Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Safety Pin

I think it can be said without stepping on too many toes, that half the population of the United States is bitterly disappointed in the outcome of the election for President.  Actually a better description of my reaction is shock.  But this is the way of democracy.  Mr. Trump will be our President for the next 4 years.

I wish him well.  I want him to succeed because as President Obama stated, Mr. Trump's success will be our success.  I won't do anything in this blog, in person or on social media to tear down our President - now or in the future.  Respect for the opinions of a significant portion of our population must be allowed in a civilized democratic society.

In the wake of this election, however, we are left with a lot of uncertainty - and for many fear.   In a very divided nation as we appear to be, there must be a place where we can reach a common ground.  I am not talking about policy or politics, nationally or regionally or even locally.  The common ground I speak of must be found individually between people - one relationship at a time.

That is where the safety pin movement comes into play.

I got this flag safety pin in the wake of 911.
The safety pin movement is based on just a single undecorated safety pin.
But I couldn't help bringing out my 911 pin for this effort.
A plain safety pin visibly worn on the clothing is a symbol and a silent message to all of your support of anti-violence and anti-bigotry.  No words are needed.  Like a secret handshake - we can identify those who support the rights of all people - who are interested in providing a safe and respectful environment wherever you may be.

Please take the time to read the article about this movement and its origins.  Participate - show your support for the rights of all people.

One paragraph in this article pretty much sums up the focus:

"Now there's a burgeoning effort in the United States for people to start wearing the safety pin ... in the face of post-election attacks and harassment.  Having to adopt a symbol of anti-violence and anti-bigotry is not exactly what any of us thought we'd be doing in the wake of a presidential election taking place in 2016, but it could be one small way to signal that you're an ally (regardless of who you voted for) to someone who probably didn't think they'd be in this vitriolic and volatile situation either."

I am still upset about the result of this election - but this one small step forward makes me feel better.  And looking for other ways to make things better ... not matter how small ... it is worth the effort.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thank You Readers

I haven't said this yet.

Image Credit

Thank you for sticking with me during this difficult (and some times whiny) time.
  It began to feel to my own ears like I was obsessed ... going on and on and on ...
as I worked my way through this mega life change.
Even as I was writing I was feeling annoyed with myself - sometimes telling myself
 'GET OVER IT' for gosh sakes!!  

And yet I couldn't - at least then.

It was part of the reason I took a small break - until the townhouse sold.
  I was just tired of feeling the way I was feeling, I couldn't shake it,
and I couldn't inflict any more of that on you.

I am way better than I was - and we are doing well.

But a major thank you to all of you.

You guys are the best!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Knitted Shawl - Holden

One of the things that kept me from going crazy during the last 4 months was knitting.  Here are the pictures of my most recent finished object. 

This shawl pattern is call Holden by Mindy Wilkes.
I have made this pattern twice and will probably make it again.  It is a very enjoyable and easy knit.

The yarn is a gradient set by Miss Babs called Eucalyptus.  The gradient yarns contain graduated colors of 100% Superwash Merino wool - fingering weight yarn - 798 yards.  What does not show are the true colors.  It begins with a green into a blue into a tan into a pinkish tan into a pink.

Here is the gradient set called Eucalyptus off the Miss Babs web site.
Even these colors don't look like the ones in my kit
Oh well.  Guess you have to see it in person.

The funny thing about this yarn was while I knitted, I decided I didn't like the colors.  I was disappointed with how they moved from one color to another.  I couldn't decide what made me purchase this mix of colors (all were packaged together as a group picked by Ms. Babs.)  Ms Babs colors are always stunning.  I figured this for a 'fail' but decided to finish it because I love the pattern.

Once I finished the shawl - I still didn't care for it.  Then I blocked it.  Like magic, I decided I DID like it!  Blocking really is the 'wonder-action' that makes all things right in knitting.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Condo - Guest Bedroom and Bathroom

A series of posts on my new home.
As I go about my day in this new place I call home
I frequently think ...
"I like this (xyz) so much better."
Maybe I should write about it."

Before you peek into the guest room, a small disclaimer must be made.  The 'guest room' has a long- term resident in it already.  My yarn collection.  Beyond food, I seem to hoard yarn as well, but I like to call it a collection instead of a hoarding tendency.  Ha!  And to all knitterly visitors to this post, you should know, my yarn collection is big by my standards and average by the standards of other knitters ... apparently. So the guest room sometimes is called the Yarn Room.

Anyway, here goes!
The wall to the left houses most of my yarn for crafts.
I say 'most' because some yarn is on the other wall and in the living room.
It is a yarn condo!

I have always wanted to have an official guest room  In our townhouse we had lots of space and many rooms but no one room worked as well as this one does as a guest room  This is mostly because the possible townhouse guest rooms were either on the second level - near our rooms - limited privacy or in the basement.  Both required stair climbing to reach and most of our guests were not good on steps.  Frequently guests slept on an uncomfortable pull out couch or blow up mattress in the living room.

Opposite wall - holds all my books, puzzles, games and other craft items, and some yarn, of course.  

Sometimes this wall reminds me of a yarn shop.  Makes me smile.
Masked "Mousequerade."
In this room I also have the remains of a stuffed animal collection.  I used to have many more stuff animals, but this collection was thinned down to what I thought I had room for (and to what I love most of all) in this new place.  Mousequerade is a collectable stuffed cat, who is masquerading as a mouse in a mouse cape with a basket full of cheese.  Obviously this sweet looking cat has 'plans' to trick some little mouse.

Here is Mousequerade without the face mask and with his hood pulled back exposing such an appealing face.  My first (and dearly loved) cat in 1969 was a black and white tuxedo cat called Ashes.  This stuff animal reminds me of him.  When I saw this stuff animal in a gift shop in Savage Mill I was totally in love with him.  But the cost was ridiculous.  I couldn't justify it.  I walked away from him, but my brain would not let it go.  After about 5 days, my husband said - if he is still there go buy him.  He was still there!!  I never regretted this purchase.

On the bed sits a stuffed white angel cat with white wings and glasses. I got this cat on our first trip to Maine.  It was sitting on a gift store counter next to the cash register.  As with Mousequerade, the moment I saw him I had to have him.  But we were visiting the area and would not be returning in 5 days.  So he left with me that day.  This sweet stuffed animal reminds me of a time when my husband and I could travel together with limitations.  I am so glad I fell into that impulse purchase.

