Wednesday, October 26, 2011 or treat

Today was the ward Halloween Party Trunk-or-Treat Party. There were about 5,875 more people there than I was expecting, but that's OK, because I wasn't in charge.  The Professor thought it was awesome that so many people were getting together to celebrate my birthday (which was today). I had to remind him the party wasn't for me, but it sure was a nice way to spend the evening of my birthday. And it was.

Here's the Professor's costume for the night: 

And here is Sweet P. (sans her adorable hat, which Mommy left at home somewhere between the place where it was hanging and the car.)

Here's a picture of her costume hanging up.  Hopefully I can get pictures of her in the whole thing on Halloween.

Captain Knuckle decided not to dress up this year and spent the evening scaring the little kids with his hand-in-the-candy-bowl trick instead. He cut a hole in the bottom of the bowl and then inserted his hand from the bottom. He covered his hand with candy and when the kids came by to get some, he told them to get a piece - then he grabbed them with his hand! It was quality entertainment.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I Did Today

Today, I did nothing even remotely responsible.

I have not read one book.

I have not written one sentence (well, other than these).

I have not cleaned one thing.

Instead, I was inspired by this lampshade I found at Pinterest (via The Pleated Poppy)...

...and then I did this:

I bought an old lamp shade for $1.50 at the Waterfront Rescue Mission Thrift Store (arguably the best thrift store in the area).

I stripped all of the silk off of it (and saved it to make the Professor's scarf for his Halloween costume. He is going as Balloon Boy, or rather, Hot Air Balloon Boy.)

Then I raided my quilting and sewing scraps and did this.

 Then I stuck it on a lamp base I had, just because I was dying to see what it would look like with a light behind all the different fabrics. (Don't worry, this isn't the permanent base nor the permanent location for this lamp shade. I think it might go in my office or over the bar area as a pendant lamp - I haven't decided where as of yet.)

I used a lot more scraps than the inspiration project, but it suits me just fine.  Looking at it now, I also think it needs some lamp-jewelry around the bottom. I will have to see what I have in my stash. But seriously, look at how happy those fabrics are when they are all lit up by the light!

All in all, it was a nice way to spend the afternoon while Princess P. napped. But now I have to clean up, arguably my least favorite part of being irresponsible for the day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies (Grain Free)

Thank you, Sarah over at The Healthy Home Economist! These cookies are amazing and are certainly going to be a hit with the family (if there are any left by the time they get home!)

And yes, they taste as scrumptious as the recipe sounds.  (I actually added about another cup of almond flour to give them a bit more body.) YUM!

I am already thinking of really great ways to use this cookie recipe for fall desserts around The Happy House.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

While wasting time on Pinterest

Source: None via Tia on Pinterest

I came across this gem. I sure hope when the Professor gets older, my husband does this exact same thing.

(Have I mentioned I married into a family of Star Wars geeks and my son seems to have inherited the geek gene?)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Letter to My Hair

Dear Hair:

I give up. You win.

I can no longer fight against what is and what has always been, particularly in the face of all this humidity.

You are curly. I could sort of pretend you weren't when I lived in drier climes, but here in the Gulf Coast? Not so much.

Every day since I moved here you have screamed at me, "Give it up, girl! Put down the flat iron and round brush and just walk away."

So today, you win.  Instead of trying to slick back the curly escapees and pin down the naughty waves, you can have at it.

Much love,


Friday, August 26, 2011

That Day

On a crystalline blue, blistering hot Saturday summer evening 22 years ago, my older sister was killed in an alcohol related car accident on I-15. She was on her way to Lagoon with some friends when the very young and very inexperienced driver came up on some traffic that had slowed down because of construction.

Go figure. Construction on I-15 in the summer time? Some things never change.

The young driver was only going about 55 MPH, but like the others in the car, she had been sipping rum and Coke. She slammed on her brakes, started to skid and spin, then over-corrected. 

At some point, Carolyn was ejected through the windshield of the car, even though she had been sitting in the back seat, without a seat belt of course. Seat belts would not have helped much in this case. In fact, if the girls had been wearing seat belts, all four of them most likely would have died. As it is, two of them died - my sister and the driver - and two others who were ejected before the car hit the semi survived - barely.

Thinking back on this, a wry smile steals across my face. No, not about the death and dying part, but the part about where she was sitting when the accident happened.

If Carolyn was ever in the back seat, she always wiggled her way into the middle and leaned forward onto the front seats so she could talk to whomever was up front. Not safe nor smart, but that's just how she was, always wanting to talk, to be engaged in life and whatever was happening up front.

