June 23, 2016

Procrastination at it's finest...

I have taken procrastination to the nth degree.  I am not proud of this...but I share this story only as a cautionary tale to you, dear reader.

Today, a co-worker commented on my wedding rings.  In fact, her very words were, "I've never seen you wear that ring before..."

She was talking about my wedding rings.

Here's the deal.  About a week ago, I went to the jeweler as I needed to have a necklace fixed.  On a whim, I grabbed my rings and took them along.  Upon arriving at the jeweler's I told them to fix the necklace (a quick and easy fix, I figured) and asked them to call me with an estimate to fix the rings (a very expensive fix, I assumed).

Fast forward to a few days ago - I received a call from the jeweler to inform me that my "items" were ready.  WHAT?!  No call about an estimate?  I drove to the jeweler's in a snit - ready to argue the charge for fixing the rings.

Upon arrival, they apologized for the oversight and offered me a price too good to be true that I folded and just paid for it.

And then today, when the co-worker commented on my rings, I realized...those rings that had been languishing in my jewelry box for over ELEVEN years!

Yes, you read that right.  ELEVEN years!  

Right after I joined the Legal Department, one of my diamonds went missing; which explains why my co-worker had never seen them.  Granted, a small diamond, but still...

I tucked those rings away for safekeeping until I had the opportunity to get to the jewelry store.  In the meantime, I wore the anniversary band that The Husband gave me to commemorate our ten year anniversary.  It is a beautiful band that incorporates my birthstone interspersed with diamonds.  A band that I couldn't wear with my wedding rings because of their unusual shape.  To be honest, I was kinda happy that this band got some "show time."

Cue to today, when my co-worker commented on my rings,,,and that when it hit me...it's been ELEVEN years since I've worn my wedding rings.  ELEVEN years!!

HOW the hell did I allow THAT to happen?!

One of these days, I'm actually going to get my life in order.  One of these days...

June 20, 2016

Man-Child...a source of constant worry.

After such a dry spell, what are the odds that Man-Child would be the source of yet another post?  Three in a row - what a streak!

Not this past weekend, but the previous one, found me driving up the mountain to get a glimpse of my boy.  This summer has found him in school and working thus leaving precious little family time.  We spent the day together and all was well.  As I left, I reminded him that this past weekend was Father's Day and that he should really make an attempt to come home to celebrate.  He agreed and a plan was set.

The following Monday, The Husband was chatting with him and it was revealed that Man-Child wasn't feeling very well.  A joke was made that the last time I went to see him Man-Child was ill after I left; turned out allergies were to blame, if I recall.

Carrying the joke just a bit further - that same weekend I had visited with a friend - who complained to The Husband when he dropped by to see the progress her husband was making on the wall that he was installing, that she wasn't feeling well...luckily her issues turned out to be allergy related.  Phew...I don't need any reason for everyone to think I'm the bearer of the plague.

Fast forward to last Thursday, when I received a phone call from Man-Child.  He was just leaving the student health clinic - that's when I knew this must be pretty bad.  He never goes there unless he has to (we can all take a moment to thank his father for this particular trait.  Okay, okay - I admit I might have the same trait but not to the same extent as these two).  The clinic announced that he had "bacterial pustules" on this throat and sent him away with an antibiotic.  I clucked over him and told him to start the medication and pain relievers immediately and to get some rest.

He was supposed to work on Friday so I wasn't expecting to see him until I woke up on Saturday - as he had planned to drive in after he got off work; meaning I would be sound asleep by the time he arrived.

Imagine my surprise when I drove up to the house after work on Friday to find his car at the house.  Apparently, he was in enough pain that he used the note the clinic gave him to get out of work.  Clue one that something was going on.

Clue two?  His eyes.  You know how when your little ones are really sick their eyes tell the truth?  I could tell he really, really didn't feel well.  When asked if he felt any better, he said, "a little."  I thought, "Okay, it's taking a little while for the antibiotics to kick in...let's give it a little more time."

Clue three?  He went to bed early.

On Saturday, he slept in.  Once he finally got up, he and I took a run into town to find a suitable Father's Day gift (yes, I have been procrastinating again).  Upon returning home a couple hours later, he went to take a very long nap.  Our original plan had been to take The Husband out to eat on Saturday and let him break in his new charcoal grill on Sunday.  Considering how bad Man-Child was feeling we decided to go out to eat on Sunday and plan to christen the grill another day.