The bear is special because he wears my very first knitted sweater.  I took a 7 week learn to knit class back in 1997.  In the 90s I had a terribly stress filled job that I lived and breathed for about 4 years.  It made me into a uncaring and unhappy person.  To save my sanity and to bring back the person I was before being a manager, I quit that job with no job prospects in sight and I took a knitting class.   The sweater on this bear reminds me never to let others change who I am.  Never let circumstances make you a lesser person.  Be sure to remain caring to all.  Remember what is important in life.  This bear, which is not collectable at all, carries much on it sweatered shoulders.

This desk was one of the two pieces of my mom's that I brought with me to the condo.  Actually the desk was mine as a child.  It is a simple drop leaf maple desk but I would never part with it.  It reminds me of mom and of my childhood.

Here is another stuffed cat that is part of my small collection.  I just love the cat on its own, but in its arms is the silk flower corsage that my mom was given and wore on the day of my son's wedding.  My son was married on my mom's 60th Wedding Anniversary so she was recognized on that day with this corsage and a small matching silk bouquet of flowers.  It was a very special day - special for my son and his wife, and special because it was the best mom was mentally and physically before she began to seriously decline.

I am still figuring out how to decorate, but the evolving theme is 'cats' and 'yarn.'

The full bathroom off the second bedroom has two doors: one door is off the bedroom, the second door is off the living room.  It is a good size bathroom and would house a wheel chair or a walker if needed. It also has its own linen closet.

Max our cat loves this room.
Not all the cats in this room are stuffed!

The guest room is a special room for me.  This is one think the townhouse didn't give me - one room with all my important things.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A pause in the story ...

I guess I took an unexpected pause ...

Not the pause that was planned or refreshes ... just a pause to cope.

Last I wrote was September 21 - and I was in the middle of a "condo tour."  I will get back to that with the next post.  But this post is about the "pause."  Hard to believe it is now November 6.

Our townhouse settlement date (or the giving away of a "child" I birthed) was scheduled for October 27.  As we move closer and closer to that date my focus on anything was a failure.  Of course, I had tasks to do related to the sale.   I visited the townhouse off and on, meeting with contractors, sweeping and raking periodically, collecting mail, chatting with the neighbors.  It kept me connected and engaged, but it also kept me emotionally tied to the property.

I didn't sleep well the night before settlement.  I didn't think I would.

The day of settlement my husband and I arrived in the lobby of the settlement company.  As we reached the front desk a man passed by us and approached a young couple sitting on a couch.  I heard him mention something about " .... here for Setting Sun Way property."  I turned and said we were also here for Setting Sun Way property. I met the lovely young couple who was going to buy my dear townhouse.   And when I say "lovely" ... I totally mean it.  Before the settlement began, the woman said that she "thought she knew my daughter" and that I looked just like her.  Turns out she did know my daughter.  They went to high school together. She and her parents had lived in this neighborhood back then and she loved the area. This couple were very very excited about moving into the townhouse. She commented several times what good care I had taken of the unit.  Basically, she said all the right things.

The knot in my stomach began to unwind.  Here was the perfect young family (they had a 10 month old child), who wanted to make a home in our home ... in our neighborhood ... around our neighbors ... because she loved it.

You cannot possibly imagine just how relieved I was to meet this perfect people - who I would have chosen if I could - to live in my home.  When we left settlement I began to let go of the grip of steel I had on that townhouse for so long.  My "child" was going to a good family.

On Halloween I was invited back to Setting Sun Way by a few of my former neighbors.  Halloween is a big deal in that community.  It was just one big happy mad house.  The new owners of the townhouse were just returning from somewhere and we talked for a bit.  My former neighbors came up and introduced themselves to the new owners.  It was a warm and welcoming time.  Before I moved on, the woman asked me if I would like to come in and see what they had done so far inside.  I declined.  As I told her, I got through settlement without tears, not sure I could go inside now without tears.

I am beginning to feel a certain level of comfort in this condo.  It may never reach the level of "home," but it will become more than just "where I am living."  Now I am thinking about blogging again.  I am beginning to bring out some hobbies I previously abandon.  I am changing out some appliances that need replacing.  I am redoing some of the window treatments.  I am setting down some roots.

And I am not visiting the townhouse.  It is now busy with other folks.  :-)

Next time I will continue with the condo tour, and we will visit the guest room.

Talk again soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Condo - Kitchen

A series of posts on my new home.
As I go about my day in this new place I call home
I frequently think ...
"I like this (xyz) so much better."
Maybe I should write about it.

The Kitchen

I am not a 'kitchen' person.  I could get along with much less kitchen.  Stunningly, my smaller condo came with a bigger kitchen.  Like twice the size. Sometimes I miss my smaller kitchen because I could work in that space efficiently - with just a turn get what I needed.

Cooking is the main function of this room.  I don't enjoy cooking!  I cook to eat.  There is one exception to this - I enjoy making special dinners - like holidays, birthdays, company meals, etc. But the every day cooking, the several times a day kind of cooking - is pretty much a chore.

Unfortunately eating is a requirement of life ... like breathing!  I do enjoy eating (and breathing) so I do what I have to do to get by.  What to say about the condo kitchen?  


Ha!  I didn't even wash the dishes for this picture.

Surprisingly, I am happy with this kitchen!!

First off ... the kitchen holds every 'kitchen thing' I own.  That might seem like an odd statement - but in the townhouse some kitchen things spilled into the basement (down a flight of stairs) and around a corner - down a hall - not nearby at all.  Some pantry items also were stored in the basement.   This kitchen is big enough to solve that problem.  

Speaking of the pantry, most condos I have seen don't have a pantry.  My condo pantry is bigger than my townhouse pantry.  That feature is pretty sweet!  I tend to be a food hoarder - I know - sounds a bit contradictory - hates cooking / hoards food!  Answer - I am not much on being hungry.

Pull out lower shelves
I do love the white cabinets!  But the real plus is their function.  They have pull out shelves in the lower cabinets.  Wonderful.  I have a pot carousel in the corner cabinet.  Amazing.  In the town house my lower shelves were sort of 'no-man's-land.'  Sometimes pots got just dropped into a heap in the lower cabinets because the space was so un-user friendly.

