Saturday, October 31, 2015

The End (31 Days of Nest Building: day 31)

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I did it! I wrote for 31 days straight on a single topic! Who knew?

This month of writing has covered my second month in this new-to-us home. The house and I have become acquainted. We have learned how each other works and lives. We have settled into each others’ eccentricities.

During this month I have explored my town and tried new restaurants. Tonight we will meet more neighbors when we go to our first Halloween party down the street. We still have a lot to see and relationships to build.

Through the process of moving, I have learned about myself. I have learned what makes me comfortable or not. I have learned how important it is to set intentions and live into them. I have learned how much I love the concept of home—a topic I will continue to explore.

When I began the 31 Days challenge, I honestly wasn’t sure I had enough to write about. I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up the pace of a new post everyday. Yet, the further I made it, the less I wanted to miss a day. Some posts went live just before midnight, but I successfully posted every day this month.

Thank you for following along on this journey. In case you missed any posts or want to revisit them, here is the full list:

  1. 31 Days of Nest Building

  2. How I Met My House

  3. Clearing the Air

  4. Weekends are for House Projects

  5. Shifting the Energy

  6. Evicting Old Tenants

  7. Everything That Can Break, Will

  8. Use the Fancy China

  9. My Favorite Time of Day in this House

  10. Mysteries Solved

  11. Exploring the Town with My First House Guest

  12. Sweeping Outdoors is My Meditation

  13. The Kitchen Drawer that Wouldn't Open

  14. What I Will Miss

  15. I Didn't Notice That Before

  16. Embracing Steady Progress

  17. Beautiful Words About Home

  18. Decorating for the Holidays

  19. Our New Morning Ritual

  20. Meeting the Neighbors

  21. The Ants Go Marching On

  22. Garden Dreaming

  23. The Most Boring Post Yet. Thankfully.

  24. Home is a Feeling

  25. I Tackled the Garage. And Won.

  26. The Most Important Phase of Nest Building

  27. What is Your Home's Numerology?

  28. The Story of the Vanity

  29. One Thing to Do Right Now to Lighten the Energy in Your House

  30. Nest Building by the Numbers

  31. This post is number 31.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Nest Building by the Numbers (31 Days of Nest Building: day 30)

Before this series comes to a close tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to review this move a little more statistically. Here are the numbers:

  • People who helped me move: 4

  • Birdhouses that came with the house: 3

  • Birds I've seen in the houses: 0

  • Vines infiltrating house: 2

  • Spiders and ants evicted: 5 bajillion (approximately)

  • Baseballs found in ductwork: 1

  • Marbles found in garbage disposal: 3

  • Paint colors when we moved in: 8

  • Paint colors now: 4

  • Kitchen drawers: 2

  • Kitchen drawers that were usable upon move-in: 1

  • Things that have broken since we moved in: 7

  • Indoor minor floods: 2

  • Nights without heat or air conditiong: 5

  • Service repairs: 8

  • Trips to Home Depot: 11

  • Gallons of water used in first month according to water bill: 22,000

  • Gallons of water used per month by an average family: 6,000

  • First full month’s electric bill: $708

  • Units of electricity the company was off by when they sent their bill: 2,000

  • Corrected electric bill: $138

  • Visitors: 13

  • Overnight visitors: 4


31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Thing to Do Right Now to Lighten the Energy in Your House (31 Days of Nest Building: Day 29)

Is your home (or office) feeling a bit stale or stagnant? There may be one thing you can do right now to start turning that energy around. It will probably take you less than 5 minutes.

Take out the garbage. All of it.

Take out the kitchen garbage and all of the other garbage cans around your house—the little bathroom cans, the one in your office… wherever they are go empty them.

Get all of that unneeded, old, broken, used up, dried out, crumpled, smelly stuff out of your house. Stuff is energy. Your garbage? Energy. Do you really want garbage energy where you are trying to cook or work or cleanse?

If left too long, it can become a an energy drain so get it out of your house. I bet you'll notice the difference.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Story of the Vanity (31 Days of Nest Building: day 28)

The project I am the most proud of in this house is my bathroom vanity.

On our first day here, we ripped out the master bathroom vanity. It had bubbled and chipped wood inside presumably from a previous leak. It also had a “secret” drawer at the toe-kick which would have been quite neat if it closed all the way. But to balance out the drawer that wouldn’t open in the kitchen, we had the drawer that wouldn’t close. The reason it wouldn't close is it bumped into the pipes which ran up through the floor to get to the sink.

