Monday, August 26, 2013

Moving Check List

It has been a fun and productive couple of days.

Today Squirrel starts her senior year at James Madison University.  We went to see her yesterday, to celebrate her 21st birthday. As soon as I have pictures I will write about the most amazing burgers we have ever eaten. I am not kidding Tadpoles, these were some gooood burgers.

Tomorrow Wallene has orientation for her new school. I know she is a bit nervous, but, moreso I think she is excited.  She is excited for us [Mom finally has one level living and the home of her dreams] to start a new school and to decorate her new room. All those hours on Pinterest have paid off.  Again, when I have pics you will be the first to see it.

Funny note on back to school There has been such an outcry in recent years of the expense of required school supplies that the county we are moving to has instituted a new policy where the things needed has been pared down.  In High School it is so pared down it reads: Paper, pencils, notebooks.  This makes us happy because the expense is spared, and Wallene is happy because she can organize and take care of her notes/homework the way she wants. No more searching for a 1 inch, 1 1/2 in and 2 in binder for 3 different classes. Or having to write with a certain pen or pencil. Thank you Orange County. I knew I liked you from the start.

Steven found a moving company.  This makes me so happy,  you don't know.  I worry about him moving all of our stuff like he did, with Wallene, when we put it in storage a few months ago.  It will be a big relief to know someone else [someone we know, actually, who is a professional mover] and their crew will be moving our stuff.  The moving foreman went to our storage units with Steven in order to give us a quote.  When he saw how my husband had packed all our belongings he said "Nice job. You really put this in here well."  Steven looked at him and said "I want you to repeat that to my wife. Those exact words.  She is afraid I just threw everything in and ran."  Our friend laughed.  So two scores for my wonderful husband. Thanks honey! ::waving::

Finally - the utilities.  We no longer have to deal with Washington Gas! YIPPPEEEE! The criminal enterprise is out of our lives forever. This makes me happy.  So happy.  The water and electric hook ups went easy and will be turned on Friday. Which leaves us with. . . .::cue sinister music::

Cable, internet and phone.  Really?  Since when did this become such a hassle?  It took me 4 days and approximately 8 hours to finally set a date for installation. Sigh.  It isn't Verizon [how NOT surprised are you?], but the new company doesn't bode well if this is what I had to deal with throughout the weekend.  We only have two choices out here and I didn't want a dish hanging off the side of my house.  Heck, we're fortunate we can even get cable and internet, so I am not complaining.

Since Steven is at the height of the busy season at work [pool closings this go round] I was only granted one full day of his time.  He does have the whole holiday weekend off, but he can only take this Friday to coordinate and settle on the house.  Ah well, a girl can wish all she wants, but will take what she can get, eh?  Having been a Pool wife for all these years I knew the deal going into this move.   It won't be the first time we've had to coordinate around work while moving, but here's hoping it will be the last.

Boring, boring, boring. I know. Hopefully more fun posts will be in the making in the next week or so.


Internet is still tenuous at best, so we will see you on the flipside of whatever day we have it.  In the meantime remember to Smile Loudly. Life is a Gift! xo Janine

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hiya! Hiya! Hiya!

I will be off and on here the next few days due to my internet situation.

I am trying.

Still, Verizon is still being the sketch beyotch that she is, so I have to limit my time on the webz.

WAIT until you hear the story of their screwed up rules for paying for MiFi by credit card during a one month period.  They're criminal.

I almost seized laughing on their explanation. 

I need what little bit of internet we agree to pay for to take care of utilities, school and stuffz.

So, if I am not making a splash here, there or on FB, know I am there with you in spirit.

Cheering you on and loving on you in my heart.

Be warned tho'. . .

When I get the real internet. . .you're gonna wish Verizon still had me in their shackles and chains. ::grin::

See ya' on the LONG flipside Tadpoles.  Be safe. Take care and know I am thinking of you.

XO Janine


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tadpoles ROCK!

Yes. Yes you do.

And I thank you. SO MUCH!

As a small token of how much your love and generosity over what you did for Squirrel means to me I am going to share a lil' video [1 min?] of our new neighborhood.

Now, I know that doesn't sound like such a treat - but here's the bonus - you get to hear me laugh.

Yes, that heinous laugh I am always talking about?  It's on the video near the end. It doesn't last too long, but you will get the idea of what I would sound like if I really got going.  And it is a little muffled from the windows being open.

And as one of you said "Thank goodness for a large lot, otherwise you might scare the neighbors with your laugh." hee

We were in the car when this was taken, driving down our new street.  You can hear Wallene talking, while videoing with me in the front. Steven was driving. Unfortunately, what you can't hear is the awesomely deep voice my husband has.

Here ya' go - and don't say I didn't warn ya!

The very last house you see is ours.

Listen to Wallene lament her dedication to walk to school and how many leaves she is raking in the future. Cracks me up! [UVA can't come soon enough for this kiddo!]

