Friday, September 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A year in the life...

I celebrated a full year of being at my job this week.

Have I mentioned yet how much I like it around these parts?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My room of requirement, Number 1

In my last place I had one extra bedroom that, by default, became my very own "Room of Requirement."

You may not know what a "Room of Requirement" is if you have not read Harry Potter, but trust probably have one. Perhaps it is a garage. A closet. The spare bedroom/office/"one day this will be my sewing room/man cave." If you don't have one, you may be a Virgo who didn't have to split all of their traits.

The point is, it is a room in which things "land." They are usually things that you need, but not all the time, and that don't really fall into any particular category. Or fit well in the Tupperware drawer.

The one in the Harry Potter books looked like this:

A woman of a certain age living by herself with THREE extra rooms has the liberty of having THREE rooms of requirement. This is especially the case if she has lots of hobbies.

I was able to muster the energy to start on one of them on Sunday afternoon.

This is my room of requirement "for toys I am dying to play with but have to wait for the weekend and/or someone to play with me." Except, of course, for the puzzles. I can play puzzles by myself.

So...anyone wanna play with me? I know where to find all my stuff!

Business in the front....Party in the back

I'm not really talking about a mullet.
I'm talking about the views from my front yard...
And the back....
This morning, I tried to take Ellie for a long walk out here...
Instead, I just let her swim for a bit. Now we are back at the house and I am trying to muster the energy to do something productive with what is left of this weekend. It does not hardly seem fair to get sick on the weekend when I have about 300,000 hours of sick leave at work. As I lay here on the couch with only Ellie bringing me nappy tennis balls, surrounded by tissues, lamenting the fact that I BURNED SOUP last night, and coughing out a lung, I can't help but think this:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

We Made It

So I finally moved last weekend. I am sorry it has taken so long to tell you about it, but I just got the internet yesterday...and I am still really sick. My head is very swimmy, so this is just going to be mostly pictures.

Here is how the packing went.
Ellie was not terribly pleased with the emptying of her house.
But she consoled herself with the fish.
Dad and Sister came up to help with the long haul up the hill.There is something kind of ironic about the fact that I had a UHaul with Montana stickers on the side and Arizona license plates moving all my stuff to a cool new place to live. Like a sign or something. Maybe things will be awesomely amazing here?
It took us less than 12 hours, but we got everything loaded from the old place and unloaded in the new place.
I nearly did my work crew in. I owe them more than beverages, steak, and thank yous.
I spent the next three days unpacking. I still have two rooms left to do, but I got the main parts done.
My dining room table is a bit tiny in this big space.

And yes, temporarily my shower curtain is serving as a regular curtain until I can get back to Wal-Mart and get the right set.So far we are enjoying it. Ellie loves the yard, and frankly my dears, I do too.

So...come and visit whenever you want. I think I'll be done being sick in a few days. I haven't been able to figure out the oven, and I broke the nozzle on my grill. But I'd be happy to fix you a sandwich. On a tortilla since I don't have bread.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Good and Bad

Good news!

I have internet! (Cue Hallelujah chorus)

Bad news!

I have the flu.

On days like this, a person with opposable thumbs would be welcome.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I just killed Shelob.
and her twin sister Aragog.

I didn't have a sword or a magic wand. This miniature rake was all I could find.

Note to self:Organic, earth friendly, dog and kid safe bug spray does not kill black widows. Only brute strength and adrenaline apparently will do the trick.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Virgo is as Virgo Does

I would like to say that I am not a superstitious person. That I don't believe in ghosts, juju, or Karma. That I don't look for signs in everything, that I don't make wishes on shooting stars or when I blow out birthday candles or find a penny on the ground. I would like to say that I don't sing when I go outside to scare away the bogie man or that I can't sense the "specialness" of a place when I am outside exploring the desert or the mountains.

I would like to say that I don't have a Magic 8 Ball that I reshake when I don't get the answer I want. I would like not to have to confess that I read my horoscope whenever I see it. Today, for example, "Other people can't handle the stress of the day's activities, so try not to pile on them with unnecessary criticism. You should be able to get your point across gently -- or better yet, another day." Not that I am going to use this to guide my day or interactions, but actually maybe that's good advice for today.

The point that I am trying to make is that I accept fully that I am, proudly, a Virgo. I am not on the cusp between Leo and Libra, making me kind of confused. I am smack in the middle. And if you don't believe me, spend a few days with me after you read this little snippet about Virgos. If you are still not convinced, try this one.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I think when you share a womb with someone, somewhere along the gestation process, not all of those traits readily attributed to a "Virgo" can be transferred to both parties involved.

Case in point.
Here is the inside of my sister's house.
Though we were crafting, note the special basket for paper crafts. Note the muffin papers specifically to hold the glitter. It is spotless. It is tidy. There is order in the apparent chaos. Her furniture matches. M.a.t.c.h.e.s.

Here is the current state of things in my house.

