Category Archives: home

Miracle

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I looked at a house today. As in, stepped foot in a house I’ve been looking at with curiosity for months. Our budget says we could totally afford a house once we got into it, but GETTING INTO a house seems impossible and unreachable. At least for the foreseeable future. We have three children (almost 12, almost 4, and almost 1) and the prospect of saving for a big down payment any time soon is almost laughable, if it weren’t so depressing. It would take a miracle.

For now, I must be content to be curious.

Furthermore, I don’t know that this was THE house. It would need a lot of work to get it “just right,” but it’s got a HUGE yard with enormous shade trees, all the bedrooms we could possible fill and lots of little surprises to make it charming (like those vintage blue tile bathrooms! le sigh) And it was pretty quiet. I could imagine happy kids running up and down halls, decorating a room they didn’t have to share with older or younger siblings; tromping up and down stairs, Christmas trees for years to come in front of that gigantic bay window in the front, but I also almost immediately noticed the chipped paint EVERYWHERE, the original laminate (hey, I think I know somebody who could do something about that), big patches of bare ground where the St Augustine died in the shade of those enormous trees, and the most gawd-awful looking metal shed (did I say shed? I meant metal eyesore) that would immediately have to be torn down taking up a good 1/5th of the yard.

I’ll know the house and time is right when I get there. I’ll feel that zing in my ears and that tingle in my fingers. The house will speak to me.

Shush. I heard you laugh.

 

Soooo, it’s probably not THE house. But it was fun to look. And imagine. And feed a dream that, maybe, thanks to a lot of hard work (and maybe more than a little miracle) might come true. Someday.

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Flowers that know my name

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I made a crack earlier in the week that I could grow flowers just until they figured out it was me – then, they’d die. It’s as if I have a reputation with all things green and leafy.

I’ve tried to grow flowers and from time to time they live longer than a month. But, most of the time, it’s like they just give up and die. They hate me. But I love them anyway.

I know enough to know I can’t grow Gerber Daisies. They REALLY hate me. Like calling on acts of God (not kidding, people) hate me. I’ve tried twice to grow them and BOTH times (yes, really) there has been a freak hailstorm that completely mowed them down. Zinnias aren’t much better. They start out ok but then they get all wilty and brown around the edges.

Hydrangeas are better but I haven’t tried in a few years.

My favorite flowers to grow are hibiscus. Especially the orange and bright pink ones. They just say summer to me. Begonias are pretty easy too. I like impatiens but they die the first moment it gets above 70 degrees during the day. So, that’s about two weeks in the spring. I like petunias but I don’t know how to cut them back without killing them. See, isn’t this sad?

If I had the time and talent, this is a dream yard:

This is nuts

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I’m just sayin’. 

Waiting is fine.  A lesson in God’s timing?  Maybe?  I’m totally ok with that.  But this is bananas. 

In other news: Princess Crybaby has her first tooth!  A little white tooth is poking through her tender little gums and giving her no end of fodder for whiny-ness. 

In other, other news: The day after I soak the grass (which hasn’t been watered since, oh, NOVEMBER) the sprinklers are working and the grass gets watered.  It wasn’t long so I don’t know how much good it did.  I imagine I will still run the little sprinkler a few days to help the ground soften up. 

I’ve had an idea about putting paving stones around the “patio” in order to create little more usable space for the grill and maybe a couple of chairs.  It would delay the need to replace dead grass that was killed by 1. sitting water last fall, 2. a total lack of water through the winter and spring and 3. the high traffic area by the back door (i.e. “patio). 

I think we’ve decided to stay in our house, rather than taking over Mom’s house.  I know it would be a little more affordable and would have an extra bedroom (HELLO OFFICE!) but the drawbacks, while they are minor, would add hassle to our lives and that is counter-productive. 

So, we’re looking to improve on our great little house.  YEAH!  I love a project.  (a major reason I love summer)

The power of a clean house

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I know I’ve posted before of my love affair with a clean house.

The events of the past week made it a perfect time to scrub this house from top to bottom.

