Oct 28, 2016

Leaving Washington...Creating a new life in North Carolina


Happy Fall y'all. I am taking a break from painting the exterior of my little farmhouse today, to finish my relocation story from my last post. But before I do that, - being that I am a nesting type of girl I  recently created pockets of vintage sweetness in the midst of several home improvement projects. I'm making headway but 'oh my' what a job. My little house is not yet picture worthy as a whole, but I wanted to share with you some Farmhouse Fall vignettes that I recently created. I hope you enjoy the tiny glimpses and sneak peaks from the inside of my 'work in progress' vintage farmhouse. 

I really like those 'grown in America' miniature white pumpkins called Baby Boos. I wasn't able to find them this year. A last resort search at Wally World is where I adopted three little legal immigrant plastic pumpkins. Those three little faux Baby Boos show up in each picture below.
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And now for the rest of my condensed relocation story. April 2015, I sold my three bedroom, three bath home in WA state where I resided and did business for fifteen sun deprived years. I couldn't take it anymore and decided to leave WA and make major changes in my life. I purchased a tiny (570 square foot) very old farmhouse in the mountains of North Carolina. It was not on a whim, but it was sight unseen, in a  town I had never been to nor heard of, where I knew no one. Quite an adventure it was and still continues to be. I drove three thousand miles across the United States with my five dogs, one cat and a co-pilot (thanks Aunt Cher.)  It was a five day memorable trip and what a trip it was.
                                                               

Tiny pumpkins & rusty roses usher in the Fall season at my tiny farmhouse


 Before moving from WA I sold some of my furniture, tools and equipment. I still had a lot of personal belongings, furniture and business related items that were moved to NC. I figured that I could sort, sift and downsize once I arrived in NC. I am so happy that I did not rush to sell off my other possessions before I moved here. There was a method to my madness, and it paid off. It allowed me to start a small business soon after my arrival that created an instant cash flow. Not to mention, I brought along so many sweet vintage pieces that are just perfect for my farmhouse, both the interior and exterior. I even hauled a cast iron farmhouse style kitchen sink from WA to NC (just in case) and ohhh wait till you see it. That oh so sweet drool worthy sink deserves a post of its own.



                                                                        
                             


                                                                       
   
I've always been one to march to a completely different drummer and so it was, in this major move. I can tell you that painting old plank walls in this VERY small (five hundred and seventy square foot)  house that WAS filled top to bottom with furniture and unpacked boxes was no easy task. Oh, yeah - add in my fur kids to the mix. Then imagine remodeling and home improvement projects also going on. Oh how fun, NOT! Contortionist, yoga skills and muscles come in handy as I continue to work on and in this tiny farmhouse. Heck, it might have been helpful if I had seen the house (other than online) and through pictures, before I purchased it. However, that was not the case - I prayed, believed God and had faith. Faith means believing in things not yet seen. This move took a lot of faith, prayer, trust in God and hard work. God is AWESOME, and blessed me above and beyond, than what I deserve.


                                                                           
Tiny pumpkins weighing in









                                                     
Many years ago, before old windows and doors were popular I collected them. Their history told a story and I used to imagine what they would say if indeed they could talk. Where did those doors hang? Who walked through them? What kind of home were those vintage windows in? Who opened them to let fresh air inside?  What children peered out of them?  I upcycled vintage doors and windows way before it was cool to do so. I remember attaching legs to them to make end tables, a coffee table, a desk, as well as a dining room table. I  hung old chippy painted windows on my walls instead of artwork.

Later in life, I discovered a whole new world of vintage stuff. I began to really appreciate and admire antiques, quilts, and even my grandmas beautiful lace doily's. I started collecting items from the past and in the process I became a self proclaimed dumpster diva, roadside treasure rescuer, second hand searcher as well as a picker with a purpose- to create profits from my fabulous finds.
         
          
                                                                                                           
                                                                   
Small pops of fall color on top of the vintage jelly cabinet









The bedroom - with old wavy glass windows




                                                                          
















Front room in my tiny farmhouse


My comfy down filled sofa






                                                                      
And here she is in all her glory - My sweet farmhouse sink



                                                                      
Three Baby Boos nestled into a vintage soap dish



My sink was a wonderful find for just $45.00 on Craig's list






Galvanized counters and a hand made sink base













My farmhouse kitchen shelves


Farmhouse lace and rust.... what's not to love?








