Monthly Archives: May 2014

Just a Pop ……

…… of color is what I intended for the family room/kitchen area.
I think I got more than a pop.
It’s more like a boom!
But it’s a good boom.
In my opinion.
You’ll have to make up your own mind:




So the family room is now a soft, yet bright, green. The kitchen was supposed to stay the same blue-grey that it was, but the crew painted it green, too. Fortunately I walked into the room while they were still working on the family room. After I got over my surprise, I told them that the kitchen wasn’t supposed to be green. And I told them to paint it over with the blue they were supposed to be using on one part of the ceiling (which they had done). I didn’t have the original color, but thankfully we had enough of the blue they brought. And it didn’t take that much paint anyway.
The island and the back wall of the built ins were painted in a lovely coral color that I absolutely love.
I think the colors look great together. As did the painter. He said that he’s definitely going to recommend the coral to other customers. And he thought the green and the blue flowed into each other well.
So there you go.

After the guys were done painting, it was up to me to move everything back into the family room.
Which might sound impressive.
But you really want to know what’s impressive?
Yes, I did that. Hooked up the receiver and every speaker in the house (there are several) into it.
And it worked!
See? That’s impressive.

Here’s what I found in my garden yesterday (there were more today):
It’s a shame that I don’t care for tomatoes.

The other night Son #3 and I went to see this guy:
We had a great time singing and dancing to all things Jimmy Buffett.
The parents of these two little guys are doing something right!


My washer quit working because the start button got stuck. It’s been pretty much stuck for the last 5 years. Up till now we’ve been able to coax or beat it into working.
But this time it wasn’t falling for any of our usual tricks. It just up and died.
So I Googled what to do …… and did it.
Now my washer looks like this:
Lovely, isn’t it?

Oh whatever! At least it’s working now. And you have to admit …… the duct tape is a cute touch.
As for that pesky button:
It’s the tiny red dot there.
I taught it a lesson it won’t soon forget. 🙂

I’ll also be getting a new washer and dryer soon.
So I’m not sure who really won.

Today I trimmed several trees that were too close to the house and had branches up against it.
I am woman, hear me roar.
And curse when I try to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

Night, all.

Smiles ……

…… and tears.

It’s been quite a couple of weeks.

And today, the 28th, is …… well, today should have been our 31st wedding anniversary.
And of course, just typing that makes me cry.

There are two sure-fire things that bring on tears, even at 6 1/2 years. One is for me to either say or type the words, “I miss him”,
and the other is to say or type how long we would’ve been married.
There are a few other things, too, but I’m choosing to mention only those two.

The last two weeks have been rough …… and great.
I love my new home.
Jim would’ve liked it, too.
And maybe he does.

It hasn’t been easy. Pain has been high throughout the move and it still is. I think that it all can be traced back to whatever inflammatory arthritis I’ve got, and since I haven’t seen anyone about it in over a year, it might be time to give it some attention.
Though in my defense, I quit because nothing. ever. helped.
I decided that no useless medication was better than risking the copious amount of health risks that could occur from taking those meds. A risk worth taking if they helped. But again, they never did.
So maybe it’s time to find another doctor. And hopefully get some relief without feeling loopy.

In other news, I finally finished one room. Finally. Last night I got the study arranged and decorated the way I wanted it. I love it.
I had the wallpaper removed and then had it painted the same color as the study in our previous home. I also had the half bath de-wallpapered and painted. I likED the guy who bid on the job. It was my first time to use him. And last.
After he delayed the job twice, he finally came out with his crew and got to work. I guess that he’d not had much experience in removing wallpaper because it took them twice as long to do the job as he had thought.
They finished up and left and the next day I walked around and took a good look. And was shocked. When they textured the walls in the study they got that stuff all over the windows. And didn’t feel the need to clean up after themselves. Or clean my wood floors, either.
The trim is pretty crummy in many areas and they left all of the outlet covers off (that could be because the walls were dripping wet when they left). But the worst was in the bathroom. Where the guy got the yellow paint for the walls onto the white ceiling. A lot of yellow paint.
And paint all over the fixtures.
It was a very unprofessional job.
So I texted the guy, asking him to come over and look at everything. This was his reply: “Well, to tell you the truth, this job cost me a lot of money. I’ll see if I can fit you in on my calendar.”
Ummmmmm, yes, really.
I’ll never see him again.
Which will be worse for him than it will for me.

