Time to Sprint


Photo: The two little bears discovered the train tracks behind the house. They were so happy when they figured out what is behind the neeewwwww house.

December 28th. That’s the move date.

Or, at least, that’s the stuff move date. That’s the out of this place move date. It’s the husband, at least, lives in the house move date. It will probably be the Kyra and Bears move into her mom’s move date.

December 28th.

What a time, huh? What a crazy time! I have to have this entire place packed before Christmas. In the meantime, our (very unhappy) landlord already has a showing for this place on Friday, so I’m going to spend my week getting this place “show ready.” With babies. Mission impossible.

Pretty much, the rest of my year is Mission Impossible.

Let’s look at the task list:

  • Write Sixty Thousand more words of my “draft zero” by November 30th
  • Take good pictures of the boys for the Christmas Card
  • Create the Christmas Card on Shutterfly and order them for arrival by Black Friday.
  • Cook and Serve Thanksgiving dinner at Mom’s.  (only serving 6, thank God).
  • Write the Christmas Letter and give it to The Husband for editing, formatting, and printing.
  • Send the freaking Christmas Card and Christmas Letter to some 60 people.
  • Orchestrate the finding and purchasing of at least 24 gifts within a budget. (I actually like this part. I’m really good at this part.)
  • Have those items shipped up and down the Eastern Seaboard so they can be under various trees at the right time.
  • Bake gingerbread and other items for various important day-to-day people in our lives, like co-workers and Ursa Major’s teachers and a few friends.
  • Deal with the contractor to keep him on budget and on schedule
  • Beg, borrow, and steal to figure out a way to purchase appliances for our new kitchen (we have none and no money to buy them at the moment)
  • Make executive decisions about light fixtures, ceiling fans and two vanities for the bathrooms.
  • Begin the process of sewing or purchasing curtains for the house (I have to dress 20 windows).
  • Purchase Christmas outfits for the boys (and try to come up with one for myself).
  • Do Christmas–Also known as the 6 Days of Stressful Celebration.
  • Pack the house while maintaining its functionality and comfort for the boys.
  • Make sure that Ursa Major still makes it to preschool every day.
  • Maintain the house in “show ready” condition until it is rented by someone.
  • 3 meals a day without fail.
  • 2 loads of laundry a day without fail.


Is that all? Seriously? Is that all?


Here is the good news: Work on the house started today. We spent a lot of time in the house yesterday, just looking over things, showing it off to my folks, inspecting the work on the septic (picture in a second) and considering all of the things that we need to have time.

This is what is currently in my front yard thanks to the new septic:


Oh. My. Agorsh. So freaking ugly. That’s the vent pipe for my new septic, in the middle of my (very desolate) front yard. No, I can’t move it and I can’t get rid of it. Hate hate hate hate hate!!! Totally wasn’t there before when we were purchasing the house. Not a deal breaker, but aaauuuugh. Please send your suggestions as to what I can do with this ugly, ugly thing!! My uncles suggested that I put a bird house on it. How would I do that, though? I dunno… Maybe I need to surround it by huge hedges? I think that would be equally ugly…

But the biggest problem with the house and I’m only just now wrapping my head around fixing is the kitchen:

IMG_20131110_112435_543 IMG_20131110_112423_129 IMG_20131110_112453_269

It is so beautiful and yet so non-functional right now. No dishwasher, a tiny stove, a fridge that doesn’t work, barely any cabinet space and negligible counter-space. We have just enough money to open up the wall between it and the dining room, opening up the main floor of the house… but no more after that to really bring it up to a modern standard. I’m going to spend the next two months going on a campaign to raise funds from the family to make it happen.

Because I cook three meals a day, ya’ll. This just isn’t optional.

Now, I promise that I won’t turn this blog into a “This Old House” kind of space. It’s still gonna be about me and these two little bears. But I certainly have a new passion here, so I’m going to share. I also know that all of the work we’re going to do to this thing is going to have a direct impact on my two boys and their standard of living. It’s gonna come up, so, you know, brace yourselves!

Speaking of my little bears, you should have seen them playing in the front yard this weekend. They are so happy for the space, and Ursa Major was delighted to tell everyone “This is the neeeewwww house! Look at the neeewwwwwwwww house!”

And the more time I spent in it, the more I realized that this is a house where two little boys are going to get into a lot of trouble. Because there are a lot of closets and built-ins and funky corners where the boys can hide!



What’s that, you ask? Oh, nothing, just a two-story carriage house!!!! I’ve been calling it a barn… basically, a horse used to live in here. You can see where they used to store the hay.

Lord, I hope we can get to it before the boys become old enough to a) figure out how to get into it and b) find all of the nooks and crannies in it that are probably full of super dangerous stuff that little boys like to play with.

Believe it or not, the barn has electricity. I have a vision of making this into a mancave for The Husband. You’d think that he’d be totally pleased with that vision, but he’s really resisting it. He’s all “We have other priorities right now.”

Yes, dude, I know. I’m just saying that one day it could be your man cave! It’s the one part of this domain that I am not laying claim to!!

Men. Never freaking satisfied.

