All I can see in our basement is what seems to be to be an unending ocean of cardboard boxes. Some people tell me "It's just like Christmas". Christmas in hell maybe but it certainly has no resemblance to Christmases I know, LOL! I'm shaking my head at the fact that all of this stuff fit into our house in South Dakota. Okay so most of it fit. We did buy some stuff while we lived in England, we had to buy a new push mower (we did get rid of our old one while in SD). I went through and donated all sorts of miscellaneous furniture, tons of books, paper crafting tools & crafting supplies, not to mention all kinds of house-ware items. Now I find myself opening boxes and instantly wanting to put stuff back into those boxes. I'm ready to "reduce and recycle" the "reuse" part of this phrase is for someone else to do because I am going to reduce the amount of stuff I have.
I have to laugh at the amount of towels we have. Once upon a time we had a house that had 3 full bathrooms (and loads of visitors.) I had shower curtains and bath towels for all 3. Well we're down to 2 full bathrooms and only 1 of those bathrooms needs a shower curtain. My visitors now live locally and drive back to their homes. Yup, it's reduce time! Break time is now over and I have to get back to work since I don't have any house elves to help me.
It's really happening, I'm able to get on with moving into this house! So in one of my metaphoric terms- I've got a better grip on my greased pig! I found out at around 5:30 last night that our HHG shipment from VA is here. My husband tried to get the moving company to bring it today but alas there was not enough time to get that happening. So I get my stuff at 8am Friday morning! I am doing the happy dance! I say "Bring it ON"! The household goods shipment that was in New Hampshire was transfered down to Virginia. That's why there will be 10 crates arriving tomorrow, 8 from one shipment and 2 from another. Next week it'll be the HHG shipment from South Dakota. As long as it's all here before Thanksgiving I'll be happy!
From watching my cat spaz out and jump in the air all because I surprised her to listening to the little melody that my dryer plays when the load is finished (the washing machine does it too). It's raining now, the soft sound it makes as the rain drops splash against the windows sound rather musical to me. As I take the time to appreciate the peace and quiet of living in my own home I find myself enjoying simple things like listening to the rain or my appliances letting me know that the cycle is completed. Life is indeed Good!
This thing the "forever home" things, it's got me doing things I've only ever dreamed of. The #1 thing I've done for years and now am happy to do but feel weird doing it is...tossing out all of the boxes to things that I've kept for "the next move". Boxes to little things like my special to me items such as my Willow Tree Angels. Those huge boxes we all drag around with us from assignment to assignment like those for our TVs and other little and not so little boxes are all going to the recycle bin! Its a strange feeling but a good one at the same time!
Each day I find myself going through my mental list of things I want to accomplish. I've got to take those curtain rods down in the master bedroom, I've got to get that bed skirt on our bed, I need to put away that box full of books...I'm getting closer to getting our bedroom organized. Take each room and make it my own- that's the goal!
Here it is, our new to us home. After 7 months of temporary apartment living, we are finally in our new home. This is hopefully our last move. It's a beautiful house which with love and care we'll turn into a warm and loving home which will be filled with family and friends often. This picture is actually one that the realtor took, I'll eventually post pictures of our house with the things we have have done to it. I've actually unpacked 99.9% of the boxes from our move from the apartment to here plus I've started to hang some pictures (I currently have 2 hung up but have great hopes to have more done by the weekend. I'm working on getting the kitchen organized but that will take some more time as I'm waiting on getting our 3 remaining HHG shipments from the USAF- which has my British pottery and all of those kitchen appliances that I so dearly love. Stay tuned for more to come...
Finding my motivation to go through things (again) in preparation for this move is simple...all I have to do is to listen to my clueless upstairs neighbor who has no sense of common courtesy when it comes to apartment living and I've found my motivation! There's her kid who seems to have this need to scream uncontrollably every single time they in the stairwell, their nonstop barking dogs and the fact that it sounds as if there's a bowling alley AND a herd of elephants living above us. Oh my gosh I'm so ready to move it isn't even a laughable subject any more. I pity the people that get this place after us. The apartment it's self has been great, it's the people who live above us that make this place (at times) rather miserable.
Yesterday I went though our shared walk in closet. Organized it, and found more things to donate :-) Today it's the spare bedroom/craft room. I went through the closet and was able to condense several boxes and WOW! Look at that, there's oodles of closet space in there now! Too bad that the bedroom is so darn small though (it could use to be bigger, LOL). Next stop is Hannah's closet, just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies! I'm sure there's stuff in there that she could use to get rid of, but do I really want to go there today? No not really. I should have her go through it, but that would be like nails on a chalkboard, eewwww!
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. --Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005
It's been about 8 years since we bought our last washer and dryer set. As you know, we left them with our house in South Dakota as an aid in helping the house to sell. I loved my Duet washer and dryer and for that time they were the best things next to sliced bread for me! Washing machines have really come along since my last purchase 8 years ago; there are steam features, and sanitize settings that remove 99.9% of germs. After looking at what's on the market and reading the great reviews and seeing that it was rated highest in customer satisfaction by JD Power and Associates for 2008/2009/2010 and 2011- well I don't think that we couldn't do any better with another brand.
