Friday, November 28, 2008

Cyan and me on Thanksgiving


Not the best pic, but I thought it was cute. And it was yesterday. I can't remember the last time I had an updated pic of myself up here. :) Notice the boxes behind me. Still very much unpacking. Tomorrow starts a long weekend in which we will officially be out of the other house and can start settling down here. *glee* I am planning to build shelves, pick where pictures are going to hang, moving rooms around to their best advantage, and trying to make it look like we are home.

It is a good change already. Even in all of the craziness, I am happy to be here.

I mentioned craziness in another post too... and I will try to be short, but elaborate some. Our move was great. It really was. Only a few short things went wrong. We had no access to our bank account, we had the wrong sized U-haul (someone had drilled a hole in the gas tank of the one we reserved, so we had to get one half the size), and up until the day of the move, this house had a broken furnace. Yes... all bad things. But livable.

The day after the move however, my best friends daughter started to get really really sick. Her appendix ruptured. Since then she has been through surgery, tubes put everywhere you don't want tubes (including a catheter and a tube in her heart for direct med application). She is MUCH better today, and it has lightened my heart a lot to see her starting to express desires, be able to taste food (she was 'nothing by mouth' for a full week), etc. The fact that she is on the mend is seriously making me sleep better. Poor sweet thing. (Cyan and she are the same age)

Then, our neighbors. The one to the right is great. Nice guy, takes impeccable care of his lawn and laughed when I gave him my greeting cookies and introduced myself. It seems like we will get along great and that is good, because I can see right over his fence (it is 5ft) into his yard (he is shorter, so I doubt he can see into my yard, but whatever... we share a fence and I have kids. The fact that he is nice is a good thing.) The neighbor on the left was not so nice. In fact, he was down right rude and mean when I went to greet him. Baring cookies. Who can be mean to a woman baring cookies?? Oh well.

The guy next to him side swiped and smashed in our car backing out two days ago. Still haven't even met him face to face. I am feeling a bit strange about it. He hit our car, left a note, and left. Our car was left un-drivable, and he has no insurance. All that means is that we have a deductible to pay and our Ins will try to get it back from him, but still... he hit our car... and left.

Strange introduction to the neighborhood.

There is a good side though. There are kids. At first, we were really afraid that there were no kids. But there are. They come over every day now. lol... Alex and Cyan both have friends in the new neighborhood already. And they are really happy about that as that was their biggest low on the thought of moving.

It will all iron out right? All the kinks and the stress etc?

I am going to decide that it will... Yes, I am sure it will.

And now I am going to go make myself some tea.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Things are absolutly nuts around here. I will explain later.

For now, a bit of fluff:

I really like Google. I have it as my homepage, and I use them whenever I have a question that I can't find the answer to. They are a wonderful resource. And today, they have this as their picture.

I thought it was cute.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back Online

We got internet today. *glee*

There have been tons of posts going through my head lately... esp when I am talking to my friends about the seasons of our lives and how many changes we are all making right now... but honestly, today, I am getting ready to host Thanksgiving, trying to help my best friend, who's dd is in the hospital (even if that just means keeping everyone up to date with what is going on and worrying and praying), and get unpacked.

My brain is full.

Too full to form a good post at this moment.

BUT, I am happy to be back online, and the house is working out GREAT! The move went way better than expected and we are to the point we have two more or so hours of work to do at the other house and we can be done with this move and start settling in. So, I am full to the brim with stuff to do... but feeling great about the move, and the beautiful cold sunny day we are having today.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A funny to leave you with...

This reminds me of Taio, our 20lb MainCoon cat. Alex says "except the mewing, cuz Taio doesn't do that."

So for our mute cat, and his moving day, this video is for you. :)



Wish us luck!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So, there is the rest of your life...

And then there is annoying unexplained banking problems. Grrrrrrrr... Yesterday, we were told that someone was stealing our mail and had taken the debit cards that we should have gotten weeks ago. So of course, we instantly think 'we need to cancel those' and head down to the nearest branch of our bank. And the sweet girl that helped us... canceled ALL our debit cards. Even the ones in our wallets. She must have... because we can not access our money... at all. For the entire weekend. They don't even work in ATM's.

Now, if they were in the hands of the jerks that took our new cards out of our mailbox, then I would say "YAY!" but considering we have things we need to buy, including amazing amounts of pizza for the near 15 people coming to help us tomorrow... well that's just annoying.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Anyone want to see??


A walk through of the new house

Enjoy! I am rather excited myself. I can't wait to see my stuff in it.

Broken computer!

One of the many glitches to moving is of course, that the rest of life continues around you. lol...

Computers break a bit, kids get colds a bit, siblings fight a bit and people ask that you host Thanksgiving dinner. Life continues and in that you have to fit the packing and panicking of moving.

The move is going well so far. We got the keys. We realised that there are way more things to fix/clean in the house than we thought at first (we saw it with no power, so therefore, no lights), and that was pretty frustrating, but for the most part, everything is going smoothly and we will be moved in on Sunday.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sacred Spaces




A lot of these won't mean anything to anyone but me. But each piece has a story. Each piece is part of what has made this life, my life. The beauty one packs around me every day, the things we decide to carry with us from one home to the next. Much of the time they can not be seen by others. You notice what really matters when you are taking pictures off the wall. You see the ones that strike at your heart to put into a box. Like a piece of you is being packed away. You wonder for their welfare as you think 'maybe this one will go in my car, and not in the moving van'. These sacred spaces... the spaces we make sacred... are really what make us human. Archaeologists dig up these things and make predictions on the future. I wonder what my house will say about me in 500 years?

“I've been getting rid of some clutter — anything that doesn't serve a positive purpose in my life — and making room for things that feel happy to me. Because I get to make my life whatever I want it to be. I get to make the room feel however I want it to feel. I get to make the closet as full or as spacious as I want it. And, if I have more clutter to get rid of after Christmas, I'm not going to wait a year, or two or three to do it.” ~Jan Denise

Exactly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ok, back to the food again...

Brussel sprouts, red cabbage ribbons, sauteed in butter and a bit of salt... over a bed of brown rice with some Bragg's.

I could eat like this every day. My kids are currently eating carrot sticks and raw red cabbage chopped into chunks with curry mayo dip and bowls of brown rice with melted butter. They could eat like that every day. With the occasional pizza Friday.

But my husband? He is the wrench in the works. And he is a LOT better than he used to be. He used to eat nothing but pasta and McDonald's... and occasional Thai and Chinese for me. He is from Los Angeles, so Mexican was out for a while... but I got it back in. :) And slowly, over the last decade, he actually eats real food. Always mixed with pasta of course.

I still find food so facinating. Brussel sprouts are in season right now and my kids call them "mini cabbages". Which means they will eat them. lol... but only a couple times a year and only sauteed in butter with dill and salt. There are many things still in season. Some (like the lettuces) are on their way out... and some are long gone. But there is still so much local bounty out there!

And of course, it is the season for my favorite squash of all. Some butter, a little brown sugar. Omgoodness... if you haven't tried a delicata, please, do yourself a favor. They are amazing! And I am cooking one right now.

I have been trying to stop us from the junk food cycle it is so easy to step into when you are in a time of transition and stress. It hasn't been entirely sucessful.... we have eaten out more than I care to admit. But I have a plan now... because we need to use the food we have before we pack it all up and trasnfer it to the new house. So I have listed all the stuff we have and am in the process of making a menu from that. We can hope it is going to work... right? The only problem is that I am still probably having Thanksgiving at my house, and that means that all the farm goodness I could get for that dinner will have to be packed and transported. I will have to plan for that as well. I guess pencil and paper will be working overtime tonight.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dismantling an Inner City Homestead - Part 2


The garden. The beautiful food that came out of this sweet little spot sort of baffles my mind sometimes. I look back at pictures and don't quite think it was all real. But I know it was.

I have been thinking about making a book for the next people who live here. But 90% of the people of the world wouldn't care, and that would hurt me. Maybe a map, telling them what is where? Maybe.




We took all the leaves and mulched with them, so the yard looks tidy, if not empty. There is even still chard growing in the back of the garden... if the new people know what chard is. lol...

The herb beds. Part of them are coming with me. I haven't taken the things I want yet. I figure between the day we get the keys (the 19th) and the day we give these ones up (the 1st of Dec) I will have a 'garden moving day' and take all of the plants I love and can keep with me up to my new space.

This is the home of our former chicken coop. This is a link the summer before we got the chickens. I mulched this space, put the yard waste from the garden on it, and then mulched it again. Next season it will have pumpkins on it. lol... I know this because I saw pumpkin seeds in the garden compost and in that chicken loving soil, you could COMPLETELY neglect them and the pumpkins would come. Surprise for the new house owners I guess. ;) I hope they like pumpkins. I will put my worms on this as well, so they can dig down into the soil and help with the breakdown. If I was going to be here another year I would put a tarp over this piece and allow it to compost. Then turn it over next spring and plant there... perhaps corn. Corn really likes nitrogen that chicken poo would give it. A nice little corner of corn.

Sigh. Not my space.

I think of the beauty this yard has given me and it makes me want to scream "we can't leave"... but honest to god, the house is too small for us. We have outgrown it. We have outgrown this town. Our friends are elsewhere, Don's job is elsewhere, out lives have been elsewhere for a while. It is time. But part of it hurts. Nearly 4 years I have put myself into this place. I have painted, dug up, redid, modified, improved, planted and harvested. I know that is life... and I don't mind leaving some of it. But other things... like the sandbox? And the garden? And my black current bushes that I planted when we first got here in the abandoned side of the lot that had garbage in it, that has since then become a huge bountiful garden... each of those things kind of stab me in the heart a little bit.

Somewhere, some how, I always do this. I always make my house into a home. But it takes about two years. And that is true of anywhere.

Two years feels long before you start it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thinking Christmas

I had to take a break from packing today. Cyan has a stomach bug all day and Logan has something similar although he is just being out of sorts and his belly is acting up. So today, I took the day off from packing. The only thing I really did was pack up the loose pictures and storage pictures this morning and then take another van load to donation. (That's all. lol...)

I have been thinking about Christmas lately. I feel that stepping out of the "buy buy buy" this season as much as possible will serve us all well. Esp considering that Christmas is a time of hope, and this season will be the tightest many have seen since the Great Depression. So I feel that in this time of economic crisis, it is best to just step out and do our best to concentrate on what is really important. Each other.

The kids and I will be making cookies for our neighbors down here as well as our new ones. We will be having friends over for movies and popcorn, and we will be having a gingerbread house making party. Each of these things fill a void in the disconnection with other human beings in this dark, wet, cold season. Sometimes though, I still get the 'buy it bug' and want my children to have that crazy, paper ripping, Christmas morning. So I have been trying to think of handmade gifts for my kids for Chirstmas this year. I have a couple used things that I have picked up through out the last few trips to Goodwill.... a Light Bright (which was in GREAT shape!) and some American Girl Doll books for Cyan, a couple of tiny posable drawing models for both the big kids, a wooden school bus pull toy for Logan, and a white owl ornament for Alex to stick in his stocking. Each child is getting one new big gift. Alex is getting a set of night vision goggles, and Cyan was getting her doll (we will have to rethink that ) and now is probably going to get outfits for the doll she just bought on her own. I am trying to keep the rest of their stuff either consumable, handmade, or used as much as possible.

Here are a few of the ideas I have found that I may be up to making before Christmas... or I may buy when we get the chance:

For Alex:


For Cyan:


Gifts for other people I have found that I could make/buy from someone else who made it:

for my brother (although, it won't be thrifty becuase I would have to buy everything on the supplies list, including Zip Ties... lol!)


I have thought about lots of handmade gifts before.... and of course, there is always my papercrafting.... but I kind of feel like I am running out of ideas... or at least out of steam. Any ideas from my talented friends here?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Goodwill SCORE!

In our new house, we have a breakfast bar in the kitchen/sunroom. I have never had that before and therefore, never needed stools before. I had NO idea how much they cost. OMGoodness! I started looking at my nice local shops that I love around here. They were near $50 a piece. So I started looking at Ikea. $30 a piece. And then I started looking at Target. Still... $24 a piece and that was for the cheapest ones they had that were of course, made in China plastic pieces of crap.

So I made a choice, that I wasn't going to buy them that way. To support the 'new stuff' industry is against what I believe for the most part anyway... but how was a going to find a used set of 4 bar stools? I decided that I would get whatever wood stools I would find at my trips to Goodwill for various things, and then paint them all the same color, and make cushions that were all the same color. So they went together in sort of an eclectic, funky way. I enjoyed the idea of my choice and started hunting the various Goodwills as we went to drop off our various donations.

Last week, I found two stools at our local Olympia Goodwill. One was shorter than the other and only one had a cover, but they were the same style and in good shape. So I picked them up anyhow, thinking that Alex could use the shorter one and Cyan the taller due to their various sizes. I was excited.

Then, this morning, I went to the Lacey to get Logan's haircut and decided to drop off my things in the van at the Goodwill there instead of driving back to Oly. And there I found two more stools! The same brand, the same size, the same set, even the same cover. I could not believe it!

The two on the left were from the first trip to the Goodwill in Oly. The two tall ones on the right were from the Lacey trip today. Talk about luck! You can't even tell and I didn't have to do anything to them at all!

And here is the price tag. What a beauty!

When I am in a Goodwill, Value Village, or whatnot, I always stop at the book section. Sometimes I find something, most of the time I don't. Usually I look through board books for Logan, my mini-book lover, and sometimes I have something else specific in mind that I want a better copy of, etc. (Right now I am looking for Harry Potter books #2 and #3 in hardback, to complete my used set.) Books are another passion of mine. I remember my dad reading to me when I was little and I have continued that tradition with my kids. We are avid users of the public library, but enjoy having a small library of favorites that we update every now and again with new books we have found and love. But who wants to pay $10.99 for a board book for a 1 1/2 year old that may or may not spill juice on it in three days? No thank you. So I rarely buy them new.

My hunt of the Goodwill book section is often futile though, for I am as picky in books as I am in everything else. Today though, I scored big time. The top two books are on other cultures and food traditions, and I plan on adding them to our homeschool library. The bottom books each have stories behind them... which you can read about here.

With the months of bad luck, the broken teeth, the broken arm, the bad days, and neversummer weather... I have been really enjoying my string of good luck lately. I can't even say how much. It feels like I have a new lease on life a little bit. Not that I was ever really depressed, but when your friends take you to dinner because "you have to have a good day some time soon"....... well... those good days have come. I have been blessed in so many ways lately. Maybe it is Karma, maybe Providence... I don't know, but I am really thankful... and I feel very loved by my universe.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dismantling an Inner City Homestead

This is going to be the hardest part of this move.

On Saturday we gave away our chickens. It was great and sad at the same time. We gave them to a family who has a GREAT chicken coop (that is like 8 times bigger than ours) with goats in it. The chickens just went in with the goats. So far, they are loving the little farm life. Then we dismantled the chicken coop while the kids hung out at their house for the afternoon. They had a blast and I am sure they will be over to see their pets again.

Now I have to take apart my garden and mulch the whole thing so someone else can take care of it. I will be moving a few things up to the new house. The red current bush, the blueberry bush (the little one), and a lot of the herbs like chives and tarragon will be coming with us. Things ok with shade. Sigh... that will be the hardest.

I have been thinking about starting a Alpine Strawberry patch somewhere as ground cover (they are shade loving... right?) and perhaps pulling a bunch of my mints and putting them in around the yard to fill in.

I am creative. I can figure this out. This is the only part of the move I am not going to like. But it is necessary. And I will find a way to get that part of my life when I want it again.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Amazing things I don't do anymore

This woman is amazing. I found her through Katie. I was never this good when I was crafting and now that I am not crafting at all, it helps to see that other people have kept it up. lol...

I do think that perhaps I may pull out my dusty needles and thread and make some of these sets for Christmas... what do you think?

And for an added twist to Christmas dinner (Thanksgiving will be on paper plates this year, and if they are lucky, everyone will have a fork) I think I may have the kids and I try these. Don't they look wonderful? Apparently, they are easy.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sorry all...

I am so absent. I have taken the garage apart, I am putting things in boxes I am sure I will need in the next two weeks, but I just can't stand having that much stuff out that I know I will have to box up to move later. I have packed up most of the books, all of the craft stuff, and all the canning. The kitchen stuff we won't use between now and then is packed. There are boxes lining our hallway. Linens and extra blankets are packed in huge leaf bags. I am packing an "open first" box with fresh sheets for everyone, a roll of tp, a shower curtian, and a hand towel.

There will be an 'open first' box for each main room. The kitchen one will have paper plates, money for takeout, and other things like that. I think that will be wonderful to have while we put things in their place for the first day or so.

The good side of moving though, is that I have gone through and donated a van full (back seat removed) of stuff. Bags of clothes the kids have just grown out of, toys that we had stored in the garage and the kids have outgrown or forgotten, craft stuff that I will never use, canning supplies that I can't use anymore, and leftover computer parts from our upgrade last winter. I have been brutal. And it has been good.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Official

It's official. We are moving in to the new house on Nov 23rd! YAY!

And it is also official that my toddler is a computer genius. He is doing all sorts of things to it that I have no idea how to change. Anyone know how to get a font formater off your outlook?

Grumpy.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New bird!

I know the contest is over, but I had a new bird come to my feeders today. It kinda sucks that I am moving, and for the last four years I have established this long list of birds that come consistantly and others that are here seasonally and know that I feed them. I actually have started putting less in my feeders because the feeders are moving with me.

Anyhow... first new bird in a while. (The pic above isn't mine.) It is some kind of sparrow... the one above is the spanish sparrow, and it looked just like the one on the left (female I am guessing). I want it to come back so I can figure out exactly what kind of sparrow it was. It was close in coloring to the junco, but with that tell tale sparrow beak and a bit of yellow on it's belly.

Still no final word on the house. One of Dh's former employers are holding it up. But the new land lady said 'plan on moving' when she called yesterday... so I think we are good.