Show me Your ways, Oh Lord; teach me Your paths.
Guide me in Your truth & faithfulness & teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
for You [You only & altogether] do I wait [expectantly] all the day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

Friday, June 12, 2015

14 More Days

So I've been packing moving boxes lately ... & not as cheerfully as the woman in the above photo, I might add ... lol!  John & I have moved 21 times over the past 39 years.  Those moves have included in-state moves as well as moves to 11 different states.  This move, however, surpasses them all on the stress meter!  

Closing is in 14 days.  We still have no idea where we are going.  I have searched for nice rental homes in 12+ different states.  Most are too small, or too big, or impractical in some way (two retired people in a 6 BR/4 BA home, two hours away from the nearest city), or they back up to an interstate or an elementary school or some such thing.  Two really nice homes were rented before I saw the ads for them.  I was told that we would be next in line if the first renters didn't work out, but apparently they did.  We had another home in our grasp ... the 6BR/4BA home I mentioned above ... but practicality won out & we turned it down.  A week later when I had second thoughts bordering on desperation, I saw that the home was still being advertised for rent, so I contacted the owners to let them know we would be interested in renting it, but they had found other renters ... they just didn't remove the ad yet.

We've traveled to see a few homes in northern Kentucky as well as in central Tennessee.  One was misrepresented by the realtor.  Another had a strange smell.  The most interesting home was one where I spoke with the owner on the phone & explained to her how picky I am & that I am looking for a home that is "squeaky clean."  She immediately said that I needn't worry ... she is picky too.  She described herself as a "clean freak" & told me how hard she worked to clean the home when she moved out including painting & new carpeting.  When we viewed the home, it was a sight to behold.  The basement was damp & smelled bad.  Upstairs the insides of all the drawers & cabinets had mold & various debris in them.  The refrigerator smelled bad & was filled with mold.  The stove top was scratched & scraped, & the oven floor looked as if things had boiled over onto it many times during the 4 years she had lived there but she never bothered to clean them up.  I went to turn on a light switch & noticed it was moldy.  Then there was the room which had served as her young son's bedroom. He had obviously been allowed to eat & drink in there, & while doing so he had apparently shaken his pop cans & juice boxes because there were drops & streaks & whatnot from the contents of those cans & boxes all over the walls & doors. The carpet was filthy, & the baseboards were all chipped.  And this woman stood there, right in front of us, telling us about how she is a "clean freak" & how she had the walls painted & replaced the carpeting when she moved out of the house.

We have a few possibilities to view over the next few days.  One is about an hour from here.  Two are about 2-1/2 hours from here.  These 3 homes are still in Kentucky.  We currently have 5 possibilities northeast of Cincinnati.  There is also a possibility of a log cabin home in northeast Tennessee sitting on 5 acres of land & owned by a pastor & his wife.  This last home is certainly intriguing, but I'm not sure how practical it would be.  Will any of these homes fulfill our needs?  I sure hope so as I am getting a bit antsy here. And please don't tell me to leave it in God's hands, that He has a place picked out for us, etc.  I know this ... & I am trusting Him to lead us to the home where He wants us to be.  Still, my human nature is freaking out a bit.  

While packing the other day, I started to sing.  I never sing anymore because over the years I have lost the ability to carry a tune.  If your back was turned & you didn't know I was behind you, & I started singing, you would think Lucy Ricardo was in the room.  If I'm in a situation where group singing is encouraged ... like singing hymns at church ... I hold the hymnal & just enthusiastically mouth the words.  Anyway, the other day I started to sing a song from West Side Story ...

"There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us,
Peace & quiet & open air
Wait for us ... somewhere."

... & the old Diana Ross hit.

"Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Where are you going to?
Do you know?"

I don't know ... lol!  But there is definitely a place waiting for us ... that I do know.  

