It took a while for the snow to really accumulate this winter....but over the past 4 days we have gotten over FOUR FEET OF SNOW! And not just us up here in the mountains. Down in town they have gotten over two feet of the white fluffy stuff and schools have been closed now for 4 days in a row! I have to say we are LOVING the winter wonderland up here. I will also say it's a LOT of work. We have a long driveway, and we all help as a neighborhood to clear our road because it is not maintained by the town. Carlos has been getting up early before work to snow blow our entire driveway, walkways, and the road, and then coming home from work to do it all again because it KEEPS SNOWING!!
I am grateful for all this snow so we can really see what kind of things we need when we renovate. Bigger eaves, maybe a steeper roof, definitely a front porch. We knew this already, but living through all this snow fall is helpful. I want to just rip off the existing roof, and put a steeper one on with bigger eaves....and then we can also create a cute little loft area for the girls to have a playroom/hang out space.
We have started the process of getting permits. It's very challenging up here...we are SO close to the river, that they won't allow for much. Also, being so close to the river, they may make us install a brand new septic system, which apparently is VERY expensive and will greatly impact our budget. But, if we don't do it, they won't let us do anything, and we probably could use a new septic system since ours is very old.
I am getting excited about having a new kitchen and bathroom, and floors and windows! These old windows are so drafty...the whole house is drafty. I will make a post soon of all my ideas for each room.
I have started driving down to our house in the just the last week. Driving on the snow down the steep hill over the bridge is a lot less scary then the sheet of ice it had been a few weeks earlier. Prior to that, I hadn't driven to our house in 4 months....it's a 1/4 mile walk in, and I have a big sled to pull groceries if needed. Here I am pulling a sled full of things for goodwill!
Here's some photos from the past few weeks.... Thanks for stopping by!
So, it's been a couple months since my last blog post. Who knew blogs could be so hard to write...well, more like taking the time to sit my butt down at the computer and share what's been going on in our life since we moved out of suburbia into the woods.
It was a rough start. The first week we replaced all our plumbing, including our hot water heater. We got a smaller on-demand unit so it wouldn't take up so much space in our little laundry room. We had our new hot water heater for about a day, and then we ran out of water. Our well is clogged, or there's a lot of sediment built up, or something. It only produced 10 gallons of water an HOUR! The hot water heater that was in the house served as a reserve tank of sorts, so no one (supposedly) was aware of the poor water output of our well.
Thanksgiving evening we ran our well dry, and we were without running water for 3 weeks.
We stayed some nights in our Airbnb, which was empty (and quite lovely accommodations I might add!). We would do laundry over there, and also bring bins of dirty dishes to wash. Carlos would take a bucket to the creek so we could flush the toilet, and I bought gallons of water at the store so we had drinking and cooking water, and so we could brush our teeth. It was like we were camping (with electricity and comfy beds).
We finally got water and hallelujah! (we had to install a cistern so our well could slowly fill it up, and we have 1,000 gallons to use as the well slowly refills the tank daily). Life was good again. Then our cottage started filling up with smoke every time we started a fire in the wood stove. I you-tubed how to clean a wood stove, and we were all set to clean it up ourselves, only we could not get the piping (I do not know the technical wood stove lingo, sorry!) off to clean it. Luckily, we had purchased a beautiful new stove prior to moving in. A modern, sleek, Jutol stove. We had it scheduled for install on December 9th. We had also been calling asbestos removal companies since our house was pending in October, to remove the loose vermiculite insulation in our attic. NO ONE...I mean NO ONE, would come out and remove it. The wood stove store will not install our new wood stove with asbestos in the ceiling. Understandably. We did find someone who would, but we've had to wait several weeks, and it's still not installed. Hopefully by the end of this week we will finally have wood stove heat. Right now we are heating our home with one mini-split and several space heaters. Not ideal, but thankful to be warm.