Life is a lot like my house. It entails a lot of coming and going and so, despite sweeping and dusting on a regular basis, every now and then you have to make time to wipe down baseboards, clean the oven and scrape away the grime that just builds up from regular use.

I think scrubbing floors on my hands and knees, oiling and polishing my beautiful, beat up antique table to a shine was just the healing balm I needed today to clear my thoughts.

Tonight, I am laying on the couch, tired from today’s efforts but feeling more at peace then I have in a while.

Who knew squeaky floors could be so therapeutic? I wonder if there is a scripture about the power of cleaning?

*laugh*

Wish I had mopped first

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Back in the summer (before Munchkin came home from NJ), I got on a Sims 3 kick.  I created a family with two children.  Boy, was that a crazy thing – the game took the kids away one time; another time the older child ran away….  In the game, I just couldn’t respond to their needs fast enough AND take care of my own sims’ needs.  Now that Princess Crybaby is here and we brought home the dog (basically like having a toddler in the house) I know what the sim mom must have been thinking, “CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!”  How often, as moms, do we sacrifice our own needs to ensure our children have what they need? 

I don’t know where I’m going with this post.  I am unhappy I left the house a mess this morning.  We were gone all day yesterday so laundry didn’t get done and I didn’t mop the floors AND I didn’t go grocery shopping.  Also, I’ve become accustomed to having time after I drop Munchkin off at school to tidy up from the morning getting-ready blitz.   I didn’t have time to do that this morning b/c Munchkin has a dentist appointment at 3 so I needed to go into the office early so I could leave early.  On top of that, Princess Crybaby decided she was hungry again so everything stopped while I fed her.  Then, the dog needs to go out, the cat needs his insulin shot….see where I’m going with this?  Is it any wonder my hair gets shorter everytime I get it cut?

I’m not unhappy with our situation; I think this morning ruffled my feathers so I’m whining.  I’m a creature of habit, routine and schedules and deviating from that irks me.  I love a really clean house but also will tell you if I have to pick a 10 minute shower, 10 minutes with a smiling, laughing baby or a swiffer job on the floors – the shower or happy baby will win every time.  IF that means my house isn’t magazine ready, then so be it. 

Ok, I’ll quit.  Have a tidy day!

Trepidation

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Definition: noun. Fearful anxiety

I have strong mixed feelings about returning to work.

I hate the idea of putting Princess Crybaby in daycare during the most important time of her development.  I know this is what has to happen but I don’t like it. 

At the same time, I want to get back so I can see what is waiting for me – good or bad.

Not standing on solid ground at work is maddening. I am tired of always feeling like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff.

I fail to grasp the reason I should constantly question my value to the team or whether I’m even part of the team anymore. It’s tiresome.

During the time of instability, at least I knew where I stood. Knew I was needed. Hey, they came to me. Now, I’m not so sure.

I am not afraid of change and know I bring a lot to the table.  The question is, will I have an invite to the table when I get back?

Then there is the matter of wanting to be at home full-time but not knowing if that will ever be possible.  I can make the math work in theory but we all know reality is rarely as tidy as theory.

*sigh* 

clock watching

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I start my new schedule at work today: 10am-3pm.  It’s a little odd, considering I’ve never worked half-time before.  It will take a little adjusting to until I have children at home again. 

With Munchkin in Jersey for the summer and the Stowaway still in the slow cooker, I don’t really have anything to do first thing in the morning.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I am NOT complaining!  Au contraire, I think it will be really nice to have a few extra hours to get around and straighten things up and work on the endless packing project before we move.  And then, to have the afternoons to spend with Coach, who is enjoying his summer by recording every scrap of futbol he can find on television.

I made my official Moving To Do list this week and I’m going to tape it to the front door so everytime we go past it, we’ll see what’s left to be done.  It will keep me on track and give Coach some things to do during his day when I’m at work.  *wink*

I feel rather helpless knowing I’m so pregnant and can’t really pick up heavy stuff, or do a lot of, well, ANYTHING.  The logistics of doing a lot of bending are just absurd at this point.  It’s not that I can’t see my shoes, I just can’t reach them.  Not without huffing and puffing and feeling like, surely, I’m folding the Stowaway in half which, I’m sure, she doesn’t appreciate one iota.

