Friday, December 19, 2014

Closing a door...

Today, we closed on selling our home of 26 years. It's a little bitter-sweet to be turning that page in our lives. There are a lot of memories associated with this place, most of which are good.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting that Christmas spirit!

I'm starting to get really excited about Christmas! My old job was really a drag during December, and that, along with only getting 2 days off, always managed to stifle any Christmas spirit I had. I think this year will be different. Being part time, having a longer break, and not being the "buck stops here" person any more helps. I've been browsing through Pinterest a lot, and found this beautiful wreath. Since I am florally challenged, I asked my talented sister to make me something like it. It turned out beautiful, plus smells all cinnamon-y. I already have it hung, in spite of my usual vow to never start decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving.


My sister's creation:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Little Pinterest-ish Project

I've been wanting some sort of house marker. Delivery people always have a hard time finding us, even though our number is on the house near the door - I guess it's just too small.

I looked online, and wow - nice address markers are quite expensive!

So while I was at Lowe's today, I picked up a few things to design my own.

 Landscaping stone - $2.25.

 Block & Stone adhesive - $4.97.

Aluminum numbers - $1.48 each.

The hardest part was squeezing the adhesive out, because I didn't want to go out to the buggy shed to get a caulk gun.

 I think it looks pretty nice!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

House pictures

This has been one of the biggest challenges of our lives - this move, and trying to downsize into this house. We have come miles, but still have miles to go. We've bought shelves and cabinets, and made a zillion trips to Lowe's and Wal-Mart. We've gotten to the point where it's functional, just kind of cramped and inconvenient. Once it gets functional I guess our natural tendency is to slow down. There are still boxes to unpack, but nowhere to put the stuff that's in them, so there they sit. Pictures need to be hung, but nothing seems to look quite right.

We had furniture in both our sun room and living room before, and it's all in this living room, even though it doesn't go together. We were going to get rid of one set, but decided to keep it to have more sitting space when kids are over.

A bit cramped...

The piano fit perfectly into this corner. It's straight ahead when you walk in the front door. Note the stuff leaning against the wall that still needs a place.

I've got so much stuff on top of the cabinets, I'm surprised they don't fall off the walls! I still have another box of blue and white plates to unpack, and nowhere to put them. We got the rolling kitchen island as a way to get a few more drawers. It's not much help - they are a bit shallow, and don't open very far. *Sigh*

We gave away our old table and chairs. It had served us well for 30 years. Larry's sister and her husband built it for us as a gift for our first Christmas. Last week I finally got out to the furniture store and ordered a new set - we're using the patio table for the time being.

Claire's room is done, and she actually cleaned it yesterday! She loves having carpet, and I'm a little jealous of it. It's so much nicer to walk on than hardwood. But when you see how much dirt accumulates on the wood, you realize what's in your carpet.

Our bathroom. What can I say - it's small and doesn't have enough storage. We got the little shelf, which is in the way, and the medicine cabinet, which is nice, but doesn't hold enough. Ugh! I have a bigger vanity on my Christmas list - Ha!

They've been working on our back yard, and the side. They had to lay a drain pipe for the gutters, and now they are scraping the dirt back in around the patio wall. Past the treeline in the back yard is the academy ballfield, and then the elementary school where Mia goes.

The house may be cramped and inconvenient, but I am loving being so close to everything. Mia is thriving, walking to school, walking home, playing with friends around campus, and going to academy activities whenever she wants. Claire has become a little less social. I think she has built up in her mind that freshmen are low on the totem pole, and it makes her feel awkward. She swings back and forth on this pendulum of hating for us to be around to enjoying having us around if she forgets something, and being able to get off campus easily. I guess we'll all adjust eventually.  

Oh - Andy is loving it. We are in and out of the house all day, so he gets more attention and potty breaks, and he gets to go on lots of walks! Here's how he looks when I ask him if he wants to go for a walk.


Friday, August 8, 2014

My barn is here!

