Category Archives: moving

The Painting is Done!


We, and several relatives, have worked many hours this week, and we have completed painting the inside of the house.  First, we painted it with Kilz to get rid of any smoke smell that might be lingering.  Then, we added the color.


The living room, dining area, hall and Rob and my bedroom were all painted this creamy tan color.  It is light, airy, warm and inviting.  I love how it turned out.  This picture actually shows it being a little darker than it appears.  There are no lights in the living room.  Yet.


Patsy’s room is mostly white, with the one wall that is light green.  A)  It also appears darker in this picture and B) Yes, I missed several spots, which I went back and painted with a brush after viewing this picture.  In fact, I went over several such spots in every room after I thought I was done!  The white is a nice, bright white and the green is much softer.  She has a huge closet in her room, and I will store quite a few of my things in 1/2 of it.  I also may put a community bookcase in her room, but I need to see how things fit in.


The big girls will share a room.  Their ceiling and closet are white.  Their walls are a blue-gray.  It is really this dark, maybe even a little bit darker.


The big girls painted almost all of their own room.  It was good experience for them and took them most of 2 days, since they were new at painting.  The previous painters had not been careful in any room and there is old paint on most of the woodwork, often blobbed or striped as if they did not tape at all. We did it properly, and it has been suggested that we paint over the woodwork in the places that are blobbed with a paint that matches the brown trim  or color over with a brown Sharpie.  I’m not sure if we are going to do any of that.  By the time we get furniture in there, we won’t see much of the baseboard:)

We’ve been moving loads from our storage unit over to store in the shop until after the floors are re-done.  We did another load today, even though the temperatures have been over 100 degrees this week.  (Very rare for our part of Oregon, so we are uncomfortable)  The only reason we could actually paint in this heat is that our new house has air conditioning.  Otherwise, I think the paint would have dried up too fast.  It’s supposed to cool down a bit, so hopefully I can get lots of loads moved next week, and some yard work done.  Things have grown up while the house was for sale, but I can tell the previous owner kept things in good shape.  I want to do the same.

We’ve also been working with the stove insert company, getting the details settled for the chimney preparation and installation of a new insert stove.  After filling out forms in 2 places, mail has finally arrived, today, at our new address.  Not long now until I get to go get a library card to the Salem Public Library!  That excites me tremendously.  I was last inside about 25 years ago, and thought it was really large then.  I will really feel like I live there (which I don’t actually, yet) once I check out books!


The New House–At Last


And, here it is!  The new house.  Rob and Patsy are going in for the first time after it became ours!


It is on .3 acres.  It has a large garden area with Marion berries on one side and raspberries on the other.  Clearly, there are a lot of weeds to remove, but it has grown the former owner a good garden for years, and the soil has been amended.


It has a shop!


And a cute little partially enclosed patio.  Behind the patio is a paved area where the camper can be parked behind a locked chain link fence.


Here is the kitchen and the laundry room behind.


The living room has a fireplace.  The carpets smelled badly of cigarette smoke.  Our first project was removing them.


After 2 days spent pulling up carpet tacking strips, pulling carpet staples as well as the carpet and pads, the lovely hardwood was revealed.  We have an appointment scheduled to get them refinished.


It’s already a huge improvement!  We have several other things planned.  We will have to wait a bit to move in, but it will be worth it in the end to have them done before we do:)

We are super excited and can’t wait to start living here!  I will admit that I have muscles I never knew existed after crawling around on the floor for 2 days.  I am very happy that I’ve leaned a new skill, though.  I’ll bet there are several new experiences ahead!

House Hunting–Round 2


We’ve been hunting for many, many hours, but the girls are still finding some time to horse around:)

I spent about 6 hours on the internet, and chose a pretty good list of houses we might like to view.  We got to look at 3 or 4.  We found a real fixer-upper for a price we could afford, and put in an offer.  They countered, and we had to decide what to do.  We just found out that 2 of the rooms were added over time, without permits.  After calling  the city and county, they informed us of what we had already been told.  We would either need to bring the rooms up to code, or tear them down.  With all of the other work that we would have to do, we had to let that one go.  It also had some major problems in the basement, along with quite a few other problems.  We did the math, and could not finish the project if we started.  I’m really sad.  I had hoped we could get it to work.   It would have been a nice size for our family.  So, it’s back to the drawing board, again.

