Saturday, December 31, 2011

Utterly exhausted

If this blog entry isn't entirely coherent, it's because I'm very, very tired.

We've had a crazy few weeks.  Ten days ago, the movers finished packing up the house.  I believe that was on a Wednesday.  Thanks to good friends, my kids had places to go that day to play.  We spent the night at another friend's house, since our entire house was packed away in a moving van.  They had comfy beds for us.  I was so very tired.

Thursday morning, I went back to the house.  Three other friends came over and they helped me scrub my floors.  Every inch of the floor in that house was tiled.  To get that tile clean, it has to be scrubbed with a scrub brush.  We only had two scrub brushes and two mops, but we got it all cleaned.  It was amazing.  Those tiles are hard on the knees because you have to kneel while scrubbing, but those friends helped me without a single complaint.  They were so dear to do that.  We left the house at noon and I had a few errands to run.  We finally left the city to head out on our journey at 2 in the afternoon.  We arrived in Midland, Texas six hours later and stayed in a hotel room.

Friday morning we left Midland and six hours later we were in east Texas at my parent's home.  It was so wonderful to be there.  My parents and Gran were there.  The kids were so happy to be out of the van.  They played and played for hours.

We had a wonderful Christmas with family in Texas.

I left my parent's home on Wednesday, December 28th.  We drove and drove and drove and arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama around 5:30pm.  We ordered a pizza to our hotel room and we watched movies on TV.  My youngest daughter was  bouncing off the walls and jumping on the beds of the hotel room. 

Thursday we drove from Alabama to Salem, Virginia.  It was another long day in the van for everyone.  I don't think I had ever been through Tennessee before, but I loved it there.  It was green and rolling hills.  It was really pretty country.  I listened to a radio program for a while that was broadcasting from Detroit! 

The trip from Salem to our home near DC was only four hours yesterday.  I drove through some gorgeous areas of Virginia.  It was really beautiful.  Thanks to the GPS, I was able to find my way to the house, where the Hubby was waiting.  If it weren't for the GPS, I never would have found my way.  The house is tucked up in some hills, through winding roads that are filled with tall trees and beautiful homes.

Our home is very nice.  In another post I'll describe it more.  I like most everything about it except it has no garage.  Where do we store all of our stuff?  Where do we put holiday boxes?  Oh, and the kitchen is very small, but after the wonderfully huge kitchen I had in New Mexico, any kitchen would seem small.

Today the moving van arrived with out house stuff. It took the guys about six hours to unload everything.  The house is just filled with boxes.  I've unpacked a lot, but there is still so much to do.  I'm feeling quite overwhelmed and my feet are killing me.  I'm looking forward to sleeping tonight in my own bed again.  I'm just looking forward to sleep.   If I make it to mid-night to see the new year in, it will be amazing.  My husband reminded me tonight that unpacking the house is a marathon, not a sprint.  I can't do it all today.  Good advice.  Maybe it's time to quit the unpacking for the year :) and relax with a cup of root beer and a plate of cheese and crackers.  Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's a shame when.....

It's a shame when you are having a great hair day and will spend that entire day in the car.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Tonight we are in Alabama.  Tired of traveling, we ordered a pizza for dinner.  We are eagerly awaiting the pizza.

We started the day in Texas, drove through Louisiana, Mississippi, and now we are in Alabama.   The kids have been great.  We have one more full day on the road tomorrow.  Friday will be a short drive.

I had a wonderful visit with family in Texas, but I am very excited to arrive in our new home in Virginia.

Just a few more days.... I can make it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Slightly hysterical

Today I am slightly hysterical.  I keep telling myself it will all work out in the end.

I mean, so what if I forget to keep something out and the packers pack it away in a box.  This isn't an uncivilized country.  There is a WalMart every 10 miles in every city across America.  If I've forgotten something desperately important, like a toothbrush, I can buy a new one.

I will be reunited with all my stuff in about three weeks time.  I'll probably get all the boxes off the truck and wish I didn't have so much to unpack.

I admit I haven't had much patience with the kids (they've been bickering so badly), and I've sometimes been annoyed with my husband for leaving me in this situation, again.  I'm mad at myself for not having it more together.  I've not been terrible, but I've not been great either.

