Sunday, October 30, 2011

Found The Camera!

I am still thinking a warm pumpkin on the walls would look so pretty.
I am so glad that when they remodeled the kitchen that they chose this natural granite. I have always liked the really dark counter tops that I have seen in other people's kitchens, but I love the neutral tones in this granite. There are so many different ways to accentuate the colors. Because this is the natural granite there is the rust color similar to pumpkin from the iron in the granite. The swirls and whooshes in the granite keep the eye moving. If you look closely at the photo you can see the sparkle of quartz in the granite. There are some larger sections of quartz that are so pretty.
The kitchen is not decorated yet. I just put some of my silk flowers up so that the photo would not look so bland.

I am still unpacking, although I did take some time this afternoon to watch Tony Stewart win his third race of the year. Whoohoo.

Today was one of my favorite days of the church year. As a practicing Lutheran it is an important one as it is Reformation Day. I was the assisting minister today for this important service. We always sing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" on this day as it was written by Martin Luther, who was an accomplished composer. It paraphrases Psalm 46, which is my favorite Psalm. (PS: If you are going through tough times, the Book of Psalms can be a true source of strength and comfort.) Psalm 46 reminds me that no matter how big the trouble in your life is, God is there with you. My very favorite line is "Be still and know that I am God." It reminds me to not get caught up in drama or get worried or apprehensive. It reminds me to be calm, for God is in control, and my prayer every day is only that his will is done. When I worry and over think things I just get stressed, but when I hand the problems over, things usually work out better than I could have planned.

So it was a beautiful day. It ends with my feeling so grateful and with a small dog stretched out hogging the bed. She makes no apologies for it either...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

'Twas A Good Day

Okay, I did not get one single thing done today. Zip, zero, nada. But I did have fun...

The day was so beautiful, so little Miss Liesie and I headed over to the dog beach in Carmel. She ran and ran and played with other dogs. She particularly likes to chase the labs back into the surf. She has always done this. I don't know if she thinks she is a lab, too, but I do get a kick out of how confused the much bigger dogs look after they get "schooled" by Liesl. LOL

Because the furry fraulein is a wee bit spoiled, I wrapped her little wet self up into her puppy blanket into her apres beach burrito. She was dozing off in the car all the way home and just wanted to go to sleep after I put her in her bath,

I must have wanted to totally get my money's worth on my massage late this afternoon. I was almost out of Liesie's favorite puppy treats so I decided to run out Costco before I went to my massage for an extra dose of stress. Costco on a Saturday is like the running of the bulls in Pamplona. There are no winners, just people with new stories of danger and feats of strength. I fear for my own life in there. I made it through and headed out to the spa.

I get about two to three massages a year as a special treat to myself. This was an emergency situation to get that tightness out of my lower back before it finally caught at an inconvenient time. My massage therapist is a miracle worker and an amazing person. I have known her for 10 years. It was kind of cool because she told me that I look more vibrant than she has ever seen me. It made me feel really good and I immediately made a note to buy more of whatever moisturizer I last got on sale. Anyway, she made my day and got my back all straightened out. She also suggested that I not do any moving and unpacking for the rest of the day. This was no problemo because I sort of floated out to my car and back home. I have been ready to go to bed since about 7 this evening.

So now it is 9:15 and I feel like I have reached the end of the day. I will have to putter around the house tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I am having a really wonderful week. I am exhausted but all is going well. Today was the big move of our admin offices. I was at work until 7 last night getting the last minute details ready for my office. Much of my responsibilities are maintaining confidentiality and security, so it was important to make sure that nothing slipped through the cracks.

The new offices are beautiful. Most of us do not have doors now. We have the option of having baby gates to keep our dogs in. Today they were free range. Liesl had fun with her doggy friend investigating the new place. She also decided to go trotting down the hall to visit the CEO and even shared his chips with him. She looked pretty happy and collapsed in a nap next to me while I set up my office. I had expected her to not look so happy on our commute to and from work. Now that we have a longer commute on a particularly dangerous stretch of road (I have seen some horrible crashes there myself) I have her in a harness attached to the seat belt. A dog her size would be a missile in a car at high speed, so I want to make sure she is protected as possible. This one has a nice padded lambswool piece that cushions the dog's chest from the straps in an accident. Liesl actually looks like she feels more secure in it and there was no drama. I swear she just knows stuff.

We are settling in at the cozy cottage. Liesl looks so excited when we are coming home. I have to admit that my heart skips a beat, too. I am getting unpacked and looking forward to the weekend to really dive into it. I so love this house. It feels so wonderful to walk into at the end of the day. I am happier and more content than I have been in many years. Liesl seems really happy, too. She is more relaxed than I have ever known her to be (schnauzers can be a little, shall we say, high strung). She has always either slept in her own bed or at the foot of my bed closest to the door to keep her vigil. Now she comes and lays next to me in a very content and peaceful way. She also loves that backyard and has to go play as soon as we get home. It is so cool to see her so happy, too.

