Tag Archive | family

3 quotes; Day 2

2 in a row! Go me!  See my post yesterday for the full intro, here is the mini version and my second entry of three.

Rules; Thank the person who challenged you, post a quote, tag 3 others, for 3 days in a row.

Thank you, Fancy Paper – and a double thanks for introducing a new active blog group that isn’t full of people just doing ‘selling stuff’ posts.  A few of those, no big deal, however 100% polish corporate blog is not all that fun to read.

Quote;

Love is patient, love is kind

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I’m not super religious but this quote from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (RC Bible) and virtually every wedding I’ve been to is less about a religion and more about the nature of love.  Like how kleenex is technically a brand but we all use it in reference to disposable nose blowing receptacles.  Love is a big concept, it covers everything from a treat to the person you spend your life with to the children you produce to the best pair of boots ever.  We use the word liberally in my world.

However… Love is also hard and involves choices.  Things happen with kids and spouses and houses and projects when you need to take a breath and remember that love is patient, and, love is kind.

 

Tagging 3 people who I hope join in;

Talking to myself – this is a person I know in real life and hopefully, this tag inspires him to write a word or 5.

Knotty Heart – another real-life friend who is blogging their brewing adventures, and, their cats.

Shanna Hatfield – an author I started following because she is just fun to read, and, someday I wish I could write something that would be published.

 

This is a nice departure from house house house house…. Thanks again Fancy 🙂

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My Easter Weekend of Transformation

This year Easter is early, and, right in the last 3 miles of the marathon of getting this house ready.  The goal is Wednesday.  Truly the goal is Tuesday night so Wednesday all I need to do is a tidy after they depart for school and then hold my breath until it is sold.

I’m sure you all have experienced the chaos that is the third quarter of a project, everything is torn up and you have been working and working and still, it looks 10x worse than when you started?  That was our Friday and Saturday.  Sunday, we started to actually pull it back together and our house is getting truly ‘done’.

Friends convinced me I did not need to change every doorknob, at least not yet…

I convinced Lars we HAD to either repaint the master or color match it so I could touch up three spots that look like the size of Africa to me but in reality are the comparative size of Fiji.  He dutifully went to home depot 2x to get paint and now I’m painting my house with a tiny paintbrush.  The Lars list is very long, he has done so much I just don’t put it all here.  There was a time on Friday that I couldn’t help thinking how well we actually work together on big stressful projects as our storage trip was suddenly our mini date.

We finally finished the painting in the 2 rooms we were repainting and then I facetimed with my family while scrubbing the trim and floors to get all the tiny paint spots clean.  Good thing Magic Erasers were on sale last week, I’ve disintegrated 4 already between walls and floors.

 

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this end done, nobody go over there.

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not the right chairs, that chest will move back so side table position soon, and, the picture needs to get new art and hung up.

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kid desk still has tools but hey, they are at least in one spot.

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my real computer was put away to eliminate ‘clutter’

 

In the breaks between cleaning, we did a little thing called Easter.  It was very mellow for us this year and I’m pretty glad it actually fell on April Fools.  In the end I handled lack of traditional baskets (in storage) with 3 decorative boxes and then I hid them in the closet and made them a giant basket of socks.  Zoe was first up and exploring and found the fake basket and remarked: “at least there is some candy” and then the clever girl found a bag of trash.  The living room was early on the hit list so it is pretty clean and decluttered overall and I forgot to dispose of the evidence of basket treats and Zoe found it.  Don’t worry, she still believes, maybe even more now because she considered it a mix of a trick and a clue that there were REAL easter baskets somewhere.  I’m pretty proud of the way this shook out and I got to hear the sounds of joy when they found them.

This year, due to snow, we hid eggs in the house.  Growing up we nearly always had indoor egg hunts but this is the first year weather was bad so it was a new twist for our kids.  I think we had about 150 eggs and 3 kids so for a solid 20min they were searching.  Easy ones were passed 100 times, hard ones found instantly, in the end, we might be short 2 real eggs but I bet I’ll find them since my plan is to super clean.  I did find 4 missed plastic eggs that afternoon cleaning the bookshelf, they were pretty well hidden.

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Easter food focused on just the 5 of us.  We had a breakfast guest who also witnessed the egg hunt and then helped with the house and then went home again.  Pancakes for breakfast, Lox and bagels for lunch, and Rack of Lamb with homemade french fries and asparagus for dinner.  Niamh made a pie, two actually, but that is another story.  I’m just glad she is interested in cooking.

Some things I planned did happen, others didn’t, but I think the weekend went pretty well.  The kids entertained themselves mostly and helped a bit.  They are old enough to all shower solo and understand that “mommy is a bit stressed right now”.   By the end I felt like I had spent hours at the gym when all I did was move furniture, scrub floors/walls/trim, wash windows and pick up and move a million little things to either the trash, its home, or a box for storage.

