Bits and bobs

Hi Everyone,

To my U.S. readers I hope you have all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Ours came the weekend before when my daughter, son-in-law and grandbaby made it here to celebrate a little early. It was not our best Thanksgiving with my son away, and both my Dad and uncle gone now, but the baby helped provide plenty of joy and laughter.

The rest of the past couple of weeks have been the equivalent of cat wrangling.  My car was in the shop for a month having two recalls fixed. The chimney sweeps have cleaned out our chimneys for the winter. The security company has our security system up and running. D. has been working long hours so I have been doing the critter feed runs by the truck load. Termite inspection is this coming week.  Hopefully most of the house maintenance is about wrapped up.

Crazy me decided that our living room NEEDED to be painted before Christmas. I started Thanksgiving day.  Yesterday I put in 8 full hours of painting. Not smart. Not smart at all.  Under most circumstances 8 hours of painting would easily knock out a room, but the former owners here painted lots of the trim, including two built in bookcases and the fireplace mantel 1980’s dark country blue.  It takes two coats of primer and two coats of the trim paint to cover it up! Ugh! My arm is so tired and sore today. The walls are no where near painted. I am not sure my self imposed deadline is going to happen. We won’t even talk about the ceiling. I had already decided that wasn’t going to happen until after Christmas. I think I will just move on with decorating and work in the painting the best I can before I put myself in the hospital.

Sweetie Pie the cat has proclaimed herself no longer a barn cat, but a pampered sunroom cat.  One of the doors to the sunroom was damaged by the former owners’ dog and it has just enough room for a small cat paw to pry open the door and vice versa. I don’t have it in me to dispute her decision, so I moved her blanket and bed from the barn into the sunroom and now feed Her Majesty there as well.

As if we didn’t have enough mouths to feed, my sister and brother-in-law found nine free goats to add to the two kudzu removal goats we already had working on the family farm.  Ok, they are stinking cute and are doing a grand job of under brushing the land so far.  I think the plan is to move them into the kudzu very soon.  They are much quieter, as efficient or more so than a bulldozer and safer than chemical sprays.

Did I mention last time that I had found my art supplies? Well, I found my paint and got all excited. I was about to bust a seam to paint again. Then I realized that I had paint, but no brushes. Dang! I spent almost an hour trying to find my brushes, but no luck. I pulled out my charcoal and micro pens, but that just didn’t do it for me. In desperation I grabbed a handful of Q-tips! Yes, I did a small painting with Q-tips. Not great, but it kept me from having some bad creative breakdown.  The people who live with me are very thankful for Q-tips now.

I went to bed a couple of nights ago pondering where my paint brushes had disappeared to.  I really wanted to blame the disappearance on the poltergeist that evidently lives in Miss L’s room and takes her stuff on a regular basis. Well, lo and behold, I dreamed about my missing brushes and where they had hidden themselves.  The next morning my first stop was the drawer in my dream and there they were! Joy! Joy! I’m back in business.

It’s time for me to start dragging out the Christmas decorations. Unlike the Christmas crazed 13 year old who lives here, I refuse to decorated before the Turkey Day.  It’s time. The tree is going up in front of the partially painted bay window wall and no one will know the difference when they drive by outside.  Sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and a little grace.

Have a great week!

 

Wintering

Hi Everyone,

Yes, I missed last week.  No super excuse other than I was still digging out of boxes and we were getting ready for a cold spell.  New Readers, my long time readers will tell you that this is my whining season. I am not cold tolerant. You have been warned.

I did spend Halloween with my favorite grandson.  It was a quick (if you consider 4.5 hours quick) drive down, spent the night and back on the road the next day.  We have an annual family get together and of course it was that Saturday. Anyway, my daughter’s neighborhood goes all out for Halloween and we had a great time teaching Buzz how to score some candy.  He figured it out in the end, but got Goldfish crackers instead of candy. He’s a work in progress.

