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— Essentials —

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If I were to write a back-to-school paper about how I spent my summer vacation, it would chronicle my relentless search for a home. I’m happy to say I bought a house with great bones in an area I like.

Even though there are lots of things wrong with this house, I bought it anyway.

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— Essentials —

House flippers were either too lazy or too stupid to screw the other door handle into the door. Instead they used caulking and when that didn't work, they scotch taped the door knob to the door.
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I bought a house from guys who’d watched too many episodes of Fixer Upper and thought they would renovate and flip houses as an investment. Instead of doing a great job—like Chip and Joanna Gaines—they took cheap shortcuts and did a crappy, shameful job. Even so, I put an offer down on the house and then hired an inspector to tell me the problems I was facing.

After 10 minutes, the inspector was so ticked off by the abominable renovation, he spent the next five and a half hours checking everything in the house.

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— Essentials —

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Two weeks ago I had an epiphany. A BIG one. Driving home from dinner with my girlfriends in San Antonio, I realized I’d been trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. For the last year I’ve been trying to find another home in the Texas Hill Country where the neighbors weren’t a mile away. Living here was my dream with James, and we got to live that dream. I’ve made friends I’ll cherish forever, but living here no longer works for me.

Would you believe, the day after my epiphany, I found a house in San Antonio; one I wouldn’t have to teardown, seriously gut or build from the ground up?

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— Essentials —

Image courtesy of Luxepose.com
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I’ve become obsessed with tiny houses lately. Tiny as in less than 300 square feet. I’ve lived in studio apartments that were bigger than that, but for some reason, the allure of a tiny house is growing. They seem so efficient and orderly, the kind of zen-like nook you can seek refuge in – whether that refuge is from your demanding and time-sucking family, or a zombie apocalypse. Continue Reading

— Essentials —

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I don’t know about you but I am extremely sentimental.

It warms my heart to see something that reminds me of a loved one.

Have you inherited some favorite items of your loved ones but don’t know what to do with them? Here are some creative ways to frame those items and display them in your home.

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— Relationships —

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Last week while dropping off my daughter at a friend’s house, we drove through the neighborhood where I was raised. Making a detour, we turned onto the familiar road, and I immediately noticed a For Sale sign in front of my old house. My parents had sold the house 28 years ago when my father retired and had moved full-time to what was then their vacation home. I’d not been in the house since a few days before the movers arrived to pack everything up, but to this day I have vivid dreams about the beautiful stone house.  Continue Reading

— Essentials —

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In our quest to further downsize so we can travel regularly, yesterday we moved in 100 degree heat. Today I feel shell-shocked as I look around me. For the first time, I’m not sure where to put anything, or even where to begin. Me, the Organizer of All Things, and the one responsible for packing, can’t figure this out.

My brain appears to have seized up, and for some reason, so has our water heater. All I wanted this morning was a strong cup of coffee and a hot shower. I didn’t think that was asking too much.

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— Essentials —

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Baby Boomers who left the city in favor of large parcels of land and big houses are now clambering to downsize and find a sense of community in small towns like mine. As a result, the real estate market here has turned into a feeding frenzy where sellers and buyers—like me—are churning the waters.

Questionable neighborhoods with rickety eyesores and truckloads of junk in the front yard are the chum in these shark-infested real estate waters.

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— Life —

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In a few weeks I will complete my seventh real estate transaction in as many years. I’m not a realtor, nor do I play one on TV. I have just found myself on the buying and selling end of things for a concentrated period of time. Since my first marriage in 1988, I’ve had 12 different mailing addresses. Add to the mix three additional properties that fell under my jurisdiction–and 15 moves–I’d say this qualifies me as something of an expert. I can can purge, toss, pack, move, and store with the best of them. I have sustained more physical (and emotional) paper-cuts in 10 years than most people do in a lifetime. I’ve also developed a keen eye when it comes to on-line real estate listings.

While in the market for the house that soon shall become home, I realized shopping for real estate these days is very much like dating… particularly on-line dating.

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— Essentials —

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As I am packing to move, again, after 14 months here, (no, I’m not a military wife… but thank you for your service if you are) and giving away more than I ever imagined I could, I am experiencing resistance and confusion.

First let me explain why I am packing. We are downsizing even further than we did last year in order to have a tiny home-base and buy a motor home to travel. We are blessed to have friends and family all over the country; we both love a good road trip, so I should be thrilled, right?

And yet I am plagued by the question, “Who am I without all my stuff?”

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