December 2019:


Winter has arrived. We had early snow Halloween weekend (3-4 inches) and about a week later we got another 3-4 inches on top of that, and cold weather. The snow melted (thank goodness!) but winter caught autumn unprepared - a surprise ambush!

The house is now decorated for Christmas season and I snuggle underneath a thick throw blanket on the sofa at night admiring the Christmas tree. It's cold enough now to fire up the fireplace, brrrrr!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed holiday season. May we all be jolly and bright and happy.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

New House, New Fridge, LOVE!

Hola darlings!

As you can imagine, I've been uber-busy for the past several months, but never more so than the entire month of July. 

The move of the big stuff to my new digs was accomplished by Two Men and a Truck on July 7th; the rest was up to the help of a few friends (family was nowhere to be found, I WILL remember this).  After closing on June 30th, it was a steady stream of car-loads of things -- I am still shocked at just how much there was!  And more yet to haul -- the last dregs stashed in a corner of the garage which will, I hope, be packed up into a friend's van and hauled here after work one evening next week.  I NEED my ironing board, geez!

Anyway, here I am now, unpacking -- endlessly unpacking.  Easter Seals has been the beneficiary of two overflowing boxes of kitchen items I decided I did not need after all, as well as four large bags of clothing.  Just what the heck I'd been thinking holding on to some of those things -- oh well, they're gone now, and hopefully someone will get good use out of them:  three suits, several blazers (separates), some skirts, even a few dressy dresses, even lingerie, woo woo!  I'll never see size 10 again or 34B, geez!  Gad, those items look SO tiny!!!!!

One of the most important purchases for the new digs was a refrigerator that would fit the current space configuration of my kitchen and dinette which are, er, a little strange:

Looks pretty reasonable and nicely updated (for a 60 year old house) -- until you realize that - hey, where's the fridge?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Junking the Junk Drawer(s)!!!

Hola darlings!

I want to be outside soooooo badly on this beautiful summer day in southeast Wisconsin, but I am being a good girl and unpacking an entire BOXLOAD of the contents of two junk drawers from the prior Maison Newton.

Geesh!  I should have taken a picture when that box was full of crap junk stuff items I cannot live without things I rarely need but occasionally use.  But -- the end is near!!!

Look at that sucker - it's gigantic!  It is a copy paper box from the office, one of hundreds dozens people at the office hoarded for me once I put the word out I needed boxes for moving. It was filled TO THE BRIM; what you now see is what is left after working on it for an hour.  I am so proud of myself!  Pat on Jan's back from Jan to herself :) 

I now only have one pitifully small junk drawer and an orphan cabinet in my kitchen peninsula where I am stashing odds and ends that don't fit anywhere else but that I don't want to put on the shelves in the basement as past experience has taught me that I actually do access my "junk" quite a bit.  There are eleven steps to the basement and while the storage is nice, I really don't want to be trekking down there several times a day!

This is what my new junk drawer looks like:

As you can see, this drawer is loaded, but it is actually organized by function (sort of) and everything has its own container -- that is a first for me:  tools; scissors and various forms of hooks and holders; plastic tape, command strips, various thingies for hanging pictures and photos, and tons of push-tacks; glue, a couple of electrical adapter, measuring tape, extra styrofoam blocks (I use them to elevate the rear legs of my laptops); at the far left are rulers and a compass (because you never know when you may need to make a circle); furniture scratch covers and fillers; scotch tape; three little containers filled with various forms of tacks, nails and screws, and hammers across the back of the drawer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Bed Instead of a Bedframe

Hola everyone!

So here I am, living at the new house.  The "big" move was on July 7th.  The movers had re-assembled the bed in my mistress bedroom and set up the room the way I directed (they were so kind and patient with me, doing the guest room just so and also the living room).

The movers were gone before 3 p.m. and I started unboxing some items.  About 8 p.m. I made up my bed, then I scrubbed myself up and got into my PJs; time for sleep on my comfy soft mattress.  I sat down on the bed and KERPLUNK -- the mattresses fell through the frame straight to the floor.

So, there I am, trying to get myself up from an awkward position, legs flailing in the air. 

LOL!  What does one do in such a situation (and position) except laugh.  Of course something like that would happen.  Of course! 

After I extracted myself from the wreck of my bed, I was too tired to make up the bed in the guest room, so I slept on the sofa in the living room.

Next morning, I surveyed the collapsed bed in the mistress bedroom to see if there was any damage.  Hardwood floor came through unscathed, thank goodness!  I examined the bed.  Two thin cross-wires that were supposed to be hooked into the frame to support the box spring and mattress were missing in action.  That's why the bed mattresses collapsed when I sat on it. 

No wire struts to support the mattress, alas.  This my room after I woman-wrestled the mattress
and box spring off the floor and out of the bed frame.  Buhy buhy bed.  I'll sell you to someone
who paints things like you with chalk paint and will make you all fancy and purty.   

