Tuesday, January 29, 2019

We Found It In 1930!

First, I need to apologize for the abruptness of the last post.  I typed it on my phone just to let you folks know I hadn’t fallen off the edge of the earth.  I am not exactly a suave thumb typer, so…..sorry.
Our "new" home ~ a modest little 1930 2 bdr farm cottage.
She's nothing fancy, rather unassuming ~ and we love her.

     But yes, we moved.  After 18 years and me and my big mouth “I’m never moving,” we moved.  It was relatively quick once we made the decision, but it wasn’t a frivolous decision.  Since spring there had been something stirring in me.  My “baby” graduated high school last spring, and I think there was the realization that the kids would never again be minor children.  They have been primarily with their father but at least in this mama’s heart, they will always be my little munchkins.  In many ways (and much hindsight) I think I have been living for them.  Maybe that sounds weird, but something sparked and motivated me to get on with my life.  I have a wonderful husband, and we’ve talked about how and where we want to retire and it finally came time to walk the walk.  If we are ever to achieve our vision, we had to make some changes.  In case you are unaware, I don’t change easily, but something about all of this just seemed right.  
These are the very steep stairs to what they called "the bonus room."  It can't be classified as a bedroom due to the stairs.  Works for us.  Here let me show you what's up there.

A few of the things we considered were both of us commuting.  My commute was about 40+ min each way and his was 55+ min each way.  We also moved across state line.  Oregon is an income tax state so there is 9% of our pay that we never see.  That’s significant!  Washington is a sales tax state which only really matters if we are spending a lot of money.  We are in the “trying to get rid of” stage of our lives not the acquiring stage.  We are hoping to save money rather than spend it.
It's our hobby room.  I'm actually embarrassed to show this picture.  I can't believe how much fabric I have.  I have been gifted a fair bit over the years as well as what I acquired on my own.  I am going through it little by little and getting rid of quite a stack which is the pile in the left of the picture.  Mr. LB ties flies so his stuff is small and tidy.  All I can say is, "I'm working on it."

Also, once we sell the house up the mountain, we will have a nest-egg to bank and grow.  Not entirely sure what that means as we will decide once it sells and our views on economy and options at that time might be different than they currently are.  We are trying to get things dialed in and create focus.  In addition, we decided renting might be a better option than buying as coming up with a down payment while paying the current mortgage and readying that house to sell would be a challenge. 
If I am standing at the top of the stairs and turn from the hobby room, there is this funny little nook that my grampa's desk fits into just perfectly.  There is no outlet so I have an adapter from the light and ran an extension cord.  I still need to pin it up along the ceiling.  This is my writing and drawing nook.  I am hoping to spend some happy hours here.  Sorry, you are getting the still in process pictures.

Almost immediately after telling Mr LB, “Let’s move,” he found a place I referred to as “the Barry Manilow House.”  It was all yellow and gold and dark wood paneling and florescent lights in dropped ceilings, but had the type of space we needed.  Egads! Gasp! Cough!  So I almost as immediately looked up and found a charming cottage with equally nice garage/parking etc. and suggested it.  Deal!  So I called, filled out the application and scheduled the viewing.  The evening before the viewing, we received a call.  The owners pulled it.  My heart sank.  For the 2-3 months following, I looked at listings daily.  We looked at several houses.  One thing we found is most folks want a large house and a small garage for storage.  We of course, we aren’t normal.  We wanted a smaller home but needed a real garage.  The other thing we found was houses that allowed pets translated to grimy and dirty.  I’ve been a homeowner since 1994 so I quickly realized a few things in the renting world have changed - go figure.  We were nearly deflated after a couple of other places fell through.  We had hoped to move before year end so that next years taxes would be easier - yes, another one of our motivations.  Nine days before Christmas, a couple hours after I had gone to bed, MrLB came up stairs and said, “I have to wake up up.”  I hadn’t actually slept (anxiety.)  He said the cottage was re-listed.  “What!?!” Repeated.  “You’re kidding!” “Nope,” blinding me with phone in the dark.
This was once the walk in cooler.  It still has the original door which is cool.  They put a hole through the wall to recess the refrigerator.  It was just a dingy room with a make shift shelf, a few cans of paint and some old blinds when we moved in.  This was MrLB's first project.  He's such a love.  I knew I was protective of my pantry, but moving it stressed me out a bit.  Now it's all safe and sound and reorganized.

