Monday, June 30, 2014

My wisdom for today.

My aunt once told me that babies were a trick that God plays on us...
because they are so cute and we want them so much...
but then they turn into kids, teenagers and young adults!

Some days I truly feel tricked.
And I feel the pain and heartache that kids bring into our lives.

Other days its all good.
And I feel the love and fun that kids bring into our lives.

You raise them thinking
"these are the hard days"
"when they grow up it will all be worth it"

And then they grow up
and still cause you heartache
and stress
and worry

but now

You have very little influence.

And you can tell they think you don't know what you are talking about
or that what you are saying is irrelevant to them.

So whether we have little kids
or youngish kids
young adults

We just have to...

Enjoy them.

Every stage has its trials.

We have to find a way to enjoy.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finished in the nick of time...

About 5 minutes ago
I finally finished refinishing the cedar chest I got when we moved in here.

Sadly, I never took any "before" pictures.
I hate it when I forget to do that!
But you will have to trust me...
It was in pretty rough shape.
It was really dirty
Missing a leg
the finish was cracking and old
the copper pieces were black
When we were looking at this place to rent it, 
the garage and house still had a few things that needed to be removed
This beauty was in the garage in a corner, covered with bugs and cobwebs.
I told the realtor that if the owner didn't want it
I would take it.

She told me a few days later that it belonged to the owner's mother
and they wanted to keep it.

No problem.

But later when the owners came to clean out their stuff
she asked me if I still wanted it.
She said that none of her siblings wanted it and she didn't have space for it.

I was pretty excited.

I seem to be drawn to furniture that has a lot of character
which is to say
that upon closer inspection
this piece of furniture was probably made by grandpa.
It was not made by a skilled furniture maker.

Things are pieced together in interesting ways.
There are obvious signs of the thing being "handmade"
and all of the copper pieces have been hand cut from a sheet of copper.

But that is part of what I love about it.
It's quirky and different.

It sat in the same sad condition for probably a year.
Frank was not impressed with my project.

Once winter ended this year I realized I needed to get going on this project.
So I started.
But I'm pretty slow.

Then we decided to move...
I knew I had to put it in gear and finish!

As I was working
Frank would wonder aloud if this was a good time for another project.
He had a point.
But I could not move this thing unfinished!
I will have enough to do once I arrive...I don't need this hanging over my head.

I carefully removed all of the copper pieces
I sanded it down to the bare wood
(with much help from my awesome friend Annavon)
re-stained it
cleaned all the copper pieces
Ordered new decorative tacks
(3 times...kept getting it wrong...but that's another story)
found the missing leg!
And put it all back together.

I know I came in just under the wire
since we are moving in only a couple of weeks.

The lighting in my basement is uneven
so you'll just have to believe me when I say the coloring is even...
In these pictures one side looks lighter.

I hope I did justice to grandpa's handiwork.
It's going to look good in my new family room.

An excuse to buy stuff

Since I am about to do a big cross country drive
I decided that was a good excuse to buy some stuff.

I haven't bought anything at all in quite awhile
because nothing makes you hate your stuff more than moving!
and I do not want more stuff.


Driving across country is a big venture
and I decided I "needed" a couple of things for my car.

I got:
a cute hanging trash bag from Etsy
(hasn't arrived yet but here's a picture from Etsy)

A magnetic holder for my iPhone
since that's what I'll be using as my GPS, I figured it would be nice to have it up and easily visible

I already like it a lot!

And a charger/plug for the car that fits into my cup holder

My car has a plethora of cup holders so I love to find things that tuck away into a cup holder.
Handy but not in my way!

Here you can see it in place.
So perfect.
It has several USB slots and one regular plug.
That way Carter can watch movies on my laptop or iPad while we drive.

I got so excited a few months ago when I found the tissues that fit into the cup holder.
I still love them.

I have given up gum, so I now have a cup holder available for some new gadget.

I wonder what it will be?

Monday, June 23, 2014


Carter turned 16 at the beginning of June.

He got his permit two days later.
And he now drives almost everywhere in my little blue car.
Not even embarrassed of my girly car.

When I asked him if he felt older, he said "no"
What the heck?
Wrong answer.

Sixteen is a big one.

