Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It seems laundry is piling up. I blame it on the fact that the washer and dryer are in the garage.

I’m not certain why, but not having an indoor laundry room is rather, well, weird. I guess it is because I was so used to seeing the laundry room from the kitchen every day that I would just instinctually throw in a load when needed. Now that it is out of sight, it is practically out of mind, with the exception of the piles of clothes in our bedroom that require cleaning. The piles are too big to close the closet door, which is probably the only reason I noticed it needed to be done in the first place.

So perhaps I need to come up with a better system. Perhaps I need to figure out a way to separate darks, sturdies and lights better so that once those baskets are full, I can take them out to the garage and wash them. Of course, coming up with a system will require me to actually separate the clothes in the first place, which means more work when throwing them, which probably means this won’t happen at all. We’ll see, I suppose, as the current Toss-And-Try-Not-To-Trip-Over-The-Pile Method isn’t working out so well.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Last Loads

We’re getting to the point where we only have a couple more loads of stuff to get at the old house. Honestly, I’m ready to be done moving and start living.

The plan today is to take both cars and the trailer and pick up everything we are keeping and bring it back here, which mostly entails to outside and garage stuff. There are a few odds and ends inside, but not much, just the fish tank, one of the sewing machines, and a few things in the kitchen and office. I just hope we can get everything we need moved over today, or at least a majority of it. I can always go there after work tomorrow for the inside stuff we can’t move today.

So, outside we need to bring over all of our potted plants and pots, the whiskey barrel fish pond and whiskey barrel strawberries, Buddha and other decorations, wheel barrel, and the rest of the chicken stuff, especially the extra roof sheet to fix the damaged section from the move. Ugh, the coop. Yes, we still need to fix the chicken coop too. I guess with all of the outdoor moving of stuff we’ll be ready to finally tackle the coop when we get back.

Of course, to put another kink in the situation, the landlord is coming by with an electrician to change out the 40 amp breaker to the range, which has a 50 amp plug. Basically, they are coming out to fix the whole situation of not being able to use the oven and the stovetop at the same time without the breaker tripping. Hopefully it’ll be as simple as my husband’s dad made it sound. But this means we’ll have to clean up the area around the breaker box too.

Alas, time to stop blogging and start getting stuff done. Getting up so late isn’t making this task any easier. Perhaps a lazy day will be better. Perhaps, but then we’ll still have all the stuff at the other house we want to have here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


We’re watching our dog Lucy’s boyfriend, Otto the one-eyed Pug, and a guinea pig also named Lucy until Wednesday. Basically it means craziness on the part of the dogs for the next few days.

Whenever Otto comes over to visit, Lucy loves it. She has someone to play with that will actually play back, unlike the cats who just scratch at her nose. Okay, so really the crazy playtime lasts as long as a Pug and Great Dane have energy, which really isn’t that long. Of course, Otto has much less energy than a regular Pug and Lucy has much more energy than a regular Great Dane so they tend to wear each other out at the same time.

Lucy the guinea pig doesn’t really do much but eat and squeak, so keeping her in the boys’s room while they aren’t here will be fine. I just hope she lets me hold her for a bit because as it is she just slips out of her little house to snatch a piece of lettuce or bell pepper and quickly backtracks into her little house again.

Personally, I love it when Otto comes to visit too. Even though at times when the two dogs are vying for my attention it tries my patience, the fact that Lucy gets to play like a dog is worth it. The cats on the other hand are not amused.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Today was going to be filled with more moving of the garden stuff at the old house to here. Somehow I think it will be pajamas until it’s time for my second cousin’s birthday party.

Of course, laziness will probably not be in the cards today or any time in the near future for us, as there is still so much to do. Coyote proofing the coop, painting the bathrooms, painting the ceiling in the office and boys’s room, unpacking, unpacking, unpacking… Okay, so maybe not that much unpacking. As much as I’d like to get a bunch of stuff done this long weekend, I think I’d rather, well, not.

Apparently I’m also being lazy when it comes to blogging this morning because I think I’m done for the day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Coop Moving Day: Part 2

Operation Move Coop: Complete. Operation According to Plan: Not so much.

First of all, I need to say a huge thank you to our friends Rob and Erik and Pjaye for all their help. There is simply no way we could have done it without all of you. Second of all, I need to say a huge apology to the three of you for all the crap you put up with, only some of which was literal. And third I need to apologize to everybody and myself for forgetting my camera at home so there was no documentation of the whole debacle.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, this is what went down. I got to the house, let out the chickens and started digging out the trench around the coop so we could possibly lift it up and into the trailer. Easy, right? Except for the fact that this thing was way overbuilt (we’re talking exceeding standards for homes in hurricane country here) which, of course, added to the weight of the whole thing. However, after the trench was dug and it was physically possible, however somewhat improbable, to lift it up and out of the trench, we screwed on a couple pieces of the deck (may as well get some more use out of it, right?) onto the sides of the coop to use as lifting bars. Easier said than done. Oh, the bars went up without a hitch, it was simply a matter of trying to figure out the right height for lifting that made this task ever so exciting. However, once a height was finally decided up after moving and screwing it into place each time, we started the moving process. At which point, of course, we ran into another kink. Dirt.

While everyone was trying to figure out how to lift it up and over the dirt mound the coop was catching on, I grabbed a shovel and started scooping out the extra to level out the ground. I should have done this to begin with but I didn’t think it would be that much of an obstacle. I was wrong. After that we were able to move it rather well to the edge of the wall and into the trailer… at first.

