Chasing Sales

When we took off to full-time RV, we put absolutely nothing in storage. We don’t regret that decision because, at the time, we had no way of knowing what our post-RV life was going to look like, and much of our stuff was aging out, just as we planned for it to do. Since we ended up, for all intents and purposes, where we started, we’ve often found ourselves saying, “Maaaaan, we had that!” And so it goes as we re-enter the sticks and bricks life. And so it also goes that we’ve been consumed with All Things House these past few weeks, and zero hiking has occurred. You read that right. I said zero, nada, none. That’ll put the “vent” in your adventure, eh? We did start running again, but that doesn’t produce the stunning photos and trail tales I’d rather blog about. It’s far less time-consuming and much easier to fit in between TBG’s marathon work sessions at the house and mine online, though. I’m going to tell you all about every bit of it in this post in wholly random order, while trying to break up all the blah-blah (if you view it as such, and how dare you) with a combination of illustrative and completely unrelated photos. It’ll be exactly like our lives at present!

It can be hard to get started on a chilly morning, but we’re never sorry to get out for a run.

Remember when I told you about the local Sears outlet that was closing? And remember several posts ago when I went over how we chose our new refrigerator? Good. Now, I’ll tell you about another staggering deal at the Sears before they closed for good that decided which washer/dryer we were getting. We’d been waffling over top vs. front loaders, the tops being hard for a shorty like me to reach into (lest we forget my painful rolled rib incident in a Georgia camp laundry,) the fronts generally not as long-lived but more easily accessible. Agitators get clothes cleaner, but tear them up more quickly. Fronts have notoriously long cycles, some feel they don’t use enough water to clean properly, but they are very easy on fabrics. Either style comes in large-capacity, and when one of you is a giant, that’s important. They all come with a tremendous number of features, the Wi-Fi ones being the most puzzling to me. I can use my phone to control my appliances? Stop it. Why? Why would I ever want to do that? As I researched machines, this troubled me immensely because I thought surely there must be good reasons for it that I was just too techno-old to understand. Let me save you time: There aren’t.

As we contemplated our laundry room configuration, we talked about custom-building a platform for front-loaders, and I remembered seeing a bunch of pedestals at the Sears. We had front-loaders before, but I never felt the need for the exorbitantly-priced pedestal drawers. Even so, we thought it prudent to check out the pile of them at the Sears, since we’re older and less bendy now. We came away with a monster deal on this:

It’s called an LG Sidekick, and, as you can see, it’s a pedestal with a built-in mini-washer. Now, you may be asking yourselves, why would someone who just mocked frivolous gadgetry get something like this? And I will defend myself by saying that the close-out deal we got made it cheaper than even a regular pedestal drawer, and the reviews on these are surprisingly good. Plus, look how fun that little thing promises to be! It can be used alone or at the same time you’re running the main washer. If it craps out, it won’t take the main washer with it, and it will still be a functioning pedestal (with a storage drawer that looks suspiciously like a miniature washer.) This purchase limited us to which brand of washer we could get, those being either Kenmore Elite, made by LG and not widely available anymore if at all or, duh, LG. “Maaaaan, we had that!” They’ve been updated a bit since we got our first set (Wi-Fi and Turbowash, y’all!) but essentially, we’ll have what we had. A completely cosmetic update is the flat door fronts rather than the dust-trap recessed doors of yore, and TBG will build a pedestal for the dryer to even things out. Or maybe we’ll find the height discrepancy quirky and leave them that way.

TBG is a Master Craigslister, and we’ve made several purchases in that realm. We’ve gotten a shop vac, assorted garden tools, a cool wooden folding table, and for the jaw-dropping best deal of the century, a like-new king-sized Sleep Number bed for 1/4 of the price of a brand new one. If you don’t know what those beds go for, I can tell you, it literally saved us thousands. We know we’ll like it because “Maaaaan, we had that!” Now I’m stuck in the bed linens vortex, but that’s a tale for another day, perhaps Black Friday.

