Country living: The fun begins

Where do we start?

The farmhouse is from ~1930 and has had some use, but also has had many updates including insulation, a metal roof and an upstairs conversion of a bedroom to a nice master bath. The 8 acres need weeding and mowing, the fences need repair, the house interior needs painting, the barn needs painting, etc. It can be overwhelming to take on a property in the country. The solution at first: triage.

Internet and phone

A major challenge is there is no cable or DSL where we live, but there is landline phone service. I check and there is cell phone signal, but it’s weak. Its 2011 and I decide to get a 3g usb modem and a 3g router. To get cell signal in the house I use a Wilson cell signal amplifier with an external antenna. The coaxial cable is already in place as the previous owners had a cell phone amplifier. This works OK. We plug our Ooma internet phone into the 3g router and the internet speed is fast enough for the phone but it’s not ideal. But it works and we don’t have any extra cost for our home phone. As backups we each have an AT&T gophone cell phone. If we lose power we can get signal by going outside and use our cell phones. (As of 2016 we moved to T-mobile.) I set this up before we move in. Continue reading “Country living: The fun begins”

Leaving the rat race

Seattle circa 2010

I leave home about 7:40 am and head towards Interstate-5. As I get to the on-ramp the line-up has already formed. I wait my turn, alternating green lights let one car from each of two lanes enter I-5. Finally it’s my turn and I accelerate into the slow moving traffic. Everyone is careful to leave a minimal gap in front of the car so others don’t cut in front of you. I’ve been doing this for years and have an audiobook on in the car so the time isn’t wasted. This also keeps my blood pressure down when traffic comes to a crawl. Eventually I arrive at work at 8:15 am. A 35 minute drive that takes 15 minutes with no traffic.

We live in the burbs and have a large backyard but there isn’t much privacy. Four other houses face into our back yard so whenever you are outside you assume someone may be watching you as you mow, garden or try to relax. It would be great to have some privacy and we have planted some trees but that will take awhile. There is also noise pollution. In Seattle when there is a nice sunny day in the Spring, everyone gets out their power tools and there is a constant droning from a lawn mower or a leaf blower. Our next door neighbor loves power tools and talking loudly on his cordless phone on his deck. It’s time to leave the rat race. Continue reading “Leaving the rat race”