House Progress

Whirlwind here in Ohio!
Plumber was followed by furnace installation was followed by electrician. Inspection upon inspection (fine by us!!). Below is a photo update.

My kitchen window. Oops! It is set so that my eye hits the middle of the frame.

Oh well, I will adjust. Look just above the middle of the frame. The infamous hammock! It is on a rope in the neighbor’s yard that the wind wrapped around the tree.

Looking from the front foyer into the great room. Sliding glass door goes in the large opening on left of back wall. Window to the right will be over the sink. Dining room is in front of slider. Kitchen/dining room measure 23′ x 14′.

Great room measures 17′ x 16′. So hard to tell dimensions with studs showing!

Puddle on floor is from before they got roof on.

So the puddle is approximate placement of refrigerator. Left of that will be cabinet, stove, cabinet then pantry in the corner. Wall where the boxes are is wall where TV and photos will go. See the rolls of green insulation? Door to the right of those is laundry room. Use your imagination for the next one, too! Behind kitchen wall is master bedroom. Doorway is left of the insulation. About now you are saying, “Yeah! right!”

We did not want those black cabinets. We chose sort of a cherry finish instead, “Fairfield Nutmeg.” To the right of the black cabinet is our countertop sample. Carpet sample will be in bedrooms and office. Tile will be flooring in bathrooms and laundry floor. Above the tile is sample of the resilient flooring that will be from front door, throughout great room, dining room and kitchen. I think it goes down the hall to laundry and master bedroom, too.

Not the layout of our kitchen, but a sample of Fairfield Nutmeg cabinets.

Maybe we will get that lovely tile work done after we move in?

So we are still finding things to pack, even though we have hired movers to pack as well as move us. Lots of imagination for now. Oh we also have a garage door now! Front door is simply plastic sheet at this point.

Today Bob spoke with the people who lay the sod and install the plants. We want to choose our own plants and shrubs. She is sending a form online where we can define our flower bed, etc. As of now we are uncertain if the sod will be down before we move in. Would be really nice to have that for Lucky! They come and do many new houses at once, so we will wait and see! Then we are responsible to keep the sod watered regularly until it takes root.

The builder keeps surprising us with updates. Seems like at this point the closing will be May 5? Bring me a sugar-free Margarita! Naw, just give me the keys 🙂 The only thing that would hold that up is if we have many days of rainfall. If that happens then the “mud” on the drywall can’t dry thoroughly for the sanding and painting, etc.

Exciting none the less!

“Holy” Cards

Death came early in my life as so many relatives were much older than me. My mother gave birth to my sister and I late her life. In childhood the “holy cards” from funerals became some of my cherished possessions. I remember as a teenager pinning them to the wall near my bed. Even today, I have a few to help me center during my prayer time.

We are not only packing, but as we were readying to show the house we stripped away all sorts of things from our lives. Molly, do you really need all of this stuff? Is this part of that 2021 ‘Transform’ word now being experienced? Less and less of me and more of You Lord! Had to put away those cards.

Now I need to hold fast to my Lord without those images to center me. He is love and grace and mercy. There is no image that can comprise all of His attributes. I must simply let Him guide me and keep hold of my hand.

Lead on, O King Eternal.

Likely ten weeks until we are moved, unpacked and beginning to settle again. Lord, continue to keep us well, I pray. Over 500,000 deaths in the USA due to Covid-19 and still counting with new variants looming.

Talking with Tony about packing made me realize anew how many open containers of cleaning agents I have and I need to pack. Will we really leave things for him to do or go into a frenzy doing packing ourselves? And then our energy runs out. Help us pace ourselves for Your work and kindness towards each other.

Sold!

This housing market is nuts. An impossible prayer request, I prayed we would know who should live here next. 17 showings on Saturday. 4 on Sunday. 8 offers. Yes, I was wiping down door knobs and other likely touched surfaces. At our realtor’s suggestion we even printed a sign that read “Please leave all the lights on for the next showing.”

Since I had NO clear direction as to which buyer, we sat with our realtor Sunday late afternoon reviewing all the offers and decided what offer would be best for us. Ended with cash offer, no inspections and no appraisal. No more people traipsing through our house!! No waiting. Done deal.

Monday morning we were both absolutely exhausted from the stress and excitement. (Also, 2 old people without their naps for 2 days. Ugly.) Kidding, but we are still tired on this Tuesday.

We have the signed contract. A relief that this part is finished. The idea of making our home look like a sterile Air B & B for weeks was daunting!

Photo by r m Dutina

Yes, we had absolute faith that this house would sell. No, we had no inkling for how much! The neighbors are delighted! Their property values just went up. We are moving in about 8 weeks. Today is writing, mundane errands and more rest from the real estate market. Then back to packing and planning.

Thanks for your prayers! As the crocuses begin blooming and the first daffodil opened this morning we are continuing the process of saying good bye to Siesta Drive! Letting go of these flower beds and lovely shrubs is difficult, sigh.

Gratefulness.org

Want to subscribe to a daily gratitude quote? This is the place for you! They also send out a monthly newsletter with things to challenge your spiritual growth.

Since we have been cleaning and packing I have been paying attention to things that I had not thought about in a long time, like dovetail joints on our furniture.

A recent quote read:

Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides.
ANNE LAMOTT

Makes you think doesn’t it? Barring the pandemic, why are we not more likely to be of service when that is where joy resides? And who doesn’t want more joy?