Much to my delight, and that of the fruit flies I’m now raising in the RV, we also got this:

A big-ass composter! Oh, how I have hated throwing out so much compostable stuff these last four years. The pic on the left shows it before I scraped off the rust on the aerator bars, then on the right, refurbished with Rustoleum. I will have a nice jump on my own potting mix come Spring. And you guessed it, “Maaaaan, we had that!”

One day, I took a break of sorts, and went on a little thrift-store outing. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how I’m going to display my little painted gourds, or if I’m even going to display them at all. I considered a basket I saw, then dismissed it, then got out of the checkout line to go back and get it. I’m so glad I did.

Here it is with ALL the gourds — perfect!

Besides missing the ability to compost, I have sorely missed magazines ever since most of them became online entities. In what we thought would be a little splurge, we subscribed to Sunset magazine, one that’s still available in traditional glossy form, and one we’ve always enjoyed. Turns out, they were having a 60% off deal, and it came with the full online version of their Western Garden Book, the quintessential guide to gardening in the West. Yes, of course, I had that book before, and I used to read it like a novel. I would’ve rather had a paper copy of it, but free was hard to beat. Then, on another thrift outing, TBG found me all of these:

for $11 total, a whole Sunset garden library!

About every week, we call one of the places from which we’ve ordered the appliances and push back the delivery date. Sometimes, we call to have the price adjusted if the item goes on sale while we’re waiting. Mostly TBG handles that part of things because I go stark raving mad if I have to spend hours on the phone, haggling over prices. That’s not an exaggeration — he has occasionally spent hours on the phone doing just that. I go in the other room and turn up the radio because I can’t even stand to listen to that sort of process, and I am grateful he can stomach it. I’ll do it if I have to, though, like I recently did with the dishwasher. The original store wouldn’t adjust their own sale price, and after confirming they didn’t mind losing the sale, I canceled and ordered from their competitor. [too bad for you, Lowe’s!] Speaking of that particular appliance, let me introduce you to our dishwasher.

I’m sorry if this is getting tiring, but it’s another “Maaaaan, we had that!” purchase. This time, though, it’s because we had this same appliance before and adored it. Why? At 38 dBA, it’s the quietest out there. Both racks glide like butter, and it was now available without KitchenAid’s signature ginormous industrial handlebar. I’m not thrilled with the visibility of the controls, but our previous one had them on the top of the door. That was visually pleasing, but completely obscured them when in use, and you had to choose your cycle then close the door within a few seconds, which was panic-inducing. I’m also not sure what color its little lights are, and it may seem like a piddling detail, but it irritates me that each kitchen appliance has lights and clocks and beeps and boops and all of them are different.

We try to take breathers, and the above shots were gotten on an afternoon driving expedition to three local bird hotspots. We determined that even during the cold, rainy season, we will load up a thermos or two and repeat this cozy, calming activity.

I spent a seriously stupid amount of time getting window shades chosen and ordered so that we could take advantage of a Costco Bali sale. Here’s an A-to-Z guide if you ever need to attempt this yourself.

  • A) measure windows
  • B) compare prices from four other companies
  • C) order 15 swatches from Bali
  • D) reject 90% of the swatches on arrival
  • E) take swatches to house & hold them up to the walls, floors, tiles
  • F) burn your retinas holding them up to the sun trying to see how light-blocking they are
  • G) make your choice
  • H) change your mind
  • I) order swatches from another company
  • J) fall in love with a color you chose on a lark called Pumpkin Spice
  • K) be sad because they don’t come in the style you want
  • L) remember The Home Depot sells Bali
  • M) go there with sample to color match
  • N) dance a jig right there in the warehouse when you find one
  • O) rush home and start the order process
  • P) realize you need more measurements
  • Q) go back to house and get them
  • R) continue the order process, only to discover you need even more measurements
  • S) and another trip to The Depot
  • T) resume order
  • U) resist the urge to throw the laptop against the wall when your internet connection keeps crashing
  • V) lose sleep
  • W) wait on hold for roughtly 1.5 million hours when you call the company with questions
  • X) try online chat while you’re on hold with about as much success as anything that never worked
  • Y) curl into a blubbering ball when you find out one of your choices is not available on the Costco deal
  • Z) pull yourself together and go all-in with your second choice, a much bolder, much riskier one because you’re tired and stressed and for cryin’ out sakes, you can’t keep measuring and choosing and choosing and measuring, and it’s going to look a-fricking-mazing. Done.
Relax. They’re only shades.

