A house at last!

It took almost exactly SEVEN years, but we finally bought a house!  This purchase has been in the works since last August, when I happened to take a different route to school and saw the “For Sale” sign just in the nick of time.  That’s a long time for me to not write a thing about something so big!

At first it all seemed so tenuous, and while we told family members, and then a few close friends, we chose not to spread the news far and wide.  It became more of a certainty in November, but there were still lots of t’s to cross and i’s to dot (and months hoping that either the house had been winterized or the heat was still on, so we didn’t find an expensive mess once we finally had access).

Once it became more of a certainty, we decided to wait to share the news in completely public forums until it was 100% official and we had notified our landlord.  Check, and check!

The property meets (or will meet) A LOT of our criteria.  It is, in many ways, the needle in the haystack we’ve been hunting for for all these years.  That said, I will not share a lot of the specific details here due to privacy concerns given the uniqueness of the property.

While the house, was, at a glance, technically (maybe?) liveable, it needed some updates in the flooring and kitchen departments.  We’ve spent the past two weeks making the house look horrible — tearing out the grungy old carpeting, worn linoleum flooring, and kitchen cabinets — and scrambling to meet with contractors and finalize decisions.

We gave our landlord two months notice, and we’re hoping for all of the work, or at least all of the big, messy, disruptive work, to be finished by the time we move in.

Costing various options has been eye-opening and sobering.  We had hoped to use Mwanzi/Greenhaus for our kitchen cabinets, but that plan was quickly scrapped when we found out that just buying the cabinets from them would use our entire kitchen budget.  Gulp!  We’ve run into similar roadblocks on other sourcing decisions, and we’ve had to make lots of compromises on what our ideal would be (socially and environmentally) and what we can actually afford.

Sadly, it seems that certain “green” options, from cabinetry to geothermal heating, are really only attainable for those at the higher end of the socioeconomic scale. So that’s been a bit of a reality check for our idealist selves.  (We are planning to install solar panels next year — the payoff on those seems quite good.)

Anyhow, we’ve finalized our kitchen cabinetry and appliance decisions, and we have three rooms and the hallway almost ready for the floor refinishers (still more staples to pull — always more staples!).  The kitchen floor, however, is a hot mess of linoleum, a nasty adhesive, and the. worst. staples. EVER!

I’m half wishing we’d never started tear-out on that floor, and just put something over the existing flooring, but it’s probably good in the end because we’ve already pulled up moldy under-layment, and keeping that around would not have been good for air quality!

My renewed mindfulness practice, which had been going strong since January, got off-track right around when we closed on the house, which, combined with all of the big decisions, took a toll on my mental and physical health.  I’m re-committing to the mindfulness and trying to get some reflux issues (something that’s never been an issue for me) under control.



Thursday thoughts

Reading more bike blogs
As part of my goal to share more here about the biking side of things, I’ve decided to seek inspiration by reading more bikey blogs.  No doubt part of the reason my focus here has shifted to include lots of food-centric posts comes from the fact that I read many food-centric blogs.

I don’t have a list of favorites yet, but there are a few that I’ve read from time to time.  My reading time is limited, so I’d like to pick a handful to read regularly.  Simply Bike makes the list of a [semi]regular read, and S’s blogroll contains enough suggestions to keep me busy for quite some time.

In the fridge
As of this morning, we had no less than four types of milk in our fridge: organic soy, almond, a new local cow’s milk, and breast milk pumped during Sir’s recent sleepover at Baba’s (the last has since been consumed).

I don’t really drink milk anymore, but occasionally I crave something other than water to wash down fresh chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter brownies.  In those instance, unsweetened almond milk hits the spot.

This weekend . . .
I’ll be attending our regular veggie potluck on Friday night and looking at a couple of house on Saturday.  One house in particular could be very interesting, but there’s a big IF in the picture related to garden space.  Due to time constraints, distance, and various other logistics, I’ll probably be making both those trips by car — compromises.