Never Say Never

So, in my last few posts, I implied that we were through with home ownership.  We no longer wanted to own a home and all the upkeep. Renters for life! Oh, the freedom!! Do you see where this is going? It turns out when the Universe and powers that be hear the word “ never” they take that as a challenge. “Oh really?” they say. “Things are about to get very interesting.”

And so it began, in my mother’s driveway, after picking up our fluff monster after a weekend away, we began talking about houses. It was casual at first. We just did a quick little search after bemoaning what we were paying in rent. We began looking early to mid April. Then, I was obsessively checking Zillow and Redfin, sometimes hourly. The area we were searching was pretty hot or at least in our desired size and price range.  I wanted smaller.  He wanted newer or at least updated a bit more than our last home.  The boy wanted hardwood floors and a yard- any yard, any size.  We looked at quite a few (for us, anyhow.) It wasn’t fun.  Some of the houses were seriously overpriced for their size and condition.   We felt that we were going to have to settle for something we didn’t love, but didn’t loathe.

After about a month of searching, we went to look at one house.  It was liveable, but high enough that any updating would have been hard and slow.  We were even planning on placing an offer on it until we went into the basement and really looked.  At that point, I just wanted it to be finished.  I was tired of looking.  We decided to wait a bit longer.  We had several months on our lease, so it wasn’t dire, but it was still a disappointment.  A few days later we went to look at a house on a whim that didn’t have interior photos even posted.  It was with the understanding that we probably wouldn’t even like it, but we were committed to looking at pretty much everything in our price/ size range.  Surprisingly, we really liked it. It checked off many of our really want boxes (small, no carpet, some updates, price.) After we left, we called the agent back within 5 minutes to place an offer.

So, that brings us to this: we are homeowners again. We have a yard and appliances and plumbing to upkeep.  We also have ceilings not being stomped on by the people upstairs and a monthly payment that doesn’t make me itchy. This is our 3rd house to buy  and it is the smallest and the least expensive.  We are going down 625 square feet from house to house, so our next home will actually be a tiny home. I think this one just qualifies as “small.” I think it suits us well.  We have 860 square feet to make ours again. We have plans. There will be befores and afters and new memories. Here we go again.

Moving On

Hello and Happy 2018!  I'm sitting in our new place on a cold, snowy day.  The new place isn't where I thought it would be just a few months ago, but here I am.  We went to great lengths to arrange a big move to Manhattan.  And, even though we planned and researched and prepared, things didn't line up just right.  It was quite upsetting. Many tears were shed leading up to the decision. We sold our sweet little bungalow that we poured so much love and money and sweat into.  We sold and donated and put furniture on the curb.  We were ready to go.  And, it didn't work out. It is fairly difficult to get an apartment in Manhattan and we were prepared for that.  It didn't help that we are self-employed.  Or, that we have a dog.  Or, that we had a budget that is on lower end of rent prices there. We (except for maybe the dog) were all looking forward to our grand adventure and it was a let down when it didn't come to fruition. 

We decided to move back to Middle Tennessee and find an apartment in the Franklin area.  So, here I am blogging from a place that isn't much smaller than our little bungalow due to the weirdly huge bathrooms.  Yes, I am whining about having two large bathrooms.  I clean them and I have been cleaning a single, small bath for 3 years.  I think that the square footage would be nicer in the bedrooms or the living room, but hey, I'm not an architect of multi-unit dwellings.

Most days it is okay.  It's not terribly different from living in a new house.  Most days I can ignore all the stuff on the walls and ceilings assaulting my vision: fire alarms and smoke detectors and ceiling fans and big, grey fuse boxes.  I would be lying if I said I didn't miss all the things that I picked out for the bungalow.  I do, even though it is frivolous and shallow to miss pretty lights and white cabinets and original wood floors when we are warm and together and should I say happy?  Yes, I think I should.  I miss all those things and I grumble about decor stuff and the upstairs neighbor that may or may not be bowling, but we are content.  I never imagined moving back here, but I think it is the perfect landing place for now.

We are enjoying visiting our favorite old places and finding great new places.  When I first started driving around by myself , it was disorienting.  All the roads were in the same place. I knew where everything was, but it wasn't there. I felt like I had awoke from a very long sleep.  It's weird that it feels like home.  Or, it's close to feeling like home.  I don't think I realized I even missed it when I was in Maryville.

 We don't know if we will be in this apartment or even this area after our lease is up.  We are being open-minded, but also not thinking terribly hard about it.  It's cold.  We are cozy.  We are here.

