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Fall Events

Well fall got here fast this year. It seems like the time we have during summer break just flies by swiftly. My end of summer ritual includes my guilty pleasure of watching the MTV video awards. I love every bit of the show. I love to watch what people wear; because the music industry really lets their own styles come out and shine. So this year the stand out for me was Pink’s performance, and then the show closer Taylor Swift. After I heard her new single on the show, I could not get that song out of my head. It stayed in there for a few weeks. I was glad though because it broke the “Call me maybe” cycle that had been there most of the summer. I went on YouTube and watch the official video for the new single “We are never ever getting back together”. It was so funny with the grown men dressed in woodland creature costumes. My favorite was the raccoon, just for his hair and facial expressions. When the video was over, the suggested videos come up with Adele’s songs reminding me that last year she was the big winner at the Grammys with her heartbreaking angst filled songs.

Both my boys are growing up too fast for me too. I miss the half days of kindergarten with a bittersweet feeling. I always thought in the back of my mind that I would keep teaching Spanish to the kindergarten class even after my kids were in other classes. So even though right now I am teaching Science in Nik’s class, have taken on PTA president duties, volunteered to do Art projects in Joe’s class, and signed up to help out with the parties in both boys classes, I am going to teach Spanish to the kindergarteners in the spring.

In the meantime, my mother’s birthday is coming up this weekend. My brother the Foreman, will be out of state working, but my other brother the Hunter, will be in town this weekend so we are throwing her a Birthday dinner. So, she will have all her grandchildren, family, and friends around her to help celebrate. It will be nice to see Hunter and his family since he has been working out of state for what seems like forever. I don’t think I have seen them (besides Facebook posts) since Christmas.

What made me think of them recently was that my roommate from when I lived in California messaged me on Facebook and asked if a house that was listed for sale was my old childhood home. It was. I looked at the listing and the pictures of the inside of the house, and I could not recognize it. Everything was different. The only things that stayed the same from when I grew up there were the brick fireplaces and front planters. My dad had built custom cabinets in the kitchen and the current owners had gutted the kitchen and put in some generic cabinets that were not real wood. I had spent 18 years in that house and could not even recognize my own room. They replaced the familiar textured white walls with new smooth drywall and flat beige paint. They even took out the custom cabinets that were in the bathrooms. They also replaced all the windows in the house except the ones on each side of the back fireplace. They even took out the sliding glass door off the master bedroom that led to the back yard. There were no pictures of the back yard, it used to have orange, lemon, and avocado trees, but I wonder if the fruit trees are still growing.

Packing up

Closet full of boxes

So we are packing up things and getting ready to move. The bathroom is almost finished. It just needs hang the mirror and the towel rack. It looks so much better than what I imagined. Its masculine and has the clean lines of grey on white. My dad made us the vanity out of real wood and gave it a honey stain that is just stunning. It makes it look so fancy. I am hoping when we find a house that has a bathroom like that. I’m sorry that we wont be ready to go by the time school starts. But the boys are looking forward to seeing their friends one last time before school. They both have sleepovers this weekend so we should be able to get our closet sorted out. I’m not taking some of the clothes I have held on to since the 1990’s. I am keeping my favorite witch Halloween costume, but everything else goes to the dumps since goodwill isn’t accepting clothing because of the covid 19 virus. I have also saved and packed up a bunch of my moms old scrub tops she would wear to work and I’ve decided Im going to make a quilt for each of my boys and one for me. First I have to learn how to make a quilt, I’m hoping that’s where my mother in law can help. I’ve seen the beautiful things she makes for craft fairs, so I’m hopeful she can quilt. I did make a big afghan quilt out of crocheted granny squares but that’s different than a quilt. It’s probably more like a comforter.
Packing up things and deciding what goes with us and what gets left behind is hard emotionally draining work. It leaves me exhausted to pack my china hutch because almost every piece of good crystal, fine China, and gravy boat I got from my mom. She would bring me things she thought I would love when her and my Aunt Meme would go shopping in Coeur d’Alene. She was usually right too. I love all the snowmen hot chocolate pitcher and candy cane handled mugs. The cut crystal pineapple bowls and platters. And the teacup collection is off to a good start. I do have a healthy collection of wine glass that have to go as I don’t drink wine anymore on account of the diabetes. I’m hoping to re-home them by either donating somewhere or giving to someone who is in need of some wine glasses. Hit me up on the messenger if you are interested and I can either mail to you or you can pick up. I have boxes for a safe transport home. I know I could just drink other things out of the glasses but I also have 2 teens that are all “bull in china shop” around my fragile items. I’d rather have someone enjoy them than sweep up shards of glass in my new kitchen.
I think I’m at the midpoint of packing. Joes room is done. Niks room still has laundry issues. And hubby and I have to tackle our closet this weekend. I just hope I can keep it together when we come across the “Santa wrapping paper” that I would buy every other year so they could see that mom and dads paper was different than the one Santa gave them. Oh how elaborate the lies got as they got older. Then the youtubes had to tell on me. They showed me a video called lies your parents tell you. They ratted out Santa, Tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny. Stinkin youtube! But now we get to sleep in and have brunch after we open presents on Christmas afternoon. I haven’t had a green Christmas since 1995. I’m looking forward to new traditions this holiday season and I’m so excited to get some trick or treaters, besides their cousins, for the first time since we moved here. Everyone wears a mask on Halloween anyway, right? Trick or Treat!