I've always bought plain ol white machines, never really had the desire for colored ones- until now. When I first saw these blue ones I knew that they were for me! And yes, we even bought the pedestal drawers that go under the machines (no hunching down to retrieve the laundry). I like that the dryer door is reversible if you need to switch it around. We'll be installing these babies on the day we move in! The thing I'm most looking forward to- no more hand washing of lingerie and delicate clothing!
As you know, I'm moving. It's a great little place kind of in the country per-say. There were lots of things I liked especially the 'home town' feel the place has about it. Well you could only imagine my surprise in finding out that one of my all time favorite TV show hosts Nate Berkus along with Oprah Winfrey had built a home for a woman who has lost her limbs to a horrible flesh eating bacteria. It doesn't surprise me that they would do such a kind and wonderful thing such as that as they are very compassionate and philanthropic people. The big surprise for me was that this happened in the town to which we are buying a home. To read about the community and how so many people pulled together for this family fills me with so much pride and joy I can hardly contain myself. To know that we are moving to a town that does reach out into the community and pull together is wonderful beyond words. I look forward to being able to volunteer in my new hometown, to be a part of something good and wonderful. So here's a link for you to read http://www.ayermovingandstoragereviews.com/221199/2011/09/07/area-businesses-pull-together-for-ayer-resident--ayer-moving--storage-inc-ayer-ma.html enjoy!
My husband and I decided to go do some window shopping- to check out things for our new home. To our surprise we found many lovely items, and we even came home with a few. Some wall art pieces for our Bella Cucina (that's Italian for "beautiful kitchen"), a lovely 5 foot round oriental rug for the entry way and a new Le Creuset 3½ quart braiser (little gift for my soon to be new kitchen). One of the things on my list is to get some new drinking glasses. Ours seem to be dwindling down due to breakage over the years. So that's something else to look for in the future.
We looked at loads of carpets- oriental style rugs for the formal dining room. I know what I'm looking for- now to quest to find it. I don't want to rush the process, I want to get a quality wool rug. I can't wait to be reunited with the rug we bought while in Germany from the Turkish rug store. I get all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about it. From bathroom items to kitchen goods and more- I am excited about getting things together for this soon to be new home of ours!
I'm all nerves right now. You see, today is inspection day for the house we are buying. A professional house inspector is checking everything out making sure it's all up to par. If there happens to be anything wrong with the house, the inspector will make note of it and the current home owner has to either get it repaired or schedule it to be repaired before we sign the paper work to buy the house. I'll be there with my note book, camera and tape measure. I've got to measure the space for the refrigerator and the laundry room as we will need to buy new appliances as we left those appliances with our house in South Dakota. Woo hoo I get to order a new refrigerator, washer and dryer to be delivered on move in day!
To say that I am excited about this is an understatement!
I love Mondays. It's the "all things are fresh" appeal of a new week that pulls me in and leaves me in a warm embrace. This morning that warm embrace was ME wearing a most of a full cup of coffee on the front of myself. My only consolation is the fact that as much as I liked the color of the shirt that I was wearing (Fuchsia Pink) I did not like the way it hung on my body. So yes, I laughed at myself for being ignorant of the fact that as I grabbed my mug and swung at at my mouth with such force that I sloshed it all over myself. The fact that it was FULL and not half empty as I had thought it was particularly funny. As I see it, life is indeed too short to not be able to laugh at yourself.
I've said it before and I'll say it again- I'm terrible at waiting. I'm ready to start packing this place up now and get the moving process started.
Well I suppose that we can check off one move related item from our list- we transferred schools for our daughter. Starting Monday she will be at her new high school. On Friday when I registered her at her new school we both received a very friendly welcome from the office staff, several students and even the school principal came out to meet our Hannah. Ayer makes me think "home town", with it being small and friendly, a place to settle down and sink roots into. I can see myself becoming involved in town events and developing a social life out here.
Now back to my coffee and to start my check lists for the move :-)
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from. -- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Here it is...our forever home. We take possession of it next month. Each one of our homes has a name, there was the little house on the Air Force base in South Dakota I dubbed "the cottage" or as my friend Donna called it "The Rose Cottage" because of the roses out front and the rose colored dining room. There's the house we bought in Virginia I named "Green Gables", the temporary house in England I called "Beehive Cottage" because of the nest of bees living in the walls (I was very glad to move away from that house). The commanders house I names "The Big House"...yes at times it felt like I was in prison while living in that house all because I had to constantly wait for maintenance people to fix things in that house. So THIS house I want to name after a home in one of my all time FAVORTIE novels. I can't see calling it Longbourn but I do see calling it Pemberley. I know that it's not a big mansion but it's full of everything I've ever dreamed of having in house. So with it being my "dream house" per say...giving it the name "Pemberley" is quite perfect for me!
I know that you must have heard the Arrowsmith song "Back in the saddle". I can tell you all that the songs lyrics say it all for me today.
It's been a while since I've felt as if I've had something going on. I don't mean to say that I've turned into a total couch potato quite the opposite in fact. BUT, it's been a while since I've "had to be anywhere" besides a doctor appointment if you know what I mean.
