Friday, May 31, 2013



I am glad today is over.

Waiting waiting waiting then finally good news about a loved one.

Long, 2-hour drive in a storm to pick up lighting parts that should have come in the original order but didn't because our lighting designer is a nitwit.

Camping out in the office of one title company, and begging another over the phone to please please PLEASE let me close on my mortgage loan Monday even though my builder is being a complete shit and taking his time in finishing my house. (Yes, we can close, although the panic-induced stomachache was already in full swing by the time I received the news at 4:45 pm.)

Tornado sirens tonight. Multiple. How many people, cats, and guinea pigs can we fit in the downstairs bathroom? A lot!

The thunderstorms still rage but I can deal with that. It's time to close my eyes against this day, thanking God for His abundant blessings today and looking forward to the blessings that tomorrow brings.

Thursday, May 30, 2013



Found this lovely outside the monastery today.

Prayers needed for my BIL Shawn tonight. Don't ask. Just pray.

Already got my monks on it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013



I'm hating working these nights. Feel like I don't get to see my kid enough.

On a positive note, I was treated to this incredible Italian dessert today: zabaglione! Don't ask me to say it...but I'll sure eat it. Heavenly. Has egg yolks beaten to death, a boatload of powdered sugar, some Marsala wine, and lemon zest. Whip it up good and pour over vanilla ice cream. Amazing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

As promised...shot by M

Isn't this a great image? I love the angle, and how her legs mirror the turtle's mouth, and how tiny she looks. He did awesome.

He'll also claim that he meant to do all that, and it wasn't by accident. I'll claim he's learning from his wife.



Crazy busy day today, and a late work night (to be repeated tomorrow and Thursday...gah), so I was relieved to discover that I had stopped to snap a raindrop covered leaf as I walked across campus today. Had totally forgotten. Good to know some part of my brain is thinking photographically for me, or this 365 would be toast.

I processed a cool pic from M today, shot with his crackberry. I absolutely adore it, but can't claim it as a pic of the day since he took it. It's much better than my leaf, so I'll share it in a separate post.

Monday, May 27, 2013



We took some time off this afternoon to snuggle on the couch and watch Brave together. As a family. With nothing urgent to do and nowhere to be.

It was bliss right there on the couch.

Sunday, May 26, 2013



Hanging with the fam today. And being our usual selves.

The men in our lives are SO lucky.



Another great day. So many blessings. More later. Too tired, as usual, to write.

Saturday, May 25, 2013



What a great day!

Friday, May 24, 2013



I hate these damn things. Long story, and since it's 4 a.m. I don't feel like telling it right now.

It's been a long, long time since I pulled a near all-nighter.

I'm getting too old for this shit.

I need to get off this ride.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013



Long, long work day. Not bad, though, as it was capped with vespers and dinner with the monks in the monastery's refectory. Saw this as we were driving out of the parking lot. The setting sun lit the bell tower beautifully and the clouds were a bonus.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013



She took a single flower to school today, as did all her classmates. They presented their flowers to their teacher, who is retiring after Friday. "Mommy, she had such a big bouquet she had to use TWO vases!"

Meanwhile, I stayed home to greet the appraiser, the pool table assemblers, the mattress and box spring deliverers, the mechanical inspector for the city, the brick layer, the carpenter, both painters and the plumber. It was quite a day.

Then we worked around the house for a few hours. Our nightly routine these days.

Funny, I no longer have an aversion to vacuuming and don't mind it a bit, even when it's 11 p.m. after a long, tiring day.

Still plenty to do, but it's coming along nicely.

Monday, May 20, 2013



Hang in there, Oklahoma. Lots of people praying for you and holding you in their hearts tonight.



Unpacked my digital darkroom this weekend. Found my photography books.

Happy all over again.

Sunday, May 19, 2013



Saturday, May 18, 2013



Got rid of boxes today.

Unpacked more boxes tonight.

Still exhausted.