Were I my sister, or at least the possessor of the Virgo tendency toward tidiness, this whole moving thing would be a lot less of a messy process. In my house, clearly, shoes belong on the coffee table, (clean) toilet paper in the dining room, and packing peanuts should just stay on the floor until the vacuum cleaner can be located. It is a sad state of affairs really. I will be lucky when I get all of these boxes in to the new house if I can remember what is in them since my markers are nowhere to be found. They've been missing since June. I did find some missing knitting needles in the pencil cup where markers should have been, so that's a bonus!

At least I can say I got some of those other Virgo overanalysis. Attention to detail where attention to detail is not needed. Steadfastness, sensibility in relationships (no laughing, its true) and my personal favorite...hypochondria!

The real question is: which of the traits did I get that Sister did not?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A Sunday afternoon ballad for the weary. An anthem for those who care.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Movin' on Up

This morning I got out of bed as early as I possibly could for a Saturday morning and loaded up the Subaru with as much stuff as I possibly could for a gal my size. Ellie took the copilot's seat (which freaked her out a bit and leads me to believe she gets car sick) and away we went.

Where did we go, you ask?

Somewhere pretty cool, actually. The sign says so on the door.
Ellie and I have decided that we have had enough of being scared to go outside after dark. Enough of battling the next door neighbors over the absurd volume of their first-person shooter video games. Enough of having someone living in the garage next door and trying to steal our cable on a regular basis. Enough of nasty trash blowing into our back yard from the dumpster that suddenly appeared at the gate one day for the whole neighborhood and their relatives to use. Basically, we've decided we don't want to live in the ghetto anymore. While the inside of our current house is really nice, it feels a bit like a cocoon. It is suffocating. And lonely beyond description. Plus, the lease is up.

So we've decided to move here:

Technically we will be living back here, in the back half of the house....
where there is a beautiful yard for me to set up a hammock for reading (and by that I mean napping) and Ellie to roll around on the grass.
The kitchen-living-dining room are the size of my house right now.

There are 2 bedrooms and a huge bathroom up the steps and two more rooms (CRAFT ROOMS!) behind where I am standing to take the picture.

I decided to put some of my things in the cabinets, just to see how they fit. Pretty nicely, I think.

Now if I could just figure out how to use this space in a cool way. I mean the window box, not the spice rack in the cupboard. Ideas?

Next week I actually take all my furniture and stay a while, much to the chagrin of some people in the Valley. But I like it here. And for the first time in a while, I'm not really worried about what those people think.

Thanks to my friend, Kara, I have a song to sing about that too.

My favorite verse?
And then one day I looked around and I found the sun shining down
And I took off my worried shoes
My worried shoes
And my feet broke free to breathe the air
I didn't need to wear
My Worried shoes
Then I knew the difference between
worrying and caring
'Cause I've got a lot of walking to do
And I don't want to wear
My worried shoes

Friday, September 9, 2011

When I am 30 and 2 Days...

I will consider wearing a bib while drinking wine and watching Spaceballs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

And then I was 30

Yesterday I spent the day in Death Valley, enjoying the company of my twinkie and brother-in-law.We had a champagne brunch...
And cupcakes made and decorated by B-I-L...
Followed by a PowerPoint presentation about Alaska. Then we ate STEAK!

We opened presents...Sister gave me a necklace and earrings and a bag that she made...
And Ellie gave me these. She's a good shopper.

It was a wonderful day...thank you guys!

As I was leaving Death Valley this morning, watching the sunrise and the changing light on the mountains, I couldn't help but remember this scene from this time last year. Has it really been a year since I drove through Death Valley on the final push into Ridgecrest,
ready and eager to start this New Life?
Wow. What a trip.

What's next?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Thirty Eve

I am trying to pep talk myself into tomorrow with a bowl of Mom's Waikiki Meatballs, cake, and Moose Drool. Soon I am going to pack my things together for a little trip over to see Sister, where she and B-I-L have been prepping for tomorrow's fancy dinner for a week.

I am not going to lie. I spent a few moments today in the shrubbery balling my head off for no other reason than my life at 30 is not even close to how I expected it would be at 20. Where did those 10 years go? Why can't I remember every detail of it all anymore?

The year in which I have been 29 was huge. The big Move. The big Job Change. The big Heartbreak of Divorce. The enormity of it all has been so overwhelming sometimes. My bootstraps can be awfully heavy.

Life moves so fast. So slow. So hard. So easy. I hate thinking that I have wasted any moment of it. That I have regrets that I cannot seem to turn into lessons. That I have sorrows I cannot seem to shake. That I let stress or sadness or loneliness keep me from enjoying every day as a gift. That I might turn bitter or cynical because of all of what happened when I was 29.

I am really hoping for a better year in which I am 30. But tonight...I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am 30.

Tomorrow I accept that.

(Cue the sappy ballad).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Some people go to Lake Havasu for Labor Day weekend to do some serious partying.

Don't let all the smiling, crazy photos, and strange arm gestures fool you.

We are not those people.