I am so excited about the weekend. I plan on taking Liesl for a nice hike, working on the house, and getting a massage. My lower back is super tight from 9 days of moving home and work. I figure I either have to pay for a massage or pay more for a doctor and treatment if I do not deal with it. The massage is like a mini vacation. I also will play with my house and get stuff arranged. I really want to get work done on my office/craft room. I have so many ideas and so little time.

I do hope to take photos this weekend. There are still quite a few boxes to unpack and my camera is in there somewhere...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back To Work!

I was pretty happy to get back to work today. After all of the physical exhaustion of the move, it was nice to get back to my desk and do some accounting. I love accounting. I know that a lot of folks think it is a big mystery, but it is really just a language of common rules and processes so that everyone works by the same standard. I love the organization of it all and really love the teaching moments that come along, where I can help someone understand the how and why things need to be done a certain way.

When I got back to work everyone asked how the new house is. I asked a couple of friends if it is possible to be in love with a house. They assured me that it is absolutely normal and looked at me like they totally understood. It is that giggly, giddy feeling. There is so much fun ahead.

I keep finding out new things about the house. The drawers are self closing when you get within a couple of inches of shutting them. It is pretty darn cool. Tonight I found out that the acoustics are great in my kitchen. I love to sing, so this is awesome. My kitchen is the room that I really really love. Tomorrow my new fridge arrives and I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. I am not sure if I will be able to sleep. This fridge is so pretty and shiny. It is stainless steel and matches the kitchen. I will have to go grocery shopping tomorrow after work. A trip to Home Depot is also on the agenda. Yay!

Okay, so here is where life gets a bit hectic. I had that huge move last week and this week we are moving our office to another city in the county. We are undergoing construction so part of my department is locating for a year or two. I packed up much of my office before I went on vacation. My boss' granddaughter also helped us both out big time by packing boxes and helping out. So things are pretty busy at my office while we all do prep. Luckily, we have professional movers doing the heavy lifting, but we have to have our stuff all packed and ready to go. This should do it for getting any and all moving out of my system for a while.

Still looking for that elusive camera...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All Moved!!!!

I finished moving the very last item and got the former cozy cottage cleaned at 7:30 last night. I had started at 5 am, so I was doing the Frankenstein walk up the driveway last night. My feet were throbbing in my sneakers. I hobbled into the kitchen and made Liesl's dinner. She had had enough of the move, and had a good cranky going. I had enough strength to make my own dinner--a beer and chocolate covered donut, and settled in to watch Talledega Nights and fell asleep. Liesl and I hobbled into our cuddly beds and both slept 12 hours! She got up at 7:30 to take care of her personal business but we both went right back to sleep.

We woke up to a gorgeous Monterey Bay day! The sun is shining, the bay is bright blue, and there is a gentle, warm breeze. I feel so happy and so in love with my house. I woke up this morning and thought, "I am home." (Living between two houses when you are moving is really hard on the spirit.) My favorite race of the year, Talledega, is on today and I am staying home! I have to install my mailbox (I am shopping for a prettier one if anyone knows any sources) but other than that I am resting and getting the house set up. I have the back door open so Liesie can go play in her yard to her heart's content. She is pretty tired from the four days of moving so she is still pretty sacked out. She has been a trouper, but by last night we were both over it.

A quick funny Liesl story: My basket of yarn is on the floor of the living room. This is a temporary situation. Liesl loves her some yarn and saw this as a gift from Heaven. She laid down and put her paw on it ready to get to work. I caught her and told her to stop. So she took her paw off but kept licking the end. In my best stern momma voice, I said, "Liesl!" She stopped licking it, but kept the tip of her tongue on it and broke out into a big smile, like she thought she was hilarious. She is a crack up. (The breed is notorious for a pretty well developed sense of humor where they know they are funny. At the same time, they are a breed where you have got to be known as the leader and have a very firm hand.)

I hope to post tonight and I really hope to find my camera. I wanted to at least check in this morning.

Hope you have a really happy day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Settling In And Still Looking For My Camera

It was a good day at the new cozy cottage. Liesl is settling in and is a lot calmer. She had a really good night last night. She has been opting to cuddle up with me to sleep, which is pretty cool. She loves her yard and disappears for long periods to explore her little world out there.

