Coffeegirl63's Blog

Begin again January 18, 2015

Filed under: House hunting,My House,Writing — coffeegirl63 @ 11:07 am
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To say I’m going to begin again makes me feel like I need to fill in the gaps. Somehow that’s intimidating, and so more than a year goes by, and I think about how I should be writing, how I want to be writing, and then two years go by, and I get more and more intimidated, and so I just stay silent.

Suffice it to say, it’s now been two years since I posted anything. At first, I was tempted to create a whole new blog so it wouldn’t look like I’ve been a slacker for two years. However, those few of you who read my simple writings here will probably be invited to read my start-over, too… so… like Michael Finnegan, I will begin again.

There have been some major changes in the last couple years. The best one involves my living situation. I was able to sell my Falcon house and move into one more suited to me.

My old house was:
~ too far away – 25 miles from work
~ east of town – not as pretty as I’d like… almost no trees, no old neighborhoods
~ too big – 2600 square feet all by myself
~ too expensive
~ too many responsibilities with owning, but not being handy enough to maintain, a home

My new DLH (Dear Little Home) is:
~ close to work – 2.5 miles from work
~ on the west side – running distance to Red Rock Open Space and Garden of the Gods, old neighborhoods, trees, community, walking distance to shops, library, post office, farmers’ market… where I’ve wanted to live for years
~ two doors down from my girls’ apartment – no explanation needed
~ perfectly tiny – my whole stand-alone little house is 300 square feet

Some things are the same. This summer, I will have been at my current job for 13 years, and I still love it. One thing that makes me love it more, though, is that my younger daughter has been working with me for over a year now. Not only does she make my work life so much more reasonable (definitely a two-person job), but it is such a delight to get to work every day with one of my best friends and one of my favorite people in the world!

I’ve been in my DLH for a year now (January 4, 2014), and I love it more as time goes by. It’s perfect for me in so many ways (as listed above). DLH was built in the 1960’s, but it was rebuilt for me. One of the perks of that is that I was able to have bookshelves put in all around! They are above the door-jam/window-sill level on most walls. DLH is easy to keep clean. There is only room for absolute necessities (books, stuff for cooking, clothes… necessities). So if I find a new coffee mug that I love, I have to decide which of my currently necessary coffee mugs must go; there are only so many cup hooks, and they are currently all full. I’ve become clever with storage space; not as clever as I’d like, but it’s a work in progress. For example, I grocery shop more often. Currently, my out-of-season and a few other things are in a storage unit. This winter, my landlord is building me a large shed. I think it will help a lot to have stuff easier to get to. I’ve been here a year, and it’s already time to cull again. The only thing I miss, and only at this time of year, is a garage.

Every single day, coming home puts a smile on my face and brings peace to my heart.

Other things… I ran my first half-marathon in September, 2014. It was fun. I set a goal to finish in under 2.5 hours, and I finished in 2:27:58. I was quite pleased! My older daughter ran with me. She has helped me go from being a poor runner to enjoying long runs and being able to push myself a bit. I am signed up for another half marathon in Livermore at the end of March. It should be beautiful. It starts a few blocks from my sister’s house and runs through the vineyards on the edges of town. I ran some of it when I was in Livermore at Thanksgiving, and it really is a pretty run.

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Working in the Yard June 19, 2011

Filed under: Exercise,My House — coffeegirl63 @ 10:54 am
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Full disclosure: I’m a girl. I mean sometimes I’m SUCH a girl. The thing is, I am really smart. I can figure out most situations I face. Even in a conversation where the subject is completely unfamiliar to me, I can usually follow the thread just by breaking down the vocabulary. However, there are certain situations that overwhelm me to the point of debilitation. Most of those include a shopping scenario in which I have to figure out what to get.

Since I moved into my house late in the summer last year, I never really had to work on my yard. The one time my lawn needed to be mowed, my neighbor took care of it for me.

A couple weeks ago, I got a letter from my homeowners’ association reminding me that I’d bought a home in a nice neighborhood, and that we all wanted to respect each other and care about each other, and so could I please take time to police the weeds in my backyard. In my defense, one of the reasons I haven’t done anything with my backyard is that Richmond (the company that built my house) has told me a few times that they need to re-grade my backyard. So, the following weekend, I spent time a few hours digging out weeds. One of my neighbors suggested I just poison the weeds instead of doing all the work to dig them up. As someone who sits in front of a computer all day, I preferred the work.

Although my lawn is still more brown than green, things started coming to life over the last week. Due to the rains we’ve had over the last week, the weeds in my backyard are getting quite happy. Time to deal with the sad state of disrepair. The state: weeds in the landscape rocks (isn’t that why they put landscaping fabric down first–to prevent the weeds?) and scraggly, unhappy-looking grass in the front yard; prolific weeds in the backyard.

