Monday, December 29, 2014

Moving forward


One hundred years ago my grandmother made a trip
From Chicago to Phoenix,
Never to see her grandparents again.

About the same time my grandfather, her husband,
Made the trip on a train.
Although he was from Chicago,
he had been orphaned in Tenneessee.
He, too, would never see his grandparents again.

Thirty years later my father would move with his father
To LA and later to Phoenix
His mother had passed away
And they had moved to start over.
I am not sure Dad ever saw his grandparents again.

That is how Phoenix went from being a Native American desert
To the thriving metro of Caucasion and Hispanic residents.
People left their families and moved forward.
Some for health,
Others because they were sent,
And last came those for business and employment.

Those people established new schools, new churches, new ways of life.
My father constantly reminded me
how important it was to stay in Phoenix.
I am not sure he did that with any of my sibs.
He was determined I would stay.
He figured most of them would leave.

And yet I left.
I married into the Army.
We saw the world
Almost every year we would see the grandparents
Unlike the past,
We availed ourselves to the yearly vacation home.
Those ties are tight.

We left the Army and traveled "home".
Beautiful, but no longer a fit.

We moved back to our favorite fort.
Beautiful, employment, it even fit.
Happily we lived there
And made two trips a year to see our parents, sibs and later our children.

Now WE have grandchildren.
We decided we were not taking the path of our grandparents.
We want to be close to our grandchildren
Instead of staying away, we moved closer.

We looked around.
Still don't really know how we settled on a state we have never even entered.
Well. We did step foot here, in the military base on our way to Germany
Many many years ago.

So here we are, moving forward.





Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas Eve

May all of your days. Be blessed
And your lives be full. www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A3i0GATnRI

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I will miss

 Looking out my master bedroom window to the forest. Every. Single. Morning.
Having my granddaughter over to grow up in my kitchen.

My parish. It has really come to life in the last year! http://www.saintxparish.org
My son flying over our heads.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Retirement is moving


The move is going well.
We packed a 27 ft truck and Scott drove it 1200 miles.
Gosh, we are too old for this!
The costs so far are about $2300.
We have two more smaller loads before we are through

I am driving out to get the house through the winter.
We haven't been apart for two months- ever.
It all seems to be in the moving plan.

Retirement challenges are never easy,
But we are praying it will all be worth it.


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Thanksgiving week

They were good weeks.

We signed for the house on Friday.
Saturday was spent trying to figure out the alarm system.
No luck.
We finally concluded that no one would bother a house that had nothing in it!

Thanksgiving was a full family event.
My daughter's family and my son's were all present and accounted for.

My mother's family always gathered on Thanksgiving when I was growing up.
They rotated homes
Everyone came.
It was insane!
You could always count on Aunt CeCe and Uncle George getting into a verbal volley.
I, with my other 24 cousins, would wear olives
at least for a few minutes.
There was lots of running and games
and finally the family picture.
When my Nana passed away, so did the gatherings.

Now we only see each other for a funeral.
Fortunately, my mother and two of her sisters are still holding strong.
I don't want to attend another funeral any time soon.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The adventure begins!

The blog needs a new name.

Tomorrow we begin our journey of purchasing our "new to us" house.
There will be some firsts for us.
First time to live in a state that we had not visited until looking for a house.
First time to move to be closer to our kids.
First time to purchase a house in a neighborhood.

People purchase houses on feelings and location.
We are not out of that norm.
The feelings parts of the house are:
 back porch

and 
 wooded area.
Our Grandkids can be on our property, be within shouting range and still be on an adventure.
I can go outside at any time to meditate and read!!!!!

Location, Location, Location?
An hour from my daughter's house,
80 minutes close to one of my oldest friends,
45 minutes from 
And 90 minutes from 

I hope that it is at least half as good as I hope it would be.
After years of struggling through PTSD
getting my feet back on the ground
being just- happy,
it is time to move----forward.

I will miss the turkeys!
and one of the best friends I have made in a very long time.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Risk taking

These last two weeks my skills in math have moved to the forefront.
Math is not my subject, nor is writing.
History is my subject.
What people do in long and short history is all about risk
Lincoln risked with emancipating slaves.
Pharaoh risked keeping the Israelites too long.