I sounds like it is the first time I am seeing the house.
It isn't. It just still takes my breath away that it is ours.

I know you understand.

And Tadpoles? You have helped me make this a wonderfully easy transition in my family's life.

You are my village POND.

Thank you. SO MUCH. xo Janine

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SO Much Better Than Cable

While on Facebook yesterday I happened to mention just how much we have to get done in the 10 days until our move.  Including, but not limited to, finding a moving company.

Additionally, we have two major birthdays coming in the next two weeks.  Squirrel turns 21 years old tomorrow and Wallene will be 16 years old two days after she starts her new school.

Anyhoodle, I spent a large portion of my day sitting on the back porch on the interwebz and the phone attempting to get something accomplished.  It may be cold and rainy here [all the time], but I like being outside.  There is a screened in porch to keep us dry and it's so nice to see the trees, the golf course, the. . . Wildlife.

Here is my second update from my "Day O' Moving Chores":

Let's see how this whole "Finding a reputable mover" thing is working out for me, eh?

Here is an email I sent Steven today while I was getting quotes and talking to companies:
"I just saw a squirrel fall 30 feet out of the tree in front of me.


Shot right past my view off of the screened porch.

These two squirrels have been kicking each other's ass all day, dropping down branches, leaves acorns, in their pursuit of eachother - and  this guy missed his branch chasing the other squirrel AND BOOM!

He is STILL sitting on the ground, stunned.

Well played other squirrel. Well played."

 Surprisingly? I still haven't found a moving company.
I actually walked to the edge of the porch to see if the lil' guy was dead. He hit the ground that hard.
But, nah, like I said, he was just stunned. 
But?  I couldn't resist and being the little kid I evidently am, I started laughing at him and saying "Yeah, you got told Squirrel. Told good, didn'tja'?"
National Geographic and the Discovery Channel have nothing on *my* wildlife.
Hope you are having a great Tuesday.  We'll see ya' on the flipside. xo Janine

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How Old is Your Soul?

I am sure everyone of you can appreciate how trying this move has been on our 15 year old, Wallene.

If she hadn't been dealing with me, and my health, for the past few years, perhaps leaving Sterling would have been a bit easier on her.

Unfortunately with the quickness of the move and the length of time finding a home she has been struggling.

If you could see her though, you wouldn't know it.

Tadpoles, you have all watched Wallene grow up. You know our youngest and I can say, unequivocally, you love her.  I can see it in the comments and emails you send me.

I thank y'all.

Through the past four months I have never seen my daughter fuss, cry, rant, rave or be a teenager with a surly attitude. 

You know? 
The one everyone warns you about?

She has  packed, cleaned, spent hours late into the night driving to and from Sterling, while going to school.  She left her friends, friends she has known since she was 6 years old and she gave up a High School and Marching Band program she was thriving in.

She was going to be section leader this year at her old High School.

My heart has broken in a million different ways for her.

You wouldn't know to look at her that the move makes a difference.

Last week while we were settling on the house, and Mom and Dad were freaking out just a wee bit, she called us into the bedroom to play us a song.

I asked her if it was going to make me cry.  She said "No, Momma. No worries."


The song moved Steven and me to tears.  She had picked it to explain how she was feeling because I don't think she could relate it to us through her own words.

It is an incredibly uplifting song, and it speaks volumes of how strong, loving and supportive my little girl is.

She came back an hour later and presented us with this video. Some of you have seen it on Facebook, but for my Tadpoles that haven't, I give you this:

Baby?  I am not giving up on us either.

I am the luckiest Momma in the world.

I love you.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Even MORE Pictures

Okay. This is the house. No backing out now. :)

It is two level,with an unfinished basement.  That is where the washer/dryer are. Sorry, no bar MM. ::wink::

There is a lot of *stuff* in the pictures because they were still working on it.

Hope you like it as much as we do.

In no particular order:

The mudroom?  Fourth bedroom? Tadpole guestroom?
It's off of the kitchen with a door to the back of the house [I think?].  This house has 4 entrances:
 Dining room:
 Living room. Wood burning fireplace. This room looks out to the backyard:
 Living room window:
 Foyer and front door:
 Looking out the front door:
 Hallway with door going down into the basement:
Window over the sink.  30 cabinets and 13 drawers. YAY!:

 Basement stairs:
 Squirrel's room. It looks out to the front yard:
 Wallene's room

Master Bedroom:
Master Bedroom closets:
 Master Bath:
 Empty basement, but it has windows and a door outside. Plenty of natural light:
 Living room looking into the dining room [behind Squirrel who is walking into the mudroom:
 Dining room:
 Dining room looking into the foyer:
 Door to the basement. We still can't figure out what they were trying to keep locked down there, hee:
 Front porch:

 Backyard and shed:

So there you go. :;skippyhappydance::

It's such a relief. Whew.