[caption id="attachment_3954" align="alignnone" width="335"]bathroom master (11) BEFORE[/caption]

So out the vanity went. We saved the countertop with the idea of replacing the old vanity with one of the same size, then we would simply put the countertop back on.

Well, things went awry, as they do. When we pulled out the vanity, we were left with a rectangular hole in the vinyl flooring that revealed the previous vinyl floor underneath. That’s right, the floor had been replaced around the vanity. Yay. (Also, the walls had been painted around the vanity. And the mirror. Double yay.)

[caption id="attachment_3955" align="alignnone" width="300"]DURING DURING[/caption]

It may not seem like a big deal since we were going to get the same size vanity to replace it, therefore covering the old floor once again. However, if you happen to have looked at vanities lately, the style has trended toward vanities with feet (think dresser-style). Feet would mean we would still see the old floor underneath, which would mean laying a new floor throughout the bathroom. Which would mean pulling up the most recent floor to create a level surface on which to lay the new floor.

No.

I didn’t have that in me. Instead I searched for a vanity that was solid all the way to the floor that also happened to be 48 inches wide to fully cover the old floor footprint and fit the countertop I had saved. Not so easy. But I found one that was *almost* right. The sides were solid, but the front was open. My husband—quite the genius at things like this—found a matching board to use as a toe-kick to cover the opening in the front.

By now three weeks had passed during which I kept running to my son’s bathroom to brush my teeth, but finally we installed the vanity, placed the countertop, and… didn’t hook up the plumbing. We had replaced the drain (which wouldn't plug--did I not mention?), and the new one didn’t reach the pipes.

Because it’s always something.

After a few trips to the store and a few wrong parts, we got the drain hooked up.

And it leaked. Which is likely what started the damage in the old vanity in the first place.

We fixed the leak and finally had a working sink.

We couldn’t, however, open the vanity because there were no drawer and cabinet knobs. I hadn’t liked the ones that came with the vanity so I picked out new ones at the store. Then I had to figure out how to install them because there also weren’t any pre-drilled holes for installing them.

With a little help from YouTube, I learned I needed a template. You can buy them at the store, but I really didn’t want to go back to the store so I made my own out of cardboard (plentiful because of all the moving boxes). Then I measured A LOT. There would only be one chance to drill in the right place to make the handles straight and symmetrical.

You guys… I did it. Those handles are damn near perfect. I did that.

[caption id="attachment_3960" align="alignnone" width="375"]AFTER AFTER[/caption]

Really, the handles are straight, despite the fishbowl effect of this photograph making them looking rainbowed. You'll just have to trust me on that.

Now I have a fully functional and beautiful vanity.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What is Your Home's Numerology? (31 Days of Nest Building: day 27)

Have you heard of numerology? In case you haven’t, Wikipedia defines it as “belief in divine, mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events.” There are plenty of books or websites where you can learn what your number is (yes, you have one) and what that says about your personality.

Well, I was reading Sacred Space: Clearing and Enhancing the Energy of Your Home by Denise Linn and found out numerology can be applied to addresses. Addresses!

So, of course, I figured out my house’s number. To do this you basically keep adding the digits of your house number together until you are left with a single digit. So if your house number was 1209, for example, you would add 1 + 2 + 0 + 9 which equals 12. This isn’t a single digit yet, so you add 1 + 2 = 3. This address would be a three.

My house is a two. A home with a two vibration is supposed to be good for connecting couples. Additionally, Linn says…
“Living in a Two home you will have a strong desire for peace and harmony through diplomacy. … Gardens, music, art and magic all flourish in a Two home. You will develop your gentle nature and a desire for harmony. This is a perfect house to explore and develop your psychic and intuitive abilities.”

There you go. Sounds like a magical home.

Incidentally, my previous house was a seven… the perfect home for someone to live in alone. We had a family of four and sometimes six. Ooops.

Curious about your home? Find it’s numerology meaning here: Address Analyzer at Numerology.com

Let me know what you learn and if it fits how you feel in your home.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Most Important Phase of Nest Building (31 Days of Nest Building: day 26)

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Moving is more than a process. It’s a journey.

Beyond the physical aspects of moving—the packing, hauling, and unpacking—the work of moving continues.

