An Expensive Date Night

My husband and I have an exciting, no, an interesting, life. Most “date nights” consist of a trip to Menards (or Lowes, Home Depot, Fleet Farm, etc; you get the idea). As we approach the top of the chimney (we are above the roof), we are getting ready to begin the next project – a 40’x60’x14′ man cave. Since we were supposed to start the project last fall (why we didn’t is a long story) we have many of the building materials purchased and on site already. Well, except for a couple big items – trusses, siding and roofing materials. 

We have made three trips to Menards over the past 48 hours. Wow! That was expensive and we didn’t get it all! We laugh about it in real time. Friday night or Saturday night, we usually have the place to ourselves. We wander the aisles. We are often in their longer than we need to be. Sometimes before supper but usually after. So while other couples are bowling, at the movies or having a cocktail at the brewery, we are hanging at our favorite big box store. 

I love our life. Crazy, but good. I’m hoping after these major construction projects are over that landscaping will feel like a cake walk. 

Oh, I should mention that dinner was almost free due to a gift card from my realtor thanking me for my business. Thank goodness after what we spent this weekend!

Still Climbing

We knew there was lots to do after the move and we weren’t wrong. The weather needed to cooperate and it sure has had its moments. We are within feet of finishing the outside of the fireplace. Of course we have a go all the around the part above the roof yet. It is a bit challenging. 

I made the comment the other day that by the end of the summer I should be in the best shape of my life or the worst shape of my life. So far things are going well. I might not be as strong as I was 30 years ago but I am a heck of a lot smarter. 

We have two more projects yet to complete this summer. No small feat. The other ones won’t be as vertically challenging. 

We made a commitment to 2 years of stay-cations to make up for this investment but I think I will really need one after this summer!

We had some rainouts. One was last weekend. We took the opportunity to clean the garage and bring more boxes in to put away. Then we got busy with stone work again and they are still sitting in my living room. Oh well. There will be more rainy days. 

Tomorrow it is back up the scaffolding I go…maybe next time I’ll take a picture of the view!  

Pause for Reflection

We are just over a week into our new home. I’m here by myself right now and it is quiet so I’m pausing to think back over the past week. 

First, oh holy crap! What a whirlwind. We had three days to set up bedrooms, bathrooms and the start of our kitchen. Over the past week it has been unpack, clean, put away, clean and continuous loads of laundry. 

By Sunday there was a nagging feeling to cook a real meal – not meal prep frozen dinner and not a lunch meat sandwich. It is so nice to cook a real meal in my own home after two months of back and forth on the road! 

The first weekend we made a several hundred dollar trip to the big box home improvement store and a several hundred dollar trip to the grocery store. It takes a lot of resources to get back up and running as an established household. Enough of that nonsense. 

This week was mostly work outside after work followed by another weekend of unpacking and cleaning. 

Lastly, it’s nice to go home after work and stay home. I am not missing the commute. I also get to see my husband every day. That is highly unusual in our world and a welcomed change. 

Living and loving life!

End of an Era

The past two weeks have kind of been a blur. We went from baccalaureate to graduation to party to move. This past weekend we celebrated my son’s recent milestone and then simultaneously said goodbyes. Tonight was his last high school baseball game and tomorrow we pull out of the driveway for the last time. 

Four generations in the same school system. Four generations grew up in this town. It will be weird to look in the rear view mirror and realize this is no longer home for us. 

New adventures await. Our home is completed. We can go back to all living under one roof together again (for better or worse). Last night my husband asked if I was ready? Not sure you can really prepare for some of life’s adjustments, you just make them as you go. 

Each goodbye is different. Some you know you will see soon, others you aren’t as sure. Sometimes you don’t realize how much a person has touched your life until that final goodbye, that moment of reflection. Likewise, I don’t often think about the lives I’ve touched. Apparently there are many. Many kind words of thanks have come to me in the past week. I had no idea. 

So I sit here with the mattress on the floor thinking back on all the moments and memories. We have been preparing for this day for almost three years. It is finally here. So is all the emotion that goes along with this massive change. 

See ya later.


This title seems so fitting this week. I love puzzles. While some people may play words with friends, Tetris, mindcraft, etc., I do puzzles. Right now I have two different apps on my phone and one has a daily free game. In other words, I do at least one a day, usually at night before I go to bed. It’s a great way to let go of the random excess thoughts that run through my brain during every waking moment. 

The word puzzle is a little symbolic of life right now. All of the pieces are coming together and soon we will have a picture of what our new phase of small town living, big city life might look like. 

Last night was baccalaureate for my graduating teenager. The class walked in carrying puzzle pieces that they made on their senior retreat earlier this year. Each is an original but together they are on a journey. Sunday each piece will go their separate way. 

Life is a puzzle. Sometimes you might misplace a piece. Sometimes you might lose the cover and not be sure what the picture is supposed to be that you are forming. Sometimes it all comes together like a piece of art. 


I’m not sure how many of my readers know about the FISH! Philosophy. JGI. I have had the opportunity to work for an employer that used this in their training. I have watched the video. I have also been to an employee engagement seminar based around this concept. Lastly, I have actually been to spike Place Fish in Seattle. 

There are four elements to this philosophy: Be There (emotionally present). Play (be creative, enthusiastic and have fun). Make Their Day (serve or delight people in a meaningful, memorable way). Choose Your Attitude (take responsibility for how you respond to what life throws at you). 

I feel like on many days this is my mantra. I don’t understand the ugliness of continuous negativity or pessimism. I don’t like when people try to rub that off on me and would like to avoid it at all costs. Yuk!  Pity party, no way! However, as we all know, in life sometimes we don’t get to choose. Sometimes we just can’t avoid being around it. For that I say – coping mechanism!  Anyone got any good ones?  

On a positive note I attended the high school Pops Concert last night. Wow. There is a lot of talent in those kids. It was a fun night. The goodbyes are starting. We are only a few short weeks for the final move. Happy Times!


Well it’s official. There is a sold sign in my yard. We are only a few weeks out from an official move. Yikes!

I just have to say that I love my realtor. I have used the same guy three times, as a buyer and as a seller, in the worst economy and the best. He has always had my best interest at heart. 

I was absolutely shocked to get a full price offer on my house without it even going on the market. I know the market is hot but WOW! Additionally, I was very nervous about the price point he was proposing because it was significantly over what I thought it was worth. I get it – different economic times, but it’s also that – I’m not the realtor. I had lived in this town my entire life and while I have a general sense of the economy I don’t know houses. That’s not my job. That’s why I hire a realtor. If you are going to buy or sell a home, get a good one! 

My guy is working in the town he grew up in. He is well versed, well trained, well researched. Even though I was nervous about the proposed price point (and he knew it) I told him that I would trust his recommendation. Now, I couldn’t be happier with that decision. 

If you want a house in this market right now you better be pre-approved and get yourself a realtor who know this market! Call my guy – I highly recommend it. It’s about more than just a sign in your yard.