The bummer part of the day was that I woke up with the head cold from heck from stress, moving, not eating right and not getting enough rest. I ran to Target to pick up necessities, and then ran by the old house to pick up one load. By then I was super dizzy, so I came home, and decided to lay down on the sofa for a couple of hours under a blanket, watching HGTV. I also called my friend, who placed a call to one of his friends who is a hauler to move the rest of my stuff like my washer and dryer, and my patio furniture from the old to new house tomorrow. This is the last of the stuff, so I just have to vacuum and wipe down the kitchen and I am totally moved out.

After I rested on the sofa for a couple of hours (HGTV is awesome!) I puttered around the new cozy cottage and got a lot organized. The kitchen and living room look pretty good. I really am in love with my kitchen. I was able to look closely at the pattern in the granite counters and it is just so pretty. I think I will be spending a lot of time in there because it is just so beautiful.

Tonight my daughter and son in law came over with dinner to see the new cozy cottage. They loved it, too, and thought that it has a great layout. We got to sit and chat for a few hours which made me feel so happy. I love having my kids around. My daughter, son, and son in law are such amazing people and I really feel so full of joy when they are with me. It looks like we are going to start having monthly Sunday dinners at my house so that we can all get together on a regular basis. It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Moving Day, Part 2!

First of all, I want to say thank you so much for your kind wishes and thoughts. It means so much to me! I really appreciate you taking the time to write such nice things to Liesl and me.

Had a pretty great day, but not as much fun as yesterday without my son. I had such great conversations with him and so much laughter yesterday. He gave me a great gift today though. He said that with what I had left to move today, that I really did not need a moving truck. He said that it was too hard for me to get somewhere and park it to get something to eat. He said that he would prefer that I was in something smaller, easier to move, and a bit more comfortable, so he got on the phone and arranged a rental of a minivan. He was absolutely right and today I was moving the boxes (we did the furniture yesterday) in a beautiful top of the line minivan. It was a lot more comfortable and I was able to go through the drive through. I have it tomorrow, too, so I should be totally done and will be able to spend my energy on the new house this weekend.

The seller had to come by this afternoon. I have met her and her husband before and she is so lovely. Someone I would totally have as a friend. She has been a person of her word and a joy to work with. She and her husband remodel older homes and make new beautiful homes out of them. I thanked her for making me such a beautiful home. I told her what my best friend and son said about how the house has such a good feeling. She said that she had to confess that she has every house that they remodel blessed. She told me that she and her husband also pray together all of the time and ask that just the right person for each house would be shown the way to it. I told her that it was that way in my case. We had a few minutes of being able to share faith and asked blessings for each other. It was a profound and unexpected good surprise of the day. This house will be blessed twice because I have arranged with my pastor to bless it, too.

As she was driving away, my best friend drove up with dinner. We were supposed to go out this evening, but I am not looking my best (not smelling my best either.) On top of it, Liesl is having somewhat of a difficult time adjusting. She has cried a few times and has been super clingy which is not her style. So I had left my best friend a message explaining that I just did not feel right leaving her when she was not feeling secure yet. (Schnauzers do not like change, today should look like yesterday, and tomorrow better look like today. Liesl thrives with routine.) My best friend gave Liesl lots of love and it seemed to perk her up. Liesl loves puppy mommas and having someone she knows and loves come over seemed to make her feel better. She is all stretched out comfortably on the sofa now and breathing deeply in her sleep. (She had very shallow breathing last night.) So seeing my best friend seemed to be great medicine for both of us. We had dinner in my kitchen and had normal conversation.

After my friend left, I took my first bubble bath in my brand new bathtub. The water was the perfect temperature (hot!) and lots of it. At some point, I intend to put a tankless water heater in, but I was really happy in my bathtub and feel so much better. I have my cable TV, my jammies on, a full tummy, had a good day, saw my best friend, and now have a little cuddler snoring sweet puppy snores. I am actually getting to enjoy my little house this evening. I am also thinking about all of the wonderful neighbors I have gotten to meet today, too. Some will just call out,"Welcome to the neighborhood!" if they do not have time to stop. Everyone takes good care of their homes and yards and are so friendly and kind. It really feels like home here.

I realize that a house is really a beautiful home when people you love get to join you in it. My conversations the past few days have been about future family dinners, knitting club, inviting all of my friends over and having space to cook them dinner. What is really exciting too, is that Liesl absolutely loves her yard, every time I ask her if she wants to go into her backyard, she gets really excited and wags her tail and trots off to the door. It warms my heart that she likes her space, too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving Day!