When my friend (who recommended him because he’d never been anything but professional as far as she knew) called him up in horror to ask him about this job, he said that he underbid it. He never, ever communicated that to me, and if he had, I would’ve offered him a fair amount to finish the job. I’d never had this done before so I had no idea what amount to expect. When my friend told him that it was a bad job he said, “Well, that’s not my fault.”
Ummmmm, yes again.
It’s MY fault that his crew painted like a bunch of 10 year olds?!! (My apologies to all current and former 10 year olds. You probably would’ve done a better job.)
If he thinks I’m going to give him more money, when he waits until I contact HIM about the mess, to tell me about his money problem, he’s insane.

So, if you don’t look too closely at the study, it’s lovely. Same with the bathroom. Which still needs pictures hung on its walls.
Before (Ugh!):
After (YAY!):

Before (UGH!!!):
After (Yay!):

Yesterday, however, I had a lovely surprise when I walked into my bedroom when the painters broke for lunch (a NEW set of painters, hired with a different guy): my room, which had been started at around 9:00 a.m., was totally done and my bathroom was well under way.
In fact, 3 hours later they were finished.
And I’m so happy with their work!
(I know the bathroom looks blue, like the bedroom, but it’s not. It’s actually a very lovely, soft green.)

This morning they come back to paint the family room/kitchen. I can’t wait because it will contain a pop of color that I’m really excited about! I won’t say what it is, but I’ll post pictures afterwards.

So that’s been happening.
It’s also been storming and raining like crazy here for quite a few days. I was considering gathering wood for an ark yesterday since I’m basically held hostage until the workers are done. But I have several lists and that’s on the very bottom.
Two nights ago, during a really bad storm, something happened to one of the electrical outlets outside. “Something” as in there’s a brown mark in and outside one of the outlets like something caught, or almost caught, fire.
And then the phones went out. As did the freezer in the garage, the fountains and the yard lights. Of course, at the time it happened, or some time after, I only knew that the phones were out. I didn’t hear anything or feel or smell anything. It wasn’t until yesterday when a worker came to work outside that I found out that “something” much bigger had happened.
So I’m hoping to have an electrician out today (thank God for Home Warranty companies and closing companies who provide them to buyers!).
Thank God also, that I didn’t have much of anything in that freezer. 🙂

So things have been good, but also rough.
The pain has made it all worse than it should be, and the missing of Jim always makes everything worse than it should be.

He should be here.
But he’s not. So here I am. In a very much wanted and very much loved new home.
A new home in which to make new memories and cherish the old.

In a little over a week I’ll be back in NY.
And that thrills me, although it also brings a little stress because, hello? Lists!!

I’ll only be there for a couple of weeks and then back here, trying to keep one step ahead of the Feds up there who would love to nab me for taxes if I don’t leave NY enough days of the year.
But, for the very first time, I’m looking forward to coming back …… home.

How blessed am I to have two homes to return to? (yes, I just ended that sentence with a preposition. Get over it.)

And though I’m struggling with pain and trying to not let it get the best of me, though having two homes sometimes means twice the headaches and four times the amount of repairs and money, and though this day is not what it should have been …… I am grateful for who and what I do have, rather than joyless for who I don’t.
Sad, yes.
But joyless, no.

That’s my life.
Finding a balance between the smiles and the tears.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.
I love and miss you every single day.
But I loved the Dance and I’d do it all again.
I love you forever.

It’s Way Too Painful ……

…… to sit and write much of a post.

Sigh …… if it’s not one thing, it’s another.
The pleurisy that I fought with last week has pretty much abated to nothing.
Thank goodness.

But the pain underneath my shoulder blades has retuned with a vengeance.
It started yesterday, under my right shoulder blade, and by bed time I knew it was going to be a rough night.
It was an even rougher day.
The pain has been horrific and I can’t move without it shooting through my body at such an intensity as to leave me breathless.
Every once in a while I’m forced to use the Lamaze breathing, but it’s not helping. It’s all I can do to not just sit down and cry.

Tonight the pain is heading towards the area between my shoulder blades. And the pain is so bad that I feel nauseous.
What the hell is this about?!
Yes, I’ve been experiencing a lot of stress. More on that later.
It hurts too much to just sit in one spot and write.

Let me just say that moving by oneself sucks.
It shouldn’t be allowed.
But there you go.

If I spend much time thinking about all of the friends I’ve helped move over the past 20 plus years, I cry.
So I try not to do that.
It doesn’t change anything anyway.

The house is starting to look pretty great, so that’s good.

I wanted to end on a positive note.
Now I’m going to crawl into bed and pray for either an end to this pain, or a quick death.
Either would be welcome at this point.

I Wonder ……

…… what the hell was I thinking??!
These last two days I’ve been packing up the house by myself.
A five bedroom, 5,000 square feet house.

The first two days I had the help of a few friends, for which I am very, very grateful.
Especially after doing it by myself.