Wallene and I are going to take a ride this weekend so we can video the neighborhood and the town.

Take care and we'll see ya on the flipside! xo Janine

Thursday, August 15, 2013

You're Never Going to Believe This

I feel bad. 


Eventhough you have every right, before you get mad at me for posting about a house we hadn't quite gotten the word on, let me explain. . .

We have a home.  Deal done. Paperwork will be signed Monday.

This has been a hard four months, trying to find a home.

I took you along with me on the house search.

I know now I should have kept my mouth shut and kept the pictures not published. I should've kept my excitement in check.

The thing is we DID get THAT house.  The one I have written and posted pictures about.

Weird how things have happened.

When I found that home offered again, in that particular neighborhood, we also saw a home 5 lots down it. Same road. Same side of the street.

The two homes are literally "next door" as the crow flies out here.

It wasn't quite the house I posted about but it was the same neighborhood.  Smaller, still. . .

The same brick.
The same long driveway and quietness.
The same beauty.

It is one level living for all of us with the exception of the laundry room.  I will have to go down 10 steps to do that, but. . . .

The owners of that home are bending over backwards to make that home work for us. Work for me, actually, but I hate saying that. And we didn't make a big deal out of anything.  They just listened.  And they really are that nice.

I wrote a Tadpole an email after he mentioned how spectacular the house I posted [previous post] about was.

[Hi Tony!]

He was right, as you all were, that he knew we loved the house.  Here is what I wrote back:

" It really IS too big, but the neighborhood is my lure.  I just  hope...and pray."

It was when Steven came home at 6 pm and told me the owners of the second house, the one I haven't told you about, were offering it to us that I began to question the first house.

The second choice is there.
It is in THAT neighborhood.
And the owners couldn't have made us a better offer.
More attractive than the first.

So, yes, Tadpoles. . .there is a new pond.  In the neighborhood we desired.

We move August 31st.

I didn't mean for this to be another rollercoaster.
I hoped it wouldn't be and I know I should have been quiet, but it has been so up, down, sideways.

I can't believe this happened.

There is a reason for everything.  We have received what we needed and, bonus, wanted.

In spades.

Steven and I are at peace with this decision.  This happened for a reason and we trust that this is right.

Thank you for all your heartfelt comments on the previous posts. I  mean that.

Y'all always want what is best for me and you see/hear my excitement through these posts and just like my family,  I want a payoff for you too.

I understand if you feel the need to smack the crap out of me right now, but I didn't mean to get your hopes up any higher than mine.  As I said. We are accepted on  the first house, but there was a contingency and we don't have to take it.

I never thought the owners of the other house would come through with things we needed.  I thought it was better to not mention it to you. [Yes, I did show restraint. One time out of a bazillion.  See how that worked out for me? Us? ::grin::]

Weird how it happened.

So? Who wants to see pictures?

::running away VERY fast::

Pins And Needles. . .Needles And Pins

And the wait continues.

We should know by tonight, but in the meantime [and hoping I don't jinx myself] I thought I would share a few more pics' of the home.

Can you stand it?  ::grin:: 

These are in no particular order, but I did label them all so you know which is which.

 Dining room, with door to the driveway. Grocery day just got really easy.
 Kitchen. The family is most excited because the stove has a griddle. Who knew?
 Silstone countertops and backsplash. No more tomato sauce on the walls [Steven]
 The basement and the bar [better pic below]. The paneling is behind Steven.

 Wallene's room. Squirrel's is the same, but with a different window.
 Each girl has this closet.
 The girls' upstairs bathroom. Pink tile in the tub [below] Squee!

 Girls' hallway looking towards Squirrel's room.
 Back of the house with the backyard below.

And finally?  Our driveway.
So?  Do you see why I am excited?  I just hope our realtor calls soon.  I am wearing poor Wallene out. ::grin::  And there is the whole constant checking of emails that is distracting.
Hope you have a great Thursday Tadpoles.  We'll see ya' on the flipside of *hopefully* our new front porch.
xo Janine

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Wait Is Over

The wait to find a home is over.
We found it!
We picked a home.

So, what do you think? Pretty cool, huh?  We think so.

There is a funny story about this house.  When we first relocated to the sticks [I have to stop calling it that because hi Skippy! You live here now]  Wallene was still in school up North. I spent a lot of hours just cruising various neighborhoods, by myself, trying to decide the best one for our family.  Basically I tooled around in Ozcarz until I saw "For Sale" signs and then if I liked the neighborhood and the house I would research it online.

When I saw this home was for sale I stopped the car in the middle of the street and just stared. The neighborhood is gorgeous. Very established, with the homes being built in the early 1980s.  The lots are huge and all the neighbors take really good care of their property. It is so quiet and full of trees.  If you walk to the end of the very long, dead end street you can see the mountains.  It really was THE neighborhood I wanted us to live in because it reminded me of exactly the neighborhoods my husband and I grew up in.