So now for my BIG news...we're buying a house! We've got one under contract. With that comes transferring schools for our daughter. Believe it or not, she's fine with it. Granted she wishes that her soon to be new school offered Italian as one of it's foreign languages, she's willing to take French instead. Now that's a child that can adapt! Now the real fun begins... first thing is enrolling youngest in new school (that's tomorrow) ,getting inspector to check out the house, and of course there's arranging for movers to pack us up here at the apartment. There's loads to things to do and FINALLY I have something of some sort of importance going on in my life. There's also that little bonus of knowing that I'll soon see all of my crafting supplies and kitchen appliances. I've truly missed my food processor and stand mixer and of course all of my paper crafting items.
As you all know, I can be some what anal when it comes to having my stuff organized. You've seen it in my various Scrapbook Nooks, my closet space and even in my kitchen. This apartment is a wee bit cramped for my tastes and well I've had all of the "temporary" that I can take. In all honesty, we weren't allowed to do much to this place and it's making me cranky.
Get ready for all sorts of organizational posts...for when we buy a house here in New England. I will be walking you through what we plan to do to it to tweak it our way. From the kitchen to the bathrooms and all rooms in-between. Right through to finishing off the basement to make it into my new improved and oh so BIG Scrapbook Nook and Crafty Emporium! If you're gonna dream...Dream BIG!
If it wasn't for the fact that my husband is at work and my child at school I could easily become depressed with this weather. It's because they are at work and school that I'm not depressed. Hallelujah! My husband has a job and school has started! Finally I can clean the house, do errands and work on creative pieces in relative peace. Keep in mind that we still live in an apartment.
We're working with a realtor...that right there is a story in it's self that I will save for another day. I don't want any to spew coffee at their computer monitor.
It's true you know, good news truly does come in 3's. So here it is...
My husband has been hired and now is officially employed. We sold our house in South Dakota and the best part is that we sold it to another military family. Now as for #3, well we're hoping to have that happen today or by the weekend at the latest. If you haven't guessed it, number three is buying a house here in MA.
OH the joy of practicing being patient. I confess now, I've never been very good at it. I was the kind of kid who shook presents that were placed under the Christmas tree (hey, every does it and at least I admit to it). But this waiting game is not the same. At least with Christmas there's an end date to the long wait. This- it's almost torture. Everything focused on getting the job. Once the employment situation is in place then we can truly look for and put a bid on a house. Get the house, then we can have all of belongings delivered from their various storage locations across the USA. Have the house, then we can relocate our daughter and have her start in a new school for this fall. Yup, every hinges on "employment".
I know that something is going to happen soon, I can feel the change in the current.
To me, the ocean is a vast expanse of space, kind of what I see representing my life in a way. As currents ebb and flow so things in my life change. From being this happy go lucky Northern California Girl to meeting my husband and quickly becoming best of friends with him, to falling head over heels in love with him. Love...Why else would I marry a career military man and move away from everything and everyone I loved and cherished? Our love brought us two beautiful children, and his career moved us around the USA and even brought us to England. But the depths of the glorious Ocean, which can seem to go on for forever are not as deep as we think they are. The waves of his military career, the ones that brought us back to America and with it retirement. It was the end of what I've considered a sort of vagabond life style. Granted we've never moved as much as many other of my husbands contemporaries have (of which I am grateful). I got to experience life in so many different places and I've collected many seashells along the way. The last couple of years I put myself on hold and even now, I find that I'm still waiting for all of me to come back together. Like a vision, I see that coming, I can sense it's going to it happen. Not right now at this very moment or anything crazy, but it's there and I feel it circling around me like water in a tidal pool.
Being here in this apartment for as long as we have has given me an insight to myself- I need to constantly keep my mind and my hands busy. Alright, so I already knew that about myself. The part of me that really came to focus is that I'm always worried that whatever I do, that no one will take me seriously. I dislike feeling that way but there it is. I really do feel as if my life can be summed up to being something similar to the sea grass of the coastal marsh lands- always changing and adapting.
As you know I've been missing being creative. And it took my daughter to make me realize that I AM being creative, just not in my usual sense of the word.
So here's my latest endeavour into my creative side...manicures and pedicures. I have a little secret, not only can I cook, sew, do needlework, garden and design things I can also do hair and nails. So get it over with and hate me now.
How far does this talent stretch? My best kept secrets are... I can do acrylic nails- as in apply them to other peoples fingers, do fill in repairs and such. There's also that eyebrow waxing/shaping thing- but then again that's something anyone can do (or at least I think it is). I've been doing this stuff for over 30 years without ever giving it a second thought that most people can't do it. My daughter and my closest friends all tell me that the things I do are not things that most people can do. Or that people can do some of these things but not "all" of them. It's got me thinking about myself and how my brain tries to keep my hands occupied. These so called "talents" are things that I like sharing with others. If my friend Alisha were here she'd let me "do her up". I never thought about doing/sharing these things/talents with my girlfriends while we lived in England. I only did them for myself and for my daughter. I thought that it would make me look like I was one of those "Martha types" and I didn't want that label, hell no! So here I am rockin' the latest in manicures and having a blast doing it all while knowing that I did it myself.
Once upon a time I was a vibrant social butterfly kind of person that always seemed to have loads of things going on. Now that "we've" retired from the Air Force I can say that my social life has taken a serious nose dive. Of course I still keep in touch with many friends through snail mail, e-mail and on-line social networks.
I've thrown myself into reading. Once upon a time I was an avid reader- more so than now because I didn't have the distractions that I have now. I find it so easy to tuck that Kindle into my purse when ever we go out (you can never tell when you might need it). Just the other day while at the Museum of Science in Boston I found myself mighty glad that I had brought it along with me "just in case". It's so much easier than bringing a book in ones purse (and lighter too).