Arranging is the next step. This is the time where you find places for your stuff, figure out what goes where, how your space will function, and how to organize accordingly. This is where you begin to meet your home. You learn what it is and what it isn’t, as well as who you are and who you aren’t.

Then it’s time to personalize. You add knick-knacks and sentimental pieces—the things that make it feel like your space, not just a space.

For me (and some people have written to me to say for them also) there is the repair phase. With my previously-owned home, there were things that needed care, things that needed to be fixed or replaced, and (as you know if you’ve been keeping up with this series) things that broke along the way and had to be added to the ever-growing repair list. Fortunately that list has begun to shrink.

Now I am realizing a new phase: intention. I have been in this home for almost two months. Long enough to unpack, to tweak whatever wasn’t allowing for a good work flow. I have made it to the point where I find I get to sit from time to time. To see my home from a place of rest and not just a place of work. This place has given me the opportunity to feel my home.

In feeling it I noticed some rooms felt good and some didn’t. This weekend I took a few minutes to stand in each room and see how it felt. Then I thought about my desires for that room. How did I want that room to feel? Easy? Comfortable? Luxurious? Simple? Bright? Cozy?

With my intention in mind, I viewed each room with fresh eyes to see what matched my desire for that room, what didn’t, and how to bring that feeling more fully.

In my kitchen, where I desired ease and cleanliness, it meant clearing my son’s school papers off the counters. In my dining room, which felt a little blah and lifeless, it meant adding a brick-colored tablecloth for richness.

My son’s room felt crowded, but was easily opened by pushing the bed to the corner instead of jutting into the room as it had. I actually exhaled when tucking him in last night. There was room to breathe.

The spare bedroom had become a dumping ground for tools, leftover paint, bathroom supplies that had yet to find a place, and a pile of clothes for donation. This weekend, I emptied it entirely and bought an air bed so I will be prepared to welcome guests. My mom is visiting this week and now she will have a place of her own in which to retreat.

These small shifts have changed the energy in my home dramatically. Last night I was able to relax more fully. This morning our morning routine flowed more easily.

Try it out. Spend a couple minutes just being in your home and feeling it. Then decide how you want it to feel. Set an intention and start shifting toward it. Let me know how it goes.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Tackled the Garage. And Won. (31 Days of Nest Building: day 25)

When we first moved in to this house the garage became a sort of storage holding ground. Furniture came into the house, boxes stayed in the garage and were brought in as they were unpacked.

Well, I had gotten to about 80% unpacked then stalled. This weekend I made a lot of progress. So much progress that my car is now parked in the garage.

Let me repeat so you can understand my excitement: MY CAR IS NOW PARKED IN THE GARAGE!

That means as we head into frosty mornings, we will be able to stay a bit warmer and drier. This is huge.

As for the stuff that was in the garage, I unpacked the last few remaining boxes. Extra dining room chairs, seasonal items, and clothes for my son to grow into moved to the basement. Gardening supplies were organized on the garage shelves. Outdoor toys were tucked into the corner of the garage.

This was a tremendous leap in organizing and space clearing. And, in case I didn't mention it, I can now park in the garage. Yay!

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Home is a Feeling (31 Days of Nest Building: day 24)

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Home is not a place. It's a feeling.

To me, home is safe. It is peaceful. It is kind and loving. It is comfortable and supportive. It is a place to sink in, curl up, or stretch out. A place where you can learn to fly, but still return to open arms at any time.

What feeling do you get from yours?

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Most Boring Post Yet. Thankfully. (31 Days of Nest Building: day 23)

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Last Friday I wrote a week in review post. I thought I’d try it again. Here we go…

What’s New:


Not much. The house has really come together over the past few weeks and I found myself happy with it’s current status. I think the only new thing to come in was my very first Reiki News Magazine.

Oh, and we closed on the sale of our old home, so YAY!

Oh, and my revised electric bill came in. You may recall a meter reading error resulted in a $700 bill for my first full month’s service. The corrected total was $138. Phew!

So I guess there was news.

Ongoing Repairs:


Dare I say none? After weeks of HVAC and plumbing, this week was blissfully quiet. Actually, I guess there was one thing: the fallen tree was taken care of by the landscapers when they came for the last lawn mowing of the season.

Unexpected Surprises:


I really can’t think of any.

Wow. This is a supremely boring post. And you know what? I am so grateful for that--couldn't be happier. It may be a sign that things are settling.