The front door finally arrived. It gets a clear coat which will enhance the deep mahogany wood color, and the sidelight glass, obviously, still needs to be installed. The interior doors and trim are all painted!

Say, what’s this?

Why, it’s a wall oven! You’ll probably all be even happier than I will when this puppy is operational, and you don’t have to listen to me whine about not having an oven for over a year and a half. When that day comes, the front will look like this, and it goes in that taller cabinet, where its height is customized to my height.

At first, I was looking at convection micro/wall oven combos. It quickly became apparent through dozens of reviews, that having an all-in-one unit wasn’t a wise idea because the convection feature on microwaves, as we are painfully aware, is notorious for failing. When it’s half of a combo, it takes the oven with it, whether the oven deserves it or not. We ended up choosing a Fisher & Paykel, not only for its excellent reputation, but because both its racks glided like pure silk. Most others are made with one rack that’s smooth-gliding and one that’s like any other oven where you have to lift and wrangle with it. The F&P is a true convection, a feature I really liked on my previous oven (I was an air-fryer before air-frying was cool) and it has a sleek, simple design. (Ignore the handle, no oven comes without one.) I would have loved a french door oven because it eliminates reaching over a hot oven door, but we couldn’t find an electric one we liked. That makes the smooth rack operation even more important.The microwave, which is just a microwave not also a convection cooker, is a brand called Galanz. I’d never heard of it, but it gets rave reviews, wasn’t overly expensive, has the right capacty per TBG, and it looks like it’s made to match the F&P. It’s a countertop model that gets its own custom cubby above the oven. It also has a push-button open, a must-have for me, because, after years in an RV, I am very much over having to yank things open. It is the only appliance we ordered without laying hands on it in person.

I hope to brighten our field eventually with wildfowers like these that light up a local garden.

When we were still in the blueprint stages, we were thinking we’d have a gas cooktop, even though it would mean we’d need some sort of external propane tank, the thought of which I loathed. Then I stumbled on induction, and we never looked back. Induction is far from new, but it never really caught on to the mainstream. It’s becoming more popular recently, though, and for good reasons. I could tell you to search induction to find out those reasons, but you’re already here, so I’ll tell you. Cons: 1) You need the right cookware. Induction works through magnetism, and not all pans will be compatible. 2) There can be a buzz or hum while in use at higher heat settings and possibly some electronic clicks at lower temps. 3) The magnets can mess with digital thermometers. 4) It’s more expensive than regular electric ranges. Pros: 1) They’re more efficient than gas or standard electric. 2) Safety = If you turn on an induction burner with no pot on it, it won’t get hot, and when you take a hot pot off it, the burner won’t be hot then, either. 3) It cooks faster than gas or electric. 4) It cooks more precisely and evenly than the other two. 5) It’s always easy to clean and especially while cooking since you don’t have to wait for the surface to cool before wiping up any spills or splatters, and my personal favorite Pro of the model we chose = no big stinkin’ knobs!

I was able to attend another event with the Sequim Botanical Society at which we dug and divided many of the garden’s dahlias. The season was long and productive this year, and I’ll go back in another week or so after the first frost to help dig the rest. Of course, helpers are rewarded with tubers for their own gardens and bouquets for their tables.

