Having spent the past year completely consumed with our cross-continental relocation, I’m glad that our world is finally in sufficient order that I can resume The DIY Bistro. No more Alaska adventures to share, I’m afraid, and I realize that we’re missing the most beautiful time of the year there, but I have to confess, I’m enjoying the heat of Texas compared to the far too often frigid environment in Alaska. We still have many friends in Alaska that we miss, but they are welcome to escape the cold themselves this winter and come for a visit!

Getting ready to move our entire household 4200 miles was a lot of work, and it began months in advance of our actual departure. For someone like me, who really likes to have everything planned out, it was overwhelming – further complicated by the fact that my wonderful husband is more of a leave-it-to-the-last-minute sort and I was destined to be the advance guard. While he wrapped things up in Alaska, I ventured forth to Houston, Texas and began working away at my new job, saving as much money as I could.

My parents are amazing and they opened their home to me for a few months, allowing me to stay with them while I searched for our dream home. I’m not sure how they managed to put up with my 12 hour night shifts disrupting their daily lives. And then suddenly – another wrench in the works – my husband’s prospects in Dallas looked better, so we switched gears and wrapped our heads around moving to a city neither of us had ever even visited.

What a wonderful surprise.

My parents have lived on the north side of Houston for more than 20 years and I love that area, but Dallas has won us over completely with its own unique charms. I have, however, rushed ahead in my story…

After 3 months in Houston, I returned to Alaska. We spent a few days of frantic – yes, you guessed it – last minute packing, then sent our belongings to long term storage. The next day, we loaded the dogs into the truck, hooked up our 24 foot travel trailer and set out for the Canadian border. It was an amazing trip, and I’ll write more about that in another post. It took us 13 days, with a couple of stops at National Parks, and we reached our reserved spot in an RV park near Dallas at the end of August, 2016.

Four months. That’s how long we lived in our travel trailer with our 2 big dogs before we found our dream home. The Dallas real estate market is a firecracker – and brutal. It took me months to build what my husband calls my “kung-fu”, but eventually I understood it. I knew what we wanted and how to find it, and we were patient. Our home had only been on the market for a matter of hours when I found it on Realtor.com. I contacted our realtor right away and we were able to go see it the next day, but by then the seller already had a few other offers. Not to be denied, we offered high, and here we sit.

I would love to tell you that our new home has an amazing kitchen… But sadly, that is yet to come. My priorities are not his priorities and there is a long list of other projects in front of my kitchen renovation. Although I agree with his reasoning for putting it further down the list, and I can remind myself, quite rationally, that we will be able to get around to it later this year, not a week goes by that I don’t lament the lack of a pot rack, and I WILL replace the plaid wallpaper before the end of the month!

Patience is a virtue… But have you ever seen an original 1963 Formica counter top? It is, frankly, enough to make me order take-out. I’m not sure what the exact pattern was – something white with yellow squiggles and black flecks. I’m sure that it was “da bomb” back in 1963, but it’s sadly so worn from years of love and use that it is seriously in need of an update.

Please don’t get the wrong idea. I am not disappointed in the kitchen. The vintage stainless steel tile back splash is AMAZING, the appliances are all top-notch, and it has great storage. I’m even a fan of the vintage cabinets, though I’m hoping to give a couple of them glass doors at some point. I can see the glimmers of what it will be and I know it will be wonderful. In the mean time, I’ll make my plans and make do in the kitchen. We’ve got bigger fish to fry. Sloppy, food-related pun intended.

At the DIY Bistro, food isn’t the only thing that we “DIY”. Low on money, somewhat higher on ingenuity. Now that we’ve got so many projects to work on, we’ll choose some of them to share, along with the recipes, food and wine ideas that you’re accustomed to seeing here. We’re both pretty handy, thank goodness, but there’s always a learning curve when we try something new. (This week we’ve been pouring concrete. Do you know the difference between cement and concrete? I had to learn…) As always, we’ll let you in on what works and what doesn’t.

Welcome to Texas, and welcome back to the DIY Bistro. It has been far too long. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to get back to doing this with some regularity.


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