Yesterday the packing became very emotional, so maybe it was a good thing that I was alone.
Although if I’d had someone to help, maybe they could’ve done the emotional stuff.
Like the refrigerator that had a multitude of magnets on it.
Magnets that we collected from every place we visited/vacationed.
And from every Broadway show we’d seen.

I didn’t really see that coming.
I was just working my way through the room, and then I was next to the fridge. So I grabbed a bag and started removing the magnets.
And about 30 seconds in, the wave hit.
And then another, and another, and another.
Sigh ……



And then there was this:
The wall that I measured the kids on every August.
Deeper sigh ……

I had a desk that had a glass top on it. Beneath the glass I had placed pictures. A whole lot of pictures, from many different years and stages. I loved having those pictures there.
I didn’t love having to gather them back up, although I did smile a lot at the memories.

And then there were these two items that Sons #2 and #3 made me, back in their pre-school days. I hated to part with them, but I had to be realistic.
Sometimes realisms sucks.
Beyond belief.

Now my study looks like this:

Which is kind of how I feel right now …… empty.

And exhausted.

I know that I’ll be ok, and that I’ll be glad to have all of this behind me …… no matter how difficult it is in the midst of it.

Before I post this and head off to bed, I’ll show you something a bit different.
At least a bit different for all of us down here.
The real estate market here in our community has gone a little nuts.
It’s definitely a seller’s market (other than me as a seller).
And just to show you how hot it is in my neighborhood …… here’s a sign that went up yesterday:
Can you read that?
Note that it’s not “for sale”, but “coming soon”!
What the what?!?!

I’ve never seen those words on a real estate sign.
I can only imagine the tizzies and the frothing at the mouth that’s going on around here, just at the thought of another house going on the market.
I may have to hunker down and keep all the windows and doors bolted when that house actually becomes available.

I hope I’m done moving when that happens.

Can You Say ……

…… ewwwww!?

I found this today, underneath the shelves in my closet:
Now, I know that this little can of Nutri System Chicken and Barley Stew, isn’t that awful looking.

Unless you look at the dust bunnies on the lid:

And then check the “best used by” date:
Yes, you read that right. Best by May 2009.

Although I have to say, this little can is pretty tame and boring compared to what Jim and I found in our first house down here in TX the day we moved in:
A pair of fuzzy handcuffs on the top shelf in my closet.
I kid you not.
I thought about leaving a pair for the next couple.
And then chickened out.

So chicken and barley stew is pretty blase.
But I have to wonder, why the heck would you keep a can of that in your bedroom closet?
Maybe the husband had been put on the Nutri System diet by his wife, and he tried to hide the boring food.
What?! It’s plausible.

Today I started packing at 9:30 this morning. My wonderful friend, Vicki (Texas Vicki, not Oklahoma Vicki) came over this morning and jumped right in to the packing. She also came over on Tuesday, along with three other friends, to pack.
Vicki is the first friend that I made when we moved down here. She’s very special to me.
People who are named Vicki tend to be pretty wonderful friends. 🙂

I’m so grateful to all of the friends who volunteered to come over and help. I didn’t have to ask, they just came.
That’s what friends do.
And that’s pretty wonderful.

We packed until around 2:30 or 3:00.
I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed, but dang, there’s a lot of stuff to pack up. Tuesday we packed most of the day and it felt like we hadn’t even made a dent.
Today it seemed that we made a small dent.
But there’s still so much left to do.
And not enough boxes available.
And my back won’t shut up.
And yes, I may be whining.
But I’m allowed.
My back hurts and my heart hurts.
I expected that.
The heart …… not the back.

This was supposed to be our “forever home”.
So much for “forever”.
I don’t think I’ll ever think someplace is “forever” again.

Today’s emotional bomb hit when Vicki and I were packing up the game room.
I had climbed up on a counter to reach a very high cabinet, and found things I’d never known were there.
Evidently Jim made huge accordion files of every vacation we went on, and stashed them in that cabinet.
I never knew.
And while I knew that he was a bit anal (he was an accountant, after all) and kept files of everything, I didn’t know that he kept ticket stubs, flight tickets, brochures, etc. from everywhere we’d been. He didn’t tend to save things like that.
Or so I thought.
And now the tears flow.

God, I miss him.

In other news, my friend Anne came over and helped me pick some colors for the walls. I have no ability to come up with something like that. But she did a fabulous job and now I’m pretty excited. I’m going to pain the family room and my bedroom and bath.
Well, “I’m” not painting it, but you know what I mean.
It’s going to be wonderful and colorful.