My dad, who passed away eight years ago,
risked money on four things:
himself, his family, real estate and bonds.

Currently our risk is straddling two houses.

We have invested as long as we have been married.
Our first investment was a "penny stock".
We were really investing in an idea, no physical company.
There were a number investors of who jumped in,
And when it closed we all lost.
It was an idea before it's time- 3d printing.
They just could not generate the capital to bring the science to the table.
It wasn't a lot of money, but it was our savings at that point.
Learning experience (I first wrote, "Stupid")

We entered mutual funds, like everyone else our age.
In twenty years we faithfully put in 120 a month.
The fund grew. We consistently made 10-12% (of which the government took their share).
We happened to cash in before the fund dropped by half.
Whew.

We bought a house with cash from that and an inheritance.

We then went into single stocks.
We should have bought Google instead of QualCom
Lost a lot in the dot com bust.

Left the market.
Rejoined
Won
Left
Rejoined
Lost
Left

Recently rejoined
Back to 10% interest- but in our Roth.

My husband and I chatted the other night.
Neither of us would ever go to Vegas and gamble away $2000
We do it on the stock market.
We somehow feel, over time, we will get it back.
Last large loss took eight years to recover from!

Lots of risk for long term gain.
Very diversified at this point.

We are now pulling lots of our savings and purchasing a second home.
It will be our primary home, but currently it will wait for us.
Why risk it?
 Neither of us feel confident enough
to leave all of our money in a market that feels so risky
and out of control of small investors.
Put the retirement money someplace pretty safe.
The housing market already bottomed.
We think.

What is risk and what is our tolerance of it?
Right now it seems we are willing to take risk with very tangible things.
Higher stakes gambling is not currently my cup of tea.
I hope our risks will keep us on the road we need to stay on.

Gosh, my stomach hurts!


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Get things done!

No matter who won
The message is clear
Get moving Congress!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Raffi, Christian Rock or Irish Pub music

Have to stay motivated.
Three boxes a day!

 I am beginning to understand
why everything was packed so crazy by movers.
It all comes down to space.
I am getting to the end of the "china/ kitchen" stuff.

Here is one of my boxes. Do you think I should add a back scratcher for good measure?
Will I ever find any of these things again????
Should I purge them as well?







Sunday, November 02, 2014

All Saints Day

Halloween is a special time of year for me.
It isn't that I particularly like to dress up.
I do like to watch little kids have fun.
Most of all it reminds me that All Saints day is the next day.
All Hallowed Eve is an evening of remembering the afterlife.

All Saints Day.
I remember it by thinking about my family of Saints.
Saints- to Catholics- are models
They are guides to what we are called to do.
We often invoke their name when praying
about something. Much like a child asking a mother
to ask a Father for something that is difficult or time consuming.
Saints do not, in any way, take the place of God.
They are just a different avenue to good faith.
Much like asking a wonderful Uncle for information.

Here are the ones I think of :
St Jerome- No the nicest man in the crayon box of heaven.
He didn't really like people, but he did like the truth.
He studied unceasingly to find Jesus' path.
He wrote the Vulgate Bible.
I often think of him when I encounter difficulties that are easier to ignore.

Mary- Mother of Jesus
I ask her to watch over my children and grandchildren
since I can no longer be near them all of the time.
I think of her as a witness to greatness
but a mom all along.
Sometimes I feel sorry for myself, since things are not as great as I think they should be.
Then I think of her.
She had so much to handle.
The Memorare is a prayer that I say often. It reminds me of a mother's duty.


Mother Seton and Mother Teresa are the other ones who come to mind often.
Both women were teachers. Ministers in their own right.
I ask for their help as I search for what is my next step.

 Last, but not least, is a saint not yet recognized within my church. This is John Van Hengle. When I was a child  I remember working side by side with this man had lost everything due to addiction. He chose to follow God. He developed the first food bank in the US.  I call on him to help me with feeding the poor.
His epitaph reads: The poor we shall always have with us but why the hungry?
I am stronger for having a community of saints to witness to me.
They are not living now on the earth,
their memory dwells in our souls.
All Saints Day reminds me to remember their lead. And follow!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

72 hour kit

The Ebola scare reminded me that 72 hour kits should be made up for the winter.
Actually, in Kansas, we should have always had a 72 hour kit
between tornados and ice storms,
there are few seasons that a 72 hour kit would not come in handy.
Even so, it just slips my mind and I move forward.