Today I took a pile of stuff to the local Goodwill drop off and on the way home I had my hysterical sobbing moment.  By the time I got home, I felt much better having let off some of that emotion and frustration and was able to face the house and kids again.

There is still SO much to do.  I guess what will happen will happen.  My sister reminded me tonight that in a few days, I'll be at my parent's home, resting, laughing and relaxing.  It will all be OK.  I've made plans to get together with a few friends from high school.  One of them I haven't seen in 20 years.  I'm excited to see them both and meet their families. It will be a merry Christmas.

My husband found a house for us.  I'm relieved.  I saw some pictures of it today.  It looks like a nice home and it has a yard!  A real yard with a fence and grass and trees.  It will be green in the spring.  How lovely it will be.  The kids will be able to play outside again.  We move in New Years Day.

If I am gone for a while, it's because I'm moving.  I disconnect the Internet tomorrow.  How will I survive?  If I'm not here again before Christmas day, then I want to say to ya'll,
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How time flies

The move is upon us.  It's almost here!  The movers come on Tuesday!

There is so much to do and yesterday I was kind of freaking out about it, but then I remembered that no matter what, the movers will come, the house will get packed and we will leave.  Taking care of my huge to do list will make the move easier, but it will happen regardless.  So, I shouldn't stress out to much.  It will all work out.

One week from today is Christmas!  Yay!

Yesterday I emptied the pantry, cleaned the shelves and repainted them.  I cleaned the stove and oven.  I hate cleaning the stove and oven. I cleaned the fridge.  I still need to do the freezer size, though.  I held a yard sale.  It was freezing cold outside.  I looked completely ridiculous, I'm sure, sitting in my big, soft computer chair, wrapped in a red and black Scotty dog blanket, sitting in the driveway.  To keep me occupied during the several hours outside, I read a book.  I found Black Narcissus  by Rumer Godden at the used book store.  I've been wanting to read it for a long time, but the book is out of print and most of the copies I can find online are more than I'm willing to pay.  I got lucky at the last trip to the used bookstore.   It's a great book.

I need to take down all the pictures in the house, puddy the holes and paint over the puddy.  Tomorrow I'll take down the few Christmas decorations I put up.  The tree is up with only the lights, the star on top and about 6 candy canes the kids hung up.  I also hung a small wreath and two strands of lights on the porch. 

Tonight I pack the kids suitcases (as much as I can.) I hope they don't pack the washer and drier until the last.

The other day, I was at the Walmart.  I was in the toy section with my youngest, letting her play with the toys before we moved onto the shopping.  I saw a Magic 8 Ball.  After thinking of all the many things I could ask it, I finally asked it, "Is everything going to work out with the move?"
It answered me: "Outlook good."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pizza Cereal

The other morning, my three year old asked me for pizza for breakfast.  We didn't have pizza.  She asked again for the breakfast pizza.  I had not made a breakfast pizza.  Frustrated with me, she showed me what she wanted - Honey Combs cereal.
Yeah, I guess it kind of looks like little pizzas.  So now, when I list the cereal choices to her, she gets to choose between cocoa bombs, pizza cereal, or the stuff in the red bag.

What to join us for breakfast?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Christmas play

My Auntie M's Children's Theater just had it's second production.

It was a reader's theater called "What Will You Tell Us of Christmas?"
The reading cast was divided into three groups and they read as a chorus.  Choral reading is really becoming a lost art among children.  They don't do those kinds of things in schools anymore.  No more reading plays or poetry.  So, a play like this is really a unique opportunity.

It turned out so cute.  The kids did great.  There was one little hiccup in the show, but it's pretty funny.  During the show, the children sang the first verse of several Christmas carols, but they never could get the tune right for "Once in Royal David's City."  They always sang it to the tune of "Hark, the Herald Angel's Sing."  I sang it for them, we even had a pianist playing the song during the show.  They still couldn't get it right.

I was sitting back stage during the show to help the little actors with costume and prop changes.  I just shook my head and laughed during the one poor mixed-up song.  Other than that, it was great!

Here is a picture of the cast after the show. Yes, we had 2 boys and 13 girls.  After the show, we had cookies and lemonade, which many of them are holding.