We, TBG much more than me, have been hard at work making the countertops, and that whole process will be a post unto itself, quite possibly the next one. I’m sorry in more ways than one that it probably won’t have any hiking or much outdoorsy stuff at all. Then again, maybe we’ll get those counters done and go crazy out there.

Not everyone is eager for us to move along.

21 thoughts on “Chasing Sales

  1. Don’t have regrets over the things you sold/got rid of, you got use out of them while you had them. Now you can rejoice in having full sized appliances again. I think the little mini washer is a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, things are really moving along. It won’t be long now and you’ll be moving in. I am SO glad we didn’t end up building here in BC. I am not a shopper. I can’t even begin to imagine the nightmare of buying all new appliances with all that is offered today with technology. Ugh! It was a difficult decision just getting a new mattress for our bed here. Boy, someone was looking out for me when they led us to this perfect fully furnished home. I am also not into decorating so having all the decorating done was a true blessing. I guess that’s why I love the MH. I really enjoy the simple, easy life. You are doing an awesome job getting your new home all ready for your move in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds like you really got exactly what you like in a place you love, and that just can’t be beat! I’m mostly hoping all the appliances. Pretty is nice, and I won’t complain (much more, ha!) about getting to have nice things, but pretty don’t cook the ham, and I might not survive if things don’t function properly. Keep your fingers crossed for us! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. so…..since you’ve done all the leg work on these appliances did you ever give any thought to or do any investigation on an induction top/electric oven? I HATE the gas stove that came with this house, HATE it and want to find something that will work for me….

    Liked by 1 person

    • The GE Profile Series gets good marks for the induction/oven combo, and we originally were looking at that for the stand-alone cook top. We ultimately went with a Bosch, which we liked better overall. Bosch also makes a combo, and if I was doing a range, I’d go with either the GE or Bosch. What I *wouldn’t* get is Samsung, as pretty as they can be. Word on the street is Samsung is GREAT for TVs, etc., but leave them out of your kitchens and laundry rooms. Good luck! It’s so hard to choose, but I hope you’ll find something you love. I hope *I* love what we found — I’m so nervous!!


  4. Hahaha!! Your ordeal with the window shades sounds painfully familiar. And shopping for appliances. And thinking, “man, we HAD that!!” Even down to your Sunset library of gardening books…we had all those, too!! In fact, I think we still have them in our stupid storage unit in Oregon.

    Reading this blog made me laugh and also scares me, because we’re throwing ourselves back into the vortex of home building decisions/appliance shopping/and the black hole that is Wayfair for furnishings. I want to curl up in a little ball right now but I can’t because I have to go bushwhack more saw palmettos and vines that are trying to take over our property.

    Congratulations on narrowing down your choices, making those tough decisions, and getting so much stuff done on your beautiful home! I think we’re going with induction, too. 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I should’ve waited until you cleaned out your storage unit for those books, eh?

      Oh, the self-inflicted wounds we cause! Why do we do it? Why?! I can only hope your building process isn’t as complex. Your selling process, I do not envy!

      Now go bushwhack, and watch out for ticks!


  5. Hah, we have been through this road before, exasperating, exciting, mind boggling but most of all satisfying when you end up with what you wanted!
    Speaking of Washer/Dryer, I was lusting for one for two years but can’t get the courage to buy one when what we got with the house still works perfectly. The time has arrived when the W/D I had been eyeing for two years was on sale and I got it on a 36 payments deal with no interest. So I got it, not because it think it is smarter than me, but because I like it and it is highly rated.
    Slowly but surely, you are on the path of completion…and I can’t wait for the BIG reveal !

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, and if we had bought a built house with a functioning washer, there’s no way I would buy one — or anything! It’s nice to have new and pretty things, and I can’t complain about that, but getting rid of perfectly good things never seems quite right. What W/D did you get?! Do you love it as much as you were hoping?


