Friday, February 19, 2016

Busy, Busy

We have had an extremely busy start to this short month. What has kept us so busy? Moving.

Ten to twelve years ago, Mr. Wonderful's mother moved from a huge old Victorian to a three bedroom duplex in a university town closer to her daughter. A huge task of downsizing that took several weeks. But when mother had her unit built, she included grab bars, a walk-in tub, an escalator chair for the stairs, and other such things in order to be able to stay as long as possible in her own home.

Her health is not so great any more. A couple of falls last year landed her in an assisted living home (nursing side during recovery). It was no longer possible for Mr. Wonderful's sister to care for her.
It was time to put her home on the market. And it sold. Closing is today. Mr. Wonderful's sister found a place to move starting Feb 1. We had just under 3 weeks to clear everything out.

Oh my. We had downsized so much in the last move, but there still was so much left. The first week in February, Mr. Wonderful and I spent three days there. The past few weekends have been there as well. We have another trip yet to make. Our garage, which was housing 2 cars and a trailer, now has the trailer and stuff. So much stuff. I'm not complaining. It is good stuff, useful stuff, beautiful stuff, stuff infused with memories, stuff we can use, stuff we even need. But it is a little overwhelming at the moment.

I am so glad that I currently have a routine that has enough margin in it that we could devote as much time as we did to helping with the move. I'm behind some, but not too much. Gardening hasn't happened much, but February usually isn't too busy with gardening. Laundry will catch up soon. (I can never get too far behind on that. Gotta have something to wear!) Even Miss Adventure's school plan isn't too far off. We've eaten out way more than usual this month. It's been a nice break, but it will also be nice to return to eating at home more.

Mr. Wonderful's mom is now down to her most cherished and favorite things. And my New Year's resolution to declutter some has taken a bit of a hit. I have much more to go through now.

But going through the process of having to declutter someone else's possessions, has made the need to do my own decluttering even clearer.

Peace out.
Kindness Matters.
And sort through thine own stuff
whilst thou still canst!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fabulous January

As if a great birthday wasn't enough, there were several more joys in my January.

The very next week after my birthday, I had the most amazing gift of an evening with a friend. My BFF from before Kindergarten! Way, way, way back we lived next door to one another, went to the same school, and became best friends. Then her family moved, then my family moved, and we drifted. We both went to the same state university for a time and were roommates. We re-connected. Then I moved and married. She moved and married. And we drifted again. (Mind you, this was before social media. It was a lot tougher to stay in contact. One missed address change . . .)

Anyway, we managed to find one another again on social media. But she was on the east coast and I was in the mid-west. Between jobs, and children, and limited funds, we had to be satisfied with short exchanges on fb.

Then she tells me she's going to be in my home town on business. Would I like to get together for supper? Would I?! You bet. But *my* hometown?? She specifically said my hometown. Not the nearby city. A wonderful set of bizarre coincidences landed her here in my hometown on business.

We closed down the restaurant, then sat and talked for another hour and a half. I haven't laughed so much in ages.

Tammi, it was a BLAST seeing you again.

But January was not finished with me yet. The very next week a dear friend had an extra ticket to the symphony, would I like to join her? Would I?! You bet.

We enjoyed supper at a lovely little restaurant in the city, then on to the symphony for an evening of Gershwin. We talked and talked.
My friend, it was sooooo good to catch up with you!!

Still January was not finished with me. Can a girl really have too much fun?! The last Saturday of the month Mr. Wonderful and I had business in a university town near the bigger city. The Chemist was between interterm and the start of spring semester. She offered to watch the littles. We could be without children. My goodness what a treat to go out to lunch and only have to worry about one's self! We did have work to do, but it was so fun to be just the two of us out and about.

I truly had a fabulous January!

Peace out and remember:
Kindness Matters.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wow! I had an absolutely fabulous January, followed by a very busy start to February, so . . . I've been just a little slow about blogging. So to begin catching up, my birthday!

Geologist Ben and his sweetheart drove down on a cold January Saturday to help me celebrate my birthday. Their classes at university didn't start for a couple of days yet, so I got a treat. All my children home for my day.

We started by going to the zoo, leaving the house quiet for the chemist who was taking a very rigorous interterm class. Instrumental Analysis - 3 hours of lecture each day, followed by 3 hours or so of lab, followed by lab write-ups, homework, papers, preparing for presentations and exams; a 4 hour class crammed into 3 very short weeks, during half of which she had an extra commute added to things. Her college and another nearby college combine the class so that students can get exposure to more equipment.
We started at the petting farms.

 In the winter, with fewer visitors, the animals really enjoy extra treats!
 
The penguins were out swimming, even jumping out of the water as they swam along.


We were getting chilly, so we headed for the jungle building.
It is so green and warm inside. It chases away any winter blahs!
Of course, a photo behind the waterfall!

This brave birdie was building a nest right on the walkway.
Bananas!

   Orchids!

Warmed up, we moved onto the North American plains and a photo at the bear fountain.

The bald eagle had just been given a rabbit. This particular bird was injured and can no longer fly.

 The red panda was out today!
This little guy is so cute.

 We arrived at the tiger exhibit at the perfect time. The zoo keepers were feeding hamburger treats to these gorgeous cats. In doing so, they were also checking for injuries and general health.
My little guy wasn't too sure about things when they opened up the glass, leaving just the fence between him and the tigers. We had to move to the back of the observation building, and it took him awhile to settle down. But he eventually began to be a little less anxious.

The rock this lion is sitting on is heated to encourage the lions to be out even on chilly days.

 What a magnificent creature.
   
When we got home, Jess had brought presents back from the west coast, where she spent most of her break working . . .
 . . . at a restaurant at a certain doll shop! Two mini American girl dolls. Miss Adventure is one lucky girl.

After presents, Mr. Wonderful took *ALL* of us out to supper. It was such a treat to go out. "Table for seven, please!"
 

I had made cupcakes, instead of a cake. But the only cupcake papers I had were Halloween ones with little decorations to poke in the cupcakes.
How perfect.

One of the best birthdays I've had.