"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Up to my ears in boxes

Moving plans are humming along. We are getting closer to having an actual move-in date. Glad for that. Right now I'm up to my ears in boxes. The living and dining rooms are packed as per schedule. I'm actually ahead of schedule. That's awesome. Tomorrow I tackle the linen closet. After that I will do a goodwill run. I have two boxes of stuff and two huge contractor bags to donate. Buh-bye!

This afternoon I had a meltdown that was long overdue. I made the mistake of checking the the Lafayette news wire to read about how the funeral went for Jillian. It had a photo of the family during the service. Seeing the obvious pain on everyone's faces, and knowing these people made it very real, and I broke down and had a good cry for them. Unfortunately in this day and age it's a case of there by the grace of God goeth we. My prayers continue for them. I hope they can find peace and forgiveness.

Despite that very emotional blip, it was a really good day. I started off getting an oil change for the Jeep. On the way to the coffee shop I messaged my friend Regan to see if she wanted a latte and some company. So I dropped by. We got to talking and it turned out she needed groceries, so I took her to the grocery store. I think this was her first long trip out. We had a blast!  Like two giggling schoolgirls. Her car is in the shop and she wasn't up for driving yet, so things just turned out perfectly. We imposed a new rule, "What went into the cart stays in the cart!" Lol!

That unplanned grocery stop enabled me to get some special goodies for hubby.  He has been a total godsend this weekend. He worked his cute little hiney off moving boxes and packing. That man is not afraid of hard work. So I got him some special rewards.

Last night we went to a small gathering at one of hubby's coworkers house (herein referred to as "rib night" because it will be regular thing with us being neighbors). Hubby's boss was there. His house closing is next week, I think. Those issues finally got taken care of. He'll be down the hill as well. I'm looking forward to getting to know these folks. All are good people.

Tonight we took Jamie out for her birthday. 22 years old. Gosh, I can't remember that far back. Lol! We went to Red Lobster. Her choice. It was crab fest. I'm good for another five years...lol!

I've been having a stretch of really off-the-wall dreams lately. What's odd is that they are taking place in Washington in present time. That's unusual. This morning's involved a very eccentric billionaire and my job as his assistant. He was upset that I ate a hard boiled egg from the fridge without his permission. We were in the midst of a major charity function and I was getting ready to put him in his place for being such a butthead about a darn egg. I woke up too early.  I'm getting used to mountains, rivers, and coastlines in my dreams. And my dreams are becoming more vivid.

Right now I'm horizontal and my day is starting to catch up to me. Going to call it a night.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Today was just a sad day for me. It started last night after dinner when I read the headline about the shooting in Louisiana. Panic immediately set in and I needed to make sure that the family I knew was safe. Three hours later through exhaustive online research I learned that the family I knew lost a child to the shooter. Early morning after my prayer vigil the officials confirmed my research.

Sad. Sad that a bright, talented young woman that had unlimited potential and abundance of goodness is no longer here. I'm infinitely sad for the family, I've gotten to know when I worked with her mom. No parent should have to bury a child. Very loving parents, and brother. I learned last night that she was recently married with a family of her own. Over the years I've known this family to be hardworking, community minded people dedicated to making this world a better place. There will be a tremendous empty spot.

I know many more people from Lafayette than the family mentioned above. It is a close-knit community. It's a faithful community as well. I'm praying for strength, wisdom, faith and peace for the Johnsons and the other families of Lafayette. Please join me in prayer.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thankful Thursday

I'm dubbing today thankful Thursday. Things are crazy busy and stressful in the household right now. But I have a game plan and will be putting it into action. And I've learned that the only way to tackle the stress is head-on. Just hope no one dies in the process.  Lol!

Today I took time out from all the crap at home and attended a sew in with one of my small groups. No, I didn't sew. I just kind of hung out and chatted. It felt good to get out. No packing was done today.  The packing will continue tomorrow.

It's funny, people are asking me why I'm starting so early with the packing. My response is why not? I'd much rather be prepared and rest before hell breaks loose, and it'll make sure it's really done by moving day. This keeps the piddly crap from shopping up. Been there done that. And I know from experience that local moves suck more than cross-country moves

Yesterday we signed the preliminary loan papers, so things are coming along nicely. Everything hits the underwriters on Monday, so it's really gonna happen. I've handled and juggled most of the stuff on our end. Hubby is in charge of finding the movers, arranging a POA for closing (he'll likely be overseas during that time), packing the garage, and then packing his stuff in the master bedroom. As soon was we get closer to nailing down a firm date, things are going to be in a bit of limbo for a while.

That is driving me crazy.