Today the plan is to stop doing new projects and continue pulling it all together again.  We have a contractor coming to power wash and do a few minor outside things.  I have a meeting on the new house to pick plumbing.  Lars is back to work and the kids are back to school.  I feel bad about not doing my normal holiday reach out to friends but I’m sure everyone will understand.  By next week I’ll be in maintenance mode only and while that won’t be nothing it sure won’t be the job it is to get to the ‘show ready’ we nearly are.

Back from the get-away

We are back 🙂

The kids are fine, the adult in charge of the kids is fine, the house is even fine.  I call this a success.  We filled in the balance of the afternoon with snuggles.

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My only complaints about the weekend are because we are entirely spoiled.  The restaurant we choose had a fairly small menu and Lars had a good dish but mine was super bland and not what was on the menu.  The breakfast was similar – I cook breakfast foods well enough to know that these were not fresh, they were ok but nothing to rave about.  So because we cook too well we are too fussy about the food out in the world.  The house was a cool old Victorian with tons of original woodwork and furnishings.  It was authentic enough I didn’t want to plug anything extra in and made note of the fire exits just in case. We met another very nice couple and learned a bit of the history of the house.  Technically nothing I didn’t guess but the owners were not there and they actually know more details.

We had an odd amount of time this morning so we ended up stopping for Thor Ragnarock and I very much enjoyed it.  The theater was a ‘bistro’ so you could order lunch or snacks and there were seats with tables like a first-class airline so it was a very good experience.  The movie itself was well done, you can’t help but be inspired by hero movies – heroes are the ones running toward the danger, that is what they do.

Overall a very nice getaway.  It is a little town about an hour away and we choose it nearly at random because we just wanted something interesting and unknown to us and that it was.  We discovered that they have some really awesome playgrounds and also a great 20mile bike trail so we will probably be back in the spring so the guys training for their 150-mile ride can do a practice round.  We also didn’t get to tour what the town was originally famous for – the pottery – but we did go to the shoe museum and saw two very familiar pairs of boots; one my grandfather wore in WWII as a paratrooper and the other my parents wore as 70’s era mountain climbers.

I hope it won’t be years before we do something like this again but it was a special way to celebrate our 13th anniversary.

All Souls day

Today, the day after Halloween, we have our mishmash of religions rolled up into a day to remember those of our family and friends that have died.

Fortunately again, we have made another year without a personal addition to the list.

The point of the exercise is to keep the person alive in our minds, to remember them, for their lives to continue to have an impact and be a part of ours at least one day a year.  I have an album with all our people in it but it is packed away for the move so we will have to do something different for the kids this year.

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There is one person who is more real to us in death than she was in life…  There was a girl killed on the road right by the highschool and her friends and family have made the pole near the site a memorial to her.  She was 18, her name was not published in the paper but it is on her pole so we know it but I’ll respectfully not publish it either.   It is a version of my name so I’m unlikely to forget.  The memorial is diagonally across from a traffic light we stop at every day on our trip to school and at some point last year the girls noticed and asked about it.  We talked about what happened and lessons learned on both sides.  They are all three extremely sad for a life cut short and also pretty upset for the person who hit her.  We have absolutely no idea what happened to the driver but she will not be the same either.

The thing is, that was not the end of it.  We see it every day.  Whoever is maintaining it is doing a very good job.  A good job in both that they are keeping it clean and updated for seasons and also keeping the awareness of their friend or family in the minds of others.  Who knows if they will ever know that there are 3 kids who consider this memorial nearly daily.  They send good thoughts to the family sometimes and wonder what she might have done if she were still alive others.  I do hope they find comfort in their efforts even if they never think it extends beyond themselves.

You know that learning happens all the time, things you don’t expect at times you don’t plan.  This girl is remembered, she is teaching, she is not alive but she is present daily.  That is my Dio de Muerto as well as my Monday to Friday.

If you lost someone this year I hope you find comfort and remember them today.

Happy Halloween!

Wow, I’m so behind!  Well, I’m keeping it together in real life, just neglecting my online duties.  These are the things I have to recognize but don’t have time to do right at the moment.  They are on my list:

#1 – I was nominated for a blogging award.  I’m always flattered when people think my blog is good 🙂  I’ll be doing a better job on receiving it and passing it on ASAP.

#2 – I was also tagged for a 7 days and 7 black and white picture (no people) challenge and I also really want to do it.  It just has to wait a couple days.

#3 – I still intend to do the blog every day in November, I need to sign up officially but I again, miss blogging and even have a list now in my book of lists of topics to write about.