Well, it is official. Received my keys to the new cozy cottage today! I had planned my move for today and my awesome son arranged his schedule to help me move the big stuff. I met my real estate agent at the new house for my keys. He could not believe that I was driving a 26 foot truck. I try to explain to people that I am a mild mannered accountant by day and deadly ninja by night. LOL So we moved the big furniture today. My son is a lot of fun to move with because he has a happy attitude when moving, so we end up laughing alot. We had a great time, but both of us had nasty swollen feet, bruises and are exhausted. My BFF brought us lunch at noon, for which we were so absolutely grateful. This was one of the greatest gifts while we were in the middle of a move. A complete meal.

My BFF and my son said that they love the new house and that it is so totally a Patti house. My son said it just looks like me. He said it just feels good when you walk inside it. It was funny because it usually takes us half the time to unload vs. loading a truck. Today it took us twice as long, because my neighbors were all coming and introducing themselves and welcoming me to the neighborhood. Every single person is so nice, and pretty much everyone has a dog on my street. Each neighbor said how nice the neighborhood is and how nice everyone is.

Liesl has been a little stressed today with all of the change in activity. Schnauzers do not like their schedules upset and do not do well with change. She is staying very close to me. She did get to go to dinner with my son and I. I had promised him a nice dinner but by the time we were done unloading the truck we wanted burgers. We went to our favorite burger place to get blue cheese and bacon burgers. Oh my goodness, they were so good and we felt so much better. They are dog friendly, so Liesl came with us and I ordered her grilled chicken breast, her all-time favorite treat. She was a happy girl and was ready to drop off to sleep on the way home.

So, now I am totally exhausted. It is time for me to sleep and cuddle my furgirl. Can't wait to unpack my camera so that I can show you photos!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Busy Day!

It was a very busy day, but I got so much done. After a cup of tea this morning, I went into my office/craft room to pack everything up. This has been the only room where I have felt a pang of sadness. I have really loved this house that I have been renting. My little office has been a special place for me. I thought about all of the time that I have spent in there. I have studied for my classes in there, sewed, written cards, wrapped Christmas gifts, framed my stitching, taken work home from my office, or just went in there for quiet in the evening. I decorated it to look so cute and comfy. Now it is entirely packed up. While it did make me a little sad, it also felt good to get it all done.

The other thing that I did today was go purchase my refrigerator at Home Depot. I was going to purchase it online last night because I would save an extra $100 online, but it would take two weeks for delivery. I went into the store because I have never had to wait that long when I have had appliances delivered to my rental. I took in the model number to the store. The super nice man in the appliance center said that he thought that they could do better on the delivery date. Sure enough, he got me a delivery this week on the day that I wanted it delivered. On top of that he gave me the internet price. Home Depot rocks! My refrigerator is stainless steel with the freezer on the bottom. It is pretty. It even has an ice maker, which is good because I am terrible about refilling those ice trays! As I was getting ready to leave, the salesman said, "Now that you own a home, we will probably be seeing you in here alot." Totally.

I must tell you that if you ever need anything spackled, I am your girl. I have been spackling nail and screw holes today. I must say that this is a handy little talent to have. It has actually been pretty fun. Who knew there were so many different kinds of spackle?!

So one more day of work and I am on vacation. This is such a big, exciting week. I can't wait to spend the first night in my new house. I can't wait to get my fridge. I am excited for Liesl and her new yard and look forward to playing ball with her in it. The house looks pretty empty without all of the decorations up right now. But soon enough, I will have more projects than I can keep up with! This is so awesome!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Day Of Awesome!

Well, it was an eventful night at the cozy cottage. About 1 am a family of tap dancing raccoon decided to try out some new choreography on the roof of the cozy cottage. Liesl was beside herself over this turn of events and decided that shrill barking and running back and forth in the house was in order. Surprisingly, this did nothing to deter the chorus line of masked rodents on the roof and made Liesl's momma a bit grumpy. Luckily, we were able to go back to sleep, at least until 6:30 am when Liesl had to go out. Unfortunately, I had it in my head that I had turned off the entry alarm. This proved not to be the case, however, when I opened the back door and something akin to the old air raid siren went off inside the house. I am sure the neighbors were thrilled.

My Liesie girl and I were able to get back to sleep and woke up to a grey and dreary day. It was kind of yucky, but I had promised Liesl and myself that no matter what I was taking her to the beach this morning. She has been so patient and dealt with boxes encroaching on her play space. I love taking her to the beach. She knows the word "beach" and gets excited and runs to the door. She also gets so excited on the way to the beach. I usually open the window so that she can smell that we are close. She is like a little kid. She will ride with her head out the window stamping her little hind feet in excitement. It is about the cutest thing ever. Since it was a funky day we had much of the beach to ourselves. She ran in the waves and made me use that ball throwing thing over and over. She likes to carry the ball and show it off to other dogs. I think it is a canine fashion accessory.