My corner carousel

The most important appliance in the kitchen for me is a refrigerator.  It hoards stores food.  I could hand wash my dishes, use a hot plate and toaster oven for cooking, but I like a nice refrigerator.  The one in the condo has many problems: too small, exterior casing is damaged, one produce drawer broken, freezer on top rather than bottom.  But this refrigerator has one feature I totally adore - it has an ice maker.  I have never owned an ice maker and I use a lot of ice.   It is also a working unit so we will keep it ... until we have the money to replace it.

There are other minor things that I like about this kitchen, but it has one feature I really really love.

The washer and drier are located in the kitchen.  I totally LOVE the location.  Most condos do not have full size washer and driers - they have stackable units and many are located in hallways to save space.  I most certainly could get along with smaller units, but the luxury of having full size units in the kitchen is a big plus for me.

So the judgement on the kitchen?  I'll keep it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Condo - Deck

A series of posts on my new home.
As I go about my day in this new place I call home
I frequently think ...
"I like this (xyz) so much better."
Maybe I should write about it.

The Deck

Although the deck is not technically inside the condo, you get to it through my front door.  And it is turning out to be a favorite place to spend quiet morning time.

When we first viewed this condo and I saw the deck, my first thought was ... cute, small, not sure how important it is, won't use it much.  After all I rarely used my townhouse deck and never my brick patio.  I was very aware of the street noise at the condo and the busyness just outside the windows.  Inside was my focus.  The goal was never to find exactly the right external setting - other than a safe and well maintained neighborhood.

I do remember immediately liking the door to the deck.  It was an actual door and storm door off the den.  We will eventually replace the storm door with one that has a screen.  But I was happy to leave the glass slider days behind me.  

I also remember liking the fact this was a covered deck.  My townhouse deck was inviting and a generous size, but it was open to the elements.  If your neighbors stepped onto their deck you immediately had company.  I hardly ever used it.  This deck is different in every way.  A more private sheltered feeling.


View from the deck to the right.

The deck faces the front entrance to the development (picture above.)   Across the street there is a small farm/ranch that boards horses.  That property is probably a throw-back to the original purpose of all the land that surrounds it but is now built up.  The road between our development and that barn in the distance ... is usually a busy road.

View of the community from the deck to the left.

Almost every morning I slip outside to sit on this deck.  Morning coffee on the deck in my pajamas with my book or computer and my fierce wooden cat birdhouse (which no bird in their right mind would use) has become the start of many days.  

My fierce cat bird house - entrance through the mouth.
Definitely less deck but way more use than the larger deck. 

New space, new routines.

So far so good.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Condo - Path to the front door

A major concern was access.  It was simple: avoid steps.   For a time that criteria barred us from some very nice condos.  Second story and third story walk-ups were out. Our future might include a walker or even a wheel chair.  Sales of first floor condos were less common and when they did show up stairs would surprisingly be part of the access.

There is an external foyer and locked hallway door.  People need to be buzzed in.
This is not a feature I wanted particularly,
but it has is uses.  We don't get door-to-door sales anymore.

Then this 55+ community 2nd floor condo showed up.  It had an elevator.  Finally!

The elevator is, of course, a safety feature for my husband.  Yes, all those townhouse stairs kept our legs strong for 31 years.  But in the last year the stairs caused my husband some problems.  Just like my elderly mom before, the positive effect of stair climbing turned on us - they became a risk.  This elevator was the answer to that problem.

Our elevator
... a requirement if we were going to be on an upper floor.

Another unexpected plus to interior hallways are protection from the weather.  From a cleaning perspective, this hallway buffer to our front door is worth its weight in gold.  For years we tracked in the dirt, leaves, water, snow ... you name it ... from the community directly into our house.  Having the luxury of a carpeted hallway - no outside mess in the condo ...  is wonderful.

The community streets and the hallways are well lit.  I spent almost 2 years trying to get improved lighting on the townhouse common area steps near our townhouse with no success.  No amount of reasoning would move the board of directors to improve lighting for anyone - even someone who was disabled.  Go figure.  Now that problem is solved as well.

Our front door.
But we don't live in hallway, so next time we will go beyond the front door.

The condition of the condo was another major consideration.

Next time ...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Condo

A series of posts about my new home.
As I go about my day in this new place I call home
I frequently think ...
"I like this (xyz) so much better."
Maybe I should write about it.

After all the angst I have felt and expressed about leaving my townhouse home, it might have popped into some minds that I am just not happy in my new place.

That is not true.  

The condo has a locked front door.  Guests need to be buzzed in.  
Living on the second floor means that we no longer need an alarm system.
Glad to be free of that expense.
Less is more.
We are happy here.  As time passes many unknown positive qualities of this condo become evident.  And as I visit the empty townhouse to check on stuff and to pick up mail, it confirms that the move was the right decision.  The townhouse is too big, it has too many steps, it costs too much money to maintain - on and on.  Still ... as I stand in my empty townhouse and I let my mind drift to the life events  that occurred there, my eyes still tear up.  But if someone could magically undo everything we did over the last month - if we could somehow still be settled and living in our townhouse as before - I wouldn't do it.

The improved quality of life that continues to be unveiled every day in this condo make this place the right one for our stage of life.

And so with that in mind, I thought I would take you through my new space a section at a time.  The differences between townhouse living and condo living are pretty remarkable.

The overlying theme of condo living is 'less is more.'  I know that phrase is trite, but it has certainly proven true for me.  As I take you from space to space, you probably will agree.

Another personal side benefit of this journey is that in documenting the many many positives of our new life here, it helps me heal the wound of leaving my other life.  I am pretty much tired of feeling down about this and I getting annoyed with myself.   I am pretty sure you are tired of hearing about it as well.  So I am pulling up my big girl panties and moving on.  I think this series might help.

So here we go.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fatigue ...

The month of September is quickly speeding along.

It is hard to believe but this weekend we will have been in this condo for 4 weeks.  Some days (like when I am tired and discouraged) it seems like we are still living in someone else's house for an extended vacation.  Other days my mood is up, I am more rested, the space feels like it could be ours, and I am finally doing a few normal things again.  But mostly it still feels like someone else's condo.

I think fatigue is the culprit.

The main contributor is mental fatigue.  The moving/buy/sell process we started last year and stepped up this spring just never seems to end.  And I am so ready for it all to be over and settled.  The sale of our town home, while under contract, is not a problem free experience.  The actual 'sale' is not a done deal until settlement ... when signatures and money are exchanged ... so much can go wrong.  In fact there has been a hiccup or two with this prospective buyer already so my concern is not without merit.  Our agent is earning his fee as he maneuvers us through the mine field of selling property.

