Saturday, May 30, 2009

Garage Sale Treasures

I am a true blue garage sale junkie and proud of it. I would much rather find someone else's junk, CHEAP, and turn it into something wonderful than pay full price for something brand new that looks like everybody else's stuff. Which explains why my house is full of mismatched antiques instead of looking all matchy-matchy like a Pottery Barn salesfloor. Oh, and also because I'm broke. There is that.

So today mom and I set out bright and early to find some junk. Well, not too bright and early because Dan and the kids and I stayed out until one in the morning playing at the Maloney's house. LeeAnn and I had an almost perfect score on Karaoke Revolution singing Blondie's "Call Me." If I hadn't gone high instead of low at the very end, we'd have had a 100%. Instead, she got 100% and I only got 95%.

But I digress. Back to the junk.

Here's a list of all the treasures I scored today for my new house:
  • a brown and beige area rug...FREE
  • three sets of chocolate brown wooden shelves with tan and brown canvas bins for storage...$25

  • an antique iron pole lamp for my reading nook in the living room (which was green and rusty and needs to be rewired, but I've already cleaned and primed it and it's going to be gorgeous)...$5

  • a chandelier for my dining room (which came with six mini lampshades that sell for $4.15 each at Lowe's and was ugly, shiny brass but I've already painted it hammered bronze and it's SO pretty)...$2.50
  • a red, white, and blue crocheted afghan for one of the boys' rooms made of some kind of REALLY soft yarn (you can't even buy the yarn for this price)...$1.50
  • a Shop Vac for Dan's new workshop...$10.00
  • a Star Wars Battlefront CD-Rom for the boys...$1.00
  • a mini Transformer for Aaron...$0.10
  • and a COUCH (which, okay, it's off-white so it's a little dirty and I didn't really need it, but I couldn't resist the price so I brought it home and shampooed it with mom's steam cleaner. If it doesn't come clean it'll go in the garage and be Lily's couch.)...$10.00

Mom and I set out to find outdoor furniture for my new patio or a gazebo, but didn't find any of that. Instead, I bought $30 worth of Rustoleum and I'm going to refinish mom and dad's old metal lawn chairs that have been sitting out behind their garage rusting for a few years. They look a little bit rough right now, but when I'm finished they will look like these.

I love me some vintage stuff. Must be why I'm still lovin' on Dan after all these years.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Utilities, Ghosts, and Lunch

Our new house is being inspected tomorrow and it better pass because I've already put a whole bunch of stuff under that address. I've signed up for two of the three utilities I need, got my new driver's license (with my short-haired picture), new phone number, and switched addresses for just about everything except the school board. Oops, better do that tomorrow. Remind me, if I ever start talking about moving again, that I do not ever want to do all of this again. Ugh.

I about cried when I called NES today and the robot voice told me that my estimated wait time was 23 minutes. Do these people not realize that I have a life? Luckily they gave me the option to save my place in line, hang up, and they'd call me back when it was my turn. That was great, since I was on the cell phone and didn't want to burn up a bunch of minutes on hold. Then, when they finally contacted me, the nice lady on the line told me I'd have to pay a $180 deposit. And then she hung up on me. ARGH! A few minutes later she called back, apologized, and told me to have my old electric company fax a letter of credit so I could avoid the deposit. This very nice lady named Barbara had the costumer service thing down!

We went over to the new house today to measure stuff and try to get ideas about how we're going to arrange the furniture and maybe add a bathroom in the basement. The plumbing crew was there putting in the new sewer line, so we got to watch that for a while. When a pop-up thunderstorm rolled in with lots of LOUD thunder, we were very glad that we'll have a basement now.

Then I went to Denise's house with two other moms and all our kids for some mom time. Well, not all our kids. Ryan stayed with his dad because all the other kids were upcoming third graders or younger. The kids played really well together, even though Aaron was the only boy. He declared Darbi, "awesome" and can't wait to go to her slumber party next month. Uh, we'll have to talk about the boy/girl thing, I guess. Denise is a paranormal investigator, so we talked a lot about ghosts. She's trying to convince me to go on a ghost hunt with her on June 13th, but I have the built-in excuse that we'll be moving into our new house that weekend. I don't have to admit that I'm a great big fraidy-cat and would pee in my pants at the mere thought of spending the night with spooky spirits.

I haven't even started thinking about my Washington, D.C. trip yet. All I can think about is this house. I want to move in NOW.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Summer is Here

I managed to survive the end of the school year and selling my house in the same week. But it was close.

