The Painting is Done!


We, and several relatives, have worked many hours this week, and we have completed painting the inside of the house.  First, we painted it with Kilz to get rid of any smoke smell that might be lingering.  Then, we added the color.


The living room, dining area, hall and Rob and my bedroom were all painted this creamy tan color.  It is light, airy, warm and inviting.  I love how it turned out.  This picture actually shows it being a little darker than it appears.  There are no lights in the living room.  Yet.


Patsy’s room is mostly white, with the one wall that is light green.  A)  It also appears darker in this picture and B) Yes, I missed several spots, which I went back and painted with a brush after viewing this picture.  In fact, I went over several such spots in every room after I thought I was done!  The white is a nice, bright white and the green is much softer.  She has a huge closet in her room, and I will store quite a few of my things in 1/2 of it.  I also may put a community bookcase in her room, but I need to see how things fit in.


The big girls will share a room.  Their ceiling and closet are white.  Their walls are a blue-gray.  It is really this dark, maybe even a little bit darker.


The big girls painted almost all of their own room.  It was good experience for them and took them most of 2 days, since they were new at painting.  The previous painters had not been careful in any room and there is old paint on most of the woodwork, often blobbed or striped as if they did not tape at all. We did it properly, and it has been suggested that we paint over the woodwork in the places that are blobbed with a paint that matches the brown trim  or color over with a brown Sharpie.  I’m not sure if we are going to do any of that.  By the time we get furniture in there, we won’t see much of the baseboard:)

We’ve been moving loads from our storage unit over to store in the shop until after the floors are re-done.  We did another load today, even though the temperatures have been over 100 degrees this week.  (Very rare for our part of Oregon, so we are uncomfortable)  The only reason we could actually paint in this heat is that our new house has air conditioning.  Otherwise, I think the paint would have dried up too fast.  It’s supposed to cool down a bit, so hopefully I can get lots of loads moved next week, and some yard work done.  Things have grown up while the house was for sale, but I can tell the previous owner kept things in good shape.  I want to do the same.

We’ve also been working with the stove insert company, getting the details settled for the chimney preparation and installation of a new insert stove.  After filling out forms in 2 places, mail has finally arrived, today, at our new address.  Not long now until I get to go get a library card to the Salem Public Library!  That excites me tremendously.  I was last inside about 25 years ago, and thought it was really large then.  I will really feel like I live there (which I don’t actually, yet) once I check out books!



The New House–At Last


And, here it is!  The new house.  Rob and Patsy are going in for the first time after it became ours!


It is on .3 acres.  It has a large garden area with Marion berries on one side and raspberries on the other.  Clearly, there are a lot of weeds to remove, but it has grown the former owner a good garden for years, and the soil has been amended.


It has a shop!


And a cute little partially enclosed patio.  Behind the patio is a paved area where the camper can be parked behind a locked chain link fence.


Here is the kitchen and the laundry room behind.


The living room has a fireplace.  The carpets smelled badly of cigarette smoke.  Our first project was removing them.


After 2 days spent pulling up carpet tacking strips, pulling carpet staples as well as the carpet and pads, the lovely hardwood was revealed.  We have an appointment scheduled to get them refinished.


It’s already a huge improvement!  We have several other things planned.  We will have to wait a bit to move in, but it will be worth it in the end to have them done before we do:)

We are super excited and can’t wait to start living here!  I will admit that I have muscles I never knew existed after crawling around on the floor for 2 days.  I am very happy that I’ve leaned a new skill, though.  I’ll bet there are several new experiences ahead!

House Hunting–Round 2


We’ve been hunting for many, many hours, but the girls are still finding some time to horse around:)

I spent about 6 hours on the internet, and chose a pretty good list of houses we might like to view.  We got to look at 3 or 4.  We found a real fixer-upper for a price we could afford, and put in an offer.  They countered, and we had to decide what to do.  We just found out that 2 of the rooms were added over time, without permits.  After calling  the city and county, they informed us of what we had already been told.  We would either need to bring the rooms up to code, or tear them down.  With all of the other work that we would have to do, we had to let that one go.  It also had some major problems in the basement, along with quite a few other problems.  We did the math, and could not finish the project if we started.  I’m really sad.  I had hoped we could get it to work.   It would have been a nice size for our family.  So, it’s back to the drawing board, again.

