Thursday, July 10, 2008


Remember the picture of the staged room with the lavender hat accent?
The general consensus via informal bloggie voting was that I should switch the hat out for a lime green one.

And so I did.
I thought it looked better that way.
You know who had an additional thought on the subject.

He was right, as usual.

The addition of a faithful orange cat to the display is fierce.

Using a live cat as part of one's interior design is truly an innovative decorating idea.

We've come across several innovative ideas lately.
Bernie just had to crawl under the table and use his back to lift the table up a half an inch so I could slide the moving coasters under the table legs. Once the coasters were in place, I could glide the table around the room easily.
Isn't that a great innovation?

Now I do have to admit that using live cats as part of your decorating scheme does come with challenges. The cats tend to move around at will; draping themselves first on the bed, then on a chair, and then under a chair

Tiggie tends to favor being boxed in by chair rungs when new people come by the house.
Lately there has been a steady stream of people coming by to measure and paint and whatnot.
Tiggie feels much safer under a chair like this one.
This chair works too; although with the stabilizing bar in the middle of the box, he does have to keep his head down when he wants to observe from under this chair.
Yes, using a chair as a fort is another great innovation.

After we got our new carpet installed, we were greatly troubled to see that our area rugs suddenly were buckling and bumping up in a most unattractive and unsafe manner.

We were constantly tripping on the lumps and bumps. After three days of tugging and pulling the area rug flat, only to have it buckle again right before our eyes, we went down to hardware store and got a carpet to carpet liner.

The liner is slightly tacky/sticky, and is designed to hold the area rug flat and stuck to the carpeting.

We were smoothing it out when our two boy cats came through to snoopervise.

They of course walked right across the liner...and we held our breath.

Maybe (we though to ourselves...) maybe this liner will work like flypaper, only for cats instead!

It would be perfect to solve our problem with decorative cats migrating throughout the house!

The kitties would just be stuck on the liner, not hurt or anything, but held firm until we gently released them to chase their greenie treats and use the litter box.

We thought the liner was a very innovative idea, for either holding an area rug in place, or holding a decorative cat in place.

For now though, we are just using it to hold down the area rug.

Once you start looking for innovative ideas, you come to realize that such ideas are simply everywhere!

Take going to the grocery store for instance.

Hasn't hard cooking an egg been a complicated and challenging task in your life?

It has been in mine. I regularly set a half dozen eggs to boil, then wander off to blog, and then later discover that I have boiled the pot dry, the eggs have exploded, and the pot is half melted on the stove top.

Bernie just hates it when I do that. The house stays smoky/burned egg stinky for days each time it happens. The marital bliss is impacted negatively as well. It is, in short, a bummer all around.

The other problem with hard cooking an egg for making deviled eggs is that inevitably at least a couple of the eggs just will not peel nicely. I know, I know...the trick is to use eggs that are about a week old if you want them to peel nicely, and to plunge them into cold water right away, blah blah blah...but even using all the great tips on how to peel an egg smoothly, there is STILL always one uptight egg in the bunch that just simple doesn't want to come out of it's shell.

Well, get a load of this innovative product:

For a mere $1.80, you get a half dozen medium sized hard boiled eggs, ALL READY PERFECTLY PEELED!

They taste great too!

Is this a wonderful time to be living in or what?

Coasters to move furniture easily, cat stick paper, ready to use hard cooked eggs...why, the only thing more you could possibly want is to be able to go look at houses on line and see each room in 360 degree virtual tour, (just give it a moment to load, then click on the words VIRTURAL IMAGES on the black bar just below the picture) while never having to leave your own home.

Pretty innovative I'd say.

Definitely cool.

(And, oh yeah, Texas housing prices are totally cool. You can tour other houses in Texas on line from this website. And yes, Houston is still looking for good workers; there are lots of jobs around here. If we had family here, we wouldn't be taking this job loss situation as an opportunity to to leave here and join our son in SLC, and be closer to our folks in So Cal.

