Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Camera, Kitty update

Yesterday I did my part to help the economy by picking up a new Nikon 5100 DSLR at Best Buy on a Black Friday sale. In my research to buy a new camera I discovered they are pretty much priced the same everywhere, with sales popping up here and there, and the sales are always the same amount too. I don't get how that's legal. Anyway, I decided to go for it and get the latest model in the amateur DSLR line. Unfortunately only one of my old lenses will work with it, but the kit lens seems good.

My first test shot: Mighty - on my desk:

Handheld, without Image stabilization turned on, with just the light from my desk lamp - nice!

BTW, the kitties are doing fine in our new home. I'd kind of like to keep them inside, but I don't know if they would be too bored after having been outdoor kitties on the farm. On the other hand I don't want them annoying the neighbors, catching birds, getting hit by a car, or chased by neighborhood dogs. A friend suggested an invisible fence they make for cats that could keep them in the backyard, but they would still catch birds, and the gardens in the backyard are full of birds. The other morning we were making breakfast and watching all the birds playing in the bushes and taking baths in the bird bath - fun! I think if we let these two out the birds would go somewhere safer! So for everyone's sake, we'll see about keeping them in for now at least.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Almost done

This has been a very stressful two weeks! We started moving into our house just over a week ago. On that Saturday a friend came over and helped us load furniture, and with a small box moving truck, his pickup, and our full size van, we moved everything we needed for the house in pretty much one move, except little this and that stuff. When we got to looking around the new house, it needed more cleaning than we expected! But we moved in anyway, and have been cleaning while we go - exhausting!

Also, we decided to use the moving truck to get a load of garbage from our house to take to the dump. Since we were doing that anyway, we looked around the new house to see if he'd left any garbage. We started throwing stuff in the truck, piles of stuff here and there around the backyard, stuff hidden in the garage, even a rusty old pickup bed cap leaning against the house. Two hours later we'd filled the truck! That hadn't been in our plan! So we got that stuff hauled to the dump right before it closed.

The past week has been a blur of working late nights, getting everything moved over, cleaning up the old house, and getting my husband's business moved into storage. thank goodness he doesn't work during the day, or we couldn't have gotten this far! We're finding it challenging to stuff everything into our tiny house.
The biggest accomplishments in the last two days:
The trailer, snuggled into it’s spot in the backyard.

The Mustang, safe and dry in the tiny garage.

I'd say I felt worse about leaving our farm, but there's been no time to reflect on it. Just working, eating out (because we haven't gotten our kitchen unpacked and cleaned until yesterday) and sleeping good and hard straight through the night - that's what physical labor will do for you. Lots of ibuprofin for my sore muscles!

The official handoff is Tuesday evening, so we're almost done. It will be nice to finally sit back and get to know our new house and for our lives to settle into what I hope is a much less stressful routine than the last few years has been.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The dogs chasing a mouse in their new backyard

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our new house–Welcome to Rancho Relaxo



Our new house doesn’t really look like a big deal from the front. In fact it’s mostly hidden by the tall bushes along the curb.



But it has a pretty little area along the front, and a beautiful vine that will have big purple bunches of flowers on it in the spring.



The front room has a big fireplace, and a nice big window looking out on the front yard.



The dogs like that a lot!



It’s taken a few days, but they are starting to settle in. I think it helps that the furniture all smells like home.



We had a lot to do, cleaning, arranging, figuring out where everything goes in our new small house!



What a mess! I’ll get better pictures when it’s all cleaned up!



The inside is nice, but the real selling point of this house is out back. Check out that huge covered patio! And the back yard is terraced!



You walk off the patio, and follow a path down the stairs to the firepit.



I think we could get most of our friends around this giant firepit! I can’t wait to do some camp-cookin’ over it.



Step off the patio and go to the right, and there’s a sunken seating area.



This seating area is surrounded by peonies and all sorts of other flowers and bushes, I don’t even know what they all are yet.



Beyond the seating area is gardens – here is a section of chard, beets, and carrots.



Then towards the back fence is another huge garden, which had squash, beans, and tomatoes.



At the far end of the yard is another seating area on the end of the terrace.



Up close to the house is a big herb garden full of all sorts of herbs I recognize and a few I don’t.



And because the house backs up to the city water source, which is a fenced off area, there’s no one overlooking our backyard like there were on most of the houses we looked at in neighborhoods. In fact that white house off in the distance is the only house we can see from our backyard, except our immediate neighbors, who are hidden by trees. So it all feels very private.

Well, it’s all ours now. We’re just about all out of the old house. Closing is in a couple days. It’s weird to leave the farm after all these years, but this is a super nice place. We’ve met some of the neighbors and they all seem nice. The neighborhood is close to work and very walk-able. And of course it’s a lot less expensive than the farm, and will be a lot less stressful than trying to maintain 3 acres we really didn’t need. Change is always a little scary, but this is one case where we made a change for the better, all the way around.