Friday, April 20, 2018

I'm Still Here

Hey!  It's been a long time!  It's been so long that I'm not sure where to start... So, let's just go with life in a nutshell.  It's good!  The last ten months (YIKES, TEN MONTHS!) have been a whirlwind of activity.  The good news is... the house is DONE and on the market to be sold.  So many projects, so much time and effort.  I wish I had had the effort to create a diary of all the work as it was being completed!  I'm going to try to do a recap.  I'll start with the outside...

Once I had joked about my yard being like an episode of Sandford and Son; unfortunately, I wasn't kidding.  It only took 3 hours to fill the 20 yard dumpster.  The amount of junk hanging around was UNBELIEVABLE!  It was such a relief to have all that stuff GONE!

Obviously, this is the shed.  All newly touched up (it had been painted the summer before, but the trim was never finished).  Later on in the cleanup process I found the shutters.  Those have since been painted and put back on where they belong (sorry... no current picture of that!)

These are the areas along my driveway.  Sadly neglected and in desperate need of sprucing up.  A friend of mine and I spent a very hot, long day planning out how to use some of the extra pavers and edging blocks that were just hanging around.

Finished area for trash bins

This is the other side of the driveway... Completely overgrown (left pic).  
All tidy and neat when finished (right pic).  It doesn't even look like the same space!

All mulched and planted!

Now...of course things need to be freshened up after the winter... it's not acting like spring around here yet, so I'm going to wait until the weather warms up (or NOT, if someone comes along and buys this place before Mother Nature gets her act together!)

So that's a little sample of what's been going on around here.  I'm hoping to share more... but no promises!  Until next time....


Saturday, June 24, 2017

A "Quick" Catch Up

Huh?  It's been that long?  April was the last time I posted... to be honest I'm not surprised.  The struggle has been real over here, but I'm hoping things are going to start looking up.  Let's do a quick catch up...

The end of the school year is ALWAYS crazy and this year didn't disappoint on that front.  Glad to be away from work for a little while.  Things need to settle down there...sometimes teacher drama is WAY WORSE than kid drama.  Report cards were sent home wrong (just loving technology right now!), teachers were crazy, and I spent way too much time putting out fires, going to meetings, and on the phone with my boss.  On the plus side... I had a GREAT class this year and I am sad to see them move on to first grade.  I am hoping that the summer is going to provide a much needed break and that I am going to find some time to recharge!

So much time has passed, and yet so little, since my husband left.  I'm not going to lie, the months have been exhausting.  This week, we finally went to court to officially call it quits.  We sat side by side, making small talk; chatting about the kids and the struggles of getting our lives untangled.  Once our case was heard, we walked out to the parking lot together and simply got into our separate cars and drove away.  I guess that's it.  It's hard to find the words to say how I'm feeling.  I still don't know how we could have lost what we had, how it meant so little and wasn't worth fighting for.  Yesterday, I came across a Mother's Day card he had given me after our daughter was born.  His words haunt me and I could cry thinking about them.  His love for me, our family, our future...  It's a stark contrast to the letter I found from his mistress, the pictures he puts up on facebook, and where we are now.  This isn't where I'd ever thought we'd be, but it's time to start looking ahead and stop dwelling in the past.  I blocked him today on facebook.  I don't want to see into his life anymore.  It hurts and it's senseless since I'm only hurting myself.  So enough wallowing...

What's next?
Well, it's time to get serious about healthy eating and living.  I'm going to climb back on the weight loss wagon, yet again.  It's time.  I have consoled myself with food and drink for way too many months now.  Today, I took the first steps (literally!).  I walked 3 miles and made good choices for all three meals of the day.  Day 1... many more to go!

I guess I'm going to bite the bullet and get serious about working on this house.  Since this is the last summer we will be here (I'm planning to put it on the market next spring), I'd like to get as much done as possible while I have the time.  I have a contractor coming next month to do a couple of the big projects.... We'll see how much gets done!  I need a game plan, but it makes me tired just thinking about it!
That's about all for now.  Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Being Reflective

The last couple months have been a *little* crazy.  I've been obsessed with getting things done and being all things to all people.  March was an insane burst of "let's do this".  My brother and I pushed hard to get my office together for Easter, and WE DID IT!  I love how it came out and while there are a few small things to complete, the bulk of the work is done!

