Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ten Days


Only ten more days in Corpus Christi, and then I leave for Arkansas.  Part of me is anxious to get it over and done; part of me dreads the move.  I will be ready in the sense that everything will be packed.  Not ready to leave my friends and family behind.  Copper and I will be traveling alone for a day and a half to get there.


I just got back from spending a week in Atlanta, where my niece was having surgery.  Traveling alone through strange airports was good practice in a way.  I challenged myself and did fine, so I know the car trip will be okay, too.

The Atlanta trip was a real awakening for me. I hadn't flown in more than 20 years, and the experience has changed drastically.  I knew what to expect from the TSA, but the time I spent in the Houston and Atlanta airports made me conclude that I really don't like flying all that much.  I also had to rent a car in Atlanta, which I had never done for myself.  I asked if they had any PT Cruisers, thinking that driving the same model I drive at home would make things easier.  No, they didn't have any, but they gave me the closest thing they had. A new Chevy HHR, Razorback Red, with Arkansas plates on it!  No, I didn't tell them where I was moving. It was easy to drive, although I didn't figure out the door locks until the third day, and never did figure out how to work the radio.  But I felt cool driving it!

This is the car I rented in Atlanta.
My niece had her surgery, but had a protracted stay in the hospital.  I had to leave before her discharge (thank goodness her brother also was there.)  I managed to find my way back to the rental car return, and get through the airport without a hiccup. A three hour layover in Houston seemed even longer, but the trip from there to Corpus went by in a flash.

One of the highlights of the trip was going to The Container Store and to Ikea with my nephew.  I had never been to either store.  I have to admit it was like a day at Disneyland for both of us.  We agreed that the smaller Container Store one-upped Ikea for us both.  We are both organization freaks. We walked in and stood there with our mouths open, not knowing where to look first.  Neither one of us could buy much, but we snagged catalogs for future reference.  Ikea was more like a modern museum of art.  Quite an experience, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Loved the Swedish meatballs, and the cinnamon rolls! And thank God for GPS in my nephew's cell phone!  We would never have found our way through Atlanta without it.  We became quite fond of that female voice.

As you can probably tell, it was quite an adventure, and an opportunity for personal growth.  I now feel I can handle almost anything that comes my way.  It would have been easier if my hubby had been along, but I wouldn't have gained as much confidence.


We put our house up on the market on a Monday, and it was under contract by that Friday.  I wasn't quite ready for it to happen so fast.  Not that there will be any love lost for this old house.  The buyers are getting a good deal, even though we are selling it as is.  It is still about 15% off the market price for this area.  We just wanted to get it sold quickly.  We will have to do the closing remotely from Arkansas, but we've done that before.

Yesterday my son and I went to pick out my new smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  He helped set it up for me, and other than ringtones that don't seem to work, I am loving it.  He also changed our e-mail accounts for us, as they were through our cable provider and that will be different in Arkansas. Last night I was downloading apps right and left.  I wanted to get it before the move so he could help me with it.  Are you getting the sense that I am a naturally timid person?  Yup, that's me. A bit of a wimp.

Tomorrow I have my last Book Club meeting, and the next Monday my last meeting with my Red Hat friends.  I may be blubbering by the end of that one. My sons and daughter-in-laws meet us for dinner this Friday night. I have a doctor's appointment on the 2nd of May, and Copper and I head for the hills on the 3rd.  Literally.


I'm not sure about the new format that Blogger is using.  Just when I felt like I knew what I was doing with the old system they up and change it on me.  But it seems a little easier once I have gotten the hang of it.  But this will be the last post for a few weeks until everything gets set up in our new house.  I will be back!  Until then, pray for good driving weather!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting closer...


The amaryllis are blooming in the front flower bed. Aren't they gorgeous? It's a shame they don't last very long. The crotons add color all year round.


I recently went to a St. Patrick's Day party with my Red Hat Rascals friends. The cafe we met in was wonderful to us. We all dressed up and had a great time. I am so going to miss these ladies! These are the best friends I have ever had.


The pile of boxes I showed last time has grown by at least three times. We now know that we have only another 6 weeks before the move. I'm starting to get really excited about it!

In the meantime, a dear niece has to have surgery, and I plan on going to be with her during that time. I cannot imagine letting her go through it alone, and she has no family nearby, although she has lots of friends. I expect to spend a week or 10 days with her. When I get back the frantic part of the packing will begin. I also am helping to host my going away party about a week prior to leaving. I may meet myself coming and going, but it will all get done.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting Ready


Wow, two months without a post. You would think my life was very boring, wouldn't you? In reality, I have been doing a lot, just not talking about it. For instance:

(Don't you love that vinyl flooring? It's original to the house--1970's vintage. We never got around to changing it. Yuk. By the time we could afford it we knew we were moving anyway.)