Physical fatigue and stress cannot be minimized either.  Just when I think I am catching up, there are setbacks.  We had one of those setbacks this week.  Our townhouse is protected by a monitored alarm system.  We continue to use the alarm to protect the property since it is vacant.  A few nights ago at 11:15 pm, I got a phone call from the central monitoring desk.  Our alarm was tripped ... basement glass sensor.  They called me.  I was sound asleep.  The monitoring desk asked ... Do you want the police sent? Yes, send the police.  The property is vacant!  Will you meet them at the property?  Yes, we will meet them.  We were 15-20 minutes away.  But off we went in our pajamas on a wet dark stormy night.  When we got there everything looked fine from a distance.  But we were instructed to wait in our car - to not approach the property until the police arrived.  We waited an hour - no police!  I called the alarm company and they called the police again.  Apparently the police did arrived within 5 minutes of the call, checked the property, everything looked fine, and left.  We left as well crawling back into bed at 1:30 am.  And sleep came about an hour later.  As luck would have it, a very big storm went through our old neighborhood with a massive thunder/lightening event close by - setting off the sensor in the basement.  No harm done, except to our peace of mind and rest.

So the effort of this move/buy/sell process continues - until the townhouse belongs to someone else.  Hopefully that will continue as scheduled to its logical end so that I can finally close this chapter and really move on.

I have some blog post ideas in the 'hopper' but no energy or desire to post right now.  Still just putting one foot in front of the other.  But I thought I would stop by for a short update.

Be back ... whenever!!

Friday, September 2, 2016

A forward look

After so long living in one place,
this move feels like a line in the sand of my life.

In the two weeks we have been here I have met a number of very nice neighbors.  Some are at my exact stage of life.  Some are younger and still working.  Some, of course, are struggling with the normal aging process.  But all together they are a very different mix of population than where I was.  It is to be expected in a 55+ community.

It was never our goal to be in a 55+ community, but the accommodations we needed for my husband's disability were found here.  

And, in fact, the pluses are many. 
  • The math isn't complicated.  The condo costs us less to live.  We lived comfortably before, but the cost of inflation can nibble away at retirement.  We saw that disintegration with both mothers who initially retired with money to spare, but in the end struggled to keep ahead of expenses.  Hopefully with this move will have pushed that possibility further into the future for us.
  • Our living space isn't complicated either.  Smaller, yes, but the use of space is so much more efficient that smaller seems just.  The benefits of living "small" are many.  Just a few examples: it takes less time to clean this place, increasing one's stuff is limited, I don't have far to walk to get what I want.  After years of bigger and more, this change now makes me very happy.  I don't regret giving up floor space or stuff.  I am witness to the fact that actually moving all your belongings from one place to another puts a different perspective on stuff ownership.  At times our stuff (including yarn) felt like a ball and chain around my neck.  We will keep shrinking but at a slower rate.  After all, someday I will probably move from here and this load will seem very heavy then too.
  • Once totally settled, my focus must shift to me!  For months the focus was "us" and "husband."  The "me" focus was ignored.  No time.  Back to my knitting crafts, and exercising and maybe some volunteering 
Yes, the line in the sand ...
I guess it is never too late to build another life.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The House Gets Listed

The house was listed on Wednesday of last week.  The sign appeared on the post.  The waiting game began.

Agents have an electronic appointment system that alerts you by email when an appointment is scheduled for a property showing.  Handy.  But unexpectedly emotional (of course!)

The first email I got was exciting - gosh, someone wants to see my house - and then the reality of that sunk in - because they might want to buy it away from me.

I know, I know.  That is the whole point of this exhausting exercise.

The email announcement of the first appointment brought tears to my eyes.  I was weepy for a few hours.  I felt like I had to be somehow part of the process making sure the new prospective owners were worthy of this property - people do that right??  NOT!

By the time 9 appointments were scheduled in a 3 day period I was getting better as accepting this.

An open house was held on Sunday.  Apparently another 18 prospective buyers came through.  Two of them made appointments for this week to view the property a second time.  Nice.

Then on Monday morning an offer came to us - a third person from the open house.  The offer was over our asking price.  That news was stunning to us ... of course the townhouse has to appraise at what was offered.  But still is was very welcomed.

So now chapter two of our real-estate odyssey begins.  This chapter should not be as exhausting and in early October ... if the gods are with us ... we will be down to owning just one property.  The condo.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Week After

The townhouse was my top priority.  We had a week to get it prepped for sale.  Much to do.

I made trips each day to collect stray items that were overlooked.  But when I arrived on Monday I was met with a sign post sticking out of my front yard ... no sign yet, but that fast the post was up.  It was a bit jarring.

Wednesday was a long day.   Replacement carpeting in 4 rooms was scheduled.  Paint touch up and an alarm repair also was on the agenda.  Another car load of "stuff" came back to the condo.  I should be good for paper towels, cleaning supplies, extension cords and flash lights for a few years.

By the end of the week a cleaning company was scheduled.  The only emotional pull was when I stopped by the townhouse to pay the cleaning crew.  I walked in and the house smelled wonderful - not like my house at all.  :-) That was good.  In talking with the crew chief she said I had a lovely townhouse.   I looked around and realized one more time just what I was leaving.  That was not good.  I made my quick good byes, and thank yous, and left money, and exited quickly.

It was a busy and tiring week, but the house was finally ready for its pictures, a movie (yes, a movie!) and brochures.

The house was ready.  I wasn't as ready.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Movers Arrive

We contracted with a moving company called Two Marines Moving Company.  This company came highly recommended.  They hire many former military and active duty police looking for additional work.  It was a very good choice.

They arrived 30 minutes early (military start early or on time).  My first thought when I saw the trucks was ... you are early.  I have 30 more minutes left on my time here.  Silly, I know but what pops into your brain is not controllable.  It is what it is.

I remember stepping outside to help direct them into the space saved for them - they were already on it.  No instructions needed.  I remember saying to my daughter ... "I will not cry," as tears filled my eyes.  So much for mind over matter!

The crew was made up of 5 guys.  They were ready to rock!  After a short walk through and some discussion they got to work.

I had already arranged for all my friends and family take the final items they were moving and to go on to the air conditioned condo at the start of the move.  I would stay while the movers worked.  I had my reasons.  This was going to be another 100 degree day.  The front door would be open.  It wouldn't take long for the heat and humidity to fill the house.  No sense in all of us standing around (and in the way) sweating.  It was a logical move.

