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480 Sq. Ft. of Living Space and That is Just the Beginning!

May 18, 2015

By now most of you know that I moved last weekend into a small cottage in the Art District in Garden City. Considering I went from 2,000 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft. in 2009, this new living space is more than just interesting. I can tell you one thing: it is not a challenge. Yet.

my first real estate logo, designed by graphicsall

my first real estate logo, designed by graphicsall

In 2009, I let a number of furniture pieces go and kept what I was – at the time – attached to. The 1,000 sq. ft. townhome was just about perfect, too. I had a nice sized bedroom, a guest room that doubled as an office, a full bath and a half bath for guests. I downsized my life, my living expenses, and my way of life. It was also a very good change for me to have downsized as I did during the recession.

As it would turn out, I moved in to Paul’s house about a year ago, where I thought we would always hang out and grow old together. Then life got in the way when Paul died very unexpectedly last Fall. I will always be grateful for the place to land when I was forced out of Paul’s house. The agreement was that it would be temporary. So, when this little cottage became available, I jumped at the opportunity!

I honestly did not realize how small the place is until I began to move in. I knew I would have to give a few things up or away. But my dresser!?? Shoes!? Clothes!? Kitchen gadgets!? Books!? Art work!?

Ok, this meant it was time to do that annual spring cleaning! I now have a few boxes of clothes and shoes which will become the basis for my highly anticipated clothing exchange party. Kitchen gadgets are being outsourced to local charities. Books, well my books are intact. For now. Oh, and the dresser? Get this: I took it out of the space in the closet, purchased those stacking storage drawers and voila! I now have more room in my closet! I will admit that from now on I will be much more thoughtful for any and all clothing purchases. I have to be! Art work, well, some of it actually is hanging outside under the protection of my covered patio. One piece will be shipped to my brother. Another piece will be shipped to my niece who just had her first baby. Some I will keep for the future, and some I will simply give to anyone that admires it.

After all, giving is receiving joy.

#grief #tinyhouse #springcleaning #giving

Fear Will Not Take Me

May 11, 2015

All I can tell you is that Fear is a powerful monkey if you don’t say, “beat it!” It creeps up when you least expect it, you know, when you think you have your moxie back. When you think things are going super great and all.other side of fear

No, the sky is not falling. I am in a transition that is exciting and scary. I moved in to a place of my own, finally. This is a tough reminder of the fact that Paul has been gone for six months now. That is what is frightening me, too. Moving to a place that will be my new space with my things and my art work and my pillows and my kitchen gadgets. His clothes won’t be there. His stuff won’t be in the house. He won’t be there.

How will I sleep at night? Will my new neighbors be nice? Will I be safe? Will it be quiet? I can tell you one thing, I moved in to the tiny house, 480 square feet. I laugh out loud just thinking about it. I read a blog the other day that was titled, “Don’t De-Clutter, De-Own”. Yep, more things to take to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, the Boise Rescue Mission and the Idaho Youth Ranch. Anyone need any framed art? I have some nice pieces that no longer work or even fit. I know my sis will be the benefactor of some nice clothes soon.

Then, there is life itself. Life has presented me with a few challenges lately. Hello, God! Enough is enough! But, He knows I can tough it out. God, I have to tell you that I am exhausted. Please give me a break. Someone called me on the phone Friday night and I just burst in to tears. I am grateful my new place has a nice tub for soaking. I am going to soak that stress and let it go. It’s not me. It is someone else being a bully. I can’t change that but I can do the best thing which is to not react.

Fear tried to tap me on the shoulder. Fear tried to take over this past week. Fear thought it would get the best of me. Nope, not a chance. I have too much to be grateful for to let Fear interfere. Besides, I am too happy for Fear to really get inside my head!

#grief #transition #fearcannottakeme #happy

Moving Again & This Time It’s Not Temporary!

May 4, 2015

Yep, I am moving again. No kidding, I think I am the best Realtor® in town now that I have so much experience in the moving department. Would you believe I have moved 4 times in 18 months? Nuts! But now I can give oodles of moving advice! What to purge, what to keep, how to pack certain items, what movers are the most reliable, what handymen actually work, and most important – drum roll, please – who can deliver the best pizza for the moving crew. Gotta keep those moving folks, happy!always believe All kidding aside, moving is a pain and yet with each one of my moves, there was excitement. Well, take that back, two of the moves were solemn. One move had hope. This fourth move is filled with hope again. You see, this is my big move to a small place of my own after Paul died. I meant it when I say small, too: this cottage is 480 square feet! It will be my space with my things and my own stamp on it. I will have a kitchen again, even though it will be mini-sized. Not only is the oven/range apartment sized but the refrigerator is small, too. I’m laughing to myself just thinking about it. Better yet, this place has a huge closet that only other girlfriends can be jealous of. A patio with a metal cover to listen to the rain. A small garden for my tomatoes for future marinara sauce canning. I already know the neighbors! And, best of all, three doors from the Boise River greenbelt system. Nice, eh? What is also nice is that this move also means the beginning of moving on. Not in a big way but in a way that will be life changing. I am finding myself moving towards a new chapter, a chapter that is inevitable. A chapter that is a large part of the healing process that involves the time factor that we all need after a life changing event. A change that I welcome. It’s time. It is so cliché but time really does heal. #grief #movingagain #change #hope

