Tagged: small house living

We Moved to the Country and This Happened…

 

When we moved to Our Little House eight years ago, it was partially for a desire to escape city life and live on the lake full time. But at least for me, our move was also fueled by a desire to escape our hometown, the place that held so many memories of my mom, who I had lost earlier that year.

After that raw grief subsided and we survived the Great Recession, we dreamed of returning “home.”

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The Seven Year Itch

Our former house in the city

I had to laugh when I read a post by The Minnesota Farm Woman a week ago entitled, “The Seven Year Itch.”

I’ve followed Chris (the farm woman) and her adventures of moving to rural Minnesota for a while and we’ve even become friends on Facebook. I think it’s serendipitous that we both embarked on our journeys at the same time.

I had been planning this post for this month and had the same title attached to it, so I hope Chris doesn’t mind if I still use it. Great minds do think alike!

It was 7 years ago yesterday, June 23, that we loaded up a moving truck, trailer, my Blazer and our pick up and headed south for our new lives in rural Arkansas.

We put in storage things I thought would later be moved to a 1,000 square foot house we planned to build here, loaded the three dogs (we arrived with four, Sade found her way to us) and two cats and were on our way to our Big Adventure.

And what an adventure it has been!

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Our Midlife Crisis

Kansas City

 

I wrote “Life is a Journey” before my break in January not knowing we too, were unconsciously entering a psychological change in our own lives.

As I’ve written more than once, this winter was a little brutal on us here at Our Little House, not just with the cold, ice and snow or the multiple sprangs of wrists and ankles or bruised elbows and tailbones from falling in said conditions (because dogs still have to do their business and work has to be done no matter the weather).

Last year, we missed a lot of happenings with our loved ones back in our hometown. We try to make it back for as many landmark birthdays, anniversaries, showers and weddings as possible, but sometimes we can’t make them all.

Add in a good friend who had a heart attack last year, another who had to get a pace maker, the loss of Dale’s mother (while we made several trips to KC to be with her in her last weeks, we were not there when she actually passed, something I think my husband regrets), the death of a former neighbor, my godfather, a couple of former classmates and the arrival of the decade of my 50s and we have the making of a mid-life crisis.

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Changes Across the Road

This portion of our road may soon be developed

 

Changes and fear of the unknown.

We’ve experienced both here at Our Little House this week. My aunt placed 15 acres across the road from us for sale; that has brought us both the fear of the unknown and will ultimately bring change.

When my mom, aunt/uncle and sister looked at these 30 acres of land 29 years ago, the real estate agent actually tried talking them out of it, telling them it was “too far out” and would “never be developed.”

It’s what my family wanted in a piece of property, but how wrong that real estate agent was, all of the surrounding land that wasn’t Corps of Engineer owned was sold, and the area began developing in earnest in the late 1980s into the 1990s.

A neighbor (neighbor is a relative term here since she lives more than two miles up the mountain) tells me sometimes how sad it makes her to come down our road now and see the electrical lines and the road widened for the traffic.

They bought their house in 1986, not long after my family purchased this property, but long before my aunt had the lines run to her new home for electricity. Our neighbor and her husband used to take long and quiet walks down our road through undeveloped wilderness.

I know that feeling as I’ve experienced it with each new home that is built or every new resident that’s brought more traffic down our road.

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Favorite Gadgets for a Small Home

I ran across a post on the Internet the other day listing “50 Small Things for a Small House.”

While the post was directed at young singles in the city, I think some of these things have value for small house owners as well.

Here are my favorites from the list:

  1. #4 on their list, the combo blender/food processor. I have one of these and it’s always good when you can save a little counter or cabinet space by combining your appliances.
  2. #6 on their list, the shelves disguised as books. Not sure how practical these are; small house lovers tend to be huge book fans and we have a lot of them. But these are cute.
  3. #10 on their list, the small, portable microwave. We don’t own one, but I know many people cannot live without them. This would be great in a small space.
  4. #11 on their list, the trolley mini kitchen, complete with stove top and mini fridge. This would be perfect in some tiny houses I’ve seen.
  5. #12 on their list, the kitchen bowl and spoons nesting set.

The list goes on with small dishwashers, a file hiding ottoman and even a bar-b-que grill that doubles as a planter when not in use.

The list also contains some tricks we small house dwellers already have up our sleeves, such as sofa sleepers, hideaway beds, cabinet mounted bottle openers, flat screen television mounts and shower caddies.

What is your favorite gadget on this list of 50?

 

I Love a Large, Beautiful Home; I Just Don’t Want to Clean it

The house after I gave it a top to bottom cleaning /photo by Kevin Pieper

 

We spent this past weekend back in our hometown. We had a lot of good food and good times with our friends, which included going and visiting their homes.

All of them very beautiful and much more immaculate than I keep mine! As I’ve written before, I’m not a terrible housekeeper, but I’m not and never have been, my mother either.

Some of these homes we’ve spent considerable time in, such as our former neighbor’s. We lived across the street from them for 17 years and their home almost feels like home to us, we had so many holidays, events for their kids, 4th of July pool parties and just evenings visiting with them.

One was another friend who moved to this house after we moved, we’ve been there several times; I even spent a night there on my way to a professional conference last summer.

The last home we visited was for the first time. Like us, she lives in the country with their rescue dogs.

When we were sitting and visiting, in each of our friend’s homes, I kept finding myself looking around at different things, some of which I wished I still had room for: My china cabinet with my pretty “good” dishes, a large sofa and two recliners, lots of kitchen cabinet space and my own bathroom.

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Continually Chasing Dreams

This house definitely fits into my fantasy home. Photo Remax Larson Group Kansas City

 

Every once in a while, I will find myself dreaming of a small 1920’s-ish cottage or Tudor in an older section of our hometown.

A house with arched doorways and where my antiques would look as if they belonged and a kitchen with a built in pantry. I also decorate the kitchen in period décor, complete with modern reproduction appliances.

There are rose bushes and an arbor in the backyard with a detached garage and plenty of bushes for privacy. It’s the burbs, but we’re also close enough to a little shopping district to walk to the local coffee shop and bookstore.

Am I crazy? We’re supposed to be living our dream.

I’m not the only one with a continual yearning.

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The Lazy Dumping Spot

Every home has one: a dumping place we lay stuff down when we come in the house.

In our house in the city, it was the stairs, as the foyer was perched between one set going up and one going down in the split level house.

I also dumped mail on the kitchen table, and Dale put his stuff on a ledge in the family room.

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