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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Feeling Normal . . . ?

This morning was the first that felt SOMEwhat normal - meaning that I had clean clothes to iron for Tom and was organized enough to have a refrig full enough to make him a good lunch to take to work. (Eating "junk food" for lunch like a mini pizza or C-store sandwich is not his, nor anyone's, I think, idea of yummy . . . at least certainly not day after day!) So, it felt good to be "back on track" - to some extent.

The biggest "feeling normal" step will be when Tom (and I!) can shower here at home! The shower out in the guest apartment above the garage is a surround (pre-fab) stall, but there is no shower head nor controls. And, the water heater still needs to be hooked up to the LP. (Oh, and there is no heat out there yet!) In here, both showers have water running to them with controls on one, but there are no walls! If we could only combine them to have one, functioning shower! So, until then, Tom leaves early in the morning to shave, shower, and dress at the community center gym up on the Rez, and I stop at my folks' in town whenever I'm in to avail them of their facilities. All in due time . . . .

The last of the big-ticket items arrives today: our new bed! Granted, this one was not a necessity like the super-efficient washer, dryer, refrig, upright freezer, and (not so much for efficiency but a definite requirement) range. But, for the past year or more we've known that we wanted to upgrade to a king-sized bed from our queen, and this seemed like the natural time to do it. Our current bed, which I really love (but it's just too danged small!), will eventually go into the guest apartment over the garage. Then, we'll still have to find a new bed for the guest bedroom here in the house, but I want to wait until I find the perfect one to compliment the "East Coast / L.L. Bean" look I'm hoping to achieve in there.

Speaking of super-efficiency and new "toys" . . . I used the new washer for the first time last night! It's the 2nd most efficient one on the market, and the reason I didn't get the top-rated one was because it was just downright U-G-L-Y! Yuck! Why put irridescent turquoise and pink controls on an otherwise perfectly good appliance, I have NO idea! And, yes, that was the only color choice. (At least for the VERY-obvious controls.) Anyway, I really love my new machine, and I thought the end-of-the-cycle alarm would be annoying, but this thing is SO DANG QUIET that you would never know it was done, otherwise! And that's without interiors walls in the house! It's a front loader with a see-through door (like commercial ones), and last night, after it started, I just stayed with my flashlight (remember, minimal lights, etc. until we get the electrical system farther along) shining into it, watching it! I made some comment about it about 5 minutes into the cycle to Tom in the living room, and he laughed and asked, "Are you still watching that thing?!"

The one thing I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around, though, is how it can really get clothes clean without using so much water. Matter of fact, this one doesn't even ever allow the clothes to "sit" and/or churn in a tub full of water! Just doesn't seem right! I asked every salesperson about this when I was looking at the machines, and they each gave me the pat answer, "Oh, they actually get your clothes much cleaner!" (Didn't satisfy me one bit.) How does one really tell, anyway, other than them smelling like fresh detergent, if the clothes are clean? (Aside from the obvious dirty grey T-shirt coming out white.) I dunno - it still stumps me. But, ASSUMING that they are clean (were I to believe the manufacturer), I do really love the machine - one wash into its young life.

The other new "thing" that we're absolutely thrilled with - the MOST thrilled with out of all the gadgets that are part-and-parcel to our new, off-grid life - is the Central Boiler outdoor wood furnace! That thing is amazing! It has something like 400 gallons of water constantly cycling / running through the closed system to heat both the water for the in-floor heat in the house as well as our hot water for "regular" use in the house (and, eventually, in the garage as well). But, you stoke that thing up in the morning and then late at night before bed, and that's all you ever have to think about it! There's more regular maintanence required for it than a simple woodstove in your house, but on a daily basis, it is so efficient and EASY! Our dealer - who also did our entire heating system and air exchanger - has asked us to write a testimonial for it, and we'll definitely do that.

So, that's the news for today. I need to get my rear in gear to be ready for the new mattress set to arrive: break down the "old" bed, set it up - for now - in the guest bedroom of the house here, and set up the new bed frame (and move some furniture downstairs so that we can cram this huge thing up the stairs!). It's a bit unnerving anticipating the arrival of this bed that I picked out without Tom's assistance (although I certainly knew what he wanted) and that I've only spent a total of probably 10 or 15 minutes laying on . . . in a store . . . talking to a saleswoman. Yikes! Wish us a good sleep tonight!

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