Saturday, March 31, 2012

Whirlwind weekend

As things keep heating up the pace continues to be frantic.
I thought things were pretty calm that day and only had one person coming to pick up some furniture pieces and as I drove away I noticed a couple of cars pull up and stop.  Wow!  That add to sell the canned ham really was effective...but no.  It was another realtor stopping by to show the house.  I was completely unaware of this and in addition to dishes in the sink, we had several guns laying all over the living room floor.  Oh well....go on in I said and continued to leave.

Later that afternoon the kids arrived to spend the weekend with us and enjoy the old homestead one more time.  We took them out for fish fry and everyone went to bed pretty early as all were tired.

Saturday we all woke at different times and Left Brain fixed breakfast as we continued to sort through photos and memorabilia.  No sooner was that done when the realtor arrived to show the house at noon to a couple.  She looked a bit appalled that we were still in here and the house looked a bit thunderstruck. As she left my friends Al & Kathy showed up to get the heater and fan I offered to her and see if she wanted to purchase any of the amish pieces.

While they were leaving my son arrived for lunch and the food preparation began anew.  We sat everyone down and explained the financial statments to them - what our wishes are for burial should anything happen on the road....that kind of family business.

Then it was time for the 2:40 movie of "Mirror Mirror" and I jumped into the car with my son-in-law and the two grandkids.  We got part way down the road when he realized the car was pulled sharply to the left.  After taking a quick look it was found he had a nail in the tired and it was almost flat.  So, back to the house and we switched over to my car and sped out again.

It felt good to be a movie again and escape from reality for a couple of hours.  On the way home we picked up a tire patch kit to be able to get them on the road again.

Then Sister Mary called to talk to Steph and I called in the pizza order for supper.  When there's young people in the house it's a continual feeding frenzy.

So, having a couple of minutes where I'm able to sit down and type has allowed me to quickly add to the blog.  Unfortunately we have not had any calls on our ad for the R-Pod for sale.  Bummer.  I really would like to get that into other hands soon.

Tomorrow we'll fix a little breakfast then have them help us load up the furniture to go to their house before the open house starts.  Then we'll shove She Devil into the canned ham until the open house ends while we go somewhere to hide out.  The kids will probably head out about that time and after the open house ends Left Brain and I can retrieve the cat and settle in with our lawn chairs and little TV since most of the furniture will be gone.

It's a strange life - faster paced that I like, but necessary to get us to the next stage of our life.

Long Live the Queen of Exhaustion

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Men in Trees

While cleaning up the garage the other day the tree service men showed up to remove a large tree from the neighbors back yard.  Such excitement in the valley!

I love watching rodeo performers and this was very simular with the danger involved in watching a man tackle something much larger and unpredictable.

I guess I just like to watch men working - could do it all day long.

He would tie off the portion of the tree he was cutting down and then break it off with his bare hands to separate the sections. 

Then it swings down to the ground.  It's amazing how they can do this without crashing into the house, but that is why you have professionals come and take care of these situations.

I asked him later why he was not wearing goggles or gloves and learned that the goggles distort his vision and he needs to be able to see clearly at all times.  The gloves make it hard to get the exact grip needed to work the chainsaw and tree trunks.

What both the Divine Miss M and I found disconcerting was when he dropped the chainsaw and let it dangle...while it was still running. 

Granted the blade was not going around, but it just seemed dangerous somehow. 

But I suppose when you have to continually haul the chainsaw back up to use it each time, to pull the cord is expending unnecessary energy that is much needed.

When he's working the chainsaw it is quite close to his body and one can only imagine what happens if he slips while that sucker is running.

It doesn't take much imagination to picture him here as a cowboy carrying his rope and saddle after busting the broncs.

I kept thinking of the movie Avatar as he walked up the tree trunks and would swing over to the section he needed to work on.

And then let's not forget about the massive woodchipper involved to digest huge limbs of wood.

Let's just say that if the guy in the movie "Fargo" had access to something like this bad boy...he'd have gotten away with that murder!

They left the yard clean and tidy...just without a large oak tree in it.  Yup...I could watch men working all day long.

Long Live the Queen of Woodcutters

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photography weekend

This past weekend I got to run away with the Divine Miss M for a stress free two days of learning more about our cameras.

Unfortunately this was held at a middle school where the bodies are much smaller and their auditorium seemed to be build more for them than us.  I never realized sitting for hours a day could be so exhausting.  The closeness of the chairs meant you could not easily cross your legs and if anyone needed to exit the row everyone had to literally get up and stand in the aisle to accommodate them.

But, we learned a great deal and were both inspired to work harder with our cameras.  So, at least it made me finally download the photos I shared yesterday and begin to work on some of the others.

The timing of this is good for me as I will be putting away my doll making for about a year (at least as the major emphasis) and will be doing more with my camera and photoshop.  This will be very good for me as I tend to jump around from one thing to another and not get very good at any of it.  Nothing like limited space to make one narrow their focus.

After listening to the seminar by Mike Moats on macro photography I am newly inspired.  This has always been a direction I've wanted to go and he combines his skills in such a way that he is creating artwork with it.  Perhaps this will be a new direction for me to explore.

Long Live the Queen of the Cameras

Monday, March 26, 2012

A relaxing weekend

First, here are some photos from before the weekend get away with the Divine Miss M.

This is my youngest granddaughter at her soccer practice.  The photo itself was less than steller due to the lighting, distance and abilities of the goofball behind the camera (me), so I applied a dry brush filter to it to give it the feeling of being a painting.  I just had to do something with that sweet expression!

Then we went to the oldest granddaughter's volleyball game where I got to see some wicked talent on the court.

I captured a moment where she was being very contemplative and thought it would look best in black and white.

Also before the weekend we had the excitement of watching men cutting down the neighbor's big oak tree. 

Although I often go out on a limb, I would never do it in this manner.

My friend and I got to shoot the entire process and I found out later that the neighbor would have liked to have been shooting us...shooting them. 

Apparently it was pretty entertaining for everyone all the way around.

It sure was nice of Steve to provide us with so much entertaintainment.

Thank you Steve....and your little dog, too.

Of course Left Brain was not just sitting by idly on a couch watching TV and eating bonbons - he was out there mowing and cleaning up the deck to get things ready for sale. 

I'm not sure why he was looking so happy on the mower.

Perhaps he's thinking this is the last time he will have to do this?  We can only hope he's right!

He's really been pushing himself hard these last few days as we move forward in our new goal.

Maybe just a little bit too hard.

Let's just say that all this hard work has really gotten to him, as you can see here.

