Friday, December 4, 2009

The Preacher Used To Be A Druggie

Yesterday was my day to show the kitchen Who. Was. The. Boss.

This is what the kitchen looked like when the showdown began.

I took one look and almost turned and ran. I almost told the kitchen, "My mistake. I give up. YOU are the boss."

However, I persevered. I held my ground. I waded two-fistedly into the fight. And two hours later, I had made a little progress.

After five hours of chipping away at the Mess That Was The Kitchen, this is how it ended up.

I wanted to get up and do a happy dance when it was all finished but I couldn't seem to muster up even a shred of Happy Dancing Energy. So I sank into a living room chair and watched Sir Hubby work on some curtains. In the process, I discovered another one of his (many) talents.

(Note: The striped material in the middle and the green floral part of the curtain were already there. The goal is to get rid of the green floral--which doesn't match our stuff--and add a couple panels of the curtains we brought in.)

Do you see the burgundy panel, how it's pleated on top? Steve just whipped that up with his handy dandy stapler gun. If I had tried to do that, I would have stapled by own finger and commenced to whimpering piteously. But Steve just does that stuff like it's no big deal, even though most of it seems borderline impossible to me.

Before the curtain creating gig, Steve pulled apart a switch plate and replaced a shorted out thingy. (Fuse? Wire? Connection do-dad? I have no idea what it's called.) I am happy to report that he made sure that the corresponding fuse was turned off. Fried Husband is not a good thing.

We are starting to feel a little bit more at home at the new house, even though we haven't slept there yet. Our master bedroom still looks like this:

Our bathroom is huge! And we finally have double sinks! Whatever will I do with all that space?

On the not-so-positive side, the house needs some tender loving care in several areas. That's the reason we are able to get it at a price anywhere near our budget.

Here's the old, worn and dirty BLUE carpet. (This is on the stairs and all over the second floor. Sarah's floor has carpet too, but it's in better shape.) We're going to have this carpet cleaned on Monday so that I will feel a bit better about walking on it. Yechh.

And here's the paint going upstairs to the second floor. It's pretty scratched everywhere. (Especially after the queen bed trauma Wednesday.) We'll do a bit of touch up painting in our "spare time."

This is the linoleum in Sarah's bathroom. Let's just say that it's "interesting." (The picture doesn't really do justice to how bright the colors are.)

On a funny note: Thursday when Steve was standing near this bathroom talking to a church member, he commented that the linoleum reminded him of something from his hallucinogenic drug days.

One of the Big Mover Guys was coming upstairs right at that moment and he said to me, "Hey, I heard that. The preacher used to be a druggie!"

I replied, "Yeah, and he's an even better preacher because of it becasue he knows where people have been."

Here's Steve back in his "interesting days."

I really dig the turquoise. (Freshman in college.)

A college picture ID when he was playing bass guitar in bars and doing drugs. (Junior in college.)

And so.
The Preacher Who Used To Be A Druggie and The Preacher's Wife Who Never Was A Druggie (although she sometimes abuses chocolate) and The Preacher's Daughter (who was actually addicted to morphine during her transplant) are getting all settled into their new home and new lives.

Thanks for stopping by and checking on The Preacher's Family.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


On Wednesday, Sarah was the very first person to use our very own personal key to unlock our very own personal house.

We then took the new house tour.

Sarah in her room.

Steve "stepping it off" to see how big her room is. Steve is uniquely qualified to step things off because his feet are exactly one foot long. And since he does have feet that are one foot long, if he were to eat a foot long hot dog, he would be "the man with the one foot long feet eating a foot long!" What a feat! (Yes, my brain is tired. Why do you ask? )

After awhile, Sarah informed that she was going to be the first person to use the bathroom in the new house. I said, "Would you like me to take a picture?"

This is the look I got.

So that was Wednesday.

Yesterday, the real work began. The Big Moving Guys arrived and started unloading 13,000 pounds of stuff. (And yes, that is the actual verified amount.)

So with all that stuff to deal with, why is this woman smiling?

I was smiling because it was still early in the day and I wasn't yet in a box-befuddled state of mind.

The befuddlement is starting to settle in.

And then I stopped smiling altogether shortly after I took a long look at all the boxes and more boxes. And more boxes. And more and more boxes. Have I made myself clear that were a lot of boxes? Because there were. A lot of boxes. A lot of lot of boxes.

The boxes overwhelmed both sides of my small brain.

Oh look! More boxes! May I go lie down now?

And even when there were no boxes readily visible, there was still Stuff To Be Done. Oh my aching back. Oh my aching brain.

About halfway through the day, the three Big Mover Guys realized that Nathan's queen sized box spring would not go up the stairs. (The stairs turn halfway up so it's a bit of a tight fit.) Steve's and my king sized bed went up for reasons I don't (as a woman) readily understand. Something about the king sized bed bending? I really don't know. I'm still zoned out in Box World and cannot think clearly about most things.

The Three Big Mover Guys pondered the immovable box spring conundrum for quite some time and finally came up with . . . well, not much. One guy said he and his partner have been moving furniture for eight years and had never before come up against this sort of problem.

Enter my husband. The man who thinks outside the box as a matter of course. He came up with a plan (which of course my box-befogged brain does not understand) having to do with taking the box spring partially apart so that it could bend more. And it made it with less than 1/4 inch to spare!

In this picture, I do realize the guys are carrying a mattress and not a box spring upstairs but it was the only picture I could come up with.

When Steve wasn't busy reconfiguring box springs, he launched into the scrubbing of the floor. The place where our washer and dryer was supposed to go was quite dirty and since we had no mop (and since I can't get on the floor without having to have a crane come in to get me back up) Steve spent twenty minutes cleaning the floor the old fashioned way. Is he a keeper, or what?