I called Steven [still sitting in the middle of the street mind you] and told him I had found our home.

Except?  When I got home and looked it up online I was heartbroken because not only was it quite a bit more money than we were willing to pay for a home, it was already under contract.  Sigh.

Flash forward to last Friday night and what do you think should appear back online, not under contract anymore and at a price we were willing to pay?  Ding-ding-ding!  I couldn't believe it.  Poor Steven thought I was going to hyperventilate I got so excited.  I couldn't sleep that night thinking someone was going to snatch up my house.

Yes, my house.

We were able to view it last night. I know! Three days? No other house was going to work [for me anyway, hee] but we still kept the blue house as a back up.  The realtor had been too busy to show this home to anyone so I slept a little bit better knowing it was safe for the weekend.

After seeing it we all knew this was the home for us.
Look! Built ins. YAY!
Living Room
It is 4 bedroom, 2 bath on 3 levels.  The beauty of it is the Master Bedroom, bath, kitchen and [as soon as we move them to the kitchen closet where there are already hook ups] the washer and dryer are all on the main level. ::skippyhappydanceagain::  The girls bedrooms and bath are upstairs. They have the whole floor to themselves.  With huge closets too.  The basement is finished in a fashion that only the year 1982 could have pulled off. Paneling, a lot of paneling, with berber carpeting and a massive built in bar. There is even a workshop in the back for all of my husband's tools. I thought Steven was going to bust from grinning over that level.  Oh, and the rest of the house is all hardwood.  And, and?  Our bathroom is done in blue porcelain with blue tiles up the wall bordered by more black tiles. I LOVE the 80's. ::giggle::  Wallene had seen the bathroom before me and she said "Um, Mom? I don't think you are going to like this."  Then Steven stepped in and laughing, said, "Oh, you don't know your Momma then."  He knew and I knew when I saw it I would fall in love. I did. A blue bathroom. Now tell me gang, how neat is that? Besides which, all my towels already match. ::grin::
See? SEE?  And if you think this is the ugliest bathroom ever, please don't ruin it for me. hee

It also has a bay window and a fireplace in the living room [see above]. And a formal dining room . . .and the kitchen is eat in with a window over the sink [this is a major plus for me]. With a dishwasher! [I can't tell you how hard it is to find a home with a dishwasher in these parts.  It got so we moved that waaaaay down the list. Yes, I am spoiled. Why do even ask? HA!]

OMGosh. I almost forgot. That 4th bedroom that is also on the main level?  Is going to be my craft room with a bed for guests.  Look at the shelving:
And one more pic'. The view from the front door/foyer. The door is off to the right of the pic'. Squee! Look at the staircase! Which I never, ever have to climb. Hee.
 Isn't it great? Sigh.

When you go looking for a house don't you write a few lists like ones entitled "Must Haves", "Would be Nice" and "Hell-to-the-noes-absolutely-not"?  I know we did.  With the exception of no garage this house checked every item on all our lists. And then some.  I just cannot believe it. [To be fair Steven only really wanted a garage to keep all of his stuff in - tools, golf clubs, etc.  That was solved with the basement. ::grin::]

Just when we thought we were going to have to settle on something that was just "okay" we were graced with just what we needed.  That this home is also exactly what and where we wanted just makes it that much sweeter.

The paperwork gets dropped off tonight and we will know by Thursday if it is ours.  There doesn't appear to be another interested party.  As our realtor said "I WILL make this happen for you."

From her lips to [God's] the owner's ears.

Hope you have a great Tuesday gang.  Smile loudly. LIFE IS A GIFT.
See ya' on the flipside. xo Janine

Friday, August 9, 2013

Can You Vacuum A Garage?

And other questions preying on my mind while living in our temporary digs.

The home where we are staying  has an enormous two car garage.  On one side is Ozcarz and the other is all the stuff we couldn't fit in storage we knew we needed for our foray into living in someone else's home for a few months.

There is just one teensy, tiny problem.

The garage is carpeted.

I did type that correctly.


I don't get this and I know, without a doubt, that my beloved in laws [part owners of our free housing] had nothing to do with the carpeted garage.  I am not going to point fingers or name names, but it is probably the same relative who has systematically labeled every light switch, cabinet shelf and bottle of spice in this house.

I have no earthly idea what to do with the carpet in the garage.  I mean, I guess I appreciate it because gee. . . . isn't Ozcarz all comfy with his tires [and 3,000 lb body] sitting on Berber?

But at some point this has to be cleaned. 

We live in the country. We are tracking in all manner of leaves, twigs, bugs and dirt. Onto that carpet.

I am beginning to realize that vacuuming the garage is in my imminent future.


It's just that I am going to feel really stupid moving my car out of the garage to run the Hoover around all the metal cabinets [labeled] and shelves [again, labeled] storing decades worth of oils, paints, golfballs and gas cans [all labeled].

