Coffeegirl63's Blog

Begin again January 18, 2015

Filed under: House hunting,My House,Writing — coffeegirl63 @ 11:07 am
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To say I’m going to begin again makes me feel like I need to fill in the gaps. Somehow that’s intimidating, and so more than a year goes by, and I think about how I should be writing, how I want to be writing, and then two years go by, and I get more and more intimidated, and so I just stay silent.

Suffice it to say, it’s now been two years since I posted anything. At first, I was tempted to create a whole new blog so it wouldn’t look like I’ve been a slacker for two years. However, those few of you who read my simple writings here will probably be invited to read my start-over, too… so… like Michael Finnegan, I will begin again.

There have been some major changes in the last couple years. The best one involves my living situation. I was able to sell my Falcon house and move into one more suited to me.

My old house was:
~ too far away – 25 miles from work
~ east of town – not as pretty as I’d like… almost no trees, no old neighborhoods
~ too big – 2600 square feet all by myself
~ too expensive
~ too many responsibilities with owning, but not being handy enough to maintain, a home

My new DLH (Dear Little Home) is:
~ close to work – 2.5 miles from work
~ on the west side – running distance to Red Rock Open Space and Garden of the Gods, old neighborhoods, trees, community, walking distance to shops, library, post office, farmers’ market… where I’ve wanted to live for years
~ two doors down from my girls’ apartment – no explanation needed
~ perfectly tiny – my whole stand-alone little house is 300 square feet

Some things are the same. This summer, I will have been at my current job for 13 years, and I still love it. One thing that makes me love it more, though, is that my younger daughter has been working with me for over a year now. Not only does she make my work life so much more reasonable (definitely a two-person job), but it is such a delight to get to work every day with one of my best friends and one of my favorite people in the world!

I’ve been in my DLH for a year now (January 4, 2014), and I love it more as time goes by. It’s perfect for me in so many ways (as listed above). DLH was built in the 1960’s, but it was rebuilt for me. One of the perks of that is that I was able to have bookshelves put in all around! They are above the door-jam/window-sill level on most walls. DLH is easy to keep clean. There is only room for absolute necessities (books, stuff for cooking, clothes… necessities). So if I find a new coffee mug that I love, I have to decide which of my currently necessary coffee mugs must go; there are only so many cup hooks, and they are currently all full. I’ve become clever with storage space; not as clever as I’d like, but it’s a work in progress. For example, I grocery shop more often. Currently, my out-of-season and a few other things are in a storage unit. This winter, my landlord is building me a large shed. I think it will help a lot to have stuff easier to get to. I’ve been here a year, and it’s already time to cull again. The only thing I miss, and only at this time of year, is a garage.

Every single day, coming home puts a smile on my face and brings peace to my heart.

Other things… I ran my first half-marathon in September, 2014. It was fun. I set a goal to finish in under 2.5 hours, and I finished in 2:27:58. I was quite pleased! My older daughter ran with me. She has helped me go from being a poor runner to enjoying long runs and being able to push myself a bit. I am signed up for another half marathon in Livermore at the end of March. It should be beautiful. It starts a few blocks from my sister’s house and runs through the vineyards on the edges of town. I ran some of it when I was in Livermore at Thanksgiving, and it really is a pretty run.

 

Another update June 1, 2010

Filed under: House hunting — coffeegirl63 @ 3:37 pm
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My house is coming along quickly. It’s very exciting! It has a roof and windows. The frame inspection is next week, and they should be able to give me an approximate closing date around the same time. The best thing about all this? My daughter recently said to me, “Mom, the more we spend time together, the more I can’t wait for us to be living together!” Oh! My mommy-heart is thrilled!

On Saturday, Julia and I helped our good friends move from the confinement of city living to an expansive farm outside of town, complete with cows, goats, ducks, dogs, and horses. Because their needs are mostly provided for out there, they VERY generously gave me most of their household. Instead of having to spend a lot of money on move-in, I have been given: washer, dryer, beds, dressers, a plethora of storage shelves, a vacuum cleaner… even trash cans! And as I was leaving, my friend noticed that her across-the-street neighbor was selling a refrigerator for $65. Now, I never carry cash, but that day I had $60 in my wallet. I asked, they accepted, I now also have a refrigerator! God is so good!!