Of course there was another obstacle to overcome, because that’s how we roll. This time it was the trailer, which measured on the inside is six feet two inches wide. However, what they failed to mention is that it has these inch and a half eyelets for the chains that hold the backdoor of the trailer. Figures. Needless to say the coop wasn’t going to go in without some alterations. We ripped off the wire mesh around the front which kept catching, but that wasn’t enough. So my husband went over to the neighbors house, grabbed a saw and our friend Erik started notching out everywhere the coop would run into the eyelets. Success! Shoved in the coop, locked up the backdoor, and our friend Rob tried over and over to get the trailer out of the backyard through the gate, but kept getting stuck in the mud. After some ingenuity on his part involving old firewood for traction, he finally got it out and we were ready to get it onto the road and to the new house.

Now, during most of this we had the boys, as their mom had a class to go to, so PJaye spent most of the time with them. Thankfully they weren’t too bad. However, trying to focus on the coop with three of the nine chickens on the loose and two kids asking, “Daddy Cory, are you done yet? Daddy Cory, can I pet the chickens? Daddy Cory, what are you doing? Daddy Cory Daddy Cory Daddy Cory!!!” was an adventure all in itself.

On the road we only had one minor incident involving the plastic roof, some of which caught wind and snapped off, but fortunately only a small part. The ride was fairly smooth after that, but we were going slightly under the speed limit to prevent another roof incident. Once we got to the house, everyone helped with backing it into place while I got the boys all situated in their room. It was practically off the trailer by the time I got out to help them set it into place, but not quite. Two more notches needed to be put in, the ones in the front of the coop that were already inside before we realized there would be a problem. After that we pushed it out and pretty much decided wherever it landed would be where it’ll stay.

In our haste, we forgot the chickens at the old house. Okay, so really we knew we’d end up having to go back anyway, so we left them in the dog kennel where they were all sleeping. In the meantime I had to staple the mesh back onto the part we ripped it off from and screw the door back on and the boys’s mom picked them up so we finally went back to the old house around 9:30pm, loaded up the girls and all their stuff, headed back to our house, plopped them onto the roosts, locked the doors, and went inside to strip off all our nasty, muddy, stinky clothes and went to bed. If only this was the end. We’ve still got to coyote proof the coop now, but that can wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coop Moving Day

Today we are moving the coop along with a couple good friends. If only it would be as easy as it sounds.

Here’s the thing you see. We built this coop to be, well, massive. I wanted to be able to walk into it for cleaning purposes and that has been great… while the coop is in one location. However, now that it is time to move it to another house there are a few logistical issues and kinks to work out. Fortunately they shouldn’t be too much, but still, they are kinks nonetheless.

So our plan is to screw onto the four outside corners of the coop lifting bars so we can (in theory) easily lift the coop into and out of the trailer we’re renting from U-Haul. I’m going to be doing this, along with shoveling out around the outside and inside of the coop to ensure a smooth transition, as well as scuttling the chickens into Lucy’s old dog kennel from when she was a puppy and trying to remember to bring their food, a hose and their feeder and waterer. To top it all off we’ll be doing this with the boys, so perhaps I’ll have them help me with some of the tasks.

However, before I can even go over to the old house to get the coop ready for moving, I have to prepare the are the coop is going to go. This wouldn’t be such an issue if my husband and I could agree on a location. While I think it should go in facing West along our side fence, he thinks it should be facing South along the back “fence” area. We don’t really have a fence here, only the remnants of where some metal hog fencing used to be. My main concern is that our backyard gets full sun all day, something I can’t wait to test on vegetables that desperately need to be planted, but not so great for chickens. We’ll see. More than likely it’ll end up facing South not because I’ll give in but because he’ll probably be right about the aesthetics.

Honestly I can’t wait to have the girls here as I’m tired of worrying about them, not that I really have much to worry about as all of our old neighbors love the chickens. The new ones behind where we used to live have kids who chicken watch throughout the day, prompting them to decide to get chickens of their own soon. I’m pretty sure they’re just going to convert the old shed into a henhouse and attach a run to it since it is practically ready for it as the previous tenants cut a small hole in the side for their guard Chihuahuas. I wish I was joking about this.

So wish us luck! Hopefully by the end of the day the girls will be safely in their new home surrounded by yet another threat to their existence… coyotes. I wonder if throwing some of Lucy’s poop around the fence line will stop any of them from encroaching too close to the coop? I suppose time will only tell. And a little internet research.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yesterday was probably the oddest day of my life. We actually met neighbors… a lot of them.

Okay, so we had been in our old house for over thirteen years and met two neighbors; the one to our left and the one to our right. That’s about it. Oh sure, we’ve seen others, but as far as having actual conversations, those two are it. Yesterday as my husband and I were unloading yet another load, one of the neighbors a couple houses down from us came up and introduced herself and we struck up a conversation, along with her husband and one of her four kids. Then we took Lucy for a walk. I couldn’t tell you how many people we had to stop and talk to during our short walk around the neighborhood before getting the mail, but I know that everybody was super friendly and practically everyone had dogs and all wanted to say hello to ours. Quite honestly it was rather refreshing to see that neighbors really do exist.

At first I was a little creeped out by it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is going to be nice. Seeing people actually use their front porches, kids riding their bikes with abandon in the middle of the street, coyotes howling at night. Okay, so that last part, while I like the thought of hearing them, does give me some worry about the cats accidentally getting out and the chickens when we move them over tomorrow, but we have a plan to make the coop a little more secure than it is currently. I mean, we built the thing to withstand 200 mile per hour winds and raccoons, not coyotes.

Anyway, I think it will be nice living in an actual neighborhood, one where we can actually walk without fear of getting run over by cars and that actually has sidewalks and streetlights. And so far the people we’ve met have been great, which I was a little worried about. Considering they had their suspicions about the previous tenants being, well, slobs, I know that we will be better neighbors to them. Yes, I think this is exactly what we need at this point in our lives.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stamps or Fabric

I’m torn because of a silly dilemma deciding between two crafts, rubber stamping and quilting. Something tells me one of the two is going to stay boxed up and in the garage.