I’m FINISHED with all my scrapbooking endeavors for a while – our engagement, bridal and wedding albums should be delivered today and I ordered the Disney album last night so it should be here late next week.  I am so excited to see the albums!  I am really enjoying learning about digital scrapbooking and plan to do a lot more of it. 

Now that we have a good family camera again, I can get picaboo and smilebox transferred over to the house computer.  My next project is to do another album for Munchkin and then, in September, I’ll do our family pictures Andrea Crosswhite will come down and take.  She’s our “family photographer.”  She took Coach and my engagement, bridal and wedding pictures so we thought she’d be perfect to take pictures of our family – from now on. 

Well, my friends, I’m going to enjoy the last 30 minutes of morning before I need to start getting ready for work by making a cup of coffee and taking all the artwork off the walls.  You know, that’s my least favorite part of moving.  Bare walls are lonely walls to me.  That, and packing away my books.  Not being able to see all the wonderful spines and be reminded of the stories whenever I pass by is a little sad.  *laugh*  I’m a dork.  Yes, I know. 

Have a happy day!

ps. if you’ve joined us from fb, please leave me a reply and say, “howdy!”

sleeping in

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I’m sure, at some point in my life, sleeping in was defined by a time later than 8am.  Since Munchkin was born, though, sleeping in has pretty much lost all meaning.  7:30 is lazing around.  So many things to do with the day and sleeping just steals time from the to do list.  I’m sitting in the living room, looking around the house and sighing to myself because, I know, the end of July will be here before I know it and I could get most of the packing knocked out in a few days if I’d just get to it.  But, then I look longingly at a short stack of books just begging to be read, a cake that needs to be frosted or the never-ending cycle of housework that seems rather pointless when things are in that transition state leading up to a move but still should be attempted. 

I’m a little jealous of the cats and the husband who love to sleep and find it in abundance on Saturday mornings. 

Maybe I’ll take my list to Lowe’s or Home Depot and pick up moving boxes.  Wal-mart and get a new moving notebook (thanks Mom for that brilliantly effective model!)  Getting out should motivate me to get to work. 

*sigh* 

At what point in human history did the responsibility of the To Do list fall to Momma?  Can anybody tell me that?

SO ready for the holidays

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Ready for a little time away.  

On another note, I’m renting a carpet cleaner today and I’m going to clean the house if it takes all night.  I want the carpet clean before the new furniture is delivered and I want the house in order before we decorate for Christmas. 

 

Slowly Back to Normal

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Mom is back at work, the mountain cedar is finally starting to loosen it’s grip on my lungs and things are starting to return to normal. 

BRIGHT LIGHT BLURRY DREAMS BY JOHN ARSENAULT

But like any extended period of stress, I see things through a haze of exhaustion and it colors everything I do.  Rolling out of bed at a normal time has been quite the chore this week and we’ve been almost late to school twice this week.  Have I mentioned how much I hate being late?  The feeling of being rushed is one of the most unpleasant feelings I know. 

Anyway.  Other than the fact that I feel run down, things are getting back to normal.  Munchkin is getting so close to reading.  It was amazing to hear her sounding out words last night.  Her teacher has started sending homework so they can get extra practice on skills they will need in kindergarten next year.  Munchkin LOVES it.  Even before we get to the car in the afternoons, she’s pulling out her worksheets and showing me her “homework.”  *grin*  She loves school and that warms my heart.

So, it occurs to me that I’m moving in a little more than a month and I should probably start getting things organized.  This weekend, we’re going to take down what’s left of the Christmas decorations (I planned to do it last week but…) and I’m endeavoring to go through the closets in my bedroom and the bathroom cabinet and throw away everything that I haven’t looked at in six months. 

Well, I’d better get at it.  Have a happy day!

Enough with Tow Trucks!

