Random Rants

Musings

Life is leveling out somewhat. I think we’re both finally feeling a little more at ease and “settled” in our new city, house, jobs, and in general. I’m still not getting to loads of things like the blog (obviously), reading as actively as before, and numerous personal projects, many of which I can’t name because of the gift-like nature and I don’t want to spoil any surprises. 😉

Regarding the blog, as much as I’ve enjoyed it in the past, it was a format for me to stay in touch with friends and family that were out of reach. Now, we see many of these folks on a monthly or more frequent basis, and we’re all on the same time zone again so it’s making it easier to communicate via phone, text, and facebook now. I’m finding less and less need for the blog in that sense.

I also enjoyed sharing our experiences with products, books, movies, and the like with the larger world out there and over time I picked up a few followers whom I view as friends, even if we’ve never met in the flesh. It’s been hard to let those connections slide. I miss seeing what you’re all doing on your blogs (my blog reader is up to 500+ unread posts. 😦 ) But I’ve also felt an immense sense of freedom since mentally letting go of some of these things and spending my free time in different ways such as:

• Weeding/tending our copiously landscaped property
• Working on projects around the house to tailor it to our style
• Spending time with co-workers after-hours
• Getting together with friends and family in person regularly

I’m not sure what that means for the blog long-term. I still have a laundry list of posts I could write one of these days. I have a partly completed draft on making your own horseradish (which I highly recommend BTW) but the time it takes to insert and manipulate all the images, find related articles, add the appropriate tags, in addition to just writing content, is daunting. Writing content like this is much easier and less time-consuming than weaving a story together with photos, tags, and related content. Honestly, I don’t know how I was doing it before.

Well, that’s not true. Life had a different rhythm in Louisiana. Don was away from home. A lot. I had long nights and weekends to myself that I frequently filled with blogging. It gave me something to focus on, provided me a way to say in touch with people, and generally helped me feel connected even though I was often alone. I would sometimes spend a whole day prepping a week or more worth of posts so that when he was home I could easily just publish something that was ready to go and be free to spend his time home together. We have a much different routine now. Don is almost always home – which is a good thing, lol. And we have our hands full, not just with wanting to spend time together but with projects to customize the house and with just generally keeping up a house that is twice the size of what we had before, plus a yard which we didn’t have at all previously.

In addition to all that, my days are full at my new job. I’m learning a new industry so it’s more than just learning new, proprietary systems. My days are filled to the brim with attending meetings, quizzing co-workers on how-to’s, listening to workshops, studying manuals and reading articles, and desperately trying to process work that comes my way correctly. Unfortunately for the blog, that means that when I come home, the last thing I want to do is spend another 2+ hours sitting at a computer, regardless of how much I enjoy writing or sharing. When I HAVE to face the computer at home, to pay bills, balance our finances, or respond to mail or email that can’t be ignored (any longer than however long I’ve already let it sit!), it makes me cranky. 😉

It has become apparent to me that I’m stepping back from the blog considerably. Heck, it’s taken me three freaking days to complete this “easy” post! I do hope/want to make occasional appearances but the frequency is going to be greatly reduced. If you’ve been following me because we have shared interests and you’d like to connect with me on facebook, please feel free to look me up, you can find me here. 🙂

Best wishes…I will try to be back soon. With that horseradish post. 😉

“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.”
~ Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

Fun decorative signs that I can’t wait to get my hands on

Coast Girl Designs is a sign-making business by a fellow coastie wife named Erica. I LOVE her designs and I can’t wait to get some.

This is my absolute favorite. I MUST have one.

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And maybe this one too.

woodsign-drseuss

This one is sweet.

woodsign-wonderful

This makes me giggle.

woodsign-fantasy

I think of a few friends for this one. 😉

woodsign-bossy

This is a great one for fellow coastie families. So true.

woodsign-anchor

(All images are courtesy of Erica’s pinterest page.)

Erica will personalize signs with any quote or phrase you like. Visit her Esty Shop or Facebook page for more samples and pricing details. **I’ve not been compensated in any way for this post. I just love her designs so much, I wanted to share them. 😉

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
~ C. S. Lewis

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In Case You Were Wondering…

This is me lately…

overthinking

I am prone to a bit of overthinking on any given day but lately, it’s escalated to a ridiculous degree.

With our upcoming move in late May/early June, we have a swarm of details to coordinate. I say ‘we’ lightly. I do a lot of the coordinating. Don does the heavy lifting when it comes to physically moving things, loading the truck, doing the driving, etc. Oh, yeah, we are planning to do it all ourselves. All 2,678 miles, give or take some miles depending on route.

In addition to the move, we are attempting to buy our first house. 2,678 miles away from our current location. We have a trip planned to visit and tour houses in person soon, hoping beyond hope that we will find ‘the one’ and be able to make an offer that is accepted, and that we’ll close in time with our physical trip with the moving truck approximately 45 days later. Talk about hoping the stars align and miracles happen.

We’ve also recently decided to bring the cats with us when we fly up to look at houses. This should help alleviate a lot of headache while packing, loading, and driving later. No having to find pet friendly hotels along the way, no worries about cats breaking out of vehicles or strange hotel rooms in strange places, or busting out on us while packing up and cleaning the old apartment. But it’s adding a lot of other worries and details to flying the cats – which we’ve never done before. New territory all around! Yippee. (Please let it go smoothly, please let it go smoothly.)