In the meanwhile, we have another day at Champoeg State Park, so plan to enjoy tomorrow there.  Today we had so many errands to run, plus viewing this house again, that we will welcome a day of rest tomorrow.

Still Hunting for a House-July 1, 2016


You can see our current house right behind Rob’s head!  We are enjoying the view out the back window, for sure, but it is a bit small for the 5 of us.

We have spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of weeks hunting for a house that is a bit larger than our current one.  We are finding many, many that need a lot of work (like no walls, cupboards, windows, did I mention the dead rat on the floor, mold, etc.), are priced too high, don’t have any garden space, no place for the r.v., etc.

We did, however, find one that we though would work.  The house itself was very tiny, but it was on a 1/3 acre and had a shop and a large garden area.  We put in a full-priced bid, and we still got outbid.  By $15,000.  That’s what the market is like around here right now.  Although we are a little disappointed to not be making plans to move right now, we prayed a lot about it and don’t want to be in a house that is not the right one for us.  So, we are back to looking after a short break while we waited for them to make up their minds.

Today we drove by one.  Believe it or not, they would not let us view the house.  They told our realtor that they would not give a showing without an accepted offer.  As if.  There may be someone out there (it wouldn’t surprise me the way the market is) that would buy a house they had never stepped foot in, but it won’t be us.  So, it’s back to pouring over the computer listings and hopefully, we will see some more possibilities soon.

House Hunting–It Starts


Where I live now is next to a beautiful garden.  It’s kind of small–but is clean and comfortable.  However, we are looking for our new house.  We started our quest last Monday, in earnest.  We have been spending  a lot of time on the internet looking at houses, but know it’s time to physically look at houses, in person.

We drove by one on our way home from Eastern Oregon last weekend.  After calling the realtor, we stated that we didn’t see much wrong with it from the outside, and it had an acre with it.  It was, however, far from any town, which is not our plan this time around if we can find anything closer in.  For the record, Rob and I love living out in the country, but we do still have kids to raise who like being active and it’s hard to drive so far for all of their activities.  After a conversation, the realtor admitted that the reason there were only 2 interior pictures of it on the internet was because that’s all he dared to put up.  There was very little sheetrock, places with leaks, etc., etc., etc.  So, unless they lower the price a lot, that one’s out.

Monday, we needed to come back from the beach where we were camping for a family event.  Our nephew, Jake, was adopted.  Yea!  He was hung up in the legal system for a long time, but things finally came to a conclusion on Monday.

We set up some showings.  I was very discouraged after that.  Those houses were even farther out than the first one, and in very poor condition, or very small.  VERY small, with no usable yard, no place for a garden, and the house had structural issues.  The other one had a nice big lot, but reeked of animal urine, probably had asbestos issues, and needed major structural repairs, such as a roof.  It was very far away as well.  I am beginning to appreciate my camper more and more.

Did I forget to mention the other option–the one where the well had failed and a car had driven through the side of the house, leaving a gaping hole.  We didn’t even ask to go in to that one:)

Yesterday, we had 3 houses set up to view.  We got to see 1.  By the time we got to our appointment, one had 7 offers on it, and the other one had an accepted offer.  The one we saw had a 1/3 acre lot, so nice and big, but the house was needing a lot.  The floor has soft spots, the roof is shot, there is asbestos that would need to be addressed, and there is an added-on area that we wonder if they got permits for, as the square footage is not adding up.  So, more info needed on that one, and they would have to come way down on price for us to be able to afford the  house and the repairs.  It was in a good location, though, and I liked the house.

We go again tomorrow.  Hopefully, it will be better:)  We understand that this is going to be difficult and that we are going to have to compromise greatly from what we really want.  That being said, we trust that God has a place for us out there.  We are beginning to appreciate what a challenge it may be to find it, though.  Here’s hoping…..


Moving Update and Use-It-Up May 19, 2016


Wow!  What a week, and it’s not even over yet.  Last Saturday, the girls had a dance recital and received flowers.  They are gorgeous.  Tuesday, Patsy was adopted and received more beautiful flowers. They are lovely, too.  Tuesday, we also signed the papers for the house sale, and Saturday, (2 days from now), we have to be completely out by 5 p.m.