I'm thankful for my little shoebox of art supplies. I told myself to keep out a shoebox of stuff for my sanity so I can journal through the experience. No, I'm not expecting anyone to read it. It's just therapy for me. I love to write, so it helps me work out things in my head. Plus it keeps my mind working.

I must be very stressed because the other day I took something out of the freezer that didn't belong in there. My santoku knife, I think it was. I must've been holding it when I got some ice for my water. Then there was the Target incident. When I left with my purchase on Saturday afternoon only to realize on Monday night that my purse was missing. Luckily everything was there and 100% intact.

Now you completely understand why my bullet journal stays with me 100% of the time. It really does keep me on task. I have a new cover on order to house a different sized book. I'm hoping the newer format works. We'll see. I love the bullet journal idea, it's just the package I'm playing with. I'm playing with A5 format because it gives me more room and flexibility. Moleskine makes these booklets close to that size, so I'm using that.

Rumor has it we've been invited to rib night at a coworker's home. Not sure if it's tomorrow or Saturday. These are the ones we'll be neighbors with. I've gotta figure out what I'm going to bring. I'm toying with a broccoli-cauliflower salad and my ho-ho cake ( make a 9x13 chocolate cake, poke holes, pour over eagle brand milk, and top with prepared spiff-e-whip. Garnish with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or chocolate shavings.) I may change up the cake using yellow cake and adding peanut butter after I do the milk thing. We'll see. I'm finding that Spiff-e-whip (it's a powdered whipped topping mix I get online) is the boom diggity for quick desserts. It holds up way better than cool whip.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Long Day

I had hopes of uploading a video to this blog, but you tube is not cooperating with me.

It's been a long day... In many ways. I'm horizontal and waiting for my tomorrow pill to take effect. I've had a splitting headache most of today and am looking forward to a good night of sleep.

Today was inspection day, and reveal day for hubby. That added to the current items already tweaking my stress level. Hence the headache. But I won't talk about that stuff here. This is my happy place.

Think back: I picked the house out, made the offer, and did this without hubby seeing it. So you can imagine how anxious I felt today when he first joined me at the house. It turns out that hubby doesn't like the house at all.


He loves it! He thanked me profusely for jumping on the opportunity when I saw it. After those three hours with our agent and inspector, hubby was just speechless. Out of excitement. And those who know real life hubby know that's a rarity.

I've gotten to know our inspector guy well. He is damn good at his job. Damn good. Unlike any inspector we've dealt with. I totally get why my agent, Ann, recommends him. Total class act. You know you made a good decision when the inspector states that he'd buy this place in a heartbeat.

When you really look at what we are paying versus what comparable homes/interiors are like in our range, this place surpasses by miles. And I'm not exaggerating. Quality construction, solid wood doors, real wood trim, the tile work is amazing. Cabinet hardware and fixturing is phenomenal. Better than average cabinetry, appliances (w/d excepted -- it's good for temporary use), hardwood flooring, closet systems (all adjustable and ventilated in every closet)... The details, etc. Even the windows are top of the line according to inspector guy. They have this cool active venting feature we've never seen before. I should have taken a pic. All of this not usually seen in our price point, but in prices several hundreds of thousands over ours.

Today I really gave it all a good look over and got excited about something oh so silly. I have a mountain view from the family room and back deck! I picked out my studio space and hubby just swooned over his hobby space.

So I'm in search of two things after I move-- a proper area rug for the family room and curtains for the master bedroom.  That will likely come from my favorite catalog, Ballard Designs. Hubby has to buy a lawn mower. That plus hangers for all our artwork, and we will be made in the shade.

Now the mortgage stuff begins...

Packing is in full swing here. I'm ahead of schedule. I have a very busy day of packing, goodwill run, box run, and mortgage meeting tomorrow. Thursday I'm taking off. Need some quiet sanity away from the house and with friends. Then I'm back on it by Friday.

Looks like a late August/early September move in date.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Busy Little Bees

It has been a long dang day! Yesterday we got word that we have the other house. It's all up to the inspection and finance gods. After hubby got back from being out of town, I drove him over and he looked at the outside. When our realtor comes back from vacation he'll get the grand tour. So far he loves it! I was worried about that.

After we did our usual breakfast out, we hit the box store and then started packing around 10:00. As of 5:00 today I have 2/3 of the studio packed (25 boxes) and ready, and he has the bulk of his reload shop packed. We tackled the tougher areas first.

Tomorrow we'll be on schedule with my original schedule for the last house. So I can keep my calendar in my book. Truth be told is that I could have this entire place packed up by Friday if I push it. But it's dang hot again, so I'm taking my time.

This house is a much better home. It's all on one floor. The only stair steps are from the garage into the house, or at the front door (four or five at the most).

