Saturday, December 27, 2008

The end of another year

So I haven't felt like blogging in awhile and I know why. It's because so much has changed yet again from our so called "plans". I should know better than to think that things will ever turn out the way that I might expect. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does kind of get on my nerves sometimes. One of my good friends always has a laugh at my expense for the zigzag course that Kirk and I are always on. No we're going this that way....hold think we're supposed to go over here! That's how it feels sometimes. Does everyone go through their life decisions feeling this way or is it just us?

Anyhow, so we didn't end up buying the cool house across the street. The housing market crashed and the house that we are currently living in did not sell. Then the financial markets tanked and our business suffered some setbacks that made us rethink purchasing the house of our dreams. We deliberated and cried and tried to think of anyway possible that we could work out buying the new house, but in the end it really felt like the wrong thing to do. That was hard to reconcile because our hearts were set on it and everyone in town knew that we were lined up to buy the house. It felt like the worst day of our lives when we sat the builder down to tell him our bad news. He was very gracious and understanding about everything. We felt like the biggest jerks in history and had to wade through the shame in our little town where news spreads like wildfire. Thankfully most people seemed to understand our situation being that we were not the only ones who had suffered some financial losses. So we're just living in our little one bedroom one bath fixer upper waiting for a different housing situation to come to light that may suit our needs without breaking our piggy bank. It was the right thing to do to turn the new house down, but it was certainly painful. Our financial adviser keeps telling us the benefits of "delayed gratification". We have already had many lessons in delayed gratification and just thought that this time we wouldn't have to wait to get what we wanted. Well we were wrong and I'm okay with it because I'm familiar with this process. It will be worth it to wait. It always is.

Despite the disappointment about the new house we did have a great year overall. We have many blessings to be thankful for and I know in reality I have very little to complain about. We are currently enjoying a wonderful Christmas vacation in Las Vegas, New Mexico in a beautiful mountain setting with good friends. Who can ask for anything more than that!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good news!

We finally received a contract on our Denver house! Woohoo! We are so excited since this had to happen in order for us to be able to purchase the new house being built across the street from us here in BV. This is the a current photo of where the new house is in construction. Very cool! So the next step is putting our fixer upper house on the market which hopefully will happen in the next week. I know this is all very confusing. Too many properties! How did we get here? Well I know the answer to that question and it all seemed to make sense to us at the time. Too bad we didn't have the foresight about this housing crisis or we could have sold our Denver house for a lot more money. Oh well. I'll just be glad to finally consolidate our money into one property that we love instead of 3 that we don't. So, if you just happen to know anyone interested in 3 acre lot on Trout Creek Pass with a tepee and a shed on it or a cute in town 1 bedroom 1 bath old house with lots of character send them our way. The new house will be finished in September so we're hoping that the house we're in now will sell fast. We're pretty anxious to move across the street since this will be the first house that we have ever owned that has a garage, a guest bedroom, a second bathroom and plenty of storage. A couple of days ago we were on the verge of giving up hope that this was all going to work out because we were running out of time. It also seems that a couple of people around town were waiting for us to fail so they be the next buyer in line on this house. This of course made us want it even more. I think we've become a bit possessive since we've already mentally purchased the property. Although we do have a lot of friends here who have rooted for us all along and seemed to have more faith than we did that it would work out. Fingers crossed!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The best summer yet