I love to keep their home in great condition, as we are basically squatters due to their largesse, but I don't know Tadpoles.

I don't think I can bring myself to do it.

Other things on my mind while living here:
  • Why does my neighbors' A/C run 24 hours a day even when it is 50 degrees outside and they are gone for the weekend? It's a dual and I cringe to think of the electric bill. What are they doing storing dead bodies? 
  • Speaking of being gone for the weekend, who takes care of their dogs while they are away? They have three big dogs and we know they are left here [the howling. omg the howling] but no one comes to feed them or let them out. Well, at least the A/C muffles the Call of the Wild.
  • Which wild animal decided it needed my cellphone more than I do?  I haven't been able to find it for a week. This house is small, especially because we are only using half of it [plus the carpeted garage!] but I cannot locate it anywhere. You know the thing is in a burrow somewhere.
  • Why did a deer run into the screened in porch last night at 2 am and scare the crap outta' me? I heard trip, bang, slam and then her hooves pounding off into the distance  I had all of the flood lights on after that.  Must've been quite a party for the ladies.  Juniper berries anyone?
  • Tomorrow we narrow the house search down to three.  We will take the kids back to those three help us decide on the one we will offer on Sunday.  If you could see my face right now you would notice it's me. . .not caring.  I would rather just throw all of them in a hat and let the dog pick.  Although I would rub a piece of baloney on the slip of paper that said "Blue house." hee

[Yep, even I am getting tired of hoping for a house. But I do like this one.]

That's all I got for today.  Hope y'all have a great weekend. See ya' on the flipside. xo Janine

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How To Cook Dinner Skippy Style

While a leeeetle ticked off.

I know. I know.  I should never post about being mad, but I received some sucky news yesterday and well. . .dinner was a preeeettty interesting gig last night.

Anyone who has a chronic condition or a terminal illness [count of hands?] will attest to the fact that finding one doctor or one nurse that you trust, who knows you and you love is the equivalent to getting that pony you asked for when you were 9 years old.

Good doctors and their great nurses are sometimes the only gifts of light at the end of a very long tunnel we're travelling.

Okay. Enough with the lame metaphors.

I have a primary care physician who knows every single.last.thing about me.  He coordinates all my treatments with other institutions, various hospitals and their teams of doctors. He refers me to the best of them and takes care of me.  He knows, understands and has memorized my history.  He is respected and has researched treatments that he knows are better for me or made suggestions to the *big boys* and is listened to when it comes to my care.  He is a very, very small fish in a huge pond, but he looks out for me.

He's fine. Still my doctor. [Thank you!]

The slap I got yesterday? 
His nurse.
My favorite young lady of all time in every medical situation I have ever experienced.  I have never met anyone like her.  I have known this kid [said like she is my own daughter] since she was a clerk at Rite Aid 8 years ago.  I have watched her grow up, graduate, get married and become an awesome nurse.

She is the one person who can approach me with a needle, a scale or a catheter and I don't flinch.  I offer up whatever is needed because I trust her.

Being sick and trying to get better is about trusting those that are taking care of you.

But?  MY Brenda?

Is leaving my doctor's practice on Friday.
It is her last day. 
She is moving to Georgia to support her husband while he finishes his degree there.

I may not cry from pain Tadpoles but I have to say I crawled under the covers and wept over that news.

I am a big girl. I understand. I get it.  Life moves on. Nothing is forever.

But? but? But. . . .I LOVE Brenda.

Onto to dinner.  It was a late shift kind of day for Steven and I wasn't. . .well, feeling it.  I had no designs on what to make and personally?  Whatever appetite I had went right out the window when I clicked on Brenda's email.

I did have to make dinner tho'.

I told the family dinner would be served at 10 pm.
Hey,  don't judge. It was late shift.
When your husband gets home at 8 pm, 10 pm IS an appropriate dinner time.

No?  Well, sorry Donna Reed. It is here. ::grinning::

I went into the kitchen at 9:30 and heated up a big pan of  oil. I sliced up a zucchini from the garden, tossed it into a pan with olive oil, diced garlic and onion and waited for the other pan of oil to heat up.

Usually when I fry foods - which is, admittedly, rare - I am careful to not splatter or toss it around too much because it becomes an ungodly mess of grease. Everywhere.

Do you think I cared last night? 

A resounding chorus of noes was just heard in the pond I do suspect.

When the heat got to temperature I grabbed a full bag of French fries and poured those suckers into the hot grease.

Snap, crackle and KA-boom. I had grease everywhere.  Meanwhile the pan of veggies was producing enough steam to propel the Titantic past that iceberg.

I had a mess going on and I

Once the fries were cooked I tossed them into the oven to keep warm and brought the oil back up to temp.

Now came the encore. 
Breaded shrimp.

