Old Friends on the Wall

The house is full of our things and too much of it is still on the floor.  Rather than continue my usual routine today, I decided to hang some pictures. As with other things, I have been moving the pictures around the house and setting them on the floor in different places. Next day, I might rearrange a few.

This morning I took one to the sewing room to find a suitable hanging spot. The lamp on the nightstand had dropped its shade.  It was shockingly immodest, like a person dropping their pants and flashing a crowd.

I suppose you can’t expect a lampshade to sit around for seventeen years and maintain its grip. I might try to find some white cloth tape to repair it since the shade looks fine otherwise. Or, I might just buy a replacement.

The first picture I chose to put on a wall was a painting given to us as a wedding present. It was painted by my Sister/Friend Susan’s mother, Eleanor Wachtel. It took me a long time to decide where to put it.  I love the painting and want it to be visible, but there is not much wall space in my parlor. The one wall space facing the door to the room is too big.  The one space across the room from the loveseat in too much in the corner.  I ended up putting the painting on the wall beside the door. I call the painting Eleanor and it was so nice to see her again. She has been gone now for a number of years and we still think of her.  Andy likes to quote her saying, “I’m a cement person” referring to being a New Yorker and not someone accustomed to being in the woods.

Eleanor went to Massachusetts every summer to paint and this is a street scene in Cape Anne.

One of my favorite pieces is one I call “Granddaddy” because he reminds me so much of my Granddaddy Quince Dail. Granddaddy was a farmer and wore overalls. The cow in the background doesn’t fit though; my Granddaddy raised hogs. I wanted to put him where I could see him the most and found the perfect spot next to the sliding glass door to the back.  I could see him from the kitchen sink and “my chair” in the family room.

Sadly, the spot was not so perfect after all.  There was too much glare from the front window and door no matter where I stood to look at him.  So I moved him to the wall between the kitchen and the hall.  No glare or reflections there.

I realized later that I walk by that spot a hundred times a day and get a close, unglared look.

I chose a small spot between doors for my Haida Salmon I bought in Vancouver, British Columbia.  We were living on the boat at the time and Andy asked, “What are you going to do with it?”  My plaintive reply (that he still likes to quote) was, “Someday I’ll have a wall”. Now my someday has come and my fish is on my wall.

Oh to be rich enough to buy more of the First Nations’ art I saw in Alaska and Canada! I find this style fascinating. It is full of symbolism.

I hung a few more, but it got too dark to photograph them today.

My sister Barbara asked me to take some pictures outside the house so she could see and understand the setting better.  This is looking straight out from the front door.

I walked all the way across the street to the far curb to take this picture of our house. We don’t have neighbors on either side yet.

Next, I stood in the middle of the street and took a picture to the right from the house. The house on the far right is two lots over from us.  The one in the distance is the same model as ours.

Then I turned around and took this picture looking left from the house.  There is a pretty wide expanse of empty lots on both sides of the street. The Port-a-Potty is a sign that something will be happening on that lot soon.

They had put four stakes in the ground last week.  Yesterday, they pushed the dirt around.  This morning, they delivered the wood they use to make the forms for pouring concrete. Here is another look.

It won’t be long before houses line the streets one after the other.

 

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Rose Bower

For as early as I can remember in the 1950s, my mother was crocheting squares.  There were white squares with an “x” in them and, my favorite, squares with a three-dimensional rose in them. As a housewife caring for foster babies and having babies of her own about every two years, it took her years to finish the project. I remember watching her crochet needles flying as she seemed not to notice she was doing it.  She also quipped to friends or neighbors that she crocheted to calm herself down so she would not beat the children. I don’t know if that worked or not.  We sure got the paddle often enough.  Though, maybe it would have been more often if she had not calmed herself down with a rose square. What made the beautiful project so thrilling to me was that she would tell me that it would be my bedspread when I grew up. I remember how beautiful I thought it was when she finally pieced it together and put it on her bed.

My mother loved babies.  That is one trait I can say I inherited from her. I was the oldest child, but don’t recall how she loved me as a baby.  When I was a young child, she would tell me that I was an ugly baby.  She told me that, when presented with her newborn, she told the nurses, “Eeewe,  that ugly thing isn’t mine!” I don’t know why she told me this.

