Full Bloom

What a difference a few months can make!

I was looking through my phone to show a co-worker some pictures of our yard, knowing that I took some when we toured the property in April before purchasing. It was like looking at a different property! I had no idea it had bloomed so much and looked so different. (It gives me an advance look at how quiet it will look in the winter.) 😉

Take a look at a few before (April) and after (today) shots:

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Here’s our veggie garden a couple of weeks in…

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And here’s today! I know it’s a different angle but I think you get the idea. 😉

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We have hydrangeas, grape vines, beautiful ground cover I don’t know the names of, and stargazer lilies (my absolute favorite!).

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Some plants are early bloomers (so I’ve been told by greenthumb friends). Our predecessors at the house sure put a lot of thought into the choices. We are certainly enjoying it all.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
~ Luther Burbank

Whirlwind of Change

It’s just been a whirlwind few weeks as we wrapped up our lives in Lake Charles, LA and moved cross-country (literally driving 2500 miles in 4 days) back to our home state of Washington.

In the last few weeks we successfully bought our first house. The view, is spectacular.

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I interviewed for a job the day after we arrived and about an hour after we finished unloading the U-Haul.

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As luck would have it, I got the job! I start July 1st. I am over-the-moon excited to be welcomed to a well-established, close-knit team of people, in an unfamiliar industry, in a position that is not entry-level. It will be challenging and I’ve already set a high bar for myself through recommendations from previous supervisors and my own. But I am eager to start and looking forward to the opportunity.

Neighbors. Oh the neighbors! Everyone has been so welcoming to us. Every day we’ve met someone new. Our road is a single-car wide private road that serves as the only way in and out for many folks. Everyone waves but many have taken the time to stop, or even walk over, and introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood. I’ve never known so many neighbors in all my life. 🙂 Our few closest neighbors also have chickens and gardens which they have already shared with us as well. We hope to have our own garden growing eventually and look forward to the opportunity to give back to them in exchange.

On top of everything else, I’ve been dreadfully sick for the past six days. 😦 I’ve run the gamut from fever and chills, to the most wicked-terrible sore throat which has made eating a chore, to the deep coughing of what’s probably bronchitis which I haven’t experienced in, easily, over 15 years, to discharge from my eyes even! Which, Don tells me is normal but it’s new to me! Dare I say it that this morning, I feel loads better for the first time in days? Sure, I woke up at 5 am to wracking coughs that stirred up all the gunk that settled in my chest overnight, but my throat is much improved which is a blessing. I’m still not 100% but I think I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I’ll finally be able to hang up the contents of my closet today. It would be a nice improvement over the pile on the floor. 😉

While I was sick, Don unpacked the kitchen (bless him), made some headway organizing his garage space, even if he hasn’t unpacked it all entirely yet, and he spent a day in the yard mowing and trimming some of the overgrown landscaping. There is still so much to do in that regard. We’ll get there.

Before I got sick we found a new couch for our living room which sets off the space nicely and which has been duly kitty-approved.

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The boys have settled in nicely. ;-P

We also traded our small utility truck for a full size truck and bought a new car.

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Oh, and upgraded Don to a new, more rugged dual-sport dirt bike. (We’ll sell his other one; just one more detail to handle.)

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Talk about changes! It’s hard to keep up. I have so many receipts, new bills, etc. to sort out and my routine and methods for doing so are completely out of whack. Not to mention the fact that my office space is not unpacked or set up yet either. Yikes. Although, we did, FINALLY, get our cable and internet set up this morning after a few hiccups. Thank heavens.

As we wade through the many boxes and continue to try to settle in, I do hope to slowly build back to a regular routine and regular posting schedule. I have plenty of content planned; the trick will be finding the time.

Cheers! 🙂

Missions Accomplished

Well, we did it. We flew the boys up to Washington State and they are in good hands with family until we finish wrapping up our move from Louisiana.

It was a long day of travel for all of us but we made it with no unfortunate incidents.

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I was terribly worried about the process of going through security at the airport. I was prepared for them to ask us to remove the boys from their carriers but I was so nervous about how it would actually go. Leading up to the trip, I talked our travel plans over extensively with our vet and she gave us Acepromazine to help calm the boys during the long day. We gave the boys their first dose at the house before starting the 3 hour trip to the airport. By the time we reached the security checkpoint, they were groggy and docile and, thankfully, the Houston airport has private screening rooms which are completed enclosed, not just curtained areas. Both boys (one at a time) stayed quietly in my arms while their carriers were scanned through the x-ray machines. And for me, knowing that we were in an enclosed area where I wouldn’t lose them if they fought me was a huge relief. 

Once we got through that hurdle we had hours to wait for our plane. Shortly before boarding we gave the boys another dose of Ace. (The vet recommended every 4-6 hours.) We got on and settled fairly easily. We had upgraded our seats to Economy Plus that morning for a little extra room for us all and boy am I glad we did. We flew back sans kitties to Louisiana this week in Economy and the difference in space was significant. I think we would have had a massively difficult time maneuvering the carriers under the seats in Economy. Economy Plus was definitely the way to go, and might be our choice for all future traveling.

We were delayed almost an hour before take-off for a ‘maintenance issue’ and then the flight was 5 hours long, so about an hour before landing the boys started to wake up. They were starting to meow and scratch at their carriers in protest. I took each in turns to the bathroom and gave them one more dose of Ace which carried them through the rest of the flight, waiting for baggage, and then the drive to Don’s parents’ house.

Finally after about 12 full hours, we were DONE. No potty accidents. No lost kitties. What a relief.

Mission 1: Accomplished.

We were with the boys for a full week in their temporary home. They were a little uncertain at first but settled in fairly quickly.

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Olli kept his distance for the first day. His ‘stranger-danger’ sense was on high alert but eventually he came out to investigate the surroundings.

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He even remembered those strangers whom he had seen at his house a year or two before.

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Milo, ever adventurous, wanted to explore the outside.

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We allowed a few supervised visits. And even one unsupervised until he escaped the backyard and was found looking guilty on the FRONT porch.

Olli is not the adventuring type but he came out to sniff the surroundings. Just a little.

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Milo found a perfect lounging area, just his size.

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Of course, Olli stole it.

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Wait a minute, something isn’t right in this picture! 😛

With so many snuggle spots and a house twice the size of our apartment, the boys probably hardly notice that we are gone!

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But I MISS MY KITTIES!!! Thanks to the benefits of technology, I get photos every day or so by text. Thanks Jean! 😉

Mission 2 was also accomplished – we found a house! Cross your fingers folks. We close June 2nd if all goes well. It all feels very unreal and exciting at the same time.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.
~ Proverb

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