Friday, May 17, 2013



In addition to feeling at home by unpacking all of our belongings, I've experienced the added joy of discovering treasured possessions. Like my old Girl Scout sash that Zozo has been begging to see.

I feel found, myself. Grounded. At home and at peace. 16 months is a long time to be in a state of transition. My stress level has dropped considerably and I just feel happier over all. It's not necessarily about having a new house, although that helps. It's about feeling at home. Being where I am supposed to be. In MY house.

I didn't realize just how important that was until I didn't have it. Isn't that usually how it works? M and I were talking about this today. "Remember how we felt when we finished grad school?" he asked. "I wonder if this is like that." I remember it well. The overwhelming relief and the daily - sometimes hourly - realization that we didn't have to study that night. We held onto that feeling for a long, long time. Even now, every once in awhile one of us will say, "Aren't you glad we don't have to do homework tonight?!"

We agreed that this will last a long time, too. Maybe even more so because we get to live here every day.

I think it has to do with fully appreciating what we have, and not taking it for granted. And just enjoying the hell out of something we did together.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013



My work day ended at about 9:30 tonight. I can't go any more. No working on the Home tonight.

I don't even think I have enough energy to read.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013



Walked home from softball practice tonight and saw this. Reminded me how lucky we are to be able to walk to and from church/school again. Wouldn't have seen this from the car.

In addition to working all day, I brought the last three car loads of crap from the cottage (to be honest they weren't totally full car loads - just weird crap like M's huge model airplane), cleaned the bathroom and downstairs toilet at the cottage and vacuumed, made and cleaned up dinner, and unpacked a boatload of boxes in the basement. Then I carted the empties up to the garage, where I realized that unless I organized the mountain of boxes no more would fit. So I did that, too. Messed with the sprinkler to keep our new sod looking good. Few loads of laundry. Checked homework. Sorted mail. Cut more shelf liners (downstairs bath, Zoe's bath and mud room powder). Organized the boxes and bins going into storage downstairs so all like packages will be stored together. Emptied the dishwasher and cleaned out the sink. Put felt pads under the feet of an ottoman, two couches and a stool.

I'm tired. And still very, very happy.



Started on the rec room tonight. All cabinets and drawers lined and five boxes unpacked. It may not sound like I did much, but consider this: the bar in the rec room consists of cabinets with 21 shelves and 14 drawers. And most of them are different sizes so there was lots of tape measuring.

A decently productive night, if I do say so myself.

And I do. Say so. I also like to say "plast-o-mat," because that's just fun. What a great brand name.

For what it's worth, I highly recommend plast-o-mat for shelf liners. It's durable and clear, and has ridges to help with ventilation. It's easy to cut and install. And easy to remove for cleaning. The people we bought our old house from left it. When we moved in I took it out, cleaned it, and reinstalled. Then I pulled it back out before we wrecked the house. I just reused much of that plast-o-mat here and you'd be hard pressed to tell the 20-year-old stuff from the new pieces I just cut off the roll. Not cheap, but good, good stuff. So pleased they still make it!

And now, I'm off to bed. Without scissors, tape measure, pencil or plast-o-mat. A girl can have only so much fun in one night.

Monday, May 13, 2013



At one point, in the cottage, M and I had an argument.

He: "You've just given up! There's crap everywhere! We need to put stuff away!"

She: "Yes. Yes, I have. Because there is no more away. Away is all gone. Filled up. We are all out of away."

I am thrilled to death that we have a huge portion of our stuff unpacked in The New House (otherwise known as Home) and there is still quite a bit of away left. It's refreshing, and makes unpacking rather addictive.

We tackled the bedroom tonight. Only two boxes left and some organizing to do, but it's almost done. For the first time in 15 years all our clothes are in one closet. At the same time. No need to seasonally rotate closets! No staging hanging clothes in the downstairs laundry room! No stuffing sweaters onto a full shelf and slamming the door closed before they fall out!

In the course of unpacking tonight we stumbled upon a bin with some old sweats stuffed in the top. I pulled them out to discover a whole shitload of summer shirts for both of us - most of them relatively new at the time of packing - that have been missing for over a year. They somehow wound up in the basement of the cottage, at the bottom of a stack of identical bins holding Christmas decorations.