As the family grew and the marriage decayed, perhaps my mother viewed her children as the ropes that anchored her to my father. Maybe five rambunctious children would wear most mothers down. Or, maybe she just could not relate to older children as easily as she could to babies.  I know I had opinions and a smart mouth. By my teen years, it was very clear that she hated him and we children, by some extension, were part of it.

My mother and I never had that close mother/daughter bond that many of my friends seem to have.  She was very critical and I never measured up to her expectations. If I didn’t have such a long nose, I might be cute. My fine blonde hair would not hold a Shirley Temple curl no matter how tightly she pin-curled it.  Braids that brought tears to my eyes were pencil thin. Why wasn’t I a cheerleader like Virginia Chaney? I was rebuffed often enough that I learned not to go to her with my problems or share any of my secrets with her. An expression of sentiment was always scoffed or ridiculed. No, we were not close.

Then, as an adult, the first of our lineage to attend college, have a career earning “real money” by my parent’s standards, nothing I accomplished earned me any compliments or accolades from my mother. In fact, her remarks always sounded like jealousy. I have been able to do things and go places she never did.  From her comments, I am sure it was jealousy.

As Mama got older and gained weight, she would often give me some articles of clothing she no longer fit into. One day Andy and I were visiting and she had a pile of clothing she was getting rid of and asked if I wanted any of them.  I saw a pair of shorts and tried them on.  Mama quipped, “That doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would”. She left the room for a few minutes and Andy said, “That is the nicest thing I’ve ever heard her say to you”. I was stunned.  I truly hadn’t noticed. But I could not think of a single thing she had said that was nicer.  I tried for days before admitting he was right.

Sometime in the 1990s, I bought a new bed and Mama gave me the Rose-Bower crocheted bedspread to put on it. I was nearly fifty years old when I got my bedspread. Then, when we sold our house and moved on the boat, I took the bedspread back to my mother’s house for safekeeping. Later still, when Mama put her house up for sale, we took our possessions we had stored there and put them in a rented storage unit. We had furniture and household goods scattered among family and friends and moved things around several times during our boating life.   I lost track of the bedspread.

In 2010, Mama told us she had breast cancer. It had already reached the stage where there was nothing to do about it.  She had never had a mammogram even though both her mother and her grandmother had died of cancer.  Mama had known for six months before she told us.  I thought she was ashamed. We had a small motorhome and parked it in her driveway so we could help her in her last few months of life.  After a few weeks, she told us to leave.  We bothered her. So we left to volunteer in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park for July and August.  I called her every weekend when we went to town for groceries and had a phone signal and asked if we should come back.  My sister Barbara went to stay with her.  I was gratified to learn that it was not just me; Barbara bothered her too. Finally, in mid August, Mama said we could come back even though she was not dead yet.

She was very weak but was comfortable enough with copious amounts of morphine and oxycodone. One night she awoke me with coughing and I went into her room.  We both sat on the edge of the bed for a while and she told me she was sorry that she had not been a better mother.  I assured her that she did the best that she knew how.  You can’t do better than that.

Another night I asked her where my bedspread was.  I couldn’t remember if it was in the storage unit or in her house, along with a stack of homemade quilts made by my grandmother. She told me the bedspread was in the small bedroom on the closet shelf. A day or two later, Mama died.  We knew the time was close so there were children and grandchildren in the bedroom with her.  We were watching the movie “A League of Their Own” on the television. I was sitting on the bed next to Mama with my arm around her shoulders when I noticed that her breathing had changed.  We turned off the movie and paid attention to Mama.  She was not awake.  Her breathing slowed and then stopped.  We called the Hospice nurse who arrived a while later.  Then, in about two hours, people came to pick up her body and take her to George Washington Hospital medical school, where Mama had donated her body. She did not want a funeral or a memorial service.  Poof!  Mama was gone. I noticed that no one had cried.

During the process of handling Mama’s estate, beginning with clearing out the house, I saw that the closet shelf in the small bedroom only had one quilt on it.  No bedspread.  It must have been in the storage unit.

In the ensuing years, I looked in the storage unit several times, but it was so full of boxes and furniture that it was impossible to know where the bedspread was.  But Mama had said it was in the small bedroom. What happened to it?  Did she sell it?  Did she give it to someone else?  Did someone visiting simply take it while Mama was sick?  Was it safely in the storage unit and I just forgot where it ended up?  The questions nagged me for years.