Easter Day brought its own set of challenges.  Easter has been "our" holiday for the past few years.  Given that I don't usually cook, pulling off a day featuring approximately 40 friends and family members was a little daunting.  However, when it was all said and done... House was clean, I was not insane, everyone seemed to have a good time, and the food all came out good.  The day was a complete success :)

The last two weeks of April have been eye opening.  I haven't been frenetically trying to get any projects done and have been trying to take some time for myself.  Work always starts getting busy at this time of the year and it's hard to find a balance (not that I've had anything close to balance in a very long time!)  After Easter, I had a week off for spring break.  I spent time with friends, went shopping, fielded a few miscellaneous projects, and took some naps.  I tried a few new things and had lots of laughs.  I'm trying to live in the moment, let stuff go, and just take a step back from planning for and worrying about things I have no control over. 

Guess what?  It's nice.  Nicer than I thought it would be and certainly better than how life was going before.  I'm going to try to hold on to how I feel right now, today.  There are still things to be done, but not today and not tomorrow either.  Let it go... just be.

Friday, February 24, 2017


Hey!  It's been awhile (I'd like to get to a point where I feel like I don't have to start my post like that!).  I'm linking up with Amy over at Love Made My Home to bring you this 5 on Friday.  I've been on "vacation" this week and have done "a little of this, and a little of that".  I'm taking advantage of my time off, trying to get things done before I return to work on Monday.

1.  Plans and projects... lots of stuff in the works.  I met with the man who is going to fix the ceilings in my kitchen and dining room.  He is scheduling me in for a time NEXT WEEK.  I am doing the happy dance!!  Fingers crossed that he does a fabulous job!  It would be nice if something finally went "right" with this money pit!

2.  It's been a gorgeous week here!  The snow is still around in patchy spots, but for the most part it's gone.  The melting snow sure revealed a big surprise as it slowly disappeared!

What is that, you may ask?  THAT is a granite "carriage block" that has been in the ground in front of my house for approximately 100 years (give or take a few).  A snowplow apparently hit it and now?  There it is.  It's never dull around here.  I called the city and surprisingly, they showed up the next day to take it away.  They even came back a couple days later to fill in the ginormous hole that was left behind.  I would love it if everything in my life could be so easily taken care of!

3.  In my continuing mission to get rid of everything clean up my life, I started dealing with the shed.  I've spent approximately 10 hours in there thus far; moving stuff around to reorganize and wanting to cry on more than one occasion.  Three contractors bags of garbage later? Yeah, all that would be considered a deck chair off the Queen Mary.  More to go, but the garbage bin can't hold anymore.  One interesting find?  This...

I have no idea where it came from and when I found it, I had no idea what it was.  Apparently, it's a sad iron heater.  Before electric flat irons, cast iron or "sad irons" were used ("sad" meant solid or heavy, in old English).  This little heater has a base to hold oil and a wick that would be lit to heat the iron.  I think it's cute... but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it!

4.  As I've been cleaning out, I came across some old magnetic albums in my attic.  Ugh.  The albums are not in good shape.  Many of the pictures are fused to the pages or have deteriorated due to the "magnetic" adhesive used to secure the pictures.  I've started pulling the albums apart so I can save some of the pictures in new albums.  What a big job!!  This project is going to take me awhile!!

5.  This week also involved going to the local DIY/Home Improvement store.  This girl is going to do things around this house that she has NEVER considered doing before.  My brother dropped off a mitre saw and a nail gun so I can do some work in the office.  Yikes!  Having never used either, I'm a "little" afraid, but I have time to work up to using them.  The wainscoting that I'm installing has to be stained and polyurethaned first.  The picture below shows boards waiting to be clear coated.  I am estimating that this is about a quarter of what I am going to need.  Good times, good times. 
Just the beginning!
So, there you have it.  My week thus far.  Who am I?  What is happening right now?  When can I go back to my real life?  These are the questions that I ask myself Every. Single. Day.  Ah, the learning curve is steep, but I CAN do all this.  Right?

I hope everyone has had a great week and is looking forward to a restful weekend.  
Enjoy whatever projects you have planned! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Moving On?

Today, I took the day off.  That doesn't happen often around here.  I tried hard not to beat myself up over it.  I never just "am".  I am always doing something.  The past few months have been about doing something, anything in an attempt to avoid the obvious parts of my life.  When I am at work, I am working.  No down time, always busy.  When I home, I am cleaning, sorting. going through some aspect of this house to make things "easier" for when I can finally sell it.  The ugly truth is... I am crashing.  I've been running on fumes.

I tend to push myself to the limit so I can sleep at night.  I can be reflective, so I get it.  I recognize what I am doing.  If I keep busy, I feel like I am moving forward.  One step at a time.  Yet, I'm not.  I'm stuck.  It's like being a hamster on a wheel... running, running, running, yet not really moving or getting anywhere.  When I finish one task, it's on to the next.  I don't celebrate the "accomplishment", I check it off the list in my head and immediately roll on to what's next. 