Poor Left Brain.

Long Live the Queen

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's all in the perspective

Because it's Friday night I'm thinking about the proper observation of the Sabbath it finally hit me.  Let me back up a bit.  The concept behind the prohibition of any kind of work on the Sabbath (even that which is enjoyable) is not to suffer some kind of denial to show your love for G-d.  It allows for totally surrendering yourself to the peace and quiet of the day and be able to reflect on your spirituality.  If you are "forbidden" from doing things, it's much easier to tell yourself that that's just the way it is and there's nothing you can do about it.

How often do you sit down to read or relax and then remember there's laundry in the dryer waiting to be folded, or some other similar chore?  If you're like me you feel guilty about just enjoying yourself when there's work to be done and get up and take care of it.  But on the Sabbath you are forbidden from dealing with the laundry, so you have to just suck it up and lean back and enjoy that book.  The concept is to make you stay away from the chores of  everyday life so that when you are able to resume your work, it's with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

So now that I have a proper frame of mind again (thank you Prozac!) I can continue my journey forward in our new life plan.
Instead of feeling like I'm "giving up" my art work - I am actually taking a sabbatical.

I will be gone this weekend to a camera workshop so there will not be any posts until my return.

Shabbot Shalom

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring time bliss

these are the galanthus that just came up - commonly known as snowdrops
It's amazing what a little Prozac can do - I feel like I'm totally back again.  I was cleaning the house this morning in case there might be another showing and I got a call from Left Brain.  He had delivered a trailer full of furniture to the kids yesterday and was on his way home when he spotted what might be the perfect RV for us. 

He peered through the windows in the drizzle to check it out as best he could and gave me the info on it.  After looking at what it should be like online it appeared perfect for our needs.  He was a bit hesitant with it only being 32 feet long that it might not have enough storage for my needs.

So, we both looked at it online when he got home and he called the man to arrange a showing at 2:15.  Since this was over two hours away we jumped into the Saturn, grabbed burgers at McD's and headed north.  Let's just say the house was not looking pristine when I left for the showing that afternoon - but he just had a feeling about this and the price was such that it would not last long at all.

We arrived right at the appointed time and they had it out with the slides extended as well as the awning and I went inside while he looked at the guy stuff outside.  It was all I could do not to scream - it was perfect.  The kitchen was spacious with Corian counter tops, my convection microwave, 3 burner stove and oven.  The fridge was a double side by side with good freezer space and an ice maker. 

There is a recliner for Left Brain and a couch for me as well as a spacious dinette with plenty of room for the laptops as well as storage under the seats.  Lots of overhead storage and cupboards in the kitchen with a small roll out pantry for canned goods.  The fridge was twice the size of in the canned ham. 

There was a large closet in the hallway as well as a good sized closet in the bedroom with six drawers underneath it.  The bed lifted up for nice full under bed storage and get's a dual control sleep number bed!  There is a desk area in the bedroom for the printer and an open area below for the beloved litter box.

It has Sirius radio and is ready for satellite TV.  They added a new 32" flat screen HD TV over the cab area to replace the old one and there is an older TV (but working) in the bedroom.  The patio awning was not originally an electric operating one, but they had wind damage and replaced it with the electric one.

There was one window blind broken that they will take to the dealer and get fixed.   There is storage everywhere.  It basically had all the same amenities as the 39' model we had looked at (both are Fleetwoods), it just doesn't have the extra 7 feet.  It's a 32 foot Fleetwood Southwind and is in two shades of gray.  The inside decor is gray and browns.  The countertop looks just like mine at the house.  To say I am thrilled is an understatement.

Here is where the domino effect takes place.

They have a lien on it and need the money to get a clear title for us.  We need to sell the house to get the money for them.  The people buying our house (hopefully) are waiting for the people to come into their investment to meet the contingency on their property before they can pay us.  We left them with earnest money to hold the RV for us until we can acquire the money to pay them, etc, etc.

Please send good vibes out into the universe for us that this all works out and that in the next month or two we can claim our perfect new home on wheels!

Long Live the Queen of Dreams

Things look different in the morning light

Okay, it's morning and I feel much better.  After poring out my heart to everyone and receiving many good thoughts and ideas I slept soundly as I decided I didn't need to do it all at once.

Yesterday I was ready to chuck everything into a dumpster and slam it shut. Today I am much more rational (for me anyway) and have some restraint.  It seemed everything was moving too fast and I was losing the joy of the roller coaster ride we are on and had fears of the deep plunges involved.  It stands to reason that the higher you go the faster you come down and I'm ready for the next turn again.

Today will be spent  transforming the chaos we call home into a calming environment.  I realize that I had missed taking my meds for a couple of days when everything was upside down.  I just couldn't remember.  But that has been solved.  My meds are now sitting next to She Devil's, because I would never forget to give her what SHE needs and this way I can't forget mine either.  It's amazing how fast you can spiral down when you're chemically unbalanced.

The plan for today is to continue to sort and organize and package up the special projects I want to return to and put them safely away in storage to await me.  Then I will give the place a good cleaning...that always lifts my mood.  I will put something into the crock pot so I can enjoy the smells of home cooking and know that supper is ready when we want to eat without scurrying about trying to find something quick and easy.  I may have to buy some cookie dough and bake right before the showing tonight - that's always a good smell to have when people are looking for a home.

We have an offer on the house but there is a contingency on it.  So, if another offer comes along they have 72 hours to find the money and make it happen or we can proceed with the second offer.  I'm hoping for an offer just to push things a bit quicker.  Yup.  I think I need to get those cookies baking - for more than one reason.

Now that my sense of humor is back I will share a story with you about stress induced memory loss. During the moving sale I was wearing my little change apron, generally sufficient for any of the shows I used to do. Not for this kind of sale! Periodically I would run into the house and stuff a handful of cash into a cubby to hide it and dash back out. It was a very successful sale and I made about $3000 selling off stuff. This was a good thing but I needed to hide the money somewhere as we never know who is going through the house at any given point.

So I tucked the money someplace to hide it until I could get to the bank. I hid it good. I couldn't find it. This has to be how Alzheimer's feels - I could see myself hiding it, but where? I searched everywhere including the car, where I tend to stash things like a squirrel hides nuts. Nothing. To say I felt sick would be an understatement. I could see it in a drawer - in my bedroom....ah ha!

That set of plastic drawers had been moved to Left Brain's area to replace the end table I had sold. Sure enough - there it was....hidden under the AARP magazine, just as I remembered. I had turned the magazine to the page with an article on Alzheimers and remembered laughing as I hid the money thinking would't it be funny if I couldn't find it HERE! Well, it wasn't that funny. But at least the cash was found and is now safely in the checking account. If I could just find the checkbook and those bills to pay now.

