Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Simple Yet Complicated Hodgepodge

On first glance, this week's questions look easy, but they took me a little time to think about. 

Thanks, Joyce, for not letting my thinker get too dull between Hump Days.

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?

I did make someone laugh yesterday--my friend Sally  (hi, Sally!)--and it was in an email. (Judging from her "hahahaha" I'm thinking she laughed for real.)  I was telling her how our kitchen remodel has started but that chaos was reigning. I said something about looking for my keys between a circular saw and a box of Cheez-its. 

It was intentional in that I have to keep my sense of humor in the midst of the remodel or my mind will go AWOL. 

2. What's a simple question with a complicated answer?  

"What's for dinner?"  Sometimes thinking about it is just way too complicated.  What meat? What side? What veggie? What time is it? Oh, it's 5:25  already? What's Domino's number? Do I feel like putting on my shoes to go pick up the pizza,  or do I want to pay the tip to have it delivered? How lazy/tired/unprepared/out of sorts/fill-in-the-blank  am I right now that I haven't thought about dinner till this second and honestly I would just be okay with oatmeal, wouldn't you, honey? Oh, you were thinking meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Hmm, well, that poses a bit of a problem, namely that I have neither meat nor potatoes, just the loaf pan.  I know it's a simple meal, but simple is the new complicated.   

3. Rhododendrons or azaleas...you have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?

Rhodos.    Here is one of two that are blooming in my yard. This one reminds me of my oldest son's engagement day on May 21, four years ago. After he proposed at a quiet spot next to a nearby river, they came back to the house and her twin sister took pictures of her dazzling diamond ring on a petal of this rhododendron in front of the house. 

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

Yes. My first real job was waiting tables at Woolworth's. I also waited tables in restaurants and hotels during college.  I gained invaluable experience learning how to deal with a finicky, demanding public, how to economize your steps ,how to make some pretty garnishes, how to serve wedding banquets, how to suck up to bosses, how to deal with false accusations, how deceitful people can be, how to serve a big family and keep the littles happy which keeps the bigs happy, and so on. Best part of the job? Generous tips.  Worst part? Bustin' my can for picky guests who then leave a quarter for a tip. Or a table of four ladies who EACH leave a quarter. 

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?

For women: leggings as pants.  I don't care if you are wearing a long tunic over them, they are big girl tights, not pants. If you over the age of six, it's time for pants, honey. 

For men--I really despise big bushy beards.  They just look nasty. And I just heard there was a study done on the bacteria in men's beards. Guess what is found more often than any other contaminant? Fecal matter! 

Now, how do I segue into the next question?

6. Name a writer who inspires you....now tell us why.

My dad. Because he is genuine, thoughtful, funny, eloquent--and has never had a beard!

7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

The devil is in the details. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We got some good news and bad news this week.  The good news is, we bought a house! The bank accepted our offer and agreed to our settlement date. 

The bad news is, my mom found out from a CT scan that two-thirds of her liver is dead, and she also has an inoperable hernia at this time.  The good news is, there is medication to help reduce the fluid build-up in her abdomen caused by liver damage, and the other good news is that the doctor confirmed what I advised them on Sunday: do not go through with your move. It's too stressful. I'd appreciate your prayers for my sweet mama  and my daddy. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

House A, House B, and Day 1 of Kitchen Remodel Begins

Warning: long post, picture-heavy. Refill your coffee mug or iced tea now. 

Just an update on the house-hunting situation. (Remember this is for a rental property,  so we aren't under pressure to sell, but one of our sons and his wife will be our first tenants and they must be out of their current place on June 30.)

So far we found two real contenders: House A and House B.   (Not to be confused with the Mexican fireman's twin sons, Jose' and Hose B.)

For my own reference (because it will be good for me to look back on this time of new adventure someday and remember the details that God orchestrated), here is a timeline thus far:

April 18:  Decided House A is the one to pursue. Get excited.   But don't want to rush in to this too quickly.

April 22: Find out House A is under contract. We're disappointed but okay with the news.  I sensed God saying to me,  "Don't worry. This one will come back to you."

Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's God speaking or your own optimism.  Sometimes in my life, His voice has been unmistakable and practically audible. This was not one of those times, but there was a peaceful, hopeful sense that I got that something would fall through with the other buyer's contract. (That sounds bad on paper, but I truly meant them no ill will.)  Things happen. "This isn't our first merry-go-round," said a sweet daughter who sometimes gets her cliches humorously mixed up.

