Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear friends!

My daughter Mercy and her husband had an early Valentine’s Day celebration on Sunday. It was a Superbowl Sunday. My husband, Lynton, wanted to stay home to watch the Superbowl. I babysit my granddaughters by myself while Mercy and Will went on a dinner date. They stayed out until 11:30 pm. Mercy appreciated that we now live so close to them.

We moved into our new home in Beaverton, Oregon on January 10 this year. Our belongings are still in storage in California. Lynton’s niece is getting married in February. We want to attend the wedding. So we killed two birds with one stone, go to California to attend her wedding, and move our stuff to our new home on the same trip.

Have you talked with someone in an empty building? The voice echoes. When Lynton spoke to me from another room, I only heard muffled sounds. Nine out of ten times, he had to repeat to me.

It seems like I had a lot of free time living in an empty house, yet it was overwhelming with the projects we wanted to do with the house. It’s about making the house we feel at home. There’s a hardwood floor downstairs. The former owner seemed to prefer black color. The floor had stained the darkest brown. After several appointments with the flooring technicians, we went with the option of sanding off the dark stain and applying several layers of refinishing. It took several weeks from start to finish. During the sanding period, Lynton wore earplugs to reduce the head-pounding noise from the heavy-duty sanding machine. I stayed away from the house by running errands. The fume from the refinishing was terrible. I didn’t leave the house soon enough, and it burned my eyes. It scared me to see my dark red eye. It took two and a half days of applying eye drops to get rid of the red eye. We had the hardwood floor done in three phases. Lynton worked on his projects in the garage during the refinishing. I simply went to Mercy’s house for several hours. It’s finally done three days ago.

Talking about black, all the outlets and plugs for the entire house have black plates and yellowish switches. It’s a personal taste, but it’s not ours. Lynton stumbled upon an electrician who is a retired electrical engineer. We hired him to change all the switches and plates to white. There are 42 downstairs and 48 upstairs, and probably 10 in the garage. I’ve never seen 100 outlets and switches in any homes. Mr. Song did a great job changing them plus fixing any electrical problems.

The former owners had the interior painted ivory white before listing the house. Everything black or dark brown doesn’t blend in. The dark brown baseboard in our new home is not our preference. We just have to change them to white. The flooring technician could install the baseboard for us, but he didn’t have time to purchase them. We wanted to have the baseboards ready for him to install. Last week, Lynton and I went to the store to buy the baseboards. They are 8 feet long. Longer than our cars. We didn’t want to rent a truck for that purpose. He brought a handheld battery-operated saw to cut them into 5.5 feet and 2.5 feet to fit them in one car. While Lynton was cutting the baseboards in the parking lot, a police car was patrolling. He parked his car one aisle away and faced us with the headlights on a high beam. He stayed there until we finished cutting and loaded everything into our cars. The bright lights were a big help. I wished to thank him but didn’t. By the time we loaded the final pieces into the two cars, it rained. Mission accomplished in time.

Okay, downstairs has the hardwood floor. Upstairs has carpet. The carpet in the primary room is in decent condition but the other two rooms were well-used by the owners’ kids. Replacing the carpet seems to be straightforward. It took the least amount of effort to choose the style and shades and order. The installation will be on February 14, our Valentine’s gift.

The major remodeling is the kitchen. I did the preliminary measurement and sketched a layout, then picked a style between our old kitchen and Mercy’s current kitchen. I used a store’s Design Your Own Kitchen to program my kitchen. After the sketch was done, I sat down with a kitchen specialist to design our kitchen. It was time-consuming, but we’ll get the cabinet style, countertops, and sinks exactly what we want. It’ll take 10 weeks for the cabinets to arrive before the demolition and installation.

We took a 20-year span to do the remodeling for our old house, one project at a time. We now took 5 weeks to make our new home look familiar to what we used to have. But doing major home improvement projects in an empty house is so much easier.

On a personal note, our granddaughters visited us several times. They asked why they ate lunch in our office! We don’t have tables and chairs yet, but the office has a built-in desk. We’ve been doing everything in our office.