Since we are here, I would love any suggestions/ recommendations for a few things.  We homeschool.  I would love to know about programs and groups to make some new friends and maybe learn some stuff too.  We have a furry little canine monster.  I need to find a good vet. I could also use a haircut soon.  I have Yelp and Google obviously, but I love a more personal approach.  Tell me what I've missed in three years.

Another italicized note, I am very seriously thinking about moving my blog to WordPress.  So, it may not be here next time you check it out (I'm assuming that people still read blogs? and possibly my little blog?) When/if that occurs, I am going to do my best to archive and forward the posts and it will be at  

Where in the World is Vintage Junky?!

 Hello September!!  Hello Readers!!  (crickets, crickets)
Yes, I realize it has been forever since I blogged here.  Yesterday, I sat at my husband's new desk (or the one he just started using in the house) and realized it was a super comfy spot.  So, I decided to snap some quick photos of our living room and blog.  We have been steadily purging since we've moved in our cozy little bungalow.  And, during this time, we've come to some conclusions.  We don't necessarily like being homeowners.  Sure, I love getting our home Goldilocks right.  And, I truly love this house.  I love it. I love our counters.  I love our original wood floors.  I love all the things I've chosen for it.  And, I love the memories we've made in our short 3 years here.  I love how cozy it feels to me.  I love that it is just the right size for us.  I love that I only have one bathroom to clean (and I truly don't miss having another bathroom.) Buuutttt, we don't love the burden and anchor owning a home gives you.  And, while my husband truly tries his best to make me happy, he doesn't love mowing or cleaning the gutters or maintaining this 84 year old lady that I fell in love with a few years ago.

So, that brings us to where we are now.  We are planning on selling this lady and moving.  We have an idea in mind.  Okay, we have a hope and a dream that we are holding in our hands like the Child Empress holds that last sparkling bit of Fantasia at the end of Never- Ending Story.    We've named it like Sebastion names her (Moonchild, if you didn't catch it. But, we aren't moving to Moonchild.  Sounds like a cool place, though.)  I will share the when and how when we are more definite in our plans. 

We have been working towards this sparkling dream the past few months.  We are getting rid of so much stuff.  Seriously, things I never thought I could part with (I'm looking at you, petrified wood logs) I have pushed on friends.  We have loaded up and cleaned out. We are living with rather bare (for us) space.  And, I love it, too.  I woke up the other morning and felt lighter.  I love the negative space.  I love the openness and how the light has changed in the house.  I like having less stuff.  I like having less pretty stuff.  It doesn't hurt that its September and my permagrouchy summer mood is soon to pass.

Still, I know that we had to get here to go there.  We had to leave our last home that was newer and larger to come here.  We had to live here and realize that we don't want a house to anchor us.  We had to live here and realize stuff is just stuff and that it is okay to let something go that you really love (especially if it is going to someone else you love and who appreciates it.)  And, honestly, we had to move to this exact spot so we could find that rotten dog and adopt her.

I do plan on coming back to this blog at least once more to update it.  I would love to do a home tour of this house, I just haven't gotten around to it.  I don't know if I will blog here much past that point though.  I have been Vintage Junky for so long, it feels weird to perhaps shed that alias.  And, I am still thevintagejunky on Instagram (ahhh, the best platform for someone easily distracted, such as myself.)  Maybe it's time to move on from the name as well.  We shall see!

Dining Room Tour

We have lived here almost two years and I have yet to do a real room or home tour of anything finished. Here is the home in the state that we bought it.  It didn't seem to need much at the time, but we have truly put a lot of effort into this old house.  The dining room is the least changed of all the spaces.  We basically painted the walls and changed the light and moved our old stuff into the space.

We don't have a breakfast nook in this house, so we had to get rid of a table and chairs.  I decided to keep the mismatched white ones, included this one that is a favorite find of mine.

At our previous home, I had luggage stacked to the ceiling.  I still love old cases, but there was no great place for them here.  I kept a few smaller favorites here and I have a few in our guest room as well.

I think we have done more editing here than buying, but I pulled this little area together with some recent local finds.  We had planned on using this metal shelf in our bathroom, but it didn't work.  I had moved it several places before we bought the little hardware drawers.  They seemed to fit well together so I have left it alone.  The drum is a find that the Mr. found a long time ago.  I needed a little more space for yarn, and I love the look of it.

On top of the drawers, I put a few treasures.  My little man loves crystals, so these are ones that he lets me "share."  The turned wood bowl is from an artist in Clinton, TN. And, the vase is from a local artist that I am taking classes with at Studio 212.

I just finished a sweater, so my neutral stash is getting dangerously low.