Okay, so a few years ago I decided to completely overhaul my craft room to make it not only a functional space to actually, well, craft, but also be a guest room that didn’t scare the bejeezus out of our guests. Part of that meant wrangling in my scrapbooking obsession, so I went to IKEA and got a wall cabinet big enough to hold two full-grown adults if you wanted to smuggle them across the border and a stainless steel desk to stamp on, figuring any mistakes could easily be wiped off a metal surface versus a laminated top along with a few storage bins to put the actual items to be scrapbooked in. This looked amazing, with the cabinet filled with rubber stamps and inkpads and pens and glues and pretty much stayed in place unused the entire time we lived there. Oh, I made a few cards here and there or started working on our wedding scrapbook when I’d get inspired to do so, but honestly a part of me got overwhelmed when I realized just how much stuff I wanted to scrapbook I had. A really, really big part of me.

That’s when it hit me. Something about organization curtails my creativity. I mean, I can organize a project as I’m working on it, but if I see everything laid out in front of me ready for the taking, part of the thrill is just not there. I kind of enjoy having to search for what it is I’m looking for, which makes me nervous to instead use the cabinet to hold my fabric stash and put it above the wall where I plan on having the sewing machine here in the house we just moved into. I mean, it’d be a perfect way to contain all those precuts and the typical small yardage I keep on hand, but I know that if I do this I’ll probably end up in the same boat as I did with my scrapbooking stuff. Or will I?

Currently all my fabric, except for the bolts of fabric I have, are in the garage in boxes, for the most part organized into potential projects contained within plastic bags. I’m eager to get it all out, but at the same time, eager to paint the ceiling in the craft room/office white instead of the current blue, which is making the golden hue we painted the walls look dingy. Of course, I’m also eager to get the chickens and all of our fish over here too. Anyway, I suppose I don’t necessarily need to make up my mind just yet as the cabinet is still at the old house, of which the auction was postponed yet again so technically we now have until mid-July to be out, so I guess I should focus on the unpacking process of other things. Of course, the craft room/office really is the last major part besides organizing the garage, but with the garage being the hub of all things unpacked, we really can’t focus on it until we bring in what we want. Then again, we do still need to paint the bathrooms too. Ugh.

Of course, with us currently using the desk as our computer desk, which is great because it is so sexy, I’m thinking it might be a good idea to instead use the cabinet for fabric. Perhaps I can simply organize it in a way that it isn’t really organized. Should I separate by color families or lines? Should I keep all my precuts in one area and yardage on the other side? Or perhaps I should simply shove it all into the cabinet and close the doors and find out what happens. I’m thinking it’ll be a process. Then again, I want the process to be done so I can start sewing again. With so many projects on my mind right now and the inability to work on anything, I’m beginning to get a little stir-crazy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Peace and Other Imaginary Things

Peace talks last only as long as the cameras are rolling and taking pictures. Much like the eyes of parents with sibling rivalries.

The boys were so ecstatic about having their own room, one in which they have their stuff in and not my craft stuff, scrapbooking stuff, sewing stuff, cake stuff, puppet stuff and random stuff. It’s been great… mostly. The best part is that they can finally play with their toys in their room and not scatter them throughout the living room for Lucy to pick up and start gnawing on Luke Skywalker’s feet until they are gone. The worst part is them not being supervised, which meant a slight issue involving my husband’s old dresser from when he was a kid that belonged to his mother when she was a kid. Let’s just say I have a feeling it won’t be in there for long, since they have the memories of goldfish.

Okay, so really, the best part of unsupervised children means that we can be doing something without the constant interruptions of the kids asking us random questions, right? If only that were true. It really means that they have to constantly run out to the living room or kitchen where either of us are to tell on the other for doing something completely blameless. It also means that they have to share, something they think is only a sometimes option. We make them apologize for wronging the other, they kiss, they hug, then they run off together for a few minutes of unadulterated joyful playtime before one of them comes out of the room to tattle on the other and the process starts all over. Oy vey!

Alas, I suppose sibling peace just isn’t meant to be. Well, not at the ages of three and four anyway. Of course, their problems mostly consist of who gets to play Batman and who gets to play Robin. I suppose the best thing to do is just pick our battles to intervene in, and let them decide how best to handle the minor stuff. After all, that’s how I was raised and I turned out okay… maybe? Bill Cosby said it best: “The truth is that parents are not really interested in justice. They just want quiet.” Amen to that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


This morning our dog decided to vomit all the grass she’s been stress eating since we moved in. It’s been a while since removing bodily refuse from carpet.

All the animals seem to be, well, freaking out. All except our bipolar calico cat, Tuesday, who has been positively sweet and loving since we moved. Our Great Dane, Lucy, has been ultra itchy and even more in the way than usual. And Dexter, our long-haired possible Main Coon mix has been even more, well, rambunctious and bordering on annoying with his sudden habit of sharpening his claws on our couch. But seriously, finding fresh vomit first thing in the morning beats all that.

Now, this isn’t all that unusual for Lucy to eat grass, especially during times of great stress. Certainly this whole moving adventure has been quite nerve-racking for her. However, vomit on carpet is much different to clean than carpet on hardwood floors. Ugh. It seems that no matter how much I blot it never wants to all come up. With solid surface floors it was simply a matter of wiping.

Fortunately we had some Oxy Clean Laundry Stain Remover on hand, so I sprayed down the sites (yes, plural) and let them sit for a few minutes before blotting some more. It helped, but I have a feeling it didn’t get all of the stuff up, even though the towels weren’t showing any of the off-colored liquid. Oh well, at least the carpets are so incredibly stained that I don’t think it’ll make a damn bit of difference if another stain or two gets added the mix. Then again, looking at the floors now I don’t see anything so perhaps we did get it all. I suppose only time will tell.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Brother K.C.

