Posts Tagged ‘houses’

Big news, I’m moving!

Just when I got settled in and comfy, I started noticing a few things around here that don’t work quite right.  I’ve tried to repair them myself but after talking to some experts, I have learned it can’t be done. They’re simply defective and no one knows how to fix them.

I’ve tried to just live with them, work around them, and ignore them. But to be honest, some of these problems are downright annoying.   And life is too short to settle, especially when there are better alternatives available.

So I decided it was time to see what else was out there.  After weighing all my options, I’m happy to report I’ve found a new home and I’m packing up everything to move, starting tomorrow.

I’m really hoping it will be a one-day move, not spread out in a piecemeal fashion.

Realistically, I’ll probably wind up with stuff at both places for a while, which will be a pain, but it will give everyone time to get comfortable at the new place.

The good news is, the new place should look and feel a lot like the old place – in fact, it’s an almost identical layout, so everything will be pretty much in the same spot as it is here.

I thought I should let everyone know the new address, so you can find us.

Here it is:

(notice the extra “d” – I’m not just a domestic dilettante, but a domesticated one.)

Oh my.

I just realized the potential for confusion here.

But surely you didn’t think we were moving to a different house so soon after our last move.

Did you?????

Puhleeze!  We haven’t even been here a year yet!   Give me at least a few years before I could begin to entertain that thought without laughing hysterically.

Anyway, please come visit me soon. The good news is, it will take you EXACTLY the same amount of time to get here instead of the old place.

Happy moving,

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Home, sweet home

Houses are a bit like us girls – they can use a day of beauty every now and then, ya know?  We can’t take a house to a spa, but we can treat our dwelling to a day of refining and beautifying.

No, this isn’t yet another post about our new house.  We recently offered our old place for lease (read: we stuck a sign in the yard) and were pleasantly surprised by the immediate response (within hours!) from several families interested in renting it.

As I showed the house and eventually made arrangements to lease it to one particular family, I began to look at our old home through the eager and bright eyes of a prospective occupant, rather than the weary eyes of the one who moved out.

The whole-house paint job looks great, but I realized the blinds needed cleaning (they weren’t gnarly gross but they wouldn’t pass anyone’s white glove test.)  Ditto for the windows.  And the floors.  And the bathrooms and kitchen were passable, but I knew if I were moving in, I’d have to spend some time cleaning before I put my own things in the cabinets and drawers.

So this past week, I spent several hours (over the course of several days) deep cleaning and gently buffing and polishing everything to move-in condition.  At long last, the storage towers and hanging rods were installed in the bedroom closets, a new wire shelf/rack was up in the hall closet, the spot where the TV hung in the master bedroom was painted over, the bathrooms were sanitized to operating room condition, and all the floors were mopped and gleaming.  A flipped-over closet switch was righted (up is on, off is down), and the front door lever now operates properly.  It’s the pesky little things you live with when it’s yours, but you wouldn’t wish on anyone else. (And after you do them, you wonder why you didn’t find a few spare minutes to do it months or years ago!)

As I worked, I thought back to our own move-in experiences over the years.  As I reminisced, I thought how nice it would have been to find a few essentials and niceties to welcome us.

So I put myself in their shoes and made sure all the toilet paper holders were full and the bathroom sinks each had a dispenser of hand soap. I wiped out all the bathroom drawers and put a penny (heads-up) in each bathroom (because everyone needs a little luck, right?); changed out the filter on the HVAC system, and left the rest of the three-pack in the laundry room to encourage changes when needed.

New lightbulbs were inserted in all the the sparkly clean light fixtures and ceiling fans, and I tucked a few starter packets of dishwasher detergent under the sink; a scrubbed and bleached almost-new kitchen trashcan and a few trash can liners is at the ready.

On a whim, I snagged an inexpensive plastic  pumpkin and filled it with candy (they are moving in over the weekend and I have a hunch their trick-or-treating will be pre-empted by packing-and-moving.  As a final touch I filled a small basket with some apple-scented dish soap, new sponges and dishrags and a cute Thanksgiving towel to say “Welcome Home!” 

After I finished giving the old place its spa treatment, did I wish we were the ones moving in?  It did look pretty and welcoming.  But I am very content with our new home and I don’t regret any part of our decision to find and move to a different home.

I have very high hopes for the future of the new family moving in.  I wish many blessings and joy on them as they make our old home their new home.