May 6th: Put in contract on House B after falling in love with it and being told there's no other interest in it.  (Ironically, House B really was listed by a guy named Jose'.  I'm totally serious.  I'm not pulling your nose. )

May 7th:  Find out there are multiple offers on it. Whaaaat? We thought you said there'd been no other interest.  Were you pulling my arm? My leg? Something?

May 8th:  Put in counter-offer .  Sit back, pray .Pray hard all weekend .

May 11, 12 Wait, wait.

May 13--Receive cabinets. Boy, oh, boy, I thought it was going to be my undoing administratively, but the delivery guys (two young brothers, strong as oxen) made it easy. Each box number matches a line number on the Packing List. Great labeling. Getting the pantry and lazy Susan through the front door reminded me of working a 2-ton Rubik's cube. But they did it.

I have the proof all over three rooms of my house:
                                              I had to open one to make sure they had the right 
                                                                                style and color. Yup!



May 14:  9:15 AM.  I go to the lake to pray and worship and listen to God. Ask Him to give an answer today, and I choose to be content with a "no" even though I want a "yes" on House B  listed by Jose'.  Come home and start dejunking the cabinet that will get removed first in our remodel. Work while you wait. Whistle while you work.

 May 14, 10:43 AM   Answer  comes about  House B: our contract was rejected.   I am disappointed yet thankful for an answer.

May 14:  11:30AM  Find out House A is back on the market! Same day, same hour? Yes!  Something made the buyer's contract fall through. I am so tickled (for us).   I would say hubby is tickled, too, but that doesn't sound very manly.

May 15:  2:00 PM  See House A again .   At 4:30, submit our offer.  Then more waiting, more praying.

May 16:    7:00 PM  Son and I go to school music  and art show (son is not performing and there is so very little artwork because of all the snow days in the first semester ) so no need for hubby to attend)
I did snap a couple photos of my favorite artwork by second graders.  People, these Dr. Seuss drawings were done with Sharpies by second graders!

While we were at the show,  my Hottie Handyman, aka Hardworking Hubby,  took out the first two cabinets!

It's not pretty, but can I say, this start has made me one happy girl! 
I've been dreaming of a kitchen remodel for 16 years and it's finally happening. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Short--"Way Too Short"-- Hodgepodge

I'm not sure how she does it, but Joyce keeps on churning out good questions week after week. 
My kitchen cabinets are coming this morning (sweet!)  so my answers will be short.  (Are you saying, "Sweet!" about that?)

1. When is your next big deadline? What's it for? 

Big deadline? FINDING and settling on a house before the end of June.  Well, we found the house we want and are on the proverbial 'pins and needles" waiting for the call. Apparently a bidding war ensued the minute we put in our contract. And it's a Fannie Mae sale so everything is slllllloooooower than with a standard sale. But our kids have to be out of their apartment by June 30 and they are our first tenants!

2. May is National Barbecue Month  Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What's the best thing about a barbecue? What was the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill?

I prefer cooking in or having my hubby cook out.  Best thing about a barbecue? The smell. Last thing we cooked on the grill? Hmm, probably burgers and hotdogs last summer. 

3. What is one thing on your 'never again' list?

I'll never again let a gay guy cut my hair. Did that one time when I had a  14-month old son and a 3-week old baby and was desperate for change and for someone to play with my hair because I felt ugly and needed pampering. He turned me away from the mirror so I'd be surprised later. He kept using words like "volume" and "lift" and "fabulous" --all good, right?  No! He cut out all the curl, shaved the neck up part of the back of my head, and exposed my ears way too much. I had stubbles in the back along my neck and looked absolutely butch.  I cried and cried on the drive home . My husband couldn't touch my head or hair  for five weeks.  Never again.

4. What's something that annoys you about people your age? Something you love about your generation?

Annoys me about people my age? Hmm. I've given this one some thought.  I think it's how many middle age parents haven't prepared their kids mentally, emotionally, spiritually  or practically to leave the nest to stand on their own. Boomerang kids are products of parents who can't or won't let go for the good of their marriage or the good of their young adult kids.

Something I love? Most of us try to embrace and understand technology.  "Try"  is the operative word.

5. Lilac, iris, hyacinth, pansy...your favorite purple flower?

I've always said as long as I have a garden, it will have purple flowers. I like all of those flowers, but lilacs transport me back on a whiff to my glorious childhood home in Kansas. So lilacs win. 

