Saturday, March 31, 2007

Is it over yet?

It's hard to believe that this was just one week ago! Since then, we've been pretty much in the 50-60 degree range, with one day actually hitting 80! And now, finally, all our snow is GONE! So, (oh let it be so) this will be my LAST winter picture for a LONG time!

The house has been abuzz with contractors coming to check out our driveway and also the unfinished basement wall and chimney. We are going to replenish the shale on the driveway - it's been pretty bad for several years, but THIS year - well, we're down to the MUD. So the shale lasted for 20 years or so. One guy wants to rebuild the whole driveway for, like, 5000 buckaroos. Uh, no. We'll try another 20 years worth of shale, thank you very much. (We'll be outta here by then, anyway, one way or the other - more on that later). And then we're also going to cover the outside unfinished basement wall and chimney with stonework. Okay, fake stonework - but don't tell anyone, cuz you won't be able to tell. We made a "fake" brick hearth for our cookstove indoors (so it wouldn't be so dang heavy) and it looks great. Oh, gosh, please don't think it's that plastic crap. Ewwwww. No, it's like stone, just very thin.

Okay. So, Chris and I were talking several months ago (yes, we have spoken to each other since then, too!) and I mentioned something about wanting to live in this house until I die. Because I just love it here. Love it in the woods. Love the utter seclusion and privacy. And he goes, "you won't be able to live here after I'm gone". Uh, excuse me, WHAT? How DARE you! Hmmmmmppphhhhhhhhhh........ (read: indignancy and pouting)

So this is how my mind works. I need to chew on things a while. (Dustin is the same way, I've noticed.) And since that conversation, I have come to realize that, no, I won't be able to live here without Chris. Not unless I re-marry some 30-something little chore-boy man or something. Ha! Not bloody likely! Even Chris won't be able to live here in another 20 years (or less) without a chore-boy. Also not bloody likely.

So, we've actually discussed of late the long term plan of selling this house and downsizing. Well, down-maintenancing. There's just too much HARD stuff to do around here. And, to retire comfortably, it would probably be a good idea to get a low (or no) maintenance kind of place so that when Chris goes (cuz men usually go first - statistically speaking) I can still remain independant. Yes, I realize I could be drooling in my plate next month, but, I guess that will be Chris's problem! :) But, I mean, Chris rented the ol' carpet cleaner yesterday and did our downstairs carpets and last night his exact words were something like, "OW! Argh! This is the LAST time I'll be doing these carpets myself". See? If we're going to have to start paying people to do stuff, well then we might as well move to a much smaller place - all on one level with no wood-burning furnace, no treatable logs, no driveway to shovel, no grass to mow, no chimney to clean and no carpets. Hmmmm, is there anything like that other than, say, the Lycoming County PRISON???

Well, we always dreamed of going to Ireland to live. Do they have retirement condos there? I doubt it. One little town we visited in northwest Ireland only got electricity in the 50's. I doubt that they have retirement condos. If I can't be in the woods, I'd like to be on the water. Like on our beloved Pine Creek or on a beautiful lake or even the ocean. But no, we're not moving to Florida. I still want the four seasons. Oh well, There's lots to think about. We're going to formulate a 5, 10 and 15 year plan. (It's all in God's hands, yes, but it's fun - maybe even wise - to plan ahead, anyway.)

For now, we're just happy it's spring!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Well, it's official...

I've given notice at work. I have 37 days of (paid) work - EVER - left! I finally got ahold of my boss today and told him that May 10th (the end of my scheduled semester of work) will be my last day. Wow. It's real now. I'm beside myself with excitement in looking forward to what my "free" life will be like.

Of course, I had a "free life" for 24 years when I decided I should go back to work - four years ago. Chris and I both agreed that it would be a good idea for me to go to work just so we could start saving up some retirement funds. The deal was I'd have to find the "perfect" job in order for that to happen, though. So I prayed and God most definitely answered. This has been the perfect job for me. I love what I do at the college (Athletics secretary), I work in a beautiful environment and I have the greatest boss and department staff ever. I will honestly miss them all.

But out of unforseen and unhappy circumstances has also come blessing and we are so grateful that now our retirement isn't as much of a concern anymore. Simply put, I don't have to work!

I'm experiencing the whole "the grass is NOT greener" thing. What I had before I went to work was what I now realize is best for me. But, God really gave me a gift in this job and I'm so glad I've had the experience there. Besides the great people I've met, I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned that I do have half a brain (though it's been leaking out with the estrogen lately...) and that I'm pretty darn good on the computer and that I DO get along well with others, by gosh! And working has also given me a perspective on my previous "free" life that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

I've also learned that I really am a homebody. I miss being in charge of my home. I've found that I can't work (even part-time) and keep up my home the way I'd like (and the way that it should be kept). And, since Chris IS home 4 days a week, a lot of the household stuff has fallen to him (i.e. cooking, dishes, bedding changes, floors). But there's just stuff that he doesn't do that simply doesn't get done if I don't do it. And it's so hard to come home from work tired (yes, even with a part-time job) and still have to do the stuff I must do. Anticipating being home full time again, I actually look forward to cleaning my house again. (Geesh, did I actually put that in writing?) And I want to take control of my health, too. Get back into meal planning, cooking healthy meals and exercising. I miss my lengthy quiet time in the morning and SOOO look forward to that again. I look forward to lunching with my friends and having time to serve in other ways in my church and community. And, now that I'm a scrapbooker, I have a ka-jillion projects swimming around in my mind, dying to get out. I may need to make more trips to Madison (to visit my mom) in the future and I want the freedom to do that. And, while Chris and I are still upright and walking without assistance, we want to travel any old time. And head up to Pine Creek on any beautiful day of the year. And go out to breakfast if we want - on any of his days off. And so on, and so forth...

