Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Five

1. Tonight is our last night in our old home. Tomorrow we finish loading up rental truck #2, finish cleaning, hand over the keys, and drive to Maine. I'm going to miss living here, but I'm excited about our new home.

2. When I went to the library to return my books this morning, I nearly cried. I love our library. It's a great library.

3. Wednesday I attended my first staff meeting at my new school. Exciting things are happening at the school and I really like my new co-workers. This is going to be fun!

4. We've begun to make our new house home. We were able to start figuring out where we're going to put things. It's fun!

5. School starts in 5 weeks. Yikes! I've got a lot to do between now and then!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Five

1. I'm actually home on Friday this time. For two Fridays out of this month we were away.

2. We picked up the U-Haul truck this afternoon. We were going to get it tomorrow morning, but the guy called this morning and said he'd be getting the truck in today and we could pick it up this afternoon. So we get 3 days out of it. I don't know about other people, but so far our experience with U-Haul has be fabulous. Hubby started loading the truck today while I continued to work on packing.
3. We've got stuff. You never realize just how much stuff you have until you move. I want very much to weed out and down-size, but every time I try I have trouble letting go. I'm doing pretty well, though. I've thrown out a lot of stuff (papers, etc) that I've been holding on to for years and really have no need for.
4. It's hot! It was over 100 and all kinds of records have been broken. The humidity is going down, which is good, and it looks like it won't be too unbearable for the move this weekend.
5. My husband is wonderful. He's been working hard, packing, lugging boxes, and encouraging me. I love him so much!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Slice of Life take 2 or Progress on the New House

This is the post that I intended to write yesterday for my Slice of Life.

In the last few weeks we have been working not only to pack, but also to get our new house ready to move into. It is an older house and has been vacant for a while. It needed some work.
The biggest thing that we needed to do was rip out the wall-to-wall carpeting. It was old and nasty and needed to go.


Underneath was nicely painted wood floors. There are lots of nail holes from
the w2w, but some of that we can cover with area rugs and the rest we'll ignore! We like the color of the floors, especially the cranberry in the front of the house. The pink walls
have to go, but we can do that later. Our landlord is going to take care of the kitchen linoleum (he called yesterday to say he found painted wood floor under two layers of linoleum and plywood and did we want to just keep that- yes!), the new septic, and repairing the leaking pipe in the kitchen.


The U-Haul has been reserved, and by the beginning of next week we will be in our new home, getting settled and familiar with our new community.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Sad Farewell

This morning we ran a few errands before diving into the day's packing. We needed more boxes, big surprise there, I needed to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy, and we had books to return to the library. As we left the library with no new books, it really hit me that we were moving next week. I love our library and our pharmacy. The library has a fabulous collection and is constantly adding great new books. The building is old and has lots of character. The librarians are all wonderful people. Likewise, the pharmacy is very cool. It is an independent, natural pharmacy. You can get your prescriptions filled, pick up beer or wine, and get plants for your garden.

Next week we rent the U-Haul, pack up all our stuff, and travel to Maine. We love our new neighborhood, and are excited about what lies ahead, but there are just those certain things that will really be missed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Good Reads:
Julia just graduated as her high school valedictorian, has a full ride to college in the fall and a coveted summer internship clerking for a federal judge. But when her older sister, Sophie, shows up at the graduation determined to reveal some long buried secrets, Julia's carefully constructed plans come to a halt. Instead of the summer she had painstakingly laid out, Julia follows Sophie back to Vermont, where Sophie is opening a bakery—and struggling with some secrets of her own. What follows is a summer of revelations—some heartwarming, some heartbreaking, and all slowly pointing Julia toward a new understanding of both herself and of the sister she never really knew.

Cecilia Galante never fails to deliver a compelling, profound story of human flaws and the redemption available for those who choose to face hard things. I very much enjoyed Galante's previous books and was delighted when I heard she had a new one out. It did take me a while to get into the story and really get a feeling for Julia, but before too long, I was pushing forward with as much urgency as Julia, wanting to know the truth of Julia's family. This is a wonderful story of learning to face hard things and discovering yourself.

Words You Don't Want to Hear

"Honey? Where is the Benadryl?"

These are words you don't want to hear from your bee-sting allergic husband when his health insurance ended with his job last month and you are trying to get through the next couple of months- including a move two states away- on your little Christian school salary.

I'm thankful to report that the allergic reaction was controlled with a regiment of Benadryl and lots of prayer. No EpiPen or trip to the hospital required. But he needs to stop this annual event (yes, this was the third in nearly three years) of getting stung by a bee.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the jacket flap:
In 1941, Fifteen-Year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.

Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.

It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

My response upon finishing this book? Wow. Ruta Sepetys beautifully captures a horrific, yet little know piece of history. This is a book that joins other powerful narratives such as Zusak's The Book Theif as must reads. The narrative flowed smoothly. She used flashback effectively to fill in blanks and to reveal the story line and the characters. I also enjoyed how some characters where introduced in great detail, while others who where with Lina the entire story as well as playing a vital role where known only as "the bald man", "the man who wound his watch", or "the grouchy woman". The story is not an easy story, but it is an important one.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Five

1. We celebrated Independence day by having a nice quiet day at home. Okay, sort of quiet. We life across the street from what we call a party lake. There are numerous boats and jet skis as well as no less than three different locations that hold their own fire works. They don't wait for just the 4th either. We've been watching fireworks from our living room windows for several nights. Monday night we had a bon fire in our back yard and watched the fireworks through the trees.

2. Wednesday we drove up to Maine to do some work on the new house. Boy, does it need a lot of work! The nice thing is that the owner is letting us do pretty much what we want. There are some things he is taking care of (new septic system, plumbing repair in the kitchen, new kitchen flooring, new roof on the shop) and others he is leaving up to us. We decided the wall-to-wall carpeting needed to go. He okayed it, and we went to work. It's going to take a bit to get it all up, but it's going to be worth it in the end.

3. We're starting the serious business of sorting and packing. We both want to exercise some "tough love" and weed out things that we just don't need. We're off to a pretty good start, hubby took a truck load to the town dump today. Some stuff was thrown away while other things ended up in the swap shop. You know that saying, one man's junk is another man's treasure? Well, sometimes one man's junk is just plain junk! I'm going to have to lock my inner-frugal-New-Englander in the closet and not fall prey to the ole "I might need that some day".

4. We really did enjoy getting to spend our first night in our new home- even if we were sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor. The location is beautiful and the house gets lovely sun all day. We have a beautiful viewing of the sunrise, and while we don't have a clear view to the west, will still be able to see the sunset. There were a few moments of "oh no" panic, but overall we both left with a sense of encouragement that we can get the place fixed up and be quite happy there. It is after all a temporary situation.

5. Thursday late morning our landlord brought his family up to meet us. Such a sweet family and really cute kids! They really are delightful people and we are going to enjoy renting from them and being their neighbors. Before we left, we took a load of the ripped out carpet down to the dumpster the owner had outback of his workshop. We than visited with him for a few minutes (he was working to rebuild a window for a house he is working on) and got a tour of his workshop, portable sawmill, and sugar house. It made my heart swell to see this honest, hardworking man proudly show us the work of his hands. They are his hobbies and his lively hood. I really hope that in a very short time we can have our place and hubby can have the shop of his dreams and be able to be living such a fulfilling life.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Today I stopped into my favorite local office supply box store to pick up a couple of things. Walking in, I was greeted by displays of colorful binders, notebooks, pens, pencils, and a variety of colorful things to organize your life. I was in heaven! It did not occur to me until much later that it was July 5th and the Back-To-School displays were already set up.