Now it is near the end of 2017. We sold the boat and moved into a motorhome for six years.  And now we have moved into our retirement house.  Busy as I was during the emptying of the storage unit and the loading of the truck, I kept looking for the bedspread.  I thought I may have gotten a glimpse of it once.  When we unloaded the truck at our new home, I watched for the bedspread.  I searched plastic bags as I recalled putting it in one with a zipper, one a bedspread might be packaged in at a store.

These past few weeks have been stressful.  Even good things can be stressful and I have been working very hard, exhausting myself trying to get the house organized.  What I thought was the bedspread turned out to be some lace curtains I took from Mama’s house.  I told myself the bedspread is probably in one of the many boxes filling half the garage. But I wasn’t sure.

My back has been telling me I was working too hard.  I told Andy that I was not going to do anything today.  We went to the Orlando Friends meeting this morning.  Andy said that I would at least sit still for an hour there. I did.  While I was sitting there in silence, I realized that I had been overdoing it and it wasn’t just sore muscles.  I had a heartache that was eating my insides. I had become obsessed with the Rose Bower bedspread.  It had been nagging me for years now.  I recalled visiting an old Florida farmhouse a few years ago and seeing a small Rose Bower cloth draped over a chair.  My heart ached when I saw it. It was just a bedspread.  I had to let it go and get over it.

After rise of meeting, I was telling a man how stressed I have been with the move and the missing bedspread. We agreed that, until all the boxes in the garage are opened, the mystery will not be solved.  I shed a tear as I told him, it wasn’t just a bedspread; it was the one, nicest thing my mother ever did for me. Then at lunch, I told Andy about spending my whole meeting for worship focused on the bedspread.  I cried all the paper napkins wet. Andy was moved to put an end to this bedspread thing once and for all.  We would check the boxes in the garage.  If we didn’t find the bedspread, we would call any family member who might have taken (or been given) it.  My niece Jessica loves vintage things.  Maybe Mama gave it to Jessica.  Or maybe to my Aunt Jane.

Andy went straight to the garage as soon as we got home.  I went outside to plant my herb garden just outside our bedroom sliding-glass doors.  First, I had to push the mulch around to find the plastic irrigation pipes.  A light rain began to fall as I set out dill, Rosemary, mint, and chives.  Andy came to the door with a mattress pad.  No, that not what I wanted.  It is white with red roses on it. Can’t that man tell a bedspread from a mattress pad? I dug more furiously and was soaking wet from the rain.

The next time Andy came to the door, he held up a clear plastic case with the Rose Bower bedspread in it.  I burst into tears and went in the door with the trowel in hand.  I was sobbing so hard I was shaking. Bewildered Andy said I was crying when I didn’t know where it was and now I was crying when I did. I could not tell him I was relieved.  I had to calm down first. I wasn’t happy that he found the bedspread.  I was happy to know that Mama had not given it to someone else after she told me it was for me when I grew up. I didn’t want to think she had, but I didn’t know.  Maybe she sold it.  Maybe she didn’t want me to have it after all. I was such a disappointment to her. Was that her way of telling me so?

NO.  She really did want me to have it.  I did have it all along.  All these years, I have been fretting for no reason other than I couldn’t remember storing the bedspread in the storage unit. Maybe Mama is somewhere laughing at me right now. Ridiculing me for being so stupid.

I kicked some of the stuff on the floor under the bed to put a white blanket and the bedspread on it.  She made it for a full bed so it does not fit my queen size mattress.

Some squares are coming apart in a few places so I will have to do some mending.  Otherwise, it is in pretty good shape and still vibrant white.

It’s not just a bedspread, Mama.

 

 

 

 

 

Five-Year Cancer Checkup and a Hamburger

On Monday, brother-in-law Tom returned from his family visit near Tarpon Springs.  We picked him up at the car rental office in Belleview on our way to Gainesville. We arrived at Shands Hospital and Dr. Mendenhall’s office right on time

Big surprise!  Nurse Terry was back.  She had moved to another department for a year or so.  We were so happy to see her as she had been a delight during the horrible treatment months. First, she took Andy’s vitals in the open area.

Then we went to an examination room where she went over Andy’s chart.  At one point she said, “You know he is going to stick that hose up your nose today”.

Andy looked at me.

He hates that hose the worst. Dr. Mendenhall arrived with a post-doc for the examination.  First, he felt Andy’s neck.

Then came the nose hose.  Andy was actually very calm and relaxed this time. He reported later that there had been a longer time than usual between the anesthesia spray and the hose insertion and it was not at all uncomfortable.

All was good, as we expected.  Dr. Mendenhall was cheerful as ever.  Now Andy only needs a checkup once per year. Nice going Dr. Bill and Andy!

Then we were off to Alachua and Conestogas Restaurant for those legendary hamburgers. We were so happy to be able to take Tom there.

Here is Tom with his hamburger and half the gigantic baked potato Andy shared with him.  Notice that Tom put the hamburger back on the plate upside down.  I do that too.  It is just easier to handle that way. We got the small hamburgers. Stoagie Junior.

After a fine lunch, we jumped on Interstate 75 to head back to Leesburg.  I decided to make a stop at the rest area on the north side of Paynes Prairie so Tom could see the landscape.  Spanish moss was waving in the breeze on this live oak.

This is a long, elevated walkway to get to the viewing point.

The view was a bit disappointing though.  We could only see a small slice of the enormous prairie/wetland.  The trees in the foreground blocked the otherwise panoramic view.

I have been so busy with moving in and unpacking that I have not been wearing the camera around my neck as I usually do. So, I have not been taking any pictures.  But I did have it with me for the trip to Gainesville and remembered to take a picture of the trellis and jasmine growing in front of the garage wall.  I took the photo from the sidewalk to the front door.

As soon as we were back home, Tom got busy doing little projects.  He installed hand-towel bars in the bathrooms. He and Andy secured Andy’s bookcases to the wall to make them solid and stable. It has all been a blur, so I can’t remember all the things Tom did.  He is amazing. He can’t sit still very long so he went to the garage and organized the boxes. In the evening, we hung pictures in the office.  Andy was so pleased with our decorating.

We drove Tom to the Orlando airport on Wednesday morning for his return trip to Maryland. I’m going to miss that man! Then we stopped at Costco with a grocery list.  We bought a television set. It was not on the list. It will be delivered so we don’t have to worry about fitting it in the car or carrying it into the house.

Even though Tom has gone, I am still spending my days trying to organize the house.  I have made some progress and will try to remember to take some pictures tomorrow. We’ve made several trips to drop off unwanted items at the thrift shop.  Of course, a day does not go by without a trip to the Home Depot or Wal-Mart.

Some Evidence of Progress

I didn’t kill myself trying to work all day today.  It is the Sabbath, after all.  But, we still got some things done.

It is unbelievable how much stuff we have packed into the motorhome.  This morning, we used a roll of kitchen trash bags to carry things into the house.  We carried and carried and carried some more.  Then we quit.  And we have not gotten it all yet. We drove the motorhome to the neighborhood RV storage lot and parked it in a very narrow spot between two others.  I had to try several times before we got it in well enough.

Our other task for the day was to put down the dining room rug so I would stop stumbling over it. I dragged the dining room chairs, the living room chair, and several empty cardboard boxes out-of-the-way and Andy helped me carry the table out.  We unrolled the rug, which is not the same as cutting a rug, and aligned it with the floor tiles. Then we set the table back in place and I put the chairs back in. If you ignore the pictures on the floor, the cleaning supplies on the cart, and the thrift-shop bound cardboard box, the room is beginning to look put together.

Here it is from the foyer. This is the first room with any semblance of orderliness and it is a psychological boost for me. We don’t have a light fixture in yet.

I have been working with Andy to get his library off the floor and on the shelves. I enter the title and author in a spreadsheet and he is putting them on the shelves in alphabetical order. We might be a third of the way through this project.

I usually make the bed very soon after getting up in the morning.  Andy distracted me this morning and I didn’t make it.  That is a sure sign that we’ll have company. I did finish the second half of my bed decoration though. That made me happy!  It is white tulle with gold stars.  The corners are plastic gold things people put around the base of a large candle. They fit neatly over the bedposts and hold the fabric in place. It will be a garland for Christmas.

I was puttering around, carrying things from one room to another when the doorbell rang.  I had to move the living room chair out-of-the-way to open the door.  It was Ted/Fred and Dee Kermode along with their friends and our new neighbors, Brian and Nancy Howard!   Both ex-boating couples have just returned from an RV trip to Alaska.  We had not met the Howards yet but knew they would be here soon. They came in a took a tour of the mess and my unmade bed.  I guess it was not too noticeable with the rest of the chaos.