I resent what this house stands for.  I don't want to do it anymore.  It's exhausting.  The emotional turmoil sucks the life out of me.  I'm getting over the "it's not fair".  It is what it is.  What I am struggling with is dragging myself through the past to get ready for a hopefully brighter future.  Spending money that I'd like to save for the future to fix things that should have been done long ago, weeding through things that represent a place and time that no longer exists, and making decisions based on what needs to just get done, rather than the dream of what "home" looked like in my mind.  

I don't know how to change what is going on here.  Today, I gave up.  I stayed in my pajamas until three o'clock, read a smutty book, napped, and met up with my parents for dinner.  If I can manage it, I may end the night with a bath, a glass of wine, and another trashy book.  Now, I'm tired.  Just tired.  I'd like to say I want my "old life" back.  But no, that's not right.  I don't want to settle for a life half lived, I've done that for way too long.  It's going to get better.  I am okay.  Breathe.   

Sometimes I feel like I am hanging on by a thread.  This is not the hardest thing I have ever done, but it's damn close.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello, 2017!

Have you ever done this before?  Chosen one word to focus on for an entire year?  I've been kicking around resolutions and I have to say, for me right now, focusing on the negative is the last thing I want to do.  In the past, my resolutions have been lists of things identified as needing change, areas I struggle with, or things needing to be "fixed" because I am falling short in some way.  Then, at the end of the year, I look back, shake my head at all that unfinished, unaccomplished business and resolve to "do better next year".  At this time of so many new beginnings, I am shifting my perspective.    

A while back, my yoga instructor read a passage that resonated with me..

  "How dare you not step into the world with purpose?   
How dare you not live up to your potential?" 
 (Tiffany Cruikshank, Meditate Your Weight)  

I love this quote!  To me, it speaks to recognizing inner qualities and what a person has to offer and I love the challenge that it holds.  This year, I want to start the year on a positive note.  After much deliberation (there are SO MANY awesome words out there!), the word I am choosing is something I can reflect and fall back on.  It has meaning and can interweave through the many aspects of my life.  It is a word that sums up how I am feeling, right at this moment.  I want to hold on to that feeling, nurture it, and use it as momentum.  I  want to celebrate it as I move through the year and make things happen.  Hmmm... all this wrapped into one word?  Is that even possible?  Not just possible, I think it's totally doable!  So, here it is... my focus for this year.  

               How about you?  Are you setting goals, making a plan, tying your ideas to one word?  
Or are you resolving to just let the year unfold?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye (and Good Riddance) 2016

Here it is, the last day of 2016.  I won't lie, this year has been a suckfest.  It's been so long since I posted anything because I've started and stopped so many times, never really knowing what to say.  I still don't know what to say.  I couldn't bring myself to create a blog-land illusion of sunshine and light and yet, I didn't want to turn this space into a daily downward spiral of misery.  So, I'm taking the plunge... I need start moving past what has happened this year.  I need some semblance of a "new normal" that is positive, peaceful, and balanced.  Things are still unfolding and I'm sure there will be many more highs and lows, but I'm putting this out there with the anticipation it will break the writer's block I have imposed upon myself.     

The good... I am going to be okay.  I have great kids, a great family, and great friends.  While the future is a little uncertain right now, I AM going to be fine.  While the future isn't what I envisioned, I am going to make the best of it.  Moving forward, accomplishing goals, and doing what's best for me and my kids are things on the bucket list for 2017.

The bad... My husband and I have been together for 30 years.  While things have been a little sketchy for a while now, I had hoped, in my heart of hearts, that we could work our way back to each other.  Apparently, that is not going to happen.  He has found his soulmate and they are now very happy together.  No discretion, no apology, he has just walked away without looking back.  How nice for him.  How nice for them.  Ouch.

The ugly... I am left holding the bag with what's left of our combined lives in it.  This house?  Ugh.  He gave up on our life together long ago.  There are things needing to be done: decisions to be made, projects to be finished, things to be gone through, and financial matters to tend to.  I have often "joked" that I was unsure of whether to be insulted or relieved that he had such low standards.  My yard looks like an episode of Sanford and Sons.  The shed?  Good Lord.  I have no words.  My house is full of unfinished projects that need to be addressed.  I have been cleaning and repairing for the past four months, and yet I haven't even scratched the surface.  Baby steps.  All the decisions can be overwhelming, but it will all get done.  Or it won't.  Either way, the house will be sold within the next year and a half (hopefully hanging on until Bubba graduates from high school).

So, there it is.  Lots of changes and more to come.  That "new normal"?  Still a work in progress, but I will get there.  I am determined.