He had a surprise party with friends.
And then kind of a quiet actual birthday with me.
(Dad was out of town)

I told him the story of my 16th birthday
when my brothers and Dad asked us to wait for a commercial to blow out the candles.
They were watching football.
And how we didn't have candles so my sister
took the huge candelabra and shoved it into the center of my cake.
Good times.
Not really.

Middle child.
I have all kinds of issues.

Anyway...back to Carter...

This last Sunday, when his Dad was finally in town
He was ordained to be a Priest at church.

He's a good kid.
A little snarky at times but mostly agreeable.
Kinda lazy...but he comes by it naturally (ahem. me.)
Super duper close to getting his Eagle Scout.
And I will kill him if he doesn't.
Loves The Office and Psych.

He's also so darn cute
(but, really, all my boys are exceedingly handsome)

My picture taken isn't so great.
But you get the idea.
I've become a lazy, phone user when it comes to pictures.


Friday, June 20, 2014

And the car is gone!

Today Frank's car was picked up for shipment across the country.

We had to meet the truck out on the road since our little development 
has a "no trucks" sign.

It was cool to watch our car get loaded onto the big truck.

As it was getting loaded, a family walked by
they told their kids "look they are taking the cars away"
and I, wanting to be friendly to the passers-by
said, "yep, they are taking our car"
The parents got these looks on their faces...
and said (in their saddest voices)
"Oh I'm so sorry"
"I'm really sorry"
and kept on saying these things as they walked past...until I couldn't hear them anymore.

And that's when I realized that they thought our car was being repossessed.

Oh my gosh.
So funny!

Bye Bye Car!
I'm so glad we still own you.

See you in Utah!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Putting my feet up and other goings on

I'm sitting in a chair with my feet up.

I mean, I deserve it...I packed two whole boxes today.

Here is the view from where I sit.

My house has become a complete pile of rubbish.
Boxes, mail, stuff that needs to be packed, bags of stuff to give away, tape, scissors, packing paper...
its just everywhere!

I can't take it.

I keep rearranging and vacuuming around it.
But we've just reached that point where there's no way to pretend its a normal living situation.


My good friend Bro. Danjou came over today and fixed the drawers on my buffet.
There was a twisted piece of wood that just warped over time and couldn't really be fixed properly.
It caused the drawers to stick and it looked weird too.
Since Bro. Danjou is an amazing woodworker, he fixed it right up and now my drawers work
and it looks a lot better too!

It's good to have skilled friends.

Frank's tomato plants are looking mighty fine!

Too bad he's moving and will never eat a tomato from these fine plants.
Our neighbors will enjoy them though.

Do you know what I dread packing and moving?
My ginormous mirror.
It weighs a ton.
It's breakable.
I spent waaaay too many hours of my life making it so I am attached to it.
But, seriously, UGH

I took Carter driving on the freeway for the first time today.
It's amazing how stressful that is.
He did really great but I felt like I needed a nap afterwards!
(Now you know the real reason I am putting my feet up)

Frank's car is getting shipped to Utah tomorrow.
So until we leave, we'll be a one car family.
Wish us luck!
Or maybe I should just say wish ME luck...
I'm used to having my freedom and I have a feeling I'm gonna be stuck at home a lot.

The End

Friday, June 13, 2014

Packing with Debbie

Here is what it is like to pack up a house when you are me.

Carefully wrap and pack all of the A/V components.
Tape the crap out of the box.

Realize a few minutes later that you left out the remote controls.
Open box
Insert remote controls.
Tape the crap out of the box.

Be proud.
Show hubby your awesome packing job.

Lay down for a rest.

Realize suddenly that you forgot to remove the cable card from the Tivo box.
Even though the very last thing you thought before loading that particular box was
"I sure am glad the Verizon guy reminded me to remove the cable card.  I would have totally forgotten that."

Decide that since the Tivo was the first thing you loaded it makes sense to turn the box upside down to open it up.
Do that.

Pull out:
DVD player

and realize

The Tivo was not the first thing you loaded into the box

So, you have just completely unloaded the dang box because you opened the bottom!

Unwrap Tivo from all the careful packaging.
Remove cable card.

Reload the box and realize that things don't fit like they did before.

Tape the crap out of the box.

Feel less proud.
But more box has been packed.
So that's something.

Because, what fun is it to be a forgetful dork if you don't share the experience?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Road Trip!

