December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Moving is a Dirty Word



Motivational photo:  This is the patio door at the new house.  This door is one of the reasons I decided to buy that house instead of the house next store that had essentially the same floor plan.  I took it last Sunday, during my final walk-through before closing on June 30th.  This is the only photo in this long post.

Uber-busy getting ready for the move on July 7th - no time to relax and enjoy the weekend. OY -- too tired to go into all the details of how I got from Offer to Purchase to actual closing, and now the actual move. I have not worked so hard for such long stretches since installing sod here many years ago, when I was much younger and had a lot more energy and stamina!  I HATE PACKING!

After nearly 24 years, I am leaving Maison Newton, turning it over to a nice and eager young couple (the young lady is the daughter of a high school friend, and I've known her since she was born).   They will be moving in the weekend of July 12th. 

I can't believe how much stuff I have. And I've been regularly giving things to charity and family members for years -- furniture, clothing, dishes, knick-knacks, books. Geez - where did all of this stuff come from?  I have been relentlessly tossing items into the trash or putting them into a donate pile, but it's tough parting with some things.  In March I donated 7 boxes of books to a fund raiser by a local bar (laywers') association, and I did that with a large lump in my throat.  But now I have to ruthlessly downsize a library collected since the 1970's, so I am keeping only my favorite novels and nonfiction books.  I could open my own library.  I still have to sort through three more bookcases upstairs.  Every time I toss a book or add it to the donate pile, I feel like I am losing a part of myself.  Books have been my friends since I was old enough to read.
 
Yesterday morning (4th of July) before 8 a.m., I hiked the mile to the new house, lugging a large bag with me, to hang curtains on the picture window in the living room and the first bedroom. The sun was glaring in both windows Thursday evening when my friends, Barb and Tim, brought me and a large load of boxes and garage items over to the new house. We loaded up here at Maison Newton and then unloaded things to the new garage and house.  Let me tell you, Barb and Tim are machines when it comes to loading and unloading boxes and stuff.  I was panting and managing only to put in one box for every three of theirs!  When we were finished unpacking, in an unbelievable short amount of time, we took a tour of the new house.  Barb had seen the outside, but had not been inside. Tim had seen neither outside nor inside. 

This morning I walked into the living room to prepare to put up the curtains, and I see what at first glance appear to be brownish-black specs on the cream colored carpet. Spots that I had not seen the evening before, with the light of the western sun glaring in.  I looked more closely, thinking to myself what the hell? I didn't see anything like this last night. What IS that?  And then, I saw them.  HOLY HATHOR! BUGS!

First instinct when I see a bug is to run in the opposite direction. I HATE BUGS! They give me the creeps. But I found my courage, because there was no one else to fall back on; I had to go back into the living room and deal with those - BUGS! I got a closer look at them. Some kind of long-bodied flying insect. Crawling all over the carpet. Newly hatched? OHMYGODDESS.

I had seen no bugs the evening before, and we were in and out of that room several times putting boxes in one corner, admiring the view out of the picture window (with heat pouring in from the setting Sun), checking out the new front door and peep-hole, the mailbox and the front porch light.

I had no vacuum at the new house yet. So, no way to suck up the bucks quickly and efficiently.  But I had brought over a fresh roll of toilet paper (just in case, you know; sometimes people don't leave toilet paper in the bathrooms when they move out). So down on my hands and knees I went and, one by one, I squished them in between my fingers wrapped in toilet paper. It took me about 45 minutes to get all that I could see crawling around. Some had graduated to flying, but I got them too. All were flushed down the toilet.

Eeeeeuuuuuwwwwwwwww!

Let me tell you, this is NOT the way one wants to start one's day. And such a lovely day, too. Sunny, warm, a little bit of a breeze, just a wee bit too humid for me. Just a few degrees difference in the dew point makes a big difference in my stamina and how well I can breathe. I am a LOT slower than I used to be, and wouldn't you know it, my left hip was hurting, too (the humidity). But I made it back home and on the way did my errands, too. And squashed probably 100 bugs for extra exercise.

On the walk back home, I stopped at the Pick 'n Save and picked up a large can of Raid flying insect spray that can be used indoors and outdoors. It will go back to the new house with me on Sunday, along with my Mighty Mite vacuum. And that carpeting is being ripped out and the hardwood floors underneath will be refinished!  I won't be able to afford refinishing the floors right away, but I don't care what they look like. No more carpeting anywhere in the house, only area rugs.  I know it is silly to equate those bugs with the carpeting, but there it is, it's stuck in my brain, so the carpeting goes. 

I did take time to celebrate July 4th. I picked up some treats for myself for supper and breakfast/lunch tomorrow:  Beer Bratwurst sausages! Potato Chips! Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies! Fresh Botilla rolls!  I started packing up the kitchen.  Why do I have three sets of dishware???

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