But I had an ulterior motive besides the logical one.  I wanted this time to be mine alone.  I watched as box after box rapidly left the townhouse.  They moved all 107 boxes in about 30 minutes.

They wrapped the furniture beautifully.   The move went without a hitch.  By 12:30 the movers were on the road to the condo with all my stuff.  I hung back with the excuse of closing up and putting the air conditioning back on.  I alerted my family the movers were on the way. I would follow shortly.

It was a sad time knowing this final step had come to pass.  I would be back later that week to pick up a few final items, to arrange for cleaning, to touch up paint and to do all the little things forgotten in the busyness of the morning ... but this time was mine - a final private goodbye to a shelter I loved for almost half of my life.

As I drove away I knew the hardest part was over.  When I arrived my family and friends had set out the food, the movers were having lunch, enjoying some cool air, and taking a small break before unloading.

The rest of the day was a blur for me.  I was so tired.  But I couldn't seem to sit either.  Nervous energy I guess.  I helped direct the location of items as they came in.  My kids helped get the kitchen set up as boxes were delivered.  By the end of the day, all the furniture was set in its spots, the kitchen  could be used and the bed had sheets on it.  We could survive here while the dust settled.

I had survived moving day!

But mini-challenges were ahead ...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Day After Settlement

We signed on the dotted line (a gazillion times!) on settlement day.  The rest of time I was bonded to my couch and blanket.  Around 6:30 pm - I went to bed.  After weeks of pushing the limits of my endurance, it felt decadent to go to bed so early.  The bed felt wonderful and sleep came rapidly.

But by 3:00 am I was up again ... this time hungry ... and ate a toasted bagel with lots of butter and salt.  It was divine!  Then back to bed again and more sleep.  I was certainly on the mend if I could eat a whole bagel.

The next day - the day after settlement - friends and family arrived to help move the mountain of stuff that was not assigned to the movers.  As each person arrived, they graciously inquired about my health, hoped I felt better, commented on my peaked appearance, etc. etc. etc.  Everyone made appropriate polite suggestions - keep drinking, eat as you can, take frequent rests, we will help.

Then my sister and her husband arrived - last - coming from the furthest away.  She walked directly into the kitchen where I sat, started out with the normal inquiry ... "how are you feeling," and then without taking another breath said ... "You look like hell!!!"  Hahaha!  It was good to laugh.  Only a sister can call it like she sees it, and get away with it!  My son quickly responded, "She looks much better. You should have seen her yesterday.  She looked like the crypt keeper's daughter!  Gray and all."  Another laugh. I was thankful I looked that good yesterday.  On settlement day I felt like the crypt keeper's grandmother!

Truly I felt better that morning.  Salted and buttered bagels are miracle carbs.  But I still needed to sit frequently.

The mountain of stuff disappeared quickly into waiting cars and trucks.  Off we went to see what all our signatures bought!  With so many hands helping the job went quickly leaving time to visit to visit at the condo.  But in the back of my mind I was really dreading the next day.  Movers would come and we would truly be moved out of our home and living in someone else's home -

Well ... technically my home but ... you know what I mean.

More later.

Settlement Day

Between visits to the bathroom and collapsing on the bed, a few decisions got made.

I knew settlement must go on.  Too many other arrangements hinged on this process.  I just wasn't sure how to make it happen.

Once again our agent showed his worth.  Since my husband really couldn't see to do the walk thru of the condo without me at 10:00 am ... and I pretty much "married" to my bathroom  ... the agent suggested doing the walk thru on his own.  He reported back that all was well.

He also arranged for the settlement to be performed in two parts.  The sellers coming from Pennsylvania completed their portion of the settlement at the original time of 11:00 am.  And our portion of the settlement was scheduled for 3:00 pm - in hopes that my symptoms would pull back a bit.  And they did.

Of course, I could not drive - but that was resolved by our son who was scheduled to attend the settlement to assist his father with signing the documents.  Who would have guessed he would be helping both of us.

By the time 3:00 arrived I had been able to keep down small sips of fluids for about 4 hours.  That was good.  It gave me the energy to walk.

The agent made sure our meeting was schedule close to a bathroom.  Early in the meeting I joked about the need for me to exit for a "smoke break."  Everyone chuckled, but if the bathroom hadn't been close, it wouldn't have been funny.  Seriously.  This "never smoked in her life" lady took advantage of several smoke breaks.

All went well for the first 20 minutes until I just ran out of energy.  I got quiet ... talking required too much effort.  I resisted the desire to just place my head on the table.  The settlement attorney stepped up the speed a bit.  All was summed up pretty quickly.  After a final smoke break we headed to my son's car.

When we stepped outside I felt a little better.  I had gotten so cold in the building.  I was grateful for the outside heat.  Of course it was 100 degrees in the shade.  Never in my life have I enjoyed 100 degrees!

Once in our parking lot I felt pretty unsteady.  Climbing twenty steps to our front door was a struggle.  At home I wrapped myself in a blanket and laid down on the couch.  I began to feel a bit better just being prone.

So ended settlement day.  Now we owned 2 residences.  But at that point, I was mostly glad we owned a couch and a blanket.

Till next time.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Move - limping to the finish line.

The move is done.

And it was hard.  But the worst is passed and we are "rebuilding" a life now somewhere else.

If time and energy were inexhaustible I would have blogged in real time.  But staying ahead of all the demands and fatigue were my single focus.

To start at the beginning  ...

The two weeks before moving, I was extremely aware the deadline was fast approaching.  Packing seemed be an endless task.  Final settlement details were falling into place, but last minute to-dos had to be addressed promptly.  Each communication included cautions about delays and keeping on track for the settlement date.  At times I felt like - just tell me where to sign - I'll sign anything.  But, of course, we wouldn't sign anything - so we plodded on - moving forward struggling to keep focused.

The day before settlement our agent visited us.  He knew how I felt about leaving the townhouse.  He asked how I was doing.  I responded, "fine" but as I talked my eyes teared up, so that was pretty much a lie.  But who has time to address emotions when big deadlines are looming.  Not me.  Others never asked how I was doing - probably because they already knew.  I had no practice at hiding my true state.  But this guy was a true gentlemen.  He did not try to gloss over my emotions - he validated them and said this was not uncommon.

If there was one piece of good luck in this whole process it was getting this agent!!