 I taught 72 hour kits to my wayward Home Ec class two years ago.

Off to other things. It slips my mind once again.

While packing up the barn I ran into these:
Yes, dusty and dirty, they are filled
Peeked into the first one.
Hummmm- down sleeping bags, air mattresses, children's clothing
Peeked into the second on.
This doesn't make sense.
Why would I keep a flat iron skillet filled with maxi pads in a tub?
Duh!

We lived in Monterey many moons ago. 
Our adventure there started two months after the Loma Prieta Earth quake.
We did not go a month without an after shock.
That must have been when I put together these blue boxes.

Checked them out-
matches, stove, bedrolls, water cleaning pills, 
pot, pan, can opener, sanitary supplies…it goes on and on. 
The only things missing are actual water, cash and canned goods.

That saved ME loads of money :)

Do you have your 72 hour kit?
Ours should be more portable, 
but it is almost ready.
In Delaware, we should be able to sustain our family
for a good bit of time
At least enough time to get over the flu!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

If you have $3,600 in savings,

you have more savings then half of the people in the world.

Puts a bit of perspective on money, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Chat

Laura on View From the Tree House  moved to Hawaii this summer.
Following her transformation
In personal and household weight loss
Has really inspired me.

Joining her in Sunday Afternoon Chats will be a nice way to round my week.

Reading -
                 The Boleyn Inheritance.
                 This is go to book when things are a bit out of sorts. Comfort read.
                  Several children's books were read today as they were sorted.
Listening to -
                The grandmother clock ticking and the dogs as they scurry outside.
Watching-
                 nothing now.
                  My daughter knows a way to get Downton Abbey
                   Episode three of the season continues to pull me in.
Cooking/Baking-
                   Salads for dinner. It is our bi weekly way treat of seasonal veggie.
                  Tonight we enjoyed the last of my grape tomatoes and baby bells.
                   We will miss summer veggies.
Happy I accomplished this week-
                    The paperwork for the house is almost done.
                    I balanced our books and set out a budget for the move.
                    We also took over 13 more boxes of books to the library!
Looking forward to this week-
               Packing the rest of the books for the move.
               Purging my closet.
               A trip to Kansas City with my daughter in law to IKEA.
               We need curtains for this house so we can sell it.
Thankful for-
               My husband, kids and the spouses my children wisely chose.
                The grandchildren
                My younger sister and her husband, they are amazing people.
Bonus question: How did I meet Scott?
                 I was in the officer's club in Wuerzburg after a long week of school. I had sent my fiancĂ© to New York so he could get on with his life. It was November 6. Scott walked in with a friend of mine. I looked up and saw those blue eyes - on a face that was dirty form the mud outside. What is that line, "He had me at hello." We rode his motorcycle everywhere. We were engage on the 20th (after HE called my fiancĂ© and told him the bad news). We married in June.

Black Pants challenge: ok- I start this week. Mine is a dress for a wedding I am going to in six weeks ( and another in five months).



When school teachers go through their things


My daughter in law giggled when she saw a box
labeled "Excellent Teaching Ideas".
She had no idea that the items in that box
represented hundreds of hours 
of going through materials 
to engage students.
I have purged over forty boxes of items
from the thirty years of working in classrooms.
Teaching every grade from PreK to Eight,
that amounts to loads of "stuff".
Slowly I am getting down to the last few boxes.
They are difficult to give up.

When a person works at a regular job
they cling to their company stapler or tape dispenser.
When they walk out that last day
they may have a box of mementos that hung on their wall.

Teachers, in the past, purchased almost everything in their classrooms.
Posters, children's books, professional books, wall coverings,
even that stapler and tape dispenser.
When I left classrooms I knew that I either took things with me
or they ended up in the trash
because the principal wanted the classroom "clean" for the next teacher.

My husband was very patient with our last move.
Ten years ago he moved it all.
God loves him for it and so do I.