Eating their favorite lunch – Mac & Cheese
Building the racetrack with Grandpa

Mercy takes Autumn and Nora to the Beaverton City Library, which is 2.5 miles from our house. I meet them there for their Storytime. The girls go to the Oregon Gymnastics Academy, which is 5 miles away. The Emler Swim School, where they take swimming lessons, is 4.2 miles away. I went with Mercy and the girls to two children’s concerts. It’s wonderful to be so convenient for me to attend their activities and do things with them.

Art project after Storytime
Nora tried to decide on the books she wanted to check out
Photo time after a children’s concert

Mercy and I did our painting together last Saturday, just the two of us. We watched the demonstration on YouTube first, then followed the instructions to do the painting. It was a treat for us to do this mother-daughter project. It’s also a treat for Mercy to have a fun time without the distraction of the kids.

As I mentioned in the last post that our new home was originally a custom home. We love the layout. Our neighbor told us that two owners ago, the wife had cancer and passed away. The husband and wife gave up on the maintenance of the house. The husband of the last owners worked for Nike. I had never seen so many Nike shoe boxes in one’s garage and Nike sweatshirts in one’s closet. He and his wife were relocated by his company. I imagine they didn’t have a sense of belonging in this house. So it went for maintenance. We love this house and are happy that our agent negotiated a reduction of the selling price. We don’t mind making this home ours, even though I was overwhelmed with all the home improvement projects.

After we move our things to this home from California, we can gradually settle in and relax. I look very much forward to it and will have more time to visit you and your blogs!





  • Moving into a new home is hard work and so exciting! Take good care of yourself unpacking one box at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I should have mentioned it ahead of time but today I posted an improved review of your “The Winding Road” book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Thomas! I’m announcing your post right now. We were busy unloading and unpacking a few things. The day after we got home, Portland had the second-highest snow – 10.8 inches. We got about 6 inches in our neighborhood. As Californians, we were not prepared for it. We got snowed in and almost out of food. Thankfully, my daughter’s family came by with some groceries. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m glad you’re getting settled in your new home. I’m a few months behind your schedule, as we take possession of our new home on March 1, and yes, we have projects to do, but not as extensively as yours, I think! I’m still clearing out many papers and things I’ve stored away over the years, but I can’t wait to get settled in and relax again. I think I’ve got 3-4 months of major work ahead of me, but that’s okay. It’ll be worth it to be much closer to the grandkids. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’re taking your time to sort, organize, and pack, Deborah! We only had 6 weeks to clear, pack, and empty our house of 31 years. It was very stressful. Yet we got two offers 12 days after the listing and closed escrow six weeks later. I was mad at the agents because they kept saying it was the buyer’s market.

      We just arrived home after two days’ driving, moving our things from CA. We look forward to slowly unpacking our stuff and get settled. Mercy texted me and checked on our drive throughout the day. We may stop by to see the grandkids tomorrow. Hope to catch up with you and your new book very soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve been thinking about you, Miriam, and wondering about how the move was going. Wow, you did a ton of work to get ready for your furniture, but you’re right that it’s so much easier to do now. It’s going to be wonderful when everything is done and you can just relax. And I can see that being close to Mercy, Will, and the grandies is already paying off. How fun to be part of their lives in a bigger way now. Congrats, my friend, on all your accomplishments. Hugs ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Diana! I’m glad the hectic part of home improvements is almost done. We came to CA yesterday to the wedding. We rented a 26′ U-Haul today. Because tomorrow is holiday, we can’t finish certain before moving, It’s minor though. So we may be able to get on the road on Tuesday.

      With no couch for me to sit and elevate my leg has been hard for me. I look forward to having a normal routine.

      We managed to do something with my daughter and the grandkids. That was wonderful. To my surprise, Lynton like the rain and the cooler weather. I’ll plant some bulbs indoor and wait for the spring to plant them outside.

      Have a wonderful week, my friend. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

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