Here is the status of our bedroom after we carried clothes and other things in from the motorhome.

It sure looks a lot like a college dorm room to me.  

I had a plan for two chairs and a coffee table in the bedroom next to the sliding glass doors.  I put the furniture somewhat in place and told Andy he could sit there to watch the golfers tee off when it gets too cold to sit outside. He loved the idea and said it would be a perfect reading spot too.  Then he suggested a small bookcase in the corner for our pleasure reading.

It will get better one of these days.

 

Unpacking Boxes, Washing Everything

It’s been ten days since I posted a blog update.  And, it has been a whirl of activity.  I have lost track of the days of the week and the date.

We took two days to drive to Sister Barbara’s house in Maryland. As before, we took a day of rest before moving day. Early Sunday morning, Brother-in-Law Tom, Andy, and I drove to Fairfax, VA to pick up the rental truck and then headed to Daughter Kathy’s house in Vienna. Kathy had already set out our furniture, lamps, and artwork in her living room. It was not too much, so we had it loaded into the truck quickly.  Tom was in charge of draping things with moving blankets and strapping them into place.

Our next stop was son Andrew’s house in Rockville, MD.  They had also set out most of our belongings in their driveway. He had also posted a Facebook picture of it as the status of his yard sale. That is what it looked like.  They had not brought out our china cabinet or bed.  I took the doors off and the glass shelves out of the china cabinet and removed the small drawers.  Then, the guys carried the cabinet out in two pieces. Tom and I disassembled the bed.  Unfortunately, we broke one piece of the canopy.  (Tom glued it back together when we reassembled the bed in Florida.)  Andy ordered a couple pizzas for us and we took a quick break from loading the truck to eat lunch.

Our last stop was Tom’s and sister Barbara’s house in Prince Frederick. Barbara did not have much of our furniture, but she did have some of her own that we loaded into the truck. Their three-car garage is full of “stuff”.  I picked out some tall chairs to set at our kitchen counter and some knickknacks Barbara had used to “stage” houses when she sold real-estate. The best thing I took was nephew Joshua’s bed.  Actually, it was my daughter Jennifer’s bed, since she moved out of the crib. When we sold the house in 2000, we gave her bed to Joshua.

Joshua did more than just sleep in that bed.  He turned it into an alarm clock backup.  He took the bed apart and mounted jacks on the back side.  Then he rigged a system with the alarm clock, I presume, that would lift the bed and dump him on the floor if he had not gotten up when the alarm sounded. I hoped he had the video of it in operation on YouTube but could not find it. Now the bed, without the lifting mechanism, is in my sewing room in this house.  Grandsons Owen and Cam are going to sleep on it when they come to visit. I had a bookcase headboard/nightstand but I did not take it because the room is small.

It was late afternoon before everything was loaded into the truck. We were anxious to get on the road and declined to spend another night at Barbara and Tom’s house.  As soon as we took off, we used the GPS to forecast when we might arrive at Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson, NC.  Boo; it was half an hour after they closed. We talked about barbecue all the way down I-95 but did not get any.  You can’t just stop anywhere when you are driving a big ol truck towing a car. Tom and I took turns driving the truck until Andy cried out for bedtime. We found a motel at the next exit off the interstate.

It was nearly dark when we arrived at the house on Monday.  Tom got a mattress out of the truck and slept on it in the guest room. We slept on the family room sofa-bed. We unloaded the truck in about two hours on Tuesday morning. Bring in and setting up beds was the first priority. Then I returned to the job of emptying boxes, washing contents, and finding a place to put things away.

This move was mostly about the dining room and bedroom furniture – and a truckload of odds and ends.  I love dishes and everything else to do with a dining room. I chose this house partly for the separate (mostly) dining room. This picture is weird. Our furniture does not look like that wood. The table top needs some work; I’ll adding refinishing to my to-do list.

We finally have our bedroom furniture back. Tom glued the broken piece of the canopy and it is barely noticeable.  We used the dressers as packing boxes and I had to empty all the drawers before we could put any clothes away.  Then, I vacuumed them with the hand-held. Clothes, boxes, bags, and laundry baskets filled with clothes are all over the place.

Brother-in-Law Tom, who is on vacation, works like a possessed demon.  He decided to stain two bookcases so they would match in Andy’s office.

