baa baa black sheep



7:18 a.m.


We're back. Wednesday we drove from Wyoming to outside of Omaha, starting at noon because I had to see my crazy doctor (upped my dosage! whoo! then as I was saying goodbye to him and he was wishing me the best of luck in the future, I got all weepy and told him that he and the medicine had changed my life, and no one else had ever suggested ADD, and, well, it had changed my life! and then he laughed and said, "It was written all over you!" So. I'm a dork.) Thursday we drove from there to our new hometown in Iowa, met a lot of college people, J got all of his benefits paperwork, the keys to his new office, etc. Then we met the realtor, and J's mom came up, too. Then, in the muggy heat that day, we looked at 25-30 houses, and in the midst of that picked a bank, made an appointment for loan stuff, and got approved for a house loan.

Thursday night we wanted to die. 25 houses in a day is a lot. A LOT. But we needed it all settled by Friday, so we looked and looked. Several of them were absolutely interesting and cool houses, but needed a ton of love. (I'm not so much the type who gets excited that I'd have to completely recarpet, rip off wallpaper, repaint, remodel bathrooms, replace roofs, etc.) We saw little houses, big houses, houses built in 1875. A few houses we barely walked in the front door before turning around and walking out due to stench or the sheer amount of crap and trash lying around. We saw some foundations that were completely bowed. We saw some really good houses, too. We saw awesome houses that were located in really busy annoying neighborhoods. We saw a few that were really nice and that I should have liked and wanted, but I got bad, creepy vibes about them. Try explaining your hippie creepy vibes to a realtor and family. Try! You'll feel like an idiot!

By Friday morning we had narrowed it down to two houses. One I liked a ton, a ton. A big, old, rambling place with huge windows and a fun deck and this kitchen. This old old kitchen that was so tall and so light and so happy. Unfortunately, we brought flashlights this time so we could see it's foundation in the basement better, and, lo, it was scary and a mess. There were other problems, too, so we said goodbye and went to the other place, which was J's favorite and my second favorite (sometimes my first, however).

Then we wrote up an offer, then we drove around to some of the lakes, checked out a grocery store, went to a greenhouse, then we were called to say our offer was accepted, and we were happy and relieved.

It was actually the newest house we looked at, built in 1954. The elderly man who owned it had passed away, so it was an estate sale. When we first walked in, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for my grandparents' house. Everything was very tidy, very arranged just so. It smelled like their house, and walking into the living room was like hitting a scent-memory wall. It's a very well-maintained clean little place. Everything is in good shape, new air conditioning, tidy big yard. It was above and beyond the nicest, best-maintained place we saw.

Upstairs is the little kitchen, living room, two small bedrooms (one will have to be used as a dining room, because the kitchen, it is cozy), and a pink pink pink bathroom that doesn't actually have a shower. We'll have to arrange a temporary shower, because I am too grossed out by baths to even think about taking one. Sitting in your own filth! Sitting! In your filth! The bathroom is the only thing I feel compelled to change at this point, because a) I like showers and b) I must paint away the pink walls and ceiling. Pink ceiling! There will still be some pink tiles, however. Two lines of them mixed in with white tiles. I am going to paint the walls white, and we have tan and white towels, and in a fit of home fashion bravery, prodded by J, I have ordered this monstrosity. I can't decide if it's awful or if I love it, but I'm pretty sure I love it and it's going to prevent me from wanting to buy new towels and rugs, which is good, because our rugs are new. I'm actually very excited to see it, because I love things that are ugly-yet-work.

(Side note, I don't know if you guys like stuff/sites like this, but when I came across it I thought maybe I'd share. Wrapables has cute cute cute things, and this site has a lot of links/fun ideas. It's how I found Wrapables, and the shower curtain of glee.)

Downstairs is a large (red-carpeted! Whee!) den area, complete with some sort of small room/nook that has a little bar. Half the basement is a finished utility area (washer, dryer, double utility sink, etc) that's surprisingly roomy. Half doors lead from it into the den, and the utility area is split into two rooms. This will be my studio, and I'm pretty excited about it. Again, cozy, but more than enough for what I need, and the sinks will be so helpful. As will the concrete floor I won't have to worry about destroying with paint and charcoal.

Outside there is a little deck/patio, a shed with OWLS over the door, a few bushes, some hostas, a dying rose bush, and petunias. A couple of huge old trees, and that's it. We'll have to build a fence for our idiot dog, but in the meantime, he has finally learned to poop on a leash. So.

This house is interesting. We're not sure when the man passed away, but his belongings are all still there. A broken Christmas ornament was lying on the work table downstairs with tools, waiting to be fixed. Silverware in the kitchen drawers, his straw hat in the closet, a fiftieth wedding anniversary decoration in the living room. Little knick knacks, all the furniture. Since the family was just going to auction off everything anyway, we got to go through and tag anything we wanted. So we're keeping the fridge, stove, washer and dryer, and some antique furniture. It's bizarre and quiet, and I'm wildly excited to live in this little house. It's a good house. I love it. Love.

Friday evening we ate dinner, drank a few beers, went to bed. Saturday morning, J went down the hall to help his mom load her suitcase into her car (we were staying in one of two hotels in the town) and she told him that her mother, his grandmother, had passed away sometime that night. We had arranged to meet with the realtor that morning to take pictures and get our copy of the accepted offer, so we did. We met some of the neighbors, including a shaky elderly forgetful delight named Violet who confessed that she'd been watering the flowers since the owner got sick. She said that she hoped we didn't mind the trespassing. She was delightful and sort of snoopy. We met the previous owner's elderly sister, who lives across the street with her husband. The auctioneer also showed up while we were there. I think they're ready to be done with this house. After chatting about baseball and mountains, we said goodbye, then we drove back to Wyoming in a record 10 hours.

This week, sometime, (funeral arrangements will be made today) we will drive across and down to southern Kansas for the funeral for roughly four days, and then we'll drive back to Wyoming and finish packing. We'll be moving around the eighth. We reserved a truck, found a hotel on the way that will let us stay with our two cats and dog. We still have a lot to do, but we have somewhere to live now, and a plan, and dates. I'm fighting the urge to be overwhelmed, to cry all the time because I get disgusted with my overwhelmed-ness. I'm struggling to stay focused and motivated. I'm doing okay.

I feel sad for J and his family.

What a summer.

black sheeped


Blogger Shannon said...

I am SO relieved that you guys found a house (holy smokes..25-30 houses in a DAY? I would have DIED). I get the same hippy voodoo vibe.

10:44 AM, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Swistle said...

Congratulations on the new house--it looks/sounds wonderful, and that's awesome that you got to go through and tag things you liked.

I think the new shower curtain is going to be perfect.

11:31 AM, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Mommy Daisy said...

I'm sorry to hear about Justin's grandmother.

The house it cute, and I'm sure you'll love it. Glad that you're starting to get things settled down now. I hope the move goes smoothly for you. Good luck.

11:33 AM, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Design Mom said...

Congratulations on the new house! And thank you for the link.

2:41 PM, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Sara said...

Congratulations on the cute cute house. Good luck with the move.

3:01 PM, July 24, 2007  

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