Simplify

In my quest to rack the internet’s brain about homesteading, I’m learning that there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to leave their day jobs, move to the country, and simplify their lives. As a general rule, I don’t think people (as individuals) are stupid. So why is it that it feels as though most people think that moving to the country will be easier than living in the city. In reality, all environments have their own noises, pollution, problems, pressures, and stresses.

VERSUS

In actuality, simplicity can be achieved by anyone who is looking for it. The first step is to figure out what is most important in your life, then cut out the excess. If we turn off the background noises in our lives, it allows us to focus our concentration on the things that we find rewarding.

This doesn’t mean avoiding everything you don’t like and saying no to everyone who asks for help. This means actively chosing to spend your free time enriching your life instead of doing things that are time wasters.

In my life, I’ve learned that social media sites are huge time wasters for me. I’m not advocating that everyone should jump up and delete their facebook account – but I can tell you that I did, and I’m very happy with my decision. I do miss my Wild Thing 2 mama’s, and I miss hearing the updates of my close friends and family – but I no longer feel a constant need to refresh the page just to see an update about my old high school friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s supper choice.

I was spending 10-20 minutes a day on facebook. That’s 105 minutes a week – or 91 hours a year. I’m going to use that time to learn to quilt, make hard cheese, and read more books to my kids.

What are you wasting time on?

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School Days

That is not our hotel room, but ours looks very similar to that – if you add a few dozen books on the nightstand and take away the slinky pink thing from the bed. It has two identical bedrooms with restrooms, a living room, and a small kitchen. It’s not big, but it works.

Needless to say, our house is still not finished. There has been quite a few holdups, but progress is slowly being made. The hotel has been fun, although we are all tired of eating out and I’m going a little stir crazy without having anything to do.

My twins, 13, started 8th grade today. When I pulled up to the school, there were dozens of 6th graders that were starting their middle school adventure. It was easy to pick them out, they all had the same scared, shell-shocked look in their eyes. I’m sure that I am going to have that exact same look next year when I drop my boys off for their first day of high school. Eeep!

My sister had a bouncy baby girl on August 8th. She was only 34 weeks, but the baby was 5lbs 10oz and only had to stay in NICU for 3 days. I’m going to fly to Maryland in a few weeks to visit them – I cannot wait. I love my sister and I want to spend time getting to know her kids better.

There isn’t much new going on the home sale front. I think we’ve picked a realtor, we are just waiting for the house to get finished, so I can start cleaning and packing. We are slowly getting all of the painting done around the house. We just have two rooms left. I’m hopeful that I can get both of them finished this week.

We still don’t know where we are going to move, but we took a road trip last week and discovered quite a few small towns an hour and a half north east of us. As we were driving up there, I felt like I was going home. It was a great feeling. I think we are going to concentrate our search in that area.

I really like having a plan, so it’s driving me a little crazy that everything is so up in the air. I’m not sure we have enough saved to be able to move without having to take on a mortgage. I’m not sure we can sell our house without owing money on it. I’m not sure about much of anything, but I’m not going to worry. I’m throwing it up to God and letting it go. His plan is always better than mine anyways, even if I don’t always see it right away.

Hotel Living

When the plumbers opened up the floor to fix the greywater leak, they found that the bottom half of the pipe was completely corroded. They had to replace the pipe all the way from one side of the house to the connection underneath the bathrooms on the other side of the house.

It also turned out that our house was a stage 3 flood area. That is the worst stage in flood talk. It means that we have had standing water for over a week. Apparently sewage/greywater had backed up between the flooring and the water barrier. It also seeped into the drywall and the bottom cabinets in the kitchen. They set up fans and it took about 5 days to dry everything up.

Our kitchen is pretty much gutted. We need new floors. We need new baseboards. We need new drywall. We need one outside wall of our house replaced. We have a special cabinet maker that is going to try to replicate the top cabinets so we don’t need to replace all of the cabinets. I hope he can match them, I really like our cabinets.

In the process of gutting the kitchen, they’ve also discovered that there is a section of old tile that had asbestos used to glue it to the slab. So, we have a special team coming to remove the asbestos sometime this week.

I’m so grateful for insurance! I am scared they are going to drop us after this claim, but they are really taking very good care of us. (State Farm, if anyone is wondering.)

We’ve been set up in a nice apartment style hotel. We’ve been there over two weeks already. There is an all you can eat breakfast every morning. I have unlimited coffee. We have a weight room, a pool, a basketball court, and we’ve met a few nice families that are visiting the area on vacation. I’m trying to think of it as a mini stay-cation.

It’s very nice to have someone come in when we are out at lunch, and make all of the beds and take out the trash for us. I wouldn’t want it to happen all of the time, but it’s a nice temporary perk.

I do have to admit though – I am ridiculously tired of eating out. I miss my homemade bread. I miss trying new recipes. I miss cleaning pancake batter out of the kitchen sink. The kids keep comparing everything they eat to what I can make.  I usually win. Yay.

I’m hoping that we will be back in our house within the week, although the general contractor doesn’t think we will have the kitchen and flooring done until the end of August. The kids start school August 27th, so that could be a little difficult.

On a more personal note – my sister’s water broke two and a half days ago! She is due September 19th, so she is only 33.5 weeks pregnant. This is her second baby, and the first girl for either of us. They are going to deliver on Wednesday as long as the baby’s heartrate stays steady until then. She will be 34 weeks. They live across the country from me, so I won’t be able to see them for a few more months, but I’m still so excited and nervous for them. I hope that my little niece is born without any difficulties and that my sister gets some rest and finds comfort and peace throughout this birth experience.

When my sister and I were little, we would fight like cats and dogs. My mom used to tell us to be nice to each other, since when we got older, we would become each other’s best friend.

She was right.