Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good weekend!

After another week of unpacking and organizing, we had a great weekend with family and friends!

Hanging with Adam
My nephew, Adam, competed in his first state cross country meet in Carmel.  He finished 27th in a field of 274 runners.  It was amazing watching him finish, passing people in the final yards.

Angie, Dane, Diane, Alice, Judy and me

It was a great occasion to get together with family...

We also got to visit my niece Diane and her husband Andrew in their new house...
Ok, so there was a bit of painting underway, but that never stops a party

Mel, Cathy, Diane, Melanie, Mike and Chuck

And then we had dinner with friends to celebrate a milestone birthday at our favorite Greek restaurant.

And one of the funniest moments was watching Mike preparing to can jalapeno peppers...

What can I say?

Tomorrow it's back to the grind of unpacking (plus the fun task of getting an estimate to repair hail damage on the Challenger), but for this moment we are enjoying memories of a fun weekend with family and friends!

Have a great week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Time races on

Ok, I realize you may be wondering what happened to me since I moved to Indy and no updates to my blog.   Life is never dull, just different.

First of all, I know it's odd to enjoy 'absences', but here are a few we are smiling about...

  •  No more texts from the realtor about one more thing we need to do
  •  No more cleaning the house 'on demand' 
  •  No more spending money on a house being sold
  •  No more traveling 500 miles one way between Indy and Des Moines
  • No more hauling cats between states
  • No more packing or U-hauls
And now we are on to unpacking and organizing too much stuff.  If you've ever combined two households into one, you understand how you can have two of everything especially flour, sugar, oils and spices.  It was a great time to get rid of older, outdated food stuffs and get organized at the same time...

Alphabetized spices. Would you expect anything else?
We can now find things in the pantry

Integrating some of my furniture and art into the family room...

Adding my plants to the deck

We traveled to Evansville to visit my mom who is recovering from pneumonia.  She is slowly getting better though the doctors cautioned that it will be several weeks before she gets her energy back.

There was some flash flooding the last day of our visit after 5 inches of rain over a 12 hours period.  
Flooding in the backyard at my mom's house

We  attended a family reunion and had a great time catching up with cousins, aunts and uncles.  

Family reunion

Mike relaxing in New Harmony park 

So time continues to race on. I am amazed how busy we are even with only one house.  But the stress of selling a house continues to melt away as Mike and I focus on putting our own house together and finding time for family and friends.

A recent article in the Journal of Applied Psychology reports that American women's stress level has increased 18% in the past 26 years.  Stress is highest for women in their 20's and it lessens with each decade.  And retirees are some of the least stressed women.

So I can't say this is totally me, but compared to my previous job or remodeling/selling a house, things are definitely improving!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Closing a chapter

Beautiful storm clouds in Illinois
We drove back to Iowa on Labor Day to get ready for the house closing.  Sleeping in the guest room (in a bed the buyers were purchasing), living out of suitcases (ok, this has become the norm) and finishing the packing, it already seemed like house belonged to someone else.

 Ok, I admit to a couple of tears in the middle of the night when I thought about leaving my home since moving to Des Moines.  Not just the physical, it was the memories. Good memories, not-so-good memories and memories of learning to live by myself.   Even after the furniture moved out my touches were evident in the gardens, the siding, the decks and the floors.  Kind of like leaving a part of yourself behind...

We met the buyers and really liked them.  I smiled at their description "our dream house".  We talked furnaces, air conditioners, the sauna, sump pumps and septic tanks.  They asked good questions, and though they seemed so young, I felt the house was in good hands.  The next day the closing went as planned and we hit the road for Indy.

When we arrived in Indy, the  first thing I did in "our house" was to unpack all the suitcases. During all the years of visiting Mike in this house, I lived out of suitcases. Enough already!

Diane, Andrew and Alice
My niece Diane, her husband Andrew and their 5 month old daughter Alice came for dinner and to "shop" our storage garage for items for their new house.  We had so much fun catching up on their experiences being parents, buying a house and Andrew starting a new job.  We are so excited that they will live about 25 minutes from us in the small town of Whitestown.

Now it's all about unpacking, or as  Mike calls it "putting 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound house".  We've made progress though it seems awfully slow...

We bought a new washer and dryer to replace those we left behind as part of the sale.  Here are the new ones being installed and the old ones waiting for pickup by the Shepherd Community Center who said they can find homes for washers and dryers any day of the week as they help the less fortunate in the city.

Installation underway

You know you're a redneck if...(you have appliances in the driveway)

I am starting to add my own touch with some lawn art...
I call it "rabbit contemplating gutter"

Wrought iron in green

Armillary x 2

Though we are working very hard finding a home for my stuff, we are enjoying friends. We had a great time at a party for our friends Brian and Stacy who are getting married later this month.  And Melanie and I enjoyed time shopping and  dinner in Broadripple while the guys had their Boys Night Out.

And the weather has been incredible.  Sunny days, 70 degrees and a light breeze.  Definitely calling me outside to work in the garage and yard.

