Posted by: nopockets | April 7, 2010

Things are Changing!

With the start of 2010, the big move to Houston, and new beginnings all around, we have decided to kick off a new blog. This blog will stay here as an archive for the time being, but you can start following the new blog here: This Joyous Jaunt

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Posted by: nopockets | March 12, 2010

All I Need is One Extra Day

All week (well, starting on Monday night when I had so much to get done and not enough time) I kept saying that all I needed was like an extra day – a magic 24 hours where time stands still or something of the like. Last night, I was awarded this fine prize when Jeremy mentioned that we could leave Fayetteville on Sunday morning instead of Saturday. I mean, we won’t have any furniture when we get down there – nothing to unpack, nor will we have hot water since the gas hasn’t been turned back on yet. So, why kill ourselves to make it down there by Saturday night when we could stay in Fayetteville one more day and have all that extra time to pack the cars. We could actually relax for both Friday and Saturday nights because we’d have the main part of Saturday to get all the packing done and we’d even have a chance to go to the post office to change our address (I know, I know, we’ve been meaning to do this all week but it’s been so crazy it had to be postponed several times) tomorrow morning. So, I get my one extra day and I’m going to use it so that I can relax tonight and tomorrow night and get to enjoy our last few moments in town before we head out for Texas.

Posted by: nopockets | March 9, 2010

Rush, Rush, Rush!

So today has been pretty long and busy. First, Cabela came with me to work and sat in the car until lunchtime when she went to be groomed at PetSmart. Then, the rest of the workday (which was particularly hectic today). After work, I ran to pick up Cabela and then headed home instead of going to the farm to pick up my stuff there since it was raining so that will postpone that until later this week. Also, Jeremy is worse than he was yesterday and he even left work early which is a sure sign he feels pretty bad. So, I went straight home from getting Cabela and then talked Jeremy into going to the walk in clinic down the street that is open until 7:00 PM. They were able to see him tonight and we didn’t have to wait too long but it definitely set us back on our schedule because we have lots of things to get done tonight, most of which have to be done before the movers start packing. I’m glad we took time to go to the clinic though, since he does have a sinus infection and I’m pretty sure he would have felt much worse by morning when the movers are scheduled to show up. After dropping off his prescription I headed to my parents to pick up the Sequoia to get furniture from the Huneycutt’s house. I also asked Lisa to help me move the stuff since Jeremy felt more like going to bed than dragging stuff out of an attic – Lisa graciously agreed and so I left him at my parents watching ESPN while Lisa and I headed out to move the last of the furniture. In between loads, I dropped by Walgreens to pick up the prescription since it was looking like they would be closed before we got done and I didn’t want to risk not getting the antibiotics started tonight. It didn’t end up being too hard moving the stuff but we did have to take two trips so that took more time. When we were done, we loaded a carload of stuff to take to my parents house including all of our photo albums, the contents of the fridge and freezer, and a 6 foot bookshelf we’re giving to Lisa that needed to go to my parents lest it get put on the moving truck.

So, we were back at my parents around 9:30 and unloaded everything there and Lisa volunteered to help me get everything done back at the house as well. First off, I had to make something to eat since I was starving. I had reserved some lobster tail I bought to cook tonight since we had to empty the freezer so Lisa and I had a nice little lobster feast about halfway through the work we had to do. First, we unloaded the attic. Then, we started gathering things that needed to be taken to my parents’ house; including more photos, the violin and guitar, food and crates for the animals, an air mattress and sheets for the first few days in the new house, computers and cameras, keepsake items, important paperwork, and Jeremy’s artwork. Then, I packed my clothes for a week and finally, we started cleaning dishes and getting rid of trash to prepare things for the movers. We ended up throwing away quite a bit of stuff that was in the fridge and freezer, so there was a lot of trash and I’ve been more than warned that the movers will pack your trash if you aren’t careful. I also went over my list of things to pack and things to get done and it looks like we are back on track. I’ll still have to unplug the fridge and put coffee beans in the fridge and freezers but other than that, I think I’m done for the night.

Tomorrow, we have to drain the lawnmower and load the cars up early in the morning then, I have to run and get donuts for the movers. I will also be moving the pets to my parents’ on my way to work to keep them out of the movers’ and Jeremy’s hair during the packing. Jeremy has to take out the antique light fixture in the guest bedroom, and then manage the movers all day long so hopefully he feels somewhat better by morning. In other words, all in all this was a good day’s work but things will get busy when the sun rises in the morning. Or maybe before that.