After her bath, Liesl slept the rest of the day. This was a good thing because I had much to do. I signed my closing papers yesterday at the title company. Now we just wait for the transfer of funds to be complete early this week, then I get my keys. I had momentary panic wondering if I had done the right thing and made the right choice. But then I saw the house again today and fell in love with it all over again. My real estate agent met me there and helped me remeasure the cut out for the refrigerator. Somehow I had missed in the past visits that the granite counter tops had sparkly flecks of gold in it. It looks so pretty. The staging furniture was all removed, too, so it looked bigger.

Afterwards I got to go to the Disneyland for homeowners, Home Depot. I still think they have the most amazing staff on the planet there. I am pretty impressed with how helpful they are.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the large selection of stainless steel refrigerators at HD so came home to cuddle with Liesl for a while. In the meantime, one of my closest friends dropped over. She is pretty awesome. I was telling her that I was having a hard time figuring out fridges. She mentioned that I should consider not getting a side by side, because you can not fit a pizza in it. She was right and it helped me to choose the one I had my eye on. A freezer on the bottom fridge, which is on special and has a Tier III energy rating. She is my friend that is helping me with my decorating and was suggesting color palattes and just gave me super ideas. I am so excited!

Off to bed early, hopefully the racoons will behave tonight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Walking In Gratitude

On Sunday of this week, our pastor issued a challenge in the form of a homework assignment. She told us to take a piece of paper, draw a line down the center of the page and on one side of the paper write what we are thankful for. On the other half we were to write down what our wants are. She said it would be interesting to see which side is longer. I immediately started thinking about where I would start. It would definitely be what I am thankful for. There is not a whole lot that I really want. God has blessed me with more than I ever dreamed of for myself. That is not to say that there are not things that I think would be nice to have, like say, a Kindle Fire. However, it is not really a want.

Last night at dinner my friend and I talked about all of the things that we are grateful for. We both love our jobs. However, we both said that bottom line we are grateful to have a job. Then that we have livable wage jobs. Then that we have jobs that we enjoy and feel passionate about. We talked about our families, our friends, and pets. It was interesting that it was not about "stuff." Nor could either of us think of anything that we would really want. (If I could want for other people, though, I would wish that there would be enough livable wage jobs to go around for everyone who wants one.)

I am realizing this week that I have more friends than I ever realized. I have had so many offers of help for my move. (What is they say about real friends help you move...) Several amazing people at work have made serious offers and have made sure that I have cell numbers and their schedule. (We run a seven day, around the clock operation.) I am a bit overwhelmed by the kindness and everyone's willingness to spend their well deserved days off helping me out. (All of my coworkers work really hard and long hours.) I am terrible about asking for help and it is so nice to have people let me know that they seriously would like to be there. It is a bit humbling. I am fortunate to know so many people with such huge hearts and generous spirits.

Today I was talking on the phone with a friend at lunchtime. She had the most spectacular idea for my first get together in my house. It was such a great small party idea and I got pretty excited about the idea of having my wonderful friends all together in my new house. I realize that I have so much to look forward to in my life. Great gatherings of family and friends. So if I were to fill in that side of the paper with the wants, it would be plenty of time ahead with those I hold so dear to me in times of joy and celebration. My wants are hugs, laughter, smiles and gentle words between all those around me. Of course, those wants include lots of puppy kisses and doggie snuggles on rainy Saturday afternoons. So much to be thankful for.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It Is Starting To Sink In...

It never fails to amaze me that the real estate business and related business are a 24/7 business. There are no such thing as business hours. It is interesting how many people have to come together to make a home sale happen-title companies, the real estate agent, mortgage companies, underwriters, insurance agents, appraisers, inspectors, etc., etc., It is a truly interdependent group of people that each have a really important part of the plan. Last night, the inspector's report that we were waiting for came in via email. Late this afternoon, it all of the sudden hit me how close this is. I got a little overwhelmed by the emotion of it.

It was a drizzly afternoon and evening. It was nice to come home after a busy day at work. I came home with a small schnauzer who was in rare form this evening. She was totally dramatic and hilarious. I warmed up her dinner as I usually do. But she was so excited about dinner tonight. She ate her dinner, licked her puppy lips in the most exaggerated way, made a very dramatic yawn, then plopped down where she stood and fell right asleep. It was a performance that was truly Oscar-worthy. She makes me laugh.

I am thrilled by the way that my blackwork piece is turning out. I have to be pretty careful because there are quite a few errors in the pattern. I have had to free hand some of it to make it work. It is so pretty to me though and I love the shade of red. (DMC 815.)

