Thursday, May 31, 2007

The house I want

This is the house I saw on Tuesday. I'm going to look at it again and probably make an offer.

The siding is actually yellow, with green trim (yes, it looks white in the photo, but it's not.)

The landscaping, especially in back, is beautiful. And it has a picket fence around back and a workshop building at the back of the yard.

And it has a deck and hot tub that is accessible from the dining room through french doors and the huge master bedroom.

Plus the seller is HIGHLY motivated, I'm told.

It has a large basement (walkaround) with the laundry area. They put in extensive white wire shelving down there for uber storage!

The master suite is huge. I think the closet once was a bedroom. The master bath has been redone, as has the second bathroom.

I think the now-second bedroom once was the master. It's also large.

There is a third bedroom upstairs which I may use as a den/retreat.

Large dining room. Yeah!

All the hardwood floors have been refinished.

And the living room has a fireplace.

I'm kind of inlove with it.

Here's a link to more photos and a description: Are you my house?

Just a quick check-in

It is 8:10 a.m. Thursday and I'm getting ready for the final push to get ready for my move Saturday.

One word: GAH!!!!

Yep, I've got to the point where I have a truck reserved and a place lined up -- temporarily. Let me emphasize the word TEMPORARILY. This is the place I went to see Sunday afternoon. It's a block and a half to the office -- I can see where I work from the front door. Two blocks east is the nice big park. About 5 or 6 blocks to the library, city hall, fire station.

The place itself does not thrill me. But it will be OK. For now. I came to an agreement for a month-by-month tenancy with the landlord, fortunately.

Tuesday I looked at a couple of houses. I happened to drop in to a real estate office and came face-to-face with a former classmate who was able to show me two houses. One is my dream house. I want to make an offer on the house ASAP. I've been talking with a banker up there to see if I can get a bridge loan until I sell my house here. One of today's major tasks is to fill out some forms she e-mailed me and fax them back to her.

My temporary quarters are a one-bedroom apartment in an old fourplex, so I am taking the bare minimum with me for now. One bedroom. One living room. One dining area. I don't want to move my big dining set now, although it would fit in this dining room, surprisingly. I'd rather leave it here as part of the furniture to stage the house, then move it once into my next house.

In a way, this feels a bit like going to summer camp. I don't want to get TOO cozy in this place -- I want it to motivate me to get to the next good place. Frankly, the place is a dump. I dont' want to be there when the weather turns cold; at least the landlord takes care of the mowing. And it is cheap. And I won't have to drive to work unless it rains or snows. (sigh).

Well, I've got some dishes to put in a box. I'm only taking a place setting for four because I think that's all my cabinet will hold. Oh, actually there are two upper cabinets and two lower cabinets. But still. Minimalism will reign.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Goodbye, piano, old friend

I just waved goodbye to my baby grand piano. No, I didn't take photos of its departure -- enough is enough.

I've gifted the piano to my church as a farewell gift. This solves my dilemma of "keeping it in the family" without having to move it and find a place for it. And yes, I fee a H-U-G-E sense of relief and gladness knowing where I'm sending it.

My house looks amazingly bigger. Another huge plus, with the house soon going on the market. The living room is brighter and airy. All those things the professionals recommend when selling real estate!

I'll scale back with my "next" piano -- assuming I have another piano in my future. Frankly I can't imagine my life without a piano. I've had one most of my years since I was 4 years old. There were a few years in there after my first piano left me in my 30s when I didn't have one, but I then did get a Yamaha electric piano when I lived in an apartment, before moving to this house. My baby grand came to live with me 11 years ago, almost to the day.

It's all grown up now, no longer a baby. It's time for it to go to church before those troubled teen years arrive.

Bye, Piano! I'll come visit you!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just back from today's search for a home

I have been up since the rude hour of 6:30. My handbell choir played at both services (Pachabel's Canon in D and Great Is Thy Faithfulness). As soon as I had put my bells away after the second service, I was on the road up to my soon-to-be-new-hometown to meet with the Realtor and look, look, look some more. I think we saw eight houses today, in addition to the ones I saw last Monday. Three are on my list to consider making offers on. I will get up tomorrow, make a pro and con list of each house, figure out the best price and decide on a house to start the process on. I'll also need to talk to a local banker about the money first.

I'm dead tired tonight -- my eyes are crossing I'm so tired and I can't focus on words right now. So I bid you a good night with good sleep and pleasant dreams. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The hunt is on!

I spent the day yesterday looking for houses in my old new hometown. The two houses in the post below are OFF the list! The Victorian? It was impossible to find a place in the house with a floor that wasn't slanting one direction or the other. It was hideous. The living room and kitchen had laminate flooring, but the rest of the house had really ratty old wood floors (not pretty wood floors). And there was no trim or threshholds to cover the raw edges of the laminate. T-A-C-K-Y!!