This last two months I have been going through things.
The local Catholic school has received  boxes of
manipulatives  and "leveled reading" books.
Our daughter has taken in several boxes of "stuff" for homeschooling.

The USO took in five boxes, with two ready for them again.
The Library is having a sale soon, they are my largest donation site.

Now I am down to, "What will we really use in the future?"
I wish I could read tea leaves!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Ideas?

Here is the front of my new kitchen.

The problem is the window treatment. 
Currently she has the bead and swag,
those both move with the family.
These are the only windows in the front of the house
without plantation shutters or blinds.
To live there, I will need something up right away. 

Ideas?

Has anyone ever used a dark steel sink?  Wondering how to clean it.

And just in case you are bored Data Mining on children?
Check out this article.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Why Delaware?

Even the real estate agent asked.

Here is our list:

1. Close enough to our children
    without driving each other crazy for the next 15 years.
   All bets are off after that if we need full time care.
  There are some great "old age communities" close,
  when the time comes.
  We will be 90 minutes away for now.

2. Reasonable taxes.
    There are no sales taxes in Delaware.
     "Buying into" Delaware comes with a hefty price
          (1.5% of the house price- not deductible),
       Staying put is inexpensive. ($900 a year for a $250,000 house!)
       Pay up front and then there are few worries.
       Income taxes are reasonable.
       We will have to get used to paying them again.
       Kansas doesn't tax military retirement.

3. By the shore
      We looked at Pennsylvania- better personal tax rate,
       but the trip to the ocean meant going through a big city.
       From my new house I can be at a river beach in 10 minutes
       and an ocean in 30.
       My husband can fish the small lakes (they call them ponds)
       I can walk the shore and retrieve shells.

4. A chance to continue learning
    Venturing into DC for lectures,
    Going to Maine for woodcrafting,
    Enjoying art in large cities.
    Delaware offers a good senior university as well.

5. Live close to those who provide the food.
     Farmers are amazing people.
     Within a few miles there is a poultry farm, huge orchard, and a meat locker.
      The Amish are quite present,
       so buying from stalls on the side of the road will be a pleasure.

6. Good health care
     Moving into Medicare, it is important to be near good care.
     Thanks to Mr Biden, the VA is amazing for my husband.
     Until I am very ill, I plan on using the
     John Hopkins Health near my daughter.
     I don't see myself becoming that ill for the next few years.

7. Much closer to old friends
    Scott and I have friends who have settled
    within a car drive of our new house.
    Kansas is lovely.
    We both have made two or three good friends.
     We miss everyone else.

8. Spiritual life is abundant
   I miss active parish life.

9. Privacy on less land
    We love no curtain living.
     Taking care of lots of acres has gotten old.

10. The most important of all
      Grandchildren!
      Our oldest just turned seven.
      If we want to be a  part of their lives, we need to be there.
     Soccer games, Fishing, Woodworking,  Sewing, School work.
     In three years everyone will be on the same coast!
      Whooo Hoooo!
   
     

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The house!

We have lived in a ranch with a basement for the last ten years. 
As we age, 
we wanted to make sure that the house we chose fit our choice for one story living.
We looked at many two story houses with a first floor master.
Pretty, not practical for our vision.
Ranch with a basement is hard to find in Delaware. 
Marianne found one for us.
We can use both floors for now 
and later (much later) we can live simply on the main floor.
White house with gray roof. Another Green Gables to me.



 It is on a cul-de-sac.
The grands will be able to ride bikes without worry of traffic.
My walking will increase since the loops of streets are quiet and flat.
For my husband the best part is a 3+ car garage.
I have hoped that his workshop could live within the house
rather then in a second building. Achieved!
My car? I am thinking it will have to be happy outside for the time being.
Maybe later we will build another small garage.
No HOAs in the area. I can even have a close line and a garden.