The other thing that I did tonight was look at drawer pull hardware. I really want something really interesting and different in my kitchen. I love cast iron and there is something called birdcage wire that I am really looking for. It is fun to play with details like this. My friend who is going to help me with the decorating told me that I need to live in the house for a while and then we will decorate. I need to get a feel for the house. Plus she reminded me that I will only want to put things into the house that I really, really love. She said that if I go shopping too soon, I am likely to just buy something to put in a space. She is so smart. I heard it said once that your house is the artistic expression of who you are. This is all very exciting.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Day Of Love

Today was such a wonderful day. I decided this weekend that I needed to be a bit more at peace during this home purchase. I have been postponing joy until I got the papers signed, until I actually got moved, until I get things set up just the way that I want, until, until, until...Today I had a day of joy, peace and normalcy.

With the pending move and all that I need to take care of, I had missed church the past couple of weeks. This was a bit hard on me as church really centers me and gives me strength and nourishment to face the week ahead. I was so happy when I walked into church today. I feel so surrounded in love there and that I am truly at home with my church family. We take care of each other and look out for each other through thick and thin. My church family is so excited about my home purchase and I received many offers of help in many forms today.

After church I ran a couple of short errands and came home to a loving welcome from Liesl. After lunch we both decided a nap was in order. It felt good to just rest. I decided to just focus on the present moment today and spent time playing with Liesl, brushing her hair and giving her tummy rubs. I also watched documentaries, stitched, made dinner plans with my friend for this week, and talked long distance with a dear friend who just moved away.

The theme of my day has been love. Love of church family, love for my amazing family, love for those around me, love for my little dog. It has brought me great peace today and I feel like I can face the challenges of the week ahead. I am fortunate, because my friends and I always tell each other that we love each other. It is not just a great gift to hear it, but it is just as beautiful to be able to say it. Love is meant to be shared, cherished and treasured. Most of all, God loves us and blesses us every single day.

May you have a blessed week.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Cozy Cottage

I had to go to the new cozy cottage today to sign some paperwork while an inspector was there. I figured this was a good time to finally take some measurements and figure out layouts for the furniture. I had also planned on taking some photos, but this was the only one I got to. I love the industrial top of this stove. Love, love, LOVE it! I see myself cooking lots of meals for my loved ones there! Okay, but picture for a moment with me. I am seeing that wall, which is actually a nice neutral beige color, in a warm pumpkin, I think it would look awesome against the warm color of the cabinets and the stainless steel.

Liesl finally got to see the house and yard, too. She approved, and made sure that everyone knows the yard is hers, if ya know what I mean. She sniffed the whole house and seemed quite pleased. She did not even smack talk anyone today. I got to meet the terrier that lives next door. He had to let us know he was guarding his dad and we were too close to his territory, but his favor could be obtained with a few scratches behind the ears. He is adorable and is also a smack talker so I think he and Liesl will be fast friends. In fact, there are several terriers on the street so we are in the right spot. The street was so quiet, even on a Saturday morning. Yay!

As I said earlier, I meant to take a lot more photos, but I got distracted. My agent has also been my friend for years. He has lived on the Monterey Peninsula for over 40 years and was a deputy sheriff for 30, so he pretty much knows everybody. He loves to tell stories and when he starts telling stories, I just have to listen because they are fascinating, and quite funny. So today was a story day and I could not help but sit down and shoot the breeze with him. He totally entertains you with his tales. Hours flew by but I had a great time! It was funny because he had to bring by some papers to my office a few weeks ago and everybody there has known him all of their lives.

After reluctantly leaving my new house (if all goes well with this last inspection) I headed off to Home Depot to look at refrigerators again. I am not sure that it is possible for Home Depot to hire a nicer, more helpful and more knowledgeable staff. Every single time I go in there, the staff is so helpful and friendly about it. Now that I think about it, I should really write a letter to their corporate headquarters to let them know what a great place this store is. Too bad they do not sponsor Tony Stewart anymore...

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Love Autumn! (And Other Random Thoughts)

Well, we have had two days and nights of really hard rain. It has been nice, actually. I have had the two best nights of sleep that I have had in a long time. I love the sound of rain. At one time, I actually had a tape of rain. I wonder if you can get that on iTunes. It is just so peaceful.

In any case, I am happy it is fall. I love fall. The crispness in the air. The smell of the first fires in fireplaces. I love the recipes for fall because I love pumpkin. I am looking forward to making my first sweet potato pie of the season. I love soups and it is the time of year for it. I am also getting out my fall sweaters. The colors of this time of year make me happy. It is the time for snuggling inside and spending days quilting, stitching and reading or napping, curled up with a warm, small dog (even though she snores).