In the meanwhile, we have another day at Champoeg State Park, so plan to enjoy tomorrow there.  Today we had so many errands to run, plus viewing this house again, that we will welcome a day of rest tomorrow.

Still Hunting for a House-July 1, 2016


You can see our current house right behind Rob’s head!  We are enjoying the view out the back window, for sure, but it is a bit small for the 5 of us.

We have spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of weeks hunting for a house that is a bit larger than our current one.  We are finding many, many that need a lot of work (like no walls, cupboards, windows, did I mention the dead rat on the floor, mold, etc.), are priced too high, don’t have any garden space, no place for the r.v., etc.

We did, however, find one that we though would work.  The house itself was very tiny, but it was on a 1/3 acre and had a shop and a large garden area.  We put in a full-priced bid, and we still got outbid.  By $15,000.  That’s what the market is like around here right now.  Although we are a little disappointed to not be making plans to move right now, we prayed a lot about it and don’t want to be in a house that is not the right one for us.  So, we are back to looking after a short break while we waited for them to make up their minds.

Today we drove by one.  Believe it or not, they would not let us view the house.  They told our realtor that they would not give a showing without an accepted offer.  As if.  There may be someone out there (it wouldn’t surprise me the way the market is) that would buy a house they had never stepped foot in, but it won’t be us.  So, it’s back to pouring over the computer listings and hopefully, we will see some more possibilities soon.

House Hunting–It Starts


Where I live now is next to a beautiful garden.  It’s kind of small–but is clean and comfortable.  However, we are looking for our new house.  We started our quest last Monday, in earnest.  We have been spending  a lot of time on the internet looking at houses, but know it’s time to physically look at houses, in person.

We drove by one on our way home from Eastern Oregon last weekend.  After calling the realtor, we stated that we didn’t see much wrong with it from the outside, and it had an acre with it.  It was, however, far from any town, which is not our plan this time around if we can find anything closer in.  For the record, Rob and I love living out in the country, but we do still have kids to raise who like being active and it’s hard to drive so far for all of their activities.  After a conversation, the realtor admitted that the reason there were only 2 interior pictures of it on the internet was because that’s all he dared to put up.  There was very little sheetrock, places with leaks, etc., etc., etc.  So, unless they lower the price a lot, that one’s out.

Monday, we needed to come back from the beach where we were camping for a family event.  Our nephew, Jake, was adopted.  Yea!  He was hung up in the legal system for a long time, but things finally came to a conclusion on Monday.

We set up some showings.  I was very discouraged after that.  Those houses were even farther out than the first one, and in very poor condition, or very small.  VERY small, with no usable yard, no place for a garden, and the house had structural issues.  The other one had a nice big lot, but reeked of animal urine, probably had asbestos issues, and needed major structural repairs, such as a roof.  It was very far away as well.  I am beginning to appreciate my camper more and more.

Did I forget to mention the other option–the one where the well had failed and a car had driven through the side of the house, leaving a gaping hole.  We didn’t even ask to go in to that one:)

Yesterday, we had 3 houses set up to view.  We got to see 1.  By the time we got to our appointment, one had 7 offers on it, and the other one had an accepted offer.  The one we saw had a 1/3 acre lot, so nice and big, but the house was needing a lot.  The floor has soft spots, the roof is shot, there is asbestos that would need to be addressed, and there is an added-on area that we wonder if they got permits for, as the square footage is not adding up.  So, more info needed on that one, and they would have to come way down on price for us to be able to afford the  house and the repairs.  It was in a good location, though, and I liked the house.

We go again tomorrow.  Hopefully, it will be better:)  We understand that this is going to be difficult and that we are going to have to compromise greatly from what we really want.  That being said, we trust that God has a place for us out there.  We are beginning to appreciate what a challenge it may be to find it, though.  Here’s hoping…..