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Fortunately, it’s not my car this time.  Mom has a pretty, red Monte Carlo that she just LOVES and is, apparently, going to love to death.  It may be sooner than we think.  Thursday night, it wouldn’t start back up when she stopped by for a quick visit.  It’s been sitting, lifeless, in my driveway ever since. 

Having just gone through the nightmare that is car trouble, I am totally sympathetic.  She had it towed over to the shop today when they tried to replace the battery without success.  Meaning it wasn’t the battery, not that they couldn’t change out the battery…. 

Things around the house are messy but good.  It seems like I can never get laundry finished and these hard floors are always dusty.  It’s amazing.  Since we did all that work over the summer, the house just stays dusty – it’s really irritating. 

I pre-leased my new place the other day.  I’m really excited about a new place.  Talk about re-arranging furniture!  I’m probably going to get rid of my big desk b/c I haven’t the faintest idea where I’d keep it in a littler place with only two bedrooms.  I can’t remember if there is a little nook or anything – I need to go see the floorplan again. 

It will be nice not having a yard to keep up and the only exterior space being a balcony.  Munchkin doesn’t really play outside because she doesn’t have other children to play with.  She used to have a little play house but, being an outside toy, it stayed dirty and became a lovely home for spiders and other insects and she just WAS NOT digging that.  (a bit like her mother, that one)

With sweetpea’s help yesterday, we hung the Christmas lights. Problem is, I think we hung them backwards and so the extension cord isn’t long enough to plug them in!  (it’s always something)  Since it’s such a pretty day, I might hazard back up on the ladder and straighten them out so we can have our lights on tonight. 

Last night I succumbed to a rare case of the pitifuls.  I am not, by nature, a crier.  I don’t like to cry and, therefore, will resist crying at all costs.  Last night was one of those nights though, when I was tired and it snuck up on me.  I found myself helpless to resist the oh so girly activity which is a good cry.  Ugh.  I think I cried myself to sleep.  I couldn’t tell you what I was crying about which tells me that I’ve probably had this coming for a while so it could be any number of things. 

Girls. 

Well, I think I’ll return to the playstation for a while.  Later, gators! 

Oooh… I like that!

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A friend of mine called me testa rossa today.  That’s italian for redhead.  

Did you know that the Ferrari Testa Rossa is the second most valuable Ferrari ever made and is valued at $8M?  WOW!  I knew I was special but $8M is pretty fancy.  *laugh*  Now, that would be a car we wouldn’t eat snacks in. 

Things are good here.  We’re beat because Munchkin was up several times last night.  She’s got a doctor’s appointment today and then we are planning an early bedtime tonight.  It’s nothing serious, but she’s probably got a little infection and I want to get her looked at before it gets to where she is truly sick.

You know, the other day I was feeling the pangs of mommy-hood; wishing for another baby and freaking out marveling at how quickly my baby is growing up.  So God, in His infinite wisdom and humor, gave me a reminder last night by getting up three times with a cranky baby.  Guess what?  I still want another one.  Maybe even two more. 

All in good time…

Oh! Speaking of…. I’ve discovered a mini-series on Sci-Fi Channel that I am COMPLETELY digging.  I think I’d like to have this on DVD when it’s over.  I wonder if they’ll release it on DVD.  It’s called Tin Man and it’s an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.  It’s pretty amazing.  It’s darker than the L. Frank Baum story but it’s really neat.  I’m enjoying it immensely.  Part 2 is tonight. 

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Well, y’all have a happy afternoon.

Oooh… I like that!

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A friend of mine called me testa rossa today.  That’s italian for redhead.  

Did you know that the Ferrari Testa Rossa is the second most valuable Ferrari ever made and is valued at $8M?  WOW!  I knew I was special but $8M is pretty fancy.  *laugh*  Now, that would be a car we wouldn’t eat snacks in. 

Things are good here.  We’re beat because Munchkin was up several times last night.  She’s got a doctor’s appointment today and then we are planning an early bedtime tonight.  It’s nothing serious, but she’s probably got a little infection and I want to get her looked at before it gets to where she is truly sick.