I’m building up quite a stash of things that I’m getting rid of. I plan to have a “moving sale” in a couple of weeks. To hopefully get rid of all of the stuff I can’t move over.
Stuff that none of the kids want.
Things like a leather sofa with a queen hide-a-bed, a pool table/air hockey table that I wish I had room for, a lovely bedroom set with a king head & foot board, a 50″ flat screen TV, a receiver, exercise equipment, a GE french door stainless fridge, an older fridge that makes a great second fridge, a stand up freezer, and all kinds of kitchen stuff, games, videos, etc.
I could probably outfit two houses with all of the stuff in that house.

I think I’ve given myself a headache.
So I’m going to watch the football draft now.
Now that the Texans had the first pick.

While I’m Waiting ……

…… for workmen to come long after their appointed time …… what a shock! …… I decided to update you guys.
Cuz I’m just nice like that.
And I have nothing to do since everything has been unpacked and all of that stuff has been thrown into a closet or two.
Because I have no furniture in which to put all that stuff.
It’s going to take me a couple of years to get this house set up.

I love this house.
I love it so much that I’ve been sleeping over here since last Friday.
On a not very comfortable futon.
My back is screaming at me.

It’s strange. The pain started behind my left shoulder blade, then moved to the center and spread behind both shoulder blades, and now today it’s behind my right shoulder blade.
What the what?!

Of course, this morning on the Today Show they talked with two doctors who said that one of the signs of a heart attack in women is pain behind the shoulder blades.
Which means I should’ve died Monday night.

Seriously though, I know it’s not that kind of pain. It’s definitely muscular.
It’s a dang good thing I don’t have to go to barre class. I’d most likely just slump down and cry.
And therefore, look like an idiot.
Another whoop for not doing that!

While packing up my bathroom yesterday, I came upon the first of what may be several emotional bombs.
But I did ok.
After a bit.

These tiny things are casts. The green one was for Son #1, when he broke his arm at the age of 3. So tiny!
The other two were for Daughter #3,when she broke her arm the week after Son #1 got his cast removed. She was 5.
They both fell from separate jungle gyms.
When Jim met me at the orthopedics office (which I went straight to for the daughter, rather than to the pediatrician, the e.r. or a clinic …. it wasn’t my first rodeo), I told him as I was filling out the paperwork and the description of the accident, “If this happens again we’ll have to find a new ortho. I’m sure CPS would find it hard to believe that our children are that clumsy on jungle gyms.”

But, thank the good Lord, no one else suffered the same playground accident.
It’s possible that’s because we made sure they were terrified of those child-marring, nightmare-inducing, demonic jungle gyms.
The casts went into the trash.
Thus, the pictures.

As for the packing, thank the good Lord again, that Loews gave such clear instructions …
… because we all certainly know how migraine-inducing and Mensa-challenging it is to fold a box.

Well, that’s all for now.
The security guy is here and I need to get back to watching, “Out of Africa”, seeing if he needs my input or assistance.
Busy, busy!

Can You Freakin’ Believe ……

 …… that it’s May?! I cannot. I’m trying to figure out where April went off to in such a hurry. I’m also trying to figure out why I haven’t updated for well over a week. Sorry Peeps.

I’m now in Houston.                                                                                                                                                                                             I arrived here last Tuesday night. On Wednesday I did the final walk-through of my new home, which went well. I liked it even more the second time I saw it. On Thursday I closed on it, and since then I’ve been packing up a few things at a time and moving them over.         At this rate I should be moved in by December.                                                                                                                                     Seriously.                                                                                                                                                                                                Especially since I evidently pulled something behind my left shoulder blade and the pain has gotten worse as the day’s gone on. It hurts to move and the pain is horrific if I bend over.  Which makes it a bit difficult to unpack pretty much anything.  Sigh.                                  I’m now sitting with a bag of frozen HEB Southwest Rice and Beans pressing against my shoulder blade.                                                     That was one of the recommendations I saw when I Googled “pain under shoulder blade”.       Well, the rice and beans weren’t the recommendation (but that would be hilarious).  The site just said that cold might help.  Luckily I had brought the package of rice and beans over last night.  Along with 2 cans of frozen limeade.                                                                                                                                Just call me Martha Stewart.                                                                                                    

Don’t you just love the Google?  And yes, I wrote “the”. It’s called humor.  (Though some people may disagree.  🙂

Anywhooo, hopefully the pain will subside, although the odds may not be in my favor since I’m sleeping on a futon.  I’m guessing that so-called “mattress” has probably helped to cause the pain.  Le sigh ……

So …… I’ll be posting pics after Monday, since that’s the day that my wi-fi will be installed.  Until then I’m using an iPad, which has an infuriating key board.  

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print.  At least for now.

Take care, Peeps, and have a great Sunday.                                                                                                                                                       🙂