If you know of a family, especially a young family who is out of work and wants a great house for a very reasonable price, tell them about Houston. "Houston is Worth It", as their motto goes.

As all the financial reports are reporting in terms of job loss and real estate losses: Houston: Actually, we DON'T have a problem!)

Happy Birthday Hal!

All of us here in Texas wish you a very happy 79th Birthday.

(and Tiggie wishes you could be here so he could take a nap with you again. Tiggie says he has stop smoking now, so he would only stay out in the yard with you when you have a "nasty" just to keep you company.)

Thank you for being such a great Father-in-law for the 31 years....

See ya next week!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Before and After part 3: Web album of the rest of the rooms

I'm using my blog as therapy at this point; it is a place where I can work through how I am feeling about all the changes that are happening in my world right now, and also as a place to record the process to some extent.

Like most women, my home is very much a part of my identity. While "things" are not as important as people, things carry poignant memories, and are not easily discarded. Even something as simple as moving a picture or a chair is felt like a restructuring of life.

Sometimes I like to move furniture and pictures around. A new perspective can be gained that way, or perhaps it is a way to close a chapter of life or to begin a new chapter. I've had seasons of my life when I moved furniture and accessories around pretty frequently, and other seasons, such as the years here in Texas where I have hardly moved a thing.

My guess is that being in such a very different place than where I spent my first 48 years of life made me feel like I wanted stability rather than new arrangements. Ten years in Texas and I still have a hard time saying "I live in Texas." I tend to say "we are living in Texas now..." instead.

I knew we never intended to live out our old age in this particular house. So everyday it seemed one of us would say "this is such a beautiful house. What an amazing blessing it is to have the chance to live here."

Sometimes I mentally note that I am grateful for the fact that I am not living in a war torn land, or in a place with disease or famine. That blessing strikes me as incredibly undeserved. I am so very thankful for my blessing upon my circumstances as well.

Today I read about a couple who "downsized" to a 6,000 sq. ft. house, before they ultimately downsized to two bedrooms in a retirement center. After they moved into the their quarters they found an abundance of time for friendship and activities, which they counted as a good trade for their cast off possessions.

It amuses me to remember that one of the reasons we bought this house in the first place was so we could easily entertain large groups, both for business and socially. We did have quite a few parties with twenty or thirty people milling about and enjoying themselves.

What amuses me about that is that in college I used to have groups of fifteen for parties and bible studies in my dorm room, a room that was roughly the size of my current guest room, or master bathroom! The surprising difference was that people dropped by my dorm room, and I had plenty of friends to hang out with throughout the week.

Few (if anyone!) ever dropped by my big old house just to say hi. Granted it is a haul to get out here, 11 miles off the freeway, but still, I do have neighbors and only one of them has every dropped by regularly.

I'm know I am rambling here. But if you are reading this, I'd like to think that you would, if you geographically could, be a neighbor that would drop by. Soon many people are going to be able to "drop by" my house electronically via the real estate website.

I will not be a hostess to them; they will never know me, nor know how my home really looked before it became a stage. The house will look wonderful; but it is now a bit of pretend.

So...for the sake of my own memories, so I can remember how my house looked before, and how it changed, I put together a web slide show of thirty two slides so I can hostess my blog readers personally through the rest of the house.

If you care to, you can see the pictures without the commentary, and then also with the commentary. My snarky comments take up a lot of room over the pictures and they are what you would hear if you had popped by to see how I was doing with the move.

I have a small favor to ask of you, dear reader, if I may.

If you are someone who usually reads my blog but never or rarely comments, could you please just add a comment to say hi? I know I come across really strong in all this moving, and I indeed am doing well, but I do have my moments when I feel a bit overwhelmed with the process of packing, showing and selling the house, looking for a new job in SLC or California, being there for Bernie as he deals with the stresses of finishing his current job and looks for new work as well.

Like the theme song on the TV series Scrubs says:

"I can't do this all by myself. No, I know, I'm no Superman."

I'm no Superwoman either, and having friends in blogland comment can really make me feel stronger for facing these upcoming days.