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Posts Tagged ‘moving’

postheadericon Bluer Skies, Cleaner Air, and Greener Pastures

Spring Fever has hit us in a much, much different way this year and it all has to do with bluer skies and such. It has been more of an ending to our “winter of discontent” and a beginning to a whole new chapter in our lives. Hubby and I have been plotting and pondering a move for several years now and we are pulling the trigger on it, finally! This will soon become a regular view for us:

Lake Coeur D'Alene bluer skies at Red Barn Blue Skies

Bluer Skies

Hubby and I were born in California and grew up here. We were both also privileged to have spent time elsewhere in our great US of A. He served in the military in Alaska and I lived in Ohio for many years.

Because I worked for an airline I was able to see a lot of our country, both from the air and due to my inherited  love of road trips (inherited from Mom, definitely NOT Dad). Before hubby and I met, we had each returned to California to be near our families and friends again, but found that it wasn’t the same place or atmosphere we had left.

We had seen that green grass on the other side of the fence(s) and wanted to be there!

Bluer Skies at Red Barn Blue Skies Idaho

Cleaner Air

While we’ve talked extensively about different places we’d visited over the years, it wasn’t until we lost my beloved uncle that we found THE DESTINATION.

After a long life in Orange County, he and my aunt had unexpectedly and quickly, moved to Idaho when they retired. We all laughed and gave them 3 months before they’d be back – my aunt had always complained about any temperature below 70 degrees. How wrong we were!

They became firmly entrenched in their new home and community and you couldn’t have budged them with a crowbar.  Even with the unexpected loss of my uncle, my aunt is transplanted and will remain so. Imagine our surprise (as well as hers, I think) to find that she thrives in the wide range of temperatures.

Coeur D'Alene Lake from Arrowpoint Resort. with bluer skies

I fell in love with Idaho when I took my Dad up there for my uncle’s funeral. The super clean air, slower pace and sheer beauty was overwhelming. Hubby had to stay home to work and take care of the animals and ranch in general.

A second, unexpected trip came about a year later when my sister and I took a road trip to visit my aunt. Each time I came home, my discontent grew. Hubby put up with my moping around and complaining about using my inhaler as soon as my plane had landed back in our heavily polluted valley.


Bluer Skies Greener Pastures Idaho Red Barn Blue Skies

Greener Pastures

It wasn’t until last month that the Hubster finally got to understand and feel the pull of the great North for himself. He was in desperate need of a vacation and we had a nice little unexpected windfall land in our laps.

We put together a sight-seeing trek that took us from Portland, Oregon to the Coeur D’Alene, Idaho area. We rented a car at PDX (Portland’s awesome airport) and spent the next five days cruising through Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Hubby admitted that he now understands why I was so miserable coming back to California after each trip up north.

So what this all leads up to is the fact that we have had our bid accepted on a home in Idaho and will be making the move in the next few months to the land of bluer skies, cleaner air, and greener pastures. We can’t wait for this new chapter of our lives to begin.

Boise Idaho Red Barn Blue Skies Bluer Skies

postheadericon Clutter Busting / Fall Cleaning

I’ve never been much into Spring cleaning. While Spring is my 2nd favorite season, it is far, far behind Fall. I’m an Autumn cleaner/declutterer. It is my time to muck out and renew mentally and physically before Winter sets in. This year it is doubly important with this major move and household consolidation finally nearing completion.

I’m driving Mom & Hubby nuts as one of my main strategies is that only one box can be brought INTO the house at a time. When it is completely unpacked and PUT AWAY, the next box comes in. It has really been working because the house is presentable (don’t look in my lovely, large walk-in closet or the craft room/office yet – they are non-public areas for now anyway). The kitchen was usable the very first day because of this strategy.

I’m trying to stick to the credo of “If it doesn’t have a place, it needs to go”. It’s making me review my priorities as to what is really important and what are just things/possessions. The sheer amount of STUFF that we have accumulated over the years is overwhelming and almost frightening. I am trying to be ruthless in disposing of things and finding new homes for those that still have life left in them. The boxes for getting rid of stuff are starting to fill up.

One of my favorite strategies when unpacking (or doing my Fall cleaning) is to have several boxes labeled and ready for the various destinations as well as a bunch of trash cans. Because of the recent move, I have several more boxes going out than usual, but you’ll get the idea. These are the boxes I am currently sorting into, you can use as many or as few as suits your needs:

YARD SALE/EBAY (Since we are basically combining three households, we have a lot of items that are duplicates or things that just need to go away cuz they’re ugly, sorry Hubby but they are!)

GIVE AWAY (I actually have some of these broke down into who they’re going to: Ant, C&C, animal shelter, donate, etc.)

STORAGE/KEEP (Things such as holiday decorations, re-gifting, photographs, etc.)

TRASH (self-explanatory I hope)

I’ve always heard a lot about the emotional aspect of physical clutter in our lives. Since we’ve moved into this new home, I am really starting to understand what they are referring to. We aren’t living as slaves to our possessions anymore. I can open closets without wearing a hardhat. I don’t have to dig through ten boxes to find one of my many glue guns. The house feels light and open and I really think that is contributing to how happy we are here.

postheadericon Moving, Moving Never Stopping

I’m starting to think that I will never be done with this move. We are packing and unpacking on an almost daily basis. Above is my kitchen/dining room table as it has looked for the past month.
Below shows some of the most important pieces of “FURniture” that we moved into the house immediately. For our sanity and theirs…
They both have a bed in the bedroom as well, but none of this keeps them from sneaking up onto the sofa when we’re not paying total attention. Spoiled little beasties.. gotta love ’em, lots.
Hopefully I will soon have less whining about moving to share with/dump on you. Thanks for putting up with it!

postheadericon Shop til you drop (the plastic bags)

During our recent move, we had to empty out and clean (ugh) two refrigerators and a large freezer. Since we weren’t very bright at the time and chose the hottest few days of the summer to move, quite a bit of the food became spoiled. (Actually a lot of the freezer stuff thawed out & we couldn’t use it up quick enough – dogs loved it though!)