Needlework- still working on that same damned kit with the sheep. I regain interest than lose it again-ugh! Same goes for my quilting. Don't get me wrong I love working with my hands but the confines of the small bedroom that's also some sort of storage room makes me feel crowded. Not to mention the fact that I'm really missing my other Janome sewing machine. My little ¾ sized sewing machine is fine for piecing stuff together BUT it really isn't all that great when I want to do actual "quilting".
Scrapbooking and card making- well that's one where I tossed the baby out with the bath water. Thinking that this was only going to be a handful of months I said sure put it ALL into storage (since I knew we would not have room here for any of it). Little did I imagine that I would be without any paper crafting supplies for this long.
This whole ordeal is giving me flash backs to when we first moved to England all over again. The temporary house thing with only a handful of our belongings with us while everything else is neatly tucked away in storage somewhere. Meanwhile my creative life is once again put on hold. I want so much to be sketching and designing and making things with my hands. I find myself working in conditions that make me want to scream. No I'm not working in a sweat shop, this is actually a very nice apartment complex. The screaming part is that I want to sketch/design and make things for our home...the only thing that's missing from all of this. We live in an apartment, this is not what I would ever consider to be "long term" in any way shape of form. I want to plant flowers in flower beds in our yard, I want to go for long walks in the neighborhood meeting new neighbors. I want to have friends over for dinner and drink wine out on the deck. Alas I'm here living in an apartment where the rent costs as much as a mortgage on a $550K house (no joke).
I find myself sincerely wishing for something to happen.
You find peace by coming to terms with what you don't know. Knowledge is subtractive, not additive- what we subtract is reduction by what does not work, what not to do...not what we add. --Nassim Taleb
Oh my word, the houses we have seen! I don't think that I'm expecting the world BUT I do have standards! From ghastly peeling wall paper (from the 1970's) and stained carpeting to hideous bathrooms (don't people scrub toilets any more?) and the humongous over grown shrubs in the garden that look as if they've never been trimmed (the word "jungle" comes to mind) to down right nasty smelling homes! We've been going to Open House events off and on since we arrived here in MA and let me tell you we've seen it all! From one end of the spectrum to another and one thing they all seem to have in common is that no one seems to clean their house or do any sort of yard work in preparation of showcasing their home to potential buyers. Seriously I've seen maybe 2 houses that had some sort of curb appeal but once we got on the front porch we get to see the spider webs and unswept porches. What happened to "pride of ownership"?
"Disenchanted" Is the word I'd use to describe our Sunday of driving around going to various Open House events. What is it when the realtor can't even be there on time to open the doors? Twice we were at an open house before the realtor even got there...a full 15 to 20 minutes! Yards not mowed, front porches not swept, air conditioning units not running. No prep work done in anticipation of this open house. Not a single one of the Realtors we met were very professional. And what kind of realtor wear shorts and t-shirt? Seriously? I was dressed better than any realtor we met that day.
Well, for the most part anyway. The temperatures are up in the 100 degree range here in MA and right now it's feeling as if I'm living on the face of the sun.
Our trip to Florida was a bust as far as sunshine was concerned. It rained just about the entire time we were there; even on our trip to the beach in Destin. I think that the sun was out for about a total of 6 hours while we were there and then it was seriously too humid for anything that had a beating heart to be outside.
However, I did manage to read 5 books on my Kindle on this trip...life is good. Yup it's summer time and I'm spending some serious quality time with that Kindle of mine! (thank you honey for the best Christmas present ever). I'm finishing up some UFO's from my Counted Cross Stitching collection and I've even hand sewed on the binding for a baby quilt. Not too shabby I dare say!
As I was reading up on some posts from friends who've moved to England this summer I find myself a little envious that they have set up their scrapbooking spaces. You see, since we're still looking at houses ET all, I've got ALL of my stamping and scrapbooking things in storage. Heck 98% of my quilting, needlework and cooking items are in storage as well (not to mention all of that terrific British pottery I bought while living in England). Ugh! All I can do it to enjoy what I have and get to know the workings of many great authors while I wait.
Now back to avoiding the heat of the day by having a nice glass of iced tea.
The first thought that rolled through my mind with all of this was...
Crap! If I have cancer, that means that I can't participate in the blood marrow donation program!
I already had a positive attitude about everything....there's nothing I can do to change the outcome. It is what is it and all I can do is to meet it with open arms and deal with it as it comes. I have the love and support of my husband, family and friends. I still plan to live my life as I did before and deal with things as they come. I wasn't about to sit around waiting for the biopsy results, I planned on going to Florida with my husband to help his brother move.
I have my biopsy results, my nurse practitioner called me with what she said was the quickest biopsy results ever! I am (drum roll please) Cancer Free!
From my recall to go in for another series of mammograms to the day of the biopsy, I've had several health care professionals calling me asking essentially the same question- "how do I feel about this?". The "this" that they all spoke of was the possibility of having breast cancer. I never once thought of it the way others did; With the why me? Or oh my gosh what stage is it?or will I have to have my breast removed? Those thoughts never once entered my mind. I was more disappointed in the fact that I wouldn't be able to be a bone marrow donor than anything else.