My mom and husband spent all day Thursday packing up what remained at our old house after filling two PODS, my mom's Suburban (two or three times), PawPaw's truck, my brother's truck, my car, and Dan's car. I had to work that day, packing up my classroom, finishing up report cards, finalizing students' cumulative folders, and my final IEP meeting of the year. Then I drove to Smyrna to help with the last trip to cart stuff to store in Dad's and PawPaw's garage.

Since our computer had already been disconnected, we missed the email telling us that the new owners were coming over for their final walk-through that night. We were there when they arrived, so we got to meet them. What a cute couple! There were some pretty startling similarities between us and them: it was the second home for both of us, they have a fifteen-month-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed little boy (the same age and description of Ryan when we moved into that house), the guy is a Cleveland Indians fan and a musician (just like Dan). We are glad to be leaving our house with such a sweet young family.

Yesterday we went to a law school graduation party for our friend, Andy. What a fun time. Of course, we had to break out his karaoke machine and frighten the neighbors. As I told Andy, "It's not really a party until I'm gatoring on the floor with someone else's husband while wearing her wedding dress." Well, Andy and LeeAnn know what I'm talking about, even if you don't. :-)

Today was a well-deserved "do nothing" day. Mom and I sat out on the patio this morning with our coffee and read while we watched the rain fall. The transformer blew, so we were without power for a while, but it didn't disturb our good time. I followed that strenuous morning with a nap, and a leisurely drive through our new neighborhood. No one wanted to cook tonight, so we had Shane's barbeque for dinner.

All in all, it's been a very relaxing start of my summer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our New House

Well, we did it. Our offer was accepted and we're buying a new house! We close on our old house this Friday. Then we'll live with my parents for a couple of weeks, go on separate vacations (me to D.C., Dan and the kids to Ohio), and then close on our new house on June 12th. Then we'll have the garage sale to end all garage sales at Mom's house. I'm so excited. About moving; not the garage sale.

I keep rearranging furniture in my head. I'm planning to pull down the IVY kitchen wallpaper on Day One, but otherwise it's neutral throughout the house. We might paint later, but we don't HAVE TO before we move in.

It's been a long year, but the four of us will finally be living under the same roof together again. YAY!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Captain Fearless

This week was the Talent Show at our school. My fearless youngest child performed "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz and he was amazing. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of the ENTIRE school at eight years old and sing a song with a gazillion words (including scatting!!). Especially when the gym goes nuts and everyone starts clapping along. Especially when the crowd is rhythmically challenged.

Everyone agrees that Aaron is fearless, adorable, and very talented. His mother, on the other hand, is technologically challenged. I turned the camera sideways to record them vertically, but I forgot that I can't rotate videos. Duh. So, if you would kindly tilt your head to the left for about four minutes, you'll get to see for yourself.
video

Friday, May 8, 2009

Short Hair is Weird

Some random things I've noticed now that my hair doesn't reach my shoulders any more:

1) There is no delay time between turning my head and my hair catching up.

2) Wind? No big deal. My hair is too short to reach my eyes or fly into my mouth.

3) No need for a big round brush for blow drying. I don't have enough hair to go around the brush.

4) Ponytails are not an option if I'm running late for work.

5) I haven't had to brush out a tangle all week. In fact, have I brushed my hair at all?

6) I keep trying to pull my hair out of the way when I put on a jacket or sweater. No need.

7) I've had to get used to the feeling of hair against my neck since that's where it ends.

8) Getting ten inches cut off makes everyone ask if I got it colored or highlighted. (I didn't.) For some reason, the color looks different.

9) I only need a tiny amount of shampoo, conditioner, or other hair product.

10) People keep doing a double-take when they see me at school.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Locks of Love

Today I chopped TEN INCHES off my hair to donate to Locks of Love to make a wig for kids with cancer. Dan watched and took pictures and didn't even cry when they cut the ponytail off.
Before:



During:














During:












After:











This picture looks kinda weird. My hair is really, really short all over. Not AT ALL like the pictures I brought to show the stylist what I wanted. It's made of lots of really choppy, chunky, short layers all over instead of the long, layered bob that I asked for, but whatever. It grows back. This picture makes it look longer than it is. Very strange picture. I think I'll cut even more off the bottom next month to even out the ends a little more to grow into the bob I asked for.
Anyway the important thing is that a big, thick hunk of hair is going to a worthy cause and I can't possibly pull my hair into a ponytail this summer.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Brain Fried, Happy Times

Okay, so a few things have happened since my last post. This has been whirlwind week and I'll see if I can summarize in number form...

