Saturday, February 16, 2013

A year later, still livin and lovin in Kentucky

So I haven’t written in AGES.  The facebook status update trend has acquired me as well as anyone and allows the most minimal connection with the many people dear to me in life.  I don’t know when that got to be normal for everyone, but it has.  In Morocco this blog supported me as an outlet many cold and lonely nights when I couldn’t just pick up the phone and plan a meet up.  Thankfully, friends are bountiful here and we’ve been making an effort to use this “city” habit called “the weekend” to actually hang out, chill and enjoy good people, good food and good brews.  Thanks to Josh those lonely nights are far gone, but I do still have the desire for some connection to you, dear neglected readers; one that’s a better supplement for real life at a time when I’m far from so many.
So how to update?  There’s no point updating everyone on life since my last post; unless you’re new to me you’ll have a decent enough idea.  Right now I’m living and continuously loving life in Louisville, and planning to stay for the foreseeable future.  It’s so crazy to think of where Josh and I were at this time last year, or the year before, or the year before that . . . how our plans seem to have changed so drastically, and yet, they haven’t.  How we went from the country to the city, from temporary digs with long term rural homesteading dreams, to deciding to buy a house in the city!  While Josh had entertained the idea of house-flipping for some time, I was pretty adamantly against it until only recently.  For so long I have wanted to put down roots, but only if it was where I intended to live forever.  But I could not escape two very simple realities, a) we weren’t able to even do the bare minimum of what is important to us in this apartment, i.e.; composting, small plot to grow on, etc b) houses are so cheap and interest rates are so low we realized we could be paying less in mortgage payments than our current rent, and toward some real equity.  Basically, it didn’t even make sense to rent anymore.  

And so began our rigid search.  What started out a seemingly improbable and undesirable idea to me soon became a mild obsession.  What have I been doing renting?!  What is the point of living in a future that we cannot yet have, when we can create that dream now?!  What is really important?  Work that I enjoy, a beautiful space, living and working with Josh, eating good food, not commuting, experimenting, yada, yada.  We were looking for super simple and small, a fixer upper with a decent yard we could beautify and turn around and sell when we’re ready to move back to the country.  We snuck around a few places, and then we went with a realtor.  We fell in love with the first house we “officially” looked at.  Which is totally not fair.  A quaint and sweet house, on a flippin ACRE.  Two miles from Josh’s school.  We really loved it but took the advice of many and looked at at least ten others.  We also tried to knock the idea out because an acre would be awesome, yes, but not without the help of animals.  We’d known for awhile the Louisville ordinances on chickens agreed with us, four hens and one rooster, we figured anything more would be just wishful thinking.  Then, one of my many long days of internet searching jobs and houses I decided to go all out and do proper research.  I looked up the animal ordinances and, if I was understanding them properly. . . well I called the office to be clear and yes, pigs are allowed in Jefferson County, all you need is at least a half acre, a swine permit, and of course adequate shelter, food, etc.  Seriously?  I called Animal Control for a second opinion and yes, we could in fact have pigs.  It was a very long few hours till Josh got home and I nearly tackled him with excitement.  That basically sold us on the place.  Once the possibility of pigs became real it was hard to turn back to the idea of a modest yard and a couple chickens.  Our temporary project house was quickly becoming an urban homestead. 

Our new realtor, a delight by the way, and a whole other adventure to explain, did wonderful work taking us to a number of places we had picked out according to our original idea of a home to buy.  But we exchanged looks and each house just made the first look better and better.  After only a few minutes at the place she knew it was what we wanted, and soon the process began.  I won’t get into all that here, but if you are thinking of buying in Louisville I have plenty advice to offer, for we really got a quick education in how the real estate business goes-nutty.  As of now our offer is accepted, we’ve had the inspection and are under contract for the place.  The financing of a house in need of seriously modest repairs is proving to be irritatingly slow and irrational, but we’re confident we’ll be under a new roof soonish. 

Amid the house hunting frenzy, I was on a mad job search and went on a multitude of interviews, at wildly different locations and in the end have two wonderful jobs.  One is on call at a very fancy hotel that pays very fancy money, but the work is sporadic. My regular job is at a wonderful therapeutic massage clinic; the pay is not amazing but the atmosphere and the mentorship is amazing and makes up the difference in pay by far.  It was the only place I interviewed that offered only massage, and therefore massage is a primary, and clients expect healing, not an extra station to sit and beautify.  There is an important role for massage to play in many of those other types of businesses, but they were certainly not for me.  This place felt a lot like LHAA, and a lot is expected of me, which makes me a better massage therapist, and more confident about the professions direction.  My personal confidence remains my biggest hurdle, but not one I can’t jump, and I am getting wonderful support and feedback constantly.  And like any new skill, the moments of real change, appreciation from a client, visible and palpable decrease in tension, actually recognizing a release, make each day count. 

Maybe I’m writing for the same reason I’m starting mushrooms; to get my mind off the house while I can’t do anything about it.  I’m salivating like a pig smelling a bucket of whey being carried over with this house now.  Our ideas are growing by the minute and every project is amassing excitement.  Of course every moment closer to spring sets us further and further away from our own food again, but as Josh reminds me, we still have the rest of our lives.  My mind, particularly as I’m trying to fall asleep, isn’t as cooperative.  The ideas swirl like a confined animal and cannot grow without experiencing the first steps, and of course, missteps, before becoming great.  So I’m focusing real hard on what I can do-right now.  Work, cook, clean, and get some indoor projects started.  Vermicomposting and mushroom cultivating for starters.