 

Here is what I have been keeping up on;  The Election is under a week away, this time next week I will know if all the work went into something productive or if the people who hate taxes won.  Seriously, I don’t like taxes, I do like safe streets and our town moving in the right direction.  The schools need to be funded.  period.  When I hear someone complain in the paper about how their taxes will increase by $500 a year I do a little mental math and see that their house is APPRAISED for TAX (not what it would sell on the market for mind you) at over $500,000.00.  The tax is under $10 per 100k of home value.  Please don’t cry on my shoulder about how you can’t afford it as you sip your $5 latte and type letters to the editor on your brand new laptop.  I digress…  We pledged a positive campaign and we are sticking by it.

In this last week we have a rally on Saturday, we are doing some last minute press in the paper, and I’m increasing the volume on all our social media.  I do hope it works, the alternative is really not fun.

Halloween.  I don’t know if the kids noticed but this year we didn’t do as much as normal but I still pulled off a few fun things.  The world also wasn’t helping, 2 events we were supposed to go to got rained out.  They were all super excited heading out to school today for their Halloween adventures.  1 is going to the pumpkin patch so she had to put on cold weather gear since this week we are at freezing temps.  1 is in the costume parade and 1 is watching and I’ll be there too taking pictures.  Tonight we are going to trick or treat door to door with friends and then go to the fantastic indoor party we love.  I’m also making the skull-shaped pizza for dinner.  Last night was mummy dogs, I’ve been sneaking spiders and eyeballs (fake) into lunches and snacks all last week, and today this is their snack.img_4366.jpg

I also gave them the once yearly treat of cereal with marshmallows.  Who does not love Halloween theme cereal!img_4358

And as always we did the shirts for 2 weeks before, here is the final day and while I didn’t do my normal daily picture this outfit was too cute to ignore.  img_4368

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you can tell by her face she knew that maybe she went too far with her pattern mixing. Please note she is hiding her watermelon leggings.

 

we did the pumpkin carving thing, only one did actual carving and the others painted.  It looks pretty idealized in the picture but in reality, I was so tired I could hardly help so they got free reign on design.

We also did get out to two events, a trunk or treat that had a fun little ‘spooky’ music play after.  Given that it was at a church they could not resist throwing in some all saints day things and that was actually pretty cool.  They also let the kids do a bell song and even with no practice (they held up cards for the color bell) they were ok.  Some kids just rang the entire time but they must have special church bells that work together so it was loud but not horrible.

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the other event was the Highschool spooky concert.  I love that they get so into it and even though the selection of Halloween style music arranged for a band, orchestra and chorus must be limited, they have been different every year.

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And I think this is long enough.  I have to get out and do some things before the events for today get rolling.  Tomorrow we start daily blogging so I’ll put up the costumes in their completeness 🙂  Hope you all have a happy Halloween.

Blog Offical

Since money has now changed hands, we are actually in contract to build a house!

We are moving about 5 miles away, up one exit on the highway, and on the other side of 35.  It has been an interesting few months looking at all the houses and going back and forth between existing home or building.

  • existing homes usually have a better house to ‘stuff’ value, like, for the same price as a new construction you ALSO get an outbuilding or a finished basement or a larger house.

Problem is, every house we liked was on land that we didn’t like and vice versa.  We also have pretty strict location limits because I want to stay in the district and keep close enough to the school to avoid changing.  What we found was good land in a good location for a good price that came with a builder.  The builder seems decent and we liked the model homes we toured and he is also very local and is willing to listen.  When I asked for a more energy efficient house he told me that modern techniques were very sound and he uses good materials.  That isn’t what I was getting at exactly but the fact that he listened when I talked passive solar and flipping the house layout to take advantage of winter sun gives me hope that this can be collaborative.  He also thought our carport idea was cool too, I do like them so far…

A timeline at least has a start now, finish in the spring.  Hope to sell this house in early spring to make a smooth transition.  Between now and then I’m going to be talking to some solar contractors and figuring out the world of solar farming.  The land is 4 acre (1.5 hectare for my metric friends) and very sunny – currently a corn field.  I wish there were some trees, but, we can plant those.  Step one was talking to our energy company and they don’t do it personally and pointed me at local companies that do.  I would love to make our house run on just the energy we produce but I need to learn the ways and hows of it.  It will be a fun project I hope!

That is the big news of the month.  All the other things are a bit crazy.  I’m behind on Halloween costumes, vote yes campaign is doing well, kids are all good, Lars is on a diet so is working out a ton, he has a goal to bike to Duluth (180ish miles) in the spring so he is biking a lot.  I choose busy nearly every time over bored!