I have to say that this is my best summer yet here in Buena Vista. I've finally met some great friends with similar interests which helps this town finally feel like my home. It was a hard transition for me to uproot my life from Denver and put a distance of 125 miles between the friends and family I have known all my life. Kirk has always felt at home here since this is where he grew up, but I on the other hand didn't really know what to expect. I just knew that I was willing to give it a go because I felt like the Denver city life thing was old hat and I was ready to try on the "mountain life" that has been Kirk's dream ever since I've known him. I'm not going to lie and say it was an easy adjustment for me. I think part of the problem was living in the tepee. We were somewhat isolated up in them there hills which impeded us from having much of a social life. We did meet a few people in town that we became friends with, but I have to say that I continued struggling with feeling confident that this was the right place for us. The other part of that was the continuance of living in a temporary situation. We had moved around and traveled for so long before settling here that I was couldn't help feeling like a small potted plant. It wasn't until we bought a permanent structure of a home last October where I was able to break out, dig in and expand my roots. Living in town has opened up a whole new group of friends to us. I can't explain how good it feels to walk around town recognizing faces, waving to friends and having the sense that we really do belong here.
I recently met a great group of women who are all active outdoors people too. We decided to start mountain biking together and it's been a blast! Last year I was really into running and was able to check off running a marathon from my life list. I've been looking for a different activity since my back still aggrevates me when I run and I think mountain biking is the ticket. It's low impact on the joints and it's a great balance of adrenaline, technical thinking and good ol' heart pumping aerobic exercise. I never thought I'd be a mountain biker much less pick it up at 36 years of age, but isn't it the darndest thing that life can still suprise you.
So lately our lives look like this: wake up between 7 and 8am (alarm clocks are only used when absolutely necessary), have a liesure coffee and breakfast on the couch, walk to our office which is 5 minutes from our house, get some work done, leave around 5pm, walk 5 minutes back to our house, grab our gear and go down to the river park which is another 5 minutes away. Right now Kirk is really into kayaking because the water is so high, but occassionally he's off on a mountain bike ride. I usually ride down to the bridge to meet a couple of the gals for a mountain bike ride and then Kirk and I meet back at the house at dark to eat dinner and go to bed. Then we do it all over again the next day. It's pretty awesome to be so close to the activities that we love. We always think back to our Denver days when it took us between 30-60 minutes to drive home after work and then another 45-60 minutes of driving to get to a place where you could kayak or mountain bike so your actual activity time was pretty limited. We feel very fortunate to have carved out the life we now have, but we did make quite a few sacrifices to get essentially we feel like we earned it.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Stepping up in the world

Today has been a long awaited day for us. We worked on our bathroom after work last night until 11pm and it was soooo worth it! We now have a working shower and a functioning toilet! Woohoo!

We've been showering at the local gym now for the last 14 months. When we lived at the tepee last summer we would come to town to work out and have a hot shower. I remember looking forward to indoor plumbing as we were buying our house in town last September. However since we moved in we were not brave enough to shower in the existing avocado green tub that was coated in a thickness of mold. We finally got around to ripping out the tub a few months ago and have been living with a construction zone in the bathroom ever since. We bought a corner shower and Kirk worked very hard to finish installing it two weekends ago. He's now a master plumber and carpenter. :) It felt like it took forever but it was time to call in the drywaller who came last week to put up some new walls and finish them off for us. We had to take out the avocado green toilet (boohoo) so the drywaller could refinish the walls behind it because the bathroom was in such a bad state of disrepair from the previous owner. She never took the time to deal with the leaks or the mold or anything else. So we set up the good ol' camp toilet from the tepee days in our shed outside and have been using that for the past 10 days. It didn't feel like too big of a deal since we had lived like that for so long before. Overall though we have been pretty anxious to get our bathroom up and running.

Kirk got up yesterday morning and laid the new linoleum that he had been cutting to size the previous evening. It turned out really nice for a first timer! After work yesterday we went home and Kirk installed the new shiny white toilet while I finished painting and then he worked on installing the shower doors. It looks like a totally different space now which is so exciting because it was pretty gross before! It really is the nicest room in the house now. We woke up this morning and tried out the shower. Ahhhh! I can't even put it words how lovely it is to shower in my own house. I'm so tired of public showers and the nastiness others leave, band aids, dirty washcloths, athlete's foot, etc. Ack! I've been thinking back on how long we've had to deal with public showers. South Pole for 2 years, traveling for 5 months and living here for 2+ years. I think we've earned a private bathroom. :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gas Tax Holiday

John McCain is proposing to repeal the $0.18 gas tax for the summer, calling it a gas tax holiday. What a freakin' stupid idea, we have been on a gas bender since the 70s and this clown wants to hand us more of the drink that we have overused, exploited, fought wars over and down right wasted. Not only should we not have a gas tax holiday we ought to be marched into the nearest drug treatment facility where we are weened and shown how great our dependence on oil is and how it is the prime ingredient in everything we do, eat, drink and shit.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kirk's Birthday/Last Day at Monarch