So here I am in Florida, it's VERY hot and super humid! Hannah and I are hanging out in the nice air conditioned hotel room since we're both unable to enjoy the pool at the moment. Me, I can't get my incision site wet for at least another 24 hours and Hannah is taking sympathy with my cause (she's such a great support) not to mention that she's still recovering from her sunburn from her trip to the beach on Sunday with her dad. We're hanging out together doing girl stuff- which is alright by me!
I've survived several of life's little embarrassing moments today. As in... I survived the embarrassment of having several strangers (although they were health care professionals) touch, hold and exam my breast today ( I started to wonder if this is what cantaloupe feels like in the produce section of the grocery store). I survived having several needles of various lengths and gauges (thickness of said needles) poke into said breast (just call me the human pin cushion). I survived the embarrassing experience of shopping for a sports bra so I can wear it for the next 24 to 48 hours plus to wear it at night for the next week (there are somethings that women who have a D cup or larger should not attempt to wear and this IS one of them). I thought when trying on those stupid sports bras that I was going to need to have the jaws of life remove it from my body because it was squeezing me so damn hard that I could barely breathe. Then I realized that I had the wrong size, I was shaking my head at myself thinking "Now what part of me thought that this was a good thing to try to do?". So I survived the shopping experience- one I hope to not to have to ever do again! Those anti anxiety pills...I highly recommend them. They don't make you loopy, they just make it so your heart is beating so fast that if you were a humming bird you'd be flying around. The more I think about it, the more I wonder who in the mammography department didn't see my naked upper body today? Seriously, this is just too darn funny the more I think about it. (insert laughter here). There are times in one's life where you just shake your head and think "Thank the Lord that that is over" and yes folks, today's experience was one of those kinds of "moments". I still have my humor and am still laughing at how I went in feeling as nervous as I could possibly be and end out coming out of this experience feeling like I'm Erma Bombeck and making fun of the entire ordeal from shopping for a sports bra to wear after the procedure to feeling like Elsie the cow when I had to lie down on a table and hang my breast down through a hole and be squeezed like an orange being juiced so the doctor could stick needles into me like a pin cushion. Oh yeah, Loads of fun here people! BUT and it's a big one too...humor will save you even in the most embarrassing situations (you've just got to trust me on this one). All of the doctors, nurses and technicians were gentle, treated me with respect and even better they all laughed at my jokes :-) If you lose the ability to laugh at yourself, then you lose the ability to enjoy life. So be well everyone and get out there and laugh at life's ridiculous moments!
I was writing to a girlfriend yesterday (a real snail mail letter no less) on the subject of "how many things can change in the matter one merely 1 week".
You see, it all started when I received a phone call from the mammogram department of Lahey Clinic requesting me to come in for a 2nd mammogram and they wanted to schedule me for as soon as possible. You see, they found something in my left breast and I had to have yet another series of mammograms of that breast. After a few initial pictures I had to sit and wait until they were read. I waited and waited and then was called back for more "pictures". Then I met with the doctor and well now I'm scheduled for a biopsy for next week. Here's a little tidbit for you- one needs to stop taking multivitamins at least a week before any surgery. Yup it's true!
I'm not freaking out with this revalation that I may or may not have breast cancer. It's just something to deal with as the times comes. I'm going to continue to live my life and do the things I've got planned. I'm not about to sit around and worry about things that I have no control over. Hence my plans for leaving the day after my biopsy for Florida. Yes with a bandage on on my left breast and an ice bag in my hand,I still plan on our taking a trip to Florida. Gutsy huh? Now who in their right mind wants to wait around for a week to get a phone call with the results of their biopsy? Well not me that's for sure! Why not be somewhere having some fun?
Now for more news...
My husband had a successful interview with a company. He's also got a call back for another interview for Tuesday. Sooooo, it looks like we might not be leaving on Tuesday for Florida. I can leave a little later if it means him getting a job :-)
The lovely couple who have rented our house in South Dakota these past couple of years let us know they they will be receiving orders this fall. That means...we get to put our house on the market. I'm excited about that! For some it would be stressful having someone else living in their house while a Realtor is trying to sell it. Not me, I truly like our renters and I adore our realtor.
While our Hannah was fretting over her grades on the report card from her US school that she attended for a handful of months- well it arrived yesterday. All A's of course! That's our girl, setting the grade curve! Her worry was for nothing. Although she was sure that one of her teachers didn't like being a teacher and was wondering if anyone in the class would receive a decent grade for all of their hard work.
Our washing machine crapped out...while a load of clothes were in it. Perfect eh? At least it was on the rinse cycle. Now the real fun begins...the apartment management had it replaced with another one 24 hours later. Now for me to let them know that this replacement isn't working properly. The tub doesn't fill all the way on the rinse cycle. We looked up on line the reviews on it and every one of the people who put in a review complained about the machine and how it "ate up or tore up" clothes. Hello, I've spent a pretty penny on our clothing and am in no hurry to have it all ruined by a cheap machine. Now to get the replacement machine replaced with hopefully one of the same quality as before.
Needless to say my life can get rather hectic in just the matter of a week.
