Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Slowly Moving Forward (and IN)

The view of the road from the beach.
Up the road from our new home, about a five or six minute walk, there is a beach. During the summer months, they shut down the road with cement barriers, and truck in sand to cover it all up, providing the children and locals with a massive, soft sandy beach that seems to stretch on forever. In the fall, when school starts up, they push all the sand back onto the beach and open the road to motorists. The beach itself is still open, though, and on Monday I took the children there. It was 80F and sunny, probably the last "Indian Summer" day to enjoy the water. It was cold as anything, but they paddled about, swam, had a fun time. I took along my fold up beach chair, and just sat in the sand and watched the play. The brightly colored leaves belied the warmth of the air, a hint of the autumn that is both here and coming. Winter won't be far behind.

The view of the lake.
I did stick my toes in the water, but it was too chilly for me. I don't think our children actually feel the cold, though, because they plunged in like it was bath water. I think the sheer excitement of being able to WALK to the beach overcame their sense of frigidity. It was so peaceful down there. The occasional car went by, but mostly it was just quiet wind, the sound of some kids playing off in the distance, and the lapping of the water against the beach. Even though I'm still suffering from my cold, it was nice to just SIT there. I wasn't unpacking (or packing), cleaning, sorting, or anything else. I didn't even really read the book I brought with me, although I sat it in my lap. I just watched them build sand castles and counted my blessings.

Our front door
I must say, I do love the look of our new front door. With the steps the way they are, we were able to put sis's mums there, as well as the giant pumpkins the children wormed out of her. The little watering can in front is also sis's, and looks very charming sitting on the bottom step. Soon the pumpkins will be carved (and I'll be making roasted pumpkin seed snacks!), but for now it's just a beautiful fall display.

On another plus side, our children are completely enamored of this neighborhood and their new school. They have already made friends, have people to sit next to on the bus, and are eager to be out of the house each morning. It's gratifying to have children who are so eager to go to school that they are willing to skip lunch to get back in time!

The family room
Our house is coming together and beginning to become a home. The "family room" is slowly transforming from "space where we dropped things" to "our television and hang out room." There is a rip in the carpet, from where a badly sewn seam came apart, and so we put down our large blue carpet to cover it up. I think it actually lends a kind of "room within a room" feel. We have our television set up, with cable and HBO and all that, and a couple of chairs for lounging in. Now we just need a cheap but cute sofa, perhaps a futon, and we'll be set in there.

The dining room
Other than the shocking pink walls, the dining room is looking pretty good, too. I turned the table around so that the fold-down leaf is on the outside, allowing us to turn the table larger for each meal, but also reducing the general size of it when it might possibly attract junk. The table fits nicely in the space we have, and has potential for being enlarged into the living room (parlor, adult space) if we have many people over for food. We are hoping to get some wallpaper for the walls soon, maybe in a cream or off-white color with red and blue highlights. We'll probably stick with country type patterns, because that's what we like.

BEFORE
I've always wanted to do one of those "before and after" shots, and now I finally have my wish! This was our living room early this morning. It was full of sleeping pads, computer carcasses, laundry baskets, big boxes full of yet-to-be-built end tables, and a ton of boxes and bins. I was home alone all day today, and not feeling well to boot, so I put myself to the task of finding the living room under all that clutter and moving junk. I pressed the air out of the sleeping pads and rolled them up, moved all the computer bits to the office space, put away all the laundry, and did a lot of assembling. I'm rather proud of myself, even if I did have to take the second end table apart twice because I put it together wrong.

AFTER
And this is the same living room a few hours later. I turned the rug around, tucked it under the couch legs, cleaned up all the clutter, and have the finished tables at either end of the couch. It looks great, and I'm thinking people around here will be happy with the results. I'm tired now, ready for a shower and dinner, and a nap. Still, we're making progress.

The backyard will, in the next couple of weeks, be getting a leaf composting area put in. The previous owners left behind a dog run, the stakes and wire of which I will use to create a nice 5' diameter area for containing the multitude of fallen leaves around our home. Hopefully they will compost into some very nice soil that can amend whatever goes into our raised beds next year!