Have you ever had a brother who was the epitome of sweet and innocence and purity that you wanted to do everything in your power to protect him from the world? No, I’m not talking about myself, but my little brother, K.C.

Today is my little brother K.C.’s birthday, which means this is the last of the sibling posts. To start with, K.C. is his first name, not initials, even though there are periods after each letter. If you want to know the reasoning behind this, you’ll have to ask my mom and stepdad, but as far as anyone is concerned it stands to reason that it is for Kansas City… as in Kansas City Chiefs or Kansas City Royals. Yes, a football and a baseball team. Again, for an explanation you’ll have to ask the parental units. But, in all honesty, the name fits him perfectly.

So K.C. was fairly young when our mother and his father separated, so as any good big brother would do, I did what I could to help get him to baseball practices and games and help him with school work and have a somewhat normal childhood. Unfortunately both my sister Kassidie and I failed to teach him a few fundamentals, like how to cook. I can only blame myself as I taught her but didn’t even think about helping him because she was completely interested in learning while he was more interested in showing me how completely inept I was (am) at video games.

Right before he started high school, my stepdad and him moved to Wenatchee, a five hour drive from here, which meant we didn’t see him very often after that, about once or twice a year. Sadly I wasn’t able to witness my brother become a man, but alas, he seems to have done so fairly well without me. Although, I must admit, I still don’t think he knows how to make a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

Happy birthday K.C.! Have a wonderful day, a wonderful year, and may all your dreams come true! I miss you terribly and can’t wait to see you again this summer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Operation Kitchen: Complete

Yesterday my plan to finish the kitchen and the boys’s room was a success. Well, mostly.

After getting a rather late start, running by the house to load up the shelving unit in the kitchen we used as a baker’s rack, some yard tools, and a few little things, I went to the hardware store to exchange the much-too-small hose I got for the refrigerator ice maker installation. Fortunately it was only a couple bucks more for a connector five feet longer. Like I said, grossly underestimated the size I’d need. Now we have ice!

Anyway, so I got home and started doing what I could to tackle the mess otherwise known as the kitchen, filled with boxes of pots, pans, bowls and stemware, bags and reusable shopping bags I’d loaded with groceries, and started trying to figure out where to rehome them. The once useless space under the corner cabinet section? I found that if I got all the way down on the floor I can just barely reach the very back. So I put least used items in the farthest reaches of its confines and used one shelf for baking goods and the bottom for extra storage bags and plastic wrap. I’m sure more stuff will make it in.

After the kitchen was mostly tackled, I began work on the boys’s room. I had an idea of how it would turn out, but after putting the bedding on the futon and books and a few toys on the bookcases and their clothes in the dresser, it still looks empty. Perhaps we need to get a few posters for the walls and definitely bring over the stuffed animals from the house.

We then started putting boxes in the closets of stuff we either weren’t unpacking or unpacking yet, and brought in the baker’s rack from the garage to put all of our bins of food, the microwave and cookbooks. I have to say that with the addition of the pantry, the baker’s rack does look quite empty. However, I’m thinking that open storage for all the cake pans will make good use of those bottom two shelves. We’ll see how well this plan works. In the mean time, I’m excited to see how well working in this kitchen will be. With a cake order and a cupcake order for tomorrow, I guess I’ll find out tonight.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Finally I feel like I am beginning to unbox our lives. Unfortunately there is still a large part that needs to be packed and moved over… including the chickens.

So I have a plan for today, and that is to unpack and set up the boys’s room, unpack the kitchen, and get a longer hose for the refrigerator’s ice maker because my little brain wasn’t thinking when I got one that was obviously way too short yesterday. Of course, my brain was also operating on practically nothing when I bought the hose because my attempt at eating breakfast at work was foiled by an influx of telephone calls and a person dropping off a dead lady’s dog that was supposed to be in Texas but was found broken and bruised in her abandoned house’s yard by the neighbor. Yes, Macho is back at the clinic. My granola bar lunch I was looking forward too wasn’t going to help the matter either. Hmmm… perhaps this is why I’ve lost twenty-five pounds since I started working again?

Ah, the joys of unpacking stuff. First you have to locate the items you are looking for and then you have to figure out where in the hell you are going to put them because after nearly fourteen years of this stuff practically not moving much you suddenly have to find new places to put them. This is especially true in our awkwardly designed kitchen/dining room. I mean, what is the point of having a new kitchen if it has less storage than something built in the 50s? Of course, I think the revert back to basics approach versus the Every-Kitchen-Needs-To-Be-Huge Phase must have been on the builder’s mind a decade ago. Especially considering the smaller size of the house, it’s gotta be a starter or ender home. Which is fine because ninety percent of the time it is just the two of us, and the boys really don’t have a whole lot in the way of toys or possessions that aren’t ours from our childhoods (or the desperate attempts to hold onto them) so really it is just going to be a matter of what do we need and what can we live without.

Alas, I suppose I should begin getting the boys’s room in order for them since they’ll be here tomorrow. I wouldn’t want their first impression of the house to be, “I’d rather go back to the homeless shelter, it’s not as ghetto.” Of course, the boys are going to be in for a big surprise because their mom is moving this weekend into their new home, which is going to be super exciting for all involved. I’m sure it’ll be nice to finally be back on her own, though maybe a little daunting at first. And to finally be able to unpack her life as well. Good luck, Miss R.!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


With the move comes the opportunity to reorganize our stuff. Unfortunately that means sifting through all those last minute just-shove-it-in-a-box items too.

