Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor Weekend

Well, we survived the garage sale. Every time we swear it's our last, but enough time passes that we forget the overwhelming amount of work and how disheartening it is to have people bargain down your prices to next to nothing.

We got rid (one way or another) of an incredible amount of stuff, and between the Craigslist sales and the garage sale we ended up with a tidy little sum. It might pay for the expenses of moving, which will be much less daunting with fewer heavy pieces of furniture.

Last weekend we painted the library, Monday night a guy from out of town came for the aquaponics system, and in exchange, is giving Ornery a lathe and some wood from his sawmill. Tuesday, Ornery mowed at 507. Wednesday night we finished planting and put down mulch in the front flower bed. Ornery took off Thursday and Friday and both those days were occupied with setting up and holding the garage sale.

Saturday we finished cleaning out the garden room and put down an area rug out there, then we began the very sad task of covering our lovely vermilion ceiling in the living room. That chore was finished by noon today. We used one coat of kilz, and two coats of the Valspar top of the line white paint.

Ornery also touched up trim various places, and we ran a bunch of errands. It has been over a month since we went grocery shopping for more than a few items, and it was getting desperate.

Next we have the words down the hall wall to cover, and a rather long list of additional tasks to complete before the 15th. Everything is taking twice as long as I thought it would. But we're getting there.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Working in and outside

We are moving right along with the redistribution of our excess belongings. Craigslist has sent a few shoppers our way, and the latest thing to leave the house was an entertainment armoire.  The gentlemen who bought it and came to pick it up had a bit of a mishap on the driveway, and it was not nearly as pristine as when it was standing in our living room.  :P   At any rate, it is gone now, and I am faced with a new dilemma, that of figuring out the most inviting way to arrange the remaining items in that room.

But that is for another day.  This morning we spent a few hours planting in the front flower bed. We will still have to work there more tomorrow morning, but it looks like it will really be pretty once it is finished. I had a number of perennials in pots on the back patio which we transplanted.  Whether they will make it or not, I don't know, but if they do, it's money I won't have to spend.  This afternoon we will start painting the library. We'd like to have that room done by the end of the weekend.

Ornery likes to "start in the upper left hand corner" and move out from there, so we decided that the library was that spot for now, and as good of a place as any to begin inside the house. We will also be painting one wall in the studio, doing touch up on the hall wall (sad to see my lovely scripture go away.) and the ceiling in the living room will go from stunning vermilion to plain ol' white. It will be hard to live with it that way after having it so vibrant but hopefully it will appeal to more people.  We will already be having a hard time overcoming our lack of granite countertops in the kitchen, and all the color on the walls.

There are other tasks to be done, of course, but one step at a time, and eventually it will all be done. I hope. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Whoa Nelly!

The biggest obstacle to selling our house to date has been getting the aquaponics garden sold and out the door. After having it listed for a week with no nibbles at all, we decided to just try to sell the fish without the whole system.

I listed them on craigslist this morning, and two hours later had a buyer. He came this afternoon and he and Ornery drained the tank enough to catch the wily little buggers. They were leaping and splashing and hiding behind things but in the end, they all made it into an ice chest and off to their new home.

I was in the process of texting my sister about it when I got a phone call from a buyer who plans to come tomorrow morning and buy the rest of the system! We also sold the fish tank this morning, so things are clipping right along.

The Realtor we are using employs an interior designer who goes into homes and tells you how to best stage it for quick and highest price sale. She comes Wednesday afternoon. We are hoping to have the garden room emptied out by then. We'll see if that happens. Ornery spent most of the morning shoveling dirt out of garden boxes, one whole box went to the new flower bed in front.

The boxes are cedar and were expensive to build, so Elizabeth and Michael will take two of them and we'll put the third one at 507 for an herb garden...which seems to be about all I am able to grow successfully. But before we can move them anywhere, they must be emptied! We're looking for any low spot in the yard, or in any flower bed that might benefit from an extra layer or ten of dirt. Then we have planting and mulching to do. It should be a curb grabber once we are done.

I made it through most of the stuff in my studio last week, and have a substantial pile of items ready for the garage sale. If shipping wasn't so expensive I'd send bits and pieces to all my friends. :-) I thought I would really be able to pare down my paper collection, but apparently my addiction runs deeper than I thought it did. It's not like I wouldn't have room for it, but I so rarely use it anymore, it seems crazy to move it all. Oh, well. Maybe next move... :-D

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Big Changes!

Wow, I don't even know where to start with this post, so I'll just dive right in.  We are selling our house and moving into ??