Meanwhile I was caring less and less about the zucchini cooking itself into oblivion and making a mess on that side of the stove, so I just turned up the radio and waited for the oil to be hot.

Store bought, in a box, breaded shrimp is the red headed step child of the freezer burn world.  And you all know what those ice crystals do when you dump an entire box into 3 inches of hot oil, right?


[So not like me. . .but who was cleaning it up, me? Um, yes.]

The flour was on stand by. Just so y'know . . . .in case.

Those puppies went in with one toss of the box.

The grease shot into the air, hit the stove, the walls, the floor, plus it covered the entirety of the microwave and? 

I don't think there is a stain stick made that is going to get it out of the shirt I was wearing.

 [Again, not caring. It was Steven's. ::waving! Hi honey!:: Not sorry. You never wear it anyway.]

I ignored the grease that was an now oil slick over the entire kitchen [which, for the record, does not belong to me] and tossed the shrimp around until they were done.

I threw some paper plates on the table, grabbed the ketchup, plattered the vegetables, shrimp and fries while yelling to the family to come and get it.

They walked into the kitchen, took one look around, saw me and got busy serving themselves.

They aren't stupid. They knew.

I was done. HA!

Although I spent a good bit of time cleaning up that mess they did have the good grace to tell me it was delicious.

All in all?  It was completely worth it.

I think I'll do it exactly like that in the future. Only next time I will be in a happier mood.

Grease be damned.

Take care. Smile Loudly. Life IS a gift. xo Janine

Monday, August 5, 2013

Our Redneck Grill And Other Weekend Adventures

Whew!  What a weekend.

Disclaimer: This is a l-o-o-o-n-g post.  Full of the mundane, nonsense and fun.  Enter as you wish. ::grin::

Friday night began our weekend with a small bump.  Let's just say Steven and I had a very heated discussion when he arrived home about me going back into the hospital. Immediately.  He saw that I was in a type of pain so severe [and a new pain, imagine that!] that I was doubled over and couldn't stop crying.  One of the things most people [here in my blog pond] don't realize is I hardly ever, ever cry when I am in pain.  It's not because I am so strong or stoic [puhlease I am a wimp] but I don't cry mostly because it's a waste of time and I would be waterworks most days if I did it for every twinge and spasm, ache or pain. More importantly it really, really upsets the family.  So. . . when Steven walked in on me at 5:30, hunched over, sobbing, his first reaction was to toss me bodily into the van and have me admitted. No questions asked.  What I do know y'all know is I HATE the hospital.  It is pretty much understood if I show up in an emergency room they will just admit me.  I have to be honest.  I have spent enough time visiting other wards in the hospital on an out patient basis that getting me to agree to be admitted takes an intervention, an act of Congress and the will of God.

I am stubborn as heck about refusing to go. Which, admittedly, can be stupid on my part, but I am what I am.
Spottie enjoying the weekend too.
We compromised.
If I talked to the doctor I would make a deal with my husband that I would take some of my [most despised] pain medication and if that worked I would get to stay home. And if it didn't work?  I promised I would get into the van and go.  I knew if it didn't work I had to go.

[I said I was stupid, not death wishy.]

As  much as I hate, hate, hate the side effects to this particular drug I knew it was my only choice on a Friday night to avoid the emergency room. I simply hate the hospital more.  This particular prescription is an anti inflammatory, not a narcotic. The side effects being what they are I have to be desperate to take it. Are we getting this? hee I am nothing if not repetitive.

This is also a drug that the doctors would be willing to keep me on for the long term until my treatment is done, but I am leery of staying on it because all the literature and research shows it is not good to do that.  I have been on and off of it since February.  The other problem with it is that once you start taking it you have to continue to take it until you can taper off of it.  Depending on the particular problem [this week ::sarcasm drip::] it can go anywhere from a week to a month.

Ah, the joys of  living in this body. ::grin::

All's well that ends well because it actually worked and in good time too. I was feeling my chipper self by 7 pm and even managed to fall asleep at a decent hour.  That was strange because I thought the initial high dose of the drug would keep me up for days like it usually does.  Yes, it is THAT 8 day bender drug I took back in February, remember?  I guess the pain and worry just finally exhausted me.

Now. . .comes the good part.

Saturday and Sunday. WOO-HOO!