Long Live the Queen of the Roller Coaster

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The blessings of friends

Okay, I need to do a second blog to comment on all the responses to this last one.

First, I want to thank each and every one of you who have responded to my sadness at parting with the artistic part of myself.  This has had a very healing effect on me and was very comforting.

Since it is just "stuff" and can be repurchased at a later date I have settled on a compromise.  I will examine each "thing" I was hanging on to and asking myself if this is really a doll I want to explore in the future.  If yes, I will box up the prop and materials needed for that special creation.  If not, I will let it go.  That should get it down to a manageable level.  Also, I believe I will keep the option of storing items for a one year period and take a look at it after being on the road and see if it has the same gut reaction to me.

If it does, then I will take one of the boxes and begin to play with it and see what direction the doll takes.  If not, I may decide to part with it after all and cancel the storage.  This buys me time and permits me to continue with a limited number of projects in the future.

Time has an amazing healing quality and I may find that writing and taking photos is so much fun I never want to sew again.  I doubt that will happen, but so much has changed so fast in my life lately I'm not ruling anything out.

Believe me when I tell you that I can already picture some of the things I've boxed up for future use that I can't wait to get my hands on and rip out of the storage.  Things that only got half done for a couple of reasons.  Either my short little attention span didn't allow it, or it lost heart in the middle of the project.  I do not want to use my precious energy to finish something that has no meaning to me anymore.

I treasure each and every response I get from my readers - it is a collective insight that would not be possible without the social media that is available today.  Your voices and stories are important to me and I love that we are able to share each others journey in this method.

Now...I feel much better and I believe I will go shave a cat (just for, seriously, she is badly matted and has been overdue for this) and go to bed.  You just haven't lived until you've shaved down a cat.

Long Live the Queen of Many Blessings


The first wave of sadness

Yesterday Left Brain and I were discussing the pros and cons of the 39 foot motorhome we visited lately.  It seemed too big to me, which would have been a problem if it had oodles of storage, which it didn't.  There were no pass through areas underneath at all.

The closet in the bedroom was difficult to get to and was large but only a hanging closet.  This would require either dealing with plastic crates for drawers or building drawers.  The drawers all seemed dinky and shallow to me and few in number.

Although the washer/dryer combo sounds good - I'd rather have the space it takes up for storage of other things.  There were three TV's, all the older kind and only the bedroom one swiveled out for decent viewing.  The other was over the cab area and with two couchs nobody would have a good view without turning their heads.  The third was in the cargo area underneath and again, I'd rather have the storage. 

None of the storage appeared big enough to hold the folding chairs much less anything else we'd want to haul along.  Long story short - it looked very luxurious as it was wide with the two slide outs, but unless we want to take up ballroom dancing - this ain't where I want the extra room.

So, the decision was made to ditch the show business, halt the creative process - get rid of everything except the machine and as few favorite supplies as I can bear and just focus on the travel aspect of the job.  This was very painful at first, but sometimes to open one door you must close another.

I was okay with it until I took a load of stuff to the storage unit this morning.  When I saw my show supplies I felt an overwhelming sadness and was very close to tears.  It was like visiting someone you know is going to die very soon.  Fortunately, I have someone who will likely take them off my hands sometime this year so I don't have to see them much any more.

So today I made the rest of the "burial arrangements" for my dollmaker self.  I cancelled the commission order for July as I just don't feel the energy to carry it out and thankfully she was very understanding and gracious about this decision.  Then I sent an email to cancel my favorite show in September, but told them I'd like to donate some items for their fundraiser.

I've boxed up the cotton novelty prints and other quilt fabrics for a friend to use them in their Linus projects and will deliver them tomorrow.  Many things will go to Goodwill and many will just be tossed into the dumpster.

It's hard to give up what feels like your personna.  People identify me as "the dollmaker".  My signature on emails proclaims I am a mixed-media artist.  I need to change that as I've dropped my website and tomorrow I will visit my bank to cancel the business account and credit card service.  I can understand the sadness on my fathers face when he retired from years of owning a gas station as he watched all his precious tools and auto supplies being sold off at auction for nothing near the value they had to him.

I'd thought of contacting a man who was at my moving sale to offer him my goods for his resale shop just to turn some kind of profit, but it turns my stomach.  I'd rather sell off or give things away at the May show and be done with them or dispose of them in the trash instead of abandoning them like unwanted children.

This probably sounds melodramatic, but it felt like a tiny spark of my soul died today.  I just have to keep reminding myself that these are just things and I can play with them again someday.  My eye is on the prize and that is investing time with my husband and marriage as we travel and make memories together.

Long Live the Queen of Something, I'm not sure what right now

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A day full of surprises

Ah, today will be a nice calm day - time to catch up and find that stash of paperwork that needs to be looked at, shave the cat and run some errands.  These are all good things as my back is killing me!  So, I started out in the hot tub and after providing a nourishing breakfast of tuna for She Devil and cheerios for me I sat back to relax and catch my breath.

Then the phone rang.  My friend Suzanne was sitting in my driveway.  She was going to come over after her water aerobics to pick up the white bookcases she had purchased, but it seems lightening had struck the YMCA and messed up the electrical components to the pool.  After loading them into her car we sat and chatted for a bit while we both caffeinated for the day.

No sooner had she left than the next person pulled up to pick up their stuff.  Left Brain was here and able to help him lift the table and metal shelving into his truck.  That was wonderful, because I really am fearful my back is ready to go out.  I must get to Dr Ted soon for an adjustment!  Now I'm down to five metal shelves to get to the neighbor next door.

Then the phone ran again.  Left Brain was yelling at me and asking if I was available at 11:00.  I told him that depended on what it was for and when he said we had an offer on the house, I announced I was available to meet with the couple and the realtor.  We gathered around the table and went through all the paperwork and received their offer, which was lower than we had hoped, but at least it was an offer.  The plus to this is the potential new owners love the house and the wife adores the gardens and hot tub.  The gardens would frighten some people away, so this was comforting.

Left Brain and the husband took a walk up the hill to find the markers of where the property actually ended while we ladies strolled the gardens and talked.  Now we are hopeful that the money will come through and we can both achieve our dreams.

After they left we had a quick lunch - the only kind we seem to be capable of getting these days and I crashed for a short nap.  Well, that ended up being a three hour nap which Left Brain woke me from so we could get ready for the World Services banquet.  Oh but I wanted to just stay in bed for a day or two!  But, we went and had a great time and another conversation ensued on the way into town.