Rentals go by first complete application received = first priority so at 11PM I got up, went down stairs, and got on the computer to fill out the application.  It was a good thing I did.  Another couple had applied the following morning.  MrLB went and did the viewing, said we’d take it, and we signed the lease (online.)  Mind you, I still hadn’t seen it, but knew it was right.  I had asked God to put us in the right place and ‘knew’ he would.  Have you ever experienced that?  After this place was pulled initially and after looking at another place that turned out to be a dive, I had gone for a drive.  Not knowing any of the backroads, I thought I would just see where I ended up.  I ended up staring at the cottage, pulled over, prayed (and cried at that point,) then found my way back to the highway and headed back up the mountain.  So, when that little cottage became available again, I said a big “Thank you,” to God and signed that lease sight unseen.  
Though I'm not wild about the garbage can gray they painted the lower cabinets, I love this little feature in the kitchen.

We met at the house December 21st to do the walk-through and list any existing damage and get the keys.  We hauled our first load December 22nd.  Christmas was at our house up the mountain, then two more major loads the 28th and 29th.  In case you are wondering, Christmas week is not the most optimal time to move.
Homemade cake donuts ~ I had to!

Our “new” home is a 1930 farm cottage and sits on 73 acres (which is leased out to a farmer.)  We are down-sizing by almost 40%.  That part seems unreal as we seem to have everything we need.  We have made a couple smaller loads and still have a few things to get but we’ll be having a HUGE yard sale.  We will be sprucing up the house before listing it (hopefully) this spring.  
It’s funny how in my mind, I knew I didn’t want to retire where I was, but was so hesitant to change just for fear of the unknown.  We love this little cottage - even though it’s not ours, we can be good stewards and appreciate it for what it is and what it is helping us to achieve.  Sometimes taking the necessary steps are scary or imitating but once you start it’s an amazing trip.

There's more to share, but this post is rather long so will close for now.


  1. What an amazing first post to discover your blog on! Congratulations on finding such an incredible place, and welcome to Washington. My husband and I are going in the reverse direction, living up in Bellevue now and moving down to Eugene (or thereabouts) when we retire. I look forward to continuing to read about this charming place! Cheers.

  2. Congratulations on your new (albeit rented) home. For sure God was looking out for you and giving you the strength to move forward in your new path.

  3. It's beautiful! God is so good, and it's always nice when He plans the changes and makes it evident to us. Glad you are back!

  4. It looks so cozy. I love that little nook and the desk. And your pantry!

  5. Wow! I love your new cottoge. It's so sweet and charming. Congratulations. I love the photos.

  6. I am so happy that you are happy. Things do seem to work out as you need them to. Enjoy your new home. Keep us posted.

  7. We have talked and talked about moving we have been her 30 years and have a large house but we love it here and would be hard pressed to find what we have here. No only that I have a lot of stuff!!!

  8. Wow! I spend a couple of weeks focusing on classes and you up and moved. I'm a bit shocked. The new house looks pretty nifty. Hope you get your old home sold quickly. Congratulations on the big change.

  9. Congratulations! How exciting! I lived for my children as well so I completely understand how that process works. Love them dearly but life is happier when we've made this change. Good for you.

  10. I downsized once but not by 40%. Thank goodness for a full basement and walk up attic!
    You sound very happy and that is what life is all about. Congrats!

  11. Holy smokes! Your pantry is to die for girly! I love that cottage, I feel like I'm right there with you when it comes to the moving and knowing that you are meant for different things. This post sparked me to write a post about this exact thing, and how God always gives us our desires if we that and know we will get it. I'm still in awe over that pantry. I'd love it if you did a post about your process for canning. Please oh please. I love you peanut! I'm so tickled for you, I know you are so happy.

  12. Your new home does look cozy and well-built. And the land....to me the yard is 50% of what I look for in a house. I too, trust in God to lead. Which seems that I do best with Him closing doors. But after wanting to move for decades, we finally moved (upon my husband's retirement). Changes always take getting used to, but if you let God guide you, you at least know there is a reason for everything and it is always for your best happiness. Andrea

  13. Hello from Texas...Your new home is wonderful! Can’t wait to follow along on your new path!