Sunday, February 28, 2016

reality sets in

I'm not going to lie, my first weekend of being a homeowner has been hard.  There has been panic and tears.  We knew that was coming, right?  I was way more naive and optimistic than I'd like to admit.  I really kind of thought I'd get away with cleaning, regrouting and painting.  

It started small.  I was trying to get the grout from in between the tiles.  Which actually turns out are pink tiles painted white!!!  The grout also was painted over.  The caulk was very, very difficult to get loose.  It's super thick and like rubber glue.  One of the tiles at the bottom was sort of bowed out a bit.  I was working at the caulk and I noticed it was loose.  I really wanted to ignore it.  But it's like a loose tooth, it wants you to pull it!  So I did.  See that empty spot?

Yeah.  I have no idea what was actually holding the tile in place!  Whatever was behind it has crumbled completely away.  Right here is when I started panicking and crying.  All I could picture at that point was that I'd have to rip the entire bathroom out.  And dollar signs.  And I don't actually know how to do anything.  I mean youtube only gets you so far and frankly I don't have the wifi set up out there yet so I'd really get no where.

Thank God for friends.  Seriously.  I called Karla who said she and her husband Aaron would drive out and take a look.  They assured me it wasn't as bad as it looks.  The wood is still solid, and can be worked with.  That was Friday night.  First day of homeownership.

This was Saturday: 
Aaron took all the tile out.  Mostly the water damage is under the window.  The other two walls look okay.  Then, he took out the old light fixture to put in a new one I bought and the new one was too long and hit the medicine cabinet.  He took the medicine cabinet down and surprise!  There is just hole in the wall behind the cabinet.  

Um, yeah.  I did cry some more, not going to lie.  Because I'm overwhelmed.  But!  The good side is that I found this all the first day instead of after moving all in.  At least right now I still have my rental for 27 more days, where I can shower :)

Karla was a rockstar yesterday and painted most of my new bedroom.  Today all I had to do was one more coat on one wall and along the top where she couldn't reach and a few touch ups.  And, I have really not painted before - other than one room at our old house.  Yep, amateur hour over here!  I globbed paint on the ceiling.  It's a pretty close match but it you look too closely it's obvious it doesn't match.  I avoided the bottom trim because I was fairly certain I'd end up painting the floor too.

I've been taking Rocky with me each time I go out there so he gets used to the new house.  Today he was really relaxed and is more comfortable going in rooms without coaxing.  Here he is snoozing on the job!  hahaha he made himself a little dog nest with the sheets and towel.  

I plan to get out there after work every day and paint a little each time.  Oh and there are tack strips that were left from old carpet that was removed so I plan to pull a bit of those each day too.  Fun, fun!  I think it will be satisfying (?) once each project is done.  I have a feeling there will be no shortage of projects! ha 

Friday, February 26, 2016

house dreaming

I can finally share my big news here: I bought a house!  I signed closing papers yesterday and got the keys in the afternoon.  I still have to keep telling myself it's real, it's really real.  I bought a house, me, by myself.  Well, I have to give the biggest of shout outs to God.  His hand has been on this from the beginning, before I had an inkling that I for reals wanted to attempt this endeavor.  And He has made every step of this house happen.  Seriously.
After Scott died, someone asked me at the funeral (yes at the funeral) if I was going to stay in this town.  I don't have family here, so it may seem logical to leave.  At that time my first inclination was to run.  Run away from pain, from memories.  But.  The first year I spent a lot of time at the coast, a lot.  That is the perfect place to run away to.  Naturally, I thought, maybe I should live on the coast.  But.  Every time I'd think of starting over somewhere I would shut down.  It overwhelmed me, and frankly I have enough that overwhelms me.

I did start to notice how I'd feel driving home.  I became aware that this town feels like home to me.  I used to feel that way driving to Chico, which is where I grew up and my Mom still lives.  But, somewhere along the way it changed.  I never felt like I wanted to move back to Chico, it's too much for me - too hot, too many people, too expensive.  Still I did struggle wanting to be closer to my Mom.  I looked at real estate websites and rentals.  By myself I can't afford to live there, and I didn't want to start over with everything.

Always, simultaneously I was watching the real estate here.  Last year was the perfect time to buy.  Prices for nice places with land were cheap.  I still hesitated, but did start the groundwork for "what if".  Finally I had a conversation with Mom.  Of course she wants me there.  What I didn't expect though was her complete support - she was more gung ho than me!  I shouldn't have been surprised though because she has always, always been my biggest supporter.  I guess it was more of a relief having her encouragement.

So fast forward to this year.  Naturally, which I think is normal with real estate, there was a first house.  I loved it.  Had so many dreams and plans for it.  But, every step of the way with that house was painful, like pulling teeth.  Like it would be difficult then easy.  So each time it would get to easy I thought, it must be okay, it must be meant to be.  We went back and forth with the seller.  He finally accepted my offer with an exception.  At that point I realized I might be pushing something that God had given me warning after warning for.  I could push it.  And then be in a huge mess.  So I said no.

This house has been the exact opposite of the previous.  Everything has gone smoothly.  It is a foreclosure so I'm not going to lie, it's a mess and dirty and needs a lot of work.  Mostly cosmetic work though (that I know so far).  And, I have to say I have had the best people helping me.  My lender, Karlie, has been amazing.  Like the best.  Easy to work with, knowledgeable, reassuring and an advocate for me.

 It has everything I had on my wish list.  Wood floors, a dining room, a fireplace, a sewing room, a garage, nice light and a nice yard for Rocky.  The funny thing is I didn't even know a fireplace was on my wish list!  But the first house had one and I found myself really dreaming of knitting in front of it, Rocky and George cozy in front of it, a mantel to decorate.

