Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Happening

Posted by: Lynne

Hey, life, look at me
I can see the reality
'Cause when you shook me, took me out of my world
I woke up
Suddenly I just woke up to the happening ~ The Supremes

 

Yikes. It's happening. It's really, truly all starting to happen. 

We found out last week that the buyers had qualified for their loan on the house. They also were asking how we felt about the closing date. Right now it's set for May 12th, but if they closed in April that would save a good amount in interest rates. We told them to go ahead and do what they needed to do to get the lower interest rate and we would figure it out. We proposed the idea of closing, then renting back from them for a month until we can be more certain of getting in to the cabin and Rick's jobs ends. We've not heard back so we are assuming that all is going as planned. Our buyers have been wondeful in working around our weather and time contraints. Very accomodating.

That's the other thing: Rick turned in his resignation letter to the company the other day. His final day is May 13th.

Like I said, it's happening.

On Friday we have two different estate sale companies sending out someone to look at all that we will be selling when we move. We've decided this is the quickest and easiest way to get rid of all the things we are not taking with us, which is a considerable amount of furtniture, some antiques, and things that just are not going to fit in with our lifestyle anymore. The cabin is already furnished, albeit in a "cabinesque" style, but it's things we like having around us. Some of it is flea market finds, while others American Furntiture Warehouse delivered.

We don't want to have to store a lot of furniture not knowing if and when we will be living somewhere other than the cabin. We've learned after many moves that furniture does not store well. And why drag it around with us like a tortoise with its shell? We are giving it a lot of thought and not just making snap decisions. Once in a while we will decide to move something to the "go with us pile" from the sell pile. Hopefully we won't have any regrets when it's all said and done.

Time seems to be flying by now.

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Christmas Greetings

Posted by: Rick

Cabin Christmas 2004

Things are pretty hectic for us right now. At least that is the excuse we will use for not doing personalized Christmas cards this year. 

So, this is our Christmas greeting to you! And, we do sincerely wish you the very Merriest of Christmases and a Great New Year

We hope you'll take the time to read this post on our "Off the Grid" blog site and catch up on all our news. And, maybe come back once-in-a-while to catch up on our adventures. Please leave a comment to let us know you visited.

2015 started off on a high note. We decided we had the desire and resources to retire from full-time work and move to the cabin in the summer. I announced my intentions at work and planned to do a formal retirement announcement once we had a contract on our house in NJ. We hired a realtor and put the house up for sale.

This kicked off a flurry of activity, both at the cabin and in NJ.

We visited the cabin in May/June. And, saw it through a different lens. We knew we'd need additional storage, new batteries for the "battery powered" cabin, additional solar panels to give us enough charge for full-time residency, etc. Follow the links for details.

The barn design we picked for additional storage.

The need to establish mail service was critical, and we began the steps necessary to set that up--an endeavor that is ongoing.

As summer approached, we were highly motivated to go through the house room-by-room. We sorted our stuff into piles: a trash pile, a donation pile, a keep pile, a sell pile and an undecided pile.

As summer passed by without any bites on the house, our motivation waned and now there are just piles. Still, we got a lot done and can probably finish up quickly when motivation returns.

I sold Mia. (Change is hard.)

Mia is gone to a new home

It was a good thing I did not give formal notice at work. Turns out, I'm going to get a full additional year in before we move!

The good news is that we do now have a contract on the house. And, the buyers are not in a hurry to close, which is a great thing since we'd never be able to move into the cabin in the winter. We are going through all the steps needed to finalize the sale, though. Contract negotiations, inspections, etc.

The year was not all about preparing to retire and move. We also had a couple of nice camping trips with Lady Bug. And, I got to knock-off a bucket list item--fly fishing on the Beaverkill river in New York.

Camping with our "Lady Bug" in the Catskills

Fishing the Beaverkill

Our current plans are to retire officially on 13 May (although, I've still not given formal notice at work). The house closing is set of 12 May, but that could change, of course. We'll use the two weeks prior that to move out of the house, have an estate sale, clean up the place, etc. We already have reserved a storage unit in Laramie for the items we won't be able to cram into the cabin.

No snow for us this Christmas, it is record warmth in the North East. Can't wait till next year when we will be cozy in the cabin with a fire in the fireplace, a modest tree with rustic decoration, maybe some friends over for egg nog or a new favorite "salted caramel with mezcal"! We wish everyone a very happy Christmas and an adventurous New Year!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mail Box Success!

Posted by: Rick

This post is a follow-up to Return to Sender Part 1 and Return to Sender Part 2.

Yesterday, I got a call from David. He had recently checked our mail box at the Wooden Shoe Ranch, and sure enough, my test mailing was there! This means we have, for now, established a way to send us US Postal Mail at the cabin. Okay, it goes to a Wyoming zip code, so there are plenty of remaining problems to solve in the future, but at least we now have an address we can forward mail to. 

David said it was also crammed full of junk mail. There are ways to turn that off at the post office, but junk mail can also make good paper for starting fires, so we keep it coming!

Monday, November 09, 2015

Return to Sender Part 2

Posted by: Rick

This is a follow-up to my earlier post called "Return to Sender" (read the whole thing including the comments to get the story, so far). At the end of that post I mention that a neighbor was going to purchase and install a mail box at the Wooden Shoe Ranch along Sand Creek Road in Wyoming. This is where all our neighbors have planted mail boxes and then use their Sand Creek Park street address to get mail. 

The mail box got installed a while back. I sent a package to David, our neighbor, that contained a letter addressed to the Laramie, Wyoming post master. David placed this letter in our new mailbox and lifted the red flag to indicate outgoing mail. Sure enough, the next day that letter was picked up for delivery to the post master. In that letter I informed the post master that we'd like to use a specific address to get mail delivered to the mail box. We used the same addressing scheme as others do, even noting paranthetically that the physical address is in Sand Creek Park in Colorado.

According to David, we started getting junk mail immediately.

After a couple of weeks, we sent a test letter to ourselves at this proposed address. Since David is checking our mailbox, I told him to look for it and to open it if it arrived -- it had a nice personal message inside actually meant for him and his wife.

It was returned to us, unopened, yesterday.

Bummer.

So, I've sent a new package to David with a new letter to the post master so we can try again. This whole address issue is turning out to be as complicated as everyone said it would be!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

We Have a Contract on the House

Posted by: Rick

We are pretty excited! We now have a signed contract for the purchase of our house in NJ.

There is good news and potentially "bad" news in this. The good is that we have a buyer who wants our house. More good news is that they have to sell their house first. This is good because, at this point in time, it is way too late to do an actual move to the cabin. We are not sufficiently prepared to winter there. We need more storage, wood for the fire, a washer, second fridge, etc. Plus, I've committed to continue working through mid-May 2016. So, them needing to sell first will buy us some time.

The bad news is that we may have no place to live if they sell their house quickly and want to close on ours and get moving. But, we'll take that chance and work through it if it happens because "a bird in the hand...." and all that.

Now, we are re-motivated to get back to work sorting and organizing around the house. We need to figure out a way to move when the time does come. (We did put a deposit on a climate-controlled 10x20 storage unit in Laramie recently, so we have that as a repository for all our stuff.) We are thinking of having a POD delivered to the house and each weekend move more stuff into it. Does anyone have experience with that type of move?

Lots to think about and do!

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