While the 39 foot motor home seemed like a good idea the other night there were several things about it that just weren't feeling right to me, one being the length.  We were trying to come up with enough storage for all my art supplies, inventory, show set up, yada yada yada..  Well, it just isn't going to work.  There's too much crap to haul to do this and I don't want to live in some supersized vehicle on the road.  So another twist is occuring in our lives. 

I have decided to sell my show gear, close out my business account, get rid of the credit card machine and just keep a bare bones supply of things I might need to have to play with doll making for my own fun and pleasure.  I can try selling them one by one on Etsy or donate them to charities or give them as gifts.  But I won't have the pressure of inventory, jurying into shows, worrying about the weather and how to haul all the heavy stuff needed to do the shows.

This will allow me to focus on the writing and photography and hopefully create a more interesting blog with more pictures and stories of our travels.  Again the weight has shifted off my shoulders.  It doesn't feel like "giving up" something, but rather the releasing of it to pursue other interests.  I'll keep my machine and will no doubt return to some sewing later on, but for now that will take a back burner.

We'll see how tonight goes and if I sleep better and what it feels like when I try the idea on again in the morning.  This is a wild journey we are on and I can only guess which curve will come up next.  Now Left Brain is considering selling the motorcycle so we could pull some cute little convertible behind the RV.

Long Live the Queen of Twists and Turns

Monday, March 19, 2012


Started the morning before sunrise.  I woke and couldn't wait for the day to start so I slithered out quietly to the hot tub for a soak before breakfast.  After sorting and cleaning up in the garage from the weekend sale I took a load to the storage shed and then filled the van with the leftovers to haul to Goodwill.  Managed to get it all into one load - that's the sign of a successful sale!

Left Brain hauled a load of scrap metal away in the trailer and then we filled it up with bedroom furniture to haul up to the cities for the kids.  This will be the first of many loads before we're done.  I'm trying to convince the neighbor's daughter that she really needs the other Amish pieces for her house.  Then it's down to one larger recliner and his desk.  We'll probably end up giving away the end tables and small rocker.

So, our current furniture is white folding tables and plastic storage crates.  I hope to spend tomorrow sorting and getting things put back together a bit for some sort of normalcy.

We ended the day by going to see a 39' diesel pusher nearby and I could tell my the way Left Brain's tongue was hanging out that he had fallen in love.  It has three slides, a great kitchen, lots of room, big fridge with an ice maker, central vac, dual control queen size sleep number bed, big closets.  There's some wear and tear and no big pass through storage underneath, but I think this may be the rig for us.  I will need to pare down my art supplies a bit more - but by maintaining the storage for one year I should be able to reduce the last of the inventory and use up the props I'd like to incorporate into dolls.  If not, that will be let go of also and my art will take a little different turn.  There would certainly be lots of run to work in.

Next on the agenda is to get the canned ham sold and start getting some offers on the house.  It's all starting to come together.

Long Live the Queen of the Road


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Moving sale - day two

The second (and final) day of the moving day began with hauling yet more things up from the basement.  The amounts are getting fewer and fewer and most of what remains belongs to Left Brain and needs his decisions.  The doorbell rang at 9:00 and I found a man on my doorstep asking if there was another sale today.  I told him 10:00 and continued hauling.  The minute the garage door opened up I had three cars pulling up and had to navigate around people to get my car out of the driveway.

As people entered I informed them it was either $1 or free and gathered a little bit of money and sent more items out into the universe.  By noon it had slowed to a crawl and I told people to please take something - everything was free.  This resulted in several rewarding experiences.

First was a woman who was assisting a small town library in getting books.  I filled up two plastic totes for her with everything she thought they could use, along with magazine holders and book ends.

Next was a lady who is starting to learn to quilt but has relatives that belong to the quilt guild I used to be in.  I filled up two large plastic totes with every quilt book, pattern and packages of paper piecing paper I had.

Then there was the sweet mother of two fast growing boys who simply could not believe it was all free.  She almost became teary eyed and told me that I had just made her day as she took a small Christmas tree, boots for the oldest boy and an assortment of tools and kitchen things.  I explained that I had been without as a young adult when my son was small and I know how hard it can be.  She allowed me to share my story of taking him to grand openings and the like to feed him supper and that if it were not for Salvation Army I would not have had any clothes with which to get a job and start working.  I was rewarded with hugs and a comment that she wished there were more people like me.  It's sad to see how beaten down good people can get when they are just trying to get through their life.  That was worth more to me than any amount of money she could have paid.

There were many instances of watching small children take away my son's old toys and thrilled to have something new.  I figure he's 40 years old now and really hasn't played with them for a long time, so it's probably okay.

A lot of people were interested in the canned ham, so I sent them in and gave them the mini tour.  We'll see who contacts us and who ever has the highest bid by the end of the week will be the winner as we want it out of here quickly.

During the tail end of the sale a couple who had seen the house with me stopped by to do some measuring before the real estate agent arrived.  Fortunately this was at the same time Left Brain returned from his driving job so I had assistance with this.  Then another couple came through shortly after the first ones left and I was called upon to explain what it was like to care for the pond, etc.

After they left I started to clear stuff out of the driveway and assisted people as they arrived to pick up their bookcases.  There was one ugly moment when a lady arrived to get her bakers rack to find it had been sold.  I apologized and explained that I saw the name on it and thought it had been put on the wrong furniture as I knew that was not the right one.  It appears the names were very similiar and I had mistakenly removed the sold sign and someone else purchased it later.  She was quite upset with me, but other than returning her money and saying I'm sorry there wasn't much I could do.  Then I let it go - not much I could do to make it better.

When I thought everyone had gone I was going to run a load to the storage unit so I could fill the car with a load for Goodwill when the other family came to pick up the furniture in the house they had claimed.  She had a good crew of young men with her so after it was all loaded I asked if anyone needed a large TV.  Well, when you say large screen TV to a testosterone filled crowd, the answer is going to be yes.  I assured him it worked and wouldn't fit in the RV and would he please take it.  It disappeared quickly.  Another big heavy thing GONE.  Now we have a plastic folding table and small flatscreen sitting there until we sell the house.

Both of us were exhausted but I managed to get stuff into the garage and put a beef roast in the pressure cooker.  It probably needed another 10 minutes, but it was cooked enough and we were both very hungry not having had any lunch.  I'm still getting the hang of using this thing.