As I see it, it's kind of funny that no place celebrates the 4th of July (Also known as Independence day) on the actual day...the 4th of July. It's always held on the day that's most convenient to the military installation or the local community. Yesterday we went to the town of Wilmington and enjoyed a carnival and a fireworks display. We met up with my husband' old running coach from high school and just enjoy being one of the thousand or so of people in the crowd. It was so nice to not stress about entertaining the mayor of some local community- I'm telling you, anonymity has its benefits!
Today we spent time with the in-laws for dinner. I enjoy being able to spend time with family.My mother in law is a total hoot! She drug out old pictures of herself before she was married and of the kids...my husband has some serious explaining to do about some of his choices of childhood Halloween costumes. Afterwards we went to see some of my husbands friends from high school. We've all experienced life's ups and downs these 20 plus years but the bonds of friendship are just as strong as ever. As I see it, it's always nice to catch up with old friends!
Now I'm off to enjoy what's left of this rainy day with my husband and daughter.
It's true, I have this love of all things coffee. Be it in hot liquid form, ice cream or in Tiramisu...I adore coffee. So it was a sad day when I broke the carafe to my La Cafetiere French coffee press. We've looked high and low for a replacement carafe out here and all we could find was Bodum brand coffee presses. So my new french press is the Chambord by Bodum. One of these days I may break down and buy a coffee maker but until then it's me and my French Press!
So it's more than a little obvious that I've been guilty of neglecting my blog. I've been doing something odd these days- I've been working out at the gym near daily. Hey, one has got to do something with all of this so called "free time". And while I have access to a gym with in walking distance that's also "free" I might as well use it right?
Now with all of the time I've spent at the gym it's got me doing some other stuff- like sewing. Okayshould say doing alterations to some of my skirts. I've also gone out and done something that I haven't in quite a long time, I've bought myself some summer clothes. One doesn't really need summer clothes in England unless you're going to another country for a summer vacation, LOL! But none the less I've done just that. My hard work has not gone unnoticed as my sister in law the fitness guru has noticed my efforts at getting into shape (I greatly admire her by the way) and complimented me on my weight loss. I don't know if my husband has noticed but at least someone else has which is a big boost to my ego. Now I'm off like a dirty shirt- got to hit the gym before my mammogram appointment. I promise to be more diligent in my blog posting. I've got several recipes in the works and will get to posting them soon! I've got to make a better effort at kicking my husband off of the computer :-)
...to occupy my time. Okay so my Kindle is my new BFF. The places I enjoy checking out every day on the www are Pixel of Ink and Kindle Nation Daily . Seriously, I've given up on all Internet groups and just read books these days. I read both of these Internet sites daily. I'm up to 24 pages of books on my Kindle (really, I'm not joking). I've started to archive books I've read on my Kindle. Just from the "FREE" and Discounted books offered and show cased I've discovered so many new to me authors and I've enjoyed it all immensely!
I'm still working on that table quilting project. Actually I got a little fed up with it and put off fixing it. Don't ever think that something that looks simple is simple. I've got a needlework project that I started when we first moved out here in March that's still (as I look at it) in the beginning phase. I have turned into a major procrastinator - that is where crafting is concerned anyway. Slow but sure my craft room is coming together. I dream of one day having a huge crafting space...one that does NOT have to also be used as a guest bedroom which is most inconvenient!
On the job front- we're both still unemployed. I'm almost done with my physical therapy and I am feeling an improvement in the mobility of my arm. I've got a great therapist who really gives me great instructions for exercises that I can do at home. I push myself to work on my arm and it's all paying off :-)
Now for more exciting news...our son is off to Germany for a month of German Studies. He'll be earning college credits and will immerse himself in German Culture. And as a bonus his girlfriend will also be on this trip. She's keeping a blog about the experience and I plan to follow along daily. Days in Deutschland is the name of the blog if you all care to check it out.
Oh and I did do it...It's official I am now a card carrying member of the National Bone Marrow Donor program also knows as Be the Match. What a wonderful thing to do for others, it really is! I want to encourage others to donate blood and also to sign up to be a bone marrow donor! We, all of us have the power to save a life by giving a little of ourselves. My only regret is that I didn't sign up to do this years ago!
They say that time flies when you're having fun, I'm not so sure about either part of that last statement. I've been looking for something worthwhile to occupy my time. I've come to realize just how much I miss being involved in the various spouses groups through the military. I've found that I want to be able to make a difference in peoples lives out here. To become involved in the community. Just how to do that is what was my question until yesterday- when I found an answer.
I'm looking into "Be the Match", which is basically a bone marrow donation program. Yes, me Sandie is looking into being a bone marrow donor. There's a health screening and blood testing and tissue typing. BUT (and it's a huge but) all in all I think this is a wonderful way to give of myself and to help another human being. We all give money to various charities, but sometimes what's really needed is for us (and quite literally too), to give a little piece of ourselves.
Slow but sure we're making our way through our cardboard jungle. We've never been one of those quick to unpack and put away everything people. We're methodical and we go through every single box, making sure that things are put away or hung up the way we want them to be. I have to say that this time is yet again one of those challenging moves as this place is smaller that we had anticipated and we've got to weed though and downsize yet again. Of course this means re-packing boxes and getting a storage unit. Thank the Lord that the master bedroom is done (well much of it is anyway). We've begun to hang pictures on the walls- that's a sing that we're nearing the end of unpacking. My wonderfully creative and crafty husband has put up some shelves in the lower cabinets to utilize the wasted space there (of which I am very appreciative).