Our family chicken stew (for more info on that very local pot of glory go back into the October archives) was fun and relaxing thanks to one very beautiful Fall day.  Perfect for eating outside and catching up by the fire pit. It was nice to have the new place come with a ready made fire pit!

This week has been COLD, COLD, COLD by Southern standards. Lows in the 20’s don’t normally hit us until January and February.  So D. and I had to spend last week getting the four leggers situated for the cold.  We also got our FOUR chimney flues inspected and luckily one was clean enough to start using.  The rest are getting cleaned this coming week.  We are wood burning folk. No gas logs for us. Thus chimneys must be cleaned every few years.

We also found out that our frost free outdoor faucet is NOT frost free. The dang thing froze up.  Hauling water from the bathtub all the way to the barn in a five gallon bucket is not my idea of winter fun on a 20 degree morning. Then there is the fun of waiting for the water hose to thaw so you can fill the water trough or breaking the ice on the water trough. Yes, I’m officially winter whining.  Eventually there will be a water line to the barn, but it’s a toss up on whether that happens first or the automatic gate opener.  Getting in and out of the car in the cold and rain is not fun either. Whine #2.

The good news is that most of the boxes are out of the dining room…again…for the third time.  Yes, it has been filled three times and three times I have opened and sorted all those boxes.  Some just went upstairs (more on that to come). Now I just have to tackle the ones in the sunroom and pack house.  Lordy.

More good new…I FOUND MY ART SUPPLIES!!.  They have been packed up since January I think. I made a makeshift studio in the newly cleaned out dining room. Here is a photo of the future official studio.  Ain’t it purty!?  Ok, so not yet.  Imagine white bead board walls and built in shelves. That’s where we are heading…after the horses have stalls built in the barn.  Yes, I rank below the horses.  I can’t say much because the pups got this cushy new bed while our bed springs and mattress are on the floor until I get our room remodeled and buy a new bed. The last one broke in the first move of the year.

That’s the news from Lake Wobegone. Oh, wait. Wrong place, but almost as cold. Have a great week and stay warm!

Home

Hi Everyone,

I’m doing my best to get back to a schedule again.  I did not realize just how out of sorts I have been over the past few months until I started working on a new routine around here.  Still plenty of crazy going on, but hopefully after this coming weekend we will be moving toward normal again. We got that last darn storage unit cleaned out! I have cleaned out our dining room twice now.  It is serving as the launch pad for all the stuff since we don’t currently have a dining table. One more big pile to go. Somewhere in all the boxes are my art supplies.  I have missed them and hope to spend quality time with them again soon.

You will see and hear more about our new home over time because much of my time and creativity will be going into it for a while, but I wanted to fill you in on our story with this house.  Warning…another long post.

Right after our house went under contract and we went into panic mode to find a place to rent while we were building a new house (the one that didn’t happen) a friend suggested contacting the owners of our now home because no one was currently living in it. Initially we did just that, but they did not want renters. Then on the long drive back to our place we realized that very likely the property had everything we needed and a lot of what we wanted.  We then called them back and asked if they would be willing to sell the property to us.

Now, maybe you don’t believe in Divine Intervention, but the way the whole thing fell in place certainly makes us believe in it.  Without all the long details, the owners wanted time to discuss it. In the meantime we found a place to rent that worked out beautifully for us. Next the owners called us to come by and discuss the possible purchase.  We walked through the house and around the property, realizing it not only had what we needed, but everything that was on our “have to have” list and our “want” list!  They gave us a price and their bottom line of what they were or weren’t willing to do for the sale. In about a two minute time span, D. and I took a MAJOR leap of faith and agreed to their terms.  The owners, who had been former horse owners, also made us the offer to let us keep our horses on the property while we were renting for FREE! Anyone who has boarded a horse, much less four horses and a donkey, knows what that is worth.