Now we are settled into our chairs - he's reading the paper and I'm sharing my day with you while a symphony of frogs from both ponds are singing their little frog songs in stereo.  It's a good life.

Long Live the Queen of Phase I

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I am truly a woman blessed

Today was the day of the "Big Sale" where I have almost everything from the basement up and in the garage.  This is Phase I of my plan.  First to declutter and rid ourselves of everything not vital to our new life.  I started the day very calmly by rising early, having my breakfast and leisurely preparing some price tags.  Then the Divine Miss M called and asked if I needed some help for the first rush of sales.  I really felt quite confident that I was good to go but said she could come over if she wanted to hang out with me.  Praise the heavens for her intuition! 

As soon as I opened the doors and started to push things outside the cars drove up and people came rushing up to the garage.  Yikes!  Where were they hiding?  It was like a feeding frenzy of piranha as they grabbed up stuff and asked for the prices.  I was following the advice of the Oddest Goddess by not pricing but just keeping everything at a $1 if it was small and up from there.  Since my goal was not so much to make money but to clear out and avoid having to haul truckloads to Goodwill - this worked well for me.

Had my friend not been there I never could have survived it.  She even tucked a fiber bar in my back pocket and when things finally did slow down a bit, went to get lunch for us.  It was a zoo!

My neighbor, Crazy Alice, walked over to "complain" about the traffic jams and that she couldn't get out of her driveway.  It was the first time I turned around.  My focus was the line of people all the way down the driveway waiting to pay for their goodies.  The cars stretched as far as I could see.  I started to apologize to her and she laughed and said she had no need to get out of her driveway...but she just wanted to give me some crap about it.  I'm going to miss her.

The traffic was steady and many were asking about the garden art.  I stayed firm in my conviction that today was only what was in the garage.  I need to wait to see what the new owners might want for the yard art before I try to sell any of that.

People purchasing the bookcases and bakers racks contining merchandise were very gracious in waiting until after the sale was over to pick them up.  I had one couple come back about 5:15 to get their item that was inside the house.  I hurriedly dumped stuff out of the drawers to clear it out for them.  Then she found another folding rack and two folding chairs that she had to have and the man wanted the license plates I had on the wall.  So I found a step ladder and tools so he could retrieve those.  It's amazing what people are interested in.  It shouldn't surprise me since I'm much the same way, but I had no idea there were so many odd people out there.

There were many people interested in the canned ham and I gave several tours and showed them the modifications I made to it.  Hopefully one of them will return on Monday with a good offer and I can accomplish Phase II of the plan - sell the R-Pod.

If the house sells, that will complete Phase III, only leaving finding the motorhome we will live in (Phase IV) and then packing up and living on wheels for Phase V.  It's only a five step plan - I don't have the attention span for all 12.

But the best part of the day were the people!  I had sent facebook messages to a couple of friends I hadn't seen for a long time right before the sale.  One I wanted to give a metal sign to that had meaning to me. The other I wanted to explain that I finally understand why they had such a "spartan" abode.  I get it now!  Less is more!  Clutter free is calming.  I was excited when the first one showed up to get her sign and we were able to have a heartfelt talk while the Divine Miss M ran the show for me.  And I was pleasantly shocked and stunned with the other friend and her husband showed up just to say hi.  They came from a fairly good distance just to greet me and wish me well in my new adventure.

I was blissed out by the many neighbors that stopped by to say hello and wish me well in my sale and our plan.  The neighbors here are the best!  Who ever buys this house will fall into a great place to live.

Earlier that day another wacko friend of mine showed up with her daughter-in-law and I was able to catch up a bit on what was happening in her life. 

Then Karen came with my favorite little pub-crawler Jean.  I was able to burden her with yet another two armloads of books to give to the synagogue.

All in all it was a joyful reunion and it reaffirmed that in our daily lives it is all about the people in our life, not the things that we accumulate.  It reminded me of how blessed I am in the people that have made up the fabric of my being.

It's been a hard journey physically, not so much emotionally.  My friends are thrilled for me and are enjoying the journey with me, which just makes it even more special.  Tomorrow everything will be marked down to next to nothing or free and I will be done with the worst part of this endeavor.  Then I can focus on just the couple of larger pieces of furniture left to sell.  My body is sore and throbbing but my mind is clear and free.  I feel lighter and more alive each day we work towards our goal.

Long Live the Queen of Phases

Friday, March 16, 2012

No rest for the wicked

The craziness in Spam-a-lot continues as Operation Downsize swings into high gear.

Tuesday, my cousin, Shayna, arrived to assist with my efforts.  We started with having lunch at Coney Island - it's a tradition with us and then dug into hauling things up and arranging things for sale.  She designed several "theme baskets" to group items for quick sale.  Clever girl!  Later that night I took her with me to Camera Club to meet some of my other strange friends.  It was a full day and we crawled into bed early and tired. This worked out nicely as Left Brain had a banquet to attend and left all dressed up in a suit and tie.  It was nice to not feel guilty about going out to eat and then to my meeting and leaving him all alone.

Wednesday she hauled and hauled and hauled things for me and assisted with getting the heavy bookcases out to the garage to use for display and then sell.  Left Brain told me that he had dressed up for nothing - had the wrong week.  Then he continued his work on the staining the decks. The Divine Miss M arrived at lunch time to run to Subway for us.  This was so perfect as I was too tired to even put together a simple sandwich.  My first sale started at 1:00 and ran until 4:00. This was done with just an online classified ad and was less than stellar in the turnout.  Although I had a lot of traffic just from neighbors and people seeing the sign. Then a lady and her daughter stopped by when they saw the sign and asked for a tour of the house.  They were on their way to another house in the valley and spotted the sign.  Since I still had Shayna's assistance for another half hour I took them through the house and gardens.  She was very interested in the gardens and seemed very excited by the prospects the house and yard had to offer.  After saying goodbye to Shayna I continued with the hauling of yet more stuff.