My donate Box has spilled over and now I've got more than one. It's funny how one can purge so much before a move and then after you arrive at your destination you can purge some more. I'm ready to get creative and to start working on some crafty type projects. First victim will be Hannah...OH did I say victim? I meant recipient ;-) I want to work on a lap quilt, I've got the perfect pattern in mind and I'm anxious to find it and get working on it for her.
Now I'm off...I could use a little more coffee and then to get to work on putting more stuff away in my craft room/ guest room.
Moving is rough, living in 3 different places in one year (again) will be insanity in it's best element. So here I am, contemplating my next move (so to speak). After over 7 weeks without our household goods- they have finally arrived. Being reunited with my bed has done wonders for my happiness and attitude. Not that I didn't like my reminiscing of my college days- using a card table as a dining table, and sitting upon borrowed furniture etc...I'm glad to once again to be surrounded by our things (or at least some of them).
Alas, I've got 3, no it's 4 (now) storage shipments around the USA housing my kitchen, outdoor furniture, indoor furniture and yard items. Once we find a house and all...then I'll get all of our things in storage delivered to us. For now it's apartment living and all of the joys that brings (at least we don't have to do yard work).
So as I go through boxes of stuff I'm finding little pieces of myself. I now have a sewing machine, a paper cutter, some paper, 2 sided sticky tape, loads of thread and of course quilt patterns and fabric! Granted I am once again in a country that has reasonable prices for 100% cotton quilting fabric. Not too far from where I'm living now I saw a quilt shop- one that I'd like to go visit.
I've come across my collection of Jane Austen novels plus all of the hardbound Pride and Prejudice spin off novels that I have started collecting since moving to England. I've been adding to my collection since moving back to the USA- Kindle is a wonderful thing. My Kindle has been my companion as I take it everywhere with me. LOVE that 3G network thing it's got too! I can read books, surf the web for free...what's not to like?
I'm still surrounded in cardboard and packing paper but am making major headway with help from my husband and daughter.
I'm surveying my options for employment- I know where I want to work, now for them to have an opening for my to apply for. But for now there are plenty of fun little part time jobs to be had. Places that would be fun for me would be...shoe store, cooking store, clothing store or even a jewelery store. Then again I'd leave for the day owing more money than I had made...so maybe those wouldn't be good options right? OOh but the rewards would be sweet!
I find myself saying that a lot lately...Are you kidding?
So there we , the spouse and I were getting our new Massachusetts Drivers licenses (our previous state was South Dakota)...
proof of residency in MA- check!
Now for the cost...it was $100 EACH! Holy Catfish! When I did my last drivers license transfer (it was a California license to a South Dakota license) it was $6.00, no joke! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it would cost me $100, that's just unreal!
Another one of those "are you kidding me" moments is when I first saw people wearing jammies out in public. This is not cute people, it makes you look like someone who is simply too lazy to take a shower and get dessed for the day.
I'm leading a very boring life these days...wake up at 5 am, get daughter off to school, go to the gym, tidy the apartment blah blah blah. So to stay sane I read. I read a lot these days (I mean a lot a lot) . My Kindle is my new BFF. There are sites like Kindle Nation Daily and Pixel of Ink where you can see the latest great deals on e-books and even pick up some great freebies to read! Get this- there are even some FREE cookbooks to be had for your Kindle! I've found a lot of "new to me" authors and have discovered that there are types of books that I like to read other than murder mysteries or Jane Austen spin off novels. I've been reading a great deal about cowboys of late and before I knew it, I was hooked. Strange but true, I find them rather fascinating. And after consuming the entire Twilight Series of novels in a matter of less than a week, I'm completely hooked on vampires and werewolves. Of course I still enjoy historical romances- if that's your thing I recommend Georgette Heyer, her work is awesome! It's not the modern kind of romance novel that has the characters having mad crazy sex all over the place stuff- it's historical stuff that gets into the theme of the period the romance is from.
If I'm not reading, then I'm working on a needlework project. The one I'm currently working on is a reproduction sampler. Nothing uber fancy, just something nice to occupy my time.
Still no word on our household goods - no idea if they're here in country or not. I'm not trying to say that I've got higher standards than others, I'm just growing rather rather tired of us dining on a card table is all. Okay that and sleeping on the floor on an air mattress is not the way to get a restful nights sleep. Okay, I'll say it- I miss my stuff.Now for me to work some more on my needlework project before I die from complete and total boredom, retirement is begining to be rather boring.
It's day 2 of part 3 of this crazy move...the final part. Am I ready for it? Yes and No. I'm sad to be leaving so many wonderful friends here in England, but I'm also ready to get on to living this next part of my life called retirement. Sure it's retirement from the Air Force for my husband but it's also retirement for me as in all of that volunteering that I do.
Just a couple more days until the retirement ceremony, then we have the weekend here with my husband's family (some are flying out for the ceremony). w leave this aea on Monday, fly back to the USA on Tuesday. I'm sad that my friend Renee wasn't able to make it out here, I think that she would have really enjoyed England. HOWEVER...that does not mean that she and I could not come out here together for a vaction in the future! I'm all over that idea! Heck, i Hannah and I can plan a trip to Paris and fly out from Boston, then why can't Renee and I plan a rip to England? Anything is possible and nothing is written in stone. The future holds so many possibilities! Many advntures are waiting right around the corner :-D
I'm drinking my last cups of coffee made by this coffee maker as it's about to move to a new home this afternoon. Oh to many sad toughts,I need to get happy thoughts going on in my head!