That night, about 3:30 am, I woke up - not unusual, but this time my stomach was not right.  I headed for the bathroom.  I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "You are not going to be sick."  And I promptly was sick.  Diarrhea and vomiting!  I could not believe it.  I talked myself into ... this is nerves!  You have made yourself sick with fatigue and stress.  You will be just fine!

At 4:30 am - it was confirmed.  I had a diarrhea vomiting bug!  How lucky can one person be.

By 6:00 am I knew I could not make a 10:00 am condo walk thru - and the 11:00 am settlement.

More next time!

Monday, August 8, 2016

One more week ...

The crunch is on!

Sort update - no time for more.

We live surrounded by boxes and yet even as I open drawers and cabinets - I see things that need to go into a box.  Yikes!!

To keep my sanity and health, I decided it is ok to have some items left behind after moving day.  After all, I have to return to clean up and prepare the townhouse for sale - I can retrieve stray items during those visits.  That is a huge concession from a type-A personality like me.

My body is very very tired.  My brain is going in a million different directions.  Rest periods during the day are the only way I continue to move forward.  Last week I had a full day that ended up as the rest period.  The energy it takes to keep moving forward is owned by a far younger person than I am.

We settle this Friday morning on the condo.  Starting that afternoon family and friends will be helping me move the extraneous items (and there are a bunch), that don't fit in boxes or are best moved by loving hands.  Saturday and Sunday there will be more of that kind of moving - with the professional movers coming on Sunday morning for the furniture and the boxes - 72 boxes so far.

I keep thinking that by Monday - a week from today - we will be moved in to the condo, but reality forces me to accept that we will be moved in completely (not unpacked), by the following Monday - 2 weeks from today!!

Never again!

You've heard it here.

The next move I make will be orchestrated by my children
 into a one room Assisted Living facility!

Probably in a month or two!  Ha! 

"See" you on the other side of the move.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Less than two weeks

Here we are on August 2 and our settlement is scheduled for August 12 - 10 days from now.  The moving company arrives on August 14.  The light at the end of the tunnel can also be a brick wall.

Ready or not - here we come!!

Packing seems never ending.  Empty boxes seem to disappear to be replaced with stacks of labeled and sealed boxes, and yet unpacked items still remain.  Some things just defy boxing - so a stack of things that must be moved without boxing is starting to grow.

In my mind, I see moving day as a time when everything gets carried out - leaving the townhouse totally empty except for a few cleaning supplies.   I suspect, however, this process will spill into the following week as I clean up the townhouse one final time for sale.  I would prefer a "clean" move ... a house that is full this day, empty the next ... but I wonder if I can pull that off.

How people move from one state to another in a single action I will never know.  I am moving across town.  I will still be in the area to vacate any last items ... but what if that wasn't an option.  Yikes.

In fact, I can't imagine how people move frequently.  Military families do this all the time.  I guess the effort needed to move is a good argument for not putting down "roots" in any one place.  My roots run very deep here.

Emotionally I continue to have my sad moments as I extract my self from this home.  I don't allow myself to dwell on it long because these emotions are counter productive to reaching my goal.  I have have honored this house in my heart for the last year.  Now it is time to move on.

But still ...

I drove by the new condo yesterday while I was out on other chores.  With every visit I am reminded why we decided this place was good.  Although it is located within hearing distance of a major road, it is also across the street from a property that has horses.  It is within 1/4 mile of a shopping center with a grocery store and other retail.  Walking distance!  It is part of an established neighborhood.
Reminding myself of the "why" and the "where" seemed important ... even if it was a decision that was beyond changing - at the 10 day mark!

And would I change my mind if that was an option?  No.  I would not change my mind.  My husband needs a safer environment.  I need less house (and stuff) in my own life, and we both will benefit from no steps.

In less than two weeks our home base will change.  The time is very close now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Theory About Boxes

I have a theory about boxes that has begun to grow in scope as I clean out and pack up all my worldly possessions ... and it surprises me just a bit.

In the last year I have been brutal about downsizing stuff.  This house in its hayday probably held the contents of 3 families.  Over the last year I have carried out or hired someone to haul away about half of that stuff.  Yes, much was inherited, much was collected by us, and then there was the I "may need it someday" stuff.  You get the idea!  I have been relentless for about a year. 

And still ... the packing of what remained birthed the "box theory."

The box theory began as a small seed in my brain.  A move date was on calendar.  The future square footage was known.   Packing began and a stack of boxes began to grow.  Somewhere about box #10 (packing boxes gets old very fast - I can assure you!), I started to look at boxes as a gate keeper to the new condo.  

The small stack of boxes began to weigh on me.  Previously loved and valued items started to become less valued.  My brain started to prioritize what I really wanted - not just what I thought I wanted.  Things that I previously kept were not loved quite enough to make it into a box. 

And that in a nutshell is the box theory - if you have to box it up and move it - the boxes become a sort of gate keeper.

I am up to 48 boxes packed.  We are estimated by the mover to have 100 boxes!  Although I look around and see a lot of empty spaces, I still see a lot of stuff.  What I have packed and what I have left to pack continues to weigh on me - so the box theory will be the final filter of decluttering.

What continues to be remarkable - is that I don't miss anything I have gotten rid of.  Nothing.  In fact, now that a lot of our stuff is in boxes, I don't seem to miss that stuff either!  Who knows, maybe the boxes aren't the final gatekeeper.  Maybe the condo will be the last gatekeeper.  As I unpack I may decide - hey, why did I move this thing!  

We have about 3 weeks before we move.  The finish line is in sight!   

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Moving ... all the time

Just a short check-in to let you know I still live!

Each day is filled from first light to dinner's end with details, on top of details, on top of yet more details.  Needless to say it is a very busy time.

The inspection of the condo turned up a totally ready property - no hidden problems. Visiting it again with the inspector confirmed how much we love the set up of this floor plan and the building generally.

The mortgage process is almost complete - with no hidden problems there either.  The only "problem" is paying a mortgage after years of no monthly payments.  But that will resolve when the townhouse sells and we can pay off the loan.

The downsizing and packing also continues.  Some furniture left our house for our son's home last weekend and a few last pieces will be donated at the end of the month.  I think I have estimated fairly well what furniture will fit in our newly reduced living space.  Only time will tell however.  The parade of objects leaving for new homes continue, but at a markedly reduced rate.  As I unpack on the condo end - it will be only loved items  - not the extras that have cluttered my life for so long.  That feels good.  The packed boxes are growing.  Empty room spaces are also growing.  Progress.