So, we now had a place to rent for the four months the owners requested for the closing, a place for the horses that did not require us to bulldoze land or move my sister and brother-in-law’s llamas, only 5 minutes from our rental. Whew! Major relief. If you have been reading here this summer you know it was not all fun and games as we moved and settled one property to purchase this one, but all in all it came together with perfect timing along with my Dad’s decline.  We were here, 5 minutes from the family and able to help Mom, etc.

This house and property holds a special, happy place in my heart.  My parents’ house is right across the road. The original owners were like extra grandparents to me and this property was my well worn trail as a little girl to visit my friends across the street and up on the hill. Mr. Wade and Miz (our local Southern title for adult ladies, married or not) Doris had this place neat as a pin and there was always a cheerful greeting from one or both of them. Sometimes cookies were offered and accepted as well!

The house has not been occupied for a few years and has seen some neglect.  We have our work cut out for us to return it to its former glory (not sure we can get it completely there, but plan to give it our best shot). Still, we are in love with it. The house is well thought out with tons of storage and vintage charm. It was built in 1955.  Mr. Wade built rock walls and edging all over the place.  There was an orchard and I just planted six new apple trees in it again. We have more out buildings than we ever dreamed of and all the critters are happily settled in…except the chickens…they will be at the family barn for a while yet until we get a new house built for them.

Here are a few pictures.  Before and after (so far) of the front of the house and some surprises we have found in our short time here.  Have a great week.  This week I plan to be in Charleston for Halloween with the grandbaby, but might be able to squeeze in a post before I go…or after with cute Halloween overload!

The last photo is where we started from on the front of the house.  It was so grown up you could barely see there was a house and the left side and bay window were completely covered. Since the first photo was made we have also cut down most of the big holly bush.  We have a long list of things to do, but we are finally in and don’t really have anything we have to rush to do…except the barn.  More on that later. Winter is coming and horses need stalls.

 

Goodbye Dad

Hi Everyone,

My Dad, William Robert Dull, passed away on October 9th, 2019 at the age of 84.  The week before he passed was bittersweet.  Both my kids and grandson managed to get back from Charleston, SC and St. John USVI just in time to visit with him before he left us and be here for the funeral.  There are times when you know that you need to soak in every second because they are precious. October 3rd through October 13th were such days.  I don’t even think I took many, if any, pictures.  I just wanted to be very present for the time with my seven month old grandson, time with both kids, time with my Dad and time with my sister and Mom as we watched Dad slip away.

There are things that I wanted to say about my Dad that weren’t said at the funeral.  A funeral service is a collective snapshot of a life.  It certainly couldn’t convey 84 years of his life or even my 57 years of being the daughter of Bill Dull.  I would like to take the opportunity to tell about the man who taught me so much and even if no one else reads this, it will be here for me to revisit as needed in the years to come.