The back seat and back of the line was never good enough for her.

She was determined to not miss a single moment of life. I can only imagine she was smiling and laughing with that infectious laugh of hers when she was launched into eternity, eagerly leaning forward between the front seats.

Even though she was killed at about 5:00 p.m. that evening, we didn't find out about the accident until later that evening. She had been carrying fake ID (had she been the one who bought the rum?) and so the police had a hard time identifying her and locating her next of kin. It didn't help that her body...well, let's just say there was no visual ID made. They only asked for identifying marks below the shoulders to ID her.

I found out she had died when I returned home from spending time with my friends.

I pulled up at around 11:30 pm, my 17-year old avocado green 1972 Buick Electra rolling in like a tank. Nearly every house on the street had lights on. Every light in my house was on. My parent's car was gone. I could see someone vacuuming the living room through the plate glass window.  Neighbors were standing on their porches.

Something was dreadfully wrong. 

As I got out of my car and heaved the massive door shut, one of the twin brothers who were two years younger than me came running out of the house like an prison escapee. It took me several minutes to register what he was yelling at me.

Carolyn was dead. 

Within a few days, we would be having a closed-casket funeral for her. My best friend would be gone and my whole world would start to unravel at the seams, wildly spinning out of control for years to come.

But at 11:00 a.m. that Saturday morning - that morning -  all was well when I stopped by College Terrace where my sister lived to visit a friend.

I saw Carolyn getting into her brown station wagon. I leaned over the balcony as far as I could to get her attention yelling, "Carolyn, Carolyn, CAROLYN!!! I love you!!!"

She looked up, flashed a huge grin, threw both arms over her head like an Olympic gymnast and yelled as loudly as possible, "I love you too, Munna!"

Munna. That was her pet nickname for me because she was in too big of a hurry to say all the syllables and consonants in my name. It was the last thing she would ever say to me.

Looking back, I can remember how she winced in the bright sunlight and was a bit unsteady on her feet. I now know it was because of the alcohol she had been consuming.  There were so many things I didn't know about her, but I knew the important things.

She was a devoted sister. She would have moved heaven and earth for me. She was fiercely loyal to me.

She loved me.

That's all I needed to know.

The Day Before That Day

When I needed a summer job between my junior and senior year of high school in 1989, my big sister helped me land one at the photography studio and film lab where she had been working for the past year.  Our summer hours were blessedly normal, especially for a high school girl like myself, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with an hour off for lunch.

The Friday before the accident, the day before that day, we had gone to Arby’s for lunch, the two of us in her car with no air conditioning. We pulled up to the drive-thru to order while Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldiers” blared on the radio and the heat of late August radiated through the floorboards. 

I don’t remember exactly what we ordered, but I remember we both got turnovers. She got apple and I got cherry. Every since that day,  I can’t eat one of those without thinking of her, belting out Bob at the top of her lungs as we cruised along University Avenue. 
“If you know your history, then you would know where you are coming from, Then you wouldn’t have to ask me, Who the ‘eck do I think I am.”
As we ate in the break room back at the studio, we chatted.  It was just sister-talk; you know, easy banter about boys and college and had I seen "Weekend at Bernies" at the dollar theater yet?  

Then, as she finished her apple turnover, she grew serious and still. 

This was terribly unlike her – she was always moving. She was a sliver of light that weaved and bobbed through shimmering aspen trees, not a contemplative alpine glow that stretched across the valley. 

“Munna (her pet name for me), do you think it is weird that Mom has twelve kids and not one of us has ever had a major injury or illness? I mean, no one has even broken a bone!” She leaned into the word twelve, her voice lingering over the vowels. 

Her voice dipped and her blue eyes clouded when she asked, “Who do you think will be the first of us to die?" 

There was a long pause. At 16-years old, death was a stranger to me. That happened to old people or really sick people, not one of us.

She let out a sigh, gathered up the left over bits and pieces of lunch, and then said resolutely, "I am pretty sure it will be me and when I die, I want Stairway to Heaven played at my funeral. Promise me you will make that happen." 

She flashed me a huge mischievious grin that said, "Mom will never let that happen, but wouldn't that be awesome?" Whatever storm had settled in her thoughts for those few moments was gone.  Then, in her voice that was always off-key, she sang out: 
"There's a feeling I get when I look to the west and my spirit is crying for leaving...Oh it makes me wonder. "
We laughed at her inability to carry a tune. I promised her I would make sure they played Led Zeppelin and nothing else at her imaginary, in the future funeral, and then we went back to work.  