Happy Friday!

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Garden Dreaming (31 Days of Nest Building: day 22)

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Today was beautiful--sunny, warm, absolutely perfect temperature for being outside. I soaked it up while working in the community garden in my “old” town. I’ve worked in the garden there for the past few years and, since the move, it’s been two months since I’ve seen it.

2015-10-22 14.32.56 HDR

Two friends and I cleared the garden beds, pulling the old plants for the compost pile, saving the last of the tomatoes, eggplant, butternut squash, chard, kale, and parsley. We pulled a soil sample to send for testing. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

2015-10-22 14.41.40 HDR

I didn’t plant a garden this year because we were moving. Now I’m looking ahead to the spring to start one at the new place. I think I’ll spend the next season deciding where to plant and figuring out what I will need to get started.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Ants Go Marching On (31 Days of Nest Building: day 21)

Well, I thought I had taken care of the ant problem.

A few weeks ago, I found some ants on my front door threshold—mostly outside, but a few had started to make their way in. I sprinkled a line of cornmeal, which doesn’t work on contact, but does seem to get rid of the ants over a few days. I haven’t seen anymore ants by my front door.

This week, however, I’ve noticed an ant here and there inside the house. Not by the front door, and never in the same place twice. I found one in my powder room, one in my kitchen, one in my bathroom, two on the upstairs hallway ceiling…

Today, I found some in my pantry. More than a few, but less than a full army. I fought back with Windex, which does kill on contact. I got rid of everything crawling in the pantry, then with a couple friends’ suggestions, I picked up some ant traps.

The traps are now placed strategically around my house. Guess I’ll be evicting unwanted tenants for a while yet.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Meeting the Neighbors (31 Days of Nest Building: day 20)

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In this series, I’ve talked about settling into this new-to-us house and exploring the town. Today I want to talk about the people, specifically my neighbors.

It’s quite possible that I have the best neighbors.

I first introduced myself to the woman next door the day of our home inspection. She was doing some yard work, so I popped over to say hi. She seemed very nice. We traded phone numbers that day.

A few days after moving in, she dropped by on her way home from work with a bottle of wine to welcome me to the neighborhood. That’s when I knew I was lucky to have her for a neighbor.

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A few days after that, a neighbor from down the street dropped by to introduce herself. She brought homemade chocolate cookies and a card. The cookies were still warm from the oven. *swoon*

The family across the street are lovely women who all work at my son’s school and greet me with smiles and big “hi, neighbor” waves whether at home or at school.

Then there was that drive-by Halloween party invitation I received the other day from a neighbor further down the street.

As if I hadn’t already fallen in love with this town, the people in it have been so kind.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Our New Morning Ritual (31 Days of Nest Building: day 19)

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When the morning light shines through the front windows, rainbows visit.

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My son and I have made it our mission to discover these rainbows each and every morning.

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Our own little magic scavenger hunt. Our new morning ritual.

 

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Decorating for the Holidays (31 Days of Nest Building: day 18)

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With most boxes unpacked, furniture in place, we are settling into everyday life in this new space.

Now we are headed into the holiday season beginning with Halloween two weeks away, so today my son and I decorated.

My son anxiously pulled out each item from the Halloween box quicker than I could keep up with. We laid everything out deciding which things to use.

But there was something I didn't anticipate about holidays. I don't know where things go. Having been in our previous house for so long, we had designated places for decorations. But this is a new place with a new layout. Where do things go?

I've hung the "Beware" sign on our front door. It's cheap painted styrofoam that looked perfectly haunting on our previous wooden castle door (as we affectionately called it because of the iron cross bars), but looks like... well... cheap painted styrofoam on this front door. So I will probably find a new place for that.

The stuffed cartoon vampire used to hang from one of our porch lights. That won't work at this house.

So it's a bit daunting to decorate a new space. However, it's also exciting to find new places for things you love.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Beautiful Words About Home (31 Days of Nest Building: day 17)

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The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. ~Maya Angelou

Home is where one starts from. ~T. S. Eliot

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Embracing Steady Progress (31 Days of Nest Building: day 16)

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It’s been a week of steady progress at the house. Steady is a word I'm embracing this week. Steady means no major highs and no major lows. Given the unpredictability of the relationship between this house and me, I welcome steady.

What’s New:



  • The mums bloomed like crazy this week!