Who does that??????  In a week???? Right????

Believe it or not, I think we are going to make it.  Room after room is getting finished, boxes are stacked up in the garage and front room, the camper is loaded down with WAY too much stuff (hope the van can pull it–LOL), I go around smelling like Woodsman Goat Milk Soap because that’s all that’s left in the shower, and the meals are getting very creative.


You can do a lot with 1 frying pan, which is all that is in the kitchen right now.  These are some frozen waffles I made some time ago, and I fried them in the pan.  I also made some soup from veggies and a jar of tomatoes and some leftover hamburger meat in the pan.  I have purchased very few groceries this month.  I have used old cans of soup that have been around forever, boxes of this and that, frozen veggies, muffins and other frozen baked products, cereal (boxed–no one’s favorite), instant oatmeal packets we made with 4H (they needed salt), and more.  It feels good to have used so many things up.


The last of some sour cream, some mayo, garlic and the leaves that were not brown, wilted or rotten off of the lovely basil plant my aunt got me to put in the kitchen when we were showing the house, were all whirled together to make some dressing/dip, which is now in the camper.

Several pieces of meat were saved out and will go into a cooler to slowly defrost over the next few days for meals in the week to come.  I made myself super sick eating out too much–my gluten intolerance reared its ugly head, and so I’ve made time to cook this week.  I’m feeling much better this week.  Some has been frozen foods that were given to me, some salads, and people brought food or cooked for me.  My daughter made a delicious ham dinner and we ate with them Tuesday, my aunt brought yummy soup Wednesday, and both sisters sent food as well.

Several people will come to help tomorrow, but the bulk of them will be here on Saturday, bright and early.  Rob will pull the camper over to my sister’s tomorrow, and we will sleep there tomorrow night.  We have been doing laundry and all items are either going in the camper, or in a bin.  We have finished packing all the canning in the basement.  Beds will come down tomorrow.  Then, Saturday, it will all be carried away to storage, and we will be finished with this phase, at last.  We have family plans on Sunday afternoon, and a graduation party for a boy who we are close to.  Then, we are going to slow down, and stop and smell the roses for a few days.  Kind of. There are still a few things to do that we have been neglecting while we moved.  At least, it will be easier than this week, and then we are going camping on Thursday:)  I’m ready!



Moving Update–May 11


The fence, the fence, the fence……  The latest hang-up in our moving plans was the fence.  We were told last week after the appraisal that the entire house/property would not qualify for the buyer’s loan because there was paint peeling off of the fence.  And, all of the paint chips had to be removed and not on the ground. We were dismayed, to say the least.

We considered several options:  1)paint it ourselves 2) hire someone 3) knock it down.  Rob was seriously ready to knock it down, he’s so stressed out, plus it was cheaper and faster.  After the realtor said the buyers wanted it and we couldn’t knock it down, Rob started calling around.  He called a friend, who has a painting company, and some young men, and thank goodness, our friend was able to come yesterday and paint it with the young men’s help. They worked the entire day.  It looks beautiful, and we are really hoping the appraiser will think so, too.  He has to come re-check it.  We are very grateful to them for working us into their schedule so quickly, and for the fact that our friend gave us a very good deal to help us out.


Rob took a big load to the auction–even more than what you see.  We are waiting to see what we get for it.


Somehow, in the middle of everything, my columbine from a couple of Mother’s Days ago has decided to bloom.  I’m taking it with me, for sure.

I have several ladies and some of their sons lined up for Friday.  We are going to pack like maniacs–the whole kitchen and more:)  In the meanwhile, I packed for many, many hours yesterday, and will do the same today.  Little by little, it’s getting done, but I’m looking forward to the moment when we are done!

Moving Update–May 5


I feel like I’ve finally turned a corner!  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually get this huge project finished!!!  After working on these shelves for parts of 3 days, yesterday they were finally conquered.  The food that is still there is for the next couple of weeks.  The bin is gluten-free flours and grains that I will keep accessible while we are in the camper.


This is only part of what was on them a while back!  Everything has now been sorted and packed. Numerous glass gallon jars, plastic containers and empty ice cream buckets full of dry beans, rice, sugar, brown sugar, oatmeal, lentils, split peas, etc. have mostly been packed as well.