By Sunday, I felt that surely there would be some improvement...particularly since Man-Child took to his bed fairly early again on Saturday night.

Come Sunday, I thought he looked a little better and he didn't seem to complain much.  We went out to lunch and I noticed he was only picking at his food and his eyes had "that look" again.  Usually, especially at this particular restaurant, he absolutely DEVOURS his food in record time and is eyeballing my plate with naked interest.

After getting back home, he took another nap.  After sleeping for a few hours, as I was reading on the back porch, I heard him and The Husband using loud voices.  I came in to see what was going on - apparently, The Husband was trying to talk Man-Child into staying since he still felt so ill.  And Man-Child was frustrated that he still didn't feel better and was feeling the need to get back to school for class and work today.

In a flash, I remembered that our doctor's practice has an after hours clinic on weekends.  How I remembered that, I'll never know as we haven't had to use the clinic for years now.  I asked Man-Child if he wanted to see the doctor before he went back and he agreed.  That was when I knew - without a shadow of a doubt - that this kid was sick, sick.

He insisted on following me to the clinic as he was planning on driving back up the mountain afterward.

At the clinic he was not to pleased that upon hearing about his sore throat they made him put on a mask.  Luckily, the clinic was not crowded.  We were in the waiting room for only about five minutes before being called back.  And then another five minutes before the doctor came in.  A miracle to be sure.  Maybe that's the trick - show up at the clinic an hour before they close...

The doctor was great.  Very thorough.  She talked with us and listened.  She examined Man-Child and announced that she wanted to take his blood.  She mentioned that the results would be back in just a few minutes.

True to her word, she came back to the examining room and announced that Man-Child has mono.  Ugghh!

As I mentioned in one of the previous posts - Man-Child is smack in the middle of a lot of stuff...finishing classes this summer and planning on student teaching this fall.  Not to mention, he's been trying to pick up as many hours as he can this summer.

The doctor stopped short of telling him to take the summer off - but stressed that this a viral issue.  Which basically means that we just have to wait it out.  And that the harder he pushes himself the longer it will take to work through.

She prescribed several things to help deal with the pain.  After spending an interminable time at the pharmacy, I felt sure he would wind up following me home.  He didn't.  He insisted on driving the two hours back up the mountain.  *sigh*  Stubborn boy.

I texted him this morning to see how he was feeling.  He responded with "meh"  which I assume is better than "arrgggh!"  Apparently, between the "magic mouthwash" and pain pills she prescribed he was feeling just a tiny bit better.  But not enough to attend classes or go to work, according to our most recent texts.

Why, oh why do they get sick when they can't be home?  Where I can make sure he is resting, eating all while monitoring his eyes?

June 14, 2016

Adult life lessons - apparently, they don't end at twenty-one.

It's been a while since Man-Child has provided blog fodder.  It's about time he coughed up something!

At the end of last month, Man-Child told me he needed to get a physical before he could student teach and asked me to set up an appointment for him, which I promptly took care of,while reminding him that he needed to take the new insurance card with him and asked if he had the updated one.  He assured me that he had it and would make sure to bring it with him.

He then promptly re-scheduled the appointment I had made. *sigh*  Lesson learned, next time, I'm going to have him schedule the appointment himself.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago when we received a bill from the doctor's office for nearly $600.00. Needless to say, The Husband freaked out.  Actually, "freaked out" is an EPIC understatement. Perusing the bill, it seems that they didn't file a claim with our insurance - which was odd as they always have in the past.

Considering his outburst, it was no surprise when he asked me to follow up on this before he left for work this morning.

Oh joy...my favorite thing to do - deal with issues via the telephone.

So when I got to work, I got all my other dreaded tasks dealt with first.  Anything to keep from calling and arguing with the doctor's office about this bill.  Then I spent some time visiting with a co-worker.  And then, when there was no other menial, piddling little task left to waste my time with, I bit the bullet and called.

I spoke with Amy.  She was calm and sweet, which to be honest, in this day and age is a rare find when calling to dispute something.  I explained that we had received this bill and that it didn't seem that any claim had been filed.