Freedom. It's a beautiful thing. I need it. I thank God I can have it. I am truly blessed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

We're expecting!

New furniture, that is!

We began the search for new living room furniture and we were having trouble finding something that a) we liked, b) was the right color and c) we could actually sit on (to test out) in the store. But today we fell in love with this new baby! We knew we wanted a sectional, and we would have preferred it to be a little more "red" or I guess it would actually be called "burgundy", but this set is "black cherry" and since we didn't have to order it to be made and then fret over the arrival time (since we were literally on the brink of un-deliverability by June 8th) and also since we could actually sit on the piece instead of ordering something from a catalogue, we compromised on the color.

But not on the style, baby! We love this one. Love the sleekness and how it's tailored, low-backed and doesn't have all that pouffy stuff on the arms. We are also adding 2 seats to the side without the chaise and then, the whole thing will actually be flipped around in our room from what the picture shows.

And then, if the sectional wasn't cool enough, we found this awesome ottoman - elsewhere in the store - I mean, they're aren't part of a set or even by the same company, but the color and style match is spectacular. AND the thing opens up in the middle so you can store stuff in there... I love how you can put your feet on there, but can also slap a tray on there and still use it as a coffee table...

And then, it's going to be held in the warehouse until the middle of May, so it can be pretty brand spankin' new on wedding day. Oh, did I mention that this is part of the "house-fixup-for-the-wedding" project? Yep, the wedding is our excuse to fix/replace every crappy thing in our house. Well, on the first floor, anyway, which is all most people would see.

So, we came home very happy today and are excited to welcome our new addition home in May.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I found out about this link from a favorite blogger's site. You can download, for FREE (and for your own personal use), some way cool vintage and artsy stuff. Check it out! I'm happy to participate and celebrate a little o' the irish!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hey, how do ya like that?

I decided to change the look of my blog. A little more muted. A little easier on the eyes. Yet very pleasing. I like it. No more red or green text, though.

My head is still like a fuzzy balloon today. I just can't sleep with it like this. I hate that. I even missed Praise Sunday today - for the very first time ever. I LOVE Praise Sunday more than anything else at church. I know everyone survived just fine without me. It's good to know they can. I guess. Ok, I admit I hope they missed me a little...

But my ARM. It's totally whacked out! I had an inkling something was wrong last night when I tried to move a pillow (regular size, not gargantuan or anything) and I felt some pain in my left arm. But then it got worse in the night. I couldn't sleep on my left side. (I actually couldn't sleep on ANY side, but I've already said that.) And by morning, I had to get out of bed before the alarm (which was for just in case I had a miraculous sinus drainage in the night and could actually go to church in the morning) even went off. Because my stupid arm hurt so much. Like, all the time, not only just when I move it! What is up with that?? I came downstairs and took some Ibuprofen which took forever and a day to kick in and now my arm only hurts when I MOVE it. Not good. (Yes, I can type without moving my arm.) Chris thinks it's some muscular thing - as opposed to a heart attack or some other horrific thing that we can't even think of.... Geesh. How will I go to work like this??? I'd love to try to go to a meeting at church tonight - but how can I take a shower and wash my hair and FIX my hair and get dressed and put on make-up? All those things definitely require MOVING my arm!! Well, Chris put the ki-bash on me going anyway. He says I should rest it as much as possible. Normally, I would love to have orders like that, but, well if you read my last blog entry, you know how I feel about that...

I'm falling apart, people. Not fun. Not happy. And do you think my back likes all this sitting around? I don't think so. My lumbars and my tailbone are NOT happy! Good thing I'm married to a chiropractor...

Aaaaccckkkkk! But I DO like the new look of the blog, don't you?

Friday, March 02, 2007

I'm home sick.

Not homesick. Home. Sick. As in laying around in bed and feeling like crap. When I'm not sick, having a sick day sounds like an inviting idea. But when I am actually sick, it really sucks. Because a sick day sounds like it could be a fun day - filled with laziness, coffee with your newspaper, devouring a novel or, of course, scrapping. But actually being sick? Well, I'm doing real well on the lazy part. It's taking every ounce of energy I have to hold my head up and to work my fingers on the keyboard.

Oh, it's nothing serious. Just a sinus thing where my head feels as big as a watermelon and throbs and aches and my left nostril is burning as is the back of my throat with post-nasal drip. Then there's the snorting and blowing and, well, I'll stop there. All so fun. NOT!

Being sick is such a waste of a perfectly good day off.