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Monday, April 11, 2016

Cleaning Frenzy

Holy moly! We've made an appointment to talk to a realtor Wednesday evening. That means we have three days, count 'em - only THREE days, to get this place ship-shape.

You would not believe the mess it is right now. It's not surprising given that we are in transition, but still... Considering how cluttered every room of the house is, it's hard to believe how much stuff we've already ditched. How can the house still be crowded when all of the following is gone? Chest freezer, exercise machines & equipment, Christmas tree & d├ęcor, about 30% of the furniture so far, loads of kitchen stuff including many of my beloved canning jars, clothes, linens - donated for doggie use at the shelter, and more. Even food has been donated, given away, and/or fed to the birds. The shed is still crowded, too, even though some bike stuff and tools have gone away.

The next three days will be devoted to organizing the clutter so it looks neat and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. We're mainly meeting with the realtor to get a sense of what we need to do besides empty the house in order to have it market-ready. But, we want him to have a positive impression when he comes in, not think, "OMG, these people think they're almost ready to sell?!" So, that means I cannot allow myself to be distracted by all the Spring birds coming through. Well, other than going out to bird the yard right now because there was a storm last night and something cool may have come in. And tomorrow morning when I'm meeting with a friend to help him identify birds on his large property. Other than that, no, I won't be distracted.

Okay, I will probably look out the window this evening to see if the cormorants fly by, but that's it. Really. I mean it.



(Checking e-mail.... What?! There's a Heermann's Gull just 8 miles away? Gotta go!)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Lack of Interest

I'm considering retiring this blog due to lack of interest; mostly mine, but also yours. One of my favorite parts of blogging has been the conversations that happen in the comments. Without comments, I don't know what my readers are thinking. It could be any of the following or maybe none of them.

"Hm, I never thought of it that way."
"What happened to the old, funny Chile we knew and loved?"
"Yikes, this is booooring!"
"Where are the recipes?!"
"OMG, not another recipe!"
"Where are the cute dog pictures?"

When I started blogging again, I wanted to write about how one downsizes to an RV, the transition process from home with garden to mobile RV, and then life on the road. As I struggle through deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, I wondered why nobody on the full-time RVer blogs really talked about the agony of this process. Well, now I know. They didn't have time! There is so much to do. Here are some of the things on our to-do list:

1. Clean and fix up the RV to make it livable.

Believe it or not, we are still not done with this phase. Almost all of the cleaning is done but I have yet to muster up the courage to tackle the microwave. I seriously considered just buying a new one, but at more than $200, that just isn't in the cards when the other one functions perfectly fine (as far as we can tell). The only other cleaning projects left are the windows and screens. Oh, and the Corian kitchen countertops. Don't forget the light fixtures. Yeah, not done yet.

Most of the modifications are finished. My husband has done all the necessary repairs, built in a couple of shelves for books and multimedia, and installed the solar panels. He still needs to build in a surplus water storage area so we are able to boondock longer. (Boondocking is RV-camping without hooking up to water, sewer, or electricity.)

2. Decide which personal belongings will go with us in the RV.

This obviously does not include furniture since everything is built into an RV. The only exception is my student desk and my small kitchen cart will fit in the living room/office/kitchen area. I've gone through everything we own and gotten rid of a tremendous amount already but as I look around the house at what remains, I know that more will have to be left behind. In the end, it will probably come down to trying to cram it all in and realizing most won't fit, requiring a last minute huge donation to the local charity thrift shop.

3. Clean and fix up the house to sell.

Every house we've ever lived in has looked its very best on the day we put it on the market to sell. We fix it up nicer for other people than for ourselves. We've been working on spackling holes in walls left by the previous owner(s) and doing a bit of painting. We've cleaned half the carpets and will clean the others when the rooms are emptied out. We're cleaning up the yard and my hubby just planted some flowers this past week. We think we already have a realtor lined up; he's just waiting for us to get to the point we can talk about listing it.

4. Do the admin prep to change from a permanent home to full-time RVing.

There's a bit of work involved in setting up your life to live on the road. We're working on figuring all that out.

5. Have fun and not work ourselves to exhaustion.

Part of the reason for doing this whole RV thing in the first place is to enjoy our lives more. Pushing ourselves now to the point of exhaustion defeats the purpose of making these changes. What this means is that we regularly take time off to go birding, get out for a hike, or watch a movie. This is slowing down the schedule for leaving, but is important for our personal well-being.

In the midst of all this work, all the regular chores are still there needing to be completed. Dinner has to be prepared, laundry has to be washed and dried, and the dog has to be fed and walked. It sometimes feels like we are never going to get out of here!

Let me know if you are interested in reading about any of this. I may decide to just ditch all of this if nobody's interested and go start a new blog devoted to my birding adventures!