Screened in porches are a huge part of Delaware living.
Since the house is shaped in an H
the porch is the entire cross length between the bottom legs of the H.
I assure you, this will be my favorite room.
The owner put in an exhaust hood for the bbq.
No more fighting mosquitos for the meat!
Last, it has an amazing outside area.
The family had seven children in this three bedroom, three bath house!
They worked on making great outside areas.
This bridge and firepit are all a part of the property.
After living on 5 acres in Flagstaff and 18 in Kansas, having outside space is very important.
Having outside space that is easy to maintain was even more important.
On 1.3 acres with green space behind,  no curtains needed for the entire back of the house.
LOVE no curtains!

There you have it.
Those were the things that made us both know that this house was a home for us.

Simple.
The rest of the house looks like a normal house.
Some hardwood floors, split master from other two bedrooms,
close to a military base, in a small town, cute kitchen,
huge, finished, open basement.
You know, good, normal house.

The process is rolling. By Thanksgiving we should in the first stages of moving!

Monday, October 06, 2014

House hunting 101 B

I'd like to tell you that we had certain ideas of what we desired in a house

I'd like to tell you that we had a tight range of price in mind

I'd like to tell you that we knew which part of Delaware we wanted to live in

I can tell you all of those things
But it would be a lie
and I am really working on being truthful

What really happened was that my husband and I really talked about the future.

A sense of reality hit me about three months ago
We have much less time in front of us then we do behind us

My goal was to get us truly settled and enjoying life
before we got any older.

The newest real estate agent was a champ.
Marianne drove us everywhere.
She told us stories about the people, the areas, the life
and just living in Delaware.
The amusing thing was that she had just returned from Florida
to look for a house to retire in.
One of the things she said to us made us chuckle
" I'm not so sold on Florida. We DO have it all in Delaware"
and we agreed.

Nine houses, she was confused on what we were looking for
"Big or small, 1/2 to 5 acres, neighborhood or country,
no one close enough to look in your windows, lots of sun (lots of windows).

We explained we were simply looking for a home
not a house. That did not help much.

We settled on a house that was two doors down from an Amish school house.
I could never work there- but we would enjoy the kids
and the buggies.

I asked if there was anything else she could think of.

She thought a moment and said there was just one
She drove us to a "for sale by owner"
It was a house that I had asked each of the previous real estate agents
to show to me.

It is now pending.
We begin moving our things in December
Yup, she found us our home!


House hunting 101

Three trips to Delaware
Three very different real estate agents

Agent one was young
younger then my 28 year old son, young
His dad built houses
He wanted to sell me one of those houses
or have me buy one in an HOA community
which restricted my dogs from barking.

Moving on

Real estate agent number two
Well rated on Zillow
sold a slew of houses this year
I did all the research and asked to see certain houses
and any others he had in mind
He blocked out four hours
I had flown 1200 miles and rented a car for the three days.

Houses were not as expected
He gave his estimate of what they were worth as we walked out of the door
Then he countered himself
Then he suggested we might start the negotiation at the asking price.

Around lunch he left me waiting at an empty house
Once he got there he commented that he had gone to eat
Hadn't I?
@@
Since we were traveling in separate cars
He planned golf games and softball experiences
While I just tried to find addresses.
@@


We put in a bid on a house
We had been the only lookers in 3 months
The people were at home and obviously loved their house
They were disappointed at how low we started
They countered
We passed.

At least I really got to see the state we
are planning to move to.

Back home again
I saw the perfect house on line
The owner had suddenly passed away
He had been the same age as my husband with many of the same interests
The house was where we wanted
The price we wanted
The size we wanted

I emailed the second real estate guy
Then I called him
Then I did both again
Three days later he got back to me
It took him two days to call the listing agent
She had sold it the night before.
@@

On to a new agent.

This agent I had encountered on my first trip to Delaware
She showed me a house that was way over priced
Three months later she texted me and
asked if we were interested at a lower price.
We weren't
Too much land, too remote
Still, she was nice and aggressive at the same time.

Called her four days before heading out East to see our daughter
She answered- from Florida- and
said she would return home in seven days and could take us out looking.

We scoured the internet
Chose nine houses
With blurry eyes and lots of charts
We met up with her.





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"They are Muslim. They are not Islamic."