It was like going shopping, only I didn't have to spend a dime.

The washer and dryer have been going nonstop, and I am loving it. Having a main floor laundry room by the bedrooms is just the bees knees. It's freaking awesome.

So is having a closet the size of Rhode Island.

Saturday, May 11, 2013



I was on a roll today with unpacking and cleaning, and I hadn't taken a shower or put on makeup, so I sent M and Zozer off to her noon game at her school. (We're back within walking distance - woot!)

After they were gone a few minutes, I figured out that I can unpack whenever but there are a finite number of first grade softball games on the schedule. And that my daughter is more important than my house. Even if I was putting HER room together.

So I threw on a baseball cap and walked up there.

She did great again today, hitting every time she was at bat. It's fun to watch her play. M coached third, and it's fun to watch him, too. The head coach couldn't be there today, so it was the assistant coach, the bench coach, and M. By the end of the game (which we won), the coaches all needed a stiff drink.

And I was extremely happy with how I chose to spend my time.

I did complete her room, and it's great that she has easy access to all her toys again.



We opened up a can of whup-ass on boxes today. Kitchen is done, except for a few things we have yet to retrieve from the cottage. Great room is done. Bill paying-mail sorting-catch all desk done. Our bath is nearly done. Zoe's bath is done. I did more loads of laundry than I care to count. Cats are situated in their final spots (we had them staged in the guest room so they wouldn't be in the movers' way). Pantry is nearly done; we need two wire baskets for plastic cups and storage containers. China is out, sorted and stored in the buffet.

My feet are screaming and my muscles ache, but I couldn't be happier.

Yesterday our awesome architect dropped off a "welcome home" goodie basket, packed with snacks and breakfast stuff. We busted into that today and were grateful all over again. He designed the most perfect house for us AND he brings Pringles and wine?! Told you he is awesome!

More unpacking tomorrow. Zoe's room for sure, and then I suppose the basement. That'll take some time. I hope to get to my darkroom in a week or two; just on hold until M decides he's in the mood to assemble furniture! (For the record, I'm not pushing it. He's working just as hard as I am and he's just as exhausted. We'll get to it when we get to it!)

In the meantime...where are those Pringles?

Thursday, May 09, 2013



Exhausted. More to come. When I'm not so tired. And when I'm not in danger of killing the iPhone battery. (This is a subtle dig at my husband, who managed to locate HIS phone charger while losing mine. Grrrrr.)

Except for the lost charger, all is well. Remarkably so, actually.

So stinkin' happy!



Today I:

Got Zozer up, dressed, fed and to school.
Conducted a nearly-2-hour status meeting with the builder, the finisher, the electrician and the painter.
Loaded a bunch of stuff from the garage into Dad's trailer.
Hauled a bunch of stuff upstairs and loaded it into Dad's trailer.
Consulted with the plumber on handheld shower placement.
Fetched lunch.
Helped lead a Girl Scout meeting that involved a trip to a beekeeper's house and a bridging to Brownies ceremony that included a skit, the presentation of cookie prizes, the presentation of bridging badges, and the completion of their badge banners.
Transferred stuff from the trailer into the house.
Cut drawer liners for the remaining kitchen cabinets and a couple bathroom vanities.
Hauled all our framed art up from the basement and into my car, then from the car into the new house.

Among other things.

This all began at 6:15 a.m. and ended just now.

I'll chalk this up to a full day. No wasted moments today.

Tomorrow...or later today, actually...we move. For real. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013



Awhile back, we stopped at the house to check something or do something, when we stumbled upon friendly strangers on the front porch. They were wearing bicycle helmets (bikes parked on the sidewalk) and they were looking in through the windows so intently they didn't even realize that I was approaching. They had that whole "kid outside the candy store" look, with hands against the glass and everything. They are probably in their early 50s or so, and it was funny to find them there.