Moving weekend plans are forming.  Family and friends are holding dates.  It will be helpful to have friendly faces around me on that stress filled weekend.

Through it all there are 2 constants that are with me all the time.  I am tired and I feel a low grade anxiety.  Fatigue is normal - and will eventually resolve when everything is done.  Anxiety?  Well that is normal as well.  This townhouse holds the memories of almost half my life.  Never have I lived anywhere so long.  Something that shelters so much of your existence and holds so many memories can't help but take on an emotional attachment.

The townhouse is just a "thing," in the eyes of many ... and yet, for me ... it isn't.  It is the only loved thing left that I can't put in a box and take with me.

Don't know when I will be checking in again.  But I will be back!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Life List? Not today.

I will be so glad when my life is less busy, anxious, confusing, stress filled, overwhelming.
 ... Maybe around November!

Anyway, today is a Life List Day - I won't be participating today.  Today is also a day free of most external responsibilities and as such will be spent packing and throwing out!  My to-do list is pretty long.  No structured Life List post today.  Too much to do.

But there may be one sometime this week - I am pretty sure.

In fact, I think it is safe to say that my Life List entries for the next few months will be as time permits rather than on a Monday schedule.

Happy Monday, all!

Back Soon!

Monday, July 4, 2016

My Life List - July 4, 2016

I am joining the blog Smidgens, Snippets and Bits in sharing "My Life List."

This entry will be a bit short for me (little old wordy me).  My time has suddenly gotten very very tight.

Outside my window ...
Back yard fireworks are making noise.  It is also rainy ... again.  I enjoy fireworks but if I see them ... it is usually on TV.  The crowds of people at these events are always a bit much for me.

Inside my window ...
Today we are on the crest of a busy and scary time.  We viewed a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo in a 55+ community, loved it, put an offer on it - and today, we got word that our offer was accepted!!  Holy Cow!  Looks like we are moving!!  More on that in future postings.

What I am reading ....
I finished the Olivia Mourning series by Yael Politis.  The third book was called Whatever Happened to Mourning?  This third book does sum up the whole story pretty nicely - almost too nicely and too neat - with most of it happening in the 1960s.  At first I didn't think I like the change of time line, but I kept with it ... and I am glad I did.  Check it out.  I think you will enjoy it.  Still working on what to read next.

What am I watching on TV ...
Still watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix and although it has lost a bit of its "fun feel," it is a compelling story.  I have no doubt that this story line is true for many people with addictions.   I did check out how this series ends in season 7 - and it ends badly.  But I will continue to watch this story to the end.  I am in season 6.

What am I creating ...
Lists, lists and more lists.  I can feel my brain exploding with everything I need to do in about 6 weeks time.  Thank God for my Bullet Journal.  It will save me!

What I am pondering ...
I can't help wondering what it will be like to live in 1360 square feet instead of 2200 square feet.  I am hoping it meets my expectations of less to maintain.  God knows we don't need or use 2200 square feet now, but just how much living space is enough?  I guess 1360 square feet will be enough because that is what the new condo will be.  And I am wondering how I tell my neighbors here that we are moving.  There are some really nice folks in my neighborhood.  I want to tell them before the sign goes up in the front yard.

A quote I quote ...
"When I was a kid my parents moved around a lot, but I always found them."  Rodney Dangerfield

My week - a Peek ...
Panic.  And more Panic.  Then list making.  Then organization.  Then calm, followed by panic.  And repeat, until November when we are settled in our condo, and this townhouse is sold.  Fingers crossed on the last point.

What keeps me awake at night ....
Two nights ago I slept very little - wondering if we should put a bid on this condo - were we ready to make this giant move, is this the right place, will I like the neighbors, will the neighbors like me, can I get this house packed up in 6 weeks ... it was a hard night.  Last night I slept well.  I was so tired from lack of sleep - NOTHING - would keep me awake.  Today when we heard our offer was accepted, it felt right.  Not big deal joyful.  Just right.  So it must be right.  Hope I sleep well tonight!

Word of the Year ... Move!
I chose this word because I wanted to keep my body moving.  Looks like it will be more representative of an actual move of residence.

Monday, June 27, 2016

My Life List - Monday, June 27

I am joining the blog Smidgens, Snippets and Bits in sharing "My Life List."

What am I thankful for ...
Crazy but I struggle with the public gratitude thing.  I'm thankful for so many things in my life, but it sometimes feels ingenuous to carry on about it in public.  Of course, this opinion is not in vogue.  Advice frequently is ... you would be happier only if you kept a gratitude journal or if you 'practiced' regular thankfulness.  While I agree, I think it is the private reflection that provides the most peace for me.  So next week I will find something else here.

And I am thankful I can do that!  :-)

Discovery time ....
This weekly snap shot - My Life List - is a great way to keep connected on the blog.  I get to chat about a variety of topics in a brain dump style.

Outside my window ...
Hot, moist, sometimes stormy.  In fact, last week when I took the puppy out for his first walk of the day, something had hatched a bunch of wormy things on my sliding glass door.  Gross!  I could never live in the tropics.

Inside my window ...
Air conditioning!!  No worms on the outside (or inside) of my sliding glass today.  Life is good.  Ha!

What I am reading ....
I am reading the second book in The Olivia Series by Yael Politis.  The first book was called Olivia, Mourning.  The second is called The Way the World Is.   And the title certainly fits. This book picks up the Olivia story with no gap in the action and includes a bit of the Underground Railroad prior to our Civil War.  The underground railroad was a secret effort by abolitionists to rescue slaves from the southern slaves states to northern territories in Canada.   Thankfully I was never raised with prejudice against different races so the attitudes of the pre civil war era seem terribly foreign to me.   It can certainly be said our country has made large strides in race relations, but I believe it will be many generations (if ever) before the human race is color blind.  Until we stop handing down our prejudices to our children, the theme of this book, The Way the World Is, will sadly continue to ripple through our human experience over and over again.  This is a very good series.

What am I watching on TV ...
This past week I re-discovered America's Got Talent.  There are some remarkably gifted people.  What appeals is that you never know what is coming out on the stage next.  Each audition is entirely different.  Singing, dancing, magic acts, circus style acts, even some that defy categorization.  And the exceptional talents are balanced by the hysterically funny but terrible 'talents.'

