House Swap

The Girl modelling the unhemmed version of her going-away dress the evening before she leaves home.

This is The Girl leaving home, with her great grandmother's blue suitcase, wearing the dress that she spent the summer thinking about making, then really got started on two days before she left home. At about 10pm the night before she left home (at dawn the next morning), she finally finished the machine sewing and went to pack, while I volunteered to do the hemming. Oh my. This is how we move forward at Chez Blueday. We procrastinate forever but always come through at the very last minute with the maximum of drama and panic. It is quite tiring, but we have a lovely lot of downtime while we are procrastinating.

The Girl is having a blast far away in her new home (which is the size of a cupboard, in the middle of a great big city), and the rest of us are having little moments of sadness, when we open the mug drawer and all her mugs are gone, or the bathroom cabinet and her toothbrush isn't there. No-one is bringing me spontaneous cups of tea just when I need one... and I need a few right now.

The bank never did give me a loan, feeling that my infinitesimal income didn't warrant one. I was quite despondent for a day, then rang the real estate agent and said, "I would like to put an offer on the tiny house, but will have to sell my house first. Is there a way I can do that without potentially becoming homeless?" He assured me that yes, that is actually a thing, and now I have had my offer on the tiny house accepted conditional on the sale of my large house!!!!!

It is all too, too exciting, or rather exhausting as I run about doing all the 764 little jobs I have been putting off for years but now need to do in a matter of days. Eeek!

Just at this moment, of course, I have contracted a vile sinus headachey cold, which is most unhelpful, especially considering I never get colds, not for more than a day or so. But this time I have succumbed, and am dragging myself around between naps, filling the car with more of my worldly goods every day and sending them out into the universe to find new homes. I have managed to find two lovely handyman types, one who came and did a bunch of jobs last Saturday, and one who is coming tomorrow and Friday, which will hopefully polish off all the big jobs, whilst I continue on with weeding, planting, decluttering and 'zhushing'.

Here is a little peek at the new house:

It is a 150 year old miner's cottage, and it is very, very tiny. We will each be able to take a suitcase, and that is about it..

But first, sell the house! But before that, paint, clean, empty and weed.. No distractions and dreaming about quaint pressed metal ceilings and darling little fireplaces..


Heather F said…
That home is absolutely perfect. I hope everything goes smoothly for you. Take care of yourself during this time of change. I wish you all the best!
Pam in Virginia said…
Hi, Jo!

That is the most charming dress and The Girl looks absolutely lovely! I am glad that she is enjoying her new digs, but I understand why you are not enjoying her enjoying her new digs. I suspect all this extra stress is what made you susceptible to catching the cold. The wee house is a dream both visually and descriptively and, hopefully, will soon be the reality of your own house. Hope you have a big suitcase!

Beznarf27 said…
Waving goodbye to the girl must have been very hard. I am sure she will live a most splendid life out there in the big wide world. She has her head screwed on right. She comes from excellent stock and as you and I both know, excellent stock is the basis of just about everything that makes life taste better. That IS a tiny house! Any clues as to the approximation of the tiny house? Your big house will sell like hotcakes. It's right smack bang in one of the most desirable suburbs in the state. You shall go to the tiny house ball Cinderella. Wafting lots of positive energy your way but from a distance...I really don't want that cold!
Jo said…
Heather, thank you:)

Pam, yes, I am sure that stress and strain has been a contributing factor to my general unwellness. It is at least making me take frequent naps, which is a good thing, I expect. And yes, children leaving home. They need to go , and we are happy that they are happy... but..

Fran, yes, we are rather good and tasty stock, aren't we?? Tiny house is less than 1k away, over High St, closer to the city. Still able to walk everywhere, which was on my list of must-haves.
good luck with everything! the little jobs and zhooshing, the tradespeople, selling and buying! all of this plus your girl leaving - your body is reacting to all this upheaval and sending you that lovely cold. I shall send you a cup of tea everytime I make myself one today :-)
ps the new place looks very light and airy, even if it is tiny. wonderful!
simplelife said…
oh how very exciting for you, well not the cold or the girl being so far away, but moving yay.
My second boy has moved out this year, it's hard. I love how tidy the place stays, the grocery bill has reduced and my taxi service isn't needed, but man I miss them. The low level stress is just yuck.
Still I have the girls and this way too big house to rattle around in, wish i was moving to something smaller.
Good luck with it all
Bek said…
Exciting news! I hope all goes well with the house sale and prep etc
Linda said…
Your post about your daughter leaving her dressmaking until the last moment amused me as it took me back almost 50 years to my college friend Margaret. She was a great dressmaker but always left things to the last moment. If she was going to make a new dress for a dance she would start cutting it out that morning. Her Mum and sister were excellent sewers too and the three of them made her wedding dress but Margaret made her going away suit. I had teased her that I didn't want to see her walking up the aisle with her sister still sewing up the hem! She didn't but after the wedding feast in the village hall she and her husband decamped to her parents' house to get changed for "Going away on their Honeymoon". A quaint thing we did all those years ago! They were gone ages and ages and all the guests were getting very agitated, wondering where they were. Eventually they turned up, Margaret looking very flustered. Apparently the suit was completed except for sewing the buttons on the jacket. She had left the packet of buttons on her dressing table but when she got back to her bedroom she couldn't find them. The happy couple turned the house upside down searching and eventually found them - they had fallen down the back of her dressing table. Sound familiar? The little house looks perfect. Hope all works out for you. I've got my fingers crossed. Hope your cold is improving.
Mimi said…
Oh Jo! To let go of a grown child as they make their way in the world is a hard task. But we do it, we Mums, don't we? If we've done our bit, they not only survive, but thrive, and I'm sure you and your girl fall into that category. This tiny house sounds very exciting and I cannot wait to hear more! The girl-woman-child in these here parts dreams of a tiny house of her own. I'll make her follow your move to smaller digs for the experience. Love, Mimi xxx
gretchenjoanna said…
My daughter impressed me with her last-minute sewing when she was finishing up the hand sewing of her own outfit the morning of her brother's wedding, very calmly, too. She didn't get that ability from me!

