Under one roof

Now that we’ve sold the other house and sold and moved the rest of the “stuff” we can finally get settled under one roof. Yeah!

We no longer have a basement which means we gave up a ton of storage. Our new bonus room is full of stuff I’ve still got to go through to decide what to do with. We do have a walk in attic, which is nice, but I don’t want to put things like art in the attic because of the changes in temperature. We have a ton of art, but with an open floor plan we don’t have a lot of wall space.

We downsized from three guest rooms to one. We thought we’d have two, but I’ve made the second one my office. The small room I’d originally planned to use was just too small, and we’re using it as a sitting area. It’s damned hard to go from a bonus room as an office to a small bedroom, but I’ll manage.

The rest of the house I love. The kitchen is more open than the other house. Fewer cabinets, but we have two pantries! Our master bedroom is huge, though due to the windows and doors there is only one way the furniture can be arranged. We have a fabulous bathroom. Seriously…We could entertain in there. We have a walk-through shower with three shower heads. And our closet is a big improvement over the other house. To make it even better Hubby and I customized it with drawers, shelves, and rods as our first new house project.

The best part is the back yard. Hubby says we bought the back yard and the house came with it. We’ve had a pretty mild summer, and I’ve probably spent as much time sitting on the back porch (it’s where I worked since all the boxes were stacked in my “to-be” office”) as I did inside. Besides the porch, there is an outside kitchen, patio, fire pit and gazebo. The yard is fenced in and landscaped beautifully.

The neighborhood is great. We’ve already had two street parties! It’s a new street and only one house hasn’t sold, so everyone has lived here two years or less. Therefore, everybody is pretty social. There’s a good mix of ages–young families to retired couples.

Now that we have all of our belongings under one roof we can really decide what we’re going to keep and what else we’re going to part with. Difficult, but necessary decisions.

We are grateful to be under one roof and hope to have an open house in a few weeks before the weather turns cold. That’s incentive to unpack and hang pictures quickly.

It will be nice to finally feel settled. I love the neighborhood and the community. Now, I’m ready to love my house!

~ Kay

One house family

Earlier this week we closed on our other house. The buyers were former neighbors, no less.

When we moved in, they lived two doors down. They (over) downsized and missed all of their friends in the neighborhood. They are both in the music industry and are going to turn the basement into a music studio/venue and hold home concerts there.

They’d always loved the house, and we purchased it from close friends of theirs. Of course, we’ve made lots of changes (which luckily they like). The great thing is they know and love the neighbors and vice versa. They were excited when they saw the house was on the market.

I just wish we’d known we’d know they were interested before we listed it, and we could have saved a real estate commission and given them a better deal. Oh, well.

When they lived in the neighborhood before, we didn’t know them well. We were both working long hours and only saw them in passing. But, we’ve gotten to know them during the buy/sell process and we really like them. We are so happy the house will have their positive energy in it.

We moved most of our belongings to our new house in June, but left enough behind to stage the house. Therefore, since it has sold I’ve been selling things on Craig’s List, and area Buy, Sell, Trade. We have a few pieces of furniture to move and a ton of boxes to move from the basement to the attic–Christmas decorations, family pictures, etc. Even so, it shouldn’t be a big move. I’ve already moved all of our plants and art and pretty much everything I could get in my SUV.

I’m spending this week unpacking the boxes that have been here since June now that I finally have some bookshelves to put things on. (We’d left them for staging). Hubby is out of town (convenient, huh?) — in fact he didn’t even make it to the closing. I had his power of attorney so I had to sign his name, then my name, Attorney in fact, then sign for myself. My hand is still cramping. He’s in Florida on business. If he comes back with a tan he’s in big trouble.

Already, I’m seeing progress. I unpacked several boxes today and plan to work all day tomorrow and Thursday on the house. It probably won’t happen, but I’d love to have everything unpacked and put away when Hubby returns home.

Regardless, the house closed, and we are a one house family! I’ve made the calls to switch the utilities (such a hassle) so I think we’re ready to go. I don’t know how people who move often do it.

~Kay

New floors

When you walk into the front door of our new house you enter on hardwood floors which continue through the living area, kitchen, dining area, etc. However, there is a small room off to the right with an arched opening (no door) and a bedroom off to the left (with a door) that had carpet. The carpet didn’t make sense to me.

I wasn’t sure what the room on the right was for. It’s small, so maybe a parlor…or piano room. Initially, I thought I’d make it my study and have floor to (10′) ceiling bookshelves built-in and make it look very Dickin’s-ish.

I got quotes on the built-ins and started looking at floors. One of the guys giving me a quote suggested I wouldn’t want hardwood if I planned to use a roller chair or a library ladder. Well, with 10′ ceilings, I did plan to have a ladder (because they are cool), and I was going to have a desk incorporated as part of the built-ins. He said the wheels would “ruin the hardwood” and suggested laminate that looked like hardwood would be a better choice.