You know, the other day I was feeling the pangs of mommy-hood; wishing for another baby and freaking out marveling at how quickly my baby is growing up.  So God, in His infinite wisdom and humor, gave me a reminder last night by getting up three times with a cranky baby.  Guess what?  I still want another one.  Maybe even two more. 

All in good time…

Oh! Speaking of…. I’ve discovered a mini-series on Sci-Fi Channel that I am COMPLETELY digging.  I think I’d like to have this on DVD when it’s over.  I wonder if they’ll release it on DVD.  It’s called Tin Man and it’s an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.  It’s pretty amazing.  It’s darker than the L. Frank Baum story but it’s really neat.  I’m enjoying it immensely.  Part 2 is tonight. 

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Well, y’all have a happy afternoon.

Why am I awake?

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My daughter wakes up at 7am on Saturdays.  It’s really quite sick.  It just proves that Munchkin is as crazy as her mom. 

I have very little planned.  While I’m probably done sleeping (told you I was crazy), I do have laying in bed on the agenda.  I think I’ll go start some hot water for tea.

I wonder if my brother and sister-in-law are still coming down today.  Where’s the phone?

I’m sure I’ll be back later, to update on what (I hope) will be a very dull Saturday around Crazyville.

Ho, Ho… *yawn*

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We’ve dragged the boxes down and are preparing to embark on that great undertaking called decorating for the Holidays.

Now that I’ve got everything down, I find that it’s the time of day when I am tired and don’t particularly want to delve into the boxes – even though I’m excited about decorating this year.

I’ve pulled all of the autumn decorations down and cleared counter spaces and table tops. And that’s as much as I’m going to do tonight.

*yawn*

Thanksgiving was great. We still have LOTS of ham and dressing left over and that’s terrific. More for left overs. Yes, we passed on the turkey and made ham instead. Now, before you have a kitten, hear the logic. Mom likes dark meat, I like white. Neither of us eat a lot of meat, preferring instead to eat oodles of dressing. So, why buy a turkey which is going to be WAY too much meat when I can buy a little spiral sliced ham and be happy? DUH. *grin*

Folks, I am beat. Tomorrow, we’ll decorate. Tomorrow, we’re also going to work on Munchkin’s letter to Santa.

Until then, good night.

The Benefits of Messiness?

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According to THIS St Louis Post-Dispatch article, there may be benefits to being messy.

I found this article interesting and certainly validating because, hey, sometimes things just pile up. Especially working all day and then having church, community, events at work and then the play vying for my time. But, as I’ve talked about here, a tidy house just makes me feel better. Things are straight and orderly. The house may not always be uber-clean but stuff is put away, cabinets have been wiped down and the floors have been swept. *sigh* Ah, happiness.

What do you think? I’m interested in your opinions on the article. Go read it and then come back here and leave your comments.

Yes, I’m a dork. I know. Hey, every once in a while it’s nice to de-lurk.. Don’t you agree? After all, it is still National DeLurking Week (who made that “National” anyway? Probably Google – they are taking over the world.).

Ok, so I’m a pushover

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We’re decorating for Christmas next weekend. K is having a get-together and I thought that the very least I could do was offer a cute holiday house. Actually, it really isn’t for K at all, if I’m honest with myself.

I have this thing about first impressions. Most of these people will be people with whom I interact at work; volunteers, friends, and even (maybe) some board members – most of whom have never seen my house. *gulp*

Because I am such a public person during the week, I am intensely private at home. I love opening my home but it is always a very planned affair. So, I was surprised when K told me she’d booked a jewelry party and planned to invite all of these people. *grin* Have I mentioned how I am with surprises? Not to say that this won’t be fun but I am still adjusting to sharing my space with another human and I still like to call the shots around the house. Have I also mentioned that I’m rather possessive? *giggle*
Now, I have a verycute little house. It’s a “charmer” as the real estate ads might say. The rooms are all painted in very cheerful colors and the closeness makes it cozy. The house is not the problem. Ok, let me explain.

