coming home for good

20131130-011616.jpg

Over the Thanksgiving week I made a quick jaunt back to Singapore. Okay, fine, 19 hours on a plane is far from quick, but I traveled back for a week to help P wrap up our life there. I met the movers, sold the stuff we did not want to move back, and argued with customer service representatives. Good times.

My week with P was lovely, but the week there reminded me how hard that country was on my system. When I returned today all I wanted were veggies – no sauces, no crap, no sugar, just real food.

We may have completely skipped out on Thanksgiving foods this year, but I am grateful to have gotten to spend that time with my husband and to know that we will finally be under the same roof once again permanently.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

turning a house into a home

The silence around here means that I have been busy – busy with work, busy with the house, and I spent a good week busily getting ready for P.  Yes, that is right, my darling husband flew all the way from Singapore to visit with me and see our home for four days.  Oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to describe how it felt to see him in the flesh once again.

Seattle by Matte Stephens

Technology is pretty awesome and also kinda strange.  During our time apart – lo these five long months – I have gotten to see P almost every day via Skype.  I wake at 5am and message him and text with him for about 15 minutes before hopping into the shower. After I shower we video chat while I get dressed and ready for work.  So yes, unless he is traveling I get to see P each day.  Given that, I was completely unprepared for just how awestruck I was going to be by the actual three dimensionality of my husband.  It was so amazing to come home from work and see him napping in our bed.

Thankfully he loves the house and the new neighborhood.  I have only been in this place for three weeks so there is still a good bit to do – like hang all of the artwork.  My hammer is in Singapore and soon my love will be returning to our apartment there.  Once again this house will feel rather lonely. But I know that soon he (and my hammer) will be back in Seattle for good.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

a week in

I have now been in the house for a week and I am loving it.  I guess I had not really realized just how much not having a home and the process of searching for a home were weighing on me until that weight was finally lifted.  The move last weekend was a bit chaotic, but things have come a long way in a week.

IMG_2747

Thankfully the second floor no longer looks like this. The table is now up and there are only two remaining boxes on this floor to be unpacked.  And one of the two I can’t unpack until P gets here.  Truly, it is that heavy.  Still, it has been really nice to come home each day and just be in the house.  I find myself wishing for long weekend or vacation just so that I can spend more time here pulling things out of boxes, fixing small things, and just getting used to the place. 

Getting settled has also meant picking up a few new things for the house.  

IMG_2673

While in Singapore our old everyday Caphlon pan for cooking eggs bit the dust.  It was old and dying, so P found this great replacement. The 10″ DeBuyer MineralB is no joke.  It is a bit bigger than our old pan, and I have not perfected the seasoning on this pan yet, but I think that once I do, it is going to be a workhorse in the kitchen.

 IMG_2672To go with the pan and also to replace a dying spatula, the GIR spatula is just about perfect. GIR stands for Get It Right, and indeed they did. I have been cooking with it for a week and its unibody construction makes all the difference.  While it is a bit pricey it is built to last.

IMG_2678

I also picked up an extra long shower curtain as we have two shower stall bathrooms in need of curtains.  Don’t mind the wrinkles, I will wash it and steam it soon. Right now the curtain is up in our master bathroom. It is totally un-necessary for this bathroom as we have tub and we don’t need coverage all the way to the floor.  Even still, regardless of which bathroom, it is a bit long, but with some hemming (once I dig out the sewing machine) it will be perfect. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

a marketing we will go

Yesterday, after a long day at work and the 30 minutes it took me to drive 6 miles because of an accident, I was just happy to get home.  That happiness turned to elation when, as I was driving down the alley towards our garage, I espied a farmers’ market booth.  I knew that the farmers’ market was close to our house, but I did not realize that it was practically in our back yard — well, it would be if I had a back yard.

There are only a few market days left this season, but still, I am so excited to have the farmers’ market so close to our house.  With each passing day I am loving this house and this neighborhood more.  I can wait for the weekend so that I can spend more time getting things organized and unpacked here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

lighting

I am really loving settling into the new home.  Today I was even more giddy than usual to leave work — I wanted to rush out of there to get home and just sit and be in my home.

