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Category: Rural and small-town living

Life far from freeways, Starbucks, malls, and other benefits/distractions


You guys are making me nervous. No, not you guys who’ve wished me well on my upcoming move to the Northwest. Not you guys who’ve given much-appreciated advice on pellet stoves and wood stoves. Not you guys (this means you, Jake MacGregor) who’ve even offered unloading assistance, hammer swinging, or spare furniture. Not you who’ve commiserated about fatal rattlesnakes, near-fatal winds, and death-defying doggies. Not you who’ve offered tips on cool NW bookstores and other places to go. You … I thank you all. But you guys (and wimmins) — you know who you are — you who’ve warned me…


Things I’m looking forward to

Things I’m looking forward to in a house in a small town in the Northwest. Rooms. This will be the first time in 10 years I’ll be able to walk through a doorway and not end up outside (or in a bathroom). Room. Being able to move through my living space without bumping into things, knocking objects over, or having to leapfrog assorted dogs. Tap water that doesn’t destroy everything it touches. Filling a glass of water right from the spigot and being able to drink it (instead of hauling 55-gallon barrels of drinkable water from town and 5-gallon jugs…


From the “It’s a small world” department

Big thanks to everybody who posted their experiences and observations on pellet stoves. Good links, too. That was helpful & informative — and very nice to see so many new people commenting. Also thanks to everybody who congratulated me on the new house and wished me (and it) well. I almost had to post to say the well wishes were premature. Just when it looked as if things were going really great, I got the first roofing bid. … After the dogs administered some quick CPR, I took a deep breath and hoped the bid for my roof work had…


Tell me about pellet stoves

Erm .. I’m thinking we may have more than usual of very practical type posts in the next few weeks as I get ready to move to my new home. And yes, it’s looking more and more as if it will be my home. WhooHoo! The inspector came today, and what a pro. He poked and prodded the place for 3-1/2 hours, and while I probably won’t have his report until tomorrow, my friend Leslie (she who found the place) stayed with him the entire time and gave me updates by phone. I think I’m starting to owe Leslie more…


First Friday comment forum (giving it a try, anyhow)

Things are moving along like crazy on my new house! Contracts are signed. The home inspector is lined up for Monday. Roofers should be trooping by and giving estimates any day now. By Tuesday I expect to know whether it’s a go. In any case, I’ll be packing and very shortly heading off on a cross-country trip. The very same Leslie who found the house and is handling most of the chaos also found me a Plan B — a super dog-friendly rental I can take if the sale falls through. So no matter what happens, I’m out of here…


House, sweet house?

Could it be? After 2-1/2 maddening months of trying to make a deal on a house, could I possibly have one??? Wednesday night, my friend Leslie called. She’d spotted a real estate ad: 3 bedrooms, sun porch, privacy plantings, all appliances (including fridge, washer, and dryer — very unusual) — bargain priced and with owner financing. The latter is a huge deal for me. It’s either that or straight cash. And limited cash has caused my house-bidding frustrations. By Friday afternoon, before my offer was even typed, the seller had verbally accepted the terms. I’ve never laid eyes on the…



Let me tell you about the people in this high desert gulch — and the people connected to it, though they may be far away. Neighbor M. needed the footer space dug for some retaining walls. Though M. is a tireless worker, this was clearly a job for a backhoe, not muscles. Neighbor Joel also needed backhoe work for the septic system on his Secret Lair. Without a word to Joel, M. arranged to have both jobs done at his own expense last Saturday. The work was done by our neighbor L. If you read Joel’s blog, you’ve heard about…