It’s Better to Be Kind Than to Be Right

April 27, 2015

As of late, I am almost mesmerized by the quality of life lessons that have crossed my path since Paul died. With the sage advice of “sleep on it”, I have saved myself on more than one occasion. Reactions are rarely the best route when emotions are involved.IMG_5372

I have learned there are things in life that we encounter that we just don’t want to do. No, not me. I’m not doing that, no way! Forget it! The lesson was that when push comes to shove, it was my mindset that blocked the outcome. It was me that was being stubborn. Yes, me. {insert sheepish grin}

It’s better to be kind than to be right. A mentor of mine that I worked for in Ketchum told me this saying many years ago. For the longest time, I even had it on my daily calendar – on my first smart phone! Every day I would read it and try to do my best. Somehow that quote fell off my calendar until just last week.

I won’t divulge the details, but I will admit that I needed to take a deeper look at the situation at hand. I realized I was hanging on to a wrong perception which held me back from doing the right thing. After scolding myself, I just took care of it. Everything changed as if a magic wand had swept the room of negativity.

It’s better to be kind than to be right. I had a dream last night and a deer was following me around, just as if it were a pet. She was beautiful with those deep, dark doe eyes and they even spoke silently to me. I looked up what deer medicine means this morning: gentleness. Yes, indeed.  For one of those life lessons I am encountering at the present, I am going to remember the advice in the book: stop pushing so hard to get others to change, and love them as they are. Be kind.

In case you are wondering, my reference to animal medicine can be found in the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson. I purchased these cards decades ago when I found a bat hanging on to the stucco at my front door in Ketchum. I learned back then that a bat is the sign of rebirth. At the time, that was spot on.

It’s better to be kind than to be right. This phrase is on my smart phone again, but this time is in an app called hey universe . It’s a handy way to have positive affirmations throughout the day without clogging your calendar. I’m only pitching it because I can’t live without it!

Think about having your affirmations repeat daily. Before you know it, they transform in to habits that will change your life and your relationships for the better!

#positiveattitude #affirmations #heyuniverse #healing #dotherightthing



Say It, I Dare You

April 20, 2015

Don’t you just wish that a time or two in your lifetime you could answer back how you really feel?  You know, say it with thought so that the other person doesn’t get it until later that day?  This applies to those people in your life that just do not understand no matter what. This also applies to those people that just don’t listen. If you can be the one that listens, you are the better person. At any rate, sometimes, just sometime for goodness sakes, it would be a tad bit fun to just say it.better than yesterday

  1. You are not the Boss of me! Ok, this is a childlike reaction, but I kid you not, this has come up for me recently. So, I tap my fingers on the nearest table top and ponder what in the heck to say to that incredibly bossy person and how to respond. Voila! I use this: I hear what you are saying, and I feel the best way to tackle this issue is to XXXX”. You tackle the issue and bring in other parties that you know will agree with you based on reality as well as reasoning. Subtle and yet effective. Use sense and sensibility and make sure you have a backup opinion from a trusted third party. Do not attempt this without consultation.
  2. You should have asked first. Oh, Lord, help me I have a new Mommy. This situation is best dealt with grace and maturity. DO not and I repeat, do NOT attempt to answer to this one. Give this your very best Southern smile (Google this) and do not react. By tucking this one away, you save face and save yourself from being a jerk in return. You surely don’t want to have regrets with a person so, well, just so like this.
  3. You are not supposed to XXXX. Really, and you are? Ok, you can’t really say this unless (1) you know the policy or procedure, (2) you know who is supposed to or (3) you know not any one person is legally entitled at that particular moment. Often times the better reaction will come to you far after the confrontation, but my best advice is to simply walk away. It is just not worth it unless it has diamonds in the “it”. If you are a guy, only if it has super sentimental value sports-wise.
  4. Well, I changed my mind. Seriously??? But you promised! Well, when this happens, you just have to pull your big girl straps or your big boy suspenders and just let go of the attachment you have in your mind. I have come to learn that hanging on to broken promises will only hold you back in life and prolong your healing time period. Kind of lousy but in the long run, better for your mental health.
  5. I promise to call you. And, then you realize two weeks later that call never occurred. Guess what? Another rip and tear in to your heart to remind you some people don’t mean what they said to you and (yes, and) they never did. Do you really need these supposed friends? You need the tried and true and always there friends. I sure do!
  6. I promise X and X to you. Oh my gosh, how this one hurts your very core. You trust what this promise is and trust the promises made. Then what you consider super bad luck you realize that the promise does not come through and never will. Guess what? Because that promise had no real intention. This can be hurtful unless you take the time to admit it was said just to say “it” and “it” had no real intention. Shitty, eh?