Tonight, as I was relaxing and working in the living room I realized that we don’t have much in the way of overhead lighting in that room: there is only a spot can above the fireplace.  P always chastises me for reading in poor lighting conditions, and as I love to read on our couches, I will need to do something about the lighting in that room or face his wrath.  Trust me, it is easier in the long run to just buy a lamp.

While I know that this is not our forever house, I still want to do some work on the place to make it more ours.  That said, I don’t think that such work will involve installing the wall lamps I have been dreaming about for years now.  Hello, Serge Mouille.  Don’t you want to come live with me?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I am a bit smitten with the Mouille lamps.  I don’t foresee installing one in our current living room, but someday one of these will be mine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

working out the kinks

Moving into a house that was once owned by other peoples necessitates changing critical things.  It means changing alarm codes, garage codes, and locks.  Thankfully the owners left the manuals for most things.  However, the manuals weren’t much help.  Youtube was the lifesaver today.

Changing the codes on everything actually went very smoothly.  The garage recoding worked well; although it meant recoding all devices.  The alarm recoding was just a bit strange as you are typing in a bunch of numbers and getting little feedback and hoping it all works out.  It did.  Or so I thought until I went to actually leave the house and set the alarm.

When I headed out on a Lowes run – my third Lowes run in the past two days, mind you – I dutifully set the alarm and walked out the front door and locked up.  Yeah, something was not right as before I got to the front gate the alarm was blaring.  Now I know what our system sounds like.  Yes, I would run away from that.

Earlier in the day I simply recoded the master alarm code, so I did not know what was going on.  Three phone calls later I learned that either I or the relator or someone or something changed the programming to allow only 5 second to leave the house before the alarm got triggered.  Lovely.  However, a kind and knowledgable man from Guardian Security took my call and walked me through everything. Truly, he was awesome, kind, helpful, and stayed on the line with me through the whole process.  I am super grateful to have had his help.

Now I am safe in my home.  The unpacking continues, but the place is slowly but surely shaping up.  However before the week is out, I am sure I will be back at Lowes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

storage no more

Holy Sh*t!!!  We have a house!!!

Friday night when I received the keys from our amazing relators, I was giddy beyond all imagination. So that night I borrowed a blanket and a pillow and camped out on the floor of our master bedroom.  I actually had a decent night sleep on the floor, which was good as on Saturday morning I had to go meet the movers to have everything pulled out of storage and brought to the new place.

IMG_2738

Let me say a few words about our storage place:  I love Stor House!  This facility  where our belongings have been residing for more than a year now is awesome.  While I certainly won’t miss paying our storage bill each month (although, really, it was not that bad), the storage facility has been beyond my expectations of what a storage place should be – it is impeccably clean, it is staffed with super nice people, security is top notch, the climate control is great, they have trucks for us to use for free, and they always have the best 80s music playing in there.

As P is still overseas and I am doing this move on my own, I hired movers.  When we were moving overseas, we (with the help of a few good friends) managed to load everything into storage, and I must say that P did one heck of a packaging-engineering job with that 10×10 unit.  He packed that place to the top.

IMG_2733

Why yes, that is a sofa on its side – actually there are two there. And on the top of those…. three book cases and a dozen pieces of artwork.  No, I am not kidding.  Also, behind the sofas I found 5 cases of motor oil. I had totally forgotten P had those and placed them in storage!

IMG_2723

Two mattresses and a topper on top of the dining room table. Sure! Why not!?! Also there was a dresser on top of the mattresses.

IMG_2731Hello, artwork!  Oh how I have missed all of you!

So yes, I am in the house.  It is a moderate disaster of unpacking at present, but I am working through it.  I am also learning about the quirks of the house and what projects will be in store for me/us in the coming weeks and months.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

christmahanakwanza in October

My excitement about moving into the new house continues to build. I stayed extra late at the office tonight to get work done so that I will have nothing on my plate for the weekend aside from moving into the new place and getting settled.