Olli in carrier

Here’s Olli making himself at home in his new in-flight travel carrier. It’s really encouraging to see him so accepting of it!

Milo-Carrier

Milo on the other hand, plays outside his, but he’s smart. He KNOWS what it’s for and isn’t going in there unless he has to.

So, amongst all these fast approaching activities, my thoughts look something like this:

  • Will we have issues with airport security? Will they make us take the cats out of the carriers?
  • Remember to make a list of all the things to bring (and buy) to help ease the stress: a piece of well-worn clothing that smells like us, some toys, their (small) beds, Rescue Remedy, Comfort Zone pheromone spray, extra sedatives, wee wee pads for accidents…is this all going to fit in our suitcases/carry-ons/in the carrier?!! (And list done. Check.)
  • What if we find a house and the financing doesn’t work out? I’m super nervous about the loan panning out.
  • How are we going to eat all the food (frozen meat = DEER) in the freezer before we move? I suppose we’ll give away what we don’t… Mental note: don’t buy new meat. Eat what we have!
  • Make another appointment to get the cats checked for their health certificates shortly before the trip.
  • Remember to get a VA certification letter. Figure out how to get a VA certification letter.
  • Remember to be checking job listings! (Anyone need someone with fantastic, and varied, administrative, financial, and editorial skills in Kitsap County, Washington? Check me out on LinkedIn. Seriously, if anyone knows of any opportunities they could refer to me, I’d be ever so grateful.)
  • Should I be packing tonight? What else can I pack this early? What else do we not need or use regularly? What can I pack and not make our home seem completely dull and minimalist? Does that even matter? LOL More boxes packed now means less later.
  • What should I be doing?! Am I wasting time today being unproductive?
  • What about all the things that need to get accomplished at work? Will I be able to finish it all? Will I be leaving them in a bind on anything? How will I fit it all in??!!
  • I am going to miss so many people…how do I spend meaningful time with them with such little time left?
  • We still need to pick a rental truck company…an auto shipping company…
  • How do I keep up the blog? Do I even try or just take a break?
  • Stop fretting about things you can’t control!!! Just make lists and take things one at a time.

themomentI’m trying. Really. I am.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~ Anatole France

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Mardi Gras 2014

Our last Mardi Gras in Lake Charles was a blast! I joined some fellow Coastie families for the Kid’s Parade on Sunday and then we both enjoyed good eats and great times with friends yesterday.

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The only shot I got of someone actually catching beads.
Definitely wasn’t the easiest thing to photograph.

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Tim almost got those ones.

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I just thought the Geico lizard costume was super cute.

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Tuesday’s Day of Debauchery

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Thanks for the good times everyone!

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

~ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

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New Adventures Ahead

It’s that time again – transfer season. Our time with Station Lake Charles is nearing its end and we will soon be moving and starting fresh somewhere new. If only we knew where! We’ve been waiting for the official news for over a month. The suspense is dreadful. Are we going to go back to the NW? To the East Coast? Will we stay in the Gulf Coast Region? Maybe today will be the day. (This has been our mantra, every day for the last couple of weeks.)

We’ve had some good times in Lake Charles but we are ready to make the transition to the next adventure. Four years in one place has been hard for our rambling spirits that look forward to the variety and opportunity that comes with moving every few years. This was the longest stretch we had in one place and our feet are itchy to get moving again.

We are on pins and needles to hear where the next landing point will be so that we can start making plans. We’ve discussed so many possibilities over the last month that our heads are spinning with ideas from living in military housing (which would be a first for us), to renting a small apartment for one year to save money and to give us time to search the area to buy a house for the first time, to building our own house even. (Don likes to dream BIG.)

Despite our eagerness to make a change, we will be saying goodbye to many good friends and to many experiences and opportunities that this area has offered. For me, I will always remember Lake Charles as the place where I learned how to ride a motorcycle! I’ve been intimidated by motorcycles my whole life. I loved being a passenger with others: my dad, boyfriends growing up, and with Don over the years. But I never imagined I’d have the courage to ride alone. Our frequent trail riding trips have been a blast and I hope that wherever we move we will still have nearby options for riding off-road. Living ten minutes from a local gun range has also afforded us ample opportunity to go out for a day of target shooting, skeet shooting, or pistol practice. Hardly a week goes by without a trip to the range. It is something I know we will miss. I dearly hope we live near a range again or live near forest land or wilderness that is open to outdoor shooting. Don has been privileged to join some great hunting trips and we’ve enjoyed trips together to New Orleans and southwestern Texas. We’ve even done some fun things with the local community like the Beast Feast and the Color Run. Lots of great memories.

As for the people…so many of you have opened your homes and hearts to us, given us opportunities, and shared your Cajun culture with us during our time here. You’ve stamped our lives with the blessing of your friendship and we will carry the memories and experiences with us always. (Sorry to sound so sappy; we aren’t leaving yet!) I just want you all to know that we appreciate you and that we have enjoyed our time with you in this corner of the world. We’ll make a few more memories before we go. 😉

A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.
~ Leo Buscaglia