What’s been going on and what to look forward to

It’s been a long while since I blogged. This Spring semester was my final semester of school for my associated degree. To fulfill all my credits, I had to take five classes, instead of the usual four for full time status. Online classes are no joke, and no less work, in fact often more work than in person classes. After taking classes in person for four semesters, and then two semesters of online classes, I can say that I much prefer in person classes.

I survived, and I owned it all. I graduated Phi Theta Kappa, with honors. I am so humbly grateful. College has been a wonderful experience. I have intentions to continue my college education, but am taking a semester off.

As far as blogging goes, I have lots of topics and ideas. I just need to sit down and start putting them down and together to share. Of course, there will be food blogs, some stuff about college text books, places, and crafts. Recently I am on a crafting kick. There are some projects I have been wanting to get to, but haven’t had the time. So, I am crafting and documenting so I can blog about that as well.

My husband and I are also working on preparing our house and lives for the summer time we get to spend with our little ones….who are really not so little anymore. Our girl is 12, and our boy is going to be 10 in August. We have some fun plans and intend on making their time with us quality time. It’s possible I will come up with blogs about a thing or two while they are here with us as well.

It’s been a nice little rest since graduation and I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my daughters and granddaughter and other family. Once we got back home I needed some recovery time and could take it. Now I am happily enjoying exploring where life takes me for a little bit.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful spring and planning a great summer. Keep checking in, I will be blogging again.

Blessings, Peace and Love to all!

We are in our house/new home

The house search was interesting to say the least. Not like anything I have experienced before. It seems that it’s a fierce market for renters in Georgia, and that filling out applications and paying application fees should happen prior to looking at the house. Not only that, but some people will decide to rent a place without looking at it first. I can’t even imagine. Not to mention that it is difficult to make contact to even seen a property. Your best bet is to call and call until you talk to someone, because they don’t return or reply to emails. In fact your voice mail is often not going to result in a returned call. It is for this reason, and that the buying market is so hot here, that one of the realtors told me that I should consider getting my real-estate license. He told me that houses often only last a day on the market and that one could make a livable income pretty easily.

A week ago today we got the keys to our house. We found a company that we were comfortable with that we had an approved application in with, and decided to stick with them. The first house that we really thought we wanted, we turned down for a few reasons. The house that we chose to rent from them is nice. It’s everything that we need and some things that we wanted and most importantly, it is in a safer community than some of other areas we had considered. The town also comes with an unexpected and unintended bonus of being one of the towns that a television show that my husband and I are fans of has used for some of their filming, and some other movies have filmed here, too.

The house is a nice old house with great charm to it. It has some issues, but nothing that we can’t work around or that isn’t being addressed by the property management company. There are high ceilings, large rooms, a nice big front porch and an enclosed back porch. The kitchen has a huge double farm sized sink and lots of cupboards and the bonus of a gas stove. The bathroom has a new-ish vanity, with a faucet that lights when the water is turned on. The living room floor has a laminate that looks like hard wood. There are plenty of windows, and nice double doors from the kitchen to the back porch. And the back yard is rather large. There is also a floor to ceiling built in book shelf in the hallway, and some built in storage for bathroom linens by the bathroom.

The movers and trailer delivery’s earliest availability was for Monday, so we had to wait to actually move in to our new home. We spent Saturday cleaning the house with disposable wipes, b/c the previous tenant had broken off the outside water spicket which meant our water couldn’t be turned on yet. We met our neighbor lady, and she told us that the guy who lives across from her does some work for the owner of the house, so my husband went to talk to him to see if he knew how to turn the water on. He turned it on, and that is how we found out about the spicket being broken, so we had to shut it off until it was fixed. The neighbor called the owner and they said they would send someone to fix it on Monday. The neighbor took it upon himself to fix it on Sunday, (that’s real Southern hospitality)  so that on Monday when we got here, we could turn the water on. Thankfully the management company still sent the plumber/handy man, because we had him hook up the hose for the ice machine for our fridge. There are other issues that have been addressed and that we are waiting to have addressed, but so far we are really happy with the management company’s quick response and actions.

On Monday the movers arrived prior to the trailer, although it was scheduled so that the trailer would arrive first. The movers had to wait and we had to wait and the driver thought he couldn’t get the trailer to us once he arrived in town. We told him the way that we figured would be best and thankfully the city code enforcer and my husband had talked previously and he told my husband he could call and he would come over when the trailer was delivered to help if need be, and he came right over. My husband called the truck drivers dispatch to have it okay-ed for the driver to sit and wait while the movers unloaded, because he would only have enough time to get back to the city and then need to turn around and come pick the trailer up if he left, thankfully everyone was in agreement. By 2:15pm-ish, paperwork was signed and the movers and the truck were gone.

Having everything of ours back in a house we call home is very nice. We spent Monday doing the necessary things and organizing boxes so that I could get to and find stuff while unpacking. Tuesday our internet was hooked up. I have missed having our own internet. Tuesday is also the day that I unpacked and organized the kitchen. Wednesday I spent cleaning floors really well. Thursday I took the day off from unpacking and cleaning. Today I tackled the back porch. That is the one area that the property management company disappoints me the most. The previous tenant had dogs that they let go to the bathroom on the back porch…and the smell is something I have been battling since we got the keys. Today I scrubbed the heck out of the floor, multiple times. I have no idea how anyone lives like that. The washer and dryer hook ups are on the back porch and we would like to use it for other things, too. I think it’s going to need some Kilz put down on it, but I have improved it by 100%.

