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Carine’s Blog

  • Welcome to AZ,NOT

    Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Welcome to Arizona

    Last entry-I told about not having a bedroom set, a desk, a bed, etc...

    Well, I'm here to tell you the week really got better-NOT.

    Nope.  On Friday, our daughter stopped by with our younger grandson to help a bit with the unpacking.  After she left to go pick up our older dividend she called in hysteria-they suspended him for three days.  There is a zero tolerance rule and he broke it.  Seems he hid a bubble gun in his backpack and a kid in afterschool care convinced him to take it out.

    That didn't go over well-you see a week before a kid got suspended for bringing a toy gun that didn't look like a toy and he got booted as well.  All the teachers had a talk with their classes about not bringing "weapons" to school.

    So Dyl got some quality time with grandma and Auntie Sam.  Then there was yet another emotional outburst.  Nothing anyone needs to know-just accept that it wasn't fun.  Thanksgiving was pleasant and no major "oops" were even close to happening for me to make some satirical remark on-it was just a nice afternoon.

    Then came Black Friday.  It was black alright.  And then some.

    It started out okay.  Steve had to work, so I grabbed my coupons and headed to several stores.  There's a plus-we live in a fairly unpopulated area so I didn't have to fight any crowds.  Got in and out of 4 stores in about an hour.

    The rest of my day was just making yet another trip into our Super Wal-Mart for pick up items.  Then I was told to go to our son's store (he manages the La-Z-Boy Bedroom and Dining store) to pick out the bedroom set and bed.


    It was dark now.  My husband and son had parked in the back.  My car was in the front.  I didn't get a half mile away when I was hit head on by a stupid guy in a large Silverado truck.  I say stupid because he was speeding on a red light with his kid in the cab.

    I heard the hit and the next thing I knew was that two good Samaritans were knocking on my window asking me if I was trapped because my car was smoking and I had to get out.

    I had enough sense left to phone my husband and tell him I was hit and to come back.  The two strangers got me out.  By then the fire and police had descended on me and then the EMTs.

    That was really fun.  

    I'll spare the details.  Suffice to say my husband and son got back to the spot.  I am one very lucky woman.  The front of my PT Cruiser was completely crushed.  It's totaled and worth nothing, since it was almost 10 years old.

    Sigh.  I really loved that car.

    But-somehow, while I am one big ball of bruises, bumps, air bag burns and lots of pain, I didn't break a single bone!

    I think by now you all know I'm more of a spiritual than a real religious person-but I am thinking that God must be there because the look of my former front end tells me I shouldn't be here to write this entire entry.

    Oh, and through all of this-I turned 55.  Wow, I hope from this point on-the activity of this year slows down.  Because I think I've had all the "fun" I can handle for now.

    8 Replies
  • Moving: Not for the Weak of Heart

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Moving is not for the weak of heart

    This Thanksgiving I am grateful for a lot.  Just to name a few items:

    I am once again living with my husband.

    I am close to my kids.

    My new home is no longer looking like a poster child on the dangers of buying paint off the "oops" stand at Home Depot.

    And, of course, that we almost have the last few months behind us.

    I know you're all waiting for it, so here's the flip side of all this:

    Murphy's Law is alive and feeling mighty frisky.   On the day escrow was supposed to close-our buyer found out that her credit score went down and the bank was threatening to yank the loan!!!  



    Because Time Warner combined her account with someone who was delinquent for $11 and we are all suffering the effects.  Yes, we almost had to start over because of a mistake for $11!

    In case you're wondering, I did clean up the last paragraph from the words that I was originally saying.  The worst part-it happened on Friday, 4:30-before Veteran's Day.  So the house didn't close.  This woman wants our house, we want to have our house and the escrow people are giving all of us GRIEF.

    I can understand it from the banks side-but really?  $11??  Whatever.  We left with our realtors all drawing up a sizeable rental contract to cover the first 10 days and beyond, if necessary.  Presumably after Time Warner realized their error they informed the credit bureau whom sent word to the bank.  Unfortunately, we are now at a standstill because of Thanksgiving.

    No, the "fun" didn't end there.  Steve flew out as planned and hit the ground running-packing, loading and trying to make all the relatives happy all at the same time.  Before I even got to my 55th birthday and leaving Orange County, we celebrated this event twice and then two more times after we arrived in New River.

    Now comes the real fun happening.  When I saw the truck, my first blurted out thought was-"Honey, no way is all our furniture getting in that truck."  Steve said he knew what he was doing and insisted it was all getting in there.

    By 3 p.m.-he was now telling me that it was time we got rid of our bookcases, our desks, our bedroom furniture and last but not