She looked at whatever she was looking at on her end and informed me that Man-Child had in fact brought his insurance card...

His dental insurance card. *sigh*

Which will be deemed MY fault by the young master since I didn't specify which card to use.  Despite the fact that the dental card clearly says Dental on it and the health card clearly says Health on it.

She said that I could email her the health card and that should fix the problem.  Yay!

On the other hand, we have this semi-adult.  One that is excelling in his college career.  One that is about to be released into the world.  One that has been making sure his rent and bills are paid on time (granted using our money, but still...). To stand on his own two feet and take the world by the tail.  But I can't trust him decipher between which insurance card should be used when without being specific. *sigh*

Obviously, our "teachable" moments aren't over yet.


June 1, 2016

A Man-Child Update

I haven't spoken about Man-Child much lately here - mainly because he hasn't been around a lot lately and, to a lesser extent, because I haven't felt comfortable sharing about his life now that he is older.

BUT...I figured it was time to share some of his recent accomplishments (yes, I might be biased but I am one proud mom).

Man-Child is THIS close to graduating college.  He has to finish up some classes this summer and then he moves on to Student Teaching this fall and will graduate in December..  He majored in Physical Education and hopes to coach one day (preferably football, of course).

He has recently received his placement for his Student Teaching at a local elementary school less than three minutes from home (apparently, I will be the only person in this house with an actual "commute." I put it in quotes because even though I drive the farthest, compared to Houston the commute is laughable).  The only better placement he could have hoped for was the local high school (he was praying that he wouldn't get a middle school assignment - and I don't blame him).  My friend, with young children tells me the only better placement would have been at his old elementary school - two minutes away (where her children go now).  So basically, he will be spending his days playing with kids.

Seeing as he's always done well with younger kids, I think he will be fine.  In fact, after the one semester he taught at the elementary school where he goes to school was over last year he told me, "Mom, I'm really going to miss these kids - they are so awesome!"

With a teacher that caring, I can only imagine that they miss him too.

As you can imagine, I can't wait for fall to hurry up and get here so that he will be home and so I can get started on that backyard.

He has a girlfriend that makes him happy.  That's all I will say on that subject.

All in all, Man-Child is doing well, happy and will be home soon - as a mom you can't ask for more than that, right?

*I KNOW!  Two posts in two days?  Miraculous.* 

May 31, 2016

Backyard dreaming...

I finally have a yard again!!

And I have been spending a lot of time on the back porch dreaming and plotting this yard's future.

As you can see, it's a very large back yard....


The property line is somewhere past the trees behind the barely visible shed
Here's a closer look...



See those Day Lilies that don't quite meet in the middle?  There used to be a fence behind them with a gate in the middle.

One of the previous owners felt the need to fence in half the yard - either to pen in kiddos or pets.

This does not work for us.  I felt that it chopped up the yard and The Husband found it was a pain to cut the grass.  So he happily took out the back half of the fence at my request.  The rest of the fence will come out eventually.

I'm not in a huge rush as this is going to be a drawn out project since I can't move any of the plants until after they have bloomed.


Those magnificent Hostas?  They will be replanted along the tree line behind the fence.  The Asiatic Lilies and Irises that I neglected to capture in the above photo will be relocated to the newly enlarged (eventually) area to the right...

Ignore the flattened Daffodils in the foreground
Those Asiatic Lilies and the Irises desperately need to be moved as they aren't receiving the sunlight they crave.  How do I know?

Because this is the only iris that has bloomed.  There is one other that looks like it might bloom, but the rest - well they aren't happy.

It may be the only one but it IS pretty!

Eventually, I am thinking a meandering path that leads to a gazebo behind that island that also leads to a hammock would be nice.

Although The Husband isn't big into gardening he is over the moon to have discovered that we have a blueberry bush - that already has blueberries growing...



And a blackberry bush which looks like a weed to me...(I'm seriously thinking of relocating it - it doesn't quite "work" for me in this island - but the wicked thorns are making me have second thoughts!)


But also has some berries coming along...


And just the other day we discovered this...


No, not the roses...that tall spiky green thing.  Here take a closer look...


I doubt if you can make it out - but it appears we also have asparagus!  Although, I'm not into vegetable gardening, this discovery did make me very happy.

This little guy was discovered after we had all the beds weeded.  We never knew he was there.  Somehow, I think the previous owners didn't either since it appears they never weeded the beds while they were here or they would have taken him with them.



As I continue to dream and plan out the backyard, The Husband is plotting his outdoor kitchen which, according to him will feature not only a gas grill, a smoker AND a brick oven...he likes to dream BIG!

That's the beauty of a yard...all the potential.  All the dreaming...

April 24, 2016

Mini-home tour...

*dear God in heaven...I have been writing this post since before Easter!  At this rate, it may get published sometime next year!*


Although this house is nowhere near ready for me to show off...I figured I'd do it anyway.

All the "before" pictures were pulled from the listing website - so this is what the house looked like with the old owner's things and color schemes.

BEFORE
The living room

While I do like terra cotta - I had it in my last house - this color was just too orange for me.  Particularly with the oak floors.

AFTER

Still not quite right...

This is pretty much how it looks today...minus the Easter eggs in the tall glass vase.  I still need to find a home for the things on the bottom of the table and I'm not quite finished figuring out the shelves above the television (which is a bone of contention in this house. I am of the opinion that we could use a smaller television in this space.  Can you guess what The Husband's opinion might be?).  And, can we talk about those shelves for a moment?  I don't like them.  I have told The Husband that they need to go and we need to do something that looks more "built in" (like in the picture below - which is not my house but an image I "pinned" from Pinterest.)  At any rate, we ended up going with Benjamin Moore Smoke Embers for most of the house and although I like it a lot, if I had to do it over again, I'd go just a titch darker...maybe Baltic Gray.  But still a major improvement over the orange, I'd say.

Once I obtain a new rug, maybe some new curtains and definitely a smaller chair than the one that is crammed in up there I have a feeling this room will feel much bigger to me.  The rug we currently have is very earth toned and doesn't play very well with the gray.  For some reason, the brown furniture seems okay with the gray but the earth toned accents do not.  Maybe that's just me.

With a few modifications, this might work next to our fireplace.:
That looks MUCH better, wouldn't you say?

Let's head on over to the kitchen, shall we?

BEFORE


I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the burgundy HAD TO GO, particularly since the top half was going to be painted in Smoke Embers.  This was another one of those "Make a decision NOW!" kind of moments - which, to be honest is probably best for me as otherwise I would stick a thousand paint chips on the wall and study them for MONTHS (true story.  Our second house had a thousand and one chips on the  wall for nearly a year before I finally broke down and picked a color for the hallway!).  I'm also not thrilled with the counters.  They seem to be some kind of greenish, solid surface something....but they are like shower tiles or something.  The grout in between the tiles is worn away in some areas, which makes wiping the counters off a major pain.

I swear this kitchen is the hardest room to photograph!

Here's a close up of the bottom half

Once we got rid of the beige and burgundy, I found that the greenish tone in the tiles was muted a tad and that the floor didn't seem AS brown/tan.  We ended up going with Glidden Silversmith Grey on the bottom half.  Considering I picked that color out at the very last minute, I must say I am very pleased with it.

The plants are there only because at this point in time that's pretty much the only place that isn't a bathroom or Man-Child's room that gets a decent amount of sun.  Eventually, some of them will be relocated outside for the spring/summer.  Currently we have two different pieces of furniture tucked into the corners of the kitchen.  If When we expand the living room, the large buffet piece (that you see a corner of in the above picture) will be relocated and we will add a small cart or something in the middle.  Until we decide what to do about the kitchen.  It's a decent size but the configuration is off.

BEFORE

Yes, that IS the same table moved from the kitchen into the dining room for photo purposes.  Apparently, the previous owners used the dining room more as a play area for their children.

AFTER

Another room that's hard to photograph

We, on the other hand, have opted to use this area to dine in.  And when we aren't dining in here (which is 97% of the time) it turns into a computer area / place to store our papers that need to be filed or shredded.  I have almost come to terms with the fact that our dining area will never be clear for any length of time.  Notice I said, "ALMOST."

BEFORE
Not our style AT ALL. But doesn't this room look HUGE?