Happy moving in (and on),
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Two weeks ago, I started a countdown of six things I’m most thankful for and each begins with one of the letters of the word “THANKS”.   First was Today, because it is all we can really say we have for certain.  Last week was Health, something I all too often take for granted. This week, I am thankful for…

Webster’s defines “abode” as a temporary place to abide or dwell; a habitation.  Our homes may be old or new, humble or grand – it’s all relative.  As long as we are mindful that our earthly dwelling is temporary and we use it wisely, our home is truly a blessing to all who gather under its roof.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;by knowledge the rooms are filled  with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24: 3-4)
“Home for Thanksgiving” by Grandma Moses

I love our home and the good times and wonderful memories we create as a family living inside these walls.  Someday, it will be just a place we passed through.  Until then, I pray that God continues to bless our home and all who dwell within with wisdom and faith.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  Friends who know me well also know I skip past Halloween, so that gives me lots of time to decorate our home with fall stuff.  This Grandma Moses print is especially poignant, as I remember a Moses print hanging above on the wall behind the dining room table in my grandparent’s home.  I think it captures the true essence of welcoming family home for the holidays.  It’s not about having a grand home or setting a magazine-perfect table, but the joy of seeing family and friends gather together.  I snagged a copy of this from eBay for $3.50 the other day – can’t wait for it to arrive so I can frame it up and move the mantel forward another step toward the holidays.

Of course, these days there’s almost always something cooking or baking as I plow my way through old and new recipes for rib-sticking, heart-warming foods.  (Yes, last week’s focus was on health, which means avoiding the fattening and rich foods of the holidays.  It’s not a paradox  I cook up a storm, but then send plates of goodies with Mr. Official to share with his staff and co-workers – a few nibbles and bites for everyone means no lasting harm to anyone’s waistline or blood sugar levels.  This week’s bake-a-thon is turning out cinnamon pumpkin pull-apart bread, pumpkin-spice baked donut holes and sour cream chocolate chip bread.  Mmmm, mmmm, good.)

Happy thanks-giving,

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Seven weeks does not a new habit make, but I will say it is getting more natural to plan ahead and make sure I have everything I think I will need to tide us over from Saturday to Monday. (Did I really just use “tide” in a sentence? After Saturday night’s epic fail to ‘bama?  Abject apologies to all my Vol-fan friends and family.)

Anyway, we ate up a variety of leftovers for lunch and it was as varied as a restaurant menu, with choices including 3-cheese pasta with chicken and alfredo sauce and toasty warm French dip sandwiches. Hot, fast, delicious and it used up food that would probably wind up tossed out otherwise.

After lunch was out of the way, Mr. Official and I each headed to the old house – he to mow, I to install closet cubbies and rods. I coulda/shoulda spent part of Saturday on this task but I chose to play with the grandpuppy and bake instead.  I knew before I went that I’d stall out midway – there were some items I’d need to buy in order to finish up (which is why I had planned to work on it Saturday.  Procrastinators Anonymous meets tomorrow, right?) 

Background, in case you didn’t follow our house adventure.  It began almost a year when I got a wild hair to look at our old Oklahoma house, which turned into a wish list of features I’d like to have in a house.  In turn, that became a casual, then serious house hunt and eventual purchase and move.

My, how time flies. We moved out of our old house back in May, then somehow the summer flew by and we never quite got around to putting it on the market (an unusual situation, to be sure.)  The good news is, we have a family moving into it in a matter of days.  The bad news is, all the postponed to-do’s must turn into checked-off “dones” in the next few evenings.

It’s a manageable list, especially since I no longer need to cool my jets outside the swimming pool for a couple hours each evening. Yes, another vehicle has joined our caravan, so swimmer girl now has her own wheels to get her to and fro.




Dinner last night was a new recipe featuring sweet potatoes and black beans in some spicy chili.  (Recipe will be posted on Wednesday.  I know I’m featuring pumpkin recipes for the next several weeks, but sweet potatoes and pumpkins are nearly indistinguishable once they’re cooked right?)

And because I planned ahead, I am enjoying my coffee with cream this morning as I type this.  (I was running dangerously low on both by Saturday, so swimmer girl and her oldest brother took my credit card and headed to fill up “her” Highlander and snag a few foodstuffs from Publix.)

So are you tempted to join me in this little social experiment?  C’mon…it’s easier than it sounds. And honestly, doesn’t it sound pretty simple to just steer clear of the mall and restaurants for one day a week?  Give it a try – you might find, like I am, that it is fairly easy and certainly more economical to give your family (and yourself) a day of rest, with a combination of leftovers and freshly prepared food that hit the table faster than most sit-down places can deliver. 

Happy Monday,

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Where ARE we?

Our mailing address is now Rockvale, Tennessee.  That meant we had to give up our decade-old phone number (which was firmly ensconced on the Do-Not-Call Registry) and start over.   I’m amazed how many people live in Rutherford County and don’t know where Rockvale is.