I shuffled my feet a little as I walked up, so as not to startle them. They turned around and smiled, and I said, "Well, would you like to see the inside?" I did it mainly for surprise, and it worked. Their mouths dropped open and they gushed, "Are you the owner? Oh my goodness we love your house. It's Frank Lloyd Wright style isn't it? We thought so! We love his work and your home is beautiful. It looks like he designed it!"

And with that, I welcomed them in. It wasn't even near completion (hell, I wonder tonight if it's near completion and we move day after tomorrow), but they could see enough to get the feel. They were super nice and we chatted for awhile. They live a ways down our street and pass our house all the time and had been dying to see it. They wished us well and left, and I thought "What nice people" and then pretty much forgot about them. Too much going on and a finite amount of brain space.

Then last night, while M was at the house working, they showed up again. This time they brought a huge, beautiful vase of flowers with a card that reads, "God bless you in your new home" with their names.

How freakin' cool is that?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013



Packed ZoBug's room tonight. Put her to bed in our room (which she loves) and went to work on hers. All done and ready for Thursday.

We had a conversation today about the move; she's trying to get it all square in her mind. She knows we are moving Thursday, but she feels a slight disconnect because her routine stays the same. She goes off to school before the movers arrive. She'll wake up in one house and go to sleep, with all her possessions, in another. I imagine that's pretty disconcerting for a seven-year-old.

So we talked it through until she felt comfortable.

"So Mommy, when you pick me up from after care on Thursday, you'll just take me to The New House and that's where we'll stay."

"Yep. That's right."

"I guess we shouldn't call it The New House after that."

M said later, when I relayed the story to him, "No. We should call it Home."


Monday, May 06, 2013



Here we go...

Pack pack pack.

It's not too bad, actually, as we unpacked only a fraction of our belongings when we moved here.

I'm very much looking forward to getting rid of a shit-ton of boxes after we move.

Among other things.

I was touched by how many of our friends said, "Please call me if you need help" after Mass today. We went to Zoe's school art fair and finally answered the ubiquitous question with a positive response. "Thursday!" They all whooped for joy and gave hugs and congratulations, along with offers to help, including hosting Zoe at their homes. It really is like having a second family there.

Saturday, May 04, 2013



In less than a week, I'll get to wake up and see this fan in the morning.

And hopefully it'll be a morning where I've slept in.



We started working on the house tonight. Ourselves.

This is going to be a very, very long week.

Thursday, May 02, 2013



I hate getting a call from the school in the middle of the day. It's never good news.

Zoe was playing on the bleachers by the field at recess when she slipped and conked her head. Big ol' goose egg. The nurse calmed her down and put ice on it immediately, and then they called me. Zoe couldn't get off the phone fast enough; she wanted to get back to her class. I even offered to come get her right then (which would have taken about 90 seconds as I happened to be at the house meeting with the contractor) but she declined. She was back to her classroom before the nurse and I hung up. We agreed that sitting in class was one thing...playing in after care an entirely different matter. So I picked her up at 3 and we came home for a quiet afternoon of Chipmunks movies for her and work for me, until I decided that I'd rather snuggle with my bug.

She's doing really well. Says it only hurts when she pushes on it, so we agreed that she shouldn't push on it. She did her homework and ate lots of Girl Scout cookies and got tons of smoochies and hugs. She's already excited about school tomorrow because they're celebrating May Day and she gets to take in her rosary. Only she didn't want her rosary, she wanted mine: a beautiful Swarovski crystal one that M gave me when I was confirmed. So it's packed in her bag along with strict instructions to take good care of it. I figure she's taken Hootie to school numerous times and always brings him home, and Hootie is pretty much worth more than anything, so we're good.

I'm proud of my little trooper. She's not one to dwell, that's for sure, and she was all smiles despite a huge black and blue knot on her forehead. I think she might actually be a little proud of it.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013



When I went to work the front yard was dirt, just as it has been every day for 10 months.

When I went by after work, I had a green lawn.

Sod is a wondrous thing.