Most boxes are stacked, ready to be stored in my aunt’s garage over the summer.  They will likely not be needed, though, until after the move.   4-5 bins are going to be left very accessible, so I can replenish my supply in the camper.  That was part of the huge sorting process–choosing an assortment of this and that, anything easy to cook, instant potatoes, jarred spaghetti sauce, etc.–the kind of things I save and rarely use under normal circumstances. Well, the day has come to use it–or the summer, I should say.

I also have been able to empty several shelves, my aunt undid the china cabinet the rest of the way, used books have been sold, more items have been sorted out for the charity shops, some has been donated, and several loads have gone to the storage unit.  Rob burned a huge pile of debris and trash yesterday, and is making a scrap pile for the scrap guy, and a pile for the dump.

The appraisal is today, and is the last big hurdle.  There should be no problem with that, according to our realtor.  While they are doing that, we will go get a p.o. box in the nearest town next to my sister’s place.  Time is really flying along, and the next couple of weeks are turning out to be quite busy.

In the meanwhile, the girls have a dance recital next Saturday, and the paperwork has finally moved along with Patsy’s adoption, so we are going to go before the judge for an adoption ceremony on May 17!   It never rains, but it pours:)  Thankfully, we have the costumes for the recital, and the dress for the adoption.  Rob and  I got her a pair of shoes Tuesday, he will buy her a corsage, and we will be good to go!  At last.  I’m glad.  It just feels right, getting that done before we move.  She’s waited so long for this and is more than ready.  We all are.

Moving Update–April 25, 2016


Things are really starting to move along around here with the house sale and upcoming move.  We have about 4 weeks left before we need to be out.  Here’s what’s going on.

The house sale continues to move along.  We had the inspection last Monday and there was a long list of small things the inspector would have liked to see fixed or changed.  Because we came down a bit on the price, we had already agreed with the buyers that we would not be fixing any little stuff.  So, the 2 things they asked us to fix were some electrical wiring in the basement that looked wrong, and some ants the inspector saw.  Rob got an electrician friend (they asked for a bonded, licensed electrician and he is) who fixed the small problem in a few minutes and a local exterminator who sprayed all around. Those receipts were forwarded to our realtor, and so that’s all done.  Now it moves on to the appraiser, then the bank finishes, then we sign.

Rob spent hours calling around looking for a storage unit.  We wanted it May 1 and need a huge one.  Much to our surprise, they are few and far between and he could not find one.   He is on about 10 lists up and down the Willamette Valley, from here to Salem.  Seriously.  On Friday, one of them called, and we took the unit offered, but it is much smaller than we really need, so he did not remove himself from the lists.  In addition, this place will be watching out for a bigger one and maybe we can switch over–yuck,   or get 2—heaven forbid.  At this point, we will do what we have to do.  We are at that point.

They made him drive and rent it.  They would not do it over the phone. (Can you tell it’s our first time renting one?)  Such a learning curve!!  We will take van loads every Sunday and Wednesday when we go to church to get started moving things.  We took a load yesterday.

Shop/barn/gardening/bikes/tractor/extra cars/lawn mower/animal item such as cages/etc. go to my sister’s.

Canning/clothes/freezers/food storage go to my aunt’s and Rob’s mom’s garages

Furniture/household items to to storage unit(s)

In the meanwhile, the sewing room is completely packed, thanks to my mom and aunt.  We did that Tuesday.  Load after load continues to go over to my brother-in-law’s farm and more will go this week.  We are taking farm items, Rob’s shop equipment, fencing, fire wood, tillers, and eventually, the tractor and all it’s implements.  Until we know if we can get property or not, we don’t want to sell those things.


This week’s plans:  This will be the last week I teach piano.  I will work on Monday and Wednesday, and have a recital on Friday.  I will need to spend several hours in preparation for that, along with several appointments and activities for the kids.  Starting next Monday, my calendar is pretty empty, on purpose.  I will squeeze a few moving things in this week, though.