  6. You made me laugh so hard that my tummy muscles (the few that are still active) hurt!!!
    I remember this process so well and oh it is frustrating and rewarding at the same time. Once it’s all in place and looks as amazing as you knew it would and works just right, you will be so happy. Everyone told us that there is always something you wish you’d done differently or could change when you custom build a home. We had two small things, one was more heat in the tiled shower. I asked about putting “in wall” heat while they were putting in the “in floor” heat but the plumber assured me we wouldn’t need it. He was mistaken, but after we’d tiled the walls, that was just a “live with” thing. Wish we had made the mud room a foot or two wider as we had just enough space to open the back door and walk in, with the dryer behind the door and the bench at the opening, that was a little tight if someone was already sitting on the bench. Ok, so maybe “everyone” was right, but neither of those were big deals and we LOVED our home and would build it exactly the same (with 2 minor changes) if we did it again. I’m sure you will be the same when this process is complete. So excited for you guys, because I know you think through things and will make really good choices.

    Meantime, enjoy your runs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you got some belly laughs! I worried it was too much blather for anyone to find interesting.

      What!? We could’ve gotten the radiant heat in the shower walls, too?! Now you tell me!! We have heard that it might be chilly, but we’ll see. I want a heat lamp thingie in the ceiling fan/light, you know like they have in hotel bathrooms, and I can’t remember what the final technical decision on that was. I hope we love it as much as you did yours — that was a gorgeous home for sure! I hope you’ll be able to come see this one someday ❤


  7. My parents purchased their first induction cooktop decades ago, when I was a kid and basically no one had seen one before. My dad delighted in showing it off with weird tricks, like placing a thin cutting board between the cooktop and the pot and then boiling water. (My dad was an engineer, which explains a lot of things.) My mom has installed one in every house she has owned! They are great to cook with and blissfully easy to clean. Meanwhile I fell in love with gas when we lived in an area with natural gas service, and I loved having gas in the trailer, so I insisted on the external propane tank here. My duel fuel gas range / electric oven was one of our more expensive appliances, but maybe that’s because of the wifi capability. 🙂 I have yet to discover the point of that particular feature.

    I know you guys are probably getting close to — or past — your limit for shopping/decision-making/ordering/scheduling. But it’s exciting to see everything come together so beautifully!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should have known you are the child of such pioneers! We’ve never lived in an area that had gas lines, and this being WA, it’s highly likely those that do exist will be outlawed eventually. It was already going to be a big PITA had we gone with the propane. I’m not surprised your range/oven was at the top of the price structure, and I don’t think it’s the Wi-Fi. I wish we were done making decisions!! The longer some things take to get done, the more time I have to question and re-think decisions we’ve already made, and ain’t nobody got time for that!!


  8. I totally hear you on starting over, but, it’s nice that you know what you like and you can think through how things actually work *for you* and what will make *you* happy. In other words, you have way more information now than you did before and hopefully, you will love all your choices.

    We know someone with one of those mini-washer drawers and she swears by it, and Kevin bought a stand-alone induction cooktop for the RV and he absolutely loved it. I bet you will too.

    Finally, I, too, will never understand the need for wifi (or many other features) in new appliances. The only one that kinda makes sense to me is being able to preheat an oven on your way home, or ensure you’ve turned it off after you drive away from your house. Beyond that? I don’t get it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is very true, especially being able to repeat a few appliances we know worked well for us. I’m glad to hear you have a personal positive recommendation for that little Sidekick washer! I completely expected that reviews would be “what a gimmick! broke after one use! total waste of money!” but they were totally opposite of that. I hope we find it to be the same. I also think we’ll love induction like Kevin did. I though about the remote oven turn-off capability, and that was the only one I could make any sense of. I suspect it might be a people-with-kids thing, busier schedules, hands full. Now, please research bidets. Thanks! 😀


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