Feeling slightly overwhelmed is better than feeling totally overwhelmed. I'm about half unpacked, but still living with boxes. The goal is to have the house ready for guests by December 21, Solstice. I'd like to have a Solstice/Housewarming party December 22.
Yes, a housewarming party, you read that right. I swang the real deal, the big deal! I bought a house! No more crazy landlords, no more worrying about how loud the TV is or trying to do laundry and take showers when it won't affect someone else's shower or water usage. No more having to gauge other peoples' neuroses in order to live in relative peace. No more feeling like I'm being watched all the time...
The place is quite humble. It began life as a waterless cabin, and has been through several incarnations since. It's solidly built but on mooshy ground. There are ways of dealing with mooshy ground, as long as it isn't TOO mooshy. Mine is not, and is in the process (ecologically speaking) of getting drier. And this is a case of where having a boyfiend with a dump truck and bulldozer is a good thing.
It has a tank water system. After the fellow with the big water truck filled up my 1000 gallon tank, he said, "Now you can use water just like a normal person!" A tank water system is very common in interior Alaska. I pay for water from 7¢ to 8¢ a gallon. I do believe that's cheaper than many other places in the country where you buy your water from the City.
Heating is done via a Toyo stove, which is a high-tech thing that uses very little fuel. The fuel tank is on stilts outside my house, and it's diesel (fuel oil). It costs about $800 to fill it up, and it probably needs to be filled up once and a half times a year.
Yes, the house has all the usual conveniences, except laundry. I almost didn't buy the place because of that. Now I'm back to having to do the laundromat thing, something I really detest. However, this place is basically a big box. I have over an acre. An addition is planned as soon as money allows.
The kitchen is horrible. No counter space at all. Really ugly cabinets that someone obviously bought at a garage sale. The Boyfiend pointed out that this place was obviously laid out by a guy. He says no woman in her right mind would have put things where they are in the kitchen or the bathroom. I have to agree. But I never would of thought of it that way!
In order to "upgrade" the place so they could call it a "one bedroom" they sectioned off a corner of the bottom floor with sheetrock, creating a fake "arctic entryway" which is actually a total pain in the ass. For one thing, it is far too narrow. It was a near thing getting the stove through the door! For another, it's COLD in there because there is no heat in there, and the Toyo can't heat around corners very well. First thing next Spring the Saws-all is coming out and DOWN come those stupid walls. It won't take much money to make that change, and what a relief it will be!
Moving was not the worst or the best of my moving experiences. But the previous owner, who I think was a Martian, had given the cook stove away when she bought the house, telling the guy she bought it from, "I don't cook. Take the stove." HUNH?? "I don't cook" means "I heat up spaghetti sauce and cook noodles. I eat Hamburger Helper." So I didn't get any consideration for the fact that I had to buy a new stove, grrrrrrrr! Not that I didn't scream bloody murder about it!
Then she took the little heater that was in the bathroom. It was 20 below when she took it out. The toilet promptly froze up. Talk about petty. No stove and now she feels she has to take a $15 electric heater? It cost me $97 to have the thawer/pumper guy come out and unfreeze it (and it made the house smell delightful----blah!). Then my heroic boyfiend made numerous trips under the house to try to replace the insulation that the squirrels had stolen (hey, squirrels like to be warm, too) and to figure out what the hell was going on. BIG points for Scott here! Totally above and beyond the call of duty to put on padded Carhartts and crawl under the house in the dark at -20!
Then he put a heat trace down the toilet pipe and I bought another electric heater. So far, so good. We have had many great flushings since.
He also installed the propane system needed for the new cookstove. The previous stove was electric. Besides the fact that I detest cooking on electric stoves, I needed something that would provide some heat should the electricity go out. A propane stove is a good alternative until I can afford to buy a generator. No electricity means no heat. Not a good thing in the sub-arctic.
When Sofia first ran around the new place, she instantly discovered WINDOWS! She ran all around peeking out of each window. She's a happy dog. We'd been living in a basement where the windows were below ground level. Now she can see all kinds of things!
We are surrounded by sled dog teams, and hear lots and lots of howling and yodeling. For the first two days Sofia hid under the bed at night. The Toyo stove makes a slight noise, and the water pump goes on periodically when water is used. Scary Monsters all, to Sofia. But where it took three months for her to get over the Scary Monsters at the basement apartment, it was a mere two days before she was just fine and dandy here.
So that's what I've been so busy doing that I could not write more. Plus I didn't want to jinx the whole deal by writing about it before the ink was dry on the closing papers! I'm very, very happy to have my own home. The hassles are few compared to the great feeling that this is MINE. I'm having a lot of fun customizing it and making it nicer. I haven't decided if I'll cut a Christmas tree this year or not. I bet I could find a small one right outside on my acre of land. Happy Holidays!