Monday, December 11, 2017

Movin' Update

I've been waiting til everything is unpacked and ready to show you, BUT, it is taking a bit longer than I thought. The move went much quicker than I expected, mostly because we had already filled our garage with 70% of what needed to be moved. But where does it all go now?

 The studio is filled with mega-amounts of our stuff. Dave and I are sharing this room and it will be great, any day now. Actually I did get my machine set up and the fabric is now on the shelves, and we completed Dave's corner drawing table, shelves and supplies. Pictures to follow, I promise.
 The living room/eat in kitchen is looking much better than this now. The clothes were brought upstairs and hung, and I've cooked several meals and even made bread!
 The new refrigerator arrived on time, and yet we couldn't use it because the outlet in the wall didn't have power. We tried everything to remedy this situation and nothing worked. Then during the night it dawned on me to use a heavy duty extension cord plugged into the living room outlet. Voila it worked!
 In the interim, I set up a baking center, with laundry supplies and doggie food, just so I could find things faster...but it is hidden from the rest of the house, so it may just stay there.
 As predicted, the sunroom is the great hang out space. We got our old white couch back since I had lent it to my sister. It now has a red cover and that is also covered with a gingham table cloth, to collect doggie hair. This room is so cozy and bright. We've got the stereo going and on Saturday Dave set up the Christmas tree, which just fits the 12' ceiling. 

 Now here's where things get serious...Our downtown house was my dream home, but DREAM is the operative word. Reality was another story. I had such high expectations to have it this clean and neat and it was just impossible with the constant construction keeping dirt flying in the air, brought in by all of us. Then there was the open kitchen which got out of hand daily. Sometimes I just left it messy and locked myself in the studio, but then that's no way to live. I started resenting Dave for leaving dishes and food out and getting frustrated and angry. I became MEAN. But I didn't recognize the reason...seriously. I tried to be nicer, and it just didn't work. Poor Dave.

When Dave and I started playing at house looking, we were having fun together again and it was great. There was no declaration of why we should move, but it was obvious we would be getting more for less in some of the other homes we viewed.
And then we found this house and bought it the day it was listed on Zillow.
Suddenly, the mean Mel disappeared.
There is nothing perfect about this house. It has lots of boo-boos that need fixing, and is kinda like the Charley Brown Christmas tree.
Related image

So I have NO REGRETS about leaving the other house. Just relief.  I've apologized repeatedly to Dave about how I treated him downtown. We are already so much happier, even with the imperfections we keep finding here. We'll get 'em fixed, someday, but in the meantime we are loving the place and loving each other. And we just celebrated our 39th anniversary. How appropriate.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Movin' Right Along

My studio, from this to this:

Now this can be restored to the Master Suite. We have a queen size bed waiting to move in here. A new area rug, a dresser and chair and voila, no one would know it was once a sewing room.
Everything got moved to the garage, and the dumpster. I continue to try and downsize. Today I scrubbed this floor and Dave power washed the exterior of the house. Now that the turmoil of local construction has slowed down, he got several layers of dirt off the siding and windows.

We are playing at staging the house for the sale. The big question was: Do we repaint the floors, white or gray, or have them refinished to stained wood to appeal to a wider audience? I invited our realtor over to ask his advice. He said just what I longed to hear. Do nothing. Allow in the sales price for the buyers to decide. I will get an estimate from the referred floor guy and go from there. What a relief.
Although it wasn't on my list of why we wanted to move, we found out that our taxes here in the hip South-side have doubled. Whoa. Phew.
Tonight we are crawling into bed early, after a dinner of brownie sundaes, with real whipped cream. We deserve it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Deja Vu all over again

Marybeth commented: Call me crazy but does the outside style of this house remind you of your old house.... the one on the hill (with lots of yard/land to care for)?
1366 Ridgefield Cir, Chattanooga, TN 37412

The old house circa 2013, just before we moved and then the new (old) house today, just before we invade.

There are similarities and there will be more in the future. We loved our first rural Tennessee house but it was a lot of work and far far away from everything. We loved the front porch which signified Southern living for  us. And we built gardens and fought the moles and voles...and lost often.
The new in-town home is a blank canvas, on a proper flat site, hopefully not full of plant eating critters.
We have BIG PLANS. And thankfully the years of saving have provided funds to put those plans into action.
This time I am using the 'yellow pages' as we like to call the internet. Landscapers will clear the weedy trees and trim the good ones. The minimal plantings in front of the porch will be dramatically expanded. Even tho we are getting older, we still love that feeling of digging in the dirt and planting a tree, for the future. Dave says we'll get a tree as large as we can afford for that front yard. 

Mostly we are hoping to install a koi pond. One of the homes we visited and didn't buy had a koi pond that was just the size we'd like to have.

If you don't have a dream, how can you have a dream come true?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hitting the Jackpot

Ta Da! We found our little treasure and signed the contract today at 11am and will close December 4th. This sunroom clinched the deal.

The kitchen is just what I wanted. No more eating at the counter, and a brand new refrigerator is on order. The stove and dishwasher still have their tags inside.

The eat in kitchen is adjacent to the sunroom, and the formal dining room.

The staging folks placed area rugs, but there is no carpet in any of the rooms. REAL hardwood and ceramic tile floors.

Not a bit of brown, beige or tan. Silvery gray, which I love.
Three bedrooms upstairs, and a three full baths, one just off the kitchen!

And outside, a long covered porch, with a no fuss concrete floor.
And for the Pugs, a big fenced yard!

Adjacent to the sunroom is a brand new deck.

Upstairs, this bathroom is our master en suite.

The little master is just the right size for us.