Thursday brought an early breakfast and yet more hauling.  I can see that I'm making some progress though.  Left Brain accepted a driving job that would safely keep him out of the house until man.  Nothing like a rummage sale to drive men out of the house.  I think I'm developing some very strong legs by hauling furniture and stuff out and out.  Not to mention the bicep development from lifing and lifting....and lifting.  I worked hard all day long to clear the basement and then clean the house as they were coming at 2:00 to videotape the house for the website.  I was just finishing up the vacuuming when the real estate agent arrived.  He helped me move the lawn furniture I was trying to sell on Wednesday during my first sale to get that out of the photos.  When a man in a pickup truck arrived I assumed it was the photographer.  Wrong.  It was the husband of an earlier shopper here to pick up the large rolling table she had purchased.  Yikes!  I apologized and asked if he could come back after the weekend as the stain on the front steps was still tacky and the house was about to be videotaped.  He wasn't thrilled but agreed to come back and took part of her purchases with him.  When the video guy arrived I finished vacuuming the last room and when I realized they didn't need me there I put on my jeans and hauled my sweaty stinky body out of there.  It was about 3:00 and I wolfed down some food at Fazzoli's and read my Kindle for a while.  It felt so good to have a break!  Then I went back and dug into it some more, stripped my bed and washed the sheets...putting on the percale sheets so I could give the flannel ones to the kids.  Then I drew a nice hot bath with epsom salts and was ready to soak and relax.  Aaaaah - this will feel SO good. That's when the Divine Miss M called to tell me she'd pick me up at 5:30 for Garden Club.  This was at 5:10.  So, I showered instead and ran a brush through my hair and hustled to meet up with her.  At least I smelled better.  I would have preferred skipping the meeting, but knew she would never "allow" that so I just went along willingly.  And it was a good thing.  It was so nice to sit and chat with my garden buddies and answer their questions about our radical new lifestyle decision.  When I got home I settled into my new clean sheets and read for a little bit and prepared for the next day.

Friday started early with disassembling the bringing up three large heavy metal shelving units.  I can only carry two shelves at one time and had to make several trips up the stairs.  I will NEVER have a basement again!  I wanted to get this done first as I had a massage scheduled for 11:00 and then lunch afterwards with a friend at Pickerman's for soup.  Another long needed break!  Since I knew I had a showing at 6:00 or 6:30 that night I hustled to achieve my other goals for the day.  First to check out motorhomes at one of the local deals - not much to see there, so it didn't take long.  Then to convert a sock full of coins to cash at the bank.  The quarters kept getting stuck and it took a lengthy time.  Then to the post office to ship a book I sold on Amazon.  As soon as I got home I hustled to start setting up the metal shelving outside for tomorrow's sale.  My goal was to get things on the metal rolling shelves that could get wet in case it rained.  But it was a beautiful blue sky, so no worry. I decided to try on clothes so I could get rid of things that wouldn't be going with me.  I was standing there in my bra and panties in between outfits when I heard a man's voice say "hello?".  Holy crap Batman!  Who's in my house now!  I shouted out to wait just a minute and grabbed a bathrobe to greet him.  He had come in through the side door of the garage and said the real estate agent had said he had tried to call me and they should just go over.  Yikes!  I asked him and his wife to wait just a minute while I got dressed.  Then I quickly rinsed out the bathtub from the bath that never happened and let them in and gave them a tour of the house and gardens.  Now I've abandoned trying on clothes and went back outside to work on the set up for tomorrow.

  Then a couple pulled up and asked to see the camper for sale.  I stopped what I was doing and gave them a tour of the canned ham. After they left I resumed sorting things inside the garage and...was that thunder I heard.  No, it couldn't be!  Yes it could.  Not a heavy rain...but enough to wet everything outside.  Oh well.  Some neighbors stopped by to shop and talk - then more neighbors driving by stopped to talk.  Where were my people that were coming to see the house?  After everybody left I finished up and went inside about 7PM and got the message that they had already seen it (it was the people I had shown) so the appointment was cancelled.  Even though it was late I ordered another pizza and She Devil and I settled down to watch a little TV and get his blog posted.

I'm exhausted but not unhappy.  This all feels right and I'm on schedule with cleaning out the house.  I hope to have everything we won't take with us sold or given away by the end of the month.  Then we just need someone to make an offer and get things rolling!

The weather is unseasonably warm - who would expect the 80's in March?  So, I need to get going on the yard clean up earlier than I had planned to.  The yard looks great, especially in the spring when all the dead stuff is removed and that is really critical right not to have curb appeal.

So, I will finish watching "In Plain Sight" even though it runs from 9 - 10 as it is one of my favorite shows.  Then I will collapse into bed so I can get up early and have a good breakfast before the sale starts at 9:00.  I know how this works and that people will show up as soon as the doors open.  So, if I can get out there at 8:00 to finish hauling stuff out and they are ready to shop - so be it.  I'm ready.  Bring on the shoppers!

Long Live the Queen of Chaos

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend visit

I have had frightfully little time (or energy) to keep up with my blogging.  It seems we keep hauling and hauling but the stuff continues to be there.  I know now how the socceror's apprentice felt and can almost hear the music in the back of my brain.

The garage is set up and ready for my cousin's expert advice on how to price and mark things for the first sale on Wednesday.  She'll be packing up the things for her to take back home.  Every little bit helps.

Some of the neighbors have stopped by to see what's going on and express their remorse at our leaving.  I keep telling them we're only going to be living on wheels and will still be around to visit with them.  I'm thinking I need to organize an Apple Valley annual reunion at one of the parks where we'll be...that would be fun.

We spent a weekend at the kids house and got to see volleyball practices and volleyball games.  It will be nice when we can park up their way in the summer and spend more time with the kids than we are able to do now.

While visiting I thought about the odd things that happen and what you might here at Chez Rossing that you don't hear other places.  Things like "Kiersten, don't stand on your mother!" or Kiersten's complaint of "Emily just hit me in the eye with a porcupine".  Then there was the letter I found that Emily had written to the tooth fairy.  I had hoped to scan it and show it in it's handwritten form, but the ink copied too light, so I will write it out here.

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I believe I should get $4.00 for this tooth for the following reasons:
1) This is the biggest tooth I've lost
2) This tooth cost me like 2 years of pain because I had a filling in it and could not eat with it very easily
3) This tooth also cost me like 2 month of wobbling it back and forth then I reallyt couldn't eat with it
4) I am taking the time out of my precious sleep to write this.
Those are my reasons.

According to her mother (aka Ms Tooth Fairy) when she tried to quietly slip her hand under the pillow to retrieve the tooth Emily grabbed her wrist and asked "Did you get my letter?"

It's a strange bunch - but they're family.

Long Live the Queen of Family

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Things are happening FAST

Poor Left Brain.  He doesn't like change much to begin with and has been dealing with the house turned upside down and in total chaos as I sort and toss things, setting them up for the moving sale.  I'm used to doing this kind of thing when he's gone, he's not had to be here during the storm before.  At least now he knows it's not just magical fairies coming in to take care of business.

The house was totally trashed - I mean the kind of trashed that people would be shocked to see...and they where.  Miss M stopped by with her son Brent to take a look at some cookware for him and her mouth almost hit the floor.  All she could say is "I've never seen your house look like this".  There were little paths to follow through the rooms and piles everywhere, bags everywhere.  There was even a section of the floor covered in clumps of cat hair form where we started to shave She Devil down to remove the matts she developed while in Texas.

I had set up everything in the studio and dining room for my moving sale on Wednesday.  Then we found out that a group of realtors was coming through on Tuesday, the day before the sale.  Hold on - changing course!  Everything got moved out into my stall of the garage and set up there. A lot of extra hauling, but it worked out.  This wouldn't normally freak me out, but we're leaving on Friday to visit the kids and watch Emily's volleyball game on Saturday.  Then there is an annual banquet for the Friendship Association we need to attend on Sunday as Left Brain is president and I have several boxes of Russian things to donate to them.  So this means I have to have the house pulled together by Friday noon before we leave.  I do enjoy pressure - must be why I love cooking in my pressure cooker.

Today I had some friends coming over to take a look through and pick out things they might want.  It was embarrassing to have them walk through the house that way, but what are you going to do?  It's just the reality of transition.  It really helped that they purchased some of the larger pieces and got them out of the way, including a large stuffed tiger.

Later that morning another friend and her sister stopped by to say yea or nay on the selection of goodies I thought she might enjoy.  Afterwards we packed up her car (only forgetting two boxes - my fault) and headed to Pickerman's for some long awaited soup.  I missed them so much while in Texas.  They had to do a car shuffle and so I stopped at the storage unit.  Even though I know exactly where it is I drove right past it and had to back track.  Grrrr.

But, I got everything out of the van and situated in place and went to meet up with everyone.  I delivered a quilted wall hanging to one of the ladies and we all enjoyed a leisurely lunch with much conversation and laughter - good for everyone's soul.  I took a container of the loaded baked potato soup home with me for supper.  There's just not a lot of cooking getting done lately with all the flurry of cleaning and purging.

Before heading home I took a moment to listen to my messages.  I prefer being phoneless so I can be attentive to my friends and relax.  The first message was from Margie who earlier in the morning had done some shopping.  She had left two bags of office trays.  I told her I'd mark them as sold and save them for her sometime next week.  The other message was from Left Brain (out on a driving job) telling me that one of the real estate agents would be at the house at 5:00 to show the house to a family.  Yikes!  This was at 2:00.

So, needless to say, I hustled my booty home and dug in fast and furious.  I cleaned the living room floor (including much of the cat fur she left after the shaving) and rearranged the furniture to make it look more open and spacious.  Then room by room I cleared things out by shoving them into drawers (which many were emptied by donating stuff to Goodwill) and tucking things here and there out of sight. I just know I'll never find them again!  She Devil helped immeasurably by sleeping on the bed while I got things done.  Otherwise she loves to lay at any crossroads, right in the middle and flip her tail back and forth just daring you to step on it.

After hauling box after box of things out of the house and into Left Brain's side of the garage, things were clear and you could see the floor again!  Then I managed to wrestle a very tall (and heavier than I imagined) bookcase on my furniture mover and got it out the the steps.  Hmmm.  I tipped it forward and lifted it (very carefully) back onto the mover and into the garage where it is now set up and ready for sale.  Whew!

I did a quick run through of the basement and decided I really couldn't do much down there right now - it would just have to stay a mess.  Then I vaccumed all the floors and moved the dining room table and chairs back into the dining room (after removing the leaf - thank you Karen) and took a large table out of there and into the studio because...well, it had to go somewhere.  I removed many of the photos and quilts from the wall to open up the wall space.

The job was finished at just before 5:00.  Thankfully they were running about 15 minutes late so I had time to catch my breath and look like I was just relaxing in my chair by the fireplace.  If they looked closely they would realize it was exhaustion, but I think I pulled it off.

So, now the house is fit for showing and I only need to keep it clean everyday - that will be a new experience!  And I can find all that stuff I hide and chip away a little here and there on purging more stuff.  There will be another hefty load of trash going out again next week.

So, as I write this the house looks pretty good, but still needs a good cleaning.  But it is passable for now.  So, I think I will go sit in the hot tub (boy am I going to miss that!), pop a couple of Aleve's and go read in bed.

Long Live the Queen of Miracle Cleaning

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More progress

Todays activities involved mailing a box of fabric to my cousin Dusti  as well as six books that I sold on Amazon.  While in the post office I ran into one of my neighbors, so I warned her not to be shocked when she saw the sign and that yes, it was real.  There was an instance many years ago where the neighbors put up a for sale sign in someone's yard as a joke.  Yeah, it's a weird neighborhood....I'm gonna miss that.

Then I hauled a car load to the new storage unit and picked up Miss M for lovely Indian cuisine.  We were continuing our lengthy conversation in the driveway when her husband arrived and I had to leave.  It doesn't seem to matter if we've seen each other two days ago or two months ago...there's just always so much to talk about!

I stopped at the flooring store and they said they were getting in a huge batch of new stuff and to check back with them.  So, I meandered on home and put away the groceries I'd picked up and started in on the canned ham.

So, the ham is clean and ready for sale.  Now I need to clear out all the stuff I set up for the moving sale next Wednesday into the garage as Left Brain set up for the realtors to all come through on Tuesday.  Oh well, just think of the muscles I'm developing by lifting and hauling.  Fortunately he's available tomorrow to assist me in some of this shuffling of stuff.  I have many friends stopping by in the next few days to puruse the selections - so maybe a bunch of this will go and I won't have to relocate it.

Then the house will be ready for sale also.  Next will be the van for when we trade it in for the truck.  I wonder how much I could get for Left Brain...he cleans up nice!

Long Live the Queen of Washing

Monday, March 5, 2012

The house is for sale!

In better weather a couple of years ago
It's been another fun filled action packed day here at Spamalot.  I carted and toted more boxes and began setting up for moving sale mode to get rid of everything I'm not going to be using in the motorhome.  Man do we have a ton of stuff!

The real estate agent arrived at 11:00 and we did all the necessary evil paperwork to make this happen.   So it is official - the house is up for grabs.  The bad news is the market is not as strong as it was.  The good news is that our house is the type and price that seems to be selling the best.  We'll see how long it takes. 

I'll miss my little log cabin play house/storage shed -
we'll be so used to living tiny after we come back off the road....
maybe the new owners could rent this to us to live in!
After he left I hauled a carfull of bags to GoodWill, grabbed some late lunch, made a return to Shopko, stopped off at Menards to buy a lock and returned She Devil's old needles to the vet.  I told Jane at the vet's office that She Devil enjoyed the trip to Texas in the canned ham very much, and even though she loved the motel experience, we didn't like hauling in her litter box and cooler for the we decided to buy her a motorhome.  She totally understood this.

