Friday, March 20, 2015

# 542 - Living a Dream - Countdown to Country House Construction!

Nearly two years ago, we sold our house in the Greater Houston area. Our kids had both left home for college and for bigger, better things, so we were empty-nesters. The house was actually a great size to accommodate all of us, but the location of the house became undesirable to the two of us.

There were things that were bothersome due to the "neighborhood" normalness of this location. Our street was always packed with cars lining both sides of the street. Often, people visiting other neighbors would park in front of our house and block our mailbox. Our deliverers had a strict policy of not delivering to a house with a blocked mailbox. You would think people would know to not block a person's mailbox, but they do.

One of our good neighbors and friends would be the worst offender! Since we lived by the bay, our community was a huge boating/water recreation community and this one neighbor would have his four vehicles, his TWO boats and jet skis parked in front of his house...or he would try to park them there and they wouldn't fit, so he would end up parking in the only available space, in front of our house. But, he sure couldn't stand to have anyone park in front of his house. It was a situation prime for drama. Then, people began backing up into each other's cars as they tried to get out of their driveways.

We got sick of the parking issues. We had a very long, ample spaced driveway, but our neighbors didn't.

Then, we could not walk into the front or back yard for any privacy. Even the backyard...we were surrounded by people who could see everything in our backyard and hear everything. We couldn't even sit in the backyard and have a private conversation...all of us could hear each other. The lack of privacy became more bothersome through the years. Sometimes, you just wanted privacy.

So, we decided that we didn't need to keep living in a location that no longer met our personal needs and desires. We longed for space. We longed for nature instead of concrete and bad community planning for drainage.

We sold our house to a family who lived about two blocks away. They were a family of six and they were so excited to be buying our house. They lived in a one-story two-bedroom home and ours had four-bedrooms with a separate study, separate formal dining room and very large gameroom.

Our new house in the country won't have as many rooms as the old house, but the rooms are roomier. I didn't opt for a breakfast area, but we will have a breakfast bar that will provide comfortable daily dining space for the two of us. We might be able to fit a little table in the kitchen area that seats two, which will be nice and allow the cook to sit while preparing a meal, but the formal dining space will be just off the kitchen. The layout for our house is almost identical to the below shot...

But one thing that will change once we build the new house is that the chickens will not have the ability to get into our yard space or to get onto our porches. The chickens are much more lovable as they keep their distance from our home-site. Chickens destroy your potted plants, your veggie garden, they leave poop bombs everywhere and it becomes a yucky situation. For me, moving to the country is not relaxing to substitute the lack of privacy for chickens invading our private space, so we will take care of that issue very soon. I have two choices, get the chickens accommodations set up to keep them away from the home-site or don't have chickens.

So, I hope we figure things out as we build our house so that we can keep the chickens happy and this momma happy...I love being around my chickens, but they are not invited as house guests. Regardless, they are beautiful gals!

This particular chicken thinks she should live indoors with her people. Every day, she makes countless efforts to get inside. She knows where the dog food bowls are and Howdy the Aussie will snarl at another dog eating his dog food, but he just lays and watches this chicken raid his dog bowl with a dreamy expression on his face. I think he loves this chicken.

Of course, when I yell for Gracie, the dog we found in the woods after moving here, ALL the chickens come running from up to two acres if they collectively think their name is "Gracie."

Gracie and Howdy, being cuddly on a recently cold day.

It is quite comical.

We do have predators all around us. The 30 chickens we had last year have suffered all kinds of encounters that have reduced our chicken flock to 15. However, I must say that the perfect amount of chickens for our home flock is from 6-10...I am leaning more toward 6. More than that becomes expensive to feed, more smelly for their poop trails and more destructive as the claws are multiplied.

We will have a driveway path leading to the house and then there will
be an expanded area stabilized for parking. But, we will start off our
driveway onto the acreage with this kind of tire trail.

As for the house construction, we are coming up to a closing day sometime between April 3rd-10th and that seems to be a date whirling toward us with increasing speed. After all this time, the day of closing on the construction loan approaches.

We have an idea of what we are building, but since this is a custom house, I have not actually walked into it before, so that is nerve-wracking. I am hoping everyone is on board and that once it is constructed and actually on our land, with a mortgage payment attached to it, that I will be THRILLED with it.

I think I will be SO HAPPY to finally have a bath tub again. RV living with a shower is great because it works to keep us clean, but sometimes, I just want to become a prune from soaking in a tub for much longer than is advised.

I still haven't figured out our Master bathroom configuration, but I
can promise this...the bathroom will not be a country-design. The
Master bath will be sleek and with white trim, very similar to the
bathroom above. I must have things in my bathroom clear and clean.
So, I will have a bit of metropolitan design with me in the country.

At least I have the comfort of knowing that I have put everything possible into this process to make this home the best we have ever lived in. For both me and Sgt. Dave, I have been very conscientious about adding elements into this house that we both love. Seeing it be brought to reality will be like watching a dream come to life.

Living a dream is pretty amazing. A chicken poop-free dream is even sweeter!

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