We are so glad to be out of the hotel and into a house. There are so many things great about this reality. I have lots of blogging to catch up on. Thanks for hanging in there and being patient through this transition with me. I hope to get some kind of a schedule going for my blog. I am working on the house and focusing on it at the moment, because school starts soon for me, I’d like to have the house set up before school starts. I am doing all of my schooling online for my final two semesters, because I thought it would be easier than trying to find a school to transfer to here. This should be interesting, as I have no previous experience with online school, other than web-blended classes. Another new adventure.

It’s getting real

There is no denying the fact that we are moving. Our living room is full of boxes thanks to the diligent work and assistance from my sister over the weekend. I still having packing to do, but not a lot. Today the trailer that we ordered through UPack was delivered. The huge trailer parked at the side of our house means there is no denying it now.

We still have no idea where we will live in Georgia. That is a little frustrating. But my husband’s company will put us up in an extended stay place until we find a place. It should be a lot easier to find a place to live once we are actually in the area.

I am looking forward to this new adventure, very much. I still need to get the dog in for his shots to be updated, finish packing before the movers come and then clean up the house. I already have the mail scheduled to be held.

My husband’s work had a company lunch for him today along with a cake to wish him well on this new venture. That was very nice of them. It is so nice to have him with a company that is so appreciative and nurturing of his potential.

My mind is ready for the move. My heart is going to miss our granddaughter the most of all. Yes, I will miss my daughters, but they are both adults now and in that stage of pulling away unless I can do something for them. Hopefully absence will make the heart grow fonder in their case. I will miss my family. Having them so close has been really nice. But it’s not the dark ages, there are cell phones and computers and the like that can keep us connected. And they will all have a great vacation destination, too.

I find myself today watching our granddaughter so closely, wanting to memorize everything about her. All while knowing that she will grow and change so much. I hope that my daughter will allow us to Skype regularly with her, because her baby girl means the world to me. And I never want her to forget me, because she is always on my mind and in my heart.

It’s amazing how we can plan and prepare for something and yet it’s magnitude isn’t felt until it is so close. I will become a frequent flyer just to remain close to our grandbaby…. this from someone who has never flown before.

This adventure will be grand and allow for us to see and visit places we had only previously imagined. I am excited for this new chapter in our lives.

It’s getting really real, really quick.

Quick short about Georgia

For the first time in our lives my husband and I are visiting the beautiful state of Georgia. I just want to give a brief mention to some of the places and experiences that we have had. I plan to make some specific blogs in the near future. These are just some things that won’t get a full blog post, but are worth mentioning.

First of all, Atlanta drivers live up to their reputation. Thankfully my husband lived near and worked in Chicago, so he has no trouble handling the driving.

Second, from a few sources we heard that there is no such thing as southern hospitality. Let me assure you that this is not correct. We recognize that everyone’s experience is different, and often based on what they project. My husband and I are both warm and outgoing people, and that is how we have experienced Georgians to be as well.

Chick-fil-A is huge here. Their headquarters are here. They are everywhere. We drove through one for lunch one day, and it was super busy. We were quite impressed with how efficient they are. They had people directing traffic, taking orders on portable devices and multiple lanes and stations for picking up your food. Which brings me to another southern staple…. sweet tea. In the south they LOVE their sweet tea. It is diabetes-causing sweet. My local friend says it is best to order it half sweet and half non-sweet with extra ice. I will remember this.

Georgia farmers market in Forest Park is HUGE, and will one day have it’s own blog post by me. For our first visit we were just checking it out. There is so much fresh produce, fresh and dried herbs, a greenhouse, pottery, all kinds of interesting things. Lots of people drive through in their cars because it is so big and they don’t want to walk it. There are store areas behind some of the store fronts to walk through. The perk for us was Po Boys Flowers, ran by a lovely elderly lady who was so friendly and such a joy to talk with, and she invited us to come back…. and we will once our move is complete. She has such a huge variety of house plants and lovely flowers, and we purchased some local honey from her and some peach jam.

And last but not least, Smoothie King…They are not horribly over prices like a lot of places are that sell smoothies and they have smoothies specific to whatever your needs or desires may be. And the lady even gave my husband some bananas. 🙂

All in all, this has been an amazing experience. I am even more excited for my lives here to start once we get moved here in less than a month.

Clothes purge

Today I decided to go through ALL of my clothes. As a woman who has fluctuated in size, it has always been difficult for me to let go of great clothes in the hopes that maybe someday I will fit into them again. I intended to go through clothes any way, but the prospect of moving across the US has given me great motivation.

I didn’t follow trends I have read like, “If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it.” My method was more practical and contemplative, which is similar to how I operate. I asked myself one question, “Do I really want to tote this across the country with me?” This question has brought me a very liberating clarity.

When questioning if I should keep something or not, I tried it on. If it fit and I liked and wear it or would wear it, I kept it. I did keep a few things that were a little snug, b/c they are too cute to let go of and I would miss them terribly if I went down a size and could fit into them. (Seriously, it amounted to about 5 items…. Which is a vast improvement from clothes hording tendency.)

I filled three tall kitchen garbage bags with clothes. There is even a shirt with the tag still on it (it was too big when I bought it, I should have returned it). I will take them to the thrift store so that someone else can get enjoyment out of them. It feels great to let it all go. I feel lighter and less burdened already.

My next project will be going though shoes. Although I have previously went through them, this time I will do so with my newfound criteria.

What would be the hardest thing for you to let go of in a downsizing effort?

I think the answer to that question is rather telling of the person. I would love to read your responses.