What I learned from Dad…

  1. The Practical.  In a time where it wasn’t so common for a girl to be taught such things, my Dad taught me very practical skills.  I learned the name and use of every tool in his toolbox as I helped him do repairs to the cars and maintenance around the house.  He taught me how to plant a garden, mow the yard, check the oil, jump the battery and change a tire on the car and clean a fish.   I have used these skills pretty much daily (except for fish cleaning, but I could probably still pull that out of the memory bank if necessary) since I was a teenager and especially as a single Mom.  I remember saying a silent “thank you Dad!” as I built shelves in my son’s closet many years ago.
  2. Real Friendship.  My Dad, except for his time in the Army, lived his entire life in the same community.  Most of his closest friends were the same ones he had a boy, but he loved people and had a wide circle of good friends.  My Dad’s family loved to argue politics.  It was a sport to them.  In contrast to today’s craziness, my Dad would have NEVER dreamed of dissolving a friendship over something as petty as politics. Several of his close friends were of the opposite party and yet after a good political “discussion” over coffee they would walk away as friends to repeat the conversation another day.  Having had at least one incident where I evidently offended a “friend” because of an opposing view and was dropped from their friend list, I will continue to follow my Dad’s example of putting friendship first.
  3. A Love of Nature, Animals and Small Children. Dad never would have guessed that it was his influence that began my “Hippie Mama” (my kids’ sometimes nickname for me) mind frame. He would walk through the woods and name every tree, plant, bird and animal sound.  In the 70’s we would be in the car and he would rant and rave about the trash on the side of the road.  We NEVER looked for pets because Dad brought home every unwanted, home needing creature.  Only he could love the infamous Killer Cat, aka “the meanest cat on earth” that lived to be 22 years old! I got it honest.  He also loved babies and small children like nobody’s business. I was waiting on the day that we needed bail money because he scared some young mother to death by stalking their baby or child in a store to make silly faces or baby talk to them. On a mission trip that took us to a border town in Mexico, he was so upset by the small children begging in the streets that I checked under the seats of the bus on our way back to make sure he hadn’t smuggled some of the children on with us.
  4. Perseverance. I learned this lesson by watching my Dad for six long years.  To be able to move up into management at his company Dad needed to have a college degree.  While working FULL TIME, RAISING A FAMILY and LOOKING AFTER A HOME, my Dad went to NIGHT SCHOOL for SIX YEARS! Three nights a week he came home from work, ate supper, got into his used VW Beetle (back when gas was in short supply) and drove to the nearest community college for classes.  The other two nights a week and on weekends he studied. We didn’t see him much during those years, but even though I was little I knew he was putting in some hard work.  I remember watching him walk across the stage to receive his Bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and being very proud of my Dad…and happy that we would have more time with him again.  His example of putting in the time, effort and hard work to reach a goal has gotten me through some tough times.  Put one foot in front of the other and get it done no matter how hard something is.
  5. Love People and Do The Right Thing.  I can’t get through this one without sobbing. He loved his family, his friends, his community and his country even when all of them let him down or disappointed him at times.  He did the right thing for all of them even when I’m sure he didn’t want to or knew there would be no recognition or reward.  Kenny, his long time friend who spoke at his funeral, called my Dad “A Southern Gentleman”. That’s probably as true as it gets in the best sense of the title.  Not in the warped, contemporary political take of Southern men, but of the long standing sense of pride, gentlemanly behavior towards all people (he had friends of all ages, race and political persuasions). Dad would stand up for what he believed was right in a heart beat and scare you half to death, but turn right around and rescue a kitten from a drain pipe. You could count on him.  ALWAYS!

We are going to miss you Pop!

 

In my wildest dreams…

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are well and life is calm.  For the next nine days I will be juggling the usual life stuff, last minute paperwork for our closing (it doesn’t end I guess until the ink is on the paper), packing again, arranging utility changes and all the last minute things I haven’t thought of yet, but am suffering anxiety over.  Don’t plan on seeing a post from me for about two weeks.  Next week will be chaos and the next will be spent trying to find things in the chaos.

Every year, to get a discount on our health insurance, we have a wellness evaluation. Now D. and I live pretty healthy lives and don’t worry about this too much, but I usually get tagged for wellness coaching due to what can only be explained as a genetic cholesterol glitch where my LDL is just high enough over my HDL to flag the system. Any way, besides being annoying, I get to talk to a nice nurse three times a year about life.  Last week was my first call. After going over all the questions and talking life, the nurse said something to the effect of, “sounds like your only real health problem is stress”. NOOOOOOOOO, really???

So in my last post I hinted at something that I was working on.  This thing is my latest attempt at some stress management. Twice before in my life I have been in some very serious, super high stress, life stuff that took a toll on my health. This time I have been trying to, if not put myself first, at least put myself close to the top of the list so that I can keep looking after the people I need to look after.  Last week we had to take Dad to the hospital again.  I don’t need to be in the room next to him.