And so it goes. We rather unceremoniously closed a chapter that occupied our every waking moment for the past 6 months and quickly turned the pages to a new chapter.  Not a lot of fanfare, not a lot of rest, just moving ahead.  In other words, life...

I found out today that my mom is in the hospital with pneumonia.  Any prayers and well wishes you could send her way would be appreciated!

Hope you are having a great week.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The move and Hurricane Isaac

We successfully arrived in Indy Thursday afternoon with a U-Haul, 2 vehicles, 3 cats and 4 men and 2 trucks! 

I must say it’s totally disconcerting to have all your possessions in boxes.  Where is the flour?  Where are my shoes?  Where are my dress clothes?  Just a few of the questions I asked this weekend.  For all the items I packed, consulting my handy dandy spreadsheet revealed the location.  For the movers, it’s a slightly different story.  Everything in the kitchen went in boxes labeled “kitchen” including dishes, pots and pans, spices and FLOUR. 

Ok, here is your warning that I am going to blame any bad juju on Hurricane Isaac.  Seems that Indiana is often in the path of hurricane remnants, and I got to experience the weird weather patterns for the first time.

Outer bands of the hurricane 

Mike and I spent time re-arranging items and moving furniture to storage.  After the 3rd load, I was exhausted and “hit the wall”.  I pulled a rocking chair out of the U-Haul truck and promptly set it down in the drive next to the storage unit and began rocking.   Definitely comforting, I was enjoying a cool breeze when I realized from Mike’s strange look how weird this might appear.  And then someone drove by in a pickup truck and stared at me, so I reluctantly put the rocking chair into the storage unit.

Saturday morning I was unpacking a box in the driveway and heard loud music from a back yard in the next block over.  I could see people setting up chairs and streamers, and I assumed some type of party.  About 2 hours later, I heard wedding processional music at the same time the hurricane rains and wind began.  It looked like the wedding party was under a tent, but I couldn’t help but think this wasn’t the best start to a marriage.  Bad juju?

And then there was the grocery trip…  While shopping for a few items, I heard an announcement about some free gifts being handed out between the produce and seafood areas. Curious and always ready for “free stuff” (Mike’s influence I’m sure), I headed my cart to the “big giveaway”.  About 10 people gathered around a woman who was demonstrating the amazing fruit and vegetable creations you could make with this incredible plastic knife.  After she handed out the free knives to all of us lucky shoppers, she sunk the hook in deeper by alluding to additional gifts…

About 10 minutes into her next demo of a “better than Pampered Chef and Ginsu knife” slicer, I realized I was wasting time and started to contemplate making my getaway.  After the first person left, I decided it was my time to make a quiet and unobtrusive exit.

What happened next is indelibly etched in my brain.  I immediately turned my cart into a beer display, and many pint size individual beer cans went crashing to the floor!  I was mortified!  I was evaluating my options of running out of the store or cleaning up the mess when the woman demonstrating the slicer got on the P.A. system and said loudly “cleanup in Aisle 3.  And that display just fell over on its’ own.”

I immediately began picking up Bud Light cans with the help of a couple of women who were also watching the demo.    Most were intact, and we put them back on the display.  A few cans were leaking and we put them on the floor next to the display.  We covered the spilt beer with cardboard that flew out of the display.  I couldn’t think of anything else to do, and I certainly didn’t want to wait around for the grocery store employees so I VERY CAREFULLY drove my cart to another area of the store and resumed my shopping wanting to slip into the crowd unnoticed. 

I am certain I can never return to this grocery store without dying my hair black… Bad juju?  Most certainly!

And then there’s the Labor Day Breakfast I prepared for friends.  Since my recipes are in some unnamed box in storage, I used a substitute recipe I found on the Internet for "Morning Glorious" muffins.  I realized after I baked them and Mike and I did the taste testing, that I should have more finely chopped the “shredded carrots”.  As we split a muffin, we saw bright orange carrot shards sticking out of it.  But hey, they were baked, and they tasted good…

So when I served the muffins at breakfast, imagine my surprise when my friend Stan split his muffin and then asked me what the “green stuff” was. Sure enough there were “green shards” sticking out of the muffin.  I told him that I didn’t want to name the ingredients, but to trust me it was healthy. Then I racked my brain over which ingredient would be green.  After some Internet research I found the answer.  If carrots are exposed to too much baking soda, or the baking soda is not well mixed, the carrots will turn green.  At least I didn’t poison my friends…but yes, bad juju!

So yes, it was a strange first few days in a new place.  And hey, I can blame the hurricane because I’m certain that changes in atmospheric pressure can cause weird things to happen.  And I am ignoring the fact that Mike is calling me "Mr. Mayhem".  But by Labor Day afternoon when the hurricane moved out, and the sun returned, I was convinced things would return to normal.  I’m sure I’ll get the hang of living out of boxes until the unpacking is finished…but this was definitely an auspicious start to a new chapter!