At about 4:30 p.m., she came up from the film processing lab to tell me she was headed out a bit early to go camping with some friends and she would see me on Monday.

She left, trailing more Bob behind her as she exited the front door, letting it slam behind her, 

Looking up from the paperwork in front of me, I watched her walk in front of the long plate glass windows at the front of the reception area, her bobbed blond hair swinging and flashing in the summer sun as she sang to the passing cars.
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival.” 
She turned the corner and then she was gone.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Opening Today

I can't believe I am actually doing this.

Really.  Am I am crazy, or what?

Wait...don't answer that question. I am not sure I want to know the answer!!!

Today, the Professor and I set off on a new adventure - home school.

First, let me be honest and say how much I hate the term "home school." It conjures up images of strange, backward children who can't put three sentences together in an intelligent manner to anyone NOT in their immediate family, girls who wear dresses made of calico print fabric their mom picked up for $1 a yard at Goodwill, and whole wheat everything.

Any of you know me at all realize I am so not that type of mother.

Sure, I wear skirts almost every day of my life, not because I think God told me to but because I find them ridiculously comfortable (and definitely NOT made of calico). Sure, I make whole wheat stuff quite frequently, but I also make a lot of stuff with good old fashioned unbleached Gold Medal flour as well. But me, a home schooler?

Not in a million years.

I much prefer the term "home educator" and that we are "home educating" the Professor.

Maybe it is because I have know to much about the school systems here in the U.S. that I really don't want to "school" my wee ones because it smacks too much of...well, the school system.  Our schools are currently set up to teach people how to follow orders, respond to the bell, and then move along little darling, move along. This is fantastic if you are hoping to produce workers who follow orders, respond to the bell, and then move along on their merry way.

However, if you want something more for your child, you are outta luck. The vast majority of our current schools are not set up to teach children how to love learning, how to think like an entrepreneur, and how to be responsible for their own lifelong education.  

For parents who want more of love of learning and less order following, what choice to we have but to step outside the system and provide this for our children on our own? (That is, unless we are fortunate enough to live somewhere with a thriving charter school that subscribes to our educational philosophy).

Which brings me to my second "let me be honest" moment: Did I mention I just spent the last five years of my life earning a PhD with an emphasis in ADULT education and my dissertation is about GRADUATE education? Did I mention I have ZERO experience teaching at an elementary-aged level?

Did I mention I am scared silly to home educate my son?

I mean, what if I break something? What if I don't do it right?  Which leads me to my third and final "let me be honest" moment which is my biggest fear of all: What if this grand experiment simply proves I will never be a good enough mother and my children will be irreparably harmed simply because I am their mother? 

I know, I know, I know.  I should let it go after all these years and most of the time, I do a pretty darn good job of putting that crappy thinking in it's place. But still...there are moments, like now, where those old doubts and fears creep out of the closet.

So if you are reading this, say a little prayer for me (and the Professor!).   I could certainly use all the extra help I can get at this point.  This home education adventure feels like a huge test of my ability to parent just as much as it is a test of my ability to teach. The teaching part I have down, no worries. It's the other stuff I am worried about.

Much love,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm a Little Tea Pot

So my sisters-in-law and I were in town yesterday and oddly enough, found ourselves a thrift store. (Go figure. Us, at a thrift store???)  One of them happened across this amazing tea pot, tea cup, and saucer. She just wanted the tea cup for her tea cup clock (for $1 who wouldn't want that cup and saucer?!!!). However, when she saw me giggle with delight over the tea pot ($3) and then look longingly towards the tea cup, she generously sacrificed and let me have it. Wasn't that nice of her?

So for a grand total of $4, I now own this charming set.  I don't drink tea, but they will most certainly be put to good use at the Happy House.  I can't wait to figure out what to do with them. Suggestions? Ideas? Recommendations?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

I was at a thrift store with my sisters-in-law who are here visiting. Imagine that - us, at a thrift store? Crazy talk people, crazy talk! (Not really that crazy, actually. If there is one phrase that defines my sisters-in-law it is thrift store junkies. They always find the most amazing stuff at thrift stores.  Can you say hello! GAP pants for $5 that look like they have never been worn and fit like a dream?  Wherever they go, they find a thrift store to visit. If I am with them, I get to tag along for the fun.)