These first two pictures are the living room.  Eventually I'd like to put in a gas insert fireplace.  It is functional as is but that scares me, open fire!  I really love the wood parquet flooring.  It's super dirty because it was under super dirty carpet so I'm hoping it will clean well.  Eventually maybe I can have them refinished or put in laminate.

I took Rocky out there with me to get the keys.  He was very apprehensive but did pretty well.  He's in the dining room in this picture.

I know this isn't the greatest picture, but this is the window box in the kitchen window!!!  I love it so much.  It has little side panels that open, and it's huge!  All my little kitchen plants will go in there.  Plus maybe some little herb pots?  Basil, oregano, yes!

I expected to be a big ol mess yesterday.  Thankfully I wasn't too bad.  I only cried a couple times which is way better than I thought I'd be.  Scott is never far from my thoughts.  I will always wish he were here, that I could share with him whatever is happening in my life.  My mindset has shifted a bit with time, which I think is pretty normal.  I now can imagine how he would be in a situation.  At the beginning my mind rebelled against that notion because I just wanted him here!  Which I still do, will always do, but I've accepted a bit that he's not here.  So now it's like I know how he would react - he would be encouraging, he would be all for it!  He would tell me I can do it.

One last thing and then I have to go and start cleaning.  Everyone who knew Scott was devastated by his death.  His Dad had so many plans with him for retirement: hunting, fishing, hanging out.  At some point, not right away, he started to say he had to dream a new dream.  I'll be honest, I hated that saying.  I did not want to dream a new dream, no.  Nope.  no new dream.  All my dreams included Scott, I could not imagine anything without him in it at least somehow.  God knew that wasn't healthy for me.  I fought dreaming, I did.  I don't know when or how, but God slowly put a house dream in my heart.  And now it's happening and I am so thankful.  So very thankful.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

monkeys and kitties

Okay, so this is going to be a bit of a catch up post.  The last couple things I worked on were gifts, and I wanted to wait until I gave them to post about them.  First up is a baby quilt.  One of the nurses at the office is having a baby boy.  She has had trouble getting and staying pregnant so this has been a very special expectation for her and I wanted to make something special.  She's had the name picked out pretty much since they found out it's a boy, Uriah, and that the theme would be monkeys.
I know it's a little risky embroidering a name before the baby is born but I went ahead anyway.  The middle looked too bare without something there.  I drew out his name and then a little monkey holding onto the tail of the R.
I realized just now that I didn't get a good picture of the finished quilt!  This is very blurry I know, but you can at least see what the whole of it looks like.  For the center I followed the Building Blocks Baby Quilt on the Moda Bake Shop website.  I had intended on following the entire pattern until I finished the borders on the middle part.  Then I was like, nope!  Also I wasn't sure I'd have enough of the darker navy print to get a bigger border.  I did use that print as the binding though since I do a bias binding it doesn't need much to get enough binding for the entire quilt.
I got out of my comfort zone for the quilting.  I did all over loop-de-loops in the patchwork area.  In the white borders I did straight line quilting and then stippled teensy tiny in the middle.  I did NOT like the loopies.  Nope.  Too easy to get out of control, stitch definition suffers and the quilts are too heavy for me to maneuver that way.  Even though it's a baby quilt it gets heavy!  Finished size was just about 50"x50".  Yesterday was her baby shower, which I did gift it them but it was the longest shower in the world so I left before I saw her open it.  I'm bummed about that but I went with a friend and we had already been there over 2 hours and it was going to be at least over another hour before they would be getting to gifts, so we gave up.  Boo.

In knitting news I finally knit a Bakery Bear!!!

Doesn't look like a bear though!  ha!  I have seriously been wanting to knit a Bakery Bear since the pattern came out.  I bought the pattern ages ago, but have just been working on so many other things!  One of the doctors at the office who is really cool just had a baby.  Well, rather, his wife had a baby! Her name is Karleigh, and when I heard the name I wanted to knit a little kitten!  It's like I had to.  Had. To.  And I knew that she needed to have tights and wear a little lacy dress.  I originally wanted a fuzzy yarn but couldn't find one suitable.  However.
 At Joann's I lurked the 2 yarn aisles searching for the perfect, right yarn.  These 3 wool ease yarns have been on my radar for years.  They just look like the go together.  I've always tried to think of a good reason to buy them but didn't have a project.  Until now. (cue maniacal laugh)  Yes!  
Boy this picture is pretty washed out.  Sorry about that.  But!  you can see the lace pretty well on the dress.  I've had a book in my crafty library forever called The Encyclopedia of Knit and Crochet Stitch Patterns.  It has all kinds of knit and crochet techniques and stitches and gives you the pattern of the stitch that you can add into any pattern that has the right stitch count.  I don't know if that makes any sense?  I've always wished I could be clever enough to make up a pattern and I think fitting a stitch into an existing pattern may be the closest I'll get to that wish!  Anyhow, this is stitch pattern #311 in the book which is like a lacy drop.

I used the ears from the knitted fox pattern I have from Little Cotton Rabbits, I just added 2 rows to make them a bit bigger.  I used the tail pattern from the Gelato Giraffe pattern by the same designer as the Bakery Bear, again just extended a bit and left off the fringe.  The nose is still the same from the Bakery Bear pattern I just looped the yarn about the bottom and pulled tight to make little kitty cheeks.
Speaking of kitty cheeks.  George was not having it when I was trying to take pictures of the kitty.  First off this is her chair.  She was not willing to share her chair with another cat, real or not!  ha

I have another big project in the works but I'll share more once it gets closer :) (hopefully next weekend) I just don't want to jinx anything!  Hope you have a great week!