We’re In!

Spend the whole day in our new house, scrubbing walls, clearing cobwebs and generally imagining what the next several years of our life will look like.

We are excited to report the well-pump is working. We don’t know yet about the quality of the water (will need to have it tested), and since we haven’t yet purchased a hot water heater we also don’t have hot water yet.

But since we bought the place not even knowing if the well worked, well, we were pretty excited when that water came wooshing out.

That last paragraph as got to have the most Ws I’ve used in a long time. Especially noticeable since my keyboard’s not cooperating.

My kitchen cupboards are disapointing, but I’m praying for inspiration to make them a little less ugly, and I have a couple ideas not completely asked for.

The trick will be whether I can find what I’m looking for at a store– without too much wasted time looking.

The rest of the kitchen will be more fun; I picked a pinkish burgundy for the walls (a first for me) and we expect to buy a full fridge and just use our chest freezer for any frozen stuff.

The kids were thrilled at the chance to pick out the colors for their room (each contributed a shade and each will get to help paint his or her wall) and we plan to recycle the colors elsewhere in the house: sunshine yellow, sky blue, and lavender.

Hey Nonny Nonny, Much Work to Do

We just finished reading The Hobbit.

Melody’s first words on realizing this– she hasn’t been paying consistent attention, though she always begs for another chapter, even when it’s not bedtime– were, “Now! Let’s read it again!

Jay and I took four kids out to the new house yesterday to take notes on measurements and the amount of work to do before we can move in.

Our timeline is pretty tight: Jay goes back to work with the new year, and we have just under a month to meet our goal of having the Princess house back on the market by January 25th.

Wondering now if we’ll modify that goal.

For starters I plan to make the walls in th new place a priority: washing, patching and painting, so I can hang stuff up as it comes out of the boxes.

The flooring needs to be redone in the kitchen, bathroom and library/pantry cabin, but at this point I expect to wait on that until the house is ready for market.

We’ll clean what we can and do a sort of fast-swap, where we bring over what we currently are using and set up house with that before we even start to mess with the stored boxes.

Once we’re out of this house we’ll change our cleaning energies back here, patch and pain the walls then have Lowes come through and replace the carpet.  We expect to leave this house partially staged, using the furniture that won’t come to the new house, and to put it up at a price lower than it is assessed at, with the goal of course to be done with the whole business as quick as possible.

The kitchen is as small as I thought, 2½ feet of counter space on either side of the sink, but we have a 4-ft set of shelves that we hope to set up there if possible.

Right now the house has a front porch that is rather charming to me.  Jay pointed out it would be perfect to enclose as an unheated arctic entry, and I can’t disagree with the logic of his observation, but I feel a little sad about it, since as old and weather-beaten as the exterior looks, the porch made it look nicer.


Last minute (because of course, the clock stops for Christmas) e-mails flying back and forth to prepare for the closing Monday.

Downsizing a Kitchen

In the next month–Lord willing– I will be moving into a new house (and by “new” I mean a 40-year-old cabin, albeit one blessed with running water; not a given in my community).

The layout is fine, but the storage options in my new kitchen are limited to two sets of cabinets: one below the sink’s counter, and one above.

We’ll probably add some more once we get the appliances in and see where they’d fit. But, even with the extras I estimate I’ll have about 1/3 the storage space I enjoy in my current kitchen.

I will have a dry cabin right outside the front door, so any non-daily stuff (pressure-canner!) and pantry storage won’t have to fit in the actual kitchen.

This post is to throw an open door to this sort of advice: What bare minimums would you keep in a stripped down kitchen?

Some of my first answers surprised me, for example, between my salad-spinner and my Kitchen Aid mixer, I’d pick the first.

You see, since going gluten-free most of my baked-goods have been one-batch experiments, hardly worth the effort of unpacking then washing. On the other hand, I’ve really enjoyed the simplicity of the spinner’s results, and food that needs rinsing is cheaper anyway, which makes it the kind I’m most likely to buy.

Fortunately (she says with a grit-tooth grin) my minimalistic living while our house was on the market this summer can inform these choices.

My off-the-top list (these are all things I have and use already. The goal is to keep handy only the constantly used):

  • Dishes to eat off of, and silverware.
  • All my mixing bowls
  • Two of every measuring cup (my ill-fated attempt to use just one of each really cramped me in the kitchen this summer) and all my spoons.
  • Two bread pans, three cookie sheets and four Silpats (non-stick silicone mats. *Perfect* for GF cookies) and silicone baking cups (did you know these will work on a cookie sheet? Means I can pass on the cupcake tins.)
  • Full pot rack (freebie, since it can just hang )
  • Vitamix blender
  • Knife block
  • Microwave and/or toaster oven (These last four will likely fill most of the available counter space– though we usually stack these last two.)

Aaand that’s about as far as I’ve broken it down.  I’m not entirely sure how to divide the food or remaining “filler” that currently finds its home in my kitchen.

Anybody with experience or insight will be heard with great eagerness.

Short Story

We have an appointment to close (write the check) Monday the 27th.

The question, that doesn’t make sense to me, is when we will be given the keys.

(Seems to me that coincides with the payment, but somehow that’s in question?)