September 21, 2010

Battling the What Ifs and the Should Haves

It's been three years since we moved to Utah from Miami. Three years. And yes, we are still battling the "what ifs" and the "should haves" and the "moving fever." You see, we are nomads at heart. The world calls to us to see it's beauty, experience it's differences, delight in it's ever-expanding cultural grandeur. Most of the time, it isn't enough for us to simply travel somewhere and spend a week there (though that is usually what we resort to). Something really magical happens when you put down roots somewhere - not deep roots necessarily, I'm not talking about making a home for your grandchildren here. No I'm talking about setting down your suitcase, unloading your skivvies into the top drawer of the dresser that you have packed half-way across the world in your over-full Penske truck, and pulling out your old, chipped mug that you picked up on your very first trip to British Columbia and sitting down at the kitchen table to just take it all in. You are now a local.  It might be for a few months and it might be for a year or two, but in an instant you are rooted to that place in a way that you would never be if you were viewing this place as merely a "visitor." It's a change in the way you view a place. You now have neighbors, you are part of this place, it's heartbeat, it's breath. It's different. It's wonderful, and we crave that in our lives.

The downside for us to this desire to live anywhere and everywhere else sets in right about the time we have lived somewhere for a few years. We start to think "what if" we moved to France, or we "should have" taken that job and moved to New Hampshire when we had the chance. Then "moving fever" sets in hard and we find ourselves perusing real estate web sites for Ireland at three in the morning. It's a sickness. We will admit that much to ourselves, but shhhh...we don't like to say it out loud. Don't get me wrong, we love where we currently live. It's just that.... finding contentment and peace with where we are (geographically speaking that is) is something we battle every year. (Do I sound certifiably insane yet?)

Are you still with me? Here is where I am going with this: Just when we start going crazy with the possibilities of this destination or that foreign country, September arrives in Utah and we become content with our choice to move here. We spent Sunday on a beautiful drive through the mountains around Salt Lake Valley. With each turn we were oohing and aahing. Each rotation of our tires bringing us closer to yet another beautiful rust-colored canyon more beautiful than the last. Each tree and leaf becoming more and more spectacular. Looking around, we realized that sometimes you have to stop thinking about the green grass on the other side of the fence and really live in the moment. Be happy where you are. Grow where you are planted. Afterall, we are experiencing a world that not everyone gets to see. Until now...

Pull out your old chipped mug and have a seat. You just became a local (for a few minutes).

September 8, 2010

A Dresser for Our Sweet Potato

Work is progressing on the kitchen but we can't help but be excited for the next project: the nursery! We told ourselves that we would wait to start buying 'baby stuff' until we had the kitchen wrapped up. Well... we may have already purchased two items for the nursery... unintentionally. (I use the word 'may' because it sounds passive, less concrete and keeps us from looking like suckers who can't pass up a cute dresser when they happen on one - which we totally are) Here is how the conversation generally starts:

"Hey, you want to go down to Home Again and see what they have?"

"Sure, but we aren't ready to buy anything."

"No, we'll just look, that way when we are ready we will know what's out there."

Of course "looking" leads to buying because we have been finding exactly what we want for less than half the price we thought we were going to pay and we. just. can't. walk. away. Which is why this beauty is now residing in our living room (along with almost everything else we own thanks to the kitchen remodel that seems to be spreading it's capacity for destruction to other unsuspecting parts of the cottage)...

Oh my, I can hardly wait to start on the nursery! Isn't this dresser absolute perfection? The best part is, I don't have to do anything to it! I kept seeing some old dressers that I loved but they all needed a paint job and new knobs, which I was willing to do, but with all the construction in these parts, I knew that it might be pushed to the back burner (aka, finished when our sweet potato turns three!) Then we happened upon this one and it was love at first sight!

p.s. For those of you here in the Salt Lake Valley, we found this at our favorite home furnishing store called "Home Again." They sell mostly consignment (though not your run-of-the-mill, it-isn't-worth-a second-look consignment junk) and also have some awesome vintage pieces as well as some architectural salvage. Check it out - - - wait, on second thought, don't. I don't want you buying all the stuff I want!

September 7, 2010

It's Electric!

I realized I am way too deep in the remodeling process when my husband says to me:

 "I need to go pick up some new strippers to finish that three-way," 

and I respond with 

"Hold on, I'll grab my purse." 

Seriously, no smart ass comment from me? Yep we are definitely in the thick of it. Call it wiring tunnel vision. And lest you googled something else and you landed here on accident, let me clarify...

The new strippers. (I promise that is what they're called!) Mr's most used tool at the moment. 

A handy reference guide we picked up ten years ago on our first project. While it is a tad simplistic, it is good for someone just starting their first electrical wiring project. (They also published one for plumbing that is good too!)

We still hire an Electrician to do the "big" stuff like connect the main power to the line, but Mr. does most of the running of the wire inside the house. After so many years of doing this (and following the Electrician around like a puppy asking a million questions), he pretty much knows the ropes. He does, though, still reference the above page every time he wires a three-way switch. What is she talking about? A three-way switch is what happens when you have two switches that power one light source. For example, in our kitchen we have switches on either side that will turn on the overhead lights no matter what door you come in. Apparently it's complicated. Thus the book. 

And speaking of our kitchen, Mr. has been hard at work rewiring the whole house (it's a long story), moving walls, and other general awesomeness.  Here's the progress so far...

Looking towards the back door. We are widening the doorway and putting in a small railing above the stairs. 

Mr. removed the old fire-hazard/wiring to make room for the pretty new yellow wiring. Too bad no one will see all his hard work underneath the sheetrock. 

Looking from the side door into the kitchen towards the sink area. 

Oh blessed day! While Mr. was in Mississippi on business, the sheetrock crew came in and worked their magic! It is starting to look like an actual room again!

I know I promised to show you the plan, and I of these days. But for now, here is a sneak peak of what we are working on next....

Any guesses on what we are doing with the beadboard?

(For the before shots of the kitchen you can go here. )


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