And I am still watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix.  There are 7 seasons and I am in season 4.  Happy One, one of my friends and readers, said she stopped watching when it got too depressing.  The story line has had serious and humorous elements, but I can see now the serious side of this story is starting to monopolize the episodes.

What am I creating ...
I started a new shawlette pattern this week called The Holden.  No pictures of my work to show yet because I am in the early stages.  Maybe next week.  But here is a picture of someone else's finished project.

I will say that this kettle dyed yarn shows of the beauty of the pattern probably better than the yarn I picked.  I am just not that good at matching yarn to patterns.  My yarn is a gradient - going from a dark greenish turquoise to a cream with the cream being used in the lace areas.

I love this pattern.  I am hoping the lace edging is not to challenging.  The shawl can be made in several sizes - this picture shows a full shawl size.  I plan to make a shawlette this time - smaller scarf-like version.  But I have several yarn choices lined up for larger versions of this pattern.

What I am pondering ...
I love, love, love knitting.  I have dabbled into related fiber pursuits like spinning and weaving. They fall in the "like" category.  Not in the "love, love, love" category.  I often wonder why it is that some hobbies bring great joy to one individual while other individuals find great joy in something else.  Guess it is the beautiful part of being complex creatures.  To bad that "love, love, love" feeling we have for various activities doesn't spill over into our interpersonal relationships with other human beings who are different from ourselves.

A quote I quote ...

“Properly practiced,
 knitting soothes the troubled spirit, 
and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.” 

My week - a Peek ...
More dogs, more knitting, more walking, and more downsizing.

In the continued search for a place to move, the common theme is - the space we move to will be small.  My desires have crystalized over the last few months.  Location and condition are everything.  Size falls further down the wish list.  Downsizing efforts now will make that move easier whenever to happens.

What keeps me awake at night .... 
Actually I am sleeping a little better lately.  Ha!  So nothing is keeping me awake - except for some restless legs between 3:00 am and 6:00 am - and even that is much reduced!

Word of the Year ... Move!
Getting my step count up has been a challenge, especially coming off a week of puppy watching.  Yes, I was moving, but it wasn't always the kind of movement captured well on a pedometer.

But I have a new 'mind trick' to keep me moving.  Here is a picture of my Bullet Journal tracking system - the method I am using in June to document my progress.  Simple, easy to maintain and visual.

I have a ways to go to reach 10,000 steps consistently.  Without intense focus on the daily numbers, however, this method shows the trends - the big picture -which is all that really counts for me right now.  At my age, it isn't about the distance, or the time or the speed ... it is about moving.

I know electronic devices can provide this history with fancy grafts far better than my simple efforts, but I am not so bitten by the electronic bug that everything is better on that platform.  I prefer the analog methods.

My initial goal continues to be 10,000 steps a day.  But 12,000 to 13,000 steps a day would be better.  I believe the health benefits will be more remarkable in that range.

One step at a time.  I will get there.

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Life List - Monday, June 20

I am joining the blog Smidgens, Snippets and Bits in sharing "My Life List."

What am I thankful for ...
My daughter turns 40 years old this week.  40!!  I have always had more trouble with my kids birthdays than my own.  But I am so thankful to have lived this long a life to see them grow up to be strong and successful adults.  They make me thankful and proud.

Discovery time ....
I am taking care of my son and daughter-in-law's two dogs this week while they are on a cruise.  I discovered that I can go to sleep around 10:00 am and get up rested at 5:30 am - the dog's normal rise and shine time.  And they are so chipper at 5:30 am.  Me ... not so much.

Outside my window ...
It is heating up this week.  We are at the beginning of summer and things will be getting hotter and more sticky.  After all, I live in Maryland, the capital of the world for humid heat, other than the tropics, and maybe Florida (ha!).  Air conditioning is such a wonderful humane invention!

Inside my window ...
My days are busy busy busy with a puppy who is only partially potty trained.  I am beginning to read his body language well enough inside so I can get him outside in time.  But this potty training of a puppy is hard work!

What I am learning ...
Nothing this week! Ha.  I guess my 'smart container' is all full up.  :-)  Famous last words.

What I am reading ....
I am reading on my Kindle an absolutely wonderful book called Olivia, Mourning by Yael Politis.  I am about 50% into the story and it is very very good.  Here is the book description offered by the publisher.

Historical Fiction.  Olivia wants the 80 acres in far off Michigan that her father left to whichever of his offspring wants to stake a claim.  The problem: she's seventeen, female, and it's 1841.  Mourning Free knows how to run a farm and Olivia has complete trust in him.  The problem: he's the orphaned son of runaway slaves and reluctant to travel and work with a white girl.  Not without qualms, they set off together.  All goes well, despite the drudgery of survival in an isolated log cabin.  Strong willed, vulnerable, and compassionate, Olivia is a compelling protagonist on a journey to find a way to do the right thing in a world in which so much is wrong.

I generally do not enjoy historical fiction, but I do enjoy stories of survival in circumstances that are beyond my experience.  This is Book 1 in a trilogy and I am planning on picking up Book 2.

What am I watching on TV ...
I have started watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix.  I am into season 3.  I enjoy medical shows but for some reason I kept passing over this one until I ran out of other options.  It is really very good.  It took me a few episodes to get hooked, but now I am loving all the shows.  It is the story of an emergency room nurse who does everything she can to provide her patients with the best care possible while navigating the waters of a crumbling health-care system.  But she has a secret that is increasingly difficult to keep from people - she relies on Vicodin and Adderall to get her through high-stress sifts at a New York hospital.

What am I creating ...
This section should be called what I have created.  Here it is.

What I am pondering ...
How long will it take for my hair to grow back?  My hairdresser's shop closed suddenly, and I was unable to reach her for about a week.  So I went to a local uni-sex barber shop - and oh my - did I get chopped.  So short.  I will say it is cooler this way.  But I prefer a bit more hair on my head.  I am scheduled for an appointment with my regular hairdresser later in the summer, but I am hoping what little I have grows back in enough for that visit.

A quote I quote ...
Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
  If you can't eat it or play with it,
 just pee on it and walk away.

My week - a Peek ...
Dogs, dogs and more dogs.  And more 5:30 am mornings!  Glad it is at least light outside when we open the door.

What keeps me awake at night ....
My hips and my bladder.  I sure am tired of it.  Does anyone know where I can get some replacement parts?

Word of the Year ... Move!
I am sure falling short on my 'move' goals.  More on that another time.