Posted by: nopockets | March 7, 2010

Back for a Week

Landing in Houston - City Lights

So, we are back in Fayetteville for a week before we leave for Houston. The good thing is that our weekend went well and we got a lot done on the house – in fact, we got everything done we had hoped for, so that is fantastic! The bad thing is that now we’re working with some tight deadlines and busy schedules this week so things will get a little crazy on top of which Jeremy seems to have come down with a cold-ish virus of some sort, which really stinks. He has a lot to do this week so hopefully he starts feeling much better soon (as in tomorrow!). We do have a nice long list of things to do each day so hopefully it all gets done.

Sunday night: laundry (in progress), Jeremy haircut (postponed), start cleaning out fridge and freezers (check!), drain lawnmower (postponed), remove everything from the attic (postponed). So, we’re not off to a great start but we still have time (I hope) to get it all done.

Tomorrow night: we have to do all the things we didn’t get to today as well as remove the light fixture in the guest bedroom, get some furniture from the Huneycutt’s house, move stuff to my parents to live there the rest of the week plus all the stuff we’ll be taking in our cars to Houston plus all the animals and their stuff, and last but not least, unplug and air out the fridge and freezers and put socks of coffee beans in there to keep them smelling fresh. I also have to take Cabela and pick her up from the groomer’s because she’s getting a bath in preparation for the week at my parents and the ten hour drive.

Tuesday: the movers come so things have to be ready for them to pack everything. Jeremy is getting them some donuts for breakfast since we got a tip that they do much better work with food bribes, and he’ll be here managing their progress while I’m at work. Tuesday night, we have a get together with friends which is going to be so much fun.

Wednesday: the movers load the truck so once again, Jeremy will manage that. That evening, we have a meal with my family so that should be a fun time as well.

Thursday: aside from other stuff, Teddy gets picked up by his adoptive home and then after that, we go do something with Jeremy’s mom and brother for Jonathan’s birthday.

Friday: so far, nothing is scheduled for Friday, but I’m sure we’ll be busy.

I’ll try to keep everyone posted on the progress along the way, but if I don’t post, I’m sure you’ll understand it’s just because I’m too busy.

Posted by: nopockets | March 7, 2010

Wallpaper Removal: Check!

Wallpaper Removal

The wallpaper removal went quite well this weekend and we managed to pull off all the wallpaper remaining in the house. Whew! It was a lot of work but as far as wallpaper goes, it wasn’t anything to complain about. Each type (we had the top, bottom, and border in the Library and the foil type paper in the bathroom) was a little different but overall, the same methods worked and it all came down without a major fight. We did have to improvise a little with supplies – mainly in the mixing of the enzyme solution we used for removal and in a step ladder to remove the wallpaper from the top of the walls. For warming up the water for the mixture (we didn’t read the part about hot water until we were about to mix it), Jeremy ran to CVS down the street and bought some rubbermaid microwaveable containers. The old owners left the microwave (ironically, the exact model we have) so that worked out well for creating hot water. We also had to buy gallons of water at the store because the water in the house wasn’t turned on just yet. As far as the step ladder, we improvised with the island butcher block from the kitchen in the Library and when it wouldn’t fit through the doorway to the bathroom, Jeremy grabbed the recycle bin and stood the bucket from Lowes on top of that. It feels really great to have that part of the project done so that when we return next weekend, we can start in on the sanding and spackling the walls to prepare them for painting. You can see the progress below.

Posted by: nopockets | March 6, 2010

The Virtual Walk-Through

We made a couple of videos on Thursday that I just now had a chance to uploaad because we had internet set up at the house last night (yay!). So, here is the virtual walk-through that shows off the house sans furniture. Also keep in mind that we’ll be making some visual changes to wall colors and we are in the process of removing wall paper in the Library and Hall Bath. I think we have the colors mostly picked out and we’ll be staying within a nice family of earth tone colors. If you want to get an idea of what colors we’re considering, you can see them here:

The colors look a little different here than they do in person, but this gives you an idea of what we’re thinking (the second row) for most of the house. So, the massive de-wallpapering project has kept us busy most of the time we’ve been here but we also have had a chance to drive around the area to gain familiarity. It has been fun to see the city where we’re going to live and getting comfortable with the closest grocery stores, pharmacies, and fast food restaurants. We also took the time to drop by a Barnes and Noble last night to browse their magazine collection for ideas for the new house as far as decorating and tweaking things here and there. We have always loved spicing up a place and making it our own, so this house will be no exception to that. The nice thing is that the hardest / most expensive part has already been done for us with the bathrooms and kitchen remodeled and wonderful floors already in place. This time around, I think we’re going to get by with some simple elbow grease and paint colors to really make the house look fantastic. I can tell it is going to take some time for us to get used to “our house” being so large – we still feel like the house belongs to someone else and we’re just here doing a project to get rid of the wallpaper, so I hope that once our stuff arrives it really starts to settle in.

