Monday, June 27, 2011

Kids' closet

kids closet before
A closet does not seem like a big deal.
Except when the closet is totally bare!
No shelves, rods, ... NOTHING!

I had to find something for my kids' closet. She is only 7 and will grow into bigger clothes (probably more as well) so a custom fixed shelving was out of the question (so was spending a fortune).

I found Rubbermaid closet systems online. They have a really cool tool where you just type in your closet dimensions and you can play around with configurations. When you found the design you like, you can print out a parts list or the part number for the kit you need. So easy and no software to download!

ALL the clothes fit with room for toys!
Here is my daughters' closet for just under $90 at Lowes. There are parts left for another closet of the same size (just with less shelves 'cause I used all but one in the kit).

This is the Rubbermaid 3-6' closet kit Homefree Series.


Easy to install and modify. I cut the plastic rod-ends to make a perfect, snug fit for the hanging rods. I will probably get some cute baskets for the socks and panties to place on the shelves (instead of the improv lego containers).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Moving in...

It's been a while...                           ... but, it's worth it!

It has been A MONTH since we have had a "home". When traveling, it's not so bad to be without "normalcy". But, when you are stuck in a temporary apartment, 30 miles from your empty house, and are trying to do your regular work and routine, it is close to hair-pulling.

Our contents are supposed to be here by the 15th and didn't arrive 'til the 16th (every day is excruciating). The moving company couldn't seem to get the address right at either location (although there were plenty of written and vocal correspondences). Then, when they arrived, there were 3 guys to unload and one looked really aged, the other smoked every chance he could get, and the 3rd looked fresh out of Jr.High and all 3 were skinny as a rail. They managed somehow.
grandma B's rocker - post movers
We did have some claims to report. Everyone gets at least a plate cracked, right? Well, every plate and glass item came out fine. It was the bigger items that were the issue here, including my grandmother's hand crafted maple rocking chair which they wrapped in a regular blanket instead of boxing it. (The company eventually reimbursed us and fixed all the claims.)

But, these are the kinds of things that frustrate me. I'm the type of person who would rather they give me a big fat check and I will organize and take care of everything myself. For me, letting others "control" the move is WAY more stressful for me than if I did it myself.

Now that that is over (hallelujah!), we are on to the house repairs and trying to figure out where everything goes. This part is the easy part for me, with the exception of the "cha-ching $" factor. On the other hand, my hubby is stressin' big-time! He has the "GO GO GO" personality. That is one of the traits that makes a good business leader, a "take the bull by the horns and spit in his face" attitude. He wants it done yesterday, while I can let things evolve into their spots in an organic way.. Yeah, seems kinda contradictory. But I am in control this time ( "Ha... ha... ha..." , she maniacally laughs.)

Well, we did buy a bank owned, as-is house (which is how they come) and knew there were damages.
Here is where we are at so-far:
Fridge repair - just under $400 (still way cheaper than buying a replacement which I priced at 3k's)
Window repair for broken glass - just under $250
Chimney repair - just over $350
Kitchen sink plumbing repair - about $25
The hot water turns cold about 5 minutes into a shower - very frustrating if you have thick hair like mine. Needless to say, I have not been able to condition in a week (poor hair).
Lawn guys (we have about an acre of over 12" grass to cut and my rotary just ain't gonna do the job) and needing to purchase a mower. Anyone know where to find a good used riding with bagger for cheap?
Not to mention the window treatments and bathroom mirrors (thats right, it doesn't have mirrors).
And, most of the closets have no shelves or rods.
And the list goes on...

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And, this place is worth it!
 Here are a few of the glory moments:

dark photo of Master Bed curtains
We found treatments for our bedroom (which has been sorely neglected since the beginning of time) in a deep red hue at Bed Bath and Beyond. Bonus - they were on clearance and got 2 panels for $8 - yes EIGHT Buckaroos! WOO HOO! Add in the hardware and finishing touches for a grand total of under $50!

a dark photo of sitting room windows
The sitting room is a different story of retail price at Bed Bath & B. But, they are really pretty and in the main room.
It was about $300 for the big window which is still cheaper and prettier than blinds. (I will try and get a better shot in the projects section when the room is done).

