Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Leaving the State

All my family knows, so now I will post it on my blog.  Why are we moving to Colorado when I was planning on staying here in the Great Central Valley forever?  I could say that it's the politics, or the weather, or the lack of water, or the taxes, or lots of things, but those are not the reasons.  I am getting married. I have been divorced for 10 years and next year, summer of 2016, that status will change.

The person I am marrying lives in Colorado, and while future spouse (FS) has lived in California, FS doesn't want to return to California.  I agreed to Colorado but only if I can have farm animals.   FS, who hails from the city, agreed.  We now own 35 acres outside a very small town.  I have no idea what I am getting in to as I've never really experienced the cold.  OK, I have been to Antarctica, but even then it was during summer so the temperature during the day most days was in the balmy 40s. 

Both Boy and Girl are excited, which is good.  In fact, Boy thinks it was his idea.  They like the idea of the country schools on a four day per week schedule.  School starts at 8 and ends at 4, Monday through Thursday.  No more 1/2 days every other Wednesday like they have now.  FS skis so both Boy and Girl are looking forward to that, plus learning how to hunt, as well as getting better at fishing.  Yes, I am going to marry someone who likes useful outdoor activities, winter and summer. 

It's funny because FS does not want to admit being a prepper or more hard core survivalist, but FS is. Where FS has lacked is on food storage.  FS always figured that shopping once a month will always be available and if things got bad, one can just hunt and fish.  I've pushed the gardening, chickens, goats, and food storage for years during our phone conversations.  This past spring FS called to ask how to can peaches.  I had to explain canning jars, boiling water bath, and other things - over the phone.  But they came out fine...at least FS hasn't killed anyone from botulism.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

After 18 Years In One Place...

So many months of not writing.  Way too much going on in life and sometime it's just overwhelming.  But I now have time dedicated a couple of days per week to writing again.  I am looking forward to it.

The biggest news is that next summer we are moving to Colorado.  That means I have one year to sell the two properties and bigger than that, figure out what I get rid of and what makes the 17 hour trek to Colorado.  No, I’m not getting rid of Boy or Girl…

I have been working on the bug-out place, going there about one or two days a month.  Things go slowly when you aren’t there much.  I got the entire place cleaned out.  I had the windows replaced, all 23 of them!  I would have done it myself but none of the windows were a common size so each one needed to be special ordered.  I got them ordered and had the window company install them.  It took 4 workers two days to complete the job of taking the old windows out, putting the new ones in, and trimming the inside and outside around the windows.  It looks good. 

I put five new interior doors in.  I put standard height pre-framed doors in, which meant I had to tear apart the old framing.  It wasn’t the quick and easy project I was expecting but still only took a couple of days to do.  But on our timeframe, a couple of days meant a month until the next project could get started.  Boy and Girl had to figure out how to put the doorknobs on.  I patched all the holes in the walls.  I completely tore out the kitchen down to the walls.  Everything was painted.  I was ready to purchase the carpet and flooring and had just gotten an estimate.  Glad I didn’t put in the order. 

I was out at the house on a Sunday and one of the neighbors and their cousin came by and asked if I was selling the place.  Sure.  I gave them a tour of the house and said if I walk away now, without a kitchen or any flooring, nor updating the bathrooms, then I’d sell it for X price now.  If I finish the place, I’ll add another $50,000 to the property and also list it with a realtor.  The cousin said he wanted it.  I guess I’m selling it then!  It is supposed to close escrow next week.  So we will see how that goes.

Bigger issue is our home that we’ve been in for 18 years.  Since I had intended to stay here forever I accumulated a lot of forever things plus extra.  I have to figure out what should stay with the property or what I take with me or what I sell.  Will it add value to the property?  For example, I have about 250 cattle/hog panels.  These are 16’ panels that work better than any wire fencing ever could.  There are probably about 50 that I am going to take down to open the place up and make it look better.  These 50 cost about $1250.  They won’t add $1250 to the price of the property.  Do I sell them for $500?  Do I take them with me, which would fill up the trailer?  But will cost $500 round trip just in gas to drive the truck.  Sounds like I sell them and buy new (or used) ones once I get there. 

What about the food and household supplies?  It’s an interesting dilemma.  If I want to keep a supply of at least one or two years of food and household supplies on hand, do I move them?  Do I use them up and start stocking up in Colorado on each trip I make out there?  What if TSHTF when I am in the middle of using up these supplies yet due to whatever circumstances, we can’t head to Colorado?  Then what?
Where are we headed?  Our new home, which is now just an empty plot of land with a good well, is just a hop, skip, and a jump from a fellow blogger’s place who I’ve communicated with quite a bit over the years.   It wasn’t planned that way but it is nice to know there are like-minded people in that community.  While many people use the area as their second home, it will be our permanent, full-time place.  The barn will be built and should be finished this summer.   The house will be started but probably not finished by the time we are ready to move.