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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

878

I finished cleaning my blinds today.  Wooden slats. 878 of them.  All slats were cleaned first with a dust cloth ...

    Dust cloth after cleaning one set of 34 slats

... then wiped down with a cloth dampened with warm water.  878 slats x 2 = 1756 slats.  

A set of 102 slats in the living room, 76 slats in the kitchen, & 76 slats in my craft room had to be vigorously wiped down a third time because of them being sprayed with what looked like tomato paste & maybe cake batter.  I'm hoping it was cake batter.  Thick, dirty, clearish white crud as shown in the photo below.
If you're good at math, you now know that I basically cleaned a total of 2010 slats.  Sadly I do not have an extension ladder.  Who knows what I would have found on these slats.  Then again, maybe it's best I don't know.
At least the slats I come in contact with every day are cleaned.  Stained in many cases (couldn't get the brown stains out even with SoftScrub with Bleach), but clean.  

On the plumbing side of things, the plumbers came today & installed my new faucet!  They explained to me that it is an odd facet & thus not one carried in stock at places like Lowes.  The boss had to order it directly from Kohler.  It's a lovely silvery thing that doesn't leak or drip.  I was able to reclean the underneath sink cabinet, put in new shelf paper, put all my cleaning supplies down there, & wash off the countertops.  Cooking & dish washing won't be far behind   : )

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Our Storage Unit Neighbor

As I think I mentioned in my last post, John & I ended up having to rent three storage units prior to our move.  We still have two of them ... one near our old home & one near our new one.  You can imagine my surprise when one of the storage units assigned to us was right next door to satan's storage unit!

Do you notice anything interesting about satan's storage unit?
Look closely.
Yep!  Two locks!  That satan ... he doesn't trust anybody!

We are still settling in.  This will take a while. Things are slowly coming together though.  My most important "wish" right now is for our kitchen sink faucet to be replaced.  I cannot put my cleaning supplies in the cabinet under the sink until it is replaced, nor do dishes.  This means my cleaning supplies are all over the counter & I can't cook. We have been going out to eat every day for the past 3 weeks, which is okay, but it doesn't beat home cooked food.  The plumbers came on Monday but were unable to fix the faucet, so they need to bring me a new one.  I don't know what the hold up is ... you go to the store & buy one, right?  But apparently I know nothing about plumbing.

No crafting yet, but hopefully soon   : )  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Alive and Semi-Well in Lexington, KY

I am finally getting the chance to write a post after our extremely stressful move after the sale of our home.  I once again want to thank everyone who prayed for me & offered suggestions regarding nice places to live.

Apparently God did not want us to leave Kentucky!  We looked for a nice rental in 12+ different states, traveling to 3 of them more than once during our search.  We had been misled in one way or another with every home we viewed, & our closing date kept getting closer & closer.  I knew that God had something in mind for us, but Kentucky???  Really???  I had to laugh, but I am also giving Him much praise & thanks.  He blessed us with a beautiful townhome in Lexington which is about an hour north of The Devil's Playground.  It is a very nice area, & we actually have friendly neighbors!  I mean, it's unreal!  Two couples who live here have already come over to introduce themselves & welcome us to the street, & whenever we are walking in the area & pass by someone ... or we're sitting out in front of the townhome taking a bit of a break & someone passes by ... they actually say hello!  Sometimes they even add a sentence or two about the weather or some such thing!  I feel as if I have stepped through the looking glass & found myself in Home Town America or something!  We are within walking distance of various stores & restaurants, but our townhome is on a quiet, tree-lined street which is only traveled by the people who live here.  There is also a nice walking trail nearby.  I have two doctors here who are very attentive & I was saddened about having to leave their care, but now I can keep them ... at least for another year   : )

Living in the townhome is a bit of a challenge.  The kitchen cabinets & drawers are very small, so I have had to decide what things are absolutely necessary for daily life, unpack them, & keep the other things packed.  John & I are still moving things in, taking stock, & moving things out again into one of three storage units ... all of which are still filled to some capacity.  We will keep one to house the things we can't or won't be using while living here.  We ended up making a total of 6 trips to these storage units in a good sized U-Haul ... 5 of those trips in one weekend!  After closing I was feeling as if I had literally aged about 10 years.  It is only now that I am feeling somewhat back to my old self.

Although the townhome is beautiful, it was not well taken care of by the previous tenants.  They had been the only tenants & had moved in 4 years ago when the townhome was brand new.  I do not understand how two mature adults could be so thoughtless about the property of someone else.  Our landlord did not think it was necessary to repaint despite the fact that there is a multitude of damage & marks on the walls & woodwork.  I have been going around with a Magic Eraser to try to get at least some of the marks off.  She said she had the carpets cleaned, but they do not smell clean, & the nap is still smooshed down where the prior tenants' furniture had been, so I question if she had them cleaned or not.  I'm guessing it's the latter.  She also told us that she hired professional cleaners, but I have had to clean everything.  In some cases this has been pretty yucky work.  There are plumbing problems which she needs to address, broken refrigerator trays, & a few other things ... but all in all, it is a lovely home in a safe, friendly area & we are very, very blessed to be here. Thank you Lord!!!

During our moving experience, I was bitten 4 separate times by 4 separate spiders.  I do not like spiders.  Just typing the word makes me shudder.  I did not see them when they bit me so I have no idea what kind they were, but I know they were nasty because the redness & soreness & itching lasted a long time.  One bite was on the inside of my left thigh, & another on the front of that same thigh.  One was on my left waist, & the last one in the middle of my back.  I still have scars/scabs remaining from 3 of them.  The one on the front off my left thigh was/is really weird. The redness & swelling spread around the bite as big as my hand, & the left side of my thigh became somewhat numb.  I still have some numbness there. Ugh.  John told me numerous times that I should make a doctor appointment, but I didn't have the time to spare.

I have not been able to do any knitting or stitching of any kind for the past week or so.  I had been working on a shawl & had reached the border which was a simple k2,p2 pattern.  I was able to do this with just the ceiling light.  I have now reached the point where I need to do a bind off I have never done before, & without my Daylight magnifying lamp, this is impossible.  I have a lamp, but nowhere to attach it right now.  I ordered a floor stand for it before we moved here, but it arrived poorly packaged & damaged. Later this week we are having some furniture delivered including an end table which is crafted perfectly for my light   : )

And speaking of furniture, I think I may have mentioned in a pre-move post that the buyers of our home wanted to purchase most of our furniture, & we let them.  Sadly, we have been having to sleep on the floor ... the questionably cleaned carpeted floor ... for the past two weeks. I have been so tired by the end of the day that I could probably sleep on a bed of nails, but you should see me trying to get up in the mornings! I'm kind of like the "I've fallen & I can't get up" lady from the TV commercials years ago.  We purchased a mattress set last week but it was damaged when it was delivered.  We are now awaiting a new shipment to come to the store & they will then supply us with a new set.  I'm hoping it's sooner rather than later   : )

I guess that's all I have to say for now.  My thanks to those of you who have emailed me wondering if I am okay.  I am ... barely ... lol!  I know I will be doing better once we are more settled in.  I have to admit that I am sadly having thoughts as I'm unpacking that run along the lines of "In 10 more months I will be packing again!"  Hopefully things will be less stressful then   : )

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!!!!!