When I was married, we had a gorgeous house. It was big, new and most of the furniture was brand spankin’ new. What wasn’t new was beautiful so nobody noticed anyway. My ex had (has) fabulous taste in home decor and we always had lots and lots of fun decorating. Needless to say, I never worried about having guests because I lived in a showplace. Being an at-home mommy, the house was immaculate. (yes, even with a very young child at home)

Now is quite a different story. When I left, I left it all – he bought most of it anyway, so I didn’t feel like I should take it. So, putting a house together has been a piece at a time. I’ve got my bedroom and Munchkin’s room the way I want it but my living room is still pieced together with furniture that doesn’t all match and a sofa that has seen better days. I have a beautiful pedastal dining room table but mix and match chairs. Some would say that the mix and match is oh so shabby chic but I just see it as a project unfinished and, for an uber-perfectionist like myself, that just IRKS me.

I guess it’s a pride thing. I don’t make the money I need to have extra left over to make improvements to the house (like the floors) or make big purchases like six matching dining room chairs and a new sofa (actually, I want a loveseat and big chair).

Not to mention that I’m working full-time so the house is NOWHERE near as clean as I kept it when I wasn’t working. There is always laundry to do or floors to sweep or trash that needs to be taken out. *sigh*

So, to compensate, I will decorate for Christmas and keep everyone, as much as possible in the kitchen. *grin* It’s the cutest room in the house, anyway.
All that aside, I’m really stoked about getting the Christmas stuff down! *giggle* I’ll post pictures when I’m done.

Ok, so I’m a pushover

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We’re decorating for Christmas next weekend. K is having a get-together and I thought that the very least I could do was offer a cute holiday house. Actually, it really isn’t for K at all, if I’m honest with myself.

I have this thing about first impressions. Most of these people will be people with whom I interact at work; volunteers, friends, and even (maybe) some board members – most of whom have never seen my house. *gulp*

Because I am such a public person during the week, I am intensely private at home. I love opening my home but it is always a very planned affair. So, I was surprised when K told me she’d booked a jewelry party and planned to invite all of these people. *grin* Have I mentioned how I am with surprises? Not to say that this won’t be fun but I am still adjusting to sharing my space with another human and I still like to call the shots around the house. Have I also mentioned that I’m rather possessive? *giggle*
Now, I have a verycute little house. It’s a “charmer” as the real estate ads might say. The rooms are all painted in very cheerful colors and the closeness makes it cozy. The house is not the problem. Ok, let me explain.

When I was married, we had a gorgeous house. It was big, new and most of the furniture was brand spankin’ new. What wasn’t new was beautiful so nobody noticed anyway. My ex had (has) fabulous taste in home decor and we always had lots and lots of fun decorating. Needless to say, I never worried about having guests because I lived in a showplace. Being an at-home mommy, the house was immaculate. (yes, even with a very young child at home)

Now is quite a different story. When I left, I left it all – he bought most of it anyway, so I didn’t feel like I should take it. So, putting a house together has been a piece at a time. I’ve got my bedroom and Munchkin’s room the way I want it but my living room is still pieced together with furniture that doesn’t all match and a sofa that has seen better days. I have a beautiful pedastal dining room table but mix and match chairs. Some would say that the mix and match is oh so shabby chic but I just see it as a project unfinished and, for an uber-perfectionist like myself, that just IRKS me.

I guess it’s a pride thing. I don’t make the money I need to have extra left over to make improvements to the house (like the floors) or make big purchases like six matching dining room chairs and a new sofa (actually, I want a loveseat and big chair).

Not to mention that I’m working full-time so the house is NOWHERE near as clean as I kept it when I wasn’t working. There is always laundry to do or floors to sweep or trash that needs to be taken out. *sigh*

So, to compensate, I will decorate for Christmas and keep everyone, as much as possible in the kitchen. *grin* It’s the cutest room in the house, anyway.
All that aside, I’m really stoked about getting the Christmas stuff down! *giggle* I’ll post pictures when I’m done.