Sabrina playing with Oscar
The house also comes with a dog. The best kind, one you don't have to feed, water, provide shelter or health insurance for... a neighbor's dog.
they lost the ball in the orchard
Here in the country, many of the dogs roam. This dog has adopted us. He greets us when we come home and when we have breakfast in the morning, sleeps on the back deck next to the door & plays with our kid. I really like our neighbors! I told them not to worry about their dog because he is really a well mannered dog and keeps us company. When I get my veggie garden in, he will earn his keep by keeping out the deer.

unidentified flower in basket ball court

Breakfast view of orchard and Sabrina's "Art Studio"
And then there is what we are out here for...
Breakfast view out dining room window over the basket ball court

One of MANY slugs. It collected  fluff from the Black Cottonwood Tree.
Check back for updates. My 1st gardening project is to get the basketball court cleaned up so Hubby and kid can play without getting whacked by the brush.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trek Weekend : June 4th & 5th

Bighorn Sheep
The first weekend here and the stuff has not arrived and there is nothing left to do at the house till we get our things. 
Let's explore our area. 
Canadian geese (visitors)

Red Eagle

 We decided to do the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park for a Saturday excursion. This park is located in Peirce county and focuses on our native wildlife. Check out the wildlife! You pay for a tram tour in the open range area to see the herbivores in a protected enclosure.

The carnivores are in separate habitat enclosures. The smaller creatures are also in habitat enclosures. You can also hike through a easy trail through the forest or take a difficult trek further on a loop around the park (give at least 2 hours for this hike). They have a restaurant, gift shop, childrens' learning center, interpretive kiosks and more!

Bull Elk herd

Grizzly Bear
Bison Babies and mamas - Bison are SO CUTE!
 Sunday, we drove over to the Olympic Peninsula. Gig Harbor was having a festival with a classic yacht show and US Coast Guard rescue demonstration. Drove up the east section of 101 to the Hood Canal area. Stopped in Alyn to look at the wood carvings and have some icecream. 

We continued on to Hoodsport and stopped in at the Olympic Parks Visitors Center to learn more about the region. Since driving around the peninsula would be a weekend-long excurtion, we opted to take a drive up to the Staircase. 

Bald Eagle
We ate a seafood dinner at The Tides in Hoodsport. It was decent food. We shared the all-fried admiral plate. They have awesome fried clamsstrips and the cod was good. 
We drove back to the apartment with a few days worth of tourism literature and maps. We plan on going back to explore the peninsula in sections. It's bigger than it seems. I didn't get photos Sunday because the camera was dead. Don't worry, we will be back.

 I can't believe we actually LIVE HERE!
Mt Rainier on a beautiful, clear day! On the drive from the Park to our House.

Signing Week

End of May 2011

Real estate laws are different in each state. Here in Washington, we sign one day (without the our agent by law), wait over 24 hours for everything to be approved and then our realtor can give us the keys. 

Here are the 1st photos of the home. Sabrina is playing in her "puffy field" aka the pump-house rock bed filled with dandelions.

Cherry tree (I think) in the drivewaygarden.

Mark leaves this night to go meet with the movers in Texas in the morning and has to stay a week for the whole process. I will be taking advantage of having the car to myself for a week and traveling back and forth between the apartment and house (45 minute drive) to clean, make minor repairs and measurements. 

Mark gets to supervise the packing of the Fort Worth townhouse.Poor Mark, they pack and load everything in one day and he is left alone in the empty townhouse with nothing but a blow-up mattress. He had to wait now for the car to be picked up.

  He went to the River Legacy Park in Arlington and decided to walk the whole trail from Arlington to Grand Prairie. 

He gets shots of a red-eared-slider turtle and an egret (I think).

Yes, that IS a bobcat and yes, that IS a squirrel head in it's mouth and yes, it IS that close. The bobcats here are used to pedestrians and cyclists. See the bobcat on the move. 

Mark also took the opportunity to visit relatives in Dallas, TX.