My little storage barn arrived yesterday, so now we can move out a lot of boxes, and hopefully get ourselves organized. We registered Claire last night, so she is all set with a very packed schedule for the semester, and has a job in the cafeteria. She starts this afternoon - yea! I think she is going to enjoy it, and her supervisor, Mrs. Watkins is a wonderful lady. Claire will even get to log in some hours this weekend. Every little bit helps toward her tuition. What a relief. My job is getting off to a slow start - there is definitely a lot of work to be done, but so far, no time to train me in.

Here is a picture of my barn. The neighbors have a bigger barn just on the other side of the fence from this one, and it's red with white trim. I hope this thing can stay as bug-free as possible!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Load #2

Well, we didn't have great luck with load #1. When we arrived, the house wasn't ready. We parked the truck and spent the night in a hotel, after finding friends who were willing to keep the dog for us. On Thursday we drove up into Indiana to pick up Mia from her week at her brother's house. We drove up and they drove down from Chicago and we met in the middle.

We drove back to Highland with high hopes of unpacking that truck, but alas, the house was still not ready. Some very gracious faculty who live 2 doors down invited us to spend the night, and didn't even fuss when our dog peed in their house. Only one worker had shown up the previous day, and he worked late into the night, but the house was still not ready the next day. We booked the truck through this Wednesday, and returned home to finish packing. UGH!

My back is hurting and one knee is about blown out. Claire's back hurts and Larry's shoulder. Hopefully we can get the 2nd truck loaded today and unload everything over there tomorrow. I'm going to unplug this computer now, and be off for a couple of days, until we can get set up over there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Truck #1 is loaded!

They said the house will be ready tomorrow, so we have our first load ready to head out in the morning. It still doesn't seem real to me. This house surely seems a lot more empty, echo-y and dusty, though!

Monday, July 7, 2014

More house pictures

Last Thursday Larry and I drove Mia up to Louisville, KY to meet up with her bio. brother, David and his mom, Diane. They are now up at his house for a week. We drove on down to Portland while we were over that way, and took a look at the house. It was supposed to be ready by July 1, but they said the contractor was about a week behind. Well, it looks like they are farther behind than that. We were hoping to move last Wednesday, but now we just don't know.

Our house here is a wreck, with boxes stacked everywhere. We were lucky to find a family moving into a nice house nearby, who wanted to give away their boxes. We've been hauling them away as fast as they can unload them. They had a company move them, so these are really nice boxes. They are stacked on our front porch, covering the windows so we can't even see out. But it's wonderful to need a box, step outside and select one that is the right size! And packing paper --- we have tons!

A few weeks ago Claire and I went to Lowe's and picked out paint colors. We planned to go over at some point and paint, but the school said painting was included in the contract for the renovations. So I sent over our choices. Well, it turns out the contractor only wanted to paint one color. I had chosen "Glacier Mist" for our room, the living room and our bathroom (thinking it was a nice spa-like blue), so I said to just use that color all over. The more I looked at the paint chip, the more gray it looked, and I was really worried that we'd have a dreary gray house. I was relieved when we walked in, to see that it is beautiful! I love it! Of course, the girls still want their rooms purple...

Here are a few pictures of the house as it looked last Friday. They were sanding the floors at the time, so they are not crisp, clear pictures. We had to keep going outside to breathe.

We thought the countertops were going to be gray, but they are beige. Not my favorite, but it looks okay with the blue walls. Still a ways to go to finish in here...

 Our bathroom vanity. Small, but that can be replaced easily enough. At least it's white.

 We've never had a bathroom window before!

 Claire's room. So tiny. 10 X 9. I wonder why they had this commercial-type tile in there. I'm not sure what they will be putting in. Claire hopes it will be carpet. This makes me think of George Costanza's little bedroom that his parents turned into a pool room and the pool stick bashed through the window when they took a shot.

 The family room, that used to be a carport. I can't see this being finished anytime soon! Maybe a big crew will sweep through and work a miracle!

 Looking into the kitchen from the family room.

 I think I'll put my grandma's old desk in this space, for my computer.