David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine Monk and major motivator at Gratitude.org. Once he posted a challenge to write out 100 Gratitudes, not only numbering the items (What) but also asking that you detail the WHY of your gratitude. It was an interesting challenge. The first few I was more prolific on the whys than the last few. Guess I found it too hard to have to detail why I was grateful. What a spoiled brat!

Gratefulness and gratitude cannot be overstated. The practice reminds us that we are not in charge, no matter how much we want to be!

Two More Weeks!

Do you know the joke about the construction crew that kept saying “Two more weeks!” They warned us when we signed the contract that the house would be ready for us to move in by the end of April or early May – unless – one of those polar vortexes came through. Well guess what arrived several weeks ago? You got it. Our own delay due to greater than average snows and temperatures MUCH lower than average for our area.

I did not really believe it when they told us the end of April.

Image from a vacation sort of fits 2021 experience of home building in the winter of 2021.

Meanwhile the realtor came to discuss when to list and how much to ask for our current abode. A moving company came to discuss how much they would charge to pack and/or move us. They will even unpack us for another charge and do it rapidly! Having had much of our lives in boxes for several months that sounds appealing, but also exhausting.

So we try not to run out of ideas of things to do until the move is imminent. Bob is not fun when he is bored! Every time I mention starting a jigsaw puzzle he sort of cringes. Today the snow is melting rapidly. Blue skies, bird songs. Almost time to work in the yard (oh I should have typed mud).

Endurance

You know, we thought the pandemic was hard. Trying to keep a positive mind and overall positive attitude. Then the unexpected snow accumulation came totaling 9 inches and then a day or so later another 3 inches. Unlike most snows over the years in Cincinnati, it has not all melted yet. Now we have a fresh 2 inches while we wait for the forecast 8-12 inches more this afternoon. The Pandemic is still here and variants are beginning to overtake the USA. People were celebrating Valentine’s Day in bars and restaurants as if nothing was going on. (We saw on TV.)

I read and heard a few quotes in the last 36 hours that are helping me a bit.

“The days you keep your gratitude higher than your expectations are fine, fine days.”

Ray Wylie Hubbard on Austin City Limits

“You’ve got to remember: you must have a forward-thinking, positive outlook at all times.”

Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine

Those are easier written than lived! Gratitude that we have snow but also an “electric broom”, snow shovel and blower. Gratitude that the snow plow came down our street plowing and salting the surface twice so far today. Gratitude that the dog does not need to be walked MORE.

Forward thinking, positive outlook. That is difficult when all construction on the new house has totally stopped due to weather. Maybe they can begin again next week if the thaw forecast for next weekend actually occurs! We positively have not put this home on the market yet. If we change our minds it will be the most clean this building has been since we moved in, I think! Forward thinking? Well, Bob continues to want to arrange the furniture in the new building though we do not have a move-in date for certain yet. Someone is to come this week and give us an estimate on packing and moving. The realtor is to come also and give us advice about showing the property. I do wonder if either of those appointments will be kept though!

I won’t even elaborate on the futility of trying to get a Covid-19 injection appointment. Our names are on a list with the Board of Health. Hopefully they will call sometime soon?

The neighbor who helped clean part of our driveway loved the chocolate frosted walnut brownies I shared. Wonder if I should make more of those or the chocolate layer cake they loved once? I am certain when the wave of snow today arrives he will help once more.

How does your gratitude fare in the balance with your expectations? Is your forward thinking suffering with the weather and pandemic or are you staying mostly positive at all times? As we struggle on to be our best selves, may the Lord give us wisdom and strength for the journey!

A wise warrior is better than a strong one,
and a man of knowledge than one of strength;
 for you should wage war with sound guidance—
victory comes with many counselors.”

Proverbs 24:5-6

Soon to Be

Our house. Remember the song from Crosby, Stills, and Nash? It was one of our favorites when we got married.

Here is the beginning of 27 Platform Way, our new address!

All photos by r m dutina

In the third photo at edge of white house roof, you can see a neighbor has a hammock stuck in a tree. Bob thinks it looks like a giant blue bra! Wonder how we could get down?!?!

Doesn’t look like much yet, but better than the mud hole we were seeing!

Our Gardens

Consider this quote from Joy Harjo:

“Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their families, their histories too. Talk to them, listen to them. They are alive poems.”

As we make more plans about our upcoming move this spring this quote spoke loudly to me. If you have followed my blog for a year you know my attachments to our gardens and trees which we have cultivated over the last 15 years. (Difficult to grasp we have been in this house that long!) Some of the bulbs, ferns and the rose bush we brought from our previous home.

The quote above encourages me to remember, talk to them, listen to them and acknowledge that they are alive poems. When we moved here part of the motivation was I could no longer keep my gardens due to arthritis. And then at this address my husband kept building flower beds and I kept putting in perennials, especially spring flowers.

It is hard to say goodbye. Now I must decide what plants are going with us and what we leave behind. At the last house the new people did not keep up the flower beds. That was sad. At the house we are moving to there will likely not be sod in the yard or a place for a flower bed for weeks or months. Our son assures me my plants can live in pots for quite a long time. How much can I truly care for in the near future?

Can the old rose bush tolerate another transplanting?

Should I do a cutting of the pussy willow shrub? Is this the time to pare down not only our possessions but our gardening activities, too? Most likely true. Most of the plants and bulbs we could easily purchase again (or sneak over here when no one is home if they do not have cameras and dig up what we cannot live without!) Evil woman’s mind at work.

At this point I think the rose, one or two fern crowns and columbine. Time will tell!