Thursday, January 21, 2016

It Has Been Nearly a Week.....

since I last posted.  There is nothing new to report, except I have a cold (again), the second one this winter. The stress of moving has worn me down and my defenses are low. 

So far, I like living here. Having no stairs to climb is fabulous, and I wish we had moved here sooner!  We are still inundated with boxes, but now that I'm feeling a bit better, I have a plan to open, unpack and wash at least 2 boxes of stuff from my china closet every day and get it put away. Until I get rid of all those boxes (about 15) I can't do much to re-arrange the living room - they are in the way. 

We were invited to go to the across-the-street-neighbor's home on Friday night, for coffee and pastry. We enjoyed getting to know them very much. They had lived in the same town in Queens that mr. kenju was from - so they had that in common.  Also, the man attended St. Johns University at the same time mr. kenju's brother was there - so they may know each other. Isn't it odd how small the world is sometimes?  

Our kids and grandkids have helped us so much during this move. It is amazing and also stupid how much stuff we own - especially since we got rid of so much just two and a half years ago.  But the townhouse is finally empty; there was new carpet installed, and after cleaners come - it will go on the market. The others in the neighborhood sell fairly rapidly, so we are hopeful that this one will also.

We have plans to join the club here; use the gym and pools and find out what opportunities we have for socializing, but until my cold is gone - we can't. I hope it leaves soon, because after exercising religiously for 15 months after my heart surgery, I have not done anything since late October. I can feel my body changing again, and not in a good way.  So we have to get busy!! Are you trying to do better for and with your body in 2016?  

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Daily Moppet

I honestly think this cat would jump into a hot oven, if I didn't keep her away.

Yesterday, I was trying to clean out my freezer. It is jammed full because when we moved, we dumped the contents of two freezers into this one. The other fridge is in the garage, and cannot be plugged in until I find a permanent resting place for it. I received a wonderful gift yesterday - some fresh sausage - made in Person County, NC. "Fresh off the hog", as they say, and I needed to get it in the freezer pronto.

My freezer is on the bottom; I had pulled it all the way open to organize it and the cat saw her opening and went behind the basket. I thought she'd think better of it and come out quickly, but 2 minutes later, I had to coax her out so I could close the drawer. 

I didn't see the cat after dinner, but that's not unusual because she has been taking an evening nap under the bed for weeks now. She usually comes out around 9pm, but she didn't last night. I thought it was odd that she didn't come to bed with me, but sometimes she doesn't, so it didn't worry me. 

At 3 a.m., I woke and got up to go to the bathroom. Still no cat - which was very odd - since she feels she has to accompany me on every bathroom trip. So I went all over the house, checking closets and cabinets. I even went into the garage, but she didn't respond to my calls.  I checked my linen closet, which she runs into every time I open it - but no cat.  So I sent back to bed and said a prayer that she was okay. 

This morning, as I visited the bathroom again, I heard a small sound and opened the linen closet door. There she was, curled up on a stack of towels, looking quite comfortable, thank you. I thought she'd make a run for the litter box - but no - her favorite toy caught her attention and she began to play with it. And oh, her favorite toy is a knotted rubber band. She likes to bat it under a door and then stick her paw under to retrieve it. Of course, that only works well for her if the door is open - since if it is shut - she cannot get to the rubber band. 

I remembered putting some clean towels into that closet after dinner. I guess that's when she went in. But I can't understand how she remained hidden when I checked it at 3 a.m.  That darn cat will be the death of me yet!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

An Addendum to My Last Post

A few days ago, my daughter and one of her friends met me at the townhouse for packing and loading. They had gotten down some decorative items that had been sitting on top of my kitchen cabinets. My daughter pointed out one ceramic container and asked if I planned to keep it  (in a voice that implied I was crazy if I did.)

I burst into tears. "I don't want to get rid of it; it was my Aunt Erma's!!  She backed off and began to console me, saying "It's okay, you don't have to get rid of it."

I didn't tell her this then, but on reflection, I remembered going to visit my Aunt Erma and Uncle Joe in Ohio. Her home was, like my mother's, full of antiques. Some were family pieces and some were thrift shop additions or bought at yard sales. She began a new hobby when she was in her 50's and tole painting took over her life for a while. I have numerous pieces that she painted and I wouldn't take a fortune for them!!  When we went there to visit  (every summer) I would take stock of what was there and decide what I wanted to have as my own. Aunt Erma and Uncle Joe never had kids and I was like a daughter to her. I loved her like a mother; and I coveted her things. She had beautiful taste.

When she got old and sick, she began to give things away and I was a main beneficiary. One piece I had always loved was a ceramic vase; hand painted and very beautiful to my eyes.
She knew I loved it and while asking if I still wanted it, I saw a twinkle in her eye. "Of course", I replied. She said "You might change your mind when you examine it."  I could see nothing wrong from my perspective, but as she turned it around, I saw a large, jagged hole on one side; the result of an accident while dusting. The broken pieces were in a paper bag tucked inside, but several had crumbled to the point of gravel - so it was not able to be put back together - even by an expert. But since it appeared to be perfect while sitting on  a shelf, I took it and and have loved it ever since. How could I possibly get rid of something that brings back such good memories of my childhood??