Saturday we had to travel great distances just to get a few simple things done. Y'know. Ordinary stuff like cashing a check and taking Wallene school shopping.  No kidding. EVERYTHING out here takes hours, if not days, to get done.  Turns out it was easy peasy. I popped a few of my magic beans pills, we hopped in Ozcarz at 10 am and we made a day of it.  We live very close to Charlottesville. Close being a relative term if you consider 45 miles close.  OF COURSE the bank was in the opposite direction of the stores and the mall we wanted to visit in Charlottesville, but?  I will admit there is nothing nicer than tooling around with my family, in Ozcarz, and admiring all the lush green woods and farmland.  It doesn't seem like the trip is too long when you have all of that to go along with the drive, y'know?  Wallene picked out some of the nicest clothing - bonus! no fighting between Mom and teenage daughter over the appropriateness of her clothes, for once - and as we were getting ready to pay at the register the power went down. HA! We put the clothes on hold and popped over to a pizza joint for lunch. I left Steven and Wallene there to nosh and I went for a spin around town.  Pretty town full of really nice people.  By the time I got back they were done.  We picked up her clothes and headed home.  Funniest part?  We got lost on the way home.  Heehee.  Which, I have to admit, is a pretty hard thing to do considering it is a straight shot out of the town we live in to get to Charlottesville.  One road, no turns, go straight.  Somehow we ended up in a county named Goochland? I think? Great name, but no where near our temporary digs! Ooops. You know you are lost when you didn't even know where you ended up existed in a state where you have lived your whole life.  When we noticed the farms started to look unfamiliar we turned around and landed one town over from home.  At least we knew how to get home from there, albeit it added an hour to our drive.
Duchess' new babies.  This was our first glimpse. She has kept them hidden for quite a while. So pretty.

Again, not to worry. When we got home I threw together my amazing Italian subs.  Think the best sub you have ever had and then double it.  My family loves these things.  I have had my kids' friends text me to ask how to make them. It cracks me up because they are so silly simple. Just follow what you see the Subway sandwich artists do and ta-da! You too can have amazing subs. [I was being completely tongue in cheek for my family's sake when I bragged that they are my amazing subs, just so you know.] We took our subs to the pool.  This was probably the best part of the day.  I think you can understand that Steven really prefers not to be around swimming pools when he is off work.  It isn't that he even sees all that many in a work week as he is in the office, but after dealing with them for over 30 years, well. . .yeah, you get the idea.  And me?  I don't do the pool, ever.  I love to swim. I grew up swimming - high school, college - but I am so over the pool.  Or so I thought.  Wow. It was a blast.  We packed up a cooler with drinks and the food, sat poolside and there was a band playing in the amphitheater adjacent to the pool.  Now Tadpoles, I ask you, what could be better than that?  An added bonus was they had a spa that worked it's magic on my creaky, old body.  Damn Skippy. That was awesome! I also extracted a firm commitment from my lovely husband that we shall have a spa of our very own when we move. We're just trying to figure out how to get insurance to pay for it.  Medical purposes you understand. ::grin::

I know all of that sounds insanely boring and not at all exciting to anyone other than us, but I hope you understand that Saturday was a pretty big day for me, and for my family who I love so much, as I haven't felt up to that kind of activity in a few years.  But. . .as y'all know, every once and a while and with some good drugs, I get a good day.

Wait. . .Sunday was even better.
I know, I know! "How could Sunday be better Skippy?" you ask? 
Because it was Redneck Grilling Day! I'll get back to that in a minute tho' because the morning was pretty dang great too.

The weather here has been so beautiful. I don't know what happened to the heat and humidity that Virginia usually experiences in July and August, but Sunday was spectacular.  It barely got above 70 degrees. Luscious.

We started the day by going to church.  Our new church is completely different than our old church as we are in the country here and we used to live in the suburbs.  It's agricultural vs. government geek I guess you could say.  No complaints, just different. Everything, including Mass, it just  Still, you can't beat the view out the massive windows in our new church as it overlooks the rolling hills and farmlands of Orange, VA.  I told Steven we have to start sitting in the middle, nearer the aisle because that view distracts me.  And I am not easily distracted in church.  I also know it is only going to get worse [better?] as autumn approaches.  Ah well, blinders are on order. ::wink::  I only had one small hitch the whole day when the pain started to come back during Mass and had to excuse myself.  I wasn't scheduled to take the meds until after church - precise timing with this drug and all that.  This does happen occasionally and our friends at our old church were used to it, but our new friends were so kind too. ::smile:: I made it out without disturbing the service and simply went to the car and looked at the view.  Weird. I know. But it was just. . .so . . .nice.

Afterwards, having taken the pills, we went and did what is becoming second nature to us on the weekends. We went house hunting. Again.  I have decided that I no longer want to deal with REO/bank owned properties anymore because the banks are bitches [sorry, but they are].  Excuse my language, but they are impossible to deal with sometimes. Even if you want to pay cash.  Suddenly the price they want is no longer the price they'll take and blah. blah. blah.  Instead we are narrowing it down to a few homes that have been on the market forever and are normal sales. We had met the nicest lady in Food Lion who, it turns out, is the official Orange, VA Welcome Wagon lady [for lack of a better term.] She works in the county office of living and tourism for the county. We saw her again at the OC Fair and she was so helpful in guiding us around here. We feel better about where to pick a home now.  I have fallen hard for one home, but Steven is being cautious because there are stairs involved.  I am working my mojo hard I guess we'll wait and see.  The house can be reconfigured to one level for him and me, with the girls upstairs. I don't know.  He usually [okay, always] grants me my wishes, but he is being a bit more realistic than me this time I have come to realize.  I tend to go all Pollyanna on him and forget my limitations because I want the normal back. Since when did 46 become too old for one set of stairs? I guess it is just my nature to not to want to feel old. Thank goodness one of the two of us is sane. [But, the house? Completely redone - new wiring, roof, siding, windows, floors, kitchen. And? It's so cute. It's blue! A blue house! How cool is that?]  See what I mean?