I think that the room with the most potential is the 3-season porch:

3-Season Porch (front door) 2 IMG_20131110_110532_743

It is a nice sized and sunny space, perfect for a playroom, I think, for the boys. I know that they are going to outgrow this space at a point in time, but for the moment, I think it would be the perfect space for them. I’m looking forward to transforming it into a cozy and beautiful spot for it. The best part about it? You can see and hear the trains from it. Ursa Major got his view back–he’ll be able to watch the trains all day long just like he used to. I think I might try to make it a train-station themed room. We’ll see. Maximizing space so that it doesn’t feel cramped is going to be essential here. I also have a heat problem–it’s not insulated and it doesn’t have a heater. The windows don’t open, either, so I might have a summer problem… It was not cold in that room when we were in it yesterday, but it was certainly cool. So I’ll need to find a heating solution…

And here is my favorite part of the house:

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There is just a lot of detail and charm to this house. The wood is still beautiful, the details are still prominent. Unfortunately, we are going to have to lose the dinning room built-in, but both of the built-ins in the bathrooms will stay. The beautiful front door, which separates the 3- It is going to be so much fun to honor the history of the house, retain what makes it special, and yet appoint it in a way the brings it into this century. I just cannot wait.

Oh… and now that I know that we have enough money to do so, we’re going to turn in Ursa Minor’s application for preschool tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to doing that in front of Peggy.

I ain’t goin’ no where.


This isn’t any other Monday here in America. It’s Veteran’s Day. A time for us to pause and say thank you to those who volunteer to protect American freedom. Two generations of my family on my father’s side, and my late maternal grandfather, are Army veterans. I make it a point, especially when I’m with my sons, to say thank you when I’m speaking to someone in uniform (or who otherwise indicates that they serve/have served). It is important to me that my sons understand that their days without worry about car bombs or fire fights in the streets or repressive government are thanks to the men and women who make it their life and passion to keep us safe. I don’t know how many non-military families in our country are out there actively teaching these lessons. I know that my boys don’t understand what “military” means right now. But I teach my sons through example, and this is one example that is extremely important to me. We mothers who live and raise our children in a free world, have a responsibility to teach the lessons: To tell the stories, to demand the honor and respect, to say thank you, and to make sure that our children never to take it for granted. Even if we don’t serve ourselves, or if our children choose paths that are not in the service of their nation, it is on our shoulders and within our purview to make sure that our children respect the responsibility and sacrifice that some choose to take up.

And if you are a military veteran, and you’ve somehow found my blog, Thank You. I honor you.

See you Wednesday. 🙂

11 Comments Add yours

  1. zeudytigre says:

    I could write my own blog post in response to this, it raises so many thoughts. But what I want to say? Cheers! You will make a happy home and I look forward to reading about it. I just wish you all so much happiness 🙂 Stay strong….

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      I hope you DO write a response! I’d love to read it! You know that I love discussion! 🙂

      And thank you, thank you and thank you! I have no choice but to be strong… if I don’t, the sky just starts falling!!

  2. I hope you do turn it into a this old house blog! 😉 Kidding. But, I do love seeing your house! It looks so charming. That’s a long to-do list. I felt that way this summer when we were moving. As far as that thing in the front yard….here are a couple of ideas:


    or go to pinterest and type in hide septic

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      whoooooaaaaaaaa. These are coooooool!! Should have thought of this earlier! I LOOOVE the internet!!
      Thanks for the links!
      and yeah, Pinterest is about to be my new best friend!

      Do you feel like you are “settled” yet? When did home start feeling like HOME?

      1. Well, I worked pretty quickly to make it feel that way, but we didn’t have any renovations that had to be done right away! 🙂

  3. Wow, you have a LOT to do! It will get done, and this time next year you will be happily in your house and you will still have a list this long.:) That’s life, I guess.
    I just want to say that I LOVE the sink in your kitchen. It is gorgeous and I hope you’re keeping it.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      thank you! You know, I was NOT in love with it at first… I find it to be very bulky and not part of my personal aesthetic. But I’ve really warmed to it. It has certainly a centerpiece in the kitchen right now, and really solidifies the history of the house: This was a farmhouse. This house was so much more than just a pretty ornamental place. I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of it now.

      though I’m told that people go crazy trying to find them and I could probably fetch major moola over it…

      but I won’t. It would totally dishonor the house.

      but I’m contemplating painting it… seriously contemplating…

      1. That would be very interesting. What color are you thinking?

        1. K.C. Wise says:

          I don’t quite know, because I’ve not even wrapped my head around what colors are going to go into the house. But I’m personally attracted to darker colors. I just know that I don’t want it to be whiiiitttteeeee. I’ve never loved white kitchens. I know that a lot of people like white kitchens because they look/feel clean, but I personally find them to be cold. It’s weird to have that cold spot in the middle of that pretty warm wood…

          It would be cool to pick something outrageous like Maryland red or something. But that would be quite garish and tacky (and wouldn’t go well with anything else). We’ll see…

          1. I love red! Or a bright yellow would be pretty, too. You will have to post a picture when you do it. Good luck!

          2. K.C. Wise says:

            Thanks! That will probably be a while. First, I don’t know where to begin figuring out how to paint such a sink… and then, like I said, colors for this house… i don’t know what we’re going to do.

            And The Husband and I are both really into dark, traditional-type coloring. Dark greens and deep reds… but with that wood all over the house, we’re going to suck all of the light right out of there. I’m going to have to be VERY careful about how we go about this…

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