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What am I doing you ask? Remember this picture from my last post.  See the big guy in front? That’s Asher. Asher is my horse.  Now, I never, ever, ever expected to have a horse of my own. When I was a girl and asked my Dad for a horse, I was pretty much told that if we couldn’t eat it then it wasn’t living on our farm.  It’s another whole story to explain that we ALWAYS had cats & dogs that DAD brought home and we didn’t eat them!

Fast forward through about four decades. I had taken every chance I could to ride horses, but over those four decades it averaged out to about one, maybe two, horse back rides PER DECADE.  AND on most of those rides I have been thrown off or run into tree branches in attempts to knock me off or taken very unexpected fast rides uphill / downhill to barns or generally had my wits tested by almost every horse I have ridden. AND I keep getting back on horses.  Seriously, I’m crazy if you haven’t read this blog long enough to figure it out.

 

To add to the crazy, I go and marry a guy who not only loves horses, owns a few, trains them and at one point did endurance competitions that were 50 – 100 miles on horseback. He has some experience with horses.  D. took Asher (then known very unimaginatively as Pinto – he’s a pinto colored horse) as payment for training Cinder (big horse in the back of the picture that we now also own).  D. then proceeds to tell me that Pinto (aka Asher) is my horse.  Nowhere in my adult life have I ever thought I would have my own horse. I cried. I still cry.  I changed Pinto’s name to Asher which means happy & blessed. I still cry.

Asher is a Tennessee Walker. He’s big.  He’s the Alpha male in the herd. He’s curious and never misses a leaf flutter, a deer in the woods or stick crack under his feet. D. says he’s gonna be a cool ride.  In other words, I am totally and completely inept at riding my own horse! So I’m taking lessons.  No, not from D.  I love my husband and want to stay married to him.  We all know that taking lessons from a spouse is not the best way to promote harmony in a marriage.

I have had two lessons so far from a very experienced rider/teacher/stable owner who is close to my age and has the ability to explain in detail what I need to do to stay on and control a horse.  It has taken me out of my comfort zone, taken my mind off the rest of my life and focused me like a Jedi knight trainee.  I wish I could take a lesson every freakin’ day!

Our four horses are at different levels of experience with riders. Two are veterans of the teaching ring, having put up with many students over the years.  They have to endure my clumsy signals for a while yet so I can practice before I start training with Asher.  He’s almost as green as I am.  Stay tuned for more adventures in riding!

My goal is to one day, when it has been “one of those days”, saddle up my Asher and ride off into the sunset…watch it and ride back home.

Go do something that makes your heart pound, your breath catch and grin like the cheshire cat.

Back in a couple of weeks.

 

Just waiting

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for your patience during my extended absences. I hope all is well in your world and for those of you in the path of Dorian, my prayers are with you.  My heart hurts for the people of the Bahamas.

Just like the Three Amigos in the picture above (aka Spark Plug, Cinder & Asher) we are just waiting right now.  They are waiting for breakfast in the photo.  We are waiting on life changes.

Since I really didn’t think you would be all that interested in the fact that I am enjoying the downtime and have been doing boring things like roasting figs, painting a lamp (80’s era brass to dark bronze), knitting and reading…I haven’t subjected you to the details.

Dad is hanging in there. He mainly sleeps most of the day. Mom has gotten more daily help for him so we are relieved that she, hopefully, is not wearing herself out so much. One kid has had tropical storm Dorian turn into a hurricane over his head, but is ok. Now the other kid is waiting to see if they need to evacuate.  I absolutely do not wish for hurricanes, but won’t turn down time with the grandbaby if the hurricane happens to send them this way!

We are in the last few weeks of renting and finalizing loan paperwork.  I’m somewhat superstitious so I don’t talk too much about our next move. I will happily fill you in when the ink is dry and the moving truck has pulled away.

I am also planning something new that is actually a very old life goal. More on that to come as well.