                                                         
  

                                                                       
My handmade kitchen tea cabinet
                                            
                                                                        
           

                                                                                      


                                                                                   


                                                                     


So there you have it.... Welcome to my little slice of farmhouse heaven. She is a work in progress and I continue to feel so thankful and blessed to be a part of history as I highlight the sweetness of this historic little house. When this farmhouse was built there was no electricity or plumbing. The original outhouse is just across the road in the woods. The place my washer and dryer sets is where families of past let down their bucket into the water well and pulled it back up for their daily water needs. Several local old timers that I have met since moving in, at one time long ago lived in my little farmhouse, and I have enjoyed their stories. And that was before a small addition was added to create a few more feet of space in the front room. Mind you, what is called 'the addition' is about the size of a motor home slide out. People did not need or use as much space as we have become accustomed to in recent years.

For me, for now, it is an 'almost' a perfect little farmhouse cottage. From the old original plank floors and walls, the wavy glass window panes, the sweet fireplace, and the wrap around covered porch, to the funky nooks and crannies, I love it. - Yep, she is pretty much a perfect place for me to nest in and call my home sweet home.

Thanks for visiting. I plan to share a few pictures in my next post of the three little pumpkins as they venture outside on a small journey around the local countryside. Until then please remember - It is never ever too late to create a happy childhood. Now go and play......


Blessings,
Tonita


                                                      
                                                                                   



                                                                          























































Oct 1, 2016

Loading up my precious cargo for our journey across America

One year ago, this past April, I sold my large home and acreage in a rural area about an hour away from Seattle, WA. I wanted to create a simpler lifestyle, soak up sunshine and live in a small home. My shabby chic tiny retreat was way to tiny to consider using it as my primary home. I not only needed more space for myself but also for my children who live in fur coats.
                                                                          
                                                                           
 My babies in my old home in WA.- Two now live in Heaven
                                                           

I have done death row dog rescue work as a hobby for over forty years, saving one dog at a time, training them manners and obedience and getting them healthy and fit for adoption. For almost twenty years I have had a pack of dogs that numbered between five to fifteen dogs on any given day. Most of them were in transition of being saved from next day euthanasia in high kill shelters to finding their forever homes. Over the years the ones that were unfit to be adopted stayed with me and were spoiled and loved till their last breath. My own personal pack of dogs usually consisted of four to five dogs. Rottweiler's and Aussies really steal my heart. I was finally down to a small pack of family members for the fist time in many years. My fur kid family consisted of a Rottweiler/Mastiff X, three Rotties, two Cattle dog-Husky-Shepherd mixes, and one Mini Aussie . Oh- and one dog loving orange cat. That was the smallest group of animals I had owned in many years, so I figured it was a good time to change up my lifestyle and location in a major way.

Welcome to my other girl cave....pics below. My vintage Casita travel trailer. A perfect cozy spot for glamping, as well as transporting some of my fur kids to our new home located in the beautiful mountains of NC. It has options for two single beds, a double bed or a king size bed. I selected the king size bed option for Riley, Hailey and Tyler to travel in comfort and style. At night I slept in there with them and my other two dogs slept in the SUV along with the cat.

                                                                        
3 of my dogs traveled in my Casita camper as we made our way to NC

While still living and working in WA state, I started shopped online for a new state to relocate to. I prayed and asked for God's guidance in my life. I had visited North Carolina only once for just three days about twenty years ago. The warm weather, Southern hospitality and deepest blue sky I had ever seen in my life, left a lasting impression that drew me back and tugged on my heart.  I did a lot of reading and decided that NC would be my new home state.

