A Rare Catching Up Day

In checking my Google Calendar this morning, today is the only totally clear day I see on my calendar until the middle of October. How and when did that happen, exactly???

We've been in our home for just over a month, and little by little we've been working to improve the house, join clubs and organizations, meet our neighbors, and meet and contract with flooring, painting, window and window covering vendors, which has culminated in our calendar beginning to crowd up. Add in two upcoming trips that are two weeks long each, and suddenly life has gone from seemingly zero to one hundred mph. (I know, I know, when was it ever zero??? But I think you get my drift.)

In some ways it feels like we've been in a period of waiting since moving in here early in July. I think that is largely due to our not being able to fully settle in due to the large amount of work remaining to be done in the house. For every nicety we've put into place since arriving - new plumbing, new plumbing fixtures, new lighting, new sod, new sprinklers, new ceiling fans - there is an equal amount of ugliness still needing to be rectified/replaced - ugly carpet, damaged wood flooring, hideous old single pane windows, sliders and screens, and walls and ceilings that all need to be painted. Today, however, is the last day that I'll have to be bothered by these remaining items, because starting tomorrow we'll simply be too busy to ruminate further.

Here's a little overview of what's coming up in our suddenly busy lives:

Remainder of August
- Installation of three new French door sliders
- Installation of new flooring in all four bathrooms, plus laundry room
- Volunteer training sessions at the Dana Point Ocean Institute, book club meetings, several social events related to our UU congregations, hiking dates with friends and each other, several free concerts in the park, a free Shakespeare in the park production, a return visit to the Laguna Beach Arts Festival, and a visit to the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival, both free due to having attended the Pageant of the Masters earlier in the month.
- Yoga retreat with my daughter
- Two week RV'ing trip with our best friends that will start with four days of backpacking, then continue on to include visiting and wine tasting our way through the Sonoma/Napa region, and exploring and hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains.

- Continuation of above RV'ing trip, returning home over Labor Day weekend.
- Demolition of all remaining flooring
- Painting of entire interior of house, including closets and cabinetry (excepting kitchen, where cabinetry is newer)
- Installation of remaining windows, approximately 20 in all.
- Installation of new maple hardwood flooring
- Installation of new window treatments - a combination of white 3" shutters, and custom shades, depending. All the non- rear facing windows will be shuttered, all the windows facing our amazing view will get custom roll up shades that will 'disappear' into mounted valence boxes.
- Installation of custom office cabinetry in my husbands home office.
- Delivery of our new living room sofas
- Delivery of my new office furniture.
- Two outdoor concert events, plus the 'usual' assortment of UU services, book clubs, social activities, and club runs.

- Two week trip back to the east coast to see our family and celebrate my granddaughters 3rd birthday.

At that point, in mid-October, the house should be show and company ready, and we have a long list of entertaining invites ready to send out which should carry us right up to and through the winter holidays.

I know it's still only August, but I have to say it feels like 2018 is literally right around the corner, and that it will be here almost before I can blink. As life changing as 2017 has been, I see 2018 as a welcoming return to normal, meaning more travel, more time with family and friends, and less time obsessing over our home!

Plans And Goals For Today
- Return library books, and pick up next month's book club selections.
- Do laundry.
- Reschedule Road Scholar trips (we are changing our two 2018 international trips to two domestic ones, so that we can instead use those funds to redo our backyard, what should be our last remaining major home improvement project.).
- Cancel 2018 New England cruise (see above),
- Plan out days for 2018 RV'ing trip to Utah and Colorado.
- Research companies that do closet organizing builds.
- Update Summer Bucket List blog post.

Make it a great day wherever you are!


  1. Wow, I'm exhausted just thinking about how much you have to do! But so exciting that your house is almost done, time wise, but not workwise! If you end up liking your blinds people let me know, I'm in the market and need to get it done! We've only lived in our house for almost 8 years, haha! I think you should start doing a yearly Christmas party...yep, that's what you should do. :)

    1. A yearly bloggers Christmas party perhaps? Oh I would be so down with that! ;-)

      The casing on the shutters is going to be absolutely gorgeous, an architectural detail all on its own. I would love to shutter the whole entire house as a result, but I am exercising restraint. Our view really should not be covered up in any way . . . it's the whole reason we bought this house for the $$$ we did!!!

  2. Love the embracing of life! And, absolutely share your perspective on the limbo land of being between houses.

    1. There's no motivation to unpack, declutter or even clean, really, knowing that it's all going to need to be moved come September. It will be so wonderful when the time comes to put everything in it's place for good!

  3. Wow! Your are really making this house your own with all of the changes, improvements and upgrades. I understand postponing international travel until you can get the house projects completed. We have put going anywhere on the back burner since we put in the pool. Thankfully, though, since PC is going to be working in Germany and NY some in the next year, I will have an excuse to get a couple of exciting trips in anyway.

    1. Leslie, it helps that in 2016 we visited 6 states and15 countries, spending just over 200 days away. Come 2017 we were ready for a bit of a break! But the itch to travel is starting to build again, so I'm sure we'll be ready to dive back in in 2018, even if we elect to do so domestically in order to direct some excess $$ toward upgrading our backyard. One of the upgrades will be to triple the size of our ocean-view balcony, which feels like a vacation already whenever were out on it. ☺

  4. It's remarkable, Tamara, that you were able to see the "good bones" of the house behind all the fixes that you'd need/ want to do when you bought it. The view and distance to the ocean are wonderful. I think as humans, we're always drawn to a body of water. It's also great that you can secure all the contractors needed to do the home improvements. We're leaving for Spain tomorrow. By the time we return, August will be almost gone! Look forward to reading your updates.

    1. The house has a great open floorplan, and all the fixes are cosmetic. There were just so darn many of them! And fortunately for my stress level, the majority of the contractors we are working with are ones we've known and dealt with for many years via our old home, so there should be no unpleasant surprises as each item gets done. That really does makes things so much easier.

      Have a wonderful, wonderful time in Spain and Gibraltar! We were in both countries last October, and they were both absolutely wonderful. Drink some Spanish Sangria for me!


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