On Wednesday I had to call a plumber.  There was something wrong with our water heater ... it was making a terrible noise.  It turned out that the noise was not coming from the water heater but instead from some gizmo attached to it that regulates the flow of water ... something like that. Of course this gizmo couldn't have waited to break down until after closing.  We had to pay $585 for a new one ... parts & labor.  The plumber ... one of the "good guys" in The Devil's Playground ... noticed the moving boxes & paraphernalia all over the place & we talked about various parts of the country & moving in general including our super quick sale.  I told him it all happened so fast & that I hoped we hadn't made a big mistake.  His words of wisdom were these:  "This isn't a mistake, this is an adventure!"  Nice man, albeit a bit delusional   : )

But seriously ... this is an adventure.  I have often thought that with all the moving we've done & all the experiences we've had doing so, I ought to write a book.  My readers would probably think I was making everything up, but it would be interesting nonetheless   : )

I didn't intend to write such a long post.  Chalk it up to not wanting to face another packing box ... lol!  I will be back with an update ... whenever that might be.  I have rarely read blogs over the past couple of weeks, & if I have read one, I've rarely left a comment ... & I am beyond behind in answering emails.  All I can do is ask for your forgiveness & understanding.  Life will come together one of these days & I will return to being a better emailer & blogger.  Until then ... back to packing & looking for homes to rent.

(I wonder what happened to my Christmas count down thingie?  I didn't remove it, but it's no longer showing up on my sidebar.  Something to explore another day.)

(Note:  I have been informed that the Christmas count down thingie is still here.  For whatever reason it isn't showing up on my end.  Lol!  The craziness continues!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Moving, & a Scary Experience!

Greetings!  I realized yesterday that it's been a few days since I last posted.  I've been busy packing, needless to say.  Busy, busy, busy ... packing, packing, packing.  It's amazing how much stuff a person can accumulate in just a few years.  Before we moved here 6 years ago, we had a big 2-day moving sale.  We sold all our furniture with the exception of an end table, a storage cabinet, & our mattress set.  We also sold a bunch of kitchen things, craft things, DVDs, CDs, & all my shop equipment.  It was fun to see their reaction when men would say to me, "I can't believe your husband is selling all his shop equipment!" ... & I would say, "It's mine."   : )   Anyway, I have decided that we need to have a big "moving in sale" once we get settled in our new home.  The problem will be convincing myself to part with so much of this stuff that is so neat!

I am really, really envying the Amish now ... a simple lifestyle without a bunch of clutter.  Sigh!

As far as a new home is concerned, at this point we are looking at a homeless existence.  You wouldn't think finding a nice rental home would be so difficult!  I have searched online for rental homes in 12 different states ... 12!!! ... & have found some nice possibilities, but ARGH!!!  There were two mountain top homes in North Carolina that were well priced, beautiful inside & out, with gorgeous views, but driving 20 minutes down a mountain & who knows how much farther in a snowstorm to get to an ER if need be?  Not practical.  There were a couple of nice homes in a few other states, but $2000-$3000 & more for rent each month???  Again, not practical.  We drove 3 hours last week to look at a home in Tennessee only to find that the realtor handling the home totally misrepresented it to us   : (   Some of the nice homes that caught our interest turned out to be too small, or they were in a noisy area, or they wouldn't be available when we needed them, or there was some other problem.  Closing is just 3 weeks away.  I have joked with John that maybe we can park our moving van in a Walmart parking lot, sleep in the car, & wash up in their bathrooms until we find a place.  I know that God will lead us to a nice home somewhere.  I hope He leads us to it soon   : )

A couple weeks ago I had a rather scary experience.  I was out in the garage mixing some weed killer in one of those plastic containers that you pump to get pressure into them in order to spray the mixture on the weeds.  I was nearing the end of the pumping when suddenly the container blew up in my face with a deafening BANG!  John had gone out to run some errands, so I was alone.  Thank God I was wearing my glasses!  I was startled for a second ... didn't really realize what had happened at first ... then I rushed into the house where I took off my glasses & immediately turned on the kitchen faucet & started rinsing my face & neck with water.  I then ran into the bathroom to remove my shirt & to do more washing with soap.  When I looked in the mirror, I couldn't believe it.  My hair kind of looked like this ...