Saturday is going to feel like the biggest Christmas ever.  On Saturday all of our stuff comes out of storage and gets moved into our house.  I am truly overjoyed.  I know that come Saturday I will feel overwhelmed with the chaos, but for now I am enjoying the pre-move giddiness.  P and I packed that storage unit to the brim about a year and a half ago. We took only the bare necessities with us to Singapore, and since moving back to Seattle in May, I have been living out of the two suitcases that made the flight with me.

It will be interesting to see where all of our items fit in the new space.  However, knowing that we will need a few new things for the space (hello 3.5 bathrooms!) I have been taking my time enjoying some online browsing.  The other night I came across a lovely shower curtain for one of our bathrooms.  I love it, but there is no way I am spending the kind of money that a Thomas Paul shower curtain goes for.  Nope. Not going to happen.

Still, it is lovely and a girl can dream.

I am really excited about sharing the process of moving into this house, discovering all of our stuff once again, and making it into a home.  It is going to be a long and slow process, but a very exciting one.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

homeowner

Today we bought a house.  Truly, today I signed for the house.  With P out of the country for a few more months, I was the one who did all of the signing, which also included signing for him.  This meant I signed “P Middle Name Last Name, by Rachel Last Name Last Name, attorney-in-fact” on half of a tree’s worth of documents in addition to my own name.  Honestly the signing was not as overwhelming as others had made it out to be.  But still, yes, it was quite a moment, and a heck of a lot of paper.

Welcome to our living room!!!! I can’t wait to get our furniture into this place!

539947_7_1

On Monday I got to go over to the house to do a final walk through and make sure that all was fine and well with the place.  It was a super rainy day here in Seattle, and after turning on the fire and wandering through the house to make sure that everything was fine, I just wanted to stay.  I wanted to park myself next to the fireplace and not leave my new home.  (And no, I am not in love with the orange, but it is fine for now.)

Oh kitchen! It has been so long since I last cooked a meal! I am looking forward to spending some quality time with you after I unpack.

 

 

 

539947_10_0

We even have a nice little yard.  It is perfect – not too big as to require too much maintenance and not too small as to be annoying. There is enough room for P to BBQ and for my mom’s dogs to romp when they come to visit.

539947_2_0

While I signed for the house today, today is not our closing day.  We close and I take possession of it on Friday.  I can’t believe that we have a home once again.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

lunch culture

With starting to work again next week, I am back to thinking about packing lunches for work.  In Singapore, lunch is a thing.  You go out for lunch.  You take at least an hour for lunch.  Lunch is sacred.  Lunch is your break in the day to socialize and reboot.  The lunch culture there was something that I had trouble adapting to.  And while that time did allow me to get to know my coworkers, there was no way I was buying my lunch from the hawker centers or canteens.

Yes, this may seem a bit fussy of me, but I like eating real, whole, healthy food. I like my fresh vegetables and properly cooked meat un-marred by MSG laden sauces. I love fresh vegetables and fruit. P would make fun of me when he would find me eating steamed broccoli for breakfast.  Yes, broccoli for breakfast!  Goodness I love that stuff.

We did not bring all that much with us when we moved to Singapore, but we did bring our trusty Glasslock food storage containers.  Hands down the best Costco purchase I have made.  Seriously, I should have purchased two sets.  While I love the Glasslock storage containers, they are heavy.  I dutifully carried one to and from work in my purse each day packed with my lunch, but now that I am back and all of my Glasslock containers remain in Singapore, I thought I would pick up something a bit lighter and equally food and self-safe for my lunches.

I bought this container by Onyx when I first moved back.  It has been my only bowl for all of my meals, and it has been working very well for me.  It seals well and is super light weight while also being built to last.  Love it.

Onyx stainless steel double-walled container

When at work this week I learned that they do provide lunch. I had a few questions.  So it sounds like most of the stuff they serve I can’t eat, but I hear that they do have a really good salad bar.  If that is the case then I can just pack some precooked chicken, some olives or an avocado and I should be good to go.

Kids Konserve lunch set

Ages ago I came across the Kids Konserve containers, but did not think much of them.  Hearing about the lunch offerings and what I will need to bring to supplement, these now seem like they are perfect.

Both the Onyx and the Kids Konserve are a bit on the pricey side, but given their daily use (actually, thrice daily use for the big one) I think they will definitely be worth it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment