10/31/2011

houses and homes

So. We moved. We now live in The Pink House. (Seriously, its Pepto Bismol pink.) Just a bit of cleaning to do, and a few pieces of furniture to buy, and we'll be all settled in. I worked like mad to get the kitchen and living room set up, so at least one corner of our house would feel like home. I shelved the books, set out the plants, found a stack of coasters, and swapped my couch's summer whites for her winter dress of cherry red corduroy. The kitchen is tiny, but warm and cozy, and with a little creative storage should work just fine for us.

Its an old house and has its quirks (only one three-pronged outlet per room, and always on the wrong wall, of course) but this house just seems to fit us better. A guest room for visitors, a bathroom one can access from the hallway, a patio and yard for parties, a driveway for guests to park, and if things get to tight in the house, we have a huge garage to serve as another gathering space on rainy days. I think we will be happy here.

~~~

As I clean the empty rooms at the old house, I get nostalgic, remembering the first times we walked through the house, dreaming of our new life together that was just about to start. I remember walking through the empty rooms, alternately praying blessings and making out. (Awesome tradition, by the way.) I remember long hours spent chopping vegetables or reading to each other or talking over third and fourth cups of coffee at the kitchen table. All the cups of tea, cold beers, glasses of wine, and mugs of coffee we drank on the front porch enjoying the seasons of sky and air and the maple tree in the front yard. Rainy days spent snuggled up in bed...

We only spent a little over a year there, but oceans of change have happened in my soul during that time. Whole mountain ranges have been threshed into chaff. Deserts crossed. Dark nights endured. Laughter. Tears. LOTS of kisses... So much life, and all kinds of firsts.

It may not have been a great house - mold, dry rot, termites, dust, windows that don't open, weird storage, an annoying bathroom, and never the right plug on the right wall... - but it was a good first home.

~~~

And here we are in our second house together. It feels like a little newlywed cottage, which works, because we still feel like newlyweds. I'm looking forward to a fresh start, just in time for the holidays.

Speaking of which - tonight is Halloween, and we haven't any candy in the house. Gotta run.

10/13/2011

thursdaybook - moving on my mind

For today I am

Seeing... The completely empty counter in the sink room for the first time in a month. Hallelujah. In fact, I'm drinking my celebratory coffee from a paper cup and getting dinner at IKEA just to keep things pristine for a few more hours.

Hearing... My awesome Donna Summer Pandora station. Disco is fabulous cleaning music.

Tasting... Pete's Major Dickason's Decaf. Mmmmm

Working... Cleaning, ironing, planning for our move...

Reading... Re-reading the sections on Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany from the books I mentioned last time. MM and I have some ideas on how we want to observe the seasons.

Learning... I think my brain's too full for learning today...

Creating... Packing labels for the move. I like to label all the boxes and furniture, so that the movers can take everything right to the room. So much faster to unpack and set up, if we do that. On Saturday we are going to the new house to measure and put painters tape on the major furniture locations. That way the movers can take the heavy stuff right where it goes. These are pros, but I still hate to see people straining under a sleeper sofa for longer than they need to.

Dreaming... House. House. House! I'm excited to set up our next little love nest, just in time for the holidays. We will finally have a chimney by which to hang the stockings with care! :)

Pondering... How old patterns can be unmade and new paths of the mind and heart and life can grow.

Thankful for... Our new house and the means to move there.


ht http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

10/11/2011

bubble baths and pink houses

Saturday morning I indulged in a morning bubble bath. I'm thankful for Kelle Hampton's reminder that daytime bubble baths are awesome. There is something so luxurious about a long soak during the day. Moreso, even, than a night-time bubble bath. I think maybe because it is an intentional sabbath - refraining from work and striving - during a time of day when the rest of the world is hustling and bustling its way through to do lists and deadlines and action items.

I am not good at relaxing, so MM does what he can to support my timeouts. He brought me a mug of hot decaf coffee halfway into my bath. And did the dishes so I would not immediately jump into work straight from the tub.

I got to sink down into warm water, lounge in the pale morning light and flicker of candles, sip hot coffee, and breathe in the fragrance of bubbles while I read my book. Fabulous!

~ ~ ~

We found a house in South West Fake New Jersey. (I have no idea what the real life correlation would be.) There's an even Bigger park around the corner from our house, and new set of trees to enjoy as they change color. These neighborhoods are newer than our current one (1905-1930), but still varied and interesting with a fabulous tree canopy.

We have the distinction of living in the only Bright Pink House in the neighborhood. Perhaps in the whole area. Wow, is it pink. Lordy! Apparently the property manager and all the neighbors have appealed to the owner to update to a stately neutral, but she adamantly declines. "I like what I like, and I only want renters who like what I like." Okay, then.

~ ~ ~

So. A move. We're hiring movers this time, baby! And it should be much simpler, since a) we both live in the same house, and all our stuff is here, and b) I'm not working right now. Easy peasy. (Famous last words.)

~ ~ ~

Still hopeful that we can fit a pumpkin carving night in there somewhere. Perhaps a scaled down version from last years.' We want to do it outside this time, but I have no idea what to expect with the weather. Meh, we'll have to play it by ear.

~ ~ ~

My head and heart are full of stirrings and whisperings and ponderings of mysteries. Now that we've solved the Where Will We Live problem, I hope I can settle down to think and pray and journal. My soul is starving for deep contemplation. And to that end, I think I'll sign off and spend some time on the porch. It's sunny again after a day of downpours, and I'm going to soak it up.

10/06/2011

thursdaybook - (or not)

For today I am:

Seeing... Cloudy skies through window condensation, candlelight gleaming through red votive holders, a white pitcher filled with sunflowers, a mason jar filled with eucalyptus branches...

Hearing... Classical music, the gurgling of the coffee pot, and the pitter patter of raindrops on the house...

Tasting... Hot spiced pear cider from Trader Joes

Working... Housework: dust, vacuum, water plants, laundry, dishes (always dishes), etc. etc. etc. Finances: moving money, paying bills, updating The Budget Spreadsheet. House-hunting. Scheduling. Correspondence.

Reading... The Circle of Seasons - Meeting God in the Church Year (Ireton, IVP), and Living the Christian Year - Time to Inhabit the Story of God (Gross, IVP). Our house church is preparing to kind of go through the traditional church calender together this year. I've been doing parts of the church calender for years (Advent, then Lent, then extended Christmas and Epiphany). But this year, the whole lot of us are going to try and do something for all the seasons. To prepare we're reading these books, checking out other resources, and talking about how a bunch of non-liturgical kids can work all this into our lives. Looking forward to the project.

Learning... About mold abatement. Sigh. Yeah. It's that exciting.

Creating... My energy levels are kinda low for creating these days. I may have shot my wod with this ( kind of lame) blog post. But I may color or knit while I watch a show later.

Dreaming... Thinking about the holiday season, and how we'll go about it. This is tricky, because there are two scenarios to plan for. One for if we move, and the other for if we stay here. We couldn't move this summer because of all we had going on, and we really only have a two week window before we launch into the busy holiday season. I'm feeling a bit on hold in the waiting.

So, I'm thinking up ways to schedule events, decorate (or not), host people (or not), AND take care of my (still fragile and tired) soul in the midst of packing-cleaning-moving-settling-in (or not) and getting ready for the holidays.

This is my favorite time of year, and I'm determined to retain a few of the elements that nourish my heart in the midst of the chaos.

Pondering... Still working on Release/Receive. So much to think/feel my way through on this.

Thankful for... MM and I have had a few significant conversations lately that have spoken to places of deep hurt in me. So thankful for those conversations, and for a husband who longs for my wholeness and well-being. Thankful that this healing process is happening, and that I can see results. Finally! w00t!

~ ~ ~

As per usual. HT to thesimplewoman

10/05/2011

deliciousness

This morning as I drove MM to the chiropractor I noticed that as we went over speed bumps and potholes, our hands holding our travel mugs of coffee would automatically move up and down, shock absorber shoulders and elbows adjusting for the undulation and preventing spillage. It looked as though we were "cheersing" our fellow commuters as we drove along. "Good day to you, sir." "Madam, I salute you." "Here's mud in your eye."