At any rate, there we were in a thrift store.

And I happened upon these beauties in the book section. Eleven of the twelve Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery cookbooks.  I nearly wept for joy at seeing these for SO CHEAP at the thrift store. While some of them have some yellowing, overall, they are in excellent condition.

Unlike the ones I grew up with.

I read, used, and loved the set my mother owned until the spines were broken and the covers were falling off the stained and sticky pages. These cookbooks define my growing up years in the kitchen and I have longed for a set of my own.

Man, I loved these cookbooks. I mean L-O-V-E-D them. The reason? They were part cookbook, part textbook, and part dictionary. What isn't to love about them???? Finding them in tucked in among the other books at the thrift store was like stumbling upon an old friend. I know it sounds sappy, but I almost started crying I was so thrilled to see them there and to find them is such great shape.

I remember reading this section when I was young and realizing that an aspic (even if it was "crystal-clear" and "shimmering" was just Jell-O with vegetables or meat bits in it. I thought it strange then and I still do, all these years later. 

See what I mean? This illustration of aspics looks an awful like Jell-O, doesn't it? 

Here is a fine example of the textbook aspects of the cookbooks. I remember lounging about on long summer days, reading from these textbooks and dreaming of the things I would someday create from the recipes and the exotic places I would travel to get ingredients. From these textbooks cookbooks I learned far more things that a young girl in Orem, Utah should have ever known about cuisines and cooking techniques of the world.

And the pictures - oh man, the pictures!!! I still love them as much now as I did back then, though perhaps for different reasons. 

Bacon. According to my Samoan brother-in-law, everything tastes better with bacon.  I just adore the vibrant, vintage-y colors of the photos.

And the illustrations - look at this wonderful illustration! I bet your cookbooks don't have illustrations of dancing people in it (unless you own these cookbooks).

And how about this illustration of a banquet? Dated but utterly charming and hilarious all at the same time. 

But the thing I love most about these cookbooks are the recipes found in them, recipes that define my childhood years.

Like this banana-nut bread recipe. (Pecans please, never walnuts. While you are at it, throw in some chocolate chips, too, thankyouverymuch. Call me when it gets out of the oven and I will be right over with an ice-cold milk chaser.)

I love this recipe. I mean I really, really, REALLY love this recipe. Primarily because it makes consistently fabulous banana-nut bread but also because it reminds me of being young and in my mother's kitchen.  There was a fair amount of hope in the messes I made, and excitement for where life would take me. Things have certainly turned out far different than I could have ever imagined but the recipes I learned from these books have remained constant and true.

Like all friends of the oldest and best sort should be. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Amazing Man!

Dear. Mr. Amazing Man -

Happystinkinbirfday! I am so glad I am your wife and that I get to be a part of your amazing life.  I am also very glad you don't mind birthday brownies instead of birthday cake. As you know, we have been living in temporary quarters now for nearly two weeks and this is all I could muster. Pathetic, I know, but I will make it up to you when we get down to Florida and I have access to my cake decorating stuff again.  I promise.

"Luuuuuuuuke. I am your faaaaaaaaahhhther." (Please note the choice of the Lego Star Wars t-shirt for your birthday).

Even Princess P. got in on the birthday action. She had a great time coloring on your card.

She had a great time eating the crayons, too.

She did not have such a great time when I took the crayons from her. She was rather ticked off at me, actually.

She wasn't very happy about the balloon either. Balloons with NO strings = good. Balloons WITH strings = very, very, VERY bad.

I am so thankful we had this last year together and I look forward to many, many, many more.

Much love,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Confessions of a (Worst-Case Scenario) Contingency Planner

My little boy is growing up. I hate it but at the same time, I love it! I love watching him reach every new stage of development. What a kid!

Today he lost a tooth. Can you guess which one? The other front tooth next to that gaping hole is very wibbly-wobbly and it shouldn't be long before it comes out as well.

A story about the Professor and his teeth: Last Friday, I took him in to see the dentist at 7:30 a.m. Now why was I there at that crazy hour in the morning?

Well.....he had been complaining that his back teeth were hurting him for about two weeks. Then about a week ago, he started complaining (imagine that! Him, complain????) about his ear and jaw hurting as well. He would not even let me touch that side of his face without screaming as if I was poking him with a needle. After a few days,  I finally coaxed him into letting me take a look in his mouth and saw red, angry gums at the back of his mouth.

