Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Getting Settled In

It's been a little over a month since my last post, and I'm happy to say that our apartment is finished, and we are moving in!  We've been moved in since August, but neither of us has changed our residency yet.  We've been too busy running back and forth, cleaning out the house in MD, etc.  I'm purposely keeping my MD license and car registration until October, because we have a bunch of stuff that will need to go to the county dump in MD.  You can't even get in there without a MD license plate.  I hope to make that run in the next couple of weeks.  We have tenants moving in the 2nd week of October!

The laundry rack my partner made has been put to the test, and we use it every day!  I find that I can hang laundry out as late in the day as mid-afternoon, and the clothes still get dry, for the most part, by just after dark.  Anything that's not dry gets hung on the screened porch.  If there's a lot, I concede and throw it in the dryer on the "air" setting.  We have not had to do that yet, though.  I have learned that, when using a rack or drying system that has multiple strings or wires, you get better results if you hang stuff on every other string.  This allows more air to pass between the items.  Also, when I'm drying blankets or towels, I will hang them across multiple strings, for the same reason.

We thought the dog pen was complete, so we brought my mom's dogs home from the sitter's.  Turns out they can both escape it, so we have a little more work to do.  2x4s are being put across the bottom of the pen, all the way to the ground, with fencing stapled on the inside of the pen.  At the top, my partner's going to add 2ft pieces at a 90 degree angle to each post.  We'll then put fencing across from post to post, so that even if the dogs climb, they'll be stuck.  Our friends told us this would happen, but we were sure it would not, because the sitter insisted that the dogs were well behaved and don't climb or dig.  (WRONG-O!) For now, we are walking them, which seems dumb, us being in the country, but they're both runners, and our neighbors don't appreciate that.  It works out OK, but I'll be happy when we can get them to use the pen without misbehaving.  I told my partner that the next dog(s) we get will be better trained from the word, "go." My parents never made much effort on that front, and it's been a sore spot.  That said, we are happy to have the dogs home.  The family feels more complete now.

This past Sunday, we brought our own cats over from MD and put them  in our apartment.  They're adjusting OK.  Once we start to get our furniture in down there, I think they will feel better.  I'm also doing things differently this time.  Instead of using Scat-Mats to keep them off of the furniture, I've bought special covers, so that they can make themselves more at home and sit on the furniture with us.  We even plan to leave the bedroom open during the day, so they can lounge on the bed (with the special covers, of course!) They only have two casement windows to look out of here, so I want them to have more free range and be allowed to do more.  Their closet's not quite done yet, but it's close.  We've done most of the tiling.  I just have a few more pieces to place, and then we need to grout.  Once that is all done, quarter round will go in place at floor level, and then we'll be good to go. Once we're more moved in, I will be sharing photos here on the blog.  

We are upsizing and downsizing at the same time.  While we have moved out of a house that belonged to me and had its own yard and into a one-bedroom apartment, that apartment is in the basement of a much bigger house, which sits on five acres.  About 1/3 of the property is wooded.  The rest is open lawn.  We have full use of the house and property, but the house belongs to my mom.  She asked us to move in with her.  We have had full reign to build the dog pen, and (eventually) put in what will be a very large food garden.  I am also allowed to make certain decisions about care of the house, repairs, etc.  I just run everything by Mom.  This will make her life a lot easier, and it will enable her to stay at home, which is something we are very big on.

We still don't know when my mom will be coming home, but I have started to gather the information we need to make that happen.  Mom has had the opportunity to have more speech therapy, but that will extend her stay.  We're not ecstatic with that, but Mom thinks it would be a good thing to go through with it.  That gives us more time to get the house ready for her to come home.

Living in a bigger house does mean we will be leaving a bigger footprint; however, it also gives us more opportunities to simplify and live green.  We will be cutting our own wood (with a battery-powered chainsaw).  We will be growing as much of our own food as we can.  We are reusing a lot of the old furniture that my mom had kept from my grandparents. The only challenge to living here is that, being in a rural area, recycling things beyond paper and co mingled will be a real challenge.  I'm researching ways to do that, though, and I think that eventually our particular area will catch up to the DC area, chiefly because there are a lot of DC area transplants out here.  I'm being patient, I'm being careful what I bring home, and I'm doing my homework.

As for money, I am doing freelance/virtual work.  Once Mom comes home and we get care established, I may or may not seek out regular, part time work.  I'm seeing this as an opportunity to build my own business and try to stay out of the corporate world.  I've been through a lot where work is concerned, and I think I'd prefer to be on my own at this point.  If we are lucky, renting out my house in MD will allow for me to do this.  (Eventually, I would like to sell the Little Stone House, though.)

One day at a time, yeah?

Photo credit:  Jennifer L. Moore

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