Thanks to my sweet kids and the parents who helped me out with the set up and clean up.
I'm sad that this was our last show here in New Mexico.  I'll take Auntie M's to Virginia and maybe I can start up something there this summer.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Shows

In October I talked about some of my favorite TV shows and their Halloween episodes.

Now it is Christmas time!

Those great Christmas specials are out and playing on TV now and I have a few favorites:

A Charlie Brown Christmas - classic.  Just classic.
Garfield Christmas

Favorite Christmas movies:
A Muppet's Christmas Carol
Several of the Christmas Carol versions: George C. Scott and Alistair Sim
Scrooge with Albert Finney (I love the song, "Thank You Very Much.")
White Christmas - gosh, I just love the songs and dances and I think Rosemary Clooney is just amazing

TV shows:
The Monkees - a cute episode to be sure, but at the end, they sing A cappella "Riu Chiu" and it is beautiful.  The harmony is amazing and it is such a fantastic display of their talents.


Friday, December 09, 2011

Dear Friends

Last night was a busy one.  My oldest son had his last orchestra concert at this middle school.  It was in the cafeteria of the local high school and involved every orchestra and choir from two middle schools.  As you can imagine, there were a LOT of families in that cafeteria.  It was hard to hear the performing groups.  Before that concert was over, my next two kids had their piano recital.  My two kids did a duet.  It was sweet and they did very well.

Hubby left yesterday morning to go to our new home.  Well, he's going to stay in a hotel because we don't have a home yet.  That's his job while he is there before the rest of us arrive in three weeks.

I had to rely on a friend to help me last night.  I couldn't be in two places at once.  I'm an independent person and I don't like to ask for help, but there was no way around it yesterday.  Thank goodness for dear friends.

I've been blessed here to know many wonderful people and have many good friends.  I'm sad to leave them. It's sadly funny, but you know who your good friends are when you are moving because they all offer to help with that trickiness that is moving.  They have said, "Do you need help packing?" "Do you need help cleaning?"  "Do you need a place to stay?"  "I'll take the kids anytime you need so you can get some work done without them."  Then there are the people who say, "What day are you packing?  I'll be there."  They don't just offer, they are ready to put it on their calendars.

It's truly amazing.  Thankfully, I don't need help packing.  The movers will do that for me!  Hooray!  We have a place to go after the movers have packed our things.  I've got sleeping bags, but on our dumb concrete floors, it's not a fun place to sleep.  My husband's co-worker and his wife (my son's cello teacher) are putting us up in their house.  I've told them you don't need to do anything special for us.  We'll just all crash in your living room.  But no, they'll have two bedrooms waiting for us.

If I really thought about all the generosity that is being shown us, I would break down and cry and you might not be able to pry me away from my empty house.  How can I leave?

I just hope that I can find good friends where we are going.  I hope I can help someone in return.  I hope I can repay the kindness that is being shown me.

I didn't mean to be so mushy and I didn't intend to write this when I sat down to blog, but I can't help it today.  Thank you dear friends.  Thank you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Rio Grande

Here we are standing in the middle of the Rio Grande.  It's dry during the winters and fast flowing with water in the summers.  A number of miles up stream is a dam.  Right now they aren't letting any water through.  It's been a dry year, until this last week.

I knew we couldn't move without getting our picture taken in the middle of the Rio Grande.  We were surprised by the very soft sand and clams in the sand!

It was very cold that day and it started to rain while we were in the middle of the river.  We took a few goofy pictures and hopped back into the warm van.

Then on Monday, it snowed!  Tuesday was a snow day!  The kids loved that.  Today the world is back to normal, except for some snow left unmelted in the shadowed places of the city.  Pretty cool.  Actually, it's pretty cold.  Today, when my son left for school it was 20 degrees.  I wouldn't let him out of the house to go to school until he had put on long pants.  Monday, the day it snowed, he went to school in shorts and a t-shirt.  He was so mad at me today and told everyone about the cruel and unusual punishment that he has endured because his mother made him wear long pants.  He still wore a t-shirt and no jacket....

Teenage boys..... what can you do?