I want to thank Karen at ScrappyKSue for this award. Karen has some great ideas going on over at her blog, please stop by and take a peek at her scrapbook room, scrapbook layouts, cards and more!
In order for me to accept this award, I have to spill the beans on eight things about myself. Here goes...
1- I'm an avid collector of china tea cups and tea pots, I started collecting when I was 8 years old.
2- My favorite fruit is ...the Apple. There are so many things you can do with apples and all of them are YUMMY!
3- I have this constant drive to always be creating things. I really can't explain it other than I've got to keep my hands and brain busy. Be it cooking, sewing, quilting, gardening, scrapbooking or card making.
4- I enjoy making special things for my family and friends- be it sweet treats, gourmet picnic lunches or crafty handmade gifts.
5- I'm writing a cookbook - I really am!
6- I have a true aversion of ground beef.
7- I jokingly call myself a professional volunteer as I put the same kind of dedication to volunteering as I would to a paying job. Then there's the part where it sometimes feels as if my volunteering is a full time job.
8- Before anything else my family comes first!
Here is a list of the 8 creative persons who I think deserve this award as well. Visit their blogs and see what kind of creativity they've got going on and hopefully you'll be regular to their blogs too!
To say that my life is busy these days is a bit of an understatement!
Wednesday- The shopping trip to the antique shop ended up not happening. Simply put, the heat went out in a friends house and it she was waiting on repair people to come over and fix it. Long story short- I packed up all of my ingredients and cookware and made lunch for us at my friends house. When life gives you unexpected bumps, adjust your plans! Needless to say I was able to turn a very possible bad day for my friend into one where we sat around the table having a delicious lunch and fantastic conversation. When I left her house several hours later my ribs ached from laughing so hard and so much! These are the people and the times I treasure and value so much. I will miss my girlfriends (Alisha, Jackie and Sunny) more than they will ever know!
Thursday- Okay the same ladies from lunch on Wednesday pulled off a MAJOR surprise on me today! I thought that it was just Alisha and I having "Tea" at this wonderful Inn in Aylesbury. Just me and Alisha- we have such a shared history here at RAF Croughton and we arrived here around the same time and we were instantly thrown into the insanity of this place, LOL! Both of us having teens attending Kingham Hill School, both of our husbands being commanders etc. So just Alisha and I hanging out together didn't seem odd to me at all. As we wander through the Inn, I'm looking at the rich furnishings, the art work was exquisite, the fireplaces were enormous (with fires burning in them). The place was historic and romantic and just plain wonderful! Then I turn a corner and SURPRISE! There's Sunny, Jackie and a whole lot more! I was very touched by the show of friends there. They were all in on the surprise, even my husband was...they all get an A+ in being sneaky! The "Tea" was wonderful. You could not have asked for a better place or better food or better company!
Now for the surprises...Lisanne gave me this platter. It's by Peggy Karr Glassand it's handmade in the USA. I have always admired these and have secretly wished to receive one as a gift some day. And now I have one- I am one happy girl! Now for more surprises...
Jackie, Sunny and Hope are sneaky! They know my love of Burleigh Pottery and bought me these canisters-
I almost cried right there on the spot! Talk about some VERY thoughtful friends! I can hardly wait to use these in my new house! Every day these will serve as a reminder of the wonderful and thoughtful friends I have made while living here in England.
Now here is where the tears started ...Alisha, what can I say about that woman. She is kind, thoughtful, generous, compassionate and best yet she lets me vent, LOL! She is the most amazing friend I've had in quite some time! Alisha gave me the most amazing Bracelet by jewelery designer Judith Ripka. I had a hard time choking back the tears. This bracelet represents my husband and myself- both of our birthstones not to mention the Fleur dis lis and my husbands French last name. Friday- That was the Hold Baggage pack out day. It was a 2 man crew and they were in and out in under 30 minutes! Damn! Husband and I got to spend the remainder of our day together- I can get used to that very quickly! Had lunch out, did some shopping and back to the house to work on the next part of our move.
Saturday- My husband's 44th birthday! It was a sad little birthday as his present is back in the states and his mother will be bringing it with her. I bought my husband a kindle. At least he'll have it before our trip back to the states. We spent the majority of the day going through things for the non-temp storage pack out.
Sunday- went to church and did more sorting for the move
Monday- more sorting
Which brings us to today...
The moving company sent only 1 guy today. All I can say is what were they thinking? The poor soul will be so sick of seeing dishes he'll be eating take away for the rest of his life, LOL!
Now for me to get on with cooking up these cheesecakes! I've been busy this morning and to relieve my stress I had to cook something. So what's better to bake than New York Cheesecakes? Seriously, I've got 14 mini cheesecakes to put into the oven!
I've taken a hobby that I'm very passionate about and turned it into a business. Please check out my Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MermaidsAndSeashells
to see what I've got for sale. I'll post pictures of my latest creations and dates when to expect them to be available for purchase.
I find that there's nothing more relaxing than a nice soak in the bathtub. Want to have an escape? Read a book while taking a bath! I find that the best way to enjoy my bath is with a book!