Moving is very surreal to me--I'm always amazed just how much stuff we have, just how complicated it is to pick up your life and change, and I'm always amazed just how life goes on and can feel normal. After all, while the state, town, home, school, ward, grocery store, library, YMCA, etc. all change, the basic family stays the same. The view might change, but the substance of every day life stays remarkably the same. Trust me--I've done this a lot.
We've been here for 2 weeks. Our house is taking shape. We bought a semi-fixer upper, and are constantly revising our plans for it. It really has potential, but for the first few days I was a bit overwhelmed at everything that ought to be done. We're missing switch plates and a bannister; the only working appliance when we moved in was the dishwasher. At the same time, we have nearly new solid surface countertops, tile floors (one of which needs to be torn out at some point), and built-in bookshelves. So far, we have started painted (with mixed success, as is usual for me), ripping off wallpaper (makes our house look worse than it is, but I swear it has to get worse before it gets better), replaced most of the appliances (again, with mixed results--I'll get to that later), and replaced the carpet (upstairs only), and started replacing outdated light fixtures (We kept bumping into the ugly hanging chandelier in the room we are not using as a dining room). We have unpacked probably half of the boxes, or more, but have hardly touched the basement, including most of the toys, and are still trying to work out where everything goes. Our kitchen is a work in progress. I plan on blogging about our renovation projects in more detail as we go along.
One of my favorite little moving stories is something we like to call, "Measure twice, rip out once." Knowing that we needed nearly all new appliance, I spent the last few weeks in Michigan hunting down deals. Because we needed things soon, I didn't have any luck finding super-good second-hand deals, but I did find a clearanced fridge at The Home Depot that looked like it might work. I had a pretty good idea of what I was willing to spend and what I could get for that amount of $. The fridge was available immediately and was within the budget. I had measured, checked the measurements, and wrote down the info on a scrap piece of paper. I'm not so good with details. I know I checked the height in the store, but when we got it in place, it was 1/2 in too high! What to do?!
And a closeup:
The solution was fairly simple, if somewhat destructive--Since we cared more about the fridge than about the cabinets, we tore out the cabinets. Six screws later, our fridge fit (although it was still an inch or two deeper than it should have been), and we have much more space on top than we did before! At some point I'm sure we'll come up with an attractive solution, but for now, we have a fridge and life is good.
So that's it for now, but watch for more updates coming soon on what I like to call "the practice house." Why? Because we probably won't be here for the long haul, given our track record, and this place will give us lots of "practice", testing our skills and refining what we actually want in a house, before we finally find a place to stay.