Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Again, with the planning.

Planning is always at the heart of every great endeavor. I love this stage. It's exciting and thrilling and all possibilities are open and without constraints. Your imagination is the only limitation.

So it sounds a bit contradictory to list and organise every tiny detail into a closed schedule, that would seemingly impose constraints.

But just because you plan, does not mean you can't be creative and think big.

Even an artist plans.

Planning is how I cope with the stress that will inevitably come with such a large project.  Planning is the thing that gives you a long list of delicious check-boxes to tick.

So, what am I planning you ask?

Two weeks ago, I would have replied that I was planning our move to live at WG. Planning to pack up the current house, get it ready to rent out, find a good agent and then tenants. I would say I was planning how we will fit all the furniture in the new house, how we will manage the dogs, chooks, cars, gardens at WG. How to resettle Mr K's mum and pack all her things and store them.

Today, I have all this to plan and one tiny detail more.

The 'one day' extensions to WG house, the ones we thought we would wait until we had lived there a few years and get a feel for the house and how we live in it, have just suddenly and surprisingly time traveled back in a giant leap into the present.

How did this all happen? It started innocently enough. Mr K had some reservations about the move to WG, not that he didn't want it to happen, but rather he needed a few 'essentials' done before it seemed to him that we were moving forward instead of backward. The house at WG is pretty basic. It's a three bedroom, 1960's farmhouse. It has been very nicely done up in places, like polished jarrah floorboards, and lovely wooden window and door frames. However, other things are just very basic, like the shower is just a painted cubicle, the bedrooms are pretty tiny, there are no WIR at all and one basic linen cupboard. All things I can merrily live with, but Mr K is giving up a very big and suburban house to go-a-farming with me.

The kitchen was renovated 10 years ago, and will be ok as it is, for a while anyway!

All of which was fine, he was happy to move, until it came to his Precious. A pot-holed, gravel driveway and no carport or garage is no way to treat a pedigree Jaguar. To have her constantly covered in red dirt and live outside in the elements is too much to bear for this highly bred beast. Mr K said the compromise was to bitumise the driveway and build a carport, both things I was in agreeance with as I secretly didn't like the idea of my lovely new white car getting the same treatment.

The gravel driveway and nowhere to house a pedigree.

The problem was, where to build the carport so that it fitted in with future plans for extensions. Also, where to stop the driveway so that it didn't have to be dug up at a later time when we had finalised the plans. Solution? Get an architect to draw up some concept plans for an extension now, so we know exactly where the carport and driveway will go.

So that's what we did. Which if course was where the whole train derailed and ran away with us. Mr K and I have always had in our hearts and minds a 'one day' ideal house. We agree almost 99% of what this looks like. And WG was blossoming as a building site to build this dream home. It had all the elements. So when Mr Architect arrived to view the location, and his face lit up and he started getting all animated and sketching things on his pad ... well we too let go of all constraints and got excited, silently both making the decision to plan and build now, not two years from now.

We justified it to each other on the way home. It will be much better to build now than to be living on a building site. It will be cheaper to do all the land clearing at once, so while we need to do groundwork for a carport, we may as well do it for the building site. We need to match the building materials for the carport and the extensions. If we are borrowing to do the driveway and carport, we may as well borrow it all in one lump sum for the building too (we really were making excuses now).

Main bedroom. Love the floors and light, but no cupboards at all.

By the time we got home, we had convinced each other that this was a no-brainer and we were now in fact going to build the new extensions now.

Jodie, get out your notebook and start making lists. We have planning to do!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good Things come to those who wait ... and wait ... and wait ...

The title of this blog is Journey to Contentment. It started in April 2010, the same year that we bought our dream property. It was New Years Day 2010 that Mr K and I first saw it. We had been looking for a property just like it for years and we both knew we would know it when we saw it. Many a weekend was spent with a weekend real estate paper and long drives and animated plans. We traveled from Toodyay to Wandering and everywhere in between, finding little gems and letting our imaginations run wild. We came close a few times, but each opportunity had more minus's than plus's.

The Real Estate Agents picture - this is what we saw that special day.

On our way to a friends for a New Years Day BBQ 2010, we took a detour to just 'check out the area'. We both saw this house, set right back on a few acres of grass, a farmhouse nestled in trees with wide verandas and everything we both always loved. As we drove along the road frontage we excitedly said to each other that this was exactly the type of house we wanted. At the very edge of the land, near the driveway I saw this sign out of the corner of my eye

"Stop" I yelled ... It said 'For Sale'.

We discounted it. Sadly but resignedly, this area was WAY out of our price range. On the way to our friends, we dreamed and let our imaginations run wild that one day we would buy some land and build that type of house on it. We felt happy to have just seen a perfect example of what we could achieve one day. It was great Mr K and I felt the same way and had the same vision. This was enough. Of course, this didn't stop me having a little fantasy, somehow finding the money and imagining myself living there. Fantasy is what I lived on.

Closest picture I can find that represents what was in my head. Even this doesn't compare to my special place now!

At the BBQ, Mr K and I were still enamored by the vision, so of course we mentioned it to our hosts, one of which was in real estate. She said, why don't you phone up the agents and see what they are asking for it. My stomach turned over at this comment - excitement that we would ever entertain this step and dread that my fantasy would be extinguished by confirmation this was out of our league. Its the same reasoning I give when I have lotto tickets which I never check - I don't want to confirm the end of the fantasy by finding out for sure its not a winner.

But we did make that phone call, and I watched Mr K's face closely for a clue. He had his poker face on, so when he got off the phone and gave a listing price that was a lot less than I had ever hoped, I was like a eight year old just told I was going to the Royal Show with $5 pocket money! Our real estate host friend, in true fashion, then fueled and facilitated the fantasy and the rest of this story has a happy ending which I have written about before. It was also the birth of this blog.

Links to a smattering of Wattle Grove posts :

Today I can say that the waiting, at least, has an end date! 

That strange marker of all things new, Christmas* 2014, is the date we have given ourselves to have moved in by. This property has a special place, a little magic corner that everyone who goes there says the same thing ... "this would be a great place to have long, leisurely lunches."

Time for plans. And where better to share them than this blog and all the wonderful readers who have shared this journey.

Mr K and my Dad having 'lunch' by the stream after a hard days work on the stables.

strange for an atheist like me