This chair belonged to Gran Thorn.  It was old when she died maybe twenty years ago (or more). The fabric is at the end of its life.  The foam in the cushion has apparently been dead for some time.  It is crispy. A small tear on the front grew when the Stanly Steemer man was cleaning in and foam crumbs fell out and on the floor.

We took Tom to pick up a rental car and go visit some of his family for a few days.  I’m  not working as hard or as long now that he has gone.  I didn’t want to be a slacker while Tom was running around doing all kinds of things that needed to be done at full speed.  He even rearranged the boxes in the garage according to their contents.

I have been focusing on washing and putting dishes away for several days now.  I honestly don’t know how I accumulated so many sets of china.  I have two sets that I don’t remember ever seeing before. We are going to start using a different set of dishes for every meal.  All the dining room boxes were put in the parlor so we could put the china cabinet and table in the dining room. This room will probably be the last to get straightened out.

When granddaughter Elizabeth’s dresser broke, Andrew and Joanne bought her a new one.  I saw the old one in the garage and asked for it to use as a television stand in the family room. Making some repairs and fixing the paint is on the to-do list.  It already looks great on the opposite wall from the white kitchen cabinets. We don’t have a television yet.

The family room furniture was coated with a fine, brown dust.  It looked dingy and brownish.  After it was steam cleaned, it looks good as new again. I feel so much better now that the furniture and rugs are clean.

We unrolled the rugs when the Stanley Steemer men came to clean them and the upholstered furniture.  The foyer rug from our old house looks great in its new foyer home.

They put the living room, dining room, and guest room rugs outside where they could clean them easily all in one place. The living room rug is still out there because there is no room to put it in the living room. We rolled up the dining room rug and placed it in the foyer where I have tripped over it every time I go in the living room for more dishes, etc.  I even stumbled over it just walking by it to go out the front door.  At that point, Andy said we are going to lay it in the dining room tomorrow.

We are also still moving stuff out of the motorhome.  It is amazing how much we had in there! Andy said we could fill a house just with everything we had in the motorhome. The community only allows motorhomes to be parked in front of a house for a few days to load and unload.  Ours has been there way too long, but we have not had any complaints.

I am tired.

Moving Day

Today, we officially moved into the house. We are leaving for another truckload of furniture on Thursday.  While we are gone, our lease on the RV lot in the Ridgecrest Resort will expire. So today’s adventure was getting the RV ready for the road.  It is always a chore when we’ve been stationary for a long time. All went smoothly.  We hooked up the tow dolly to the motorhome and I drove to the house. Andy followed me in the car. The house looked small with the motorhome taking up the driveway and hanging out into the street.

I pulled Sao up close to the garage to minimize the walking necessary to carry things inside.

We spent the rest of the day moving from the motorhome into the house.  The first task was the food in the refrigerator.  Then the freezer. Next, I attacked the upper cabinets in the salon.  I would fill boxes with food from the cabinets and Andy carried them into the house for me.  Then, I would go inside and put things in the house cabinets. We used two not-too-big boxes so they would not be too heavy.

The biggest chore was my motorhome pantry, which is under the futon-style sofa.  Andy held the seat up just enough for me to take things out while not so high as to open it flat into a bed – with me under it. It’s a tricky proposition. That is where we store our Costco-sized packs of beans, broth, and canned tomatoes. I also store seldom-used pots and pans under there. You know, the monthly birthday cake pan.  The wok.  The sandwich press. It is amazing how much food I had under there. We could easily survive a month on it.  Then, there was also Andy’s emergency supply of maple syrup, five jugs no less.  You’d think we were running a bakery with the four large bottles of vanilla extract.  He puts that in his morning waffle mix and isn’t taking a chance on running out.

Under the kitchen sink was no better.  I had a bottle of every kind of oil I can think of.  That’s what happens when I try a new recipe I’ve seen online and it has some exotic (to me) oil as an ingredient. I also have four or five kinds of vinegar.  Oh, and there’s the olive oil for cooking, the more expensive olive oil for salads and other uncooked dishes. Then there is the bottle I bought at a grocery store in case I ran out of the Costco oil before we got to a Costco. And, let’s not forget my huge jug of coconut oil.  It’s yummy for sauteing chicken, by the way.