Next time, I think we should go ahead and actually toast the drivers we pass. "I congratulate you on your fine left turn signal." Way to slow for a pedestrian." "D**n it feels good to be a gangsta."

~ ~ ~

We had the first rain of the season last night and today the world smells delicious! I hope to spend as much time as I can outside, sucking in great draughts of this air. Makes my blood tingle.

It's the perfect weather to pick apples and hunt for pumpkins. Sadly, I think MM's back injuries preclude a trip to the foothills, but maybe we can find something closer to home. I am ready to let my fall freak flag fly. And even if we are moving soon. (Please, oh, please, let it be soon.) pumpkins are portable.

(Especially the tiny ones they have at the grocery store. I can't help but buy one every time I go. They are multiplying like tribbles around here!)

~ ~ ~

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,/ We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves! ~ Humbert Wolfe

~ ~ ~

In honor of October, I've made some yummy dinners this week:
 - Rosemary chicken roasted in beer, quinoa made with homemade chicken broth, broccoli. salad.
 - Meatballs in mushroom, onion, and wine sauce, oregano mashed potatos, steamed carrots, salad.

I believe there are some soups, a pork roast, and a pot of white beans in our near future as well. I will even make my world famous, Martha's Kick A** Meatloaf and force my husband to try it. (He swears he will hate it. He is incorrect. ;)

And despite all my good "no sugar" intentions, I am indulging in all the spicy, caramel-y treats of the season. I'm sorry but kettle corn and caramel dipped apples, snicker-doodles and cinnamon rolls, and pies, crisps, and cobblers just need to happen right now. So, I'm allowing the indulgences, but just doing smaller amounts. Hooray for ramikins!

~ ~ ~

And while we're talking indulgences, um, oh yes. "Delicious autumn," indeed!

10/04/2011

hello, October

Well. The wedding was gorgeous! Bride sparkling in the candlelight. Groom beaming joy at her beauty. Everyone moved by music and words and the fruition of a fairytale love story. Cake and champagne and lots of laughter.

And my own Prince Charming looked soooooo gooooood in his suit. We don't often get to dress up together, so it was a treat to be fancy with him.

~ ~ ~

October! Alternating moody grey skies and golden sunshine. Air that's just turned crisp and cool. Love it! My house smells of eucalyptus, chrysanthemums, candle wax and delicious food. Last night we made a peach and pear crisp* for date night. Man, oh man! Seriously roll-your-eyes-and-groan good, people. Perfect for fall.

And now I'm primed for rosemary chicken, butternut squash soup, pumpkin bread, meatloaf and mashed potatos...

*My crisp toppings never really get crisp, so MM calls it a "mush" instead of a crisp. Whatever.

~ ~ ~

Date Night this week was mostly reading together. After the chaos of wedding stuff we needed a night in. So, yummy dinner and books. As part of our "Cultural Exchange" we've been sharing books with each other out loud. I'm still working my way through the Anne of Green Gables series. (Which has been a blast with MM. He laughs and hollers and provides commentary. Yesterday, after several Gilbert-less chapters, as soon as I said "Gilbert..." MM burst out, "FINALLY!" I love that he's not just humoring me, but is really engaging with the stories. )

Meanwhile, MM introduced me to Neal Stephenson via Snow Crash. (Which I enjoyed a lot. A million story threads and such a creative way to combine history, technology, religion, etc. in this cyber punk world. My only real criticism is that I didn't feel much emotion for the two main characters. I got more invested in a couple side characters. Still, all-in-all, a great introduction to this genre for me.) Now he's reading me Jack Higgins', The Eagle Has Landed. Spies in tweed!

~ ~ ~

The next big project is to move. The Little House in Fake New Jersey is sweet and cute, but has a lot of mold that we can't get rid of. I don't want us to go through another moldy winter. So, its time to find new digs. Here's hoping we can make it all happen before the rains really begin.

And I am feeling a bit displaced right at the point in the year when I really snuggle in to "home" and "traditions" and such. The holidays are here, but I can't plan the annual trip to the apple orchards or pumpkin carving party, because I don't know what weekend we may be moving. I feel on hold.

~ ~ ~

So, there you go. That's the latest. I'm off to sip a cup of brown joy. Have a good week, friends.