Kirk's 39th birthday was April 13th which was much cause for celebration seeing this is his last year in his 30's. We're preparing for the mid-life crisis next year. Ha ha! Kirk's birthday wish was to have a bbq party in the parking lot of Monarch since the 13th was also their closing day for the season. We haphazardly pulled together some 80's looking ski gear to fulfill a cheesy theme. We loaded up the trailer with our grille, some chairs, a table and coolers full of beer and food and took off early in the morning so we could arrive in the parking lot in time to get a good spot. We pulled up close to the front since tail gaiting is popular on the end of season day so the parking dudes save the closest spots for the people with trailers. Looking around our setup was pretty minimal compared to some of the other folks. Several people had set up decorated tents with full bars and people gathered around in costume. It was great people watching! We set up and then some of our friends started showing up. We took a few runs on the hill and then came back to fire up some lunch. We fed anyone around who ventured into our bbq since it was that kind of party. Unbeknown to us the ski area was having a bbq contest and sent judges around to each "camp" to judge their food. They bypassed us since we just had boring brats and burgers. The winner was a gang who were parked next to us that served pulled pork and homemade green chili. They said the winnings might just cover the cost of the food. Hmmm...I think we were better off spending less time cooking and more time enjoying the atmosphere and the last runs we would take until next winter. It was the warmest day of the season with sunny blue skies, great snow conditions and people having fun everywhere we looked. As the day came to a close Kirk and our friend Olivia decided to go for the last run of the day in their birthday suits. They hiked to an outlying run that ends in the parking lot and I waited with camera in hand. You can't even really tell they are naked in the photo. Good thing since this is the internet after all. They ducked into the trees before the end of the run and walked up to the bbq amidst cheering and laughs. A good time was had by all! We've decided this now needs to be a yearly event so next year we plan to do it bigger and better so be there or be square!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 15, 2008

Isn't life grand? I love the saying, "Wanna make God laugh....have a plan." So true it is! We've zigzagged and sometimes circled through all sorts of plans in the 5 years that we've been married, so why am I still surprised when we end up in a totally different place than I expected? Human nature I guess. Buena Vista sure has been treating us right though and no matter what the road ahead brings and how unexpected it is, it always feels like the path we were meant to tread. When I turn around and look back it all seems to make more sense then when we are actually going through it so I can only have faith that the future will bring us right where we're supposed to be despite my plans, fears and worries.

These thoughts give me comfort when there is something that I really want that I may not get. What I'm referring to specifically is a house that is being built just across the street from our current little home. Kirk and I had been wondering for awhile who owned the lot since it sat empty for a long time with the exception of a slab foundation. We serendipitously came across the house plans when the builder came into our office to get copies from us. We looked over the plans and loved them! Then we saw the address and realized that this was the house that was going to be built right across the street from us. We quickly asked the builder if he already had a buyer for this house and he said he didn't. I told him, "You do now!". We couldn't believe our luck! The builder is a local guy that designs and builds one custom house a year here in BV. He has a couple of houses in town and a few outside of town and they're all very cool compared to other options which are either new/newer stamped out standard cracker box suburban houses (blah), old completely run down houses (double blah), or the overinflated lots to build on that have ridiculous covenants (can you say "boomers"). This house however, incorporated a lot of the ideas that we had designed into our own house plans at one point. It felt too good to be true because we also love the location we're in now, we just hate the house we currently live in. Our current house was built in 1910, it's maybe 600 square feet and it needs a lot of TLC. Ever since we moved in we have been talking about how nice it would be to just live in a new house where you wouldn't have to fix things all of the time. Don't get me wrong, I know new houses require maintenance too, but not to the degree that we are dealing with now.

Small towns are interesting. We agreed on the word of the builder that we could have first dibs at buying the house since we don't have anything in writing as of yet. If I were still in Denver I definitely would not trust that agreement, but here in BV things are different. When a local (meaning someone who's lived here for 20 years or so) gives their word you can count on it especially when it comes to a handshake between two locals (Kirk being the other since he grew up here). The other interesting thing is that word travels fast. We told maybe 2 people that we were going to buy the house across the street and asked them not to tell anyone else until we were sure. This builder has some notoriety because his houses are so different than the norm here and they tend to generate a lot of excitement with real estate agents, prospective buyers and lookie-loos. Since they actually started building the house back in February, the word was out that this builder is working on another house in town so he's had several people inquire about it, some of which are serious buyers, but he told them that he already has a! Lately, we've had a bunch of people come up to us saying, "so I hear you're buying that house on Gunnison?". Being a city dweller for my entire life with the exception of the last two years, this small town news network is a whole new experience for me.

I also have a hunch that this builder is tired of selling homes to out of state folks looking to buy second homes or a retirement home and is excited about selling a house to another "local" and a couple younger than retirement age. We feel so fortunate that it's us! So we're keeping our fingers crossed that it will all pan out. We have our Trout Creek property with the tepee and our half duplex in Denver on the market hoping they sell soon. We are continuing to fix up the little house we currently live in so we can put that on the market in a month or so as well. Then we'll be free to invest our equity in a house that we hope to keep for a very long time. that's a happy thought.