Ok, you get the picture. Having a non-reaction is not caving in or compromising. It is taking the high road, the mature route and just releasing that heavy sigh. Well, maybe a half dozen heavy sighs but take it from me, it’s worth it.

#standupforyourself #friendship #dealingwithit #noregrets

Sleep on It

April 13, 2015

I have learned a great deal about myself through life lessons, and some of those lessons were very difficult. For one thing, I will not allow negativity to open a door and think it can just walk in and stay. I simply do not have time for such nonsense.something better

I will not give specifics for one reason: it does not matter. In the big picture of life, I choose awareness vs. suffering over situations. I am not going to compromise, but I am going to collaborate to get issues resolved.

It’s been five months since Paul died suddenly. I had a number of issues to work through in order to understand, let go and forgive. That process was the most healing part of my grief and grieving. It has not ended by any means, but I am better at looking at what is bothering me straight on.

In a grief group I attended, the advice was to tell your story. I learned that telling the story helps to relieve the haunting thoughts of what happened because eventually you can tell your story without pain. It’s true.

The same thing goes for life lessons. We all have friends or family that we can call when the going gets tough. There is someone, even if it is one person in our life that we can truly trust. Telling the story of what is causing pain helps to get a different perspective from that trusting person. That trusted source knows you well enough to give insight and advice. One thing for sure is that often times we are too emotional and may react poorly. We cannot take back some things in life, right?

One of my very best real estate brokers gave me advice years ago that I always use with my clients. He told me to sleep on it when I had to make a difficult decision. I cannot tell you how many times that has helped my clients as well as myself. Sleep on it.

Inevitably, the next morning will bring clarity to what is going on in that busy mind of ours. Guess what? Something came up last week that took more than one night of sleeping on it. But I feel so much better today.

Sleep on it!

#grief #lifelessons #friendship #sleeponit #awareness

Believe it or not, I found this, too:

Straw Bale for Sale!

April 6, 2015

Do you know about straw bale construction for an energy efficient home? For that matter, have you even heard of this building method?

BoiseAve Truth Window

Truth Window of a Straw Bale Home

Here in the West, we seem to have the right mindset for the uniqueness and acceptance of anything different. According to Sustainable Sources, located in Austin, Texas, “straw is the dry plant material or stalk left in the field after a plant has matured, been harvested for seed, and is no longer alive……The technique was practiced in the plains states in the latter 1800’s and early 1900’s. Many of the early structures are still standing and being used.”

Do you research if this may be of interest to you, it is fascinating and the energy savings are outstanding. Here’s the perk if you live in the Treasure Valley: we have a straw bale construction home for sale in Southeast Boise. Our Sellers are passionate about their sustainable home and we want to share a few FAQ’s with you:

What is a strawbale home?

A strawbale home is a home where the external walls are built with strawbales around a post and beam framework, and covered with a natural stucco finish.

Is this a common building technique?

Strawbales are being used to build homes, wineries, markets, schools, and lodges. Strawbale homes are found in 50 countries and 46 states

Why are strawbale homes becoming so popular?

  • Energy savings
  • Natural, non-toxic, recyclable building material with low carbon footprint
  • The thick natural walls have a beautiful and unique finish.
  • Year round indoor comfort
  • Noise reduction

Are strawbale homes a fire hazard?

In 2007, a stuccoed strawbale wall was officially tested by the American Society for Testing and Measurement (ASTM E119-05a) to be 3 times more fire resistant than a traditional wall.

404 Boise Ave

We could tell you much more, so give us a call for a personal tour!

Laurie Barrera, ABR, GREEN                        Tracy Sidell, Associate Broker

208.859.5660                                                                   Cell 208.841.8070

BoiseAve Lvg-Dine-Kitch

BoiseAve LoftBoiseAve GstHse

#green #strawbaleconstruction #sustainable #energyefficient #realestate


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