered me, especially those from screws or larger nails that seem to pull the paint/drywall with its removal.

As I removed one stubborn screw in the bathroom,  and looked at the hole it left behind that looked like a mini volcano with its lifted edges, I turned my screwdriver around and pushed on the hole with rounded end. Wala! No more mini volcano!

Probably a useless tip to most, but a tip all the same. Now I'm back to using the end of my screwdriver on the other thousand holes.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The packing begins...

I am not too proud to admit that I SUCK at packing.  I just throw it into a box, unprotected, not a scrap of bubble wrap to be found.  I guess I justify this hazardous method of packing in that I will be moving the boxes myself in my car.  So if anything breaks, it's my own fault. Plus I'm lazy.  When my sister arrived to help me move to Iowa back in 2002, I hadn't packed one item.  When my future husband arrived to help me move back to Michigan in 2003, I hadn't packed one item.  At least I'm breaking the chain...somewhat.

The house is starting to look empty already with just items removed off of the walls in the living room and kitchen/dining room.

Before:

After:

Notice the boxes up in the bay window...so they don't block our walking paths through the living room.  Brilliant, right?  Left the clock on the wall for now...and really need to cull my magazine hoard collection. (Before photos taken with my dslr and doctored for the real estate listing...what a difference between those and my quick, non-doctored After cellphone photos).

Before:

After:

M says this morning, with a mouthful of waffle, "sure looks empty in here."  Not quite empty, but definitely a shift towards the moving process.  And the holes, oh the holes!  Apparently I had tried numerous times to get some of the items hanging on the walls just right judging from the number of nail/screw holes behind said item when removed from it's spot.  (Note to self: do not use anything other than picture nails if possible...the others have a tendency to pull some drywall off with it's removal. Fail.)

The emotions are all over the board right now...excited for our new adventure, sad to be leaving the haven we brought M home to and all of the renovations we've done over the past 12 years on it.  As well as our neighbors T and D...I remember like it was yesterday wheeling 1 month old M over to their house in his stroller to show them our new addition, and D saying to me "I didn't even know you were pregnant!" Love these people...friends FOR LIFE!  They are retired now so they can hop on their Harley's and come visit us in Amish country.

Was told not too long ago by a very wise realtor (ours in fact) that a year from now all of the chaos will be a distant memory...I'm holding you to that, C!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The adventure begins....



We closed on this beautiful piece of property yesterday.  Sorry for the cellphone pic but at least it isn't blurry considering it was dark, cloudy, and my tinted eyeglass lenses prevented me from seeing anything that might have been on the cellphone screen.

This adventure started 2 months ago, when we were glancing through the properties for sale online in the Thumb of Michigan in the city Hubs grew up in...and there it was.  Cape Cod (one of my favorite styles), 10 acres, large barn (Hubs dream), on quiet country roads surrounded by farmland and the Amish.

Actually, I should back up and say that this adventure began as a sudden thought after the death of Hubs (and mine) beloved Aunt Janet in March of this year due to a car accident in his hometown.  We both said at the same time to each other on our way home from her burial "we should move out here".  Her death really hit home to both of us that we needed to be closer to family, which were currently 50 miles away.  Plus the small school district is one of the best in the state for our son M. So began the perusing of the realtor websites for the area.

Hubs wasn't sold on the house after the 2nd walk through...he wanted an old farmhouse.  Who wouldn't want an old farmhouse...with a VERY large bag of money sitting on the covered front porch to welcome you, right?  And honestly there really weren't any to be found in the area we wanted to be in; they are either owned by the Amish or they deteriorated beyond repair if hadn't been lived in so torn down and a mobile home thrown up.  Or still being lived in and loved on. Our wonderful realtor C suggested to Hubs that he write down on a piece of paper what he wanted in a home since he is not a big talker.  So he did.  3 days later, as we were driving to a birthday party, he blurted out that he thought we should put an offer on the house.  "Wait a minute! 3 days ago you poo-poo'd on the house?!" I exclaimed...then started laughing.  He explained that he did what C told him to do, write down what he wanted in a house, and this house had everything he wanted except for being an old farmhouse:  location, barn, land, and BONUS that we know quite a few of our new neighbors already (his BF from high school lives at end of road).  I told him "honey, I can make this house look like the farmhouse of your dreams." And so it began...our adventure.

Stay tuned!