Thursday, August 29, 2013

Preparing for A BIG Move - Part 1 of 3

My Hubs and I are getting very excited about our upcoming move to Honolulu, Hawaii. However, it doesn't come without some stresses and a lot of hard work, too!

Our house is for sale and this means we've already done a lot of de-cluttering, donating and dumping, not to mention selling items on craigslist.com.  But, there is still a lot to do!

Because it's very expensive to ship household goods to Hawaii, we have been going through our house with a magnifying glass...that is to say, we are evaluating everything: does it get shipped, stored, donated, sold  or given away to our grown kids, or other family members?

Here is my advice to anyone faced with a big move, whether it's across town or across an ocean:

- Walk through your home and make a list of each major item or group of items in every room.  As you sell, give, or donate something, mark it off the list. (I made an Excel spreadsheet) See below:






SORTING

- Ask yourself if you LOVE it, if it has monetary or sentimental value, if you can do without it, or easily replace it.  In our case, Great-great Grandma's rocking chair is not only an antique, but it has a great family history behind it, and it is going to now live at our youngest daughter's home, along with a couple of other items that tie into the chair's history and sentiment.
- On the other hand, my new desk and chair are going with us to Hawaii; and the brown recliner has already been sold since we were ready for a change anyway!

PURGING

- You might have to be ruthless with yourself. My Hubs is a pack-rat when it comes to tools, lawn & garden equipment, etc. however, we probably won't have a need for most of it on Oahu. We will take some basic household tools, and of course his professional tools that Hubs will need for his job. The rest is being given away or stored.  I am donating four 30-year-old powered hand tools to the local thrift shop.
- I admit it: I hoard craft items. I literally tore through my craft room and donated several large tubs full of ribbons, paints, fabric scraps and miscellaneous stuff to a local church's thrift store.  I mailed a few Cricut and scrapbooking items to our daughter in Colorado, who will actually USE them.
- Trash: I realize that some things are just not in good enough shape even to donate. We have hauled FOUR pickup loads of junk to the dump. Don't put a burden on someone who will have to repair or mend broken items or clothing (or worse, haul it to the dump). Free yourself up, and dump it!
- Giving things away can unburden you during this process, however PLEASE make sure that the person you want to give to actually WANTS the items.  If it's important to you, but not to them, it might be best to put the item into storage, or sell it and make some money for your move.

STORING

- Storing Items in Short-or-Long Term storage can be a solution for things you just can't take with you, but you want to have at a later date.  In our case, we expect to be in Hawaii for a couple of years, but probably not forever, so it makes sense for us to rent a storage unit for some of our precious, irreplaceable items like our Grandfather Clock from our last Air Force tour in Germany, our German hand-blown Christmas ornaments, and our Polish Pottery collection.  Also, heavy items that we want to keep, but would be far too expensive to ship like our large oak bed.
- Trying to visualize what your next "abode" will be like is helpful when deciding what furniture, etc. to take with you.  We expect our living space to go from a 4 bedroom, 1824 square-foot home to an 800 to 1000 square-foot, 2 bedroom apartment or condo.  This gave us the insight to say to ourselves: "What can we live without for the next couple of years?"

SELLING



- Selling large appliances, like our washer & dryer set and our refrigerator, will keep us from storing items that might become dry and brittle by having them in storage for a few years. Seals and hoses dry out when not in use.
- Set up a savings account to purchase furniture and appliances once you get a new place to live.  For us, we are selling items on craigslist and putting the money into an account earmarked "A Home In Hawaii".

Next time, I'll let you in on a few secrets from this former Air Force Wife about packing items for moving or storage, and also Staging Your Home for Sale.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Reader's Favorite Posts


Here in North Idaho, we are enjoying a rare extended Summer with temperatures still reaching into the 80's and even 90's! With these gorgeous days, and our upcoming move to Hawaii, I decided to re-share a couple of favorite recipes with you that are my most popular posts. Enjoy!
Refreshing Watermelon Drink
1 "personal-size" seedless watermelon
1 empty plastic pitcher with a lid (at least 40 oz.) 
1 32 oz. empty bottle (a clean Gatorade bottle works perfectly)
ice & water
Splenda or Truvia sweetener

Cut the watermelon up into chunks, discard the green rind. 
Put about 1/2 of the chunks into a blender and "liquefy" it for a few seconds.
Go ahead and add the rest of the chunks and "liquefy" it again.
Pour the pureed liquid into the pitcher.