But I guess maybe whoever decided we were in Rockvale doesn’t know where it is either.   What most of us would consider Rockvale “proper” is located 6 or 7 miles from us and it’s mostly farmland between here and there. 

In actuality, we are closer to the outskirts of Murfreesboro or Blackman than we are to Rockvale.

Almaville is almost as close as Rockvale and when I click on the little location link in Blogger and give it my street info, it tells me I’m in Almaville.  Huh?

Well, wherever we are according to the postal service and the cartographers, my heart says we’re home.  And that’s the best navigation sign of all.

Happy homing-in!

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A game of cat and mouse

(For my friends who hate to see rodent tails or hear tales of rodents, stop reading now. You know who you are. I know who you are, and how you react to the mere mention of mice. I’ll skip to the last page just for you: the mouse is no longer among us. The end.  All is well.  Sleep tight.)

Last week, I was hanging curtain rods in our bedroom. (This was during a day packed with work, working out, volunteering at our church, work, pruning oakleaf hydrangeas, work, driving the swim taxi, more work-while-waiting; a late dinner and finally more work before I collapsed. It was one of THOSE days.) So I’m up-and-down the ladder with the level, a pencil, tape measure, drill, drywall anchors, brackets and screwdriver. Trying to make short work of hanging four curtain rods and still have them straight and even and all that before I move on to the next task of the day.

On one of my countless trips up the ladder, I happened to glance over toward the door going to our bathroom and I saw the cat (Luci – which is short for Luci-fur), lolling on the floor, playing with something.

This cat is quite capable of amusing herself with a twist-tie for hours on end, so I didn’t give it much thought. Then I looked closer at the object of her….well, we’ll call it “affection.” My first thought was “mouse.”  My second thought was, “No, that’s not a mouse. You and your monovision contacts are totally misconstruing a harmless piece of cardboard.” Then it moved. Without her help. And she jumped back. And I stood still.

I called Swimmer Girl to come do reconnaissance from ground level. Her initial reaction was to discount my fears.  “That’s not a mouse,” said she, reassuringly.  But then it moved again. Unaided by the cat, again.

And she – to her credit – calmly confirmed that it WAS a mouse.   No shrieking or screeching. No vertical leaps onto tall furniture.  The mouse started moving, but slowly – it was injured. Apparently our cat likes to PLAY with her food. She was certainly not keen on killing it; in fact she jumped back every time it moved.

The 12-pound cat is afraid of a 3-ounce mouse. Sigh.

Long story short, we easily captured the walking wounded, and….uhhh, we disposed of it. As soon as it was taken captive, the cat decided she DID want her toy back after all, and was rather miffed at us for taking it away from her. Too little, too late, Luci. You had your chance.

We’ve found no evidence of mice in the house (except this lone ranger), so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that it slipped in when we left the door to the garage open for a few minutes earlier that day. Because it’s pretty obvious our cat did not inspire the phrase “cat and mouse game.”

Happy Monday,

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It occurred to me yesterday (when our pressure washer nearly knocked me off my feet for the umpteenth time) that 2500 PSI is probably a lot more force than my 5 foot 2-inch frame is really equipped to handle. I have learned to brace myself if I’m on a ladder when I’m power washing – the first time I tried it I nearly launched myself into the hot tub, much to oldest son’s consternation. (Well, at first he was concerned. Then he was merely amused.  My kids are pretty accustomed to my klutzy antics.)

But even though the force can and does push me off-balance with regularity, I refuse to turn over the power washing to anyone else. Power-hungry or simply empowered? Either way I get a lot of satisfaction from successfully wielding the wand and knocking the grime off windows, walls, gutters and concrete. I go easier on decking (after I figured out what that kind of pressure can do if you aren’t careful.)

Something tells me I’d flunk…

And yes, I am aware I run all kinds of risks by power washing in flipflops, but I keep my toes out of the way.  (Don’t ask me how I learned that lesson…I just know, okay?)   I also prefer sunglasses to safety goggles, shorts and tank tops over full length pants and waterproof gloves.  Ear plugs, pshaw.  What fun would it be to power wash if you had to wear all of that?

This year I’ve had double the power washing fun – old house and new house both needed some serious power washing. New house’s deck and guttering along the back are cleaned (and the deck is stained and sealed.) Old house’s windows, siding, gutters and north-side sidewalks are cleaned.

I think that just leaves a little deck work at the old house, and then I might have to put up the power washer, at least until I’m ready to tackle that big wraparound porch on the new place. Trim, rails and concrete to be cleaned – woohoo! Sounds like a fun job for a hot July or August day.

Happy powering!

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