I wasn’t thrilled, but looked at the laminate and decided it would do. Then I decided to go ahead and do the floors, but hold off on the builtins. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted that to be a library/office or a sitting room. Well, it seems if I used laminate, the builtins would need to be installed before the floors. If it covered the entire floor, then if something as heavy as builtins were put on it later, the floor could buckle. Huh?

I was in Lowe’s bemoaning my options and learned they make porcelain tile that looks like hardwood. I had my doubts, but I brought a piece home and it looked pretty close. Of course it has grout, but what the heck? It seemed like my best option.

It took a week for two workmen to install the two rooms and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m attaching three shots of the room on the right (no doors) which for now I’m using as a sitting room. I’ll use the other room as my office. There’s no way I’d show you pictures of that room in its current state, but the floor is the same.

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To the dismay of my flooring guys, I put down a rug!

 

IMG_1597This one shows the line of demarcation between the

hardwood in the hall and the porcelain tile in the sitting room.

My toe is where the tile meets the hardwood.Tile is in front of my foot; hardwood behind.

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In the photos the tile doesn’t seem to be as high gloss as the hardwood but in reality it is hard to tell a difference. I didn’t do this but this is a floor that could be heated, if desired.

We’re getting there…little by little. I wanted to finish these floors before we did the final move which will be next Monday. Whew!

~ Kay

Happy Birthday, Mother

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Today would have been my mom’s 79th birthday–well sort of. Birthdays were a big deal in our family, and we always celebrated September 13 as her birthday. But in a conversation with one of my mother’s sisters who lived in California all of my life (so I wasn’t around her much until we connected when I was an adult), my aunt swore she remembered it being cold when Mother was born. Hummm… a mystery.

 

Mother had already already passed–she died way too young at 56 from complications of a stroke–so who did I ask? My dad stuck to the September 13th story as did other relatives. Finally, another of my mother’s sisters, ten years her senior, admitted Mother was actually born on December 13th. But, as the youngest of a house full of children, Mother was precocious and very smart. Both of my mom’s parent’s worked, and apparently my aunt took Mother to school with her and enrolled her, telling them her birthday was three months earlier than it was. She told Mother September 13th was her new birthday, and she could tell no one any different–ever.

 

According to family lore, the court house where the birth certificate was filed (it had been a home birth) burned. When they applied for a new one, they listed the new date. How they got my grandparents to go along with this, I have no idea.

 

I confronted my father with this new information, and he verified it was true, but said Mother got extremely angry if anyone brought up her birthday was in December. Man, I wish my younger sister had taken my directives as seriously as our mom apparently did from her older sister.

 

It baffled me because the September date actually made her older, something as we age most of us would prefer not to be. Me — I probably would have claimed both dates and had two birthdays a year (but only adding a year to my age on one of them.) But what do I know?

 

Anyway, in my mind, today is my mom’s birthday, and I hope she’s eating angel food cake with lots of ice cream in a world filled only with love and happiness.

 

Happy Birthday, Mom! I miss you bunches!

~ Kay

 

A delightful day

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending an hour or so chatting with Howard Kittell, CEO of the presidential home of Andrew Jackson, The Hermitage.

I’ve been on the property a good bit during the past couple of years doing research for my next cozy mystery MURDER AT THE HERMITAGE. I assured Howard The Hermitage is simply the backdrop for my plot, and that I will make it very clear the book is fiction. However, I hope readers will become intrigued with the setting and want to visit this historical treasure.

But we didn’t just talk about my book. We talked about other authors, and he gave me the name of some I want to check out soon. We also discussed some of the things going on at the property. Let me tell you, it’s a happening place!

I get their e-mail blasts and notes from the curator, so I was aware of some of their programs. If we hadn’t moved, I’d probably have joined their new outside yoga program. There’s always something new–a good reason to be a member and have year-round tickets!

As I’ve met the staff, I’ve been impressed with their education, their level of knowledge, their skills, and most of all, their willingness to share information with me.

I took Howard the first five chapters of my book so he could get an idea of my voice and how a cozy differs from a thriller. He is going to put me in touch with some of his staff members to help me quadruple check my facts. While I’m only using it as a setting, it’s a real setting and I want it to be authentic. The story–that’s where I go off into my imagination.

It’s so refreshing for a CEO to take the time to talk with a writer about her upcoming book, her vision for it, and offer valuable insights. Thanks, Howard. It was the highlight of my day!

~ Kay

 

 

It’s September

Where did the summer go…or this year for that matter? It has flown by.

September always conjures up memories of the start of the school year for me, college in particular. Then I have to smile as I remember all of the escapades of my college roommate and me. To protect the innocent (and the guilty) I won’t go into them, although the statute of limitations ran out decades ago.

Today is my college roommate’s birthday and I want to take this opportunity to tell her Happy Birthday. We seldom see each other–or even talk or e-mail, but I know she’d be first in line if I needed someone in a  pinch–and vice versa.

Happy birthday Linda Ann. Go out, do something silly and think of me. Love you bunches!

~ Kay