... but my bangs were spiked too!  I wish John had been here to take a picture ... lol!  (I can laugh about it now, but it wasn't so funny when it happened!)  My hair was sticky, my clothes were sticky, my skin was sticky.  Again, thank God I was wearing my glasses!  They were new ... I had just gotten them the week before ... & they were totally destroyed.  It looked like someone had shot a bunch of gravel at them or something!  Can you imagine the damage that could have occurred to my eyes?  Luckily the glasses were under warranty & I was able to get a new pair without having to pay anything.  After washing up a bit, I went back out to the garage where I found the container lying on its side with the weed killer all over the floor.  The container had apparently spun around while the pressure was being released because the mixture had sprayed in a circle all over everything in the area.  What a mess.  I cleaned it up as best I could, then took a shower & had a interesting story to tell John when he got home.  He said I shouldn't so stuff like that when he's not here, but who knew?  I had mixed weed killer in those kinds of containers for years without a mishap, but this was a new container & I obviously did not attach the spray tube correctly as that is where the explosion occurred.

The appraiser is due to arrive in a little bit to do his thing ... then I will resume packing.  Wish I could invite you all over for a big packing party with pizza, pop, & a big pile of cross stitch stuff that you could choose something from as a thank you for your help    : )

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Can Anyone Help Me With This?

Remember that wonderful little memorial heart the vet sent me after Sophie passed away?  I had it sitting on my hutch for several weeks ... admittedly dusting around it & other things located there rather than moving them ... & this is what I discovered when I finally did lift it up.  I actually had to pry it up, hoping all the while that it wouldn't break.  It didn't, but it left its mark. Whatever the heart is made of, it sort of ate into the finish, but not into the wood itself.  You can't see it from across the room or anything, but it's there.  

I immediately contacted a cabinet maker in town but he was unable to help.  I even suggested sanding & staining the entire top of the piece, but he said no.  I thought I had found the answer today.  I needed to do a bit of painting & saw a couple cans of stain/finish in the paint cabinet. Hoping beyond hope that it would work, I applied the stain/finish & left it sit for a while, then wiped it off.  It didn't help one bit.  This is, in fact, how it looks after that process.  

Is there anything else I could do to make this heart shape less noticeable, or to get rid of it altogether?

Many thanks for any suggestions you can send my way.    

Saturday, May 23, 2015

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Our house was listed on the MLS yesterday morning.  A short time later I received a phone call from our realtor.  He had a couple who would like to view our house at 3:30 that afternoon ... would that be okay?  I said yes.

At 7 o'clock this morning, the phone rang.  Once again it was our realtor.  Our house was just what this couple was looking for!  They wrote an offer last night ... FULL PRICE!!!  They want the closing to be June 26!!!  I am having an EXTREME emotional & physical reaction right now.  I am literally shaking!!!  WE GOT A FULL PRICE OFFER LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER THE HOUSE HIT THE MLS!!!

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Aunt Vera Update

I am humbled & in awe that I am writing to all of you with a praise report already!  I just spoke with my cousin who told me that my Aunt Vera is feeling so much better!  She has had several visiting medical techs & nurses coming to the house, but two of them told her that they aren't coming anymore ... she doesn't need them!  She is able to walk without anyone helping her, & best of all her appetite has returned!  She is able to eat & drink without becoming horribly nauseated after just one bite or sip!  My cousin said she wanted to talk with me, & when he gave her the phone she sounded tired but wonderful!  She has a great outlook.  She was even laughing!  I told her that people all over the world are praying for her, & she is very appreciative & extends her thanks.

Please keep praying, & add praise as well.  God is so good   : )  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Asking for Prayers

Please pray for my Aunt Vera.  From the time I was a little girl, she has been my favorite aunt ... always nice, always making everyone laugh.  She has always been like a mother to me ... always in my corner ... & I have always been the daughter she never had.  I just received a call from my cousin.  At the age of 86, my dear Aunt Vera has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The way I understand it, this is a type of cancer that feeds on estrogen.  She is receiving injections to "dry up" her estrogen, & she is also receiving chemo & radiation.  The doctors all say that the next two months are going to be rough, but her outcome looks good.

The chemo is making her very weak & very ill.  She is supposed to have a lot of liquids to help keep her strength up, but my cousin says she can barely get down a sip of tea every now & then ... & she can only manage to eat a bite or two of dry toast.

Your prayers for her will be very much appreciated.  My immediate thought was to go to Pittsburgh to visit her, but my cousin said she does not want visitors until her chemo & radiation treatments are over & she is feeling better.

Thank you.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Almost There

Yes ladies ... this is my realtor   : )