                                                                       
My dogs traveled in style on the way to NC
                                    

Being a mom to so many fur kids meant I needed to buy a house before I sold my old house. We definitely needed a plan. I searched for a home online in North Carolina before I listed my WA home for sale. I am a country girl at heart even though I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and lived there most of my life, I could not imagine ever again living in a city or even in the suburbs. I am definitely a country girl and country roads were calling me home to the place where I knew that  I belonged. Now that song really has more meaning to me.                                             
                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                            
This is a 14' fiberglass trailer and worked perfect for our long road trip

 On a mission to find a small home I prepared a 'must have' list and a more flexible 'wish list'. The first list included a home under 700 sq feet, on an minimum of an acre of land, my own water well, good natural light, and a covered porch.  My flexible 'wish list' was for a farmhouse or log cabin, a  an outbuilding, a metal roof, and a real fireplace or claw foot tub would seal the deal. I also hoped for a nearby river, stream, creek or  pond.  I found a little house that was about 100-150 years old. No records on file because it was SO old. It was 570 square feet-a PERFECT SIZE for me, on land in a rural wooded mountain area yet just a few miles from a river, a stream (that I can hear from my covered front porch) and a large pond just 1/4 mile from my home. It had a fireplace and a two sided covered wrap around front porch, as well as an outbuilding, a root cellar, a carport and for it's age it was in pretty good shape and best of all it was in my price range. Done deal, I bought it, sight unseen (except for pictures) and located in a town I had never heard of or been to in my life. I did a happy dance that day. GOD is SO GOOD. HE blessed me above and beyond all I could think or imagine. Was I scared? Nope.. I really had a peace about it all. And, I was thrilled to leave WA states high prices, high taxes and the drizzly gray weather behind me. I will miss my friends and my business. But on to new goals and adventures.

Soon after I bought my NC home and land, I had my tiny house towed to it's new parking spot in NC.-- See my last post for that story.

                                                                    
There is a sink under the cutting board. I added the backsplash.


I then listed my three bedroom, three bath home in WA and after 9 months on the market it finally  sold. I shut down my business, got my camper ready and loaded up the fur kids for a LONG drive across the United States. Unfortunately two of my Rottweiler's died in WA and were not able to relocate with me but will live in my heart forever. I filled up my vintage Casita camper with my precious cargo - A Rottie/Mastiff Mix boy and my Sweet Rottie girl, my little crazy Mini Aussie who is seven sandwiches short of a picnic. I  hitched up my Casita to my small SUV that was filled with my two Cattle dog, Husky Shepherd mixes and my Orange cat. Off we went - three thousand miles on our way to our new life and  home in NC.                                                               

                                                                          
Unfortunately I could not locate my camera, so I don't have any pictures of our trip
                                                         

Oh, I may of forgotten to mention a small detail to the above story. I worked to the very last day before I left WA state. I did not have time to downsize my stuff before I sold my home. So, I loaded up not just one 28' truck but half of a second 28' truck also. Yep, three bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, Three  home based businesses, a double garage with more stuff, and two- two hundred sq foot sheds of stuff. Lots of stuff, that I had accumulated over the past decade. I was not sure what I wanted to keep or what to get rid of having not seen my NC home in person. I sold what I could in the limited time that I had and then spent months packing, and packing and packing what would go to NC with me.
                                                            
                                                                
                               
                                                                           
Snap, Crackle, Pop - I didn't need that antenna anyways..

                                                                     
Two commercial trucks parked in front of my TINY farmhouse days after I arrived. My covered porch was filled from top to bottom, my house inside was filled with boxes that covered the floors, and were stacked all the way up to the ceiling. I only had a 12 inch path through my little house and I was in overwhelm. Even my bathtub was filled to the ceiling with boxes. This mess was not part of what I had envisioned my new simple life to be like. I have done crazy things in my life but this might top them all. It is probably not often that a person would buy a home this way- online, sight unseen, in a town they had never heard of nor been to. Then- to shut down business, and sell your home and move with six animals across the United States... well I have always marched to a different drummer.   
                                                                               
                                                                        
Ahh, I think I may have too much stuff
                                                                                     
                                                                                
I just might be related to Sanford and Son
                                                                     

After days of driving  across the roads of America and caring for my critters, I was really happy to pull into my new driveway for the first time ever. With a sigh of relief having driven from Seattle to Western North Carolina,  I took a deep breath, got out my house key and stepped inside my new
home.
                                                                       
                                                                        
OH- Where am I going to put everything?

To be continued............... 

In the meantime, remember-It is never to late to create a happy childhood.

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