Friday, June 29, 2012

Pack the shy away

Well, after making a promise to myself to be more present here, our internet went and buggered off for nearly a week.  Nice.  However, I'm actually kind of enjoying being unplugged a little bit.  Our cell phones don't work here in the Valley, and without Facebook, you actually have to pick up the phone if you want to talk to people.

Which, frankly, is the way it should be.

I've been thinking a lot about connecting with people, and forming communities, and for me, going out of my comfort zone when it comes to meeting new people.

I'm frighteningly shy when it comes to meeting new people.  I'm great one on one, getting to know someone as an individual is something I think I do well.  But large groups of people?  Hate 'em. 

But when you're the new chick in town, you absolutely HAVE to pack the shy away with the rest of the crap in the attic, and just put yourself out there, if you want to find the people that you connect with.  There is a whole ready-made community here that we've stepped into, but I can't expect to be BFF's with everyone in town.  Even within a little community, there are going to be people that you connect with more than others.

And I'm putting myself out there to find those people.

And it's actually working.

And that's just enough to bring on a boost of confidence, and convince me that I need to keep on doing it.

Because finding those peeps is totally awesome.  And hanging out on the porch with them until midnight (on a school night) and dreaming up crazy adventures is even more awesome.

Making them come wouldn't that be amazing too?  This place feels magical enough that it just might be possible. 


Happy Friday, my friends!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Solstice

Last night we rang in the summer with our first official bonfire, and our first official "hey everyone, come over and play at our house." 

It was perfect. 

We were small, and it was effing hot out, but somehow the bonfire didn't make it any just made it better.  The strawberries and ice cream didn't hurt either.  And after the first wave (with all the little ones) said goodbye, and we put the kids to bed, there was fire part 2.  Just as perfect.

Every day, there is something little, or something big, that convinces me that we absolutely positively made the right choice here.  After floundering around for a few years, we're now exactly at the epicenter of where we are supposed to be.  Where we belong. 

We are home, in our new home, and I couldn't be happier. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

River Rats

Can I just say how much we LOVE HAVING A RIVER OUTSIDE OUR FRONT DOOR???!!
Steve is slightly dubious...

(But handsome still.)

River *swoon*!

Our new home.

Some people look at me like I have two heads when I tell them we moved to a smaller house.  Yup, smaller.  On purpose.  We've gone from 2.29 acres and 2500 square feet, to just over 1500 in the main house, with two smaller out buildings - a studio for Steve and a "guest cabin"on 0.66 acres.  Two bathrooms to one bathroom.  The boys rooms are smaller.  There's no linen closet, no dining room (our dining room table is on the sun porch.)  There's no dryer, there's currently not a washer (although that's coming) and we've gotten rid of about 1/4 of our stuff. 

This whole move, this whole shift that our lives have taken recently, have been about living simpler, with less stuff.  When you have a limited amount of space, suddenly prioritizing what you need and what you don't need becomes easier.  I have two shelves in my closet in my bedroom dedicated to linens.  Anything that doesn't fit on those shelves goes out the door.  So what's important?  How many towels, pillowcases (two things which I seem to have an over-abundance of!) does one family really need?

Similarly, I have one shelf in one cupboard for glasses, one for mugs.  They each fit about 9 pieces.  Wanna get a 10th mug?  Well then I have to decide which one of the other 9 get the boot.  Or if I decide I really need 10 mugs, then say adios to one of my 9 glasses.  Because there is only so much space.  Besides, when is the last time you had ten people at your house drinking coffee at once?  (I'm also a little bit clever, and many of my glasses are actually stout mason jars that can double as mugs should I need them.  And if someone has a problem drinking their coffee out of a glass mason jar?  Then they probably shouldn't come to my house!)

I was thinking yesterday as I added another few empty plastic bins to my pile of empty storage containers that I have growing on the sun porch - there has been such a growing emphasis on "storage solutions" over the past few years.  Smart containers, pretty boxes, plastic bins.  All to fill with stuff, and then hide it away.  I don't remember "storage solutions" being so popular before.  But maybe we don't need more storage solutions.  Maybe the solution is that we actually need to have less stuff.  

We've been working very hard on unpacking our boxes, and finding a home for in our home, for every single thing that we own.  Because if it doesn't have a place to go, then it doesn't belong in our home.  Now I'm not saying that we have to get rid of every single thing extraneous thing that we own. We do have a little bit of attic storage above the master bedroom, for thing that need to be put away for a rainy day (like hand-me-down clothes from Griffin that Corben isn't quite ready to wear yet) and seasonal stuff like skis, Christmas decorations (which I will be quelling ruthlessly when the season arises) and camping gear.  There is also room up there for a box of sentimental treasures, and a few little pieces of this and that that I'm not quite ready to let go of.  It's about deciding what is most important.  And realizing that whatever space you have, you will fill it!

I'm also planning a major toy quelling.  Honestly, the boys have hardly touched their toys since we've been here.  There has been so much going on, and so much coming out of boxes, that toys have been an afterthought.  One thing that I do have a TON of that I'm not willing to get rid of is blankets.  Quilts, warm fuzzy blankets, picnic blankets, baby blankets, most of them have found a spot in the living room (we're guessing we might need them come winter.) And pillows.  Who knew I had so many throw pillows?  But I do, and they're also all in the living room.  Do you know how many hours of fun simple pillows and blankets can be.  The answer is hours and hours and hours!  Throw in a few empty cardboard boxes (and we obviously have lots of those) then who needs toys.  We actually haven't even opened Griffin's Lego.  There are a few stray bits, but the big boxes are still sealed shut!

We have also been making a concerted effort to spend way more time outside than before.  And why not?  There are woods, there is a perfect yard, not to mention a treehouse in that yard (once I take the snow tires out of it...I haven't found a place for those yet!) There is a slide and a swingset in a little park just down the path next door to our house.  There are creepy crawlies all over the place to observe and make homes for.  And there is the river.

Ah, the river!  I can hear it bubbling from where I sit, out the front window.  Of all the things that I love about this place, the river might be one of the things that I love the most.

I've had lots and lots of folks asking for more pictures.  I've been holding off, waiting to get it all unpacked a perfect, until I realized that it'll never be perfect.  Even though everything will have a place eventually, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's all going to BE there.  Already I fold about 12 blankets back up each night.  Put the throw pillow back on the couch. Collect books and clothes.  And so on and so forth.  But enough with the waiting - I'm going to show you pictures anyway, and you're going to pretend to see the finished thing, m'kay?

Living room into the kitchen:
Cute kid in kitchen.  The kitchen needs some love.  Not much, just a little.  It's on the "sooner rather than later" list, but it's functioning quite well as it is.

Living room, overlooking the river.  Pretend that we found our very tall ladder and finished the painting all around the stained glass window and the ceiling trim, and did a second coat of paint up there.  See, now doesn't that look better?  (Good pretending!)
 Mmm...flagstone shower.  No pretending needed.  'Nuff said.
The sunroom.  AKA the dining area.  Also, I am standing in my sewing nook to take this picture.  Having a sewing nook again?  Amazeballs.
Our bedroom.  You can't really tell from this picture, but our bedroom is half buried in a hill.  Those windows are at ground level.  (You also can't tell that half the trim is missing around them, so WHY am I even MENTIONING it?)  The whole buried in a hill thing makes the whole room feel like a cave...the most comfy cozy cave ever.  Until about 6 am, when Mister Golden Sun starts streaming through those windows (which face directly east,) and I wake up with a smile on my face.
So that's it for the day.  Our new house.  Now featuring way less stuff.

It is safe to say that I am smitten!


(P.S. Outdoor pictures to come, I haven't got that far!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hello, here we are.

Here we are, I am, in our new home.

We've been here for two and a bit weeks now, only just now getting the internet hooked up.  Getting internet out here in the sticks is a big deal.  There was the calls, the back and forths, the "where do you live exactly?"s.  And then there was the Very Large Pole.  Which is a blog post of it's own, for another day.

But we are here.  So far, it is love.  We love this place.  We love the house, we love the location, but most of all, we love the community that we've dove head first into.  It's welcomed us with open arms, and we're taking it all in.

This morning we woke to a deer in our backyard.  Corbie spotted it first.  He said "Wow, wook Mommy, its bewful!"  And it was.  It's all been bewful.

We've been chilling on the porch.  Playing in the river.  Going for long walks.  Swimming in neighbour's ponds.  Eating like kings.  Making friends. Being happy.

It's a good way to be.

I need a bit more time to get into the swing of things, and then we'll be good to go.  There are still boxes to be unpacked, washing machines to hook up, soap shops to set up.  But I've made a commitment (at least, in my head I have) to be here more often.  And now I guess I've made it out loud too.  So there.  I will.  Just need a bit more time to settle.  (Plus, the settling has been so much fun!)

See you soon!