With all that said, we are LOVING living out in the woods. Our girls, who are 7 1/2, can mountain bike right from our front door, out to trails, all by themselves...until the snow came. Now they sled almost every day, and run around in the woods pretending to be various animals. They got x-country skies for Christmas from their grandparents, and now we can all x-country ski right out our front door. It's absolutely beautiful out here. I love walking by the creek, seeing the trees covered in snow, and just enjoying peaceful, quiet nature.
Our road is very steep driving down to a tiny little bridge. I'm too nervous to drive down it when it's icy and snowy, so I park up at the main road and walk to my car every day. It's a nice little walk through the woods, and it's only annoying when I have a lot of things to carry. Carlos drives his truck down, so if I have too much to carry, he will grab things for me, or I will load up a little sled to drag things home.
We had a wonderful white Christmas, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law visited. Our first guests! We went for lots of walks, ate too much food, and had a relaxing holiday. We installed a brand new range on Christmas Eve (it all had to be converted to propane from natural gas, and it was a bit a of a pain and learning curve, thankfully Carlos brother helped him figure it all out) and we had a new stove/oven for Carlos to make his traditional Christmas Eve Paella!
We love our neighborhood. I think we've been more social since moving up here then we were in town. We've gone to a soup party (this is a fantastic idea), where everyone brings a big pot of soup to share, you all eat soup, and then take a few containers home to freeze so you have a variety of soup throughout the winter. The tradition in our new neighborhood is to have a soup party after the first big snow fall. Another neighbor had a solstice party and we gathered outside around a huge bonfire, and then it started to snow. Such a beautiful night. We also celebrated New Years Eve at another neighbor's house around a bon fire, while the kids ice skated on their man-made rink in the back yard.
We have a lot of work to do around here. Carlos is trying to finish a large shed so we have a place for all our gear. We are hoping to hire a builder to start construction (or de-construction) in late April early May. We are going to vault the living room/dining room/kitchen ceilings, get all new windows, new flooring, redo the bathroom and kitchen and hopefully add a mudroom and new front entry way, and possibly a few feet on to the kitchen. I've been planning since we first saw the cabin, and now we get to make it a reality.
But for now, we are enjoying the snow, and getting used to our life out here in the woods.
I will try to write more often, and definitely post photos of our progress.
If you made it through this rambling mess, thank you for listening!
After 20 days on the market, and from what our realtor says "probably the record for the most showings in a 3 week period", we have accepted an offer. We just have to get through the home inspection, and keep our fingers crossed that the buyer's loan goes through. We are due to close in about a month!
We are in full swing planning the renovation of our Creekside Cabin. We are hoping to vault the ceiling, take down one wall, and add skylights before we move in. We will stay at our little Airbnb Blackberry Cottage during the ceiling reno, then we will move in and slowly renovate while living there (fun times).
I will be posting our inspiration board soon!
Meanwhile, here's our New creekside cabin.....hoping we move in before the snow begins to fall!
Bare with me, this is my first ever blog post! I'm just figuring out how to add photos, and text, and edit.
We bought this sweet 1950's ranch home in 2005, right after getting married. We love this house, it's centrally located, has an amazing backyard, a mother-in-law apartment, a HUGE garage, and lots of nice renovations we've done over the years.
But, we recently found a fixer upper in the woods. Right on a creek, and we fell in love with the sounds of the water, and of nothing. Just 10 miles out of town, but in a completely different world. The road we are living on is only accessible by a little bridge that maxes out at 3 tons. The county will not allow any more building up there, so we have to make due with the size and work with what we have. One of our girls (age 7), asked us how long it will take to make the new house as nice as the old house. My hope is not too long! But we will be living through the renovations.
Here's some of the work we did on our current home: Renovated 2 bathrooms, put in all new hardwood flooring, resurfaced the fireplace, installed new windows, new landscaping front and back. And just as it's almost completed, we are going to move.
Excited for the next project! (click "read more" to see some of our listing photos)