Moving Update and Use-It-Up May 19, 2016


Wow!  What a week, and it’s not even over yet.  Last Saturday, the girls had a dance recital and received flowers.  They are gorgeous.  Tuesday, Patsy was adopted and received more beautiful flowers. They are lovely, too.  Tuesday, we also signed the papers for the house sale, and Saturday, (2 days from now), we have to be completely out by 5 p.m.

Who does that??????  In a week???? Right????

Believe it or not, I think we are going to make it.  Room after room is getting finished, boxes are stacked up in the garage and front room, the camper is loaded down with WAY too much stuff (hope the van can pull it–LOL), I go around smelling like Woodsman Goat Milk Soap because that’s all that’s left in the shower, and the meals are getting very creative.


You can do a lot with 1 frying pan, which is all that is in the kitchen right now.  These are some frozen waffles I made some time ago, and I fried them in the pan.  I also made some soup from veggies and a jar of tomatoes and some leftover hamburger meat in the pan.  I have purchased very few groceries this month.  I have used old cans of soup that have been around forever, boxes of this and that, frozen veggies, muffins and other frozen baked products, cereal (boxed–no one’s favorite), instant oatmeal packets we made with 4H (they needed salt), and more.  It feels good to have used so many things up.


The last of some sour cream, some mayo, garlic and the leaves that were not brown, wilted or rotten off of the lovely basil plant my aunt got me to put in the kitchen when we were showing the house, were all whirled together to make some dressing/dip, which is now in the camper.

Several pieces of meat were saved out and will go into a cooler to slowly defrost over the next few days for meals in the week to come.  I made myself super sick eating out too much–my gluten intolerance reared its ugly head, and so I’ve made time to cook this week.  I’m feeling much better this week.  Some has been frozen foods that were given to me, some salads, and people brought food or cooked for me.  My daughter made a delicious ham dinner and we ate with them Tuesday, my aunt brought yummy soup Wednesday, and both sisters sent food as well.

Several people will come to help tomorrow, but the bulk of them will be here on Saturday, bright and early.  Rob will pull the camper over to my sister’s tomorrow, and we will sleep there tomorrow night.  We have been doing laundry and all items are either going in the camper, or in a bin.  We have finished packing all the canning in the basement.  Beds will come down tomorrow.  Then, Saturday, it will all be carried away to storage, and we will be finished with this phase, at last.  We have family plans on Sunday afternoon, and a graduation party for a boy who we are close to.  Then, we are going to slow down, and stop and smell the roses for a few days.  Kind of. There are still a few things to do that we have been neglecting while we moved.  At least, it will be easier than this week, and then we are going camping on Thursday:)  I’m ready!



Moving Update–May 11


The fence, the fence, the fence……  The latest hang-up in our moving plans was the fence.  We were told last week after the appraisal that the entire house/property would not qualify for the buyer’s loan because there was paint peeling off of the fence.  And, all of the paint chips had to be removed and not on the ground. We were dismayed, to say the least.

We considered several options:  1)paint it ourselves 2) hire someone 3) knock it down.  Rob was seriously ready to knock it down, he’s so stressed out, plus it was cheaper and faster.  After the realtor said the buyers wanted it and we couldn’t knock it down, Rob started calling around.  He called a friend, who has a painting company, and some young men, and thank goodness, our friend was able to come yesterday and paint it with the young men’s help. They worked the entire day.  It looks beautiful, and we are really hoping the appraiser will think so, too.  He has to come re-check it.  We are very grateful to them for working us into their schedule so quickly, and for the fact that our friend gave us a very good deal to help us out.


Rob took a big load to the auction–even more than what you see.  We are waiting to see what we get for it.


Somehow, in the middle of everything, my columbine from a couple of Mother’s Days ago has decided to bloom.  I’m taking it with me, for sure.

I have several ladies and some of their sons lined up for Friday.  We are going to pack like maniacs–the whole kitchen and more:)  In the meanwhile, I packed for many, many hours yesterday, and will do the same today.  Little by little, it’s getting done, but I’m looking forward to the moment when we are done!