1) We had a full-price offer on the house after only six days on the market. Notice how I'm not mentioning that "full-price" this year is $30 grand less than it was last year? Did you? Anyway, it's a solid offer, the inspection is tomorrow, and we have a closing date. Guess what that date is. No, go ahead and guess. Did you guess May 22nd, also known as my last day of school? If so you're the lucky winner. I have to close out the school year, do report cards, pack up my room, Oh! and pack up everything I own at the same time while I'm living 45 minutes away from my house. Sure, no problem.

We spent all afternoon yesterday looking at houses so that, just maybe, we won't have to put all our stuff in a pod all summer and move in permanently with my parents, rather than coming home on weekends where all my stuff is were it's supposed to be. We found one house that's a definite possibility, but we're trying to take our time instead of rush into the first house we like. It's stressful, but it's a good stress. I'm trying to focus on all the things I won't miss about my old house, instead of thinking about all the things I will miss.

2) Aaron made the talent show auditions! I just assumed that all the kids who auditioned would make it and that the teachers were just checking that the content of the acts was appropriate. Nope. Some kids didn't make it, which is sad, but Aaron did so I'm happy for him. He sang "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz and made his art teacher, one of the judges, cry. The other judge, the music teacher, told Dan, "He's really good. He should really do something with that voice. He's got talent." So now he's all excited and can't wait to perform on May 12th. My grandmother is coming in from Las Vegas for a visit and arrives that very day, so she'll get to see him too.

3) Yesterday was the big fundraiser carnival at my school. Months ago, when I assumed, along with everyone else, that it would be warm on May 2nd, I signed up to sit in the dunking booth and let a bunch of darling little children throw baseballs at the lever and try to dunk me in the water. I also assumed that the water would be reasonably clean, chlorinated, city water from a non-toxic hose that was safe for drinking. Wrong again. I lost count of how many times I was plunged into the depths of the BROWN swirly mass of swine-flu-inflected sludge they call lake water in Hendersonville.

I'm not sure what the exact degree of air temperature was yesterday, but I'm certain it was somewhere between Blizzardy Day in Antarctic Winter and The Forgotten Bag of Peas, Deep Inside Your Freezer. Thirty minutes never felt so long. I was sure I was down to the last three minutes when Dan said, "Twenty more minutes honey--you're doing great."

The biggest problem, besides the hypothermia and gale force winds, was the volunteer who was in charge of setting up the dunking leverhad not been informed of the risks of not setting the lever just right to avoid injuries to teachers. This sweet man didn't know how to work the thing (none of us had any directions about what to do--I just climbed up and hoped there was a ladder to get back out), so he didn't know that he had to set it after each time I got dunked. I'd surface, smile (totally fake), and swim/walk over to the ladder to shiver and wait for the daddy to set it up. And wait. And wait. Then I'd remind him that he had to reset it each time and he'd run over there to do it. But the problem was, if he didn't place it in the exact right millimeter of space (unmarked, of course) it would slip and fall. While I was trying to get back on. I went flying and the wooden board slammed into my leg on the way down. TWICE. I'm sporting a lovely, six-inch-long, multi-hued bruise that vaguely resembles an upside-down heart shape on my right calf as a souvenir of the experience. And I may never get warm again.

4) Tomorrow I'm going on a field trip with Aaron to Gentry Farm. This is only my second day all year to get a substitute teacher. The first was earlier this week when I went to a professional development workshop and my class acted like crazed monkeys released from the zoo. Hopefully they'll do better tomorrow.

Then, after school is THE BIG HAIRCUT. I'm getting ten inches of hair cut off for Locks of Love. I'm nervous, but I'm ready for all this hair to go. I want to be able to sit and lean back in a chair without lifting my hair out of the way first. I want to sleep without worrying about Dan rolling over on my hair and trapping me. Wait, maybe he does that on purpose. Anyway, bye bye heavy hair; hello sassy summer 'do. Now if only I could choose a style I like...

5) Also tomorrow is the parent information night at the middle school Ryan will attend next year. I can't even think about the fact that my wee first born infant child is going to middle school this fall. Then on Tuesday I turn 40. Can't think about that either. Aaron has his talent show dress rehearsal (accompanied by Dan on guitar) and I'm going out for Mexian food with my mom's friends. Then on Thursday I'm taking my class on a field trip to the Hermitage, where I will try to avoid losing any of them in the giant sinkhole on the grounds. Well, it might be okay to lose one or two of them, only if I get to pick which ones.

So, in summary of the summary: busy week. No time to pack. Brain fried. Happy times.