Friday Afternoon: I stopped by the man store to buy poison, lawn feed, and cutting tools. I stood in the poison aisle for the longest time. Yes, there is an entire aisle, and I was completely overwhelmed. I had received advice ranging from “Round-Up is the best, it’ll kill your weeds dead;” “Round-Up is poison, it’ll kill the ecosystem dead, hire a ‘green’ lawn-care service.” Ok, here’s the thing: my lawn has a footprint smaller than that of my smallest bedroom… I’m not hiring someone to take care of that. I texted a friend to see what he thought. His advice was, “you’re not a man, so ask for directions!!” I just picked out the super-duper Round-Up and headed to the next item.

I needed something to make the grass happy so it would grow. Somehow I felt like the manager of a circa 1950’s entertainment artist: uppers and downers for my yard just so it’ll perform the way I want it to when I want it to. Fortunately, as I stood in the lawn-food aisle, someone walked by who could help me. Scott’s Turf was what was recommended–”do you have dandelions?” “no, I haven’t seen dandelions in my yard or those of my neighbors.” “ok, then just get the regular Scott’s Turf; otherwise, you’d get the one with weed control.” (guess what I saw on my lawn when I got home… yup.) He asked how big my yard was. “Ummm….” “Ok, compared to this aisle…?” “Ah, yes, like 4 of these squares.” “Get the small bag.” … Next

I wanted a scythe for the times I need to chop down tall weeds or grass. Do they still make scythes? I don’t want a weed wacker because I’d rather my yard work actually involve work. I headed to the full-length garden tool area (shovels, rakes, etc)… and there it was! And only one option! Hurray!!

Now for the lawn mower. Again, I don’t want a gas- or electricity-operated machine for that. Fortunately, they do still make reel mowers. There were two options: $200 for the fancy one and $100 for the regular one. Choosing simplicity, I headed for the checkout counter and on my way home. When I got to the car, I was surprised to find that the several hours I had spent in the man store actually took a little less than an hour.

Saturday Morning: Don the old t-shirt and shorts overalls. Skip breakfast because it’s too much trouble (this proved problematic later). Armed with the directions and my adjustable wrench, I head to the garage to build the new lawnmower. Everything went together just as directed, until I got to the part about attaching the handle to the mower. The base of the handle was wider than the space it was supposed to slide into. After working on it for 20 minutes, I was able to muscle and finesse it into place. I did a quick victory dance, and then looked to make sure none of my neighbors was about.

The upside to having a yard as small as mine: I poisoned the front-yard weeds, mowed the lawn, fed the lawn, and pulled all the backyard weeds in about an hour and a half.

By the way, while I enjoy the physical activity of working in the yard, I’m very grateful for my sprinkler system.

 

This and That June 8, 2010

Filed under: Busyness,My House,Trusting God — coffeegirl63 @ 2:42 pm
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Looking at my life, I should be worried, stressed, sleeping poorly, etc. It’s an interesting time. I’m building a house (well, technically, I’ve hired someone else to build it) ,

I’m effecting major change in my job descriptions and in my company,

and 3 of my 4 kids are scattering about the earth and the fourth is coming to live with me. (I know they don’t look old enough in this picture to go across the street, let alone across the oceans and drive wherever they need to go. However, this picture was taken over 10 years ago, so I’m really not as irresponsible as I may seem. 🙂 )

Lately, I’ve been working more purposefully on my walk with God, and He’s been showing me His love and faithfulness in ways I haven’t seen in years. I’m reading the book of Daniel now. As I see God show His power to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I’ve been asking Him to show His power in my life. I’m working on obedience and on honoring the commitments I make to God and to others. One thing I’ve learned is that the best way for me to avoid worry is to pray for someone else (my kids, my folks, my friends) whenever I start to panic about how my life is going (or not going).

Just in the last week, He’s helped me in several ways. I found the checks totaling $350 that I’d lost and a 3-month prescription for both the medicines I take every day. My mom found the ankle bracelet that Jeanice had given me to wear while she was in Europe (it took a lot of energy not to see this as an “Apollo 13” bad omen). I found my favorite straw (a seemingly small thing, I know, but one of my best friends gave it to me). By being patient, calm, and kind, I saved my company $1500. He’s shown me specific ways He wants me to pray for my parents. And yesterday, a $200+ car repair cost me less than $40 (in spite of, or maybe because of, my being such a girl in trying to describe what was wrong with it). Yesterday evening, I was short with one of my roommates and made her feel bad just for trying to help me. God immediately told me to go apologize for my rudeness and to treat her the same way He treats me (with love and grace).

My house is coming along beautifully. The frame inspection is Friday. According to those who really seem to know what they’re talking about, this means that the house is framed and the plumbing and electrical stuff is in. I’ll go out again this evening to look at it. I love my house!! 🙂

As for big changes at my company, I’m bringing HR and Payroll in-house and changing 401k companies… all while having a house built and sending three of my babies off to the far reaches of the globe. Very exciting times this summer!

I haven’t been consistent with my exercise, but I’ve been eating very healthful foods. Here’s is what today’s lunch looks like.

In Him, Joni