Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The STUFF of life!

First of all, I want to let my faithful readers know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... but I just might have gotten lost in all the STUFF that has been collected in the last couple of decades and stored in our home!  LOL!  Since we are mightily downsizing (moving from a 2000+ square foot home to a 700 square foot home)... this has been an undertaking of giant proportions... at least when you consider how much you can accumulate in a short and wonderful lifetime!  As a former avid scrapbooker and stamper, I've accumulated a large collection of beautiful albums of all our children's growing up memories.  And then there are pieces of this and that which to most people wouldn't look like much, but it is something my precious children made it for me, bought it for me, or someone gave it to me... and on and on the list goes!  So what do you do with all this memory-heavy STUFF?

Yes.  So that is what has been going on around here.  I've flipped through memory books and albums that are covered in dust, and as I flipped through the pages, the special and precious memories played before me, and time seemed to stand still... or at least I wished it would!  As drawers were emptied, closets opened and clothes pulled out - there were decisions on what to keep, and what not to keep. We have four seasons here, which means an endless supply of clothing needs for each season.  Where to store these things in a 700 sq ft house?

So, the STUFF of life has been happening around here.  And I'm doing better with it each day.  I just tell myself - it is just stuff.  And you know what has helped me the most with it all?  To realize that the most important things that we own really isn't the "stuff" found in boxes, drawers, and closets... but it is the moments we spend with our loved ones, the time we give, and the memories we have... that is what makes our lives full, rich, and beautiful.  And while I may not be able to keep every single piece of  "stuff" that reminds of a precious moment gone by... I still am blessed with the memories of that time.

I have found scrapbooks and albums where I had placed special keepsakes of our children throughout their school years, and my daughter and I got lost a few minutes one day and shared some laughs over the memories they brought.  I don't know where those keepsakes will go... but I will keep them.

Thankfully we have a large storage area behind our home, and many of these memories will have to be carefully packed away until the day when we build our home, and where they can grace the shelves again.  But, it has been an emotional time as we have had to carefully go through things and decide - do you stay, or do you get packed up for later, or do you leave forever.... oh my!

Downsizing is not easy... but I am finding out it is a beautiful thing when you can find joy in the journey, and the Lord has been my strength throughout each day - thank you Lord!

And now... for those of you who have patiently read through my melodrama about downsizing, and the STUFF of life.... I have a few pictures to share of what our home looks like now!

Remember when it looked like this?


The ugly bar with the large gaping hole...


... the original dishwasher from the 1970s...


 ... the cabinets that looked pretty sad in the corner ....


... the missing panels in the sink area...


 ... the old flooring...


... and the restoration process that began...


Yippee!  The carpet and flooring has arrived!


The padding was quickly laid down...


... don't you just LOVE the beadboard on the bar!  No more ugly!!



While I was waiting on the carpet to be laid, I took a few pictures of what the kitchen looked like with the new hardware on the cabinet doors... our dear friend TS installed the cabinets and hardware for me, which was appreciated so much!



... and the kitchen with the new vinyl flooring!



... carpet laid in the living room!

 

Remember this gap above this cabinet? The gap is because the walls and ceilings are very crooked, and it was a dilemma on how to fix it.  However, our dear friend TS crafted this little piece of wood to stick into the gap, and then he caulked it all.


 I still have to paint the wood addition, but it does look so much better!  


Another peek at the floors where they meet up between the kitchen and living room.


Do you see the double panels under the sink?  I'm so thrilled that our friend TS was able to make those for me, and they look perfect! (Please excuse the mess on top of the sink area... it was our staging area for the work throughout the house, lol!)



A peek down the hallway...


I wanted to see how my kitchen table was going to fit into the small dining space.  As you can see... the space is very, very small, because we haven't even added chairs yet!  It is possible we may have to do some searching to find a corner table with bench seating to accommodate this dining area.


Our dear friend TS came over early one morning to finish installing the dishwasher, and bless his heart! He cleaned up the mess on the countertop! Oh what a beautiful sight that was to see, everything neat and tidy, and he had even organized the tools out in the addition for us.  Wow!


We brought in some "outdoor" furniture for the time being until we could begin moving in. I had my husband bring over the love seat just to get a feel for the room, and see how we were going to arrange the furniture, and what we were going to be able to fit into that small space. It was pretty cozy with just the love seat... but we have a couch, two rocking chairs, a piano and end tables to fit in this space as well...


My husband and I were talking about how we were going to arrange the furniture so that we could both have our comfort chairs, and a place for guests to sit.  It will be fun rearranging our furniture and seeing what fits, and what doesn't!


The room looks full and cozy with just the love seat and a couple of outdoor chairs, lol!


Today things got just a little more exciting... and complicated!  We added appliances to the kitchen... which I was thrilled about... but now you can get a visual of just how awkward this kitchen arrangement is.  You may remember my discussion about the problem with the dishwasher.  As you can see above... the problem is clearly identified... no room for the drawer bank that came with the cabinets.  We shopped long and hard to try to figure out what to do.  Finally, the decision came down to this: the drawer bank or .... an ice maker in the refrigerator... and guess who won?