I’ve been sort of tackling the kitchen. I say sort of because, well, I’ve got a lot of kitchen utensils and paraphernalia. The issue is that we don’t have the drawer space, as we’re trying to convert twelve drawers worth of stuff into the three in this house, along with the fact that three of the lower cabinets are so small I couldn’t fit any of our pots, pans, mixing bowls, plates, etc. into them. Instead I have two larger drawers into what was essentially four cabinets worth of baking and cooking equipment. Joy.

The worst part is trying to figure out where to put food and spices. My plan to put spices in the cabinet above the stove will require a special contraption so I don’t have to pull out everything just to locate one thing, and with the lack of drawer space I really don’t want to relegate one of those to spices. Perhaps I’m overthinking this whole thing and really need to focus on figuring out what to put in the 70% useless cabinet that even my long arms can’t reach into half of it because it should have been a corner cabinet instead.

Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to get it all figured out soon as I’ve got two baking assignments Friday for Saturday and the kiddos this weekend, which means I also need to get their room all set up. I really don’t want their first impression of their room to be blank and empty. Hmmm… Perhaps there will be a use for some of my posters I colored as a child to cover up the horrific scenes in that room. Of course, I still have to paint over the ‘Hail Hitler’, ‘Nazi’ and the swastika too. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Having two cars is great. Having one car that seems to need constant maintenance is not so much.

We just spent an assload of money getting the house ready to live in and have finally moved, so naturally it is time for one of the cars to decide to act up. Unfortunately it is the one I drive. With that being said, and the fact that I don’t work until this afternoon, I’m going to be spending the morning in the shop waiting for the car to be fixed. Yay.

Monday, May 16, 2011

New House

Even with all the moving and how tired we both were, my husband and I had a difficult time sleeping. We weren’t the only ones.

Lucy, our Great Dane, Tuesday, our calico female cat and Dexter, our longhaired-possibly-Maine-Coon-mix cat all seemed to find the new house a bit much. Not in size, mind you, since it is smaller than the one they are all used to, but because it is a different location that has all of their familiar surroundings. I have to admit that they weren’t alone. Seeing our stuff in another locale was a bit of a shock considering this is the first time we have moved since September 1st, 1997.

However, we all, despite our lack of sleep, seem to be adjusting quite well. The cats still look to the garage for their food, water and litter boxes, which for the time being are in the kitchen until we can hopefully swap doors with my sister who has a cat door hole in her door leading into the garage. This, of course, is only while we are living here, as I really think keeping those things in the garage would be the best for all involved. It’ll keep Lucy from eating all their food and keep us from dealing with kitty litter in the house.

Alas, we are only mostly moved. The fish and chickens are still over at the other house, along with a lot of the smaller stuff and a majority of our clothes. Looks like we’ll be busy every day after work this week bringing stuff from the house. Hopefully it won’t be too much craziness.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Moving Day

Today is the day of the big move. The universe has decided it must rain all day long.

Besides the fact that we are completely unprepared to move, a large part of me still doesn’t believe that we spent our last night in this house already. Of course, once the beds are moved to the new house I’m sure reality will set in. But really, as long as the new house has a mattress and a coffee maker and some clothes I should be good.

Alas, time to get ready to get stuff moved. It is quite possible this will be the first post not to make it on the day I wrote it, which means I will have offset an over 500 continuous days of blogging. Oh well, the sacrifices we make when there are other priorities. At least I was able to write it, which is really what this whole experiment is about.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Sister Kassidie

If ever the story of an ugly duckling turning into a beautiful swan were told in the human world, it would be about my sister, Kassidie. Sad, but true.

When Kassidie was a baby, she sho’ was ugly. But at about four years old as my mom and I were posing her in front of a blooming lilac bush for a picture we both seemed to think the same thing and said aloud, “Wow, Kassidie is pretty today!” Call it mean or call it honesty, but she has always had a great personality, just an awkward baby and toddler stage. I wish I had pictures to show you so you wouldn’t think me a horrible brother for saying such things.

One of the things Kassidie has always been good at is making you feel guilty for not wanting to do something with her. Even at the age of two she would sweetly ask if you wanted to play the card game ‘Go Fish’ and if you didn’t she would scream, “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m going to go KILL myself!” before scurrying off to her room and slamming the door. Seriously, I wish I was making this up. According to her husband, she no longer announces that particular line, but still manages to convince him to do what she wants to do.

As a teenager, she was a rebel, and not without good reason. Okay, so really as a ten to twelve year old she was, so really preteen. I had already moved out of the house and was living with my husband at the time so I didn’t witness too much of the rebellion. But her and I have always been close, even though as youngsters she would bite me and I would claw her with my fingernails to pry her mouth off my arm. Again, she took ‘Go Fish’ very seriously. And we both still have scars. Part of me still wonders if her violent tendencies stemmed from the fact that her imaginary friends were Freddy Kruger and Jason, both horror movie villains, due mostly in part because we watched a lot of horror movies as a family.

Anyway, we started hanging out a lot around the time she was thirteen and our little brother K.C. was eight. During this time we would talk about everything, make meals together and play games, stuff families usually do that she didn’t really have the opportunity to explore because she was suddenly thrust into the matriarchal role when it came to our little brother. I don’t know many teenagers who’d willingly take that on, but my sister did so amazingly. It was also during this time she began to explore religion and at sixteen decided to become a Jehovah’s Witness, much to the chagrin of most of the family. At the time I didn’t understand her decision, but a few years later it became apparent her reasons for doing so were justified after a court trial and family feud that is still stewing to this day.

And just recently she became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. Of course, the fifty-two hour labor after her water broke ordeal may impede on a quick second child, but I have no doubt she will be a great mom.