This pretty grey piece made the cut of the furniture we kept from our last house.  The lower drawers are in a serious need of being rebuilt, but I love it.  I sent the Mr. to an auction with specific instructions to get this piece.  

One of my sweetest friends bought me this brass owl and the lovely green bowl.

I must have a thing for black wood with decals, because I had to have these candle sticks when we stopped in Franklin for lunch over the holidays.

If I had the wall space, I would collect landscapes in these colors.  I found this one in an enormous frame at the Hell's Kitchen flea market.  I removed this little painting and gave the frame back to the dealer. 

Here you can see into our living room. I fell in love with this big arch when I first saw the listing online.   I am still happy with my decision to NOT paint the original woodwork in most of the house.  I think it worked because I kept the wall colors neutral.  The dining room is painted Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore and I have a slightly different grey in the living room.  The curtains are ones that I used in our last living room and are from Anthropologie a few years ago.  I don't think I will tire of them.

Even though our old house is 84 this year, we sorely lacked in original light fixtures.  The only one was in here, and it was not our taste.  I searched exclusively for a chandelier for this room.  I knew I wanted vintage and brass with some crystals.  I was looking for a wedding cake type fixture, but I couldn't find one with brass.  We went to Blair House and it was almost overwhelming with all the incredible fixtures.  It's pretty sparkly, but I think the size and the rest of the room being pretty casual keep it from being too frilly and fussy. 

I am so glad this Mora clock survived the move.  It was a Happy You Quit Your Job/ Early Retirement present from the Mr. a few years ago.

It no longer works, but I love the mixing of metals.  It has the original maker's signature from 1790 on the back.

I bought this cabinet when I was in college and I am surprised it has survived so many moves without getting broken.  Right now, it is kind of a case for curiosities and my mercury glass collection.

I don't expect this room to change very much. I've decided I like not having a rug under the table right now.  I have added a few plant babies since these photos were taken.  I would love to find a really narrow bench or plant shelf for them. I hope to do more tours as tidiness and natural light allow. We live all over this house, so that can be difficult.   Most of our home is "finished." There is some editing that I still want to do.  I'm actually content with the textured walls.  The ceiling, not so much.  Since it is actual plaster and not popcorn, I don't expect it to change anytime soon.  

New Year's Goals

Just by writing this blog post, I am meeting one of my goals this year: to blog more.  And, I have also blogged more in 2016 than in 2015 just by posting this today.  Some of you may notice some differences with the look around here.  During our snowy weekend, the husband updated my logo and all the graphics on my site and social media.  I've wanted a new look for awhile now, and I finally convinced him to show me what I wanted. Because, I don't know that I knew it until I saw it.

So, moving forward into the year and my goals/plans/dreams for it.  I like to call my resolutions "goals."  It sounds more fun, less tedious.  I think that resolutions have such a bad rap of being discarded around February.   Goals, however, seem like something fun and challenging.  Something you want to do.  I usually pick a few books that I want to read.  Or,  a new food I would like to try.  We typically all do this as a family on December 31st.  That way we can help each other along throughout the year.  Most years I do pretty well.  Last year I didn't make my goal of sewing a quilt, but it is on my list this year.  Mind you, it may be a super small quilt.

This year, I want to do better with houseplants. I never realized how much I was drawn to them until I looked back through some of my pinboards.  I am constantly pinning rooms with tons of houseplants.  And, I am not a successful house plant mother.  I am either over or under watering.  I can kill even the unkillable.  So, this may be a bit of a lofty and expensive goal, but there you are. I hope to have such lovely and bountiful houseplants that it will be necessary to hire a houseplant sitter should we go out of town.

Throwing a pot on the wheel has always been one of my goals.  I remember being little and looking through the JCPenney Christmas catalog and seeing that potter's wheel and wanting it.  This year though, it made the list and it was one of the first things I did.  A friend and I signed up for a class and these are from my first night.  Now, I didn't end up being this pottery prodigy like I was (not so secretly) hoping to be.  I really wanted to sit down and just become one with the clay.  Like it was this missing link from my life for so very long.  That wasn't the case.  It's not like I thought it would be easy, but I was hoping I would just have this natural skill for it.  Each time I seem to make a bowl.  Even though I was supposed to be making a mug.  But, it is challenging and I am making something that is useful... for copious amounts of cereal. 

Other things I want to make this year are a black and white marled sweater... really soft. I would like to try my hand at spinning some wool. And, I do want to give quilting a shot as well....maybe...if someone will come do the cutting for me.  I also hope to blog more and maybe get some decent photos of our new old house.  What are some fun goals you have set for yourself?


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