What the heck does that mean?
If Muslims do not kill Muslims then what was the horrifying Iran/ Iraq war all about?
According to the UN:
"The war cost both sides in lives and economic damage: half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers, with an equivalent number of civilians, are believed to have died, with many more injured; however, the war brought neither reparations nor changes in borders. The conflict has been compared to World War I[38]:171 in terms of the tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wirestretched across trenches, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges,human wave attacks across a no-man's land, and extensive use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas by the Iraqi government against Iranian troops, civilians, and Iraqi Kurds. "

No US boots on the ground?  
How about the trainers from our Special Forces? 
 Someone needs to let the Air Force know that they no longer wear boots if shot down.

What a mess.

On the eve of 9/11, I am not thrilled with anything going on in the Middle East.
Unfortunately, I feel it will, someday, again, bite us in the tush.

I miss the thought of your smile Lt Col Neil Hyland. It has been a long 13 years. 
The Risk games until 2 in the morning were the highlight of "Advanced Course".
May your soul and the souls of all of the departed, within this war against the US,
rest in peace.


A special on Vaccineshttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/vaccines-calling-shots.html.
Well worth watching.


Saturday, September 06, 2014

The bells are ringing.

My daughter is homeschooling this year.
She went to a co op meeting
Co op- an informal "school" taught, by parents, once a week for homeschoolers.
Looking for other kids to socialize with is a priority
since my grand loves to be around peers and the neighborhood is pretty quiet.

She understood that last year the co op had about twenty families.
The parent needs to volunteer in some capacity
so their child can attend the art, music and pe classes.

She walked in
Over fifty families were present.
There were another twenty who were unable to make it to the initial meeting.

Many of those at the meeting were doing their first year of homeschooling.
Lots and lots of mothers with boys were attending.
Few, from her mingling, were there for religious reasons.

Schools have changed a great deal in the last ten years.
The push to read in Kindergarten goes against all research on boy brains.
The absence of real math in primary puts us significantly behind the rest of the world.
Recess is almost non existent.
Even some state curriculums state that
 science and social studies can be eliminated if more time for reading is needed.
Does no one in charge recognize that social studies and science
are the application of reading and math?

The way to do all of this is to have children sit
  for a very long time while teachers work in small groups
  so they are assured the child can read.
It seems many bright children are being left behind.

Many left behind are boys.
Did you know that 1 in 42 boys are considered on the Autism spectrum?
 2/3 of all children who are Learning Disabled are boys.

Why is that?
Have we changed education so girls can do well,
that we have turned our boys into non school children.
Are we labeling some children who have "typical boy" characteristics?
You know
 single tasking,
a bit ahead visually but behind verbally,
more physical then language oriented,
characteristics.
No, I am not stereotyping. This is research based.
Boys' brains, in general, develop on a different time line.

It seems that a growing number of parents are turning away
from "traditional" education.
They are still seeking to change the system.
Until they can, they will educate their own.
In 2012 that stat was about 1.6 million children.
It is predicted that number will actually
 pass all children in private schools this year- 2.8 million.
My guess that is a low number.

My daughter's district, this year, has declared
that they are significantly behind in the paperwork.
They had so many people apply to homeschool, for the first time, this year.
The population of a regular elementary school showed up
at my daughter's new co op.
This is a "good" school district.

The bells are ringing.
Anyone listening?






Sunday, August 31, 2014

Amen.

I cannot get this movie out of my mind.

Amen. portrays a Nazi scientist caught in the middle of killing Jews.
Horrid you say. He was a criminal. He was evil.
There is set of scenes with a train that is just haunting.

Today I listened to a National Right to Life person
debate a lawyer fighting against the laws in Texas
which restrict abortions (after the period of overnight abortion pills) to surgical centers.

Tonight, at Church, all I could think of was those trains.
They took people to concentration camps.
The German Doctor knew it. People knew it.
He couldn't get anyone to stop them.
He couldn't "prove" that it was happening.
They were Jews anyway- subhuman.
Babies, before the first breathe, are not people at all?

Haunting.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Yard Sale?


Our first sixteen years we lived in nine different houses.
One thing the military does is offer to store your stuff
If you are moving overseas.
Three of our houses were overseas tours.
Once stuff is in storage, it can live there a long time.

When my husband retired from moving
We built a house in Flagstaff that would hold most of our stuff.
We were a bit overwhelmed when we got three separate shipments of storage items.
Who knew that the crib was in storage?
Three sets of dishes? Really?