Add ice to the empty Gatorade bottle, almost to the top.
Add cold water to that, about 3/4 full.
Add about 1/2 cup of the watermelon liquid, put the cap on and shake it up.
Sweeten to taste with your favorite no-calorie sweetener. Enjoy the refreshment!

   Hawaiian Wedding Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
2-1/4 cups skim milk
4 egg whites
1 whole egg
8 oz Fat Free cream cheese, softened
1 box (4 serving size) Fat Free, Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in pineapple juice, drained
8 oz Cool Whip Free

Heat oven to 350° F. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray, like Pam.

In a mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, 1-1/4 cups skim milk, egg whites and whole egg on low speed until moistened. Beat on high for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until cake tester or toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool cake, in pan, on wire rack.

In another mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 cup skim milk. Gradually add in pudding mix; beat well.
Spread over cooled cake.  Spoon drained pineapple over the pudding mixture.
Cut into 12 pieces. Top each piece with a dollop of Cool Whip.  Store in refrigerator.

When I was first given the higher calorie version of this cake, it was called "Better Than Sex Cake".  I lowered the fat and calories, and named it after my favorite place, Hawaii.




Friday, August 16, 2013

Selling Our House in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho

Today the Realtor and her photographer came for the photo shoot of the house!  It's becoming REAL now! We are really going to move to Hawaii!  What a dream come true!

(And yes, I realize that's a lot of exclamation marks up there...)

Here are some of the photos of the house, to let you see what the past month of frantic activity around here has been like: finishing the kitchen cabinets; sorting, packing, organizing and cleaning; not to mention the yard work that Hubs and I hurried to finish before listing the house.
Front of the house (I blocked out the house number)
Great room with hardwood floors
and tons of natural light!
Kitchen and Eat-In Dining Area
Downstairs Master Bedroom (aka: Family Room)
Downstairs Bathroom with Laundry
Views of the Backyard
This morning, as we readied for the photographer, I took a bottle of anointing oil and prayed over the house, touching all the doorframes inside and out, and praying in each room.  I asked the Lord to bless another family with this house, and to fill it with love and happy memories. Just as we have had here.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hawaii Here We Come!

As thrilled as I am to have our kitchen cabinets completed, I am very excited about My Hubs new job...in Hawaii!  He has accepted a position that will have him working at the Honolulu International Airport.  I am so proud of him!  He graduated college with honors (3.7 GPA; not bad for a 50 year old!) and immediately began looking for work in the Aircraft Maintenance field.  He applied in lots of different places, and the "winner" was the job in Oahu.

Now, as everyone expects, it will be wonderful living in "paradise". We actually had the opportunity to live there for 5 months back in early 2010, when he was retiring from the Air Force. We lived with our youngest daughter, and kept her company while her husband was deployed to Iraq for a year.

Some things we already know about Oahu:
1. It's VERY expensive to live there.  Rent on an apartment or small house will be a minimum of $1500.00 a month, plus utilities.
2. There are several different military bases around the island where we can shop, etc. using our military benefits, and that will help us save a little money on many things.  We have already shopped at several of these bases.
3. The island is only 44 miles long and 30 miles across. It has 227 miles of shoreline!
4. The island is home to about 953,207 permanent residents, as of 2010.
5. One of our favorite places in the world is there: Bellows Air Force Station (military resort). **See below**

We stayed at Bellows back in December for 4 wonderful (but stormy) days. The weather was the worst we'd ever seen in our trips to Hawaii...and you know what we did? We would go out as soon as the rain stopped, and jumped into the ocean or strolled along the beach.  It was fantastic!

6. The first year will be the "honeymoon" phase of living in Hawaii. After that, you've seen and done a lot of the tourist-y things, and you've probably found your favorite beaches, and you know where where the locals shop, eat, etc.  You are considered "Kamaʻāina (pronounced ka-ma-EYE-na) the Hawaiian language word for a resident of the Hawaiian Islands."
7. We will miss our family even more.  The Hubs and I have already promised ourselves that we will try and take a trip back to the mainland once a year to visit our kids and grand kids.


Right now, we are involved in the process of sorting out everything we own; purging what we don't need or want (and donating it to a local thrift shop); figuring out what to sell on craigslist, put into storage, or ship to Hawaii.  This is a huge undertaking, and thankfully I've tried to be somewhat organized over the years to help us in this process.

Prayers are greatly appreciated as we take another journey in this life that Father God has blessed us with!