Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer So Far

School finally ended last Friday, and we've had glorious June weather -- sunny, warm days, cool nights.  The heat is starting to build now, as well as the humidity which I hate.  But now that we're in the new house, if it gets really uncomfortable, I can turn on the AC -- a luxury I've never had before.

Since school got out, there's been no rest for the weary however.  We need to get our old house emptied this week so that we can get it cleaned and get some renovations accomplished.  We've rented it to a friend and her family who unexpectedly needed a place to live, so we're trying to get everything out by July 1st for them.  That means we've spent 5-6 hours daily going through each room and either packing/moving, tossing, or putting into yardsale/giveaway.  We have 2 huge rooms filled with the yardsale/giveaway and the yardsale is scheduled for Sat.  I still have a couple of bookshelves and odd boxes to sort through, and then I can start organizing the yard sale stuff.  That will be a whole different kettle of fish.  We've lived in the old house for 30 years and have stored not just our clutter and collectibles, but also things for friends, neighbors, and even a tenant!  We rented a huge dumpster too, to make the tossing easier.  That's about 1/2 full.  I can't believe the amount of stuff we've accumulated.  And the number of photos!  They are uncountable!

I'm also trying to set up the new house, and am trying really hard to not let stuff accumulate here.  If I can't find a place AND use for something, it's going.  And that's led to some tough decisions.  But I'm being ruthless, even going so far as to toss two "works of art" I've treasured since I was 6 or 7.  Both are ceramic pieces -- an unfired bust of someone I christened George Washington, about 3 inches high, and my green glazed horse that looks like a flattened hippo with an elephant trunk, about 3 inches long.  They are history!  If I had had my camera charged I would have photographed them, but the charger seems to be among the missing.  Oh well.  I have the memories.

I think I'm doing my sons a favor because we will be making it easier for them when it's time for them to break up our household.  It's crazy what I brought back from my parents' home when we took care of their house.  Now I'm wondering why I wanted the broken sugar bowl that doesn't even have all the pieces left to glue it back together!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Catching Up

We've moved (at last!) into the new house.    I LOVE it!  It feels like I'm living in a vacation home.  I am particularly in love with my deck.

One of the benefits of the main deck (we have 2!!) is that it's right off the great room/kitchen area. We have the grill right there

so it's so much more convenient to grill dinner.  At the old house, the grill was out behind the garage -- or in the back 40 as we called it.  I can keep an eye on the grill and what's going on in the kitchen.

We also have a dedicated office instead of a corner in the kitchen, and that is going to make a world of difference in keeping clutter out of the public living spaces.

I love the ease of one-floor living.  It feels like we walk more . . . .but that is a good thing!  I also love the fact that I've cut 10 minutes a day from my commute, which adds up to almost an hour extra at home per week!

There ARE a few things I'm not happy about.  At the moment, the TV setup is not ideal --- cords hanging out all over the wall which I hope to have solved as soon as I can get an electrician in.  And we are not satisfied with the lighting in the kitchen area yet.  Also, our new refrigerator seems to have a constant leak that the repairman is baffled by.  That leak is causing the floor around the refrigerator to buckle  However, the appliance company (a small independently-owned local company) is on it, and has promised to fix both the refrigerator AND the floor.

We also have a lot more visible wildlife:

A fox --

Lots of turkeys, deer, and an abundance of birds. As I've been sitting on the deck, I've seen scarlet tanagers, Eastern kingbirds, hummingbirds, several hawks, lots of the usual chickadees, titmice, robins, blue jays, swallows, etc. and a few birds I'm still trying to identify.  We're actually using a pair of binoculars that my husband got a few years ago to identify the unknowns.

In my work life, I came very close to making the decision to retire this spring.  I actually arrived at the human resources office one hour before the deadline with my signed contract in one hand and my signed retirement letter in the other.  I ended up deciding that ONE MORE year would make the most financial sense.  I was a bit annoyed with my husband who wouldn't give me his opinion as to what I should do. "Whatever you want is fine with me," is all I'd get out of him.  When I got home from work and told him I'd signed on for one more year, his comment was a somewhat disappointed "Oh, I thought you were going to retire. How come you didn't?"  I hope that I have that one more year in me!

Finally, we had a big wedding in the family!  Our younger son was married in California on May 31st!  I took only 4 days off from school (wish I'd taken longer!).  It was an absolutely gorgeous wedding, and we are more than happy with his choice of life companion. They've been together for about 7 years, so it was a long time coming.