Such is my dilemma, since I have way too many of these "things" that bring back good memories of my family and the love I received as a child. I was and have remained so fortunate, and I like being reminded of it. Is that wrong?


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Getting into a New Home is Terrific; Moving is Hell.

The first night we spent in the new house was December 19th. My children rented a big truck and they packed it with everything they could get into it that we would need right away  (beds, coffee pot, etc.) Since then, we have all gone back to the townhouse and packed, loaded, transported, unloaded, and unpacked as many boxes as the local liquor store could supply us with.  We are not done yet, believe it or not. Since then, another 23' truck has been loaded, delivered and unpacked, as well as numerous car and van loads. 

Didn't I just go through this 2 1/2 years ago??? We got rid of soooooooo much stuff then, and it boggles my mind to have to try to decide what to get rid of this time around. 

As Jim says, we are trying to put 15 pounds of crap into a 5 pound hole. It isn't "that" bad - but close.  Our former home was 3700 sq. feet. The townhouse was 2,500 sq. ft. and the new house is something over 1800.  

My problem is being able to decide where to keep things and it appears that the only way I can make those decisions is to have everything we still own here to look at. The movers have not been contacted yet, as we want to move all the small stuff ourselves and let them handle  only  the larger pieces of furniture.  Trying to live with half of what you think you need is mind-boggling, but then I try to imagine what it would be like to be homeless, and I remember to be grateful that we have a roof over our heads - and a pretty nice roof at that. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

You know how I love meeting bloggers!!

and today was no exception. My blog friend "Sage" has a blog called "Musings", which I have been reading for about 10 years. He is a renaissance man; a man of many interests and such a good writer that you become interested in aspects of his life that may have never interested you before (such as hiking and boating.) 

Today, we met.

As you may recall, some people in my family think all bloggers are potential axe-murderers, and Sage was no exception. But from the minute I opened the door to Sage and his pretty, personable daughter, we were at ease and very pleased to be in their company. We had a lovely visit; one I hope will not be the last - and maybe some day we can also meet Mrs. Sage. 

Sage, I hope that you and your daughter made it safely to your destination and found all was well there. I know the trip cannot have been an easy one, due to torrential rains in NC today. I pray for a safe trip back home and you are always welcome here!!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas with the Carrinos (southern contingent)

On Thursday night, we went south to Sanford to have dinner with two of our children and four grandchildren, since their mother had to work on Christmas Eve and Day. That was her trade-off for getting 5 days off in a row so she could take her four kids on a cruise to Cozumel in mid-December. We had a very nice steak dinner; although I had chicken, and all the trimmings. It was also a celebration for my older daughter, who has just graduated with her BS in nursing, and did it summa cum laude, while working full-time and single-mothering four kids, two or three dogs (one died) and a cat (also gone now.)

Christmas Eve was our family gathering, as has been our custom since our youngest grandchild was about 8 or 9. She's now 16. We had way too much good food and it was enjoyed by all twelve of us, including one grandson's girlfriend. I didn't even try to take photos, as I am usually met by scowls and hands in front of faces. I don't know why they hate to have their pics made - since they are all very good looking people. 

Oldest granddaughter has just returned from a stay in Edinburgh, and we were all happy to see her again, safe and sound. Family gatherings are not complete when one or more is missing. This time last year, it was her sister, who was in France for a year. We are happy to have her back as well. 

Christmas morning, we had breakfast delivered, courtesy of our son-in-law, who made excellent crepes and ham. That is one of the perks of living so close to them, as we now do. The new house is still a mess; some of our stuff still needs to be moved and most of my clothing is still back there. I hope to remedy that very soon, as I am getting tired of living in a mess and having half of what I need. 

Here's hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas, filled with love and laughter, friends and family! 

The Neighborhood Pot-Luck Christmas Dinner

Our old neighborhood women have a fabulous pot-luck dinner every December, which is attended by anywhere from 25 to 35 women. Maybe you remember my previous posts about it.

The 2015 dinner was held one Tuesday night in a lovely, well-appointed home. The hostess outdid herself with decorating and preparing for a large number of people. Her dining room table seats 24 people (I think), and the rest eat in the kitchen or living room.  We coordinate what we are bringing, so that we don't end up with duplications or too many desserts.

The gift exchange was done differently this year; no stealing unless mandated by the leader. I thought it was more fun the old way - but time consuming for certain!

Every year we say we need a neighborhood cook book and this year there were several good additions; if we had one. I have to find out how Julie did her beets - as they were scrumptious!  My "cheese dreams" appetizer was a big hit - thank Heavens!!  If you want to make it, google for the recipe or search on allrecipes.com. You'll be glad you did - even though it is labor intensive.

I took a few photos, but at the moment they are unavailable to me. My computer died a week ago and my grandson came to my rescue. He wiped it clean and now the pics are on an external hard drive - until he can put them on here again.  Thank God for handsome grandsons who are adept with computers!!

Hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas!