Monthly Archives: June 2011

Last day

It’s my last day in this house and while I would love to sit back and reflect on the last six years of my life inside these four walls, I don’t have the time because I wasted it yesterday getting my eyebrows waxed because I didn’t want to meet the new neighbors looking like the Unibrower.

Priorities.

My in-laws arrived Thursday afternoon and we had a dozen boxes packed by bedtime.  There was no taking a union break with those two.  They were work-horses and helped us tremendously for two days.  By the time they left Saturday afternoon, we had the kitchen and bedrooms packed and Craig and I stayed home Sunday and finished up the rest and then we rested.  Actually, it was more like passed out – We sat down on the couch to take a breather and both fell asleep which wouldn’t have been so bad had not we just put a grill-load of chicken on to cook.  We woke up 45 minutes later to charred chicken but once we chopped it and drowned it alfredo sauce, it wasn’t so bad.

In the midst of packing over the weekend, we also threw a birthday party for the boys.  They turned 12 on Saturday and we invited a couple of school friends over for hot dogs, cake, and a pinata.  It was very low-key but they had a really good time and after their friends went home, we took out a second mortgage the boys to the movies for popcorn and Cars 2.

TWELVE DOLLARS FOR TWO COKES AND  POPCORN???????

I am clearly in the wrong business.

So our schedule for the rest of the week is as follows.  Movers are showing up at 8:00 tomorrow morning to load the truck and the cleaning service is coming to scrub everything down while we move our plants and computers to a friend’s house overnight.  We’re staying at a hotel Wednesday night and then Thursday morning we’re all crossing our fingers that the triple closing that has to occur before we can take possession of the house goes smoothly so that we can be unpacking by Thursday afternoon.

I’m happy, maybe even giddy, about fresh beginnings and new neighbors and living within walking distance of a bagel shop.

Again, priorities.

See y’all on the flip side.

Have a nice day.

Let the countdown begin

The movers will be here one week from today to load up the contents of this house only to unload it the following day, a measly six-minute drive away.

It’s a long run for a short slide.

I should be packing and sorting and purging but, no, I had to open my big mouth and say “Sure, I’ll fill in for a colleague on vacation” only to find out she had the job equivalent of standing in front of a firing squad taking bullets all.day.long.

It’s no wonder she went on an extended vacation – I’m ready after only five days on the job. And can we all pray that she comes back at the end of the week like she said she would? 

My in-laws are coming tomorrow to help me pack, and I am mortified at what they are going to find when they come in the front door.  I will definitely be testing those ties that have bound us for the last fifteen years.

In the meantime, and on a happier, less stressful note, as I was going through some boxes in the attic, I came across a note saved since elementary school from a sweet little girl named Laurie in which she asked “please be my best friend.  Circle yes or no.”  I, of course, had circled “Yes” and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Also in the box were dozens of letters from Whimzie, most of which were consoling me after the loss of yet another boyfriend, special letters and cards from my parents (some pleasant, and some not so pleasant – they didn’t have a cake walk with me), and several scrapbooks filled with mementos of a truly rich and full college life.  I’m hoping to blog some of those letters later on this year once I get settled into the new place and life settles down a bit – they brought back some great memories.

Do you save letters and trinkets?  I’d love to hear about what you’ve kept.

Have a nice day.

Yes, I’m alive

I guess it’s not good form to write a tear-jerky blog post and then disappear for a week lest all your friends call you and keep asking, “ARE YOU OKAY?” Yes, I am more than fine.  I was pretty much an emotional wreck on Friday as the boys said goodbye to their elementary school friends, most of whom they won’t see next year since they’ve been assigned to a different track, but after a celebratory trip to Blockbuster and some time spent with my friends Ben & Jerry, I was fine.

We’ve quickly adjusted to our summer schedule.  The boys and I are catching up on sleep and mealtimes have slid to the point of ridiculous.  It’s an easy groove that has left me beyond happy and relaxed.

Except for that feeling of impending doom of having to pack up the whole house next week.

There are a couple of projects I wanted to finish before the move and I’ve been working on those.  The first was re-upholstering the breakfast room chairs.

This was the project that never would end.  I discovered mold on the seat cushions when I took the original fabric off and to save a few dollars I thought I would soak them in bleach water, air dry them and then cover them in the new fabric.

That was not my brightest idea.

I didn’t factor in the foam density and ended up trapping what seemed like gallons of water that.would.not.wring.out.of.the.cushions and after five days of baking in the 98-degree heat I was left with a damp, mildewed mess.  So I ended up doing what my mother told me to do in the first place and bought new foam.

Which was slightly thicker than the original foam.

Which I had used as a guide to cut out my fabric.

Which left me with literally millimeters to wrap around the edge of the seat bottoms.

Which means I had to use approximately a million staples to hold it all together.

So, like most of my projects, please don’t look at the underside.

I had to use the staple gun for this project which made me feel all Rosie the Riveter empowered and while I was on a roll, I decided to tackle the end tables that I’m planning on re-purposing as night stands in the guest bedroom in the new house.

We bought the tables when we got married and furnished our first house and fifteen years of rough treatment had left them in shabby condition.  A few swipes with a palm sander and three coats of Cape Hatteras Sand later…

I was very happy with how it turned out and all that’s left is finding new knobs for the drawers and they’ll be ready for their new use.  I still have one more painting project to do before the move and that’s refinishing JJ’s bed frame but that’s a little more involved so I’m going to wait for the weekend so Craig can do it help me.

And in between the sanding, the stapling and the painting, I’ve spent more time than I care to spend on the laundry.  Our dryer broke last Thursday and it was going to be a week before Sears could get to the house to repair it, so we’ve been hanging our unmentionables in the back yard for all the repairmen to see.

It’s been a makeshift affair – the rope is strung between the deck post and a bird feeder and supported half-way by a ladder – but it’s worked and while I wouldn’t want to do this all the time, I have to admit I’ve enjoyed the travel back to yesteryear and the sunlit smell of stiff clothes.

Yep, it has been busy but truly everything’s okay.

Have a nice day.

Dear Mr. Bode

Dear Mr. Bode,

Of all the teacher thank-you notes I’ve written tonight, yours has been the hardest.  You may wonder why you’re even getting one in the first place from that random mom of those decidedly non-athletic triplet kids who showed up in your PE class once a week for the last 5 years.  After all, other than waving at me in carpool and sharing a few laughs in the front office as I waited to meet with a teacher, we really didn’t have an occasion to get to know each other.

But of all the teachers that my boys had the privilege to learn under in their elementary school career, you meant the most to me.

And you may be surprised to know that it had absolutely nothing to do with PE.

You see, Mr. Bode, most days when you saw me in that front office it was because someone had gotten in trouble or wasn’t meeting a teacher’s expectation. And you didn’t know it, or maybe you did, that I was sitting there with a bright smile pasted on the outside but carrying a crushing weight of self-doubt and recrimination on the inside.

I felt I was at the end of my rope.

I felt I wasn’t cutting it as a mom.

I felt the entire school staff hated me.

And then you’d stick your head in the office and in that booming voice that scared the living daylights out of my boys you’d say, “You’re such a great mom” and right then and there I’d be given just that bit of encouragement that I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And you didn’t just do it once.

You did it every time you saw me.

You have no idea how those words were a lifeline to me.

So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

For your support.

For your sensitivity.

For saving me from going completely off the ledge.

And, truthfully, for being one of the few teachers that didn’t send a note home about my kids.

We’re gearing up for a fresh start in middle school next year and while I’m looking forward to the new challenges, I’m a little sad that you won’t be making that transition with me us.  (Can I talk you into changing schools?)  But I’m comforted in knowing that next year there will be another mom sitting in that elementary school office, chewing on the inside of her lip and wondering how she’s going to make it, and you’ll be there, encouraging her.

Thanks, Mr. Bode.

I’ll miss you.

Susan

Monday Musings: The Discovery Edition

This weekend I discovered:

1.  That one should not wear their last good pair of navy blue shorts when attempting a craft project that begins with “Take one quart of bleach…”.

2.  That my husband we are packrats and never throw anything away.

Box of floppy disks, anyone?

3.  That we have a neighborhood flash mob and apparently our house can hold a dozen children under the age of eleven.

4.  That said flash mob will disappear when you inform them you don’t have snacks.

5.  That my tears are living a little too close to the surface as we enter the last week of elementary school.

6.  That those tears are tempered by panic that I haven’t bought end of year teacher gifts.

7.  That I’m three weeks from moving into my new house and I  still don’t have a clue as to how I’m going to decorate it.

8.  That Tommy made the Honor Roll at school several weeks ago and he forgot to tell me.

9.  That JJ may or may not have made the Honor Roll but can’t remember and he’ll look in his desk for his certificate.

10.  That whether I want it to or not, this train is leaving the station.

Have a nice day.

 

You oughta’ be in pictures

Well, it was a memorable Memorial Day weekend.

We watched the rain fall…

We played with the camera…

We bought a PhotoBooth app to play some more….

Our house deal almost fell through because our buyer got squirrely…..

Yeah, that’s not really a picture that goes with a squirrely buyer but I couldn’t very well ask him if I could take his picture in the midst of negotiations over a foundation.

Instead, this is a sectional that I thought about buying but I’m ambivalent about grey/gray and it might be too modern for my taste but I found the cord to my camera and had the picture so I thought I’d share.

And then we resolved the issue with the buyer and it looks like we’re game on again so I continued my project to recover my breakfast room chairs in the fabric I bought…

And then we had a cookout and a FIVE HOUR home inspection on the new place which gave me plenty of time to wander around the house and wonder why someone needed that many chandeliers.

And those are just four of the NINE on the first floor.

I swear that a New Jersey mob wife decorated this place.

Have a nice day.