Rob and I generated a loose plan last night, which we will add to as we think of other things that need to be done.  The items for this week so far are:

B-finish working, have the recital, do appointments on Friday for kids (2), start packing the canning, continue organizing gardening things in garage and greenhouse and move more over to Rosalie’s, work in the garden over there part of 1 day, upstairs bookcase, upstairs closet (mostly done already), wash and change sheets in camper because I’ve had a friend in there all weekend, put in a few more food items I noticed were needed, keep weeding out clothes as I come across them that I think I can either donate, or pack away for a few months (I worked on this already this week and came up with a bunch), plan menus that use up more food from storage

R-make many, many phone calls organizing things and doing whatever necessary to keep the sale moving along, notify friends and family that May 22 is the big day where we can use all hands on deck, take loads of wood and items from barn over (several times, which takes a couple of hours per load, at the least), reserve a U-Haul for May 22, get more boxes if we run low (liquor store boxes often have dividers so I might need more for the canning), take a load to charity shop with odds and ends we find, burn debris (he and a friend cleaned outside and burned a lot on Saturday, but there will be more), work in shop, haul away several pieces of extremely old furniture we are not keeping

Both–completely empty sewing room of packed boxes, take down sewing tables and reconstruct in storage unit so more boxes can be stacked on top (huge, sturdy tables), I think we will be able to stack very high on those without danger of collapsing boxes or bins if we put one on top of the other and put boxes under each layer (we can try to see if it works:) ), carry down and burn extremely old dresser, fill van twice and take to storage, take girls to dance class and have our weekly “date” while we wait, try to get meals cooked amidst this chaos (joint effort), drive L to work (2 hours of driving per day) most days, get J to do some schoolwork and P to do her homework,

As far as I know, no one is coming to help this week.  We are saving them up a bit, now, so we don’t burn anyone out before the big moving day.  On that day, we will hopefully have everything packed ahead of time and it will be a matter of loading trucks and trailers with the furniture and boxes and hauling it all away, then cleaning.  We have a little longer than the 21st, but that is the last Saturday before we have to be out, so that’s when we will do it since more people can come.  During that last week, at some point, we will move our daily living into the camper so we can still function while the house is torn up.

Use Up Some More!


I am getting more aggressive about using things up.  It seems that the more I use, the more I find.  In the past few days, I have been able to make some progress on this project.  I dug in the cupboard and found a bunch of assorted cupcake wrappers.  I made zucchini muffins with mini chocolate chips in them.  I didn’t use them all, but did use a bunch.  Some of those muffins are in the freezer for this weekend.

Another thing I made was a large crock pot of soup.  I used every vegetable I could lay my hands on, frozen broth, and some frozen turkey meat.  I even used a can of potatoes someone had given me maybe 8-10 years ago.  It was fine.  We had the soup for dinner one night, and will have it for lunch tomorrow.  I probably emptied 7-10 cartons from the freezer during this process and for dinner that night.

I also made pizza, using up several odds and ends of gluten-free flours for the crust. I used jars and cans up for toppings and sauce.


Ja’Ana made home-made play dough for Jake when he was with us for a couple of days, recovering from a bad cold.  She used up a bunch of salt, and some regular white flour that has been around for several years, since I’ve cooked gluten-free for a while now.


While cleaning, we found some Kool Aid.  I’ve had it for years.  I cannot remember the last time we made any.  Ja’Ana used it to color the play dough, and then has made up 2 packages during the last couple of days.


Jake loved it!  He would not stop pounding it with that little rolling pin long enough for me to take this picture.  We have a few toys we kept when we were sorting.  He just got out some of those and used them for his play dough.

I have thawed out some chicken burger and some pinto beans that I cooked a while back and will made a small chili-type soup tomorrow or Saturday.  We have a few people helping us on those days, as we are having a big sale, so I want a little extra food prepared. I used up 2 brownie mixes I found on the shelves.  They were both very expired and tasted absolutely fine.

I threw out some frozen zucchini from 2011.  It’s not worth moving.  No matter where I live, zucchini from 2011 is not worth keeping.  There will be lots of fresher zucchini that people will be begging me to take.  Trust me.  People leave it on church and house doorsteps all summer around here:)  (Clearly, I am preaching to myself.  I hate throwing food away, but I have too much of some things)

I felt like I made a lot of progress in just a few days.  My next step is to empty the small freezer under the kitchen refrigerator in to the big freezers I have left, and that’s going to take some more freezer space……..That fridge is broken and won’t come with us to my new house.  Because the freezer below it is on it’s own motor, the freezer works fine, but the fridge doesn’t.