The point to this whining is that hubby & I had to go on a MAJOR grocery store trip this week. I have been slowly phasing out any boxed mixes, processed foods, etc. that we should have never had in the pantry to begin with. So this was a re-stocking and changeover type of shopping spree.

I was actually very proud of us as we followed my list almost exactly and didn’t stray too far from what I had budgeted for this adventure. Our fridge is full of fresh fruits and veggies (that we don’t grow ourselves) and the pantry is now stocked with lots of new basics such as brown rice, wheat flour, and rolled oats. (I’ve always had rolled oats, just needed lots more since Christmas cookie season is fast approaching.)


The other good move on our part was that we BOTH actually remembered to take in all the fabric bags from the truck. ALL 15 of them! No plastic bags for us now! Our grocery store gives you a 5 cent credit for each bag you bring in to use. Might not seem like a lot, but it does add up over time, especially when you think about how many plastic bags you DIDN’T use.

The bag pictured above is the one that started it all for me. I won it in a drawing from The Green Bag Lady a while back. I have collected and made several of my own since then to come up with our grand total of 15.
Teresa aka Green Bag Lady is amazing. She has organized the stitching of and distributing of over 6500 bags and counting. That is just through her own site and events. She has her entire family involved in this wonderful endeavor and the project is dedicated to her late mother who taught her to sew. Teresa has inspired many others to jump on the bandwagon and do the same with their extra fabric and time. She offers a free video tutorial here and the free bag pattern here so that the rest of us can start doing our part in reducing and ridding the world of the dreaded plastic bags. One of the other great aspects of Teresa’s shopping bag blitz is that the bags are made from donated materials and recycled/re-purposed fabrics such as curtains and sofa covers. She also supports local animals shelters by making pet beds from the scraps and materials that are too heavy for the bags. What a great way to help our environment and our animals.Green Bag Lady’s motto is “When they ask Paper or Plastic? Say Fabric!” Pretty good words to live by huh?

postheadericon House to Home

Please excuse the long absence once again.. We have been in the process of house-hunting, finding “The One”, losing it, and then miraculously stumbling across an even better “ONE”! Yay, finally!!!!!

We found a lovely, large home to rent for the next year. (The thing is – I’m already loving this place big time and looking for a much longer, if not permanent stay!) It has a big fenced yard that is perfect for the dogs and the gardening. We had a great surprise this morning when we were informed by the farm foreman (our house is a lot on a 90 acre farm) that we actually have access to the 10 acres surrounding the house – it’s included with our rent!!!!!!! I was so excited. He said we could do whatever we’d like – run cattle, bring our horses, FARM it! He will even bring over his big tractor and disc it up if we need him to.. I was excited about the house and the big yard – what a bonus!!!! (Sorry about all of the exclamations – did I mention I’m excited?)

We’ve been packing boxes and moving them to the new house. Then, it is unpacking things so I have empty boxes to do it all over again the next day! This has been ongoing since the 11th! I’m sure “normal” people don’t have this much stuff (as in crap) to move from one place to another. (Thank goodness we’re only about 5 miles from our old place.) It makes it harder that we’re packing and moving Mom’s house in at the same time as ours, plus two very large storage rooms/barns. We are going to have the yard sale of the century folks!

Mom’s health hasn’t been improving as we’d hoped. The doctor has decided to move her to a more aggressive treatment/clinical trial that she is very optimistic about. Mom and I are reading everything we can on this protocol and it seems to be a good option for her situation. She has beat this monster twice and we’re working on the third win for her.

In the meantime, we are turning this new house into HOME for all of us. We have all the critters except for Mom’s dogs settled. Her dogs Muttley and Xena will be home here with us in the next few days. Michael is building a temporary dividing fence so that those two and our two beasties can get used to each other before sharing both the front and back yards. We don’t want any of them to get hurt while they become acquainted!

The Mooncat kitties are loving the new house. It has a lovely, long hallway that is perfect for 2am hockey games using whatever trinket makes LOTS of thundering noise. Poor Mom had to get used to living with cats again after many years of peace & quiet. Michael & I tend to sleep right through their shenanigans. They make up to Mom during the day though as they spend a lot of time loving on her and following her around the house.

My little herbie babies are suffering a little from the move and the lack of attention they’ve been getting. I’ve lost several plants this last week. I’m hoping to get the time this weekend to get them sorted out and actually find some of them a new home – my poor aunt is gonna love that! She will be the receipient of many little plantlings, whether she’s ready or not..

I am really bummed about leaving the lovely garden that Michael slaved over this summer, but we’ll soon be mapping out an even better, bigger one. (He’s already dreaming of a new garden tractor, he’s thinking that ACREAGE equals good excuse… I just might have to indulge him on that one..)


So, amidst all of the boxes and chaos, we’re all adjusting quite well to our new HOME!