Then I stopped at the storage locker place and wrote up a contract for a 10x10 storage unit.  He asked if I wanted to see it to get an idea of the size and I said no...when I do art shows I live in a 10x10 space, so I know exactly what that size looks like.

After returning home I loaded up the car again with boxes to take to the storage unit tomorrow and then I will treat myself to a lovely lunch with the Divine Miss M for some Indian food.  She just returned from St Kitt's and I can't wait to hear about the island life.

It is amazing to me that after fearing the process of getting rid of stuff so much that now it's easy.  Things I thought were precious and valuable before really have no monetary value and have become easy to part with.  In fact, when I get a good momentum going it's amazing how fast things fly.

I'll post my sign outside tomorrow morning for the neighbors to have first pick at stuff before the moving sales begin.

Long Live the Queen of Tossing

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Who knew fabric could be so heavy?

One of the jobs I was dreading the most is over with...almost.
I was hating the thought of having to go through all my fabric and pick which I wanted to keep and which had to say goodbye to make space for our new (hopefully soon) mobile lifestyle.

I got a good workout hauling each box of it upstairs and one by one sorting it into piles for Dusti (my cousin who makes the funkiest skirts), Goodwill and for me to keep.  I narrowed 58 boxes of fabric down to six trash bags full of scraps for Goodwill, a nice sized box for Dusti and five boxes to keep. At least that's the ones that made the initial cut.  I may go through them one more time to see if any of them need to leave also. 

Then I went through 12 boxes of "props" that I've been collecting and have condensed this into one large box that are ziplock bagged according to theme.  What would I do without ziplocks?

All the fiber, mohair and wigs have been removed from their area and into two boxes to keep.  This got one of the plastic carts with drawers out of the guest room closet.

Left Brain emptied out his closet and between his gatherings and mine we now have five very large trash bags full of clothes and shoes for Goodwill.  I'm not sure if they'll be glad to see me tomorrow or curse my name.

The immediate goal is to remove all the clutter and sell off stuff I'm not using quickly.  My studio is now full of electric appliances from the kitchen and lots of home decor stuff.  I'll be having just a short sale on the following Wednesday (not this coming one, but the week after) from 1 - 5 to see what might go.  This was done using the online classifieds which are free.  If I get a less than stellar turnout I'll run an actual paid ad in the paper for the following weekend.

We meet with the real estate agent tomorrow so I'll know more about what we have to do to prepare the house for sale and when we might start showing it.  I'm thinking I might rent a storage area to get a bunch of it outta here during the transition time.  It will make it easier for showing the house if he wants to start that any time soon.

Now I think I'll go sit in the hot tub and bay at the moon until the Aleve kicks in.  Then I'll see if I can't turn off my brain and get some sleep tonight.

Long Live the Queen of Fabric Reduction

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Moving sale in Onalaska (Apple Valley) - Classified Ad

Moving sale in Onalaska (Apple Valley) - Classified Ad

It's so good to be back

My first day back I met my friend, Karen, for some Indian food at our very first ever Indian restaurant.  I sure hope they stay in business because it was good!  I had two full plates of it and wished I could have had more, but my stomach was starting to hurt already.  It was so good to catch up with my friend and take a break from the unloading of the van and canned ham.  Unfortunately Left Brain was left to fend for himself, but he's very resourceful and did just fine.

Then I picked up a few groceries but forgot my list, so missed some of the items.

I can't believe all the stuff we've accumulated!  I've started piles here, there and everywhere.  I've got a pile started for things I want to offer friends and piles for the kids and bags of stuff for Goodwill.

I've removed everything I want to keep from the studio and plan to have an indoor moving sale as soon as possible to get rid of the larger electric appliances I can't bring with me, duplicate cookware and the like.

There's also boxes that will get packed with stuff I will definitely be taking with me in the new rig that I don't need right now.  That way I can at least remove some of the clutter.

My goal is to declutter our living area as much as possible so everything looks nice and spacious.  Then I'll begin to tackle the basement - ugh.  I hate that thought - all those photo albums and old stuff.

We meet with the real estate agent on Monday morning to go over stuff and get that part of things going.  I have one couple from Springfield IL who might be interested in the R-Pod also.  Now that I have that emptied I will get out there Tuesday when it's supposed to hit 61 degress and clean it up good - then I'll put an ad in the paper for it.

One day at a time.  It took years to accumulate this much, it will take a while to reverse the project.

Long Live the Queen of Downsizing

Thursday, March 1, 2012

There's no place like home!

We haven't had internet for a couple of days, so the blog has been lacking.  I posted the last one using my phone and a draft of an article I had started earlier.

The day after the "bunny incident" we could clearly see where he hit the top of the canned ham.  So glad to find he wasn't wedged under the air vent or anything even more distusting.

We managed to get in and out of the motels on the way back, She Devil loved having us both in one bed so she could sleep between us again.  I built a little staircase for her with chairs and coolers so she could get up and down on her own.

At the last motel the two ladies at the desk came down to meet her and thankfully she didn't hiss or smack at them.  Whew!  It will be nice to have the motorhome and not have to deal with motels again in the future.

We pulled in late afternoon and unloaded a bunch of stuff to get it inside the house.  Right now it's piled up in the middle of the living room floor and garage.  No snow storms on the way, good roads and we missed the tornados that passed through earlier.

Our neighbors came over to welcome us home and I kept them standing on the front deck for quite a while.  Left Brain told me he heard the doorbell and since I was waiting for the pizza delivery I would run out, look out the studio window and not seeing any delivery car, return to my chair.  I finally noticed someone standing outside on my second or third trip and let them in.

We are going to miss the neighbors here - everyone is so friendly and welcoming.  I have to keep reminding myself that I will still be able to see them when we return to the area and keep in touch with Facebook and emails.

Having pizza was a treat.  I haven't indulged in that for many months as it's counterproductive to Weight Watchers, but we have no food in the house and I'm beat.

Tomorrow we'll pick up whatever mail is being held, get more diabetic supplies for She Devil, stock up the fridge, start laundry and cleaning - yuck.  Too tired to think of it right now.

Think I'll go tuck myself into my OWN BED and read my Kindle.  It will feel so good to be in my own bed again.  And to jump into the hot tub in the morning.  Aaaaah.  I'm going to miss so many things when we start our new life.

Long Live the Queen of Overwhelmed