I’ve met my new neighbors, and they’re very nice. I think it’s going to be a really good neighborhood. There’s a bit of a commute, but I don’t mind it at all. I’ve driven it a few times. In the morning, it’ll take about half an hour; in the evenings, it’ll take closer to 45 minutes if I leave right at 5.

The neighborhood includes a couple community centers. Julia and I will have close access to pools, weight rooms, and exercise classes.

It’s all I hoped it would be.

In Him, Joni

 

Just an update May 10, 2010

Filed under: House hunting — coffeegirl63 @ 6:56 am
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This weekend, I found a house I really like! I appreciate your prayers as I make decisions about whether this is the one for us. Julia and I both really like it. It has a front porch, from which I can sit and sip wine, with a clear view of Pikes Peak. There’s a park behind my house (uh, oh–not a good sign… I’m already taking ownership) and a greenbelt in front… so pretty unobstructed views. There are good running paths in the community. It’s near enough to the highway that my commute wouldn’t take much longer. The foundation has been poured, but it has to be completed. It’ll probably be done in July. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

 

Househunting and Introspection April 26, 2010

Filed under: House hunting — coffeegirl63 @ 7:04 am
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I want to buy a house. For some time now, I’ve wanted to have my own place. I’m almost out of debt and will soon be able to take care of myself financially—very exciting, I must say. It’s amazing what can be discovered about oneself when house hunting, don’t you think? For example, I absolutely KNOW that I do not want to listen to strangers live their lives. Here’s a true story (names withheld to protect those who probably don’t want to be publicized): two girls, one 15 and the other 11, walk up to their mother. 11 year old says, “Hey, Mom, someone in our apartment building won the lottery last night!” Mother replies, “Really? How do you know? Is it somebody you’ve met here?” Innocent little girl says, “I don’t know, but last night when we were going to bed, Sissie said, ‘hey, somebody’s getting lucky tonight!’” (scolding of older daughter to follow… uproarious laughter on mother’s part to follow even later when the girls aren’t around).

That lack of desire to share the daily lives of others eliminates apartments, especially, and townhomes, probably. People say I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I DO want to mow my own lawn. I want a yard so I grow my own garden—fruits, vegetables, herbs, and a few edible flowers. It’s important that the kitchen is big enough for Julia and me to cook and visit and enjoy time in. Something that may be very difficult to find unless I buy an older house is a front porch. My heart’s desire would be a wrap-around porch. Anyway, I like to sit on the front porch—drinking wine and watching a good Colorado rain storm in the evening just brings peace to my soul!

As you get to know me, you may come to understand, I have conflicting emotions in situations like this. There are certain things that are very important to me—I want my own bathroom, I want a big kitchen, I don’t want to live in an apartment—but I don’t want to be a pain to anybody. I don’t want to be the “problem client.” Really, I don’t NEED so many of the things I want. Am I selfish and/or shallow for hoping to have my dream someplace to live? Should I be content with something very simple instead? I want my home to be a sanctuary—a place I can come home to and know that I really am “home” at the end of the day. Because of my desire not to be a burden, it’s difficult for me even to make a wish list. All of these thoughts make me question why I want what I want. Some things I want because I like them and have never had them. Some I want because I have had them and know that I still want them. And what if my desires are born out of latent, unmet desires from my childhood? Is that so bad?

My realtor is very patient and willing to teach me everything I need to know about the house hunting process. He’s also kind enough to print out everything that fits my basic criteria so that I can circle, highlight, and mark up every page. This teaches me things about people’s differing taste. For example, did you know that evidently some people don’t mind that the master bathroom is also the only available bathroom for visitors to use? Or that some people feel it’s ok to build a bathroom in the kitchen? He may grow weary of my questioning ways before all is said and done, but for now at least he’s not complaining 😉

I’m hoping readers will get on and comment on what you know, what you love, what you hate, what you learned after you bought your house that you wish you’d known before, stuff like that. For example, I’ve learned that it’s important that you know you can work with your realtor before you sign an agreement to work exclusively with him. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wonderful realtors, some inexperienced realtors, and (unfortunately) some unethical realtors. Did you know that you can actually interview several realtors and ask for references? You can, and indeed you should!

My next few weeks will be an adventure as I look for the perfect house for me. It’s an adventure I’m looking forward to. I’ll keep you posted.

In Him, Joni