My apologies for being so cryptic, but details are not ironed out.  I mainly just wanted to drop in and let you know I’m still around and should be getting back on a regular schedule soon.  Until about October things will still be a little sporadic.  Stay safe, enjoy the last bits of Summer if you are on the top half of the world and rest in the waiting if that is where you are too.

 

 

 

 

Winding down summer

Hi Everyone!

I apologize for missing last week.  To be honest, everything was in a holding pattern and there wasn’t a darn thing new to talk about. I just didn’t want to bore either of us to tears.

Luckily, this week we have progress! Last Friday we FINALLY closed on our property up in the hills. We truly didn’t think it was going to happen then either.  The closing was scheduled for 9:00 am. At 8:00 pm on Thursday we were going through the closing disclosure with our realtor and caught several mistakes.  We were sitting in the attorney’s conference room Friday morning and there was STILL a mistake on the paperwork.  We signed our part of the paperwork, came home to feed the animals and had to drive back about noon to get our check after the correction had been made. Yes, we went out for a nice lunch to celebrate.  There haven’t been restaurants in our life since the beginning of June because we were paying rent and mortgage.

Our weekend was so strange. Saturday afternoon D. and I looked at each other and realized that for the first time in about six months we did normal Saturday stuff. You know, take off the trash, mow the yard, do laundry, etc.  No packing or unpacking boxes. No running to the hardware store to get supplies for repairs. No carrying furniture. IT WAS AWESOME! Just normal, mundane Saturday chores.

This week school started.  Yes, I know I’m not the only one to be doing the School Starts Happy Dance. We love the kid, but she’s 13 and comes with THE ATTITUDE now. Trying to keep a 13 year old entertained for weeks on end can be difficult at best.  We don’t believe in entertaining them as much as keeping them busy with life lesson chores.  Those come with quantities of huffing and puffing and procrastination and eye rolling. Fun stuff that.

Today brought one of the best surprises we have had in months. Dad has been in a bad state for weeks. I really haven’t wanted to discuss it or write about it.  He has been sleeping for days on end, barely getting up to eat or go to the bathroom. He has barely been eating or drinking,  We have been watching him fade away in front of our eyes. Every now and then he would sit with us for a few minutes and we would get a glimpse of our real Dad.

This morning I drop by their house to visit after feeding the horses and my bees. I’m in the kitchen when lo and behold, Dad comes rolling into the kitchen on his own, without coercion, with his walker and sits down at the kitchen table with us. I’m just amazed and so is Mom. He says something about sleeping his life away and joins us in conversation. I had planned to leave after a brief visit this morning, but it was so good to see him up and coherent and engaged I just stayed much longer than planned.

Dad has always made faces and rolled his eyes behind Mom’s back when she does something he thinks is silly or gets on his nerves. I got to see the familiar eye rolls and goofy faces this morning as she fussed about trying to help him with his hearing aids. He asked about my bees and what we had been up to recently. Before I left he rolled on into the living room and settled into his chair. When I got home, Mom called and said he sat and watched the news.  Dad has always loved the news…loved to curse at the news actually. It has been the earliest part of this year since he last sat and watched and cussed at the tv.  Dang, it’s the littlest things that can make sunshine in your heart.

I don’t know how long this will last, but I know that my Mom, my sister and I will hang onto every second of it we can get. Summer may be winding down, but this morning I got a big shot of Spring again when I saw a glimpse of my big, strong Dad again peeking out of his now very frail body.

Have a great week and soak in some sunshine.

 

 

 

On to the bread box

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for missing last week.  By the time I had time to write, I was too exhausted and escaped into YouTube and Pinterest for what little brain power I had left.