Well, my dear Texan husband and his ice maker weren't about to part (Texans just gotta have ICE you know!), and so... we came to a compromise! He has promised to build me some sort of cabinet that will fit in between the stove and refrigerator, since the one I have won't work, and he gets to keep the bigger refrigerator with the ice maker.  Marriage is all about compromise!  {grin}


A view of the cabinets and dishwasher.  It is quite obvious that whoever designed this bar area must never have washed dishes, or spent much time in the kitchen! Oh well... I'll just get a rug to catch the drips between the sink and the dishwasher, lol!


We brought the couch over today, and began to play around with arrangements.  Still not certain on how its all going to fit... and the couch may have to go.  We'll see... !


The piano hasn't arrived yet, nor our "comfy" chairs...  No doubt there are more "compromises" on the way, lol!  But we are enjoying the journey, and my husband and I keep smiling at each other and saying... "Hey honey, its PAID FOR!"  And that makes us happy... it is worth this wild and wonderful journey!

To those of you to whom I see around "blog land", I just want to let you know that hopefully within the next couple of weeks, we'll be settled in... and I'll see you around then.  For now... this is an update... on the run!

May the Lord bless your day, and His presence sweetly surround you in all you do!


30 comments:

  1. You are really making progress and it all looks fabulous! I love the floor in the kitchen. It is outstanding. I can't wait to see what happens next, so exciting! Good luck with your packing, I know that is not an easy job when you have to consolidate.

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  2. Wow... You are doing great... Everything looks comfy cozy and it must be such a blessing to get rid of so much stuff... I would not know where to begin... In a corner, I guess... God bless you, dear.. xo

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    1. Thank you for your blessings, indeed I certainly needed it! You probably could have joined me in the corner once or twice, lol, as I certainly felt overwhelmed enough to do that, but thankfully the Lord gave me strength, and I just kept moving, and now, praise the Lord, we have moved in, and just love our cozy warm home! Appreciate your visit, and hope to come by soon to visit you too! :)

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  3. Wow! It's looking so nice! How exciting!! Just an idea for the little cabinet that won't fit in between the frig and stove...what if you pushed the stove up against the refrigerator, put the cabinet on rollers and pushed it next to the stove and you could roll it out when you needed the dishwasher? Just an idea! So happy to see how cute it looks. Love the living room furniture!

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    1. Hey there Lynne... I really appreciated your suggestion, and seriously considered it, and my handyman (TS) had mentioned it as well. I am going to continue to give it some thought, as I still need to put a countertop on that drawer bank, if I do decide to do that. Thanks for sharing a great tip... and hope to get by your site soon to see what frugal things you've been doing! Hope all is well with you... sending much love across the miles :)

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  4. What a difference in such a short time. You have done so much work, and look at the results! Everything looks great!! Your attitude is half the battle in all of the cutting back. Stay positive. You are doing so well.
    Debbie
    xo

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    1. Thanks for your uplifting, and sweet comment... indeed attitude is really most of the battle, isn't it! We did get so much accomplished, and now that the dust is settling, it feels wonderful! Appreciate your visit, and hope to stop by to say hello to you soon! :)

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  5. Oh, WOW!!!! This is just beautiful!! I LOVE the kitchen flooring. It really, really looks like real wood!! It is all coming together so nicely. I see what you mean about the dishwasher arrangement. I trust the Lord will help it to all work out where it will be more comfortable for you. You certainly deserve it! So very thankful for the way God is bringing it all in place. I was so anxious to see the pictures, and they look just great. I know what you mean about parting with things that mean so much...we are going through the same thing here, and it is not easy. Thank you so much for this wonderful post and all of the pictures. Everything is just beautiful! So happy for you, sweet friend. :) God bless you in every way!!

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    1. Oh dear Cheryl, indeed downsizing comes with its challenges, but it does feel really good when the job is done! It has been a dusty whirlwind of a month... but now that I can sit and look out my window, and see the beautiful view in front of me... it's all worth it! Appreciate your visit, and sweet encouraging words so much... I am blessed with your friendship, and appreciate your prayers!!! Much love across the miles!

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  6. So many stuff! So understandable that you're busy.
    What a transformation though. Amazing how time flies.

    Hope you get settled soon. :)

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    1. Yes, stuff complicates our lives, I've found... and I feel so much better that we have gotten so much done, and now we are reaping the benefits, and enjoying the simpler life - God is so good! Thank you so much for your visit, and trust all is well with you! :)

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  7. OH!

    MY!

    IT'S

    BEAUTIFUL!

    What a transformation!

    And regarding the round table? You can squeeze WAAY more around a round or oval table than you can a square one. Hospitality squeezes in as many as she can 'round her table...