P.S. The Aveo is a rental car – I just kept putting it in the video because it’s so funny, not because it’s our new car. Didn’t want any rumors started so I figured I should clear that up.

Posted by: nopockets | March 5, 2010

We own a house in Texas!

So, now we are officially owners of a house in Cypress, TX. We did our final walk-through yesterday morning and then went to the closing. Everything went very smoothly and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting the past owners. They were a lot like us only 20 years later with teenagers. They do a lot of outdoor activities like camping and backpacking and they had lots of fun memories to share from their 15 years living in the house.

After closing, we decided to grab some lunch and start getting things together for our wallpaper scraping project. I will say that we did manage to lose some time going back and forth from the hotel because we kept forgetting things we needed with us, but I guess that just comes with the territory of being away from ‘home’ which throws off your normal organizational plan. We found a Lowe’s and bought a couple things to get us started on wallpaper removal and we also took the time to walk around and get a feel for some things like light fixtures and touches we may want to add here and there in the house. We also started getting a plan together for Cabela’s dog pen that we will be building behind the garage that we have lovingly named the houdini doggie prison. I think we have a nice plan together that will be functional, relatively classy looking for a dogpen, and will keep in our little escape artist. We didn’t really get a chance to drive around the area when we were here before so the driving we have done this time around has shown that the area we picked is really nice and has lots of cute little shopping centers and lots of really lovely neighborhoods. I think we are really going to like the area.

We also had time to swing by the riding barn I found that I may try out – it is quite close to where we live and is a cute little farm. Our final task for the day was to do a detailed walk through of the house where we planned out what color we would like to paint each room and we also figured out what furniture will go where so that we have a plan for the movers next week. We are thoroughly enjoying our time in Texas and the weather is beautiful!

Posted by: nopockets | March 3, 2010

House Closing

This afternoon we fly out of Fayetteville to close on our new house in Houston (Cypress actually) tomorrow. It is hard to believe that it has been more than three months already and it is strange to think we’ll be leaving for Houston permanently next week when we haven’t packed a thing. Since the movers are packing and moving everything, we just get to sit around and wait until Tuesday next week when they arrive to start packing. We are setting aside our photo albums and some keepsake items for safe keeping, along with an air mattress , the three pets and the things we will need for them. Other than that, the movers will be doing the rest.

We have been so blessed througout this entire process and I really feel like I’m just along for the ride. We found a house on our first trip (which wasn’t even a house shopping trip, but just a preview trip), the owners accepted our first offer, getting a loan and insurance set up was a very easy process, and now that we’re down to the wire and feeling slightly pressed for time, the only real things we are missing out on getting done are some things we decided to do before leaving Fayetteville. Things like finding our names on the UofA Senior Walk, eating a US Pizza, getting to spend time with our closest friends, etc. We’ve knocked off a few things on our list and it looks like we’ll get this all done in time, but it has made these last few weeks in Fayetteville slightly hectic.

So, if everything goes as planned tomorrow, we will own a house in Texas by the end of the day. The rest of the weekend, we will be stripping wallpaper from two rooms downstairs, so wish us luck on that. Who knows if there is sizing behind the paper or how well the glue is adhered, but only time will tell how easily the paper will come down. I did tell Jeremy this morning that I would consider sealing and painting it as a last resort. After that, we fly back in to Fayetteville Sunday evening and get ready for the movers Tuesday. The rest of the week, we’ll stay at my parents until we drive our two cars to Houston Saturday, March 13th. I’m sure the next ten days will be a whirlwind, but in an exciting way. I’m trying to live in every moment and just savor the time we have here.

