Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Arizona Dreamin' and Schemin'

I can't say that it is because of the bitter cold weather we are having here in Ontario, the reason for my dreaming, I mean. We have had one of the nicest Novembers in the history of Novembers....at least in my memory. Some days were so warm I could actually slip my shoes off on my lunch time and bask (literally bask) in the sun!

November, you say?
Arizona sunset
Reading the posts from other bloggers who are full-timing has moved me so much this year that I just want to be "there". No matter where "there" is, just away from all this 'stuff'. Perhaps because it is so close yet still so far away. I crave warmth, outside heat, sunshine and truly believe it makes me better for all those things. When that sun hits my face full on, even for a brief few minutes, I relax, rejuvenate and regrow. (fast track to my blog picture)

When I read about others who are approaching the same goal(s) as we are, counting down to retirement, counting down to selling their home or like Phannie and Mae counting up the purging days, I'm with them every step of the way. I absorb the tips and experience the trials they are going through.

Today I submitted my letter of retirement from the school board just 2 mths and 13 days shy of 33 years of working here, at this same desk (kind of) in the same office!!!! (applause, please!!) Funny thing is, I don't feel any different. Even after receiving mail at my home address saying my resignation due to retirement was accepted. LOL
Dear Sir or Madam........I'm outta here!

Retirement IS my path after 33 years.

I know it is early, but when the date is chosen, in my case March 31/16, why wait? There will be three of us out of five in this department going within 4 mths of each other. We can't even imagine what will go on after we leave but trust capable people will fill our shoes. We can all be replaced. I'm sure our supervisor is frantic inside although very supportive to our faces.

Bill and I have also started the long process of purging. We do and we don't have a deadline. I mean, in our minds we would like to have things done and the house sold by the end of June......but we all know that is a goal that may or may not be met. Some of you have the great experience of putting your house on the market and having it sold within days, others had to wait longer. We are lucky that our Mobile Suite sits in the driveway and we can easily move things from our sticks and bricks home right into it by taking only 8 - 10 steps. And when the time comes, we will be happy to do so at a moment's notice.

Current Home Sweet Home beside our Future Home Sweet Home

We are going through the lasts, right now. The last time I rake the leaves, the last time I plant tulips, the last time we put Christmas lights up, the last time I'll use these good dishes, the last time for this patio set, the last Christmas dinner at our house etc etc.

With the house going on the market before spring officially begins, we have done what we can to keep the landscape looking good (as good as possible in this dreary time of year) so there are no surprises when the house is being shown and the snow melts. We will have to be quick on the ball when it comes to picking up Clemson's little snow poops.........we all know what a joy they are to find in the spring! He wouldn't appreciate a winter diaper so Ma and Pa have to step up to the plate from now until then!
Our living room in 2008

Funny how the above picture of our living room was a hint to our future and we didn't even know it!! Sadly this cactus has long since died.......now a blessing in disguise because we would have to find a home for it otherwise!

Inside we have done well with purging.  I won't go into too much detail about clohtes.....yet....I'm doing really good (am too!) and have written a post about a "clothing exchange" to aid in the process.  It semi-works.  I've always managed to just swap some things in and out of the closet although more does go out the door than what I keep.  That is progress, right?

Clothes are my thing.....I will always want different things......just the total amount I can keep will be the real change for me.  I spend so little on clothes, 90% of the time buying second hand, so when I tire of something, I can easily toss it in a bag for donation and not feel that I'm throwing money away. :)

Bill has also made great strides in his model airplane room and even greater strides in his tool collection. Each month we are managing to find buyers on either our work Swap Shop or Kijiji for things we boldly decide we no longer need.
Bill's Model room - this B17scale model is long gone for someone
else to finish
Bill's Model room/Tool bunker

 There is no greater pleasure than when we come across a household item, large or small, pose the question to the other one "what do you think? will we ever use this?" After an um and an ah....."Nope"......"Great! it's gone!"  We've all experienced those little triumphs.

When we started the process we made up a hand written spreadsheet (because I am still old fashioned and like holding a pen) with columns.

ROOM            ITEM              GIVE AWAY          SELL               DONATE           GARBAGE

We did that within months of our decision to full-time waayy back in October, 2013. I don't think it was because we were afraid we'd change our minds. Instead I believe it was the excitement at the thought of being able to just sell and walk.  Not much has changed in how we are activating the list, however, we are getting wiser as to what will actually sell and what the kids actually do want.

Preparing for Christmas this year was fun. I was anxious to put up our new little 3' tree that comes with its own pot. Easy peasy to take out of the box, put together, plug in led lights and decorate. Last year we packed up our 7' tree and immediately sold it.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
We love your downsized version!

A photo for our Christmas cards
Many non-sentimental ornaments were donated leaving just enough to adorn the little fella and keep my emotional self intact. I have a few others to put through the process.........sell first, then donate second. With a mortgage still hanging over our heads, every penny is counting right now for us and if it seems selfish or greedy to some of you,  the bottom line is that we are number one in this process.

After the season is over, I will be just as anxious to get 'er put away for the last time in this house. Then we just need to find the appropriate snuggle away spot in the Model Suite.

My Avon room, desk sold so using tables now
There is work to be done in this place too so after our Last Supper with the offspring (his and mine) and his parents on Dec. 12 I need to find the elbow grease. We will need to get to work. They aren't huge projects, none of it, but sometimes small things amount to a big pile of HUGE no matter how you look at it. A few paint touch ups, kitchen floor tile to be laid (er stuck) carpet shampooing, window ledges cleaned and more purging. At that point we can move on to the bigger items, bit by bit and give the kids the pieces they have laid claim to.
My 'used to be full' display cabinet
with only 'keepers' left

The plan is good and the practice will follow. We appreciate all the assistance we are getting from the rest of you. Your tips and hints are invaluable, whether we follow them all or just take a tidbit here and there, it is all appreciated.

Using lawn chairs in rec room
Bookshelves used to be FULL

Furnace/Tool aka collection Room
One day will the purging be done and I'll
find myself in this predicament?

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy........or not so busy days to read my jabber today.
Please drop a line if you are so inclined so I know you are out there!

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