I had a cold last month, and only when it was gone did I get the most painful sinusitis, my first time ever, which would not leave in spite of all natural saline rinses, etc, until the doctor told me to take expectorant -- and I had stopped that because I didn't have a cough! -- whereupon the sinusitis did not hurt anymore. We can get guaifenesin OTC in 1200 mg tabs; I had to take it for another week. Just in case yours is as intractable as mine was. I pray it isn't.

Anonymous said…
Love the dress.

And now I've been given a sneak preview of the cottage, I approve. But I hope you will have land enough to grow fruit trees? Under which you can sit and read books?
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

You have such a lovely blog and I wish you all the best with the house swap. Although things run a little bit differently here, your description is how most people tend to operate - and it seems to work quite well. What this about putting off jobs? Hehe!!! Things take as long as they need. Remember to enjoy the process as well, and the cold will pass, but well it is stressful selling a house, so remember to go easy on yourself and the kids. :-)!

Pressed metal ceilings and a cosy fireplace! Nice. The timber paneling on the wall looks good too. A small house means less cleaning and maintenance. One could even use the word: efficient too! Whatever efficient means...

Well done. Hope it has the potential for a lovely garden. I picked up some citrus trees today (lemonade, lemon and a cumquat) so they'll get in the ground over the next week or so. I can see a heritage apple tree in your future.

Unknown said…
Oh Lordy, i cant imagine. Im still in a panic whenever Tom leaves the house. He is 19 on Sunday. Moving to Chez Tiny will be so much fun, immediately after the hard work, tears, unpacking and the OMG's. LOL
Anonymous said…
You are such a fucking drama queen Jo.
Other people cope with so much stress and drama in their lives that you could't even imagine but you make it sound like you are such a martyr and in need of everyone's sympathy.
You chose to sell a big house that you have no mortgage on, that you contributed nothing to financially, and buy a small house, that will owe nothing on, because you have never worked. Get over it and stop acting like you are hard done by. You are not.
Anonymous said…
Get over it princess.
Life is so hard for so many people.
What is your problem?
Anonymous said…
Hi all! :)


Hi :) Welcome to the family :) (I haven't seen you comment before so I'm assuming you're new here). How are you? Would you mind telling us all a bit about yourself? We're always on the look out for friends! I Hope you're doing well. And all of us are here to lend an ear if you're not.

Much Love, Genny :)
Jo said…
e, thanks for the cups of tea - much appreciated:)

simplelife - yes, rattling, that's exactly what we have been doing! I'm hearing you on missing your boy. Still miss mine and he has been gone for two years now..

Bek, thanks:)

Linda, that story is absolutely divine. I can see both myself and The Girl doing that exact same thing (although deciding to sew a suit is beyond the realms of possibility for me..)

Mimi, I love tiny houses. Shades of storybook cottages out of all the books we read as children..

Gretchen Joanna, your daughter is amazing! Cold went away as colds generally do..

Lucinda, there is an apricot tree!

Chris, in the future I will grow apple trees that are small. My big ones I have found are just too, well, big, to manage properly. Small is beautiful in many ways! All the best for your tiny citrus orchard.

Lynda, just you wait, one day..

Anonymous, whoa, those comments came from a very angry place. But you know, you are absolutely right. I am very lucky that for many years I got to be a stay-at-home mum, and I am also very lucky that at the break-up of my marriage I wasn't left without a feather to fly with. All of my problems are very first-world problems indeed, but although many days I wake up bursting with the joy of living, other days I reserve the right to whine. It's very therapeutic. And you know, if only those folks with 'real' problems were allowed to complain, the rest of us would have to develop very stiff upper lips indeed.

Please feel free to enter the conversation. I welcome dissenting opinions and genuine concerns, but in the future I will delete any comments that don't stay within the bounds of polite discourse..

Genny, you are a very kind person. Thanks for your comment:)

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