I did not get to do much this evening. My friend called me in the early evening to tell me a silly story. He had me laughing so hard! I will share that I have a very silly sense of humor, well honed in my youth on Bugs Bunny cartoons and Abbott and Costello movies. Laughing is one of life's great joys and I am grateful to have people in my life who make me laugh. I also work in a place where there is a lot of laughter heard in the office hallways, and we always remark that this is not normal for an office.

I have been blessed in the past year with finding a fantastic doctor. She is a GP and is not only a great doctor, she is a phenomenal human being. The other doctor in her office and my doctor are people of tremendous faith, and have both told me that they pray for their patients everyday. They also have an amazing staff that are so kind and compassionate, and are just so nice to you if you are sick, even if you have a cold or flu. Anyway, my doctor and I always end up having these really great conversations, particularly about faith. A couple of months ago, I was sharing some stressful situation. She stopped me and said something that I think about every single day since then. She said, "Remember that God will never put you into a situation where he does not have your back. God has always got your back." Those words have just stayed with me, and help me. Those words keep me from being angry, scared or worried. I thought that I would share them with you, because maybe you may need to hear them today, too.

Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Snuggled In

Wow! It absolutely poured last night. It rained so hard that neither Liesl nor I woke up at all. It was one of those rare occasions where I woke up feeling rested. Of course, I could have stayed in bed for another couple of hours with a book, but alas, Liesl and I had to get up and face the day.

I do not think that I have ever shared this, but Liesl is afraid of puppies. She does not like them and will usually make a wide berth to avoid them. They do not know the rules of play and will bite and nip. She will not stand for any of it. This is actually a pretty common occurrence in dogs. A friend of mine's dog will not even look at her if she is holding a puppy. However, my co-worker has a little 6 month old terrier puppy that Liesl is over the moon for. She has had her for a few months now and Liesl cries if she can not see her. This little puppy licks the inside of Liesl's ears and climbs all over her, including on her head. Liesl just sits there and smiles. Liesl will also go into play bow and will play terrier chasing games with the puppy, except Liesl will hold back in a way that she would never do when she is playing with big dogs. It is so cute to see her play with this little fuzzy terrier puppy.

I did not get to stitch tonight but did make it over to Trader Joe's. TJ's is starting to get in their holiday foods, which is so exciting. They always have really interesting items around this time of year. There is a Vanilla Spice Tea that you can only get during Christmas. This year I am going to stock up because it is so yummy. I also noticed that they have chocolate covered potato chips. Yum. I did not get any, but I have had them in Ben and Jerry's Late Night Snack. Delish!

With my move date kind of up in the air, I had been putting off grocery shopping because my pots and pans are packed and I did not want to have to move food, too. It looks like we are closing next week (Yay!) so I did a good grocery shopping trip tonight to get me through the week. Since I thought I was moving last week, I had been eating a lot of Lean Cuisine for dinner. That got old really quick. So tonight I made a great homecooked dinner of gnocchi with gorgonzola and roasted garlic tomato sauce. I had a fancy salad with it. It was such a good change from Lean Cuisine.

Well, I am off to another good night of sleep. But I leave you with this. I keep seeing those ads for Food Network's show "Sweet Genius." Am I the only one who thinks the dude reminds me of Dr. Evil?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Rain arrived on the Monterey Peninsula yesterday afternoon. It really poured! It has been really cold and kinda funky at night, too. This is strange for us here because September and October are our summer months here. It is time of year that the locals live for. It is usually warm and sunny and time for those wine grapes to sweeten up before harvest in late October. This year we had a couple of days of heat and that was it. I'm sorta disappointed.

The first rain of the year is also a time of drama for a certain small dog. She will stand at the back door staring out into the rain, not wanting to get her little puppy feet wet. The look on her face totally says, "You expect me to go out in THAT?!"

This morning was also our first walk in the fine rain. Liesl, the same dog who loves to play in the surf at the beach. The same dog who bites at the water coming out of the hose. The same dog who will walk through a random puddle. This was the same dog who only wanted to take care of her business and come back home this morning. She had an air about her that suggested that I had forgotten that she is undoubtedly a sugar cube. The slightest bit of rain will indeed make her melt. As I tried to give her a schnauzer pep talk, she looked at me as though I should remember that she is made of sugar. It is going to be a long winter...

The one nice thing about this time of year is that she does like to cuddle when it is cold. The other night she had decided to sleep in her own little bed. In the wee small hours of the morning though, the temperature had dropped and it was quite chilly. I woke up to her letting me know she wanted up on the bed. In the darkness, through my sleep laden eyes I could see the dark silhouette of two pointy ears over the side of the mattress. I picked her up, where she immediately took the warm spot. She made it clear that I should hike it over and make space for her under the blankets where she could cuddle up to me.

