Bittersweet

Exterior Front 2

Today was the end of a bittersweet journey for us. Following a terrible renter who refused to pay their rent on time or sometimes pay at all and 8 months on the market, paying the mortgage and poa dues, we closed on the sale of our North Carolina house.

The house we bought when Brendon was a toddler and John’s first home. A fantastic, fully loaded on a golf course house that served us very well for 2 years as our primary residence. It was in a beautiful gated community and I cherished the very active Mom’s Group there that kept me in friends and support with my family on the other coast. We made lots of memories and thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the community was overbuilt and selling when we were PCS’d to Hawaii was not an option.

McNulty Map

I don’t remember why I drew this map, but I ran across it today…

While, three years later, we’ve still sold at a loss, I am proud of us. We didn’t fold under the pressure. We’ve weathered the bad house purchase storm. And even though our financial situation is drastically changed, we stuck to our promise when we signed on the dotted line. Don’t think the VA wouldn’t have it any other way! They do not endorse short sales. I’m also so very thankful we weren’t so far upside down and that we had the means to pay the balance. 

Yesterday Brendon was asking why we couldn’t keep the house and how he’d love to live there again. I thought it’s true, the house was simply fantastic and something we couldn’t afford if it were located in California, but our life has changed and I don’t envision us moving back to the South anytime soon. In the end, it’s just a house.

Master Bedroom

It’s true, all you need is Love! The rest is just stuff.

To celebrate? Champagne? No, but maybe some bittersweet chocolate.

**If you are looking to buy or sell a house in NC, I highly recommend our realtor, Gary Barrett. I can’t tell you all the ways he went way beyond the call of duty on this house and can whole heartedly say this sale most likely wouldn’t have happened without him. He really had our best interest in mind and I am so grateful we talked to him before we left NC, even though we put off selling our house for 3 years.**

Golf Course

 

Farm Fresh

boys and amber

Yesterday we took the boys to a local farm, owned and operated by Ms.Roxanne. She’s a wonderful lady with the patience of a saint. Boy oh boy, did Brendon pepper her with endless questions. Many of them somehow skirting around “the birds and the bees”, which is a subject of much interest as of late; thanks to his fellow bus riders (girls of course!). But having raised two of her own and mentoring countless others through the 4-H program, Ms.Roxanne is too seasoned in little boys to get flustered and just kept them moving and doing.

milking

Practicing for his Summer internship…Brendon doesn’t remember, but a little over three years ago, en route to Hawaii, we brought the boys here and he was able to see a day old calf up close.

The intent of the visit was our quest for fresh milk; I can’t think of a better pairing for our homemade sourdough bread and farm fresh eggs. Plus, I hear local raw milk is great for seasonal allergies and we are a-sufferin’ this Spring. After a sample taste earlier this week, we were hooked. Even John who prefers water, liked the milk.

We arrived right after she’d finished the last of the milking for the day, but she still let the boys help her bring a cow to the milking station (I doubt this is the technical term, I made it up) and gave Brendon a lesson in milking. This was quite an upgrade from the plastic cow display at the Honolulu Zoo and nothing beats hands on experience in life lessons.

john and lava

John told us the cow was a little stinky to him and he largely kept his distance. In fact, what was John doing while Brendon was trying his hand at milking? Petting Lava. If you know John at all, you’ll know he’s terribly afraid of dogs and to date really only likes my Dad’s aging and seriously docile Jack Russel. He and Lava found a special bond to say the least. It’s his quiet demeanor I’m sure.

Following the mini milking session, they were able to feed the cows, climb the fences, search for snakes by the tire swing (kidding), and also feed the pigs. Now if you haven’t seen farm pigs before, oh my! I’ve seen these guys before, but each time it’s somewhat shocking. Their big pig weighs 800-900 pounds, yet jumped with glee into the feed house when she saw us coming with the feed bucket. I kid you not. Jumped! It really was something to witness. After we got home, Hubby said, “you know what I thought when I saw those giant pigs?” – to which I answered…”You really wanted to ride one? Me TOO!” Unfortunately I was alone in that thought. Oh well. (sorry I forgot to get a photo – next time)

milk by the gallon

Milk by the gallon. The small jar, which is a normal size canning jar, is the cream we ladled off the top.

yogurt

Did we get the milk. YES!! we did. We also were able to borrow this little bad boy (above) – a yogurt maker. Yay!!! I had completely forgot these exist until I saw the box. I think there may one still lurking at my dad’s house. Oh Rose… So now what do the boys keep asking? When the yogurt is going to be finished. I hope they like it!