So while I know you don’t celebrate birthdays, I’m wishing you one anyway. Happy Birthday, Kassidie! May you continue to be a beacon of inspiration in my life and everyone who surrounds you!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Yesterday while the cable guy, gas guy and carpet cleaner guy were all doing their thing, I was busy assembling a wardrobe and transforming it into a pantry. Actually, transform isn’t the right word since we’re just using it as such.

When a functional piece of furniture can be purposed for something else, that is great. Take, for instance the Dombas Wardrobe from IKEA. Yes, there are mostly shelves on one side, but that one side can hold a lot of stuff that an otherwise cabinet-lacking kitchen couldn’t hold. And the other side, while meant for hanging clothes, will be perfect to store brooms, mops and Lucy’s food container. I tempted to see if the ironing board will also fit inside.

As for assembling the piece, IKEA has great no-word instructions that are easy to follow and I was able to pick up the flat-packed boxes and put it together myself. Oh, I’m sure it would’ve gone by faster had there been another person helping, but I had to be there while the cable guy and gas guy were doing their thing anyway. By the time the carpet guy showed up I was cleaning off small appliances and putting them on the shelves.

We’ve been using an open air wire storage rack for the small appliances, but I’m thinking that having them inside the cabinet will dramatically cut down on the cleaning and dust they accumulated on the rack. Besides, it looks cleaner. Of course, after I finally assembled the piece and put it where I thought we should put it, another question arose; do we even need the wire rack in the kitchen anymore? Alas, the answer will probably be no, in which case, I’m going to move the pantry onto another wall to make more space for the dining table.

So while it doesn’t seem like a lot was accomplished yesterday, we now have heat and hot water, internet (our biggest priority!), and clean (but still slightly stained) carpets. All in all the house is finally ready to be moved into. Except for the bathrooms and the office ceiling, all of which still require painting. Ugh.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Today is packed with stuff I need to get done and the place to do it is the new house. Naturally there would be a problem.

With all that is going on with the move and the busyness that is ensuing with all that entails, there isn’t much room for inconvenience. Especially when the inconvenience comes in the form of an email from the college I’m scheduled to start attending saying that, yet again, they need more information for my financial aid. Honestly, I filled out and turned in every possible piece of paperwork so I haven’t the slightest clue what they could be missing.

However, today is already busy with cable guy, carpet cleaners, natural gas, unpacking and assembling a pantry because we are moving into a house with less cabinets and drawers than our current house, something neither of us thought possible. Alas, it was an excuse to go to IKEA, where today while the random people will be doing their jobs I’ll attempt turning a wardrobe into said pantry. The plan should work, but if it doesn’t then it will either end up in the garage or the boys’s room. Hey, for $49.99 I couldn’t pass up the deal for that much extra storage space in a house severely lacking it.

I just hope I can focus on the task at hand and not dwell on the fact that this whole financial aid fiasco is really starting to piss me off. Actually it started to piss me off in February after the third attempt fell through because the deadline had passed before they informed me I needed to fill out another form for more information that was out of date because the deadline had already passed. I take that back, I wasn’t pissed, I was simply annoyed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


You know when the stars are all in alignment and everything goes perfectly according to plan? I don’t.

We are moving this weekend and there are a few hindrances to compete with. First, I work Saturday, but fortunately only until two in the afternoon. Second, most of our friends who were going to help us move can’t for legitimate reasons. Third, I really don’t want to move. I’m sure that once we actually start loading stuff into the U-Haul and take it over to the new house it’ll be different, but for now I just really don’t want to do it. The task seems far too daunting, especially considering how ill-prepared we really are.

Let’s take, for example, our decision to paint on Mother’s Day. Not the greatest plan. Nor the fact that so many of our friends and family have birthdays in May. Ugh. This is why we wanted to move in March. Oh well, at least we have lots of boxes. I just can’t wait until tomorrow when we have the carpets cleaned so we can actually start moving stuff into place. Of course, the cable guy and natural gas person will be out tomorrow too, so my plan is to start putting the kitchen together as much as I can. Priorities, right?

So while the actual move has been poorly timed, getting everybody we need out to the house to make it livable on the same day will hopefully work out well. Of course, I really hope the gas guy doesn’t ask where the furnace is because I haven’t a clue.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This whole moving thing is stressing us out. It’s also stressing the dog out.

Our dog Lucy is her very own Itchy & Scratchy Show. She seems to be constantly scratching herself due to her chronic allergies. Fortunately our latest regimen seems to be stopping most of that scratching from breaking her skin and causing yeast infections that make her whole situation ten times worse. However, I have a feeling that most of her scratching of late is stress related. She has a keen sense that things are different and she doesn’t quite know what to make of it all. Hopefully next weekend won’t be too hectic for her when we actually move into the new house.

The stress on our end is that we haven’t been able to move over much until the garage no longer smells like cigarette smoke and the carpets have been cleaned. Well, the garage is almost there and the carpets get cleaned Thursday. I have a feeling I’ll be loading up the Blazer with as much as it’ll fit after work today and heading over to stack it into the garage before finishing up the paint. I’m really not looking forward to painting the ceiling in the office. Or the bathrooms. Or moving in general for that matter.

My husband thinks we’ll be able to move over the furnishings and most of the stuff on Saturday and the chicken coop on Sunday, so I’ll try to be optimistic about that. Try, because we all know how optimistic I am not normally.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Yesterday my husband and I along with our friend and two of her nieces started painting. I say started because every room in the house needs to be painted.

I’m going to go ahead and admit it, I’m sore. I’m achy all over and feel like crap. And on top of that we still have an assload of painting to do this week before the big move Sunday. While the plan is to go over to the house to paint more after work, part of me really just wants to crawl back into bed.