The unassuming front view suits us just fine. We have mature trees for shade but which need a bit of trimming, and lots of space for hosta! A must for my garden. O, and the lot is FLAT. So rare.

 It must seem nutty to leave our pristine new designed-by-me yuppie home to go to a 52 year old home in a not as trendy neighborhood. The new/old house is much more homey, and even with its many to-do and fix-it needs, Dave is all excited about attending to them. I, on the other hand, have the Handyman Connection on speed dial.

We couldn't sleep and were up drinking coffee at 4:30am, reviewing each photo online and discussing which room would be the living room, sewing room and family room etc. At 6am we drove over there to see how many street lights would be shining in our bedroom window. Just one, far enough away to not be so awful. Here we have blazing street and factory lights which make the front bedroom seem like an all night grocery store

It was important to us that we spend wisely, and get something we could tweak and Johnson-ize. The fact that this house cost half of what our current house cost was cause for celebration. To say we have plans is putting it mildly. 
We wanted quiet and privacy and a yard again, as we both love to putter and the dawgs need to have safety and freedom to pee anywhere! The house is at the end of a cul de sac and close to all the places I already shop and bank and post stuff. The best part is it is still close to our church which was a major consideration. we are going to stage our current home and move some stuff to the new place in bits. Altho the square footage is larger in the two storey, we are still trying to downsize. Luckily, we still live in a construction zone and have three dumpster to take our trash. 

O, I forgot to say where my studio will be. In the living room! Yes. The dining room pictured above will work as the living room and we all know the sunroom will be the major hangout place, as it is heated and air conditioned. Those built in bookcases in the living room will soon be filled with fabric! Upstairs I will choose a bedroom for the yarn and art supplies and will shop from my stash.

We are giddy about our future.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Close, but no cigar

Hoping not to make your head spin, but the condo sale is pretty much off. The home inspection found a lot of needed fixes, which filled me with a sense of RELIEF.

Suddenly I realized that I gave up my 'must have, must not have' list and was feeling cognitive dissonance. Too much carpet, too many stairs, not enough privacy or fenced yard for the doggies, and too much BEIGE. What was I thinking? Well, the layout was glamorous and seduced me because of the open space, but naaaahhhh, it just won't do. The owners are willing to fix anything to which I say: Nevermind.
The search continues and we are seeing two more homes today. Sorry for the premature excitement.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What? ? ?

We're moving AGAIN! I kid you not. It all began when my sister and I were surfing Zillow, looking for a house for her. It is not her time to move, but what caught my eye were the lovely homes for WAY LESS money than we paid to live downtown. We thought being downtown would mean lots of fun stuff to do, but reality is way different. We really can't take advantage of any of the attractions and the busy streets are so difficult when walking the dogs. So Dave and I started having house looking adventures, on our own at first and then with an agent. 
Everything we loved was snatched up in minutes after we saw them online, and what we saw in person was horrendous! I wanted something with privacy and quiet and a fenced yard for the pups. Space for my studio (of course) and a place for Dave to have his guitars, tv, stereo, drawing stuff and above all, LOW maintenance.
What we bought (yesterday!) was a condo, on a cul-de-sac, two floors, 700 sq. ft. bigger than our house, for $115K less! What a bargain, even with the very small HOA fees. The pups will have a yard and we will have plenty o'space for all the stuff we do. With LOW maintenance outdoors.
7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421
I never thought I could live in a condo, but love conquers all and it was love at first sight. It has a big open floor plan with three beds and three baths, walk in closets, walk in attic storage and even cabinets in the 2-car garage!
7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421
All the closets are wonderfully large, and have pug-hair colored carpeting. I told Dave, no painting, no plumbing, no shoveling, just vacuuming.
7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421This is the master downstairs and it is also huge. Lotsa beige. Hmm. I think I will have it painted before we move. 
7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421Upstairs is a huge bedroom with adjoining sitting room, with skylight and walk in closet, full bath and access to the attic storage. At first I was thinking this would be my studio space but instead I am taking the front bedroom downstairs, just the right size for me.
7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421
The screened porch is right off the dining room and faces east for morning coffee.7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421 7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 374217809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421 
I am giving up my white on white interior for another beige one, but thinking ahead, the painters can come in and fix that before we move. We plan to switch houses slowly and stage our current place as this one is staged. What a difference it makes when you see the size of the rooms with furniture in them.

7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 374217809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421
The eat-in kitchen is bright and cheery, with maple cabinets and granite counters (ugh). I will miss my white counters and gas stove  but that can be fixed too, eventually!
7809 Legacy Park Ct, Chattanooga, TN 37421
I love the turquoise living room pictured, but the reality is much darker than this photo. Too bad. Can't have dark and gloomy. White is needed, especially since we can have it done. Have it done is my new catch phrase. Yay!!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


 This is the bread recipe that I use. It is pretty basic and can also be used for pizza dough, leaving out the extra stuff.
A finished loaf, minus a few slices.

The ingredients.

 To the flour, add the dry yeast and the rest of the other ingredients. The seeds and onions are optional, or you could substitute fruit and cinnamon for a sweet loaf.

Add 12 ounces of tap water.

Mix in your fancy new red stand mixer with the dough hook until a nice ball forms.
 Then put it in a non-metallic bowl and cover and let rise until double or more. Turn out on floured counter and shape into loaf and place in greased baking dish or on a heated oven safe tile and bake for 35-40 minutes at 425. Of course you could brush it with beaten egg first and add sesame seeds if you like, or not. I like to do that and sprinkle a little kosher salt on top too. Makes a great holey crunchy loaf. Yum!