 The front looks better - they took out those white boards that looked like they were propping up the roof. Wouldn't this be a perfect place for a bay window?? The front of this house (sides and back, too!)  cries out for hydrangeas!

 This was the half bath that is now a full bath - it will be the girls' bathroom.

 These lights are better than the typical boob lights (although still a little boob-shaped).

 Linen closet - whoa! We better throw out some towels and sheets!

 Living room. You can see where they had sanded part of the floor.

 Mia's room.

 I'm not sure if this is our room or Mia's.

 Our closet. Hmm. I never thought I'd have a 10 X 11 bedroom!

 I'm hoping to make a little island sort of like this, for extra storage and a place to sit and chat in the kitchen.

Better get back to packing! Hopefully I'll be posting again very soon from the other house.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Keeping an open mind...

Claire and I took a little road trip on Thursday afternoon, and went over to take a look at the school and check out the house they have available for us to rent on campus. Claire was there with me for an alumni weekend when she was 6, but doesn't remember it. Amy Cirigliano, who is the recruitment and marketing director, showed us around, and introduced us to some of the staff and students. I think it eased Claire's mind a little about switching schools.

Sorry about the blurry spots on these pictures. It was raining.

 The Administration Building and gazebo. The fronts of the buildings have changed, and that gazebo has been built since I was in school there.

 The girls' dorm, where I spent two years.

 The church down the hill, on the drive in from the main road. All three of these pictures were taken from the parking lot. It's a pretty compact campus.

We also got to take a look at the house. What can I say about it --- it's small. We will definitely need to throw out or store some stuff big time. I think the living room may actually be bigger than what we currently have, but the bedrooms are teeny, and there is no master bathroom. Just a regular and a half bath, both in the hall. They are in the tearing apart stages of renovating the house, so it is a MESS. We're going to ask them to please at least change the door of the half bath to open into the bedroom that is next to it, and that can be our room. Ugh - I'm trying really hard to keep an open mind and a positive attitude.

On the positive side, there is a part time job on campus that is perfect for my skill set, and I'm going to send in my resume! It would be so nice to not have to drive to work, be able to walk home for lunch, and not have to worry about getting to work in snowy or icy weather!

Here are a few pictures. Keep an open mind, now...

The outside. The addition on the left used to be a carport, and someone converted it into a family room. No garage. Hmm. Larry's got tons of bikes and tools. Where will he put them??

I've also got a ton of sewing and knitting stuff. Maybe I can get myself one of those cute little barns from Lowe's, seal it up good, and make it my little craft house.

 The living room. Long and skinny.

 The family room. Also long and skinny.

The kitchen. Short and skinny. I told the maintenance man who was showing us everything, how everything in my house is blue, white and yellow, so hopefully they will choose very light and neutral colors! Please, no grainy brown countertops!

The front yard. I like the trees! The drive behind the biggest tree goes up to the elementary school where Mia will attend. She can walk. Just think how much we will save on gasoline! I would say at least $200 per month.

We're thinking we will store our excess junk, and try to sell our current house. Once it sells, we can look at our leisure for a place nearby. Or, who knows? Maybe we'll enjoy our downsized way of living, and decide to stay awhile!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Another Beautiful Weekend!

Two pretty weekends in a row - wow! The girls and I had been sick earlier in the week, but in spite of our lingering sniffles and coughs, we were able to get out and enjoy the nice weather. Saturday afternoon we spent some time at the NC Arboretum down the road. We've got season passes that we got for Christmas, but this has been the first time we've used them, just because we didn't feel like getting out in the cold earlier. Here are a few pictures.

Andy on the drive there. He LOVES riding in the car!

Claire was not happy out there - too many gnats. *sigh*

Larry and I spent this afternoon trimming back the Hydrangeas. Ugh. I'm just ill about them getting zapped by the cold this year.

Here is how they usually look in June:

And here is how they look now:

Usually in June:

And now:

I guess it will be good for them to have a year to concentrate on plant growth. We can print out some pictures to show folks who come to view the house.