  • I bought and assembled a new cabinet from Target for the foyer. The one I’ve had my eye on for over a month now was on sale. Woohoo!

  • I bought a “poof” from Target (also on sale!) to prop up my feet in the living room. It’s basically a large cube-shaped pillow. So far it seems durable and I love that it’s light and easy to move to a different seat or even tuck away in a corner.

  • I’m beginning to think about hanging artwork on the walls and bought two frames: one for a Dark Faerie print I’ve had for a while and one for my son’s masterpieces.


Ongoing Repairs:



  • The HVAC guy came back this morning to redo ductwork that was falling apart and to hook up the vent to my bedroom that wasn’t attached to the actual heating and air conditioning unit (which explains why it wasn’t working).


Unexpected Surprises:



  • One of the toilets developed a small leak onto the floor. The plumber fixed it this morning. It was a full house here and, because I’m in a small town, the HVAC guy and plumber knew each other.

  • I received a drive-by Halloween party invitation from a neighbor. They have a son about the same age as mine, so I think it could be fun.

  • And I got my first Jehovah’s witnesses… so there’s that.


I am happy with the progress and also curious when I will make it through a week without something breaking. It’s bound to happen at some point, right? Please tell me I’m right.

Happy Friday!

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I Didn't Notice That Before (31 Days of Nest Building: day 15)

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Yesterday I mentioned I would miss the Fall colors of the woods behind my old house. Today I caught this sight outside of my new front door.

I still miss the woods, but now I know where to find color.

Hello, Fall trees.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What I Will Miss (31 Days of Nest Building: day 14)

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Today we cleared the rest of our stuff out of the house we are selling. The leaves were all changing colors in the woods behind it. The green was being taken over with bright golds and oranges.

I will miss that.

I will miss those woods. The quiet, the colors, the wildlife. That was one of my favorite things about that house.

My other favorite thing was the bathtub. It was one of those large, deep, oddly shaped tubs—sort of a wedge.

I used it often.

I sunk into that tub to warm up from a winter chill, to heat sore muscles, to retreat after sensory overload, to relax with a book.

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The only bathtub in my new-to-me house is a tub/shower combo. It’s small and shallow leaving half my body out of the water. The head end of the tub slopes right into the wall pushing my neck at an uncomfortable angle. And the no-slip bottom is like sandpaper to my own bottom.

It’s just not the same thing.

There is plenty to love here, just as there was plenty to love there. But if you want to know what I miss, it’s the woods and the bathtub.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Kitchen Drawer that Wouldn't Open (31 Days of Nest Building: day 13)

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Every house has its eccentricities I suppose. This one had plenty. Perhaps the most perplexing, though, was the kitchen drawer situation.

In my kitchen, there are precisely two drawers—a fair number fewer than my previous home, or any home that I’ve lived in for that matter. I didn’t panic, though. There seemed to be enough cabinets and a large pantry, so I figured whatever I used to store in drawers could simply be stored elsewhere.

I decided on the drawer next to the sink for silverware, but there was one small problem. When I opened the drawer it stopped about three inches open. The drawer had run into the oven door handle (which is perpendicular to it). I closed the drawer and tried again (because certainly that would work) and once again it ran into the oven and stopped just three inches open.

I was baffled. I’m still baffled actually. How did the previous homeowners use that drawer? Did they use it?

Sure, I could cut my losses and decide that drawer was decorative, not functional. But if I did that, I would be down to a single drawer in my kitchen. One drawer. No, that wouldn’t do. I would have two drawers.

So I did what I’m sure any reasonable person would do. I removed the drawer front, took it to the local hardware store, and had them saw the end off.

Now I have two functional drawers.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sweeping Outdoors is My Meditation (31 Days of Nest Building: day 12)

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I’ve found that I really like sweeping outdoors.

I have a small porch and a large deck. There is something about being outside clearing those spaces that makes me feel alive.

Sweeping indoors doesn’t give me the same feeling, incidentally. Indoors sweeping is small with a goal of collecting the debris in a dustpan. I’m always left trying to trick that last line of dust up over the lip of the dustpan. Mostly I’m left with the feeling of “Okay, that’s done.”

Outdoors… that’s a different story. Outdoors requires a heavier sweep. A forceful movement with a shuffing sound. Outdoors I’m not collecting debris in a tidy pile. I’m corralling it and sending it off into the grass.

Leaves make a nostalgic crinkling sound reminding me that Fall is still a time for great adventure.