It makes us sound a little flaky, but while it will be a little uncomfortable, part of me is very excited. I won't go into all the thought process that led us to this pass, but at the moment, we are working hard to lighten our possessions by at least 1/3.  We sold our guest bedroom furniture and glass curio cabinet this weekend and have listed the big entertainment center and aquaponics system on Craigslist. There are many more postings and the dreaded garage sale on the horizon--projected date of September 6.

We have a goal of acquiring several more rental properties and for now we are thinking we may move into the one we have (it is still vacant) and buy two more houses with the equity we have in this one. We will have to check into the tax ramifications, and a few other details... It's all in the planning stages, and I feel like we are having to make rapid fire decisions, but otherwise the whole thing could take months to get underway. And we aren't getting any younger!

Meanwhile, the Instagram Friends Traveling Journal Round 2 (#igftj2) gets underway this week! So, I'll be dividing my time between all the chores around here and a break here and there for some art. And, of course, my letters.  I'll be replying to those, too. So, that's life around here. We'll see how good I am at juggling. It's been awhile since I have had a plate this full, but I'll support Ornery's dream any way I can. For now, that means saying goodbye to a lot of extra stuff.  I'm good with that. Streamlining my life can only be freeing, right?

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Weekend at 507

Last year Ornery and I purchased our first (of hopefully many) rental properties.  We took three LONG months working it over so it would be fit for habitation. Our first set of renters recently vacated, and we are back over there working on various little chores that needed to be done. Mostly we are wearing ourselves out! It's hot, and of course everything that needs to be done is outside. We can't seem to get our carcasses in gear and over there before 10:00 AM, and it has been up in the 90's all week.

Ornery has been yammering on about wanting to trim some dead branches, and one rather hefty live one from the massive oak trees in the back yard.  The first couple were easy, as he just climbed on the roof, and they were at waist level, easy to cut with his trusty electric chain saw, and off we went to the next ones. Which were NOT so easy. Somewhere along the way, the electric chain saw decided it was too good to be cutting such awful looking stuff, and quit. Without giving notice! We tried a brand new electric chainsaw, and for some reason, it wouldn't work either.  So, we returned that one and bought a gas powered dude with enough guts and not too much pride to do the job right.

Ornery climbed up the extended extension ladder and cut off the first section without incident.  It was the second section that caused him grief, when the weight of the part he cut off was no longer weighing down the branch he was leaning on, the branch lifted and left the top of the ladder without support.  Down the ladder went, and fortunately Ornery grabbed a branch from a different tree and rode it down to the ground where he landed on both feet, no broken or sprained bones, and chainsaw still in his hand. The tree didn't fare so well, as the branch split off on the downward pull. Oh, well, we'll just trim that branch when we are done.

Next was the last section of that huge branch, and I told Ornery I would sure feel better if he would strap the ladder to the tree, just in case... So, he did, and proceeded to cut the last section of that branch until it fell. It was still partially attached to the tree, but he figured he could go back and take care of that later.  Oh, by the way, that big branch landed on the rescue tree and obliterated one entire side leaving a rather homely, lopsided beast.  So, now the job increased in scope to the removal of that entire tree, but at least there were no injuries.

After he removed a few smaller twigs the movement and the weight finally tore the last of the branch from the trunk where it somehow managed to roll around to the back of the tree where the ladder was.  Had Ornery been on it, the force likely would have thrown him off.  He owes his guardian angels some big tips and has forthwith been banned from such exercises. We are too old for that kind of excitement!

The neighbor next door was delighted to clean up most of the fallen branches to take to his house for firewood, and he even bundled up most of the smaller branches and put them out for the trash men. In so many ways I wish he was our neighbor here at Zoe Cottage. What a nice guy.

Next, Ornery worked on the fence, replacing a broken post at the corner of the yard. We had to meet with the stump grinder at 2:00 and a new leasing management representative at the same time.  Both went well, the huge stump from last year's tree removal in the front is now shreds and dirt, spread neatly out over the front lawn. Elizabeth had dug out the last of the iris on Sunday, so the area was clear of all except some daylilies which I didn't mind losing. The yard mowing will be much easier now with the removal of the stump, and we shouldn't have so many saplings to contend with, either.

The stump grinder was a remote control beast, and way fun to watch. The owner/operator stood off to the side and drove it from the ground. It was great entertainment! :)

Ornery is off all this week, and we have a few more chores at 507 before we can enjoy some time just relaxing. Which we will definitely need after all the manual labor of the week!

(If you are interested in our journey as beginning landlords, what we did to the house, etc., you can follow this link and search for 507 to see posts I wrote last year. I am still in awe at what we accomplished.)