The Party

The birthday farewell party
Everyone who wants to come is welcome to stop by our house. We are all healthy and no one has had anything more than a splitting headache (me) from the cottonwood pollen. And it could have been agitated by arguing with a 13 about to be 14 year old who should seriously consider a career in law. The boy has intelligent rational arguments and can expose a loophole in any agreement. His one big flaw though is when arguing with me , he has facial tells that let me know I have left a loophole for him to wiggle through. So I have to end our agreements in writing with loopholes are unacceptable and will null and void this agreement. Ya. Hence the headache.
At the end of 7th grade one of his teachers retired. He gave the new teacher a heads up about how my son used loopholes in the rules to get around things like hard due dates, and team projects. The new teacher added a no loophole rule to her class specifically because of my son- who really should be a lawyer, to save herself from any arguments from any students trying to take advantage of her inexperience with wiley teens.
Now we are trying to move before school starts, but in order to register for school you have to have an address. So finishing the bathroom and then taking pictures of the house to sell it is the main focus. Then after we sell this house we can buy one in Arizona and then pack up the uhaul and off we go. I have heard of two other families that have already moved down there from here. Arizona just has a bigger job market and an abundance of housing. For me, I will be back in a big city, and I will be able to show my boys all the fun things there are to do. I see it as an exciting adventure. We will also have family close by so the boys will have grandparents to learn all kinds of things from and go do things together. Im looking forward to spend time crafting with my mother in law, and shooting with my father in law. If school starts off by being online then the boys can go to school just by logging online from anywhere with a wifi connection.
As far as the party, I hope the whole neighborhood comes and gets to know the guy who bought the snowplow because you will want to know him when the snow flies. We will have hot dogs , hamburgers, birthday cake, iced tea, and some soda pop If you would like to bring a side dish you are more than welcome.

Married twenty-one years

Panhandler Pies
May 1999

Married Twenty one years
To start at the beginning….once upon a time long ago in 1998 the personal computer was finally affordable for regular people. My parents bought one so my mom could search her genealogy back to the 1100’s. She searched her Paternal and maternal side and found out where they lived in Scotland before they were forced from their beloved highlands and shipped to America. Anyway, I had a girlfriend we will call Gigi, who was also a co-worker staying with us for a few weeks. One day I come home from work and my mom and Gigi are on the computer and look guilty af when I come into the room. I ask what they are up to and both try too hard to look innocent.
M- How was work?
S- Really busy. You would think it would be quiet with a cable outage, but everyone and their brother called it in.
G- So are you tired or do you have a minute to look at something?
S- Yeah. Let me go up to change and I will look at it then.
So I go upstairs to my room to change out of my work clothes and come back down to see Gigi with a big grin and my mom hopping up out of the computer chair to kiss me goodnight and say don’t be mad we were only trying to help.
So I sit down and look at the screen and see its on match.com. Im shocked.


S-WHAT DID YOU DO?
G- We made you a profile. Look its already filled out. You just have to look through the guys it picked for you.
S- How do you even know my type?
G-Well you might have to tweak that a bit. Your mom guessed based on past boyfriends.
S-Ok then. I will start over in that part of it because these 56 matches have nothing Im looking for in a potential match.


So I punched in my real preferences and got narrowed down to nine matches. Then narrowed it further by geographic distance and got two matches. They also signed me up for a two week free trial so there was a time limit and I had to act fast.
I contacted the guy who didn’t have a picture posted but you could tell he put effort into his bio so there were no games just here I am email me if you are interested in talking further and getting to know each other. So it began. We both had long checklists of what we wanted in a spouse and were pretty honest and up front that we were looking to get married. At the time he lived in Alaska and I lived in Idaho kinda long distance and only one hour time difference. After a few months of chatting on line, we got a little more serious and started calling once a week where we could talk privately for about an hour while no one was home at either of our places. Then we made the decision to finally meet in person. He still had only sent me a picture of himself at work where his face was smeared with motor oil and he was in need of a haircut. I could tell he was working on a car and wore glasses. So to be fair, I sent him a picture of me so far away he could barely make out my high ponytail. Fair is fair. I might have been watching some Legend of Billie Jean before I sent it.