We stopped opening boxes.
When we moved here we made no real effort to get rid of
Things we had collected while In The Army.
We did rid ourselves of hundreds of books and
Piles of teaching "stuff".

We are going to move again.
The house- which ever we decide on- will be much smaller.
Our children really are grown.
They have their own houses and own taste in"stuff".
Can anyone say yard (or on our case, barn) sale?

What happens when you open a box that was packed in 1991 in Hong Kong?
Or 1993 in Hawaii?
Or 1996 in Saudi Arabia?
Memories? Absolutely.
Temptation of rehousing items in the house? Yes.
Yard Sale? Painfully? Yes.

Here is a sample:
Army uniforms from the Vietnam to Desert Storm eras.
"Flip flops" from Hawaii in ever shape and size.
A face carved into a tree limb (Bavaria).
A set of Chinese rice dishes (no plates, just eight sizes of bowls).
Posters and the shirts of everyplace imaginable.
Old "teacher" books. Old tween ager books. Old teen books.
Art supplies from everywhere.
Walkers, crutches, fishing boat motors, wire, chairs for children, punch bowls, TV, microwaves, room screens, suitcases from long ago.

I sure hope someone comes to the sale.
None of this is going with me!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Invention of Wings

I rarely write about the books that are on my shelf.
Reading one or two a week keeps me moving forward.
There are some meditation books that simply stay in place
and are read over and over again.
Historical Fiction is my favorite genre.

Invention of Wings.
Picked it up after reading Secret Lives of Bees.
That book "read" quickly. Set in the 1960's south.
It was good, but not great.

Invention of Wings is almost excellent.
Following the life of a Southern woman,
moving for society to Quaker,
moving from rich to poor.

The writer also followed the life of the slaves of the household.

The book answered many questions for me
as to how things could have been
and were in certain cases.

I am being round about.
This book is worth a read.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Though different eyes

My eyes have been looking at all sorts of houses.
Tonight they stopped on a house that looked perfect.
Cute, medium sized, in the price range,
out in the country
Whoa!
Out in the country.
That is all right.
The people selling the house are probably ready to move into town.
They are both 75.

That makes them 11 years older then my husband.
How in the world did he get to be this old?

He plans to live until he is 100.
He really looks great for his age,
for any age.
I think of him as being closer to 50.

Should we live "out in the country?"
Twenty minutes to the nearest hospital
might not be the best idea.

Sigh.
We have so much to do!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teaching, sorting, learning

Is it really only Monday?
Last week was spent helping a few teachers get started for the year.
My chuckle came when the sales rep for my state
called me to ask a bit about Saxon.
She sells it, but knows little about it.
 I used to work for them when they were independent of the conglomerate.
Politely answering her questions seemed to put her at ease.
She still doesn't understand why homeschooling parents love it.
Shrug.

My church is on a mission to feed the hungry.
This week's task is to get ahold of a different church in town
and see how we can support them.
Glad to do it.
Working at the food bank is one thing.
Feeding people who are in need of a hot meal is very different.
Sorting things out for the long haul.
Sorry I won't be here much longer.
Excited to know my new parish is very active in this type of ministry.

Took over many "old" pieces of my bathroom and a few fans to Habitat.
It will be hot this week.
They said the fans will go fast.

Yesterday was sorting day for my son.
Hard to go through toys and memories.
Stuff, how to downsize stuff?
Not sure our next house will be quite so large.

We decided many of the toys will be used by the next generation.
Most of the stuffed toys will go to the shelter.
Other things- well, it was fun to talk them through and put them in the circular file's black bag.

Thinking we will take the suit cases to the shelter as well.
One of my friends reminded me not too long ago that suitcases are expensive
And moving is often fast
this time of year.
Another teaching for me to learn.

Watched a strange, but powerful, movie tonight.
Amen. (the name)
On Netflix.
Easy to be caught up in stuff when you don't know how to get out.