The Master Bedroom.  Remember how I worried about the teeny-tiny living room?  That was nothing compared to this room.  This was the room that challenged me the most.  Despite the fact that the bed shown above is a king size and ours is a queen, we were unable to situate the bed in the same manner.  Considering our bed has a headboard and a footboard we couldn't close the door if we went with this layout.  So we had to situate our bed on another wall.  And even then we couldn't accommodate both the nightstands and the two dressers.  More on that later.

AFTER

What you can't see?  Immediately to the left is the door to the bathroom.  The other night stand had to be relocated.

So what did we end up doing with the extra furniture?  Well, the other night stand is currently hiding out behind the door.  And the two dressers have ended up in my "closet" aka the "extra bedroom."

My closet was supposed also house a daybed, futon, sleeper couch or bed for any overnight guests we might have.  The addition of two HUGE dressers squashed that idea immediately.  So, as Man-Child has so astutely pointed out, my "closets" keep getting bigger with every subsequent move...poor me.

BEFORE and AFTER

The Master Bath

This room is pretty much the same as we chose not to paint it at this time since the paint is in pretty good shape.  I'm sure it will get a makeover eventually.  The only reason I even brought this room into the mini-tour was because of this....



Despite me repeatedly closing that door to The Husband's closet, it has pretty much stood gaping open since the day we moved in.  Now, if that door swung inward, it probably wouldn't bother me as much.  Since it swings outward, it drives me crazy.

Finally, one day I asked The Husband, as nicely as I could, what he had against shutting that door.  He responded with, "Well, if it's bothered you so much why didn't you tell me?"  To which I replied that it did.  And he promised to keep it shut....

and he does....sometimes.  Still the majority of the time it looks like this. *sigh*
BEFORE


The above picture was what the room looked like before it became my closet.

AFTER


According to our painter - much to his surprise - the pink was actually harder to cover than the orange!  Even though we bought the paint with the primer.  And after posting this picture, it suddenly dawned on me that if I am doing a mini-home tour I probably should have taken more shots of each room, since this picture only shows the one dresser crammed in here.  The other long dresser is on the opposite side of the room.  Well, there's always next time.

BEFORE


The above picture is now Man-Child's room.  Because it is Man-Child's room; it is a disaster zone.  Hence, no after pictures here!  And, I can almost guarantee that this room will never be photographed as long as he is living here!  For some crazy reason, he has insisted that his bed was shoved up against the wall.  That boy has absolutely no decor aesthetic.

There's a few other areas that I've neglected to photograph/share...but they really aren't ready for public consumption yet.

You may have also noticed that, for the most part, the walls are still pretty bare.  That would be because I am still playing with wall art.  Most of my stuff just doesn't seem to "right."  Some of it can be (and has been) painted.  Unfortunately, other pieces can't - so I am slowly searching for replacements.  As I only want things that I love the search has been VERY slow!

One of those areas might be the yard.

I am SO excited about the possibilities that the yard brings!  The original owners did a "We plan - You plant" arrangement with a local, expensive nursery.  And it's really nice.  Unfortunately, the previous owners did not seem to be gardeners...or even yard proud.  But we are making headway.

And as of right now - my back porch is beckoning.

April 13, 2016

If it was going to happen to anybody - it would happen to us, of course.

What are the odds that we would be having dinner with friends who live in the neighborhood - less than a block away from us - when their neighbors would drop by with some day lilies for my friend.  And that the neighbors in question would turn out to be the people who refused to negotiate?  Of course, they are...with us being us, I really shouldn't be surprised.

With any luck they won't recognize us, although if they ever catch our last name, they will be bound to recognize it...why couldn't The Husband's last name have been Smith when I married him?  No, I had to pick someone with a very unusual last name.  *sigh*

The odds of us running into these people again are high, VERY high.  They live across the street from our friends, of course.  And our friends are sociable people.  The type who never meet a stranger.  We are bound to see these people again...multiple times.

Which means I have been running various scenarios through my mind as to how future encounters might be handled in the event they remember us.

The Husband tells me not to worry (easy for him to say) - that it was just business and that, in the end, we both ended up where we needed to be (true enough)...but still...can you say AWKWARD?

So what do you think?  How would you handle this if you were in our shoes?