I have been packing for our move in three months. Mind you, we have already sent at least half of our stuff to Arkansas. That still leaves a lot here. These boxes have all been packed this year. I haven't even begun on my sewing room--I am leaving it for another few weeks because I am dreading not being able to get to things easily, plus I know that it will be at least a year and a half before I can unpack my sewing and craft supplies. Not that I am likely to have any time for hobbies for that period of time anyway, what with unpacking the household goods and working on an addition to the house.

I plan to leave Memorial Day weekend for Arkansas--my hubby will follow a week or two later.
I will get that house ready to inhabit while he closes this house, ships the contents we want to keep, disposes of those we don't, and puts it on the market (as is.) With me goes the dog, all my clothing, a few electronics, my computer, and a box of embroidery supplies to keep me busy in my off hours (hah!)

I am looking forward to buying new appliances and furniture for the house. We bought the range from the current leaseholders--It's a nice Frigidaire gas range with a convection oven, fairly high end. I know what I want to buy, and it will be fun to shop with some money to play with.

I want to take a lot of pictures to post during the process of the move--I want to document it for myself and for the few people who ever read this blog. Some before and after shots will be nice, especially of the yard as we fix it up. I am so excited about gardening in Arkansas! I will be able to have plants like lilacs, day lilies, and peonies that will not grow here in South Texas; although I will miss the bougainvilla and hibiscus we had here. I have always left all the gardening to my hubby, but I want to get my hands dirty and learn from him.

I will also have a kitchen I can actually cook in! My kitchen here is very small, really a galley.
Very little counter space makes it difficult to prepare a meal at the best of times, and for some reason either hubby or the dog likes to be in there with me when I'm cooking and I have to shoo them out. The kitchen in Arkansas is easily 3 times the size of this one, with lots and lots of counter space.

I lost a good friend last month to multiple myeloma. It started with skin cancers and spread to all her major organs very rapidly. People, please have your doctor check your skin, especially where you can't see, and check any spots that feel or look odd. It may just save your life.

I have to get back to packing now. Let me know your thoughts--please leave a comment!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!


I am almost finished with the VCR tapes. This week I did 12 DVDs of "Good Eats." I also recorded DVD's of "The Thin Man" series, all 6 films from TCM's marathon showing--that was an all-night project. I picked up "Duck Soup" by the Marx Bros. as well. I purchased two DVD sets of Red Skelton shows and a DVD of various versions of Sherlock Holmes films and radio shows.

All I have left is a smattering of miscellaneous shows and movies, and some snippets recorded of my kids when they were young that appeared on news broadcasts, etc. Those are the only films I have of them as children, we never could afford a videocamera. These 15 second snippets are very special to me. Then I have some sewing and craft shows that I have been recording all this time on videocassettes. I am more comfortable recording that way because I can then rearrange them when I transfer them to DVD. By the end of January I should be totally finished with them all.


I also need to get started on sorting receipts and such for taxes. We have an accountant do our returns, but I'd like to get it ready for them by the 1st of February. That will be a big job, but it will be nice to get it done early. After that I will have to start packing for the move.

This is the time of year that I can normally take a breather for a few weeks, but this year all I can do is Breathe Deep and Carry On. No time to really think about it, just get in there and do it.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Loot!


Copper hopes everyone had a great Holiday Season! He got TOYS!! Yay!

I also made out like a bandit. This is my pride and joy---

Remember all those quilting lessons I gave my granddaughters? This is the payoff! They made this gorgeous quilt for me. The points all match, the fabrics are perfectly coordinated, even the backing as shown below. It is well bound and beautifully quilted using free-motion. I could cry--it proves they were paying attention! I guess I taught them well. I am so proud of them both!

And they made this one for my hubby. He loves it as well. Again, everything was so well done!

I also got several other gifts, including a new camera (can you tell? LOL!), a Panasonic Home Theater system for hubby and myself, a new herb mill which will be so much fun to use when I get my herb garden going in Arkansas, and a JoAnn gift card from hubby. Below are some other gifts I received.

My stepson sent me the Ball jar lantern which will make a great bathroom nightlight or a decoration in the front window. Very neat! The snow globe was a gift from a friend in Eastern Star, and the glittery ornament was made for me by my 6 year old grandson. He used floor wax and glitter to make it--such a cool idea that I think I will eventually make some more to go with it. He did a very neat job, and put his initials on the back. It will be a cherished heirloom!