Let’s see, where did I leave off in the ongoing and going and going saga of our epic move?  As of Friday, July 26th, we had been moving for one month and 26 days! If we weren’t physically carrying boxes and furniture, we were doing repairs, sorting, trying to find things and cleaning up. Friday morning we officially packed up the last truckload of stuff, locked the doors for what we hope is the last time and drove away.  We haven’t unloaded that truckload, but it is at least in the same county with us.  We started celebrating in the afternoon.  We have not closed on the property yet though.  We are now on our FIFTH closing date.  Yes, you read that right. FIVE times the closing has been set.  Please cross your fingers, say prayers and send good vibes our way for this coming Wednesday…to actually sign the papers and have it DONE.

We started celebrating the final moving trip because it seemed like it would never end. Add to the physical exhaustion, there is always stress involved with a move and there has been even more stress with Dad’s condition, getting Miss L’s paperwork to school, arranging her 13th birthday party (yes, we officially have another teenager), having her braces put on, D. started a new job, having to go two different places to feed animals, etc. etc. etc.  I have had to apologize for a few stress induced meltdowns.  Have you noticed that everyone and everything seems to hit your last nerve when anxiety and stress lingers for a long time?  My last nerve is worn to a nub.

How did we celebrate? Well, D. saddled up his horse, KC, and went for a nice, two hour trail ride. He rarely gets to do that.  I probably should have warned the neighbors that he could possibly show up on your doorstep to say hello…with KC also standing on their doorstep. Expect it.  At least one neighbor had that happen.  She was not expecting it.

Miss L and I went to the community pool and I read and visited with my sister for awhile when she came to chill by the pool also.  We talk virtually everyday now, but it is usually a run down of how Dad and Mom are doing and what do we need to do that day. She is under the great banking cloud of doom from a merger of the bank she works for with another bank. Daily she has to face the stress of the upcoming layoffs and wondering if she will be with or without a job in the very near future.

Fun times we are having in 2019.  Our friend Alan says it all has to do with Mercury and its place in the heavens. Sounds like a good enough excuse for all this crazy.  Oh, and by the way, a HUGE thank you to our friends Alan and Sharon for helping us wrap up the last of the repairs.  They saved us another weekend or a couple of late nights finishing those.

So my little celebration was a small project that I have been wanting to do for about two years now.  Other than a knitting project I started, there have been no creative endeavors for the past month and 26 days.  If you have read any of these posts you know that I am a much saner person if I am making or gardening.  My current tiny garden is below. It is not big enough for a major stress reliever.

My celebratory project was painting this vintage bread box.  Ok, so it’s not a huge thing, but it is. It is my first project for our future selves.  Everything else we have been doing has involved trying to close out a chapter.  It has often been depressing and hard because we have been waiting to move forward but couldn’t. Now we can.

The bread box belonged to D’s Great-Grandmother and then his Grandmother according to his sister. It was a fixture in his Grandmother’s kitchen as long as he could remember.  Other members of the family may know the actual age, but my best guess is the 1920’s – 1940’s. Now before the antique/vintage purists give me grief about painting it, know that we have no intention of selling it.  We plan to use it and enjoy it as long as it holds together.  That said, it’s cute but needed a fresh coat of paint.  It is going to reside in our new, to us, kitchen that will have a vintage vibe.  I’m glad it was originally red because I have always liked cheerful pops of red in my kitchen.  I have another upcoming paint project that will be having a color change. More on that to come.

So I am happy to report we are closing out a chapter and looking forward to the new one.  If you have been reading this blog lately, you are probably pretty darn happy about that too. I know that my whining has been somewhat endless.  My next goal is to FIND MY ART SUPPLIES!

Here is our freshly painted breadbox!

Have a great week and may your future be bright!

Morning rituals

Hi Everyone!

I hope you have had a good week and your July is going well.  We are in the high, hot days of summer here. Once again more rain than we traditionally have. My rain gauge is based on how many times I have to mow the yard during the summer. In the decades that I have lived in North Carolina, most years you could count on having about a month’s break from lawn mowing.  Last year was every single week except on the weeks that the rain didn’t let up.  This year has also been every week, but so far without the never ending rains of last year.  Mainly just afternoon thunderstorms.  The one we had last night took out a huge Popular tree at my parent’s house as well as their phone and all the outlets at the barn.  The tree is still standing, but we are now faced with having it cut down, because it took a life ending hit.