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Lamp

We are quite practical when it comes to furnishing our house.  I don't have a decorating gene in my body.  My sister got them all!  We have a black sofa.  We have a black rocking chair.  We have bookshelves that hold books.  The pictures on the wall are family photos.  I've tried to match all the frames, but that's about all the decorating I do.  I would like to decorate.  I would like to make cozy corners with a side tables, comfy chairs, and a gee, I don't know.  A knick knack?  What do you do with a cozy corner with a table and chair?

See I'm really not talented when it comes to decorating.

Last week, my son's employer (and a good friend of the family) gave our son a family gift.  It is a lamp.  The lamp is shaped like the Eiffel Tower!  I love it!  It's so art deco.  Now I know what to put in that cozy corner with the table and chair - my Eiffel Tower lamp.
Too bad I don't have that cozy corner.  For now it sits on my kitchen counter.  Hey!  Maybe the next house I can have a cozy corner. Now I just need a comfy chair, a side table and a house to put it all in....

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Back on line

I'm so happy to have my computer back.

Today was our last play practice for Auntie M's Christmas play.  This has been a very different kind of play and experience for me.  It's been fun.  I'm not nearly as stressed out as I was last time, but there are a few things that I'm just not sure how they will come together for the play next week.  They may not, and that is OK. 

I didn't want to involve kids younger than six, but instead I ended up with two 4 year olds.  They, actually, are doing great.  Although one of these cute 4 year olds was picking his nose on stage today.  I laughed.  It's amusing to see a shepherd digging for gold.

Next Saturday morning is the big show.  I'm excited for it.  It will be a lot of fun.  The play is short, maybe 25 minutes long, and half of that time is singing Christmas carols.  I'll be glad when it is done.  Since we are moving in three weeks, not having my Saturday mornings free to work on things has been difficult.  I really need to hold a yard sale.  I could just take all the stuff to the local Goodwill, but it would be nice to try and make a little money first.  Moving is so expensive.  Anything extra I can get will help.

This next week will be crazy!  Not bad, just busy.  I bought paint so I can start touching up the walls in the house.  I'll work on painting on Monday.  I'm NOT doing that while all the kids are in the house.

Well, I'm just kind of rambling.  I'll stop that for now.  There is a lot to work on....

I decided not to pull out all the Christmas decorations this year, but I did pull out the tree and put lights on it and the star on top.  That is probably all we'll do with the tree, but it sure is pretty to have my little tree with the blue lights on it.  I love Christmas lights.

Just a funny thing:  Last night I made my oldest son laugh while he had three saltine crackers in his mouth.  Yeah, there was a lot of cracker pieces to clean up, but it sure was funny.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Phone

Years ago, we had a phone.  It had been a good phone.  It had actually gone through the washing machine (accidentally) once.  And yet, it lived, worked, and was good to us for many years.  Then it died.

I used a cheap corded phone while I decided what to do next.

My sister had just bought a new phone for her house, so she mailed me her old one.  Now, the reason she bought a new phone was because the old one was very unreliable.  She was quite annoyed with it.

Now, I was in possession of the annoying phone.  It did give us trouble, but most of the time it worked.  Then, as time passed, it got more and more unreliable.  It didn't ring.  It wouldn't give us a dial tone.  It was not a good phone.  But, I was too cheap to buy a new one and of course, I didn't want to offend my sister, who had so graciously given me the phone.  (In retrospect, she probably sent me that phone to pay me back for trying to sell her when she was a baby.)

The phone got worse and worse.  I called it the stupid phone.  I would see someone out and about in town and frequently heard, "I tried to call you, but your phone did something strange."  and I would say, "Yes, it is a stupid phone."

Still, I was too cheap to go out and buy a new one. 

Well, this last week, it wasn't working at all.  We couldn't make calls out and we weren't getting calls in.  I yanked it from the wall and tossed it out.  I plugged in a cheap corded phone again.  My new cheap phone is a white, slim-line phone with no connections to oriental food what-so-ever.  (That's for you, sis)

Today, I admitted to my sister that I had gotten rid of the stupid phone.  Do you know what she said to me?  "It's about time!"

Well, (snobby turned up nose) see if I accept a used phone from her again.