    Hugs,
    Kelley~

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    1. YOU are right! Bingo! I realized after floating several ideas around for a different table that what we had was perfect! I just rearranged it a bit, and now, I love it! I have not taken pictures yet... because, things are still , well... everywhere, lol! You are right, hospitality squeezes many in, and I certainly plan on doing just that!

      Hope all is well with you my dear friend, and that the Lord is blessing your travels! :)

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  8. You are doing a great job on your new home. I'm sure it took a lot of time clearing out closets and drawers. The kitchen looks wonderful and the cozy living room. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

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    1. Thank you so much Joan for your visit, and kind words! It means so much, and I'm so happy to meet you! It took a lot of time deciding what to do with the stuff. I've packed and moved many times, but this one was the hardest, because everything had to have a decision with it! Oh my. But, thankfully, the worst is behind us, and we are loving our new home now! Appreciate your visit so very much, and apologize for the delay in responding to your comment! :)

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  9. Lookin' good. g

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    1. Thank you dear G! Appreciate your visit, and your thoughts - always! :)

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  10. It looks lovely! It also looks like you have lots of windows for natural light. Personally I prefer to live lightly - without stuff. Unless if it has a practical purpose. It is much more meaningful in my opinion to focus on the invisible things like peace and love. So happy for you - it surely must be a whirlwind of joy to be moving into your home!

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    1. Indeed, your words came to me so clearly as I was packing - does it serve a purpose? Does it have a useful, marvelous memory, or can it just go? I appreciate your excellent words of wisdom, they meant to much to me as decisions had to be made likety-split... go or stay... lol! Indeed, we are now settling in, and what a warm cozy little home it is, with the most beautiful views, and peaceful setting. So thankful for it all, and glad to be here! Will be trying to get by to visit you hopefully this weekend to see what you've been doing :)

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  11. Sweet friend, I am amazed at how busy you have been! Your home is looking lovely and oh-so-delightful! You have completely transformed the place and I am loving it :) Looking forward to seeing more.

    Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Thank you dear Stephanie for you kind words... it has been a journey in a class all of its own, but we are so very thankful that we are here now, and just loving it! Appreciate your visit so much, and praying the Lord blesses you too! :)

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  12. How nice it looks! I've been on a major decluttering spree myself so now how much work it is. But worth it!
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Oh yes, decluttering, downsizing... it is all a process, but like you said - so worth it in the end! We are enjoying those benefits now, and for that I am very grateful! Hope to drop by to see what you've been busy doing soon! :)

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  13. Wow! It's amazing how cozy a small home can be. It'should looking good. I love the flooring in the kitchen. And to think it's paid for, is such a blessing! Decluttering is always a challenge whether it's a large house or a small house. God will give you the strength you need! Thanks for the update!
    Have a wonderful weekend!!
    Hugs, Amy

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    1. Oh Amy, it has been a journey, for sure! However, like a mother after childbirth, I am enjoying the moment now, and so thankful we are here and enjoying this beautiful place, and leaving the memories of the transition behind, lol! I know that you are in the midst of remodeling too, and hope to stop by and see how that has gone for you, now that things have kind of settled down here. Appreciate your visit and friendship so much! :)

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  15. Dear Friend ~ It feels so good to come for a visit! I have been watching your progress, just haven't commented. You have a lovey find here, and the work that you guys are pouring into this place is just amazing! My husband is in the construction business, and I believe he would hire you with the way you work so hard and quickly. Too bad you do not live near. :)

    I have been back at blogging since dad passed into glory, but it has been a slow process. I find it hard visiting and also replying back to comments very quickly. I know I will get there soon enough.
    The Lord has been good and gracious.

    I look forward to seeing more of your home.
    Bless your hearts!
    Much love and hugs ~ Debbie

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    1. Oh dear Debbie, your words are always so sweet! Yes, it is too bad that we don't live near, indeed! I would love a walk with you, and I'm sure your husband expertise in construction would have been a help too! I'm so thankful though that the Lord provided us with a dear handyman, TS, to help us out, and he has brought sanity into my life with his amazing work. The Lord takes care of us, doesn't he!

      I understand about how hard it is to blog when significant events happen in your life. I just went through one myself, and I am starting to see again through the dust, literally, lol! I hope to post more pictures soon of the house and its progress... :) Much love and hugs across the miles!

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  16. You've done so well in making this transition. I bet the cabinet your husband builds for your will be even better than the one you're parting with. Reading your comments about letting go of "stuff" was good for me this morning, as I'm still going through this process myself. We have two (count 'em 2!) rented storage units that we need to finish emptying, and if there are things in the plastic containers that I don't really need for daily life or that bring beauty into our home...they' going away. Have a wonderful Lord's Day. ~ Nancy

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    1. Oh, downsizing, and making decisions, it is tough tough stuff! What to keep, let go forever, or save for a future event... so hard to know these things! I do understand your dilemma, and just want to say that once you get through with it... it feels great! Hoping you are continuing to enjoy the blessings of your beautiful new home and that your day is filled with the presence of the Lord! :)

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