So when you see red, swollen, angry looking gums what do you think? I immediately assumed the worst case scenario (imagine that! Me, immediately assume the worse case scenario????). He must have a really bad cavity back where I can't see it. There must be an infection all through his tooth and gums and it is eating its way through the bone, making a bee-line for the cranial cavity where it will seep into the subacrachnoid space  and then rot his brilliant little brain and then he will die a horrible, feverish death all because I didn't take him to the dentist when he first told me it was hurting. (I am good at worse case scenarios, aren't I?  I like to call it "contingency planning." My husband likes to call it, "Woman, You Drive Me Crazy Sometimes." It is one the traits my husband simply *adores* about me! Not really, but I like to pretend it is.)

I called the dentist, described what I saw and what the Professor had been telling me. They made an emergency appointment for the next morning. Next morning, we showed up, me fully expecting the dentist to confirm my worst case scenario. Well, maybe not the full end-game, but that he had a cavity that needed to be taken care of.

The Professor hopped up in the chair and the very nice dentist (especially considering it was so early in the morning) came in, poked around in the Professor's mouth for a bit, asked him a few questions like, "How old are you, buddy?" and "Does it hurt just on this side or over here too?"

After about 30 seconds of peering into his mouth, the dentist said, "Mom, it's nothing to be worried about. He is just getting his 6-year molars. The swelling is just a normal reaction to the new teeth cutting through the gums. His teeth look great, no cavities or any other problems. Just give him some Tylenol to help with the pain."


I should have known.

The Professor was THE.MOST.MISERABLE.CHILD when he was cutting his teeth as an infant. It took FOR-EV-ER for them to break through and he cried and whined (surprised?) and whimpered and wailed about each one for weeks on end. His gums were a swollen mess of awfulness and he was not afraid to let his parents know how terrible it was for him. It was horrible. I still shudder to think about those long, treacherous days and nights of trying to find something - anything - to comfort him.

Why would it be any different with his 6-year molars?

P.S. Strangely, the pain being caused by the Professor's 6-year molars was not even part of my "contingency planning."  I am so grateful it was just that and not anything related to my worst-case scenario.   Give me 6-year molars over cavities and root canals any day of the week!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day 17

Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

It changed my life. It can change yours, too.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day 16

Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Poor birdies.

Every year on Christmas Eve, a bagpiper calls us all to services at that lovely little chapel across the commons. 

Our own lamp post in the woods.

Isn't this guy awesome? All the right colors AND has polka dots too!!!

I think you get the idea.

I could live without the snow. 

Sure, once or twice a year right around Christmas time is just fine but the piles and piles and piles of it that stick around until mid-April? No thanks.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day 15

Day 15: Something or someone 
you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

Dark chocolate.

I wasn't always so certain about chocolate. Until I tried to quit it. Now I am quite certain I cannot survive without it. This is the reason I have a year+ supply of high quality organic fair-trade cocoa in my food storage. I am that serious about chocolate.

Baked goods. 

Mah boy The Professor comes by his love of carbohydrates naturally. I have tried those low carb diets things and let's just say, it is NOT pretty. That doesn't mean I am rolling around in pans of caramel apple cinnamon rolls every day (though that sounds rather nice), but it does mean I have to have some carbs or my brain. stops. functioning.

This man.

I have tried to quit him about a thousand times, but all roads seem to lead back to him.  Fortunately for me, he has always been waiting for me to come to my senses and never holds it against me.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

And The Dream Goes On

I know it is the 4th of July parade, Independence Day, our beloved country's 235th birthday. I know. But yet, my son wears green.  He wears green any chance he can because it is his favorite color and what better day to celebrate independence than letting your 6 year old wear whatever he pleases?

I snapped this photo of The Professor at the Lovettsville town parade and the look on his face...priceless.  He saw an old military deuce-and-half headed our way and just about jumped out of his shorts he was so excited. (It might have had something to do with the piles of candy they were pouring over the side). 

He was positively delighted and delightful all evening long, full of exuberance and joy over every little red-white-and-blue tidbit of anything that crossed his path.  


He was giddy. There really isn't any other word to describe him.

He was giddy about everything that day except the flag cupcake cake thingy someone brought to the BBQ, which was just a step above being worthy of enshrinement at It had 16 stripes. For the 16 original...uh...yeah, those 16 original thingies. And it had something like 57 stars for the 57....uh...states?

