Monday, May 27, 2013

Personalizing Your Trash Can

Sometimes, moving in can be overwhelming. It seems like there are a million things to do, one of which was to get a trash can. In our city, while we can purchase them at a big box store, it's a better deal to purchase them from the city. Of course, I chose the largest trash can they offered.  And I've been filling it every week!  

Here is the trash can "before" the new numbers.

 I wanted to put my address on it but it needed to look pretty.  When I was growing up, we had aluminum trash cans with lids on them. Back then, if someone put their address on them, they spray painted it in very large numbers on the can, often with black spray paint. The numbers were so large that they took up nearly all of the space on the can. I think this is because the "Dads" were in charge of the trash cans back then.  They'd spray paint those numbers on the can and it didn't really matter how it looked, as long as it was functional. Fast forward to 2013...I think I can not only put my address on it to make it functional, but it should be beautiful as well.

I went online to view some the fonts however I really liked this font. I thought it would look both pretty and artsy at the same time.  Originally, I was going to put it on the front of the can, however I think it looks much better on the side. I ordered the numbers from Wall Words, then followed the instructions.  I leveled the numbers and centered them on the can.  I peeled the backing off and then used the plastic card to smooth out the air bubbles.

And here is the "after".  I really liked the way it turned out. I like the size of the numbers and it is now both pretty and functional.
 Do you put your address on your garbage can?
 In other news, Matthew has been doing a little better this week.  He was having a lot of choking issues over these past few months. With his progressive disease, he's not able to swallow his own secretions so he chokes on them unless I suction them out. It's a lot of work sometimes. He was also having more seizures. We went to the neurologist last week and he adjusted his vagus nerve stimulator and he's been doing much better. The seizures decreased and he is not choking so much. My best guess is that the seizures caused the excess saliva and then he'd choke on it. 
 I'll have some more projects to share soon. I am waiting for some things to be installed and then we can take a looky loo around the new house and I can show you around.  I just ordered the shower curtain tonight then the bathroom will be done.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Our New House

 I just wanted to share pictures of our new home.  I am sorry this took so long however I needed to take care of some things first.  I started shopping for a new home in February.  Homes started selling really fast and it was difficult to drop everything with Dear Son (Matthew) and run and look at these homes. Many of the foreclosures had multiple bids even in you saw the home within a few hours of the listing. At the start of this process, I knew I wanted a ranch home and not a townhome or a condo or anything else.  I suspected I'd end up with a 50's ranch home.  The problem was that I couldn't get Matthew in the home, meaning the doors weren't wide enough for his wheelchair or the doorway had too many turns. Even when I could get him into a home, there weren't any homes that I saw that I could get his wheelchair into the bedroom. I figured I'd have to redo the doorways to do that.  The market was moving so fast on affordable ranch homes in the area I wanted. I was looking to stay in the same county and had one or two key towns that I was targeting. Both had great school districts and were in good neighborhoods. I bid on three separate homes and lost out on all three. The first home I bid on, had multiple offers before I even bid, one of which had been accepted.  I started working with one real estate person however she wasn't available to show me this home until Monday and I had requested to see it on a Friday.  Of course, they accepted a bid on Saturday so by the time I saw it on Sunday (with a different realtor), they had already accepted a bid. The home was perfect for us. 

Since the homes were moving fast, I began to get creative and started looking at some overpriced homes to determine if I could bid on those. I found a great ranch home down the street from the first home I bid on. It turned out that it had been on the market a while and was in great condition. I bid on the home and with zero competition, I had high hopes they might accept. It was a divorce situation however and the husband and wife had been ordered to liquidate all of their properties (they had four). The wife refused to respond to any and all offers on the house however the husband's attorney had the power of attorney and could sign for the wife. It looked like it would work out. At the last minute, the wife ended up keeping the home since one of her other homes sold, so I was out of luck.

I bid on a third home down the street. I essentially bid on three homes on the same street. I lost out on that home due to a bidding war and I wasn't comfortable increasing my bid. I was getting pretty discouraged at that point mainly since there just weren't any homes available. I had scoured the internet for a home but nothing was happening. I was worried I wouldn't find something before my least expired. While I could have extended my lease, I really didn't want to.

By this time, I was really down. I decided to look at this one townhome in our area because it was right on the walking trail. It had a great location, great landscaping however it needed updating. It was difficult to get Matthew into the home and the only doorway I could get the wheelchair in had a turn that was difficult.  The worse feature was the popcorn ceiling. I wanted to put crown molding in the place however when I researched it some more, most of those popcorn ceilings contained asbestos and since asbestos is a leading cause of lung cancer and since Matthew has respiratory issues and weak lungs, I decided to pass on that one.

Finally, I decided to see this townhome. I had seen it a few months prior however I really wanted a home and not a townhome so I passed on it. This time, it just clicked.  The open floor plan is perfect for Matthew. There is a bedroom off the front door that has double doors making it easy to get his wheelchair in his room. There is plenty of room in the living area for his wheelchair. The townhome was a flip and everything has been redone so it's like buying a brand new place.  This place was only 3 miles from our apartment (we lived on a golf course) and is in a great town. The high school is one of the top high schools in the state and all of the schools (elementary, junior high and high school) are rated 10/10.

Here is a picture of the entrance. Dear Son's (Matthew's) room is off to the right with the double french doors.

Here is the living area-these are the real estate photos with the staging.

 This is the master bedroom.

 My favorite part of the house is the bathroom. It has beautiful travertine tile and a stunning vanity. The pictures don't do it justice. I like to say that our home is functional for Matthew and pretty for me. They also put travertine tile in the laundry room. I think my first words when I saw the house was that, "I'd be over the moon if I got to do laundry in a room with travertine tile." It's just so pretty.
 I like the wood floors. There are bronze accents throughout. They really paid attention to detail and made everything pretty. There are beautiful pull chains in the master bedroom closet. The garage flooring has a special coating and is very pretty. Overall, nearly everything was done beautifully.
 Here is a picture of Matt's room.
I purchased the home on March 1st. The mortgage approval process went really fast.  The loan was ready to close in 3 weeks.  I waited to close until early April due to my current apartment lease. My lease was set to expire at the end of May but I was able to get out of it a month early.  Once the loan closed, I started moving things over to the new house. I moved everything myself and had movers come and move just the furniture. It was a lot on top of caring for Matthew, cooking all of his food from scratch. I felt like I worked 24 hours a day for several months! I was exhausted. The new home has worked out pretty well. Everything was new except for the air conditioner.  All appliances were new and the only one I needed to purchase was a refrigerator. I purchased a used one for now.  Of course since everything was new, that meant I didn't know how to work anything.  My new dryer isn't drying clothes very well so I need to have them come out. My air conditioner isn't cooling very well but other than that, things are going o.k.  I am working on getting Matthew enrolled at this new school system.

I officially moved last Friday and I turned in the apartement keys on Tuesday. I am looking forward to getting some rest soon.  I'll show some pictures once I get things set up. Because it was redone, there weren't any curtain rods, blinds, shelving, etc. I had to put in new blinds plus lots of shelving. I redid the kitchen pantry shelving and replaced the 12 inch shelves with 16 inch shelving. There wasn't any shelving in the linen closet so I had to get that done. Dad installed all of it for me. There is still a lot to be done-towel bars to install, my headboard needs to be attached, Matt's closet needs to be redone and my crystal sconces need to be hung yet.  I want to change the paint as well. Overall, I am very happy. I think it's the perfect home for us and I look forward to many years here.
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