This week has been challenging. Lots of time on the road trying to finish up the last bits and bobs of stuff from the house we left and the repairs before closing. Lots of time on the road running errands and a certain almost 13 year old to her social events.  There is ongoing stress over the house closing.  It seems that our buyers have unwisely decided to use a huge bank that has a reputation for NOT doing the job correctly, for their lender.  Every time we think we are almost finished some other hiccup happens.  Am I alone in wishing there was a brain switch that could turn off the overthinking section?? I had to deal with this bank when my sister-in-law passed and for an entire year the experience was nothing short of excruciating. I am suffering from PTSD as we try to get this closing done.

Today I desperately needed some nature and ritual back in my life.  Normally I have been dragging a cranky pre-teen with me to feed all the animals each morning and I can’t say that it has been a peaceful experience. So this morning I decided that my mental health was more important than the life responsibility lessons for the kid and let her sleep in while I visited with the critters and took in the soul soothing beauty of a summer morning.  Thought I would share it with you.  Enjoy the beauty without the humidity, spider webs and soggy sneakers.  Have a lovely week and hopefully I will be back next week in a more positive frame of mind.

Divine timing

Hi Everyone!

Yes, I’m back finally.  There may still be a skip or two, but I am trying to get back with the routines of life.

Today is going to be a quick update because there hasn’t been any time for creative endeavors, just endless hauling of boxes and furniture.

Status update: 7/8’s moved. We have about one carload of stuff that doesn’t fit in a box to bring to the rental and one truck bed of stuff to go to a storage unit and one trailer load of farm/yard equipment to drop off at the family farm for the time being.

There are minor repairs to finish up before closing on July 23rd of our old place and some plants that are coming with us.  The closing has been moved twice and though it caused stress and some worry, it has been a blessing in disguise.  We might have put ourselves in the hospital trying to meet the first closing date of June 28th and we get a final crop of our blueberries before it’s all done!

We are enjoying our rental house.  It has been a perfect fit. Close to my parents and our animals that are in three different places, off the road with some woods and fields behind us and the view of a corn field in front of us.  The photo is our view from the front porch where we enjoy sitting and watching the clouds and storms pass by.

I don’t think I mentioned our future plans in the past posts. One reason was because they were still a bit in limbo.  We now have a contract on a property across the road from my parents house.  The one week sale of our property surprised us and left us no time to get the financing started for either building or buying a new place.  If everything comes together we should be moving again PERMANENTLY by the end of September.  More details to come.

Dad is hanging in there. A few more treatments to go and he will be done.  They have taken a lot out of him.  He has lost weight and is very tired.  Our move happened at the right time.  Never doubt divine timing even when it is exhausting and/or frustrating.  We are back to spend what time he has left with him, to help out Mom because we don’t like to leave Dad alone anymore and to help my sister and brother-in-law keep up with the family property.  Eventually we will tackle that *&$#* kudzu!

Another plus to our move is that we are closer to our kids and grandkids. One hour closer to Charleston, SC and St. John USVI where my kids live, doesn’t seem like much in my case, but it centralizes all their family in one geographical area for ease of travel when they do get home to visit. We got to babysit one of the grands last weekend and get to know more about her 7 year old world.  Until now our time with the grands has been when there was a big family gathering and no real one-on-one time to get to know them. There are plans for a once a month Sunday lunch to see as many as possible as often as possible and keep up with their lives. It’s not easy when you have eight kids and six grandkids all going different directions.

Overall it has been a good move and we are excited to spend time with friends and family we have been too far away from.  We are looking forward to settling into the new place and making a new home to build good memories in.

Have a great week and trust the timing.