Alas, the move is quickly approaching and we want to make sure the house is ready to receive us. Unfortunately the sheer amount of paint needed far exceeded my original estimates. So we will grudgingly continue until it is complete.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Growing up, I had a multitude of parents. To people who think a family of only one man and one woman is the only legitimate family, I offer a different view.

Yes, I had both a mom and a dad growing up. But I also had a grandmother heavily involved in the first few years of my life, if for no other reason because my parents were so young when I was born. While my parents were married they had two more children, but as life happens, people grow apart, and they eventually separated. This opened the door for stepparents, a role that has got to be difficult to step into. After all, my stepdad took on three kids and had one on the way with my mom. My stepmom went from having two kids to five almost overnight. To say that neither of these people played a significant role in my upbringing would be a grave disservice to them.

Parents come in all forms. Some people are raised by their grandparents, some people by foster parents, some by stepparents, some by adopted parents and some by biological parents. A key word in all of these figures is ‘parents’. So what I don’t understand is why some people feel the need to blast others for taking on a parental role for kids who are not their own. How can having more parents involved in a child’s life be a bad thing? What harm can come from a child growing up with multiple parents?

Personally, I’m thankful my parents got divorced. I’m thankful they both remarried. I’m thankful that my mother and stepfather also got divorced and my dad and stepmother are still together. And I’m thankful that they are all still very actively involved in my life at the age of thirty-four. (Oh gawd, I’m that old already? Eeek!) But honestly, aunts, uncles and family friends played a huge role too. As Hilary Clinton wrote about it taking a village to raise a child, I wholeheartedly agree. So this Mother’s Day I say thank you to the village that raised me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I can remember watching my mother in the front lawn hemming a pair of jeans as I walked home from the school bus stop one day. I was five, she was twenty-one, and the pants were two-inches too long.

It’s funny how memories of our childhood can develop into hobbies and careers in our adulthood. Sewing was like that for me. I watched my mom sew for as long as I can remember and started picking up a needle and thread at the age of four to make my own stuffed animals. We were poor, but I think that made me much more resourceful now than if we had money then. We also did most of our sewing by hand back then because we didn’t have a sewing machine until a few years later.

So yesterday on my lunch break I came home, ate, and started measuring, cutting and hemming pants for my husband’s clown costume. He had originally had worn black pants but they didn’t look right so I searched a multitude of stores until I found a pair of dark brown pants that would go with the hat better. He wanted them shorter than normal, so I trimmed off five-and-a-half inches. I folded the remaining in one-and-a-quarter inches using a clear ruler in four parts, then folded those again one-and-a-quarter inches before pinning. I probably should have put pins in between those four but figured I could handle the short distance and honestly was too lazy. Besides, with the tubular shape of the pant leg I had to only work in short sections at a time or sew slowly anyway. Start to finish, it took me fifteen minutes. If I were doing it by hand like we used to have to do when I was growing up it would’ve taken hours… especially through the folded seam sides!

Thank you, Mom, for teaching me skills that will be with me throughout my life. I am forever grateful.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Patching, Taping and Ants

Yesterday I spent my day off patching holes, some fist-sized, and taping the molding to prepare for painting. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the ants.

 I decided first and foremost to tackle the large hole in the living room since I knew it would require a couple coats of joint compound over the aluminum mesh. Of course, I forgot how large some of the other holes in the house were, particularly the back bedroom which, quite honestly, just needs to be completely re-drywalled. Actually that back bedroom will require a lot of work. A lot.

I then moved on to taping the molding and quickly ran out of tape. Figures. So I went to the store and bought a couple more rolls to finish. Of course, I had to wipe off all the walls and molding first because of the massive amount of dust buildup, and I’m not really sure why I even bothered considering the previous tenants obviously didn’t as their paint job was quite sloppily smeared all over it.

And finally I started taking off outlet and light switch covers. Working my way around the house I taped the screws to the covers and moved on from room to room. So I am in the kitchen and start unscrewing one of the outlet covers and an ant crawls out. I think nothing of it and continue until the screws are out. I pried off the cover and I swear to God it was just like a scene out of Arachnophobia only with ants, crawling out from within the confines of the box and over the walls, spilling onto the counters. Thankfully there was a can of ant and roach killer in the kitchen and I quickly sprayed down the whole thing. I’m quite surprised I didn’t electrocute myself or start a fire spraying an aerosol directly into an active electrical outlet.

So Sunday we paint. Alas, we still haven’t decided on colors for what rooms, but we’ve got it narrowed down to the colors we like for the house. More than likely we’ll end up buying the paint Sunday morning and then going straight over to the house to start painting. And hopefully there won’t be another ant incident.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Today I feel like a zombie. Except instead of brains I need coffee.

Today I woke up to a cat laying on my feet, a dog spooning with me and another cat giving me the stink-eye from the open bedroom door. Ugh. I overslept, and on top of that feel like I could sleep for hours and hours more. Alas, that is not in today’s forecast.

So I groggily make my way to feed the cats and the dog and proceed to make coffee. Note to self: The coffee maker works much faster when you also put water in the reservoir instead of just grounds in the basket. I realized this about twenty minutes later when I was trying to figure out why the coffee wasn’t ready yet. Why is life so cruel that when you need the elixir of life the most you are unable to function on a level to produce it? Curses!

And so while today I was hoping to be able to patch the rest of the holes in the walls and start taping and prepping for paint this weekend, I’m afraid that my zombie-like state will thwart much progress. However, I can always hope that the coffee that finally did manage to make it into the carafe after all the right elements were in place does its duty and wakes me the hell up. If not, those are going to be some messy patches I’m filling today!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Making plans is fun to do. Actually following through with said plans is a whole different story.

So for a while now we’ve been planning on moving. Much to nobody’s surprise we haven’t. This isn’t to say that we haven’t been packing, but to be honest it isn’t really a priority and it should be. After all, we’re now paying for the other place. Well, there’s always tomorrow, right?