I also saw the weirdest thing I've seen in a house in my memory. There was a secondary staircase in the kitchen. I opened the door thinking I'd go upstairs, but the owners were using the stairs as a pantry. And things looked weird. I finally realized the stairs went to the ceiling -- and stopped. And there was a hole in the wall where the rest of the stairs should have been, but weren't. So if you took the stairs up and made the turn, you'd fall flat on your boom-boom on the kitchen floor. Ka-ra-zeee! I couldn't get out of there fast enough!

The Tudor? Interesting, but impractical. The front door wouldn't open. We had to go in through the side door which entered the kitchen. I liked the character of the house, but the basement was wet and there was an old freezer down there that had been there decades, I'm sure. And it smelled.

Also odd: We could not find anywhere where the refrigerator could be plugged in. And believe me, we looked.

The bathroom had all of its original 1930s fixtures. Character, sure, but not practical.

And the two-car garage? It had no doors. And no evidence that there had been doors!

I looked at four or five other houses. I'll have to make another trip to see more than that. I'll also have to look for rentals in case, at least for short term. I have 19 days before I start working up there! The heat is on!

A friend went up with me. We had a great day, working in a tour of the town as we drove around. We had lunch at Enrique's, a Mexican restaurant at the municipal airport. Lots of people fly in from all over just to eat lunch there. It was fun watching them fly in, land and taxi to the gate next to the restaurant door. They were as casual as though they were parking a car.

Well, keep your fingers crossed that I find the place I'll be sleeping three weeks from now. I'm growing faint.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Breaking News of My Own

It took E.R. a while to get to the point of telling us Dr. E.R. had left him for the Rocky Mountains, temporarily. Now he seems to be getting with the program and is imagining himself actually living there too. (See his blog: E.R.'s Rocky Mountain High )

Well, I've been sitting on a secret of my own for a few months. Today I can tell you that I've been offered a job as an education/government reporter at my hometown newspaper in Ponca City, OK.

I've had mixed feelings about this since the beginning, but I'm pretty excited about this opportunity now. One of my major notes in the "pro" column is a sharp reduction in the amount of driving I'll be doing.

The town has a population close to 26,000 and the paper's circulation is 10,000. Both are considerably smaller than I've been used to since 1976, when I looked at it through the rear-view mirror of my 1971 Datsun station wagon headed south.

The newspaper is in the heart of downtown, surrounded by an old residential neighborhood. I've been scoping out houses within walking distance since I first learned there was a job opening there. One house I'm most interested in is an old Victorian about three blocks from the office. Yes, I would WALK to work and use a COMPANY CAR!

Here's a link: First Mayor's Home.

The house is directly across the street from my favorite park, straight across from the bandstand where community concerts have been held every Tuesday evening in the summers for decades (I remember going to the concerts when I was 5, so that should tell you everything!)

This house is also within walking distance of a magnificent public library, the YMCA, the town's old downtown shopping area and banks, City Hall and the Civic Center auditorium, the Poncan Theater and one of the four Methodist churches in town. I'll have to see which of the four churches I'll attend. I'm leaning towards the one where I grew up, because it looks to be a very mission-oriented church and it still feels like home. But I want to check out all the churches so I don't just return there out of habit!

There are several other houses on my "look at" list, and I'll keep shopping until I find the right place. It's the chance for me to find a home with some history - the Victorian I'm looking at so strongly was the home of Ponca City's first mayor. It was moved to its current location to make room for the city hall!

Another home I'm lookiing at was built in 1930 for George Miller of the historic 101 Ranch. It has me all a-quiver just thinking about it! Here's a link: Miller house.

I cannot believe I have to pack all this junk and move! So much to do -- first move would be to call and accept the job and find out when I have to start!! I'll do that in the morning after I have a chance to talk to some friends and sleep on it. I have to have a garage sale. SO MUCH TO DO!!! What have I gotten myself into?????? AGH!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Oh Mercy!

This might be a pretty good indication of what makes Okies different from other people. We've all heard about the devastation caused by the tornadoes this past weekend in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska -- something like 170 tornadoes recorded and watched by us weather freaks.

A couple of my closest friends are United Methodist ministers. Both of them have been appointed to new churches starting June 1. And wouldn't you know it, both of their new churches were scarcely missed by tornadoes this weekend! Lord, change is hard enough. Please let my friends have a church for their ministry when they go where You have led them!

I finally got worn out from watching weather reports last night and went to bed. About 2 a.m. (more or less, I really didn't wake up), I heard very strong rain, wind and was awakened (sort of) by lightning. I was coherent enough to know I needed to reset the alarm clock because there was a brief power outage. I immediately went back to sleep.

I didn't get a chance to watch any weather reports today until the late-night news broadcast. That's when I discovered there was a tornado within three miles of my house that caused the power outage, as I slept.

Yep, I'm an Okie girl, so much so that I ain't 'fraid of no tornadoes!