6. Whats a song that always calms you down?

Jesus Loves Me
this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong, 
They are weak but He is strong. 

7. What's the last thing you donated?

Money to a needy family.

8. Insert your own random thought here.   

I'm so nervous about these kitchen cabinets being delivered. I hate all things related to accounting, and the pressure to do inventory while the delivery guys are here.  But at the same time, this is the first step to a 16-year dream coming true. Can I just pull a poncho over my head and say 'it's all there" and "oh how pretty!" and "just put those there, thanks?"

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook, 5.09.15

Tomorrow will be a cool date,won't it?  5-10-15?

I'm linking up with the Simple Woman. I was awake before six this morning, the house is quiet, I have a smattering of scattered thoughts in my head, so the Daybook meme beckons me .


Outside my window... fresh cut grass, thick green trees, overcast skies and light rain, some birds singing, and a rusted patio set that's headed for the dump. 

I am thinking...

of how happy we'll be to get a call from the realtor that says ," They accepted your offer! You got the house!" or my extreme disappointment if she says, "I'm really sorry. Another offer came in that was better than yours."   When we put our offer in, it was low because the listing agent had told our agent there'd been no other interest in the house. (A week ago.)  But after submitting our lowball offer, we heard back that there are multiple offers, so put in your "best offer." 

I am thankful...

for my wise, smart, cautious husband. I have such trust in him regarding big financial decisions, and that he listens to God for direction and wisdom.

In the kitchen...

ugly cabinets that will be replaced this summer. New ones are being delivered Wednesday, but we will probably wait till school's out to start demo.  I am so NOT looking forward to the mess and chaos that I know from experience comes with a kitchen remodel, but I AM looking forward to the results.  

I am wearing...

A black bathing suit cover-up that doubles as a nightie. 

 I am creating...

very little, unless you count creating space by dejunking.  I have not sewn in weeks, haven't painted in a year, haven't made a fancy recipe for a while, haven't written any prose or poetry that I'd call "creative." 

I am going...

to a "pre-interview" for an art teaching position next week. 

I am wondering...

Will we get the house?  (Yes. it's consuming my mind.  If so, it will be our first rental property and a place for our first (and beloved) tenants (son and DIL) to call home.  They love the house and are praying we get it it . 

I am reading... 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet ( because I love stories set in WWII).
I am hoping...

my parents make the right decision regarding moving vs. staying put. My mom has a hernia and may need surgery. Can you imagine being in your 70s, packing a house up with your 80 year old husband and moving to an apartment while your house sells (because they need it painted throughout and they can't stand the drop-of-a-hat notice of showings). 

I am looking forward to...

the next time I get to keep my little niece for the day. I got to have her earlier this week and loved every minute of it.  She LOVES dogs and we have a big golden retriever whose crate was empty while I had him outside during her stay (he's rambunctious). While I was fixing her lunch, she crawled into the dog's crate, pulled the door shut and said, "Woof! Woof!" Gosh, it was so cute. I wish I'd had my camera. 

I am learning...

a lot about how bank-owned property sales work (vs. the standard sale we've always dealt with as buyers and sellers).   In a word, REO deals move slllloooowwly. Agents aren't typically as responsive. "As is" is the key word.  Dealing with a bank is all business on their part, no emotion. So no risk of offending a seller. 

Around the house...

is evidence that I've had a stomach bug and unable to put things in order like I enjoy doing on Friday morning. 

 I am pondering...

how my sisters are faring in their trek from Arizona to Kentucky with 3 horses, 1 donkey, 2 dogs and 3 cats in tow.  My younger sister had to retrieve them and her belongings as part of her divorce this week. My older sister is helping her drive the U-Haul which has a horse trailer in tow--altogether as long as an 18-wheeler.  

 A favorite quote for today...

"Need more cowbell!" 

 One of my favorite things...

Watching a teenage son cut the grass. 
A few plans for the rest of the week:

Whew!  After today's carpet cleaning/dump run, a low-key Mother's Day  tomorrow (since, as a mother-in-law, I have to share my sons); Monday--volunteer to prep artwork for the school art show;  Tuesday--Bible study; Wednesday--receive cabinet delivery;  Thursday--job interview; Friday-- tutor and then attend art and music show; shore up vacation plans to Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee!

 A peek into my day...