I could have done a lot of things at this point.  But honestly, after thinking about it and doing some unpacking while waiting for the AT&T technician to arrive to hook the house up for U-verse internet and telephone, I realized that taking the bed apart and putting it back together with those thin wire "struts" was a pain in the neck.  I had struggled with doing just that on a couple of occasions at Maison Newton when I had switched beds and/or bedrooms around.  Would I blame Joe and Jimmy [the movers] for a small oversight in the larger scheme of the excellent moving job they'd performed for me?  Heck no!   

Soooo, I decided to shop online for a new - easy to put together - bed frame.  Instead of "making do" (can you tell I am the child of Depression Era parents?) I was going to get exactly what I wanted.

So, two days later I'm still shopping online for a reasonably priced bed frame that has what I want and is the proper size (full size).  I never imagined it would be so hard! Pay well over $100 for a full-size bed frame?  Are you nuts?   I'm shopping during my lunch hour at work after having exhausted Amazon, Sears, Target, Penney's, Verlo (a local outfit), when I decided to try -- as a last gasp -- 

I haven't mastered the technique of searching for just what I want when it comes to  Sure, I type in specific information "full size bed frame" in the search box -- and I get 10,000 items, only 100 of which are a bed frame.  What the heck am I doing wrong?

So I started scrolling through my search non-results and lo and behold, my eyes alight upon this, accompanied by the wondrous harmonies of a Heavenly Choir:

LOVE!  I've seen this style of bed before, while searching for other items that I wrote about here.  Never seriously considered buying anything like it for myself.  Until July 10th...

This is the Bailey Charcoal Full Size Bed -- perfect for moi and my 10x12 mistress room at the new house, free shipping, and the price is $316.  (It also comes in twin-size for under $300.) 

Moving Day Comes and Goes (Came and Went?) (Was Here and Gone?)

Hola everyone!

Ugh, that is what I have to say.  I have worked so hard for the past couple of months - sorting, tossing, packing, packing, packing, I never want to see another cardboard box as long as I live!  Except in this small new house, I have only pathways through a maze of cardboard boxes!  It will take forever to get unpacked and organized.  Little did I realize when I viewed this house for the first time how much I would have to purge, and how much I am still going to have to purge, of my possessions.  Geesh!

Closing happened on June 30th.  The very next day, a few wonderful friends kicked into high gear to help me begin the arduous process of clearing Maison Newton, my home for the past 24 years. 

Scant photos. This entire experience has been traumatic. I did leave Maison Newton without screaming and kicking and nobody had to drag me out, but I left with great reluctance and a lot of sadness. Who will feed my squirrels and birds? Not J&J (the soon-to-be-married-oh-so-young-owners), who consider them pests.

Every night for a week after work, beginning with July 1st when Barb and Tim came over with their van and trailer, bless their hearts, a friend would arrive at Maison Newton and we would load up as much as we could fit into car and trunk, and then unload it at the new house; sometimes making several trips. On Sunday, July 6th, the day before the professional movers came, my long-time friend, Ann, was like a Terminator Machine. We put in a full day's work packing; it was (of course) hot and humid, and I was struggling to get up and down the stairs at Maison Newton continually loaded down with arms-full of clothing (moving the mistress bedroom closet, Holy Hathor!), and box after box and large black bag after large black bag of -- STUFF! I was sweating like a stuck pig and Ann, I doubt she even got dewy! What the heck? Well, I know she likes it hot but - really! LOL! I looked like I had just stepped out of the shower by the end of it all.There aren't many pictures (I was not exactly in blog mode during this long, difficult process):

Boxes and bags (filled with clothing from emptied dresser drawers and who knows all what else)
in the front bedroom at the new house.  It will fill up quickly... 

The pro movers arrived bright and early on Monday July 7th.  I hired them to deal with the heavy furniture, including a giant china hutch, a large curio cabinet, and a queen sized sleeper sofa, recliner, large wing chair, two bedroom sets -- well, you get the picture.

The estimate I had received over the telephone about how long it would take to load everything and unload everything at the new house (after I had given them a room by room inventory of what was being moved), was spot on.  Two nice young men somehow managed to get it all done (I did not think it was possible, to tell you the truth) and I have to say, they worked their butts off!  It was hot and humid last Monday and even with the AC on at both houses, with doors removed (to fit large furniture through) it was fighting a losing battle to try and keep things cool.

Unloading at the new house.
The professional move came in on schedule and under budget.  I definitely recommend using the West Allis, Wisconsin franchise Two Men and a Truck, thanks Joe and Jimmy. 

I didn't cry here at the new house my first night sleeping over, but it was close. It was a tight contest with my feeling of being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project I face in simply trying to UNPACK everything. Perhaps I shed a few tears of frustration and self-pity over that...

For a week, nearly every day, I emailed my buyer-broker about how much I HATE THIS HOUSE.

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.


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???