However, the pasta is my worst food hoarding sin.  I have two shelves worth.  It’s Publix.  They get me every time with the BOGO (Buy One Get One (free)).  Whenever they have a bin of pasta at the front of the store with the BOGO sign, I toss two in the shopping cart.  There is not a single place where they were stored in the motorhome.  Today I found spaghetti, lasagna, fettuccine, elbows, bow ties, rotini, shells, and even some fancy-bagged “handmade” pasta noodles in five different compartments. And I don’t mean one of each kind either.

In the midst of moving, about lunch time, we went to Subway for sandwiches.  My kitchen is too messy to fix lunch! After a quick stop at Publix for a few items (no pasta this time), we stopped in the community office to get our gate-opening passes for the car and motorhome. This errand took quite a while as there were multiple forms to complete and people coming in and going out with lots of chatter to distract us.

Andy brought our computers, and all their accompanying paraphernalia, inside and set them up in his office.  I guess I should call it THE office.  I even have a desk in here.

All the food is out of the motorhome as well as many other objects we happened to pick up and bring in with the food. Tonight both of us have made several trips to the motorhome to get a forgotten item that we need for the night. I can’t seem to remember two things for one trip.  One trip for the nightgown.  Another trip for my traveling toilet kit with all I need for the night.  Another trip for the phone charger.  Back out there again for my medicines.  Andy made as many trips as I did.I made one last trip – for our pillows.

We don’t have our bed yet.  However, our family room sofa is a hide-a-bed.  I had already laundered some flannel sheets I found in a box. When Andy was ready to go to bed, we opened up the sofa and put the sheets on.  Then,  I made one last trip to the motorhome – for our pillows.

 

Rick Griffen Came to Visit

Our first errand this morning was to get our auto and motorhome registrations renewed.  I usually do that online, but this time I wanted the paper faster than I would get it through the mail. We got there about ten minutes before the tax collector’s office opened at 0830. There was a long line in the parking lot. I thought we were going to be there for hours.  However, as soon as they unlocked the door, we all filed in to three receptionists who asked what our business was and gave us a number.  We took a seat and were barely settled in when our number was called. It only took a few minutes to pay the fees and get new registration cards.  Now we can get an Arlington Ridge gate pass for our car and park the motorhome in the storage lot.

I needed a day off.  Hours upon hours of dishwashing was killing my back. We sat outside with our coffee and watched golfers.  Andy fell asleep so I went inside to empty one more box.  I just couldn’t stand seeing it sitting there.  That box with the pumpkin suit turned out to be mostly kitchen things. I found a set of adorable, fat pitchers I don’t remember having.  And, at the very bottom of the box, there was a casserole dish I just love.  I had not thought of it in years and it was so nice to unwrap it – like an old friend and a present.  Andy woke up and caught me working.  So I sat back down with another mug of coffee. We sat on the front porch in our rocking chairs and waited for Rick Griffen to show up.

Andy gave Rick a tour of the house with an emphasis on the pile of books in his office. Rick retired very recently and has a similar pile of books at his house. Rick said he felt as though he had been here before, after reading my blog posts. He even approved of the new kitchen table arrangement. We had a great chat in the family room before heading out for lunch.

It was hard to get a picture without too much of the clean and dirty piles of stuff on the kitchen counter.

I have been wanting to try La Palma Mexican restaurant a bit north of here and Rick said he likes Mexican food too.  The decision was made and off we went.  It was delicious and all three of us enjoyed our meals.  There are dozens of Mexican restaurants in the area, but I see no need of checking out any more of them.

The waitress took our picture but we all turned out as silhouettes. A bit of Photoshop did not improve the picture much. At least we are identifiable now.

Next, we gave Rick the tour of our Village Green – cafe, bar, pool hall, banquet hall, movie theatre, craft room, library, card/game room, library, and swimming pools.  We skipped the exercise room and gym for fear of working up a sweat.

I so much enjoyed Rick’s visit.  It was fun to hear him and Andy talk about work and the people they both knew.  He also had some great stories to tell. I hope he comes back for another visit before too long.  We had an oil change appointment for the RAV4 and Rick had a long drive back to Jacksonville, Florida, where he is attending the Shock And Vibration Symposium this week.  I sure miss going to those.  Andy always attended the technical sessions and presented a paper, but I went sightseeing with the spouses. Great fun.

I took one last picture of Andy and Rick just before we left the house.

It was a very fine day off. Thank you, Rick!