When we finally met in person after six months of talking online almost every night and weekly phone calls it was like we had been dating the whole time. He was here for one whole week and then he would fly back to Alaska. I didn’t want him to go and knew he already he was willing to relocate down to the lower 48. So I had a little war inside my head about shouting out that I wanted to marry him and the other one that sounded like my mothers saying be a lady. Wait for him to ask. But after three days I couldn’t wait any longer. I whispered in his ear,
S- Do you want to get married?
H- what?
S- (chickening out) oh nevermind.
H- NO. Say that again in my good ear. I didn’t hear you.
S-(taking a big leap of faith) Will you marry me?
H-Yes! When? Tomorrow?!
S-Well I was thinking this summer, but I’m free to check out some jewelry stores tomorrow.
And now 21 years later we have two happy teenage boys, and he still gives me the goosebumps when he flashes me those dimples. So thanks Mama and Gigi for setting me up with my future husband. You guys did a good job nudging me to get out there.

It’s official!

Grand Canyon Arizona

Its official!
Were moving to Arizona. Four little words made my youngest son cry. He is devastated that he has to leave the “lads” as he calls them. They are a close group that talk online a lot. He recently got to see them all at a sleepover for a birthday party. He had fun. Got no sleep, but had loads of fun. I told him the story of how we had his first birthday party in this house, so its fitting that the last party we have be his 14th birthday party.
So August is going to be jam packed with a flurry of packing ,sorting things, and yard sales. All the little details that’s go into moving fourteen years of stuff for four people. I’ve already been packing for a month. I still have to go through my closet and get rid of clothes from the 1990’s. And snow pants! Because when does it snow in Arizona? Never. Unless you live in Northern Arizona toward Colorado. Then it snows sometimes in the mountains. Its sun screen and sandals for this girl! I’ve missed living in a big city with sports teams, swap meets, diversity culture! Oh how I miss the sound of Spanish being spoken. Sometimes I put on telemundo in the background just to hear it. My boys know when I’m really really mad because the Spanish takes over and the shoes come off. They fear the chancla y la espatula. I wrote their names on the spatula like my grandma cita. She had these wooden paddles that had been from paddle ball toys that the ball and rubber bands had broken off. Usually just the threat of it was enough for me to straighten up fast.
I hope we get a chance to celebrate Nik’s birthday and say goodbye to all of our friends and neighbors. The lane has a tight community that takes care of the hill by sanding when it needs it and plowing the entire lane so everyone can get to work the next morning. ,I’m going to miss them all. But, now we will be there for a 70 degree December if anyone wants to come visit. Joe is already making plans with his friends for next spring. I’m looking forward to baseball games the most. There are just so many memories of me and my dad watching the Oakland A’s on tv or going to a game together. I’ve missed city life so much.
We are still figuring out how the move will go. So far we have excluded a pod because the quote they gave me was crazy. Almost seven grand…for a container. No moving blankets and we buy our own lock. So then I thought ok full service cant be that expensive…but yes. Yes it is that expensive. $8,500 and some change. The only thing that is reasonable is a uhaul truck. Then there is another dillema because four people can not fit in the uhaul. I wanted to pull the car behind the uhaul and all travel together. We’re still working out the how of moving everything. I just know it will work out for our move. Just keep packing!

Demolition on the bathroom

Demo stage 1


Demolition on the bathroom has turned out to be something of an onion. The more layers we peel back, the deeper the problem. So by pulling up the vinyl floor we found a leak in the family room and fourth bedroom. The part that sucks is now that the bathroom is torn up, I have to share with the boys. And one of them is not toilet trained. I have sat in more urine that isn’t mine in the last week than any other time in my life and I have worked at a truck stop! I’ve threatened to throw them outside to pee on trees like grandma showed them when they were little. I have a makeshift camping potty chair for the next time he “forgets” to flush or leaves his consones in a pile of water on the bathroom floor. That will be three strikes you’re in the outhouse.Were so close to getting the bathroom done and since we’ve all been working as a team the whole house is getting packed up faster than I expected. The walls are bare and now need putty to fill in nail holes where pictures, paintings, and panels used to hang. We’re going to paint it all white to give it a clean new coat and let the new owner paint in his or her preferences. Another good thing I’m finding as we pack is that we are going to need some new furniture once we get into a house. I am looking forward to shopping for the new house and getting my things that we were saving until the boys were older because now if they break my good china I can take away car keys or ps4 power cables.
I have some demo pictures. And when its finished, I hope to post those too. I’m motivated to help so I can have my bathroom and privacy back.
We are still waiting to hear back from hubbys work if he goes back to work in August full time or he gets continued work sharing. I have a feeling it’s a permanent layoff. We will see at the end of the month. Meanwhile, I’m getting quotes on movers to see who can best fit our needs. I have a big box of stuff to put on the facebook yard sale. So stay tuned for a bunch of household stuff to be posted.

Foam insulation between the floor joist
Tub gone, toilet next