Sweeping outdoors is gratifying, empowering even. It rouses my energy and beckons me to stay outside to enjoy the space I’ve just cleared.

When I sweep the porch, I feel like I’m taking care of my house. Turns out, it’s also an act of self care.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Exploring the Town with My First House Guest (31 Days of Nest Building: day 11)

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Remember last weekend when I said my weekends mostly involve working on the house? This weekend was a treat. One of my best friends visited and we had all sorts of fun while exploring local sights and this small town. (Oh, and in case you're wondering what looks different about me... I got 8 inches of hair cut off.)

We drove out to Longwood Gardens for the Nightscapes exhibit. We binge-watched How to Get Away with Murder. We snacked on black pepper turkey and muenster cheese from the Amish market then went back to the Amish market for more. We went on a Ghost Walk (a 1-mile walk and discussion of this history and hauntings on Main Street). We had delicious foods at local restaurants (sweet potato fries sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and dipped in vanilla cheesecake dip was one of my favorites). We walked antique shops and sipped on a new locally-made coffee.

Part of moving into a new house is exploring the community. Part of it is welcoming your first guests. I got to do both.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mysteries Solved (31 Days of Nest Building: day 10)

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It’s Saturday morning and I woke up at 6:50 a.m. for no good reason. I was just awake.

But as often happens, “for no good reason” really had a reason.

I came downstairs to get some juice and heard water running through pipes somewhere. I checked all the toilets, but none were running (I’d had some previous leaks fixed). I tried to track the sound but it seemed to be in several places in the walls. I checked outside to see if a hose bib was running and that’s when I saw sprinklers running at the back edge of my yard. It was hard to tell at first whether the sprinklers were in my yard or the neighbors, but it appeared they were (mostly) pointed toward my yard.

I knew there were sprinklers in my yard but I had never seen them on. This morning they were on but only at that back edge. Nothing anywhere else in the yard was running.

I went to the basement to check the water meter to confirm if they were my sprinklers and sure enough water was flowing through the pipes. I found the valve to shut off that section of pipes, then I found the control box for the sprinklers and switched them off.

So perhaps that was a contributing reason to my 22,000 gallon water bill.

Of course, yesterday a new bill arrived: the electric bill for the first full month’s service. It was over $700. I freaked out. Yet another problem to find and fix. I tried calling the electric company, but received the standard “we are experiencing a high volume of calls…” message and I had somewhere to be. I decided to set it aside and call Monday.

Well, this morning, with my sleuth hat on already, I decided to look at my bill. The first thing I checked was whether the meter was an actual or estimated reading. It was actual. So I went outside to check the reading to see how much electricity I had used since the bill was printed to see if it was an ongoing high-electricity usage issue.

The number was significantly lower than the “actual” read on my bill. They must have marked it down wrong.

I am so relieved. Relieved that I should be able to resolve this with a phone call on Monday and relieved that the $700 bill is simply an error and not an indicator of something drastically broken in need of repair.

Also, I’m feeling really good about my house-sleuthing skills.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Favorite Time of Day in this House (31 Days of Nest Building: day 9)

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My favorite time of day in this house is just after dark. It brings a closeness unlike any other part of the day. The crickets hum a soft backdrop to an otherwise hush.

I keep the lights dim. No need for any harsh intrusions.

This is the time when the house feels its softest, when I can forget the repair list and sink into its arms.

The time of day when anything feels possible and dreams perk up.

Just after dark.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Use the Fancy China (31 Days of Nest Building: day 8)

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When packing up a home to move, you have two realizations: how much stuff you actually have, and how little of it you use.

Some of it becomes easy to part with. Some of it is trickier.

For example, the antique china that used to be my great-grandmother’s was stacked in the highest corner cabinet of my kitchen—theoretically usable, but rarely used.

Enfolding each plate in bubble wrap, I gazed at the pale flowers on them, the placement and color varying slightly on each plate. They are quite beautiful.

Why not eat on them? What good are plates tucked away? They were made to be used and loved. If they aren’t, why bother keeping them in the first place?

In the new house, these plates are easily in reach. I use them for everyday, ordinary meals and snacks. They are a fair amount smaller than our other dinner plates. Portion sizes have really grown over the years, I guess. So maybe it will be good for my nutrition. It doesn’t really matter, though, because they are good for my soul.

31days-webThroughout October, I will be continuing this story  of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.