In light of all the boxes and mess that currently inhabit our lives, we are ever so thankful to have another (well ordered and lovely) place to go to for sleeping and eating purposes. If we'd had to sleep in that house last night with chaos reigning supreme, I may have been pushed over the edge into Box Induced Insanity. (And believe me, that would not be pretty.)

As it is, we can rest in a chaos-less place and then attack the boxes in a refreshed state every morning. In fact, we're going to be heading over there again today in a few minutes and will probably spend 10 or 12 hours working. I'd better have lots of chocolate to keep my spirits up!

We know that we are really going to love this house and especially love Smithifying it. Our only drawback at the moment is that we can't do any improvements to it since we're just renting it until our house in Smithfield sells. The house desperately needs carpet--the carpet is very old and very blue and we have absolutely no blue furnishings. It also needs to be painted on the second and third floors. (The third floor is the bonus room where Sarah's bedroom is.)

So in the meantime, we'll just move in and close our eyes to the very scratched walls and the very worn out carpet. And then when each small improvement comes along, we'll just appreciate it all the more!

And speaking of appreciating something, on Wednesday after the three of us had spent several hours at the house unloading our two vehicles and putting stuff away, we went back to our borrowed cottage to try to muster up enough energy to fix something for a late lunch. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door and two ladies from the church walked in bearing an entire meal! Hurray!

And then last night after our very long day of moving, another family in the church brought homemade beef stew, rice, homemade bread and a made-from- scratch chocolate meringue pie.

The three of us gulped that meal down as though we hadn't eaten in days. It was exactly the right kind of food to eat at the end of an exhausting day--delicious, comfort food. The family also brought two other meals to eat later on when we don't have time (or energy) to cook. We are just overwhelmed by such thoughtfulness and generosity.

It is quite a privilege to be putting down roots here in Manteo and every box we unload digs the roots a little deeper.

And that's a very good thing.

A Moving Pictorial And The Degrees of Fragility

Today I'll a few photos from the last couple of days before the moving truck arrives and we start the (happy, tiring, overwhelming, invigorating) unloading process.

Speaking of the moving truck, I had posted on Facebook yesterday a question about whether or not it was appropriate to tip movers and if so, how much. Among the very helpful responses I got was one from my big brother, Tim, which made me laugh out loud. (Which is kind of a startling thing to do early in the morning.)

He wrote, "I've heard that if you push them really hard when they are not looking you have a pretty good chance of tipping them. Much like cows."

Thanks for the laugh, Tim!

Okay. Photos. Now.

On Monday we ate our last family meal in our Smithfield home.

We had lasagna from the leftovers I froze after the wonderful ladies from the church cooked for our family last week.

We also had "cheese rounds," which are simply leftover refrigerated biscuits that didn't get eaten up the first time around. I throw them into the freezer for a rainy day (or a moving day) and then thaw them, slice them, butter them, sprinkle them with garlic salt, add a little cheddar (or you can leave the cheddar off, Sue) and broil a couple minutes. Simple and yummy. And a great use of leftovers.

After dinner, Sarah and I (and Snowy) climbed into our big bed for our last night of reading in Smithfield.

And speaking of "lasts, here's Snowy in my last picture of him in the house.

Nathan and Meagan during an "almost last" picture on Thanksgiving Day.

Steve said a last good-bye to a radio controlled airplane he built and flew years ago.

And I said a last good bye to a songwriting trophy I won a long time ago at a national songwriting conference. Both the plane and the trophy went to the curb with the trash. (And don't ask me why I have such a strange expression on my face because I don't know.)

(Note: The trophy was for second place in a sub category of songwriting so it wasn't terribly near and dear to me. In 2000, when I won Grand Prize for songwriting--across all categories-- I received a trophy that I will never get rid of. It was such an honor for me to win something like on a national level.)

But I digress. Back to moving we go . . .

The morning that the movers arrived, I decided to go ahead and bake a frozen pizza since sliced pizza in baggies is easier to transport than a big ol' pizza in a box. Sarah happened to come downstairs about then and I said, "Sarah, since it's our last morning here, would you like pizza for breakfast?"

Can you guess her answer?

Okay. Your assignment at this very moment is to gaze at the following photos and be thankful you're not in the middle of a move!

Also be thankful that you didn't slice your finger like I did while using the Big Macho Businesslike Tape Dispenser. I usually used the more feminine and genteel dispenser . . .

. . . but alas, at the moment of the finger slicing, the Big Macho Businesslike Tape Dispenser was the only one around.

Nothing like packing a hundred boxes with a finger that hurts and keeps bursting out into bounteous bleeding at any given moment. I kept on putting on Band-aids and they kept falling off. I was a pitiful little ol' Mangled Moving Mama.

I had to laugh when I saw this box. We had instructed Sarah to clearly mark anything that was fragile; she obviously decided to deem this box as "slightly fragile." Nothing like a writer to concentrate on the degrees of fragility contained in the packing of boxes.

And a few more . . .

Outside the house, waiting to pull away for the last time.

And finally, this is is the sight that greeted us when we went to our house yesterday afternoon (between naps and doses of Tylenol) to move a few things in that we had brought in our van and car. The wonderful people in our church strike again!

I love this photo since it shows a reflection in the glass of the three people who will be doing the memory making!

Later on, I'll be posting pictures and stories from a new home and a new chapter of life.


Comments and Questions:

Michelle, thanks for the compliment about the highlights in my hair. Nothing like a nice thick mustache to bring out a lady's hair color. And yes, I did have a recent hair cut; thanks for noticing.

Also, Ann asked if our new church has a website. No they don't but we would like to get one going soon.

Thanks for stopping by!