She is bossy. I am starting to doubt that I am at the top of the food chain in this household. I can't help myself though. I just love her so much.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Little About My New Abode

I have heard it said over and over again and again, "Do not get emotionally attached to a house when you are house shopping." I thought, "P-shaw, I am an accountant,rational, analytic, pragmatic and a whole lotta other big words. Yeah, that went out the window when I walked into the new cozy cottage. I fell in love. Like head over heels, giggly schoolgirl, hopping up and down love. So much for my accountant adjectives (and decorum).

When I started looking around, I told my real estate agent and dear old friend, that I just wanted a little fixer upper, something affordable. I told him that I was ready to put in some hard work and sweat equity to make it what I wanted it to be. He told me that the fixer uppers are going first and quickly in this market with a lot of competition for them. So we looked and we looked. It has been an adventure. I have seen some gorgeous houses and some that were, uh...Note to sellers-Just say no to mustard yellow and gray sponge paint in the bathroom, just sayin'...

My pretty cozy castle was one of the houses on my list of to-sees, but for one reason or another kept missing the opportunity over several weeks. Finally, at the end of a house shopping evening, I mentioned that there was house that I had on my list for weeks and could we just run by it really quick?

Now, all of my friends and the people at church told me that I would know the house when I walked into it. We opened the front door, I walked inside, and felt like I was home. While we were there, one of the craftsman who had done the work stopped by to take after photos of his work. He also showed us the before photos. Basically, this house was gutted, stripped and totally remodeled from one end to the other. Totally remodeled kitchen with custom cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops. The bathroom had been totally remodeled with beautiful custom tile-work and granite. The cast iron plumbing had been pulled out and replaced with pvc/copper. The original hardwood floors were rescued and restored. This craftsman was so proud of every inch of his work. The roof is brand new and both the walls and ceilings are insulated. The landscaping is pretty, too. Funny, I still can't help but think of more upgrades I want to make...

I got an email at 6:15 this morning from the mortgage folks telling me that they are rushing my file this week. They have been so absolutely kind and wonderful. All of the people involved in this have made this such a beautiful experience. This has been a faith journey, too, and sometime in the future I would love to share that part of the story because my own faith has been strengthened as a result of this journey. I knew that I would be led to the place where Liesl and I needed to be. I can not wait to move her bed and toys in, because then it will truly be home.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Very Happy Day!

What an exciting and happy, happy day! I have to say that I am really impressed with folks in the real estate and mortgage business. They work seven days a week, all hours of the day and night. The team of people that I have been blessed to work with are so awesome. Last night I received a voicemail from my mortgage broker that the report we were waiting for had come in and we are ready to go. Whoohoo! I don't think I slept at all last night. My heart was just pounding. Mostly, happily, although admittedly it was partly panic, too! I would think this is normal. The documents were flying back and forth via email today. So much to sign! Each signature brings me closer to my set of keys. It is so exciting.

I will be happy to get moved. Trying to navigate around these boxes is wearing a little thin. Liesl does not have much floor space to play. Mostly, I miss cooking and puttering around the house and garden. My cookware is packed, the oven is cleaned for move out, and I am a bit too busy to cook. I am so excited because my new stove is gas and has that industrial look and industrial cook top. It is so pretty!

Liesl is really adapting well right now. She is her usual happy self. She loves a new game that we invented. She loves it when it is cookie time and I take her cookie and break it up then hide the pieces. She loves the treasure hunt and gets all excited. I hide the pieces under her toys all in one room. She thinks this is so much fun.

I am hoping that I have wonderful neighbors at the new house like I do now. My neighbors have been stopping by and talking to me over the fence. They have all said how happy they are for me and they they are going to miss Liesl and me. It makes me a bit sad to say goodbye to them. I have been living in a neighborhood with about 4 foot fences across the backyards, so we all talk to each other over the fences. My neighbor was saying today how important it is to have neighbors that you really like when you do not have a lot of privacy from each other. Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold!

So this will be a very exciting week. So many blessings and so much to be grateful for. So much to be happy about!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Work In Progress

Just a quick post today to show the progress on my blackwork piece. I still have so much more to stitch because this is a huge piece. I am having fun though!

Just a little bit of trivia about blackwork. I did a little research because I just find the design style so interesting. It is most readily identified with Elizabethan era costume. It is widely believed that it was introduced to England by Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII and daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain. Catherine was an accomplished embroideress and is believed to have embroidered several of King Henry's shirts and tunics. She was also said to be a fashion icon of her time, and may have inspired the fashion of the day featuring blackwork and lacework.

Blackwork apparently originated in Spain (and is often called Spanishwork.) There is a influence of the Moors on the designs, which are geometric and scrolling in nature.