The real story isn't about the cupcake wreck though. It's about The Professor's reaction when he saw it. It was announced that people could start eating the cupcakes, and being the carbohydrate addict he is, he made a mad dash and was first in line. When they lifted the lid, he looked at it, backed up while holding his hands up and solemnly declared loud enough for everyone at the BBQ to hear:
"I can NOT eat that cake! It is the American flag and that would be un-respectful!"
He then darted back to the field to throw the giant frisbees around with his cousins. 

I sat there stunned and wordless.

This is my child who knows that National Doughnut Day exists and incessantly reminds me about it during the lead up to it every.stinkin.year (It's the first Friday in June, in case you were wondering. Stop by your local Dunkin Donuts and get free donut!)  This is my son who would eat cake, cookies, and bread for every.stinkin.meal with a side of frosting and a glass of chocolate syrup to wash it all down if I let him.  Seriously, The Professor NEVER turns down a baked good.

One of the ladies who was there leaned over to me and said, "Did you teach him that or did he come that way?"

Uh...he came that way.

This little boy is the product of generations of Americans stretching back to the earliest European settlers of Massachusetts and Virginia. He is the descendant of intrepid individuals willing to do difficult and dangerous things in an effort to establish this country. His is a heritage of patriots and warriors stretching back to the Revolution who were willing to sacrifice all they had to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.

If they were to examine his blood under a microscope, they would probably find stars and stripes in stead of red blood cells and plasma. Have you ever heard the phrase "he bleeds red, white, and blue"? That's my boy they are talking about.

Yes, he came that way.

And I am very grateful that he did.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Big Orange Truck

A sight I am not too thrilled to see. While I am excited for the sugar-white sand beaches of the Emerald Coast, I am going to miss the 'burg something fierce.

The library, all packed up. Yes, I know that technically it is a formal dining room but you don't know me all that well if you think I would actually put a table in there! Books, books, books and more books are far more useful than a formal dining room table. After all, I have a perfectly serviceable dining table in the dining room.

Goodbye, dear office. I spent far too much time in your embrace. And what do I have to show for it? A PhD by golly!

I would sit here at my desk, my feet propped up on the low window sill as I clickety-clacked away on the computer. I could see my neighbor Marie's house from my desk. Marie was the most wonderful neighbor in the world. Good times, good times indeed.

The living room is an official disaster area. I am going to miss those big windows that were perfect for watching the deer creep out of the forest  in the evenings and the blue buntings, American goldfinches, cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, woodpeckers, and sundry other bird that frequented our inadvertent hawk feeders (AKA the bird feeders).

My feelings about this kitchen: meh. To small for more than one person to work in. Electric range.  Gold hardware. Had to store my appliances in the laundry room.  Horrible linoleum flooring. Fluorescent lighting.  Should I go on?

The kitchen at the new place is going to be a dream compared to this. Granite counter tops. Convection oven. HUGE refrigerator. Six-burner gas range with a grill insert. Island. Lots and lots and lots of cupboard space. More than enough room for my vintage cookbook collection.

My empty china cupboard. It usually houses the china from my original parents' marriage. I am conflicted about it.  Sometimes I love it but sometimes...meh. It's Nortake "Misty" pattern and has 14 5-piece place settings with fruit/dessert bowls, gravy boats, serving platters and bowls, hostess set, salt and pepper shakers, creamer and sugar bowl - everything a person could want in a full china set. I keep hauling it around the country and every time I pare down my stuff I can't get rid of it. I guess it must have some meaning in my life. (Note the perfectly serviceable dining room table in that picture).

Uh...where did all of that stuff come from? Not quite sure how I had all of that stuff stashed in the boy's room. 

Manda's old room/plane room/guest room/room where I stash my yarn. (P.S. That bed there on the left? Sooooooooooo comfortable and one of the single best deals I have ever scored. It was a window display bed at a furniture store in Logan. Since it was up in the window always covered by new bedding, they forgot to actually sell it until the manufacturer quit making that style something like three years later. Enter moi!!! I was the first one to come across it after they realized their mistake and I took it home for a FRACTION of was a savings of $3100. Nice.)

The Food Room. It took three men nearly the entire day to pack this one up. Sorry guys. 

Good bye closet! I shall not miss your narrow ways. That being said, do you realize you are larger than the kitchen at my last place? 

Yes. More bookshelves means more books. Me + books = Happiness.

Can I say how thankful I am not the one packing all of these boxes?  I know we could have done it ourselves and saved some serious $$ but I am so over packing up my own junk and moving it. I think the husband is just as over loading and unloading trucks full of my junk.