Simply Getting By

Simplifying my life & taking back control of my choices, possessions, lifestyle, and nourishment in order to salvage my finances, the environment, and my sanity.

Found the Perfect Home! February 7, 2009

Filed under: change,homestead — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 4:04 am

The hubby and I looked at a house and land on Wednesday that is only 5 miles from where we are living now. It will need some work [new tin roofing in a couple areas & possibly replacing part of the roof structure because of previous water damage], but it is exactly what we both want. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, and I wish I had taken more pictures [these are from the real estate site], but we both fell in love with the place.

Now, all we have to do is figure out something on financing. The loan officer said she’d already had trouble financing it for someone else, because of the roof, but that may be a blessing because it will buy us some time while the hubby waits to hear back on some of the jobs he’s applied for.

The house itself is older, with low ceilings, but that will make it easier to heat. It has the old crystal doorknobs with holes for a skeleton key on the inside doors, which remind me of my great-aunts house. It also has an old door with stained glass details going out to the back porch, which is enclosed like a sunroom, and 3 tilt-in windows over the kitchen sink, to let in light and air. The main bedroom is pine paneled, and the bathroom is absolutely gorgeous, with a brick floor, pedestal sink, and clawfoot tub with modern fixtures.

I wish I’d thought to take some pictures of the land, but I’ll remember the camera if we end up going back [we may take my father-in-law to see it – he offered to help us with the down payment if it needs to be more, and to help us out as we get things set up]. It sits on 9.3 acres, with a large fenced pasture to the right, attached to a small barn with 3 stalls, 2 levels of storage, and a tack room. there is also a small pasture with a low fence in front of the barn that may be good for goats, and a rabbit hutch out front. There is a huge backyard with room for a very big garden and a small pond with a dock off to the right. In front of the house, there is a big garage with an enclose block room in the middle, a workshop with shelves and benches on the left [approx the size of a 1 car garage], and an open 1 car garage on the right. There is a chicken coop built on the back side of the garage, facing the house, and convenient to door nearest the kitchen.

There is also a hill up from the house, beside the driveway, and sort of across from the barn. It has a big blocked off area for a compost heap, 2 fire rings, 2 smaller woodsheds, and a 3-hole outhouse. It’d be a great place to invite people to cookout and camp during the months with good weather, or to set up a camper or small kit cabin as a sort of guest house. I also like that is on the very end of the road, with its own gate, so we won’t have to worry about a lot of traffic or people passing through and messing with things.

I am not sure how all of this will work out, but I know that if we are meant to live there, then we will find the means and they way to get it and to fix it up somehow. In the meantime all good thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, or whatever anyone can send our way are much appreciated. My husband has totally got his heart set on this house [to the point of saying he’d stay even if he gets the Charlotte job – a 70 mile drive], and I do too. I’m trying not to get too set on it until I hear something back, but I see so much potential in this property and in the things we could do there.


Planning & Uncertainty January 26, 2009

Filed under: change — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 1:45 am

My husband has had 2 job interviews recently, both about an hour from the house, in different directions. He’ll probably have another interview in the Charlotte area next week. Either way is too far for him to drive, so he’s decided that we’ll move somewhere closer to where he works.

I did get my promotion, and a slight raise, on my job, so we’ve talked about buying a house about halfway between the two cities. This would mean about a 30-45 minute drive for both of us, but it’s not much further than our last commutes [I drive about 50 minutes, and his was around 30 minutes]. If I could transfer closer to Charlotte, then we may do that, because it would put my closer to the city and I may be able to do school there. I have no idea how I’d afford it, but there is a Johnson & Wales campus in Charlotte, which would look much better on a resume than a community college culinary degree. There’s also at least one internship offered in the general area.

Right now, we’re just waiting, and trying to plan ahead. I have found a few affordable homes in the area, some with a decent amount of land. Most will need some work, but they are houses and not trailers, so they will gain value over time as we are able to fix it up. Selling our current home may be a problem, because we are “upside down” on our mortgage, but I’m sure things will work out if they’re meant to be. I have thought it would be nice to live closer to a city, but still in a rural area, and this may give us a chance to see what it is like. I just didn’t plan on it having so many things on my plate in the process.


Changes January 21, 2009

Filed under: career,change,fitness,Uncategorized — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 3:28 am

There have been a lot of changes in my life in the past few months, and I haven’t had much time to blog. I’d debated whether or not to keep updating, because I know that doing so would probably mean some changes in the content and overall tone of things.

I’ll try to keep things more honest, rather than holding back as I tend to do. I try to keep a positive attitude not not to make posts that will drag people down, but that means I tend to censor myself and not to write about emotional turmoil or issues that are bothering me. I don’t mean that I’m going to start blogging all bad moods and depressing news from here on out, just that I’m going to try to be more real and share both the highs and lows of life, and probably a few more personal opinions as well.

As far as the life changes, they’re mostly in the career field:
My husband lost his job at the beginning of November – they day after the election. He’d worked there one year and one month, after being laid off from his previous job of 13 years due to the plant shutting down. He works in the furniture industry, which has been in steady decline for years, and is looking for a new job, but not having a lot of luck.
Two weeks after he was laid off, the real estate office I was working at announced that they were closing their doors, with very little notice. I am keeping my license active as a referral agent for another office in our company, but am no longer actively engaged in the real estate business. I don’t know if I will try to go back into it when the economy picks back up or not – I liked parts of it, but am not sure how well I’d like it as a career.
I have re-discovered my passion for cooking, and my husband is encouraging me to go to culinary school. I realize it’s a little crazy for my to consider a career in that field [long hours, low pay, probably having to move, and at least several years before I could look for any sort of advancement], but I feel like I’d be happier cooking than I am at the prison or doing office work. I guess the only way I’ll know for sure is to do it.

As far as some of my other goals, I got pretty far off track on everything during all of the changes and turmoil this winter. I pulled my chest wall while running towards the end of August, took some time off to heal, and never got back on track with the exercise program. I gained the weight back, plus some, and let the house get pretty rough again too. I did get some nice kitchen things for Christmas, which inspired me to clean it pretty well, but the rest of the house is in need of serious work. Same for the finances – I had a budget and was starting to pay down the debts when Billy lost his job; now we’re just trying to make ends meet until he gets another one. I’m sure this is just one of those cycles in life, and I already feel like I’m getting back on track but, in many ways, I’m back to where I started.


Still Here :) September 18, 2008

Filed under: change,homemaking — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 11:11 pm

Just a quick post to let everyone know I haven’t disappeared.

The state is in the process of paving our road, and they keep cutting or phone line in to, so I just got internet access back after being without since Monday.

I’ll do a longer “catch-up” post over the weekend, when I have more time.

This past weekend was really nice. Billy [my husband] knew that I was planning on doing a lot of cleaning and decluttering, so he helped me out a lot. We planned the day so we had breaks every hour, and quit working early enough in the evening to have some time together to just relax and talk. I was surprised how much we got done, including sorting and inventorying our emergency pantry, so I can plan the next few weeks’ meals on using up some older food and replacing it with fresh.

It’s amazing how much simpler the control journal makes things, because I know what I have to do and have things prioritized somewhat. I also made a control journal for my job, and even in using it the past few days, have been a lot more productive, because I know what I need to do and check off, before I get sidetracked on other projects. Still a long way to go, but I’m well on my way to running my life instead of letting it run me.