After the car was finally picked up, he got to go to Waco and spend a few days at Mom and Dads before his flight out. Thanks Mom & Dad!
Now, we wait.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Relocation Road Trip : Washington Homeward Bound : Day 7

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The home-stretch. 
Eastern Washington State along I-90 was lined with rolling green farmland.

We stopped for a scenic overlook on the mighty Columbia River just before crossing over to the west side for a picnic lunch at the Ginkgo Fetrified Forest State Park.

 I thought the forest was cool. There were so many other species of petrified wood at this park. It is so pretty!
We watched 2 films and saw the specimens in the interpretive center.

There are huge wind-farms up in the eastern Washington windy hills.

Getting close when we catch a glimpse of the Cascades! Going through the rainy Cascades is beautiful with it's snowy caps, mountain lakes, rocky cliffs and charming waterfalls.

We finally made it! 
We are being provided with a furnished apartment near the Puget sound while we wait for our our things to be transported. We will see how that goes. We sign on the house Monday morning.

We ate dinner at a Red Robin near our apartment. Great burgers and fries at a good price with great service. I have been to this chain a few times at all different locations and it has been consistently good all around.

 Day 7 mileage about 300
Expenses $85  (50 gas, 35 dinner)

Relocation Road Trip : Montana to Washington : Day Six

Friday, 20 May 2011

Finally get to Washington today. We head off westbound on I-90 along a portion of the Lewis and Clark trail

Our picnic lunch is taken at Travelers' Rest State Park, Lolo, MT. This newborn State Park is a short southern detour from Missoula. This place has the only physical evidence found of the Corpse of Discovery's campsite to date. Also, where they made the difficult decision to split camp.

The park is fairly bare due to it's recent discovery less than a decade ago. It has an interpretive center and gift shop, some interpretive kiosks, a picnic area and a nice bridge over the "no salmon river".

Thanks to the private landowners and their respect and realization of the importance of preserving our nation's history and artifacts, we are able to see a key point in our nations' history come to life and be preserved for future generations. 


This park is worth the trip. How often do we get to see history newly discovered and historic monuments and parks in their first years, before they "grow up"? It was pretty cool that it was so minimally developed. Walking along the trail and looking out on the campsite, you could transport your mind back and imagine that this is what the Corps saw on their mission.

Heading back west on I-90 to Spokane, over the continental divide.

Yesterday, Just before we got into Butte, we saw this old bus. One of those old old school-busses that has been re-purposed and packed over the rim and out the sides with luggage and folks and colorful paint-jobs. Well, the thing was just barely movin' up the hills. I think the thing would have done better if they all got out and pushed it up the hill. We moved on past and wondered if they would make it to Butte.
Well, just as we were approaching the continental divide today... OMG! There it was, that same old bus!

We can't believe it actually made it to the Divide. As we passed, we realized that that is as far as it made it. The thing had finally given up with the hood up, smokin' and a guy's rear-end sticking out the engine. Managed to get this dirty back window shot.

Welcome to Washington!!!

We pulled in to the Hampton on the west side of Spokane near the airport.  Apparently, somewhere in the Lolo National Forest, he re-ran over a critter in the middle of the highway and the critter was a bit bigger than he estimated. When we pulled into the hotel to check-in we finally smelled the half-roasted carcass. Mark got down to check it out and said there were chunks. Ewwww. He went to the carwash and got the stank off. 

After we got settled in and cleaned up, we met with an old school friend of mine and her daughter for dinner at The Rusty Moose. The restaurant was less than par because of the service. The food was average. We had a guest with a wheat allergy and you would think that you had asked the waiter to climb Mt Rainier. He was so clueless, didn't know much about the menu and was not observant about the orders when they came out and was slow to get out drinks, check on the table, and remedy issues. Due to the service and average food, I would not recommend the place. On the other hand, my visit with my friend was too short! It was good to see her and catch up face-to-face after all those years!

My sleepy little girl!
 Day 6 mileage about 345 miles
Expenses $293  (82 gas, 5 car-wash, 63 dinner, 138 hotel, 5 parks)