If you have read my blog for very long (see note on that below) you know I love thrift stores. I don't always find anything good, but on Monday I went to two different ones and scored big, especially on Christmas stuff at half the marked price. I got the tramp art twig and pinecone basket below for $2. It's about 8" square, and is a great decor piece.

I bought these items for Easter displays. The bunnies were $1 each and the cart was $2.

The old checker board will hang in the kids room. The metal hangers will show off special ornaments (like my grandson's) although I intend to get rid of the orange berries and the glass pail. The envelope contains a "Saddlebag" plant grower, including two envelopes of seeds. It is meant to drape over a deck or porch railing. It looked interesting. These items cost me $1 each. The hangers were two for $1.

This 9" oriental vase must have once had a lid on it, but for branches of forsythia or dogwood it will be beautiful. The red and white pitcher will go in a vignette with the red cookbook holder I bought a few months ago. I posted a photo of it at that time. The bag of miscellaneous blocks did cost me $6.50, but I intend to use them for crafts projects. There are at least 4 different kinds of blocks, including Lincoln Logs.

I snatched up these bottle brush trees, the glass and plastic ornaments, and the small papier-mache toy shop for next to nothing.

I am a sucker for snowmen. Some people collect Santas or angels, but snowmen are my thing because they can carry over throughout the winter. These cost me about $2 each--the smaller one is a candlestick.

The box in the foreground is full of old glass ornaments (two were broken and I replaced them with others I found with the ones pictured above.) The other set is of wood, and all the pieces are there, although a couple need a touch of E-6000. These sets were $2 each--a real steal!

Altogether I was thrilled with my purchases. I will probably go out again in about a week to see what people got rid of after Christmas. I'd love to score an aluminum tree.


I mentioned above that if you read these posts you would know I like thrift stores. I really don't think anyone reads this. I never get any comments about my posts and even friends rarely mention my blog. But I don't care. I use this blog mostly as a journal for myself. If anyone reads it that is great. (Please leave a comment! I may not respond, but I do look for the comments.) But I will continue the blog as long as it fulfills a need in me to document the events in my life. I hope to use it more often to document our move to and adjustment to our new home in Arkansas in June.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!


Christmas is ready for takeoff! All packages decorated and labeled, ready to go.


Just returned from seeing "We Bought a Zoo" with Matt Damon. Wonderful movie--funny, sad, romantic, heartbreak, healing. Highly recommended for family viewing. LOVED IT!!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ready for Christmas


I'm finally ready for Christmas--all gifts purchased and wrapped, all cards sent out, everything arranged for the family get-together. This year we are doing it on Christmas Eve--opening gifts around noon, then out to eat at Golden Corral, then all going our separate ways. Not much of a holiday but it will do. Now that the kids are grown and have their own families, getting together with us is not the first priority.

Hubby and I know that moving to the farm will be the last step in distancing from the close-knit family life we once knew. We wish it weren't so. We have loved being near the kids and raising our sons to adulthood, but it is time to step back and let the next generation live their own lives without our input. It will be sad, especially around the holidays, but it is that time in our lives. We hope they will come to visit, but it will be a long trip and we are under no illusions about seeing them more than once a year or so. We are still able to travel, thank goodness. We can visit them probably more easily than they can come to see us.


I have been sewing more, now that the holiday prep is over. I made the tote below to use when traveling. It is larger than I would normally use as a purse, and much sturdier than most purses, because I used Peltex interfacing in most of the construction, with upholstery grade fabrics. The Peltex was a double-edged sword, I had to re-do the handles because I just could not get them to turn properly with so heavy an interfacing. So I removed the Peltex and used a crinoline that I happened to have on hand for the handles. I also had to improvise on some of the construction techniques, but overall I am pleased with it. It has pockets on each side, two pockets inside, and a magnetic snap closure inside. I used Butterick 5658 View C with contrasting side pieces.

My next project is to make one or two inserts for changing purses, using the Portapockets and Encore purse insert patterns from Studio Kat Designs. I have enough of the fabric left over from the tote that I should be able to make one insert of each size.

These are the Christmas cards I made to send out this year, enclosing the tree ornaments that I showed in past posts. I have gotten several comments on them, so I must have done well. They weren't difficult and went quickly in an assembly line fashion.

I wish everyone who reads this a wonderful holiday season, and a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!