Mama & Papa Pea and I celebrated Mom's April 30th birthday last night - the first free evening we all had in common. And, though I know we were all exhausted, it was a really fun night with free flowing wine and laughter. I made a REALLY simple dinner of hoagies and chips . . . but I don't think Mom would have cared if it had been PB&J sandwiches as long as SHE didn't have to prepare it! ;)
After dinner, we had a great three (?) games of ping-pong (or gnip-gnop [pronounced guh-NIP, guh-NOP], as Mom and her friends used to call it when she was a teen). I LUV ping-pong, and Dad set their table up in the garage a few weeks ago. Can't remember why he finally hauled it out, but I'm SO glad he did! We've been having tons of fun with it, even tho time allows for few games. Here's a (maybe boring for you?) video I took last night when I was score-keeper and Mom and Dad played. I didn't try following the ball - we would have all gotten motion sickness!!!
After gnip-gnop, we had presents and pie:
I didn't ask what Dad got Mom for her birthday because I'm GUESSING that all she wanted was "the living room finished"!!
Above, the annually-requested Banana Cream Pie. I have yet to make The Perfect One. Either I put the bananas on the top and they turn brown or the custard doesn't set up or . . . . This year, it was the crust. It didn't taste very good - I think my lard was old. Blech. BUT, the rest of it was yummy!!!
In other news, I *did* make progress on last Thursday's To Do list, but I spent too much time on the sorting / rummage sale prep because it felt so good to make house progress! As a result, I didn't get as much computer / business work done as I should have. So, guess what the majority of the rest of today will be spent doing?
Above, Maisy says, "Mom, I can't BELIEVE you're going to admit to the world what the house looks like with this 'before' picture!"
Now, Tucker says, "Ahhh, MUCH better!" The pile to the left of the stove is a combination of 'what was there decorating the house' and the For Rummage Sale pile. To the right is also 'what was there decorating the house' but also the start of the Packing To Move pile.
I really want to work on the disaster of the garage . . . so I can start putting boxes for The Move out there once they're packed. But, there are other priorities that must come first. It's hard not knowing when I'll have to be out of here - in regard to planning & packing. I am in a holding / wait pattern as far as that is concerned. The 1 month of the "30-Day Notice" is up, and now begins the six dreadful weeks of having my name & situation published in the local paper. I thought it would begin with Friday's paper, but my folks said I wasn't yet in it when I saw them last night. I should contact the credit union to find out where things are in the process. That will ease my mind - the knowing.
In Where I Will Move To news, the nice place located 2 hours / 65 miles south of me is NOT a possibility for a Contract for Deed, after all. I was waiting to drive out there because I didn't want to fall in love with it any more than I already had from the realty pictures, and I'm glad I waited: now that I know it's not an option. For now, the two properties that are the greatest possibilities are the one in the great location but with no well nor septic (did I tell you about this one*?) and another, a trailer house on 13 acres. The location is kinda poopy, and there's nothing special about the property, but it would be a really good one for the critters with two small, rough outbuildings that have already been well-used for horses, chickens, and goats. And, the interior of the trailer has been recently remodeled and all the appliances replaced with energy-efficient ones. And there's a good well and a septic system (although it's probably out-of-date now). I've snooped around this one quite a bit and am now going to make a date with the owner (a friend) to see the inside of the trailer.
*I've really fallen in love with a tiny, newly-built house on 5 acres. It has a REALLY good "feel" to it. Very me. And, while only about 5 miles out of town, it's up a long driveway and PRIVATE. The land is good, too. But, the building, while aesthetically pleasing, was not well-built. Shortcuts taken are very evident. And, while it has electricity, it has no other infrastructure amenities. Other than a nice biffy, though the tank seems to already be cracked (after only a year). It's owned and was developed by a realtor who WOULD accept a Contract for Deed although we haven't discussed specifics. I know that I should really go for something with EASE (water, electricity, space) right now, and the trailer is that one. If I do end up going that route, I'll rent it, first . . . to see how I like it and if it grows on me . . . AND to bide my time to see if another option comes along. Both the trailer with 13 acres ("lesser" neighborhood / topography) and the cabin with 5 (great location) are about the same price.
We've had warm, rainy weather lately, and it HAS prompted the "thar's green in them thar hills"! I'll try to get some pictures. Of course, it's greener nearer town (farther south) than here at Swamp River Ridge.
Finally, a few nice things . . . today is the 12th birthday of a dear, sweet girl I've known since she was born. Let's see, do I have a good picture of her on this computer? Let me look . . .
Here's the natural beauty, a year ago this past March, at her mama's 40th birthday party.
While looking, I also found this from May 3rd of last year:
THIS spring, there ain't been no snow nor ice on any lakes around here for ages!
I've had to come back to finishing this post - trying to upload an image while simultaneously downloading an audio book from the library makes for s-l-o-w uploads!
I recently finished the first (for me) book by a great author, Sara Donati. Book One of her Wilderness series is now under my belt, and it was a LONG one - over 30 hours and 912 pages!! There's NO way I could have read this one "the old-fashioned way"! It never grows old for me to say, "thank GAWD for audio books"!!!
Another "nice thing": I recently sent two checks, concurrent to having enough money in my checking account, to the local electrical system guru. I owed him the entire bill from the aggravating (for him) day he spent here removing the damaged inverter and hooking up the replacement (used) inverter. He only charged me the amount he'd told me to expect before he worked all day on it, and I was hugely appreciative of that kindness . . . especially since the ~2 hour project took the entire day AND he had a generator guru with him the entire time (whom I'm sure he paid to be here). So, I sent an additional $50 check that thanked him for all those extenuating circumstances. (Of note is the fact that he and I have always had a bit of a difficult relationship - both of us having strong, stubborn heads.) Anyway, I got an e-mail from him the other day. It read, "I did receive your checks in the mail, but I will rip up the $50.00 check. Thanks for the recognition for the extra help that was given, but at this point I imagine you may need it more than I. Consider it cause for celebration and have a little fun." Now, that kindness goes a long way, eh?
Also of note, I finally opened the 'Open Last' letter than was included with Carolyn Renee's incredibly thoughtful, generous gift. It made me LAUGH OUT LOUD which is an AMAZING thing to do on a dreary day! I expected it to be filled with heartfelt condolences and empathy, and I think that's why (even tho those sentiments would be appreciated) I'd put off opening it for so long. Oh, how wonderfully wrong I'd been . . . she knew JUST what I needed!
"Chicken Mama, or whatever your "real" name is. Although, I personally kinda like the idea of somebody calling for me across the frozen food section and screaming, "Chicken Mama!" But, that's just me. Because, you know, my real name isn't Carolyn Renee; it's actually Imogene Pyewacket. Imagine trying to write THAT out on your grade school paperwork every day."
And on it went . . . from her heart and imagination and sense of humor to ME. I am one lucky girl!!
And, with that, and having taken the entire afternoon to write this post in fits and starts, I shall away . . . .
P.S. My anxiety is 80% gone now. :) Except, I'm feeling lazy now and just want to watch TV and crochet. Hmph.