Downsized and Happy!


The title says it all!  It has been a heck of a ride but we did it!  Now we are beginning to enjoy our new home.  Phone photos are the best way to show our summer. 

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June 8th, 2015, this is the depressing reality of our new outdoor space.

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First splash of primer on the old kitchen walls.

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The kitchen/living room wall comes down.

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Bedroom floor after carpet is removed.

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 Ceiling braced before header beam installed.

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The beam is up…loving the open space!

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Meanwhile, back at the old home, piles of unwanted stuff start accumulating. Our criteria for keeping something:

1. Do we love it?       2. Is it necessary?

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Our first look at the new floors. Wow!

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David removing hinges.

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Rockers relocated from old porch to new porch.

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The painting begins!

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And ends.

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The Escape finds new parking.

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  Our furniture arrives.    Bellhops move us.

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The new fridge arrives….now we can eat!

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Princess moves with us…still looking for her new home.  Sheba, the Siamese, finds perfect loving new owners. Sylvester, the camping cat, adjusts to his new smaller space.

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Small improvement to back yard.

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Woods behind the house.

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Our daily walk.

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David enjoying our first outdoor meal. (Two days ago)

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Before photo…spot for our storage building.

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And now.  It is being built as I type this post.

We will resume camping soon!  Heading to Knoxville next week to get the Andersen WDH and hope to camp a few days before returning home. Rally time will start the end of September!

My goal for this post is to document our summer and to give hope and inspiration to those who are continuing to downsize.  We are living in 3 rooms plus a bath and utility room, less than 975 square feet, and I have never been happier!  There are absolutely NO REGRETS!

Yes, it has been a roller coaster of emotions…picking every object up and asking “do I love this?” But the rewards are huge! 

Good luck to all..go after those dreams!!


What a Difference!


What a difference 3 days made!  Three days after writing that last, kind of pitiful, post, we got an offer on our house!  One that we could accept.  And my sweet husband drove up to the duplex,  pulled a few nails from the wall, carted off more trash, spackled a bit and suddenly I am able to sleep through the night!

The place does not look that much different.  I am just choosing to see what it can be, rather than what it is! 

Last week some friends asked us to join them at Henry Horton, a state park in middle Tennessee.  It was time to try out our new-to-us trailer home.  The park is big…. boasts a golf course, restaurant, inn and cabins.  But it was so hot and muggy, we went into survival mode.  Spent more time inside with the A/C than we ever had and the hubby still managed to get two tick bites!

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We are working on getting a WDH.  Our buddies at the Townsend rally sang praises for the Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch with sway control.  Even those with full size pickups were using it with the 19’ Escape.  This is what we want, we think, but no one in our area sells it and the one RV dealer who was willing to get it from the manufacturer in Idaho told us he did not understand how it works….even after watching the video on You Tube.  Not sure if we want to spend $600 and not get it properly installed!!  Still trying to figure out what to do.

We have got a new transmission cooler on the Taco.  Our little truck pulled the trailer up the big mountain at Monteagle.  I just need to get accustomed to the engine noise in second gear and 3500 rpms!

Another challenge that we are facing, one we can barely discuss, is the issue of the cats….as in, too many cats!  Last week I finally made up flyers for the two older females, Sheba and Princess and began distributing them at local vet offices.  Several calls have come in but when I mention their ages, 11 and 13, the interest suddenly disappears.  (Please don’t try to shame us. If we had a motorhome, I could see us traveling with 3 felines, but the truck barely holds the two of us and Sylvester.)

After our short jaunt to middle Tennessee, we immediately got back on the road, minus the Escape, and headed for Louisville, KY, delivering a load of family antiques to one of the granddaughters.

That night we strolled across the Ohio River on an old railroad bridge.  Loved the views from the river.

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Louisville at night

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The Big 4 walking bridge with led color changing lights

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Ohio River

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We are one month and one day away from closing on the house, assuming we can get all the necessary repairs completed.  Hope to find a contractor to take out a wall in the duplex and get new flooring before we move in. 

Can’t believe we are starting the next phase of “the dream!”


Panic! Can We Do This?


Front yard

The renter moved this past weekend.  Decided to go take a peak at our future home and came away shell-shocked!   It’s not that it was left in a bad state.  It’s just the reality of what must be done.  It’s got me wondering if we have it left in us?

I know we can make it into a lovely place to live….a place to call home in between all our ramblings.  But are we too old and too tired to make it happen?  Would it just be easier to take the house off the market and enjoy the results of all the cleaning, updating and the beautiful blooming yard?

This is the back yard of our future home.

Back yard

This is our present backyard.

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And we will have three closets in our future place, of which, currently, one has no doors.

The move has felt so right until today.  After returning home, I found myself just sitting, dumbstruck, with the reality of what we are doing.  I look at all the popular tiny houses and say, of course we can move into 900 plus square feet.  But??  Can we handle doing it?  The actual move?

Painting must be done before we can put down new floors.  And a major redo from the driveway must be performed as there is mud everywhere.  Not sure what kind of professional is needed to fix the mud problem?

We can do it…just having a temporary breakdown today.

Need to get into the new trailer and Escape for a few days!

Speaking of the Escape.  We are working on finding the right weight distribution hitch and a tranny cooler and monitor for the Tacoma’s transmission temps.  Just about got everything else ready to go.

The house showings have dropped off this week.  None in the past 3 days.

The daylilies have started blooming….these aren’t current photos but the flowers look the same as a few years ago.

daylilies,ect June 2011-35



After rereading this post….thought I should explain for newcomers that we are downsizing from a medium size house to one side of a duplex that we own.

And back to using Windows Live Writer.


The new Escape and general ramblings

I promised photos...this is our new baby!  We are camped at Fontainebleau State Park in Louisiana convenient to the Walmart parking lot where the sale happens.  We spend two nights in Louisiana and one night at Gunter Hill COE in Alabama before we arrive back in Chattanooga.  

David manages to back the trailer 180 degrees down the driveway, around the house and into its tiny parking space.  Our previous 13 and 16 foot trailers were towed in and turned around.


And this is where our new toy has been for the last three weeks.
No plans to camp on the horizon as we are still in the middle of selling the house and downsizing.  

Each day presents new challenges, a new list of priorities, things that must be done yesterday....and it is getting old!
Much of our work has been manual labor, painting the deck, painting downstairs, cutting branches, small trees, scrubbing, washing, cleaning and cleaning.
Need to rant a moment..."All I do is work!!!"

But it will all be worth it some day...(maybe some year!)
This is mostly why there has been no recent posts and few comments.  Just too exhausted!

Also there needs to be some changes to the blog as there is no Casita in the driveway but this may take some time due to my computer ineptness.  The name did get changed and it is appropriate as our BIG goal is to spend our winters in the desert and our summers in the (cool) mountains and the shoulder seasons in our duplex on the side of the mountain.

The tenant will be moved out of our side of the duplex this weekend.  Good news...we will not be homeless if the house sells, bad news....another place to paint and do general rehab!

Closing with phone photos.  Seems like there's lots more to say but guess it can wait.


Left photo is of the mirror..little confusing...sorry.

The yard is blooming.

This time last year we were overwhelmed and not sure if we wanted to sell the house.  This year we are so ready for the perfect buyer to appear.  Someone who will love the flowers we are leaving behind.