You know what I love most about this house besides being a ranch/rambler? The kitchen! It's got a gas range, double oven (!), and tons of work space! We'll be literally up the hill from hubby's co workers/friends, and it's just a skip and jump from an artery road.

We are still at the "pinch me" phase.

I'm going to finish my second tall glass of water, take a shower,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

As the World Turns

Yes, life is one big soap opera here. The home inspection revealed too many issues for us and the sellers. No biggie. While I'd rather not be out the inspection fee, we learned a valuable lesson. We will have to bump up our price limit to get a better home. Hard for us to swallow, but it's doable. Our limit versus mortgage company limits differ. We are still being conservative in that.

Yesterday I visited a home in our upper range. I've learned that the 25k jump in price brings in a home that is virtually move-in ready. Plus the construction is much better. The only thing we'd need to move in (most likely) would be a lawn mower, window treatments, and area rug. Maybe swapping out a sliding door for French Doors. But that can wait. This neighborhood is literally up the hill from some of hubby's co-workers. And from one of the front windows we have a bit of a mountain view.

How's that for a kitchen! 

Hubby is still out of town, but he trusted me on this one. The roof, eaves, and siding are in excellent shape as is the kitchen and the rest of the interior. The sticker on the heating unit shows that it's been maintained with regular service calls. No evidence of water intrusion to the naked eye. As of yesterday we were the only offer. Hope that remains the case. I made a very generous offer. Good news is that this neighborhood boasts home prices up to $200k more. We are not the smallest nor the largest home. My only steps are a few to the front door, or from the garage into the home. The back yard is level and waiting for a cookout. 

Hubby trusts me. I hope I don't fail him. We are still with our current rent payment level when it's all said and done, so I'm getting more comfortable with the number. 

Sooooo, that being said, we need all the good mojo we can get. 

Today is a rest day. Packing hasn't started yet. Needed a day off to do laundry and curl up with a book. Finishing book #2 of that Lost Colony series I wrote about before. Got my feet up, coffee/water by my side, and a quilt to keep my toes warm and toasty. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Home? Maybe?

We found a home that we wanted to put a bid on. I say bid,because real estate is like eBay up here. It's a seller's market for sure. They accepted our initial offer. Today we had the initial property inspection. There is a deal-breaker on it. At least for our side. It needs a new roof and some eave repairs. My initial feeling is that we can handle the paint/siding repairs and the garage door. but the roof is integral. The inspector dinged other piddly items we can fix, including the outdoor outlets that weren't even wired to code (or common sense!).

I'm not sure the seller wants to do the roof as it was a rental property. So this journey may begin again. We'll see. Hubby is out of town and I emailed him the inspection report. I'll hopefully talk to hubby at greater length about this tomorrow. We have until Friday to respond.

In the meantime I'll be pulling properties while I start packing up the studio. Who knows... Hubby may just get disgusted by the whole ordeal and quit looking. I have to admit that it's a tough market. Hubby summed it up as eBay. The list price is like the reserve price, people put in their maximum bids, and then it all settles out to the highest bidder over the reserve.

It's just plain crazy.

I've got my packing deadlines written out for each room, I have the first wave of boxes and tape (studio comes first since it has the most crap) in hand. It all goes down tomorrow. I expect the studio to be packed and ready to go by Saturday. I'm foregoing my Tuesday out this week. And with hubby gone I can concentrate on packing. It works out better that way. Yes, I have a workbook for this move complete with a pull out calendar and a task list. I'm crazy like that.

Not much else is going on. The Kids got together July 4th weekend. Sorry I missed that. I've been getting pics of the grandkids on facebook. The littlest one likes the corn fresh from the garden. I hear the farm garden is growing like gangbusters. Hubby's youngest daughter is busy trainig her assistant chef. I'm sure the eldest is dreading the next semester of law school. Summer is wrapping up.

Lately I've really been getting a kick out of the birds at our feeder. They are funny! We have an idiot Stellers Jay that charges the feeder, a squirrel that hogs the seed, a bunch of chickadees that make the backyard look like Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, and some cool unique visitors. We've had flickers, sapsuckers, hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, grosbeaks, towhees, Juncos, finches and two rambunctious bunnies. I think the chipmunk has moved on. The Jay won't talk to me, but the little chickadees do.

I've also discovered the feline neighbors in the unit next unit over like to talk to me. When I'm sitting at my desk in the studio, they always come to the window. I talk and they give me the "You're a stupid human" look. LOL!

Lawd, I'm starting to sound like crazy grandmother bird/cat lady!

Enjoy the chuckle on that one.

It has cooled down for now. I thought I was going to die last week. It was so damn hot! We got some rain, but not enough to offset the drought. Hope we get some more.