Posted by: nopockets | February 24, 2010

Caught in a Mousetrap

The other night while I was on the phone in the back bedroom, I heard a sudden and strange combination of noises. One of them sounded like someone slapping something into the hard floors in the main part of the house, but I wasn’t quite sure of the origin of this noise. Another noise was much more familiar, which was the sound of Biscuitte’s collar bell jingling. My best guess as to what happened is that Mugsy (who has been quite petulant as of late) had attacked Biscuitte and that Jeremy, instead of using the spray bottle we fashioned for such purposes, decided to either throw something at him or was smacking him (maybe with the spray bottle?). I must point out that the smacking noise confounded me a bit because it was so loud and Jeremy is not one to beat an animal, however rude they might have behaved, and this was the noise of something both deliberate and prolonged. A few moments later Jeremy appeared in the doorway and asked me if I’d heard the racket. Of course I had. He laughed and said that the noise had surprised him as much as me (possibly more, considering his proximity to the event). After further investigation, it turns out that Biscuitte decided to investigate the area around the washing machine. In the crevice between the washer and the wall, we had a sticky mousetrap. (I know at this point you can see where this is going … but I’ll finish it out just to cover all the little details.) Anyway, I suppose Biscuitte managed to wander directly on to the mousetrap, at which point, she totally freaked out and then flapped her way all across the floor from the laundry room to the dining area, where the trap apparently dislodged itself from her paw. She did have to spend the rest of the evening outside because her paw was completely covered with goo from the trap that we didn’t want her tracking around, so I hope she learned her lesson. They do say curiosity killed the cat – luckily we use use sticky traps and not the real kind!

Posted by: nopockets | February 21, 2010

A Good Gallop

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about the things that I’ll miss when we move to Houston. As you might imagine, the list is quite long and at times, overwhelming. I’ve lived in Fayetteville for the last 26 years and it is a place in which I am quite happy living.  This winter in particular has made me miss Fayetteville already since I know it will be most likely be a long time before I see snows like this again. I love winter – even those without snow – so the climate in Houston is something I do not look forward to with much excitement. I have had so many ‘firsts’ here in Fayetteville from my first day at school to my first lost tooth, all the way up to my first date and my first house with Jeremy! I connect so many memories and so much of what I think of when I think of family to this wonderful place and now I have to somehow grow up and leave it all behind. I know, you may want to tell me that Houston has so many more memories of my future and that it is going to be a great adventure. And of that, I am sure. It will be a grand new adventure for me and Jeremy and I know that Houston will also bear many firsts for us as well. But, it isn’t fair to let me at least grieve this loss to some extent because it is a great loss for me. It is so hard to leave this place I’m so attached to behind in just three short weeks. I haven’t had enough time here. There is still so much I haven’t done – places to see, things I’ve always wanted to take pictures of, people to say goodbye to (some of whom I may never see again). I’ve made a bit of a list that I hope to complete in the next three weeks. It’s a bucket list of sorts but not the kind you want to do before you die – it’s the kind you want to do before abandoning the only real home you’ve ever known. A home that has been so great to you for all of your memorable life.

One of the things I wanted to do before I left was to make sure and ride my horse just a few more times – after injuring my ankle last fall I haven’t been able to ride much, but I have finally gotten the horseback rider’s equivalent to cabin fever so I decided I could just ride bareback. You get a much better feel of the horse this way and a better workout, too! I love the feel of Charlie’s swift feet underneath me with the wind at my face.  I even had a friend take some pics of me on my trusty steed – complete with a “fling up” start (if you don’t understand this reference, you really should read this post). Horseback riding has always been one of my favorite things and in some ways, I feel like I’m having to give this up to move to Houston. I have been so blessed to have Charlie as my horse for the last seven years. We understand each other in a very deep way and I have always felt safe riding Charlie even under the most dangerous of  circumstances. He has been more than my trusty steed, he’s been my soul-horse. Just like Fayetteville has been the place of so many firsts, Charlie and I have experienced so many firsts together as well: my first horse, my first flat out gallop, first foxhunt, first horse show, first 3 foot jump, first lead changes,  first bareback gallop. He was the horse that helped me teach Lisa how to ride and he was a integral part of Lisa and I becoming so close when most sisters would have drifted apart. He gave us a reason to spend time together weekly all though my college years and even into the last few years. He has been such a dear friend to me that it is very hard to say goodbye and leave him behind, even knowing he will have the best of care in Lisa’s hands. I am going to miss how he can always tell that it’s me walking down the hill, the way he always watches me from a distance, and the way he always has the kindest almond eyes looking into mine. I know that leaving him here is the best thing for him and he very much deserves that. But I also know that I’m going to leave a part of me behind here that I will most likely never recover again and it brings tears to my eyes as I think of that just now. A part of me that I have cherished so much – something that made up a big part of who I am – is going to be gone. There is nothing quite like having a horse underneath you, so this is my therapy right now – a good gallop is just what the doctor ordered!

You can click on the link below to view the pictures.

A Good Gallop

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