Okay, okay. Redneck grilling.  When we moved to our temporary home in the resort we only brought the bare minimum because the home we are staying in has most everything we need. It is a fully stocked and supplied three bedroom home that you might remember belongs to Steven's parents and we have vacationed here in the past.  So, yeah - we didn't need a lot and most of our stuff is in storage.  Even our grill.  Except, oddly. . .the grill pan to that grill moved here with us.  Just the grill pan. [Fitz you can stop laughing now.  I just kept picturing your temporary moves as I stared that grill pan down.]

Ah, leave it to my husband to pack. I don't even want to see the inside of the storage units.

Redneck grilling came about for two reasons.

First was a comment Wallene made to me the other morning [2 am to be exact] when we were sitting outside and she said "Momma I really miss the smell of a campfire. Can we go in the backyard and light something on fire?"  Um. No.  But, of course the wheels in my head started turning at that precise second.

Then the next morning I was suddenly in the mood for grilled hamburgers.  I mean, really in the mood.  Y'know, those juicy, off the grill burgers, with all the fixins' served on an English muffin? Yeah baby.  And nothing was going to deter me from getting that burger.  Oh, and letting my baby light something on fire? Bonus!  I had noticed while walking Spot on the [now defunct] golf course there was a pile of torn up asphalt from the old cart path.  I looked back at our big back yard with the soft dirt and thought of the grill pan. Hmmmm.  Throw in a bag of charcoal that I saw in the garage and what do you think this girl did?  That's right.  While Steven supervised I grabbed my cookie cooling rack, had Wallene dig a hole in the yard, threw the pan and charcoal in, topped it with the rack and . . .

Redneck grilling:
Asphalt, grill pan and cookie rack

The last picture was taken while Steven was grilling dinner.  A flock of turkeys. Amazing. They were right off the back of the property, about 100 feet away.  We counted 12.  We have seen all manner of wildlife out here but this is the first sighting of a whole herd of them.  Finally Wallene got too close and they scattered into the woods, but it was pretty dang neat.

The night was topped with s'mores over the grill.  And Tadpoles?  A weekend just doesn't get better than that, now does it?

If you made it this far thanks for reading my ramblings.  Not only is driving to do anything around here a major commitment I suspect my posts are turning into that too. Sorry.  It is just because I don't post for days and then - BOOM! I have a lot to remember and want to get it all written out so I don't forget.

Not that I am going to forget this weekend for a long, long time.

I will leave you with one last pic' of our weekend. Not the greatest pic' - but it has a lot of cool things special to me in it.

First - see that lacy top I am wearing over my bathing suit? A bathing suit I only took off to go to church and sleep? YAY! I bought that shirt at Goodwill on Saturday for $4.50. It still had the tags on it.  Oh, and the pic' also illustrates that I have finally, FINALLY put back on all the weight I lost. Not the greatest pic', I admit, to show that, but I think you can tell. I ain't stick thin anymore Tadpoles. Go me! And prescription meds! They helped a lot.  Also in the pic' is my new haircut.  I don't have a good pic' to show you how long it had become but since it has started to fall out [again] I decided it would be easier to clean up shorter strands clumps than the additional four inches I hacked off last week.   Besides cleaning the drains was getting to be a drag. Do you know it took my husband 5 days to notice my full pony tail was 4 inches shorter? Men. bah! ::laughing::

Finally - I love the pic' simply because I can look at it and know that Steven and I were laughing at eachother. If you notice I am holding a spray bottle in my hand.  And being the little kids that we are I was spraying him instead of handing it over so he could wet down the flames.  Wallene was laughing the whole time she was taking the pics.  He finally grabbed me under the guise of giving me a kiss and then stole it.

What can I say? It is always the simple things that make me happy.

Again, thanks for reading.
We'll see ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.
Smile Loudly. Life is a Gift!
xo Janine

PS - [always a PS] Before anyone gives me a good "what for" in comments I  did talk to my doctor. He explained what happened is just the progression of the disease and he assured me that it was fine to take the meds.  He knows my aversion to the hospital too. :)

Another PS - plus the Disclaimer? How lucky are you guys?  I have re read and tried to fix all of the misspellings, grammar and oh, forget the comma usage. I can never fix that.  Sorry it isnt' written better. Sketch internet and all that. Hugs and love!