Here’s the plan for my day off tomorrow: Drop off the anniversary cake at the in-laws for the brother-in-law and his wife; go to the hardware store and pick up any supplies we don’t already have, which probably isn’t anything since we’ve got so much stuff as it is; get deodorizing spray from the drug store since they seem to be the only place that sells the good stuff; patch the big hole in the living room before moving on to the smaller nail holes throughout the house; sand all the spackled areas. I suppose that is all doable… assuming I don’t run out of spackle and joint compound!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cleaning and Cakes and Clowns, Oh My!

The week is turning out to be quite crazy. The multiple Cs don’t help.

Between trying to clean the new house, making an anniversary cake for a couple I made a wedding cake for last year and needing to find just the right pants for a clown, it’s been and continues to be insane. Fortunately I have a few minutes to relax on the computer with a nice hot cup of coffee.

Okay, so cleaning-wise, the walls need to be patched and washed before painting. That much is obvious. And we need to get the carpets deep cleaned, but we decided to hold off until after we paint to do that. The garage is also in need of some tender loving care in the form of deodorizing it, which is the part that I’m most concerned about. Hopefully a fogger will be all that is needed, but if not, perhaps I should also pick up a can of Lysol. Actually, I should get the Lysol anyway and spray down every surface in that house I possibly can.

Cake-wise I have no idea when I will be able to even get it to the couple, whose anniversary is on Cinco de Mayo, which is this Thursday. However, with us postponing the carpet cleaning until next week perhaps I will be able to drop off the cake early and head over to the house to start painting. Then again, I should probably figure out what I’m doing décor-wise as well for the cake.

Now comes the part you may all be wondering about… clown pants. For those of you who don’t know, my husband has been training to become a clown. The Portland Rose Festival Character Clown Corps held auditions a few weeks back and he was chosen to be a part of it for the Grand Floral Parade and this weekend’s National Train Day. Being that he is a big guy, finding clothes that are a bit bigger are difficult to come by. That being said, I may have to break down and buy some suiting material and make him a pair of paints to go with his outfit. Hopefully I can find a pattern at the craft store if it comes down to this. But hopefully I will simply find what I’m looking for at Ross or T.J. Maxx, assuming they even carry the size I’m looking for. Fortunately he was able to find the perfect Converse Double Upper shoes in a wide array of colors. While they aren’t exactly what he was wanting, the $20 price tag was better than spending over $80 on two pairs and wearing one of each color at a time. Wish me luck in my endeavor.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Load by Load

This eventual move seems to be consuming not only my life but my blog. I’m sorry, but here’s more.

The plan was to move this upcoming weekend, but I have a feeling it’ll be just painting instead. Probably a good idea since it’s supposed to rain. Then again, when isn’t it supposed to rain here in the Northwest?

I figure that since I cleaned out the kitchen cabinets I can start moving over nonessentials and pretty much anything that will stay in the garage. Okay, so perhaps I should try to deodorize the garage first since the smell is ass nasty and seems to be getting worse every time I go over there. Ugh. I guess that means I will have to do that too.

Alas, until the move and probably well after, it’ll be a load by load affair, taking over whatever will fit into the Blazer whenever we go. I suppose that means the big move will have to wait until the following weekend.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


After work yesterday I picked up the boys and went over to the new house to start patching nail holes and clean out the cabinets. I got as far as the kitchen.

I’m not sure what possesses people to put nail holes in the wall unevenly spaced about every six inches apart on average. It wasn’t all that noticeable until I looked at the walls with all the spackle. Of course, I’m not sure what possesses people to make the paint color and design choices the former tenants did either, but I attribute that to their love of Nascar and all things Dale Earnhardt.

While the walls certainly had their fair share of issues, the insides of the cabinets are white. I’m sorry, but white never looks clean to me. I used up almost half a bottle of Lysol Kitchen Cleaner cleaning and wiping down every square inch of those cabinets. Well, every square inch I could reach as two of the cabinets that should’ve been corner cabinets with corner cabinet doors instead of a large amount of wasted space since even with my long arms I was unable to reach the far end of them. Balls. That, and they had this nasty black film all over. I had to clean every part twice just to get it all. But in the process found the missing cable outlets and smoke detector!

I also found myself wanting to simply live with some of the paint choices simply because the task of all that painting is beginning to feel much more daunting than originally planned. Even the green in the living room is starting to look appealing. Hell, I could probably live with the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese walls that are the kitchen. Of course, while we don’t have to be out of this house for quite some time, we are paying rent at the new house and I’m ready to leave this chapter of our lives behind us.

The boys loved running around the empty house and playing in the backyard which still had the swing-set, for now. It’s just another thing that is up in the air as far as if it’ll stay or not. They also had fun picking up fir cones and putting them in the empty birdbath that may or may not be staying as well. While exploring the backyard with them I was trying to visualize exactly where the chicken coop and garden boxes will go and realized just how disgusting parts of this yard really are. Oh well, at least it’s small.

Then there is the garage, otherwise known as the Cigarette-Smoking-Room. Internet research doesn’t help much in this matter, but I’m going to try a fogger that supposedly will help eliminate the toxins associated with third-hand smoke. My eyes are still itching from just walking in there. Of course, the only product out there that guarantees to eliminate these odors is apparently not sold in stores and mostly to hotels and rental car companies, so we’ll see if the product I can pick up at the local hardware store will work or not.

Alas, so much work, so little time, and hopefully this Thursday we can get the carpet cleaners out to clean the carpets. I’m not expecting any miracles as far as stain removal, but I’m hoping to at least get them clean because they are most definitely the grossest part of the house. But I have to admit that the smell in the garage takes a very close second place.