Last I will leave you with one last thought.
This sign is posted in a restaurant in a city I used to live in.
 I was quick to judge.
This establishment is in a very child oriented area.
I assumed ( and we all know what that means) that no children were allowed.
The owner used to be a bit grouchy.
I assumed, again, that he had just tipped the edge.
His son has taken over in the last few years.
Here is the actual policy:
I am relieved that I was too quick to judge.
This does fit the area that the establishment is in.

As an adult with no children around on a consistent basis,
I understand fine dining without children.
These establishments are often on their own,
instead of in the middle of a children's wonderland like Monterey wharf.

As if the establishment even cares, I apologize for getting a bit twisted on this sign.
Sometimes I forget to read the commas.
Looking forward to eating there again in a year.




Monday, August 11, 2014

What does that "perfect house" look like?

What a huge advantage the 20-30 yr olds have over what we went through in the "before the internet" days.  Now one clicks on a few sites and looks at what is available.
Our experience of rolling into town with two in tow, looking for a agent and trying to land a house within a few days, is a thing of the past.
Come house hunting with me.  We will be going to see the ones not already sold when we go to Dover for my birthday in six weeks.
Here are a few we are looking at.
This one has most of the things we are looking for. Natural Gas, master on the first floor, nice kitchen. It is a bit isolated and has an above ground pool. 
Shaking head. I dislike the idea of caring for a pool.
Not sure about the isolation either. After our hip replacement adventure, having a neighborhood might be nice. It might be too big at 4100 sq feet. We would probably only use the upstairs when grandchildren came to town.
This house is in a good spot. It has a wonderful back yard - with a bridge to a stream. No natural gas, but it has a line close enough to it that we could tie in. Much smaller then the first (2000sq ft), but sufficient for the family to hunker down for a football game on TV or outside. Hubby isn't sure his workshop would fit in the non wooded area of the lot. That is a big problem.

This is my favorite style of house.  It has natural gas. Hardwood floors throughout. No walls to speak of in the living area. Three bathrooms - but no stand alone shower :(  It is in between (2300)  the other two and sits in the middle of a block. Will I be able to stand having neighbors again on three sides? It is actually eight houses away from the one above it (and much less in price).  Workshop would fit since there is virtually no landscape on the acre lot.

There are a few older homes in Dover proper, but the owners don't seem to get that their asking price is way out of line for their properties.  

There is also the possibility of building a house. Do we really have the energy for that?
As we clean out our current house daily, we both wonder, are we doing the right thing?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Need some more help

 This is in the corner of the master bedroom. 
That is the new bath to the side.  
The bedroom is almost stripped of wall paper and 
will be painted the same grey as the bathroom.
 Notice the top of the mirrors.
 This piece (at the top of the mirrors) is removable.
 We can do several things to it.
We can eliminate it.
We can cut out the scallops. It is solid wood.
We can leave it as it is.
We are also considering painting the entire thing
 either the same color as the rest of the bedroom or white. ????
 Here is the vanity finished.

The shower doors should arrive tomorrow and then bath will be finished.

So, what do you think?  If I paint it I feel comfortable putting a nice stuffed chair by the bed.
Otherwise the room is too crowded.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tomorrow I take back my room!


Taking back the Master bedroom tomorrow!  It is full of dust and dirt. Fortunately, the furniture was covered the day they started. Forgot to cover some of the art.
 Lots of cleaning to do.
The plan is to paint the master bedroom the same color as the bath. It is gray- but looks rather blue in these pictures. My Facebook friends helped me with the color.

The next two days will actually be devoted to packing.
We are doing a crazy trip.

My husband's family reunion will mark the first time that either of my "children in law" will meet the cousins in their hometown in Idaho. The last time we were together was 2010. That was several spouses and a number of "grandchildren" ago.  They are a wild and crazy bunch. There is nothing like a great party with no extra substances to "enhance" the affair!

Travel then moves to witness my sister's son getting married in Oregon.
  Looking forward to seeing Mom, my sister and my brothers. All of them will meet my daughter's youngest for the first time. It will probably be the only reunion for my family this year. Most live close together, but my immediate family is moving East, so seeing the extended group happens less often these days.

Coming home marks the end of summer. There are so many books and so little time to read them all. The long summer days will be gone and the fall adventures will begin!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day Eight

Before
After
and the shower is coming along.