I am in the process of planning the cross country road trip
that Carter and I will be taking when we move to Utah.

It's harder than I thought it would be.

I have to:
Decide how far I'm willing to drive each day
 Choose what hotel to stay in when I do stop 
Make reservations
Decide what sights I want to see
Figure out what sights are worth adding hours to my trip
Find out what relatives/friends live along the way that I can visit and/or mooch a night's sleep from

There are so many things that I want to see!
But I know that realistically I will get sick of driving and just want to get there

So I don't want to over-plan this thing.

Plus whenever I ask Carter if he wants to see a certain place
He always responds, "I don't care"


My dear hubby, just to add to the fun, keeps saying things like
"this will go in the car with you"
as he is packing boxes from the house.

I have a tiny car now.
But I think I'll be hauling all kinds of household crap.

Where am I gonna fit my 2400 miles worth of snacks??

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Selling stuff

Just like the last time we moved
(only 18 months ago?)
we are downsizing.

Which means we are selling and giving away a lot of things.

Selling things on craigslist is...
a pain in the rear.

There's the whole "take a bunch of pictures" part
then write an ad
field calls and or emails
or worry at the lack of calls and or emails
set up appointments
have them come or not show at all
sell your stuff
have them reject your stuff

I'm tired.

So lots of times I resort to just giving stuff away.
We do this a few ways here at the Hill house.

1. Savers-fairly easy.  Load up the car.  Drive 20-ish minutes to Savers and unload.
Done.  Helped people with Epilepsy (not exactly sure how but that's what the sign says).

2. Freecycle- similar to craigslist in that I have to take pictures, field emails with questions,  set up appointments and deal with no-shows.  Works great for bigger items that I can't load into the car.

3.  My church family- we have a yahoo group for our church congregation and I will sometimes post an email there saying I have these free things...who wants them?  I almost always find a home for things.  It's getting them to their new home that's the problem.  Some things I take to church and have the person get it from me.  Sometimes people come here.  But either way it all has to be worked out.

It's a lot of work to give away your stuff!

I recently came across a platter that is quite lovely
but we just don't use it.
Like never.
I see it in the cupboard and always choose something else.
It has no edges so stuff can just fall off the sides.
It's pretty and I'm afraid to break it.
I don't want it anymore.

It wasn't quite worth a trip to Savers by itself
and I didn't want to keep it around until I had a carload.
Once I make these decisions, it's just best to act immediately.
So I went to a little shop nearby that sells things on consignment.
I've bought things there before...
it's a cute little shop.

I walked in and handed her the lovely platter and said
"can I give this to you?"
She was a little confused, since she isn't a thrift store.
So she asked me if I wanted to open an account.
Just want to give you a lovely platter that you can sell for whatever you want.

In the end, she took it and thanked me for thinking of her.

And I drove the 2 miles back to my house with a smile and a sigh of relief.

One less thing to pack.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Two exciting things today:

First, its Ryan's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Ryan!
He's living far away in Utah so I hope he had a good day.
But I don't really know.

We tried to call, several times actually.
But either his phone stinks or ours do.
Because we never managed a full conversation.

Next year we will hopefully live in the same state and I can bake him a cake.

The second exciting thing is:

Carter got his driver's permit today!

We went yesterday to take the test
but arrived too late
apparently no tests are allowed after 4 PM since they close at 5
We got to the front of the line at 3:58
and were turned away!
rip off

We were both disappointed.

But today, we did the smart thing
and skipped some school
to be sure we'd arrive in plenty of time.

But seriously, he passed the test no problem
which doesn't help with the whole
"you really should study"
thing I keep trying to tell him.

But anyway

In other Carter news:

We have spent a lot of time in the last week
sorting Legos
He's got 4 kids worth of Legos
that we don't really want to move...
So, we're sorting and finding pieces to sets that he wants to take.
And he occasionally talks about how we really should just move them all.

He has trouble letting go of things...

As proof of that,
here we have Luigi

Yes, I took pictures of Luigi so that I could throw him away finally
But when Carter took out the trash
he saw him in there
and brought him back in the house!

He said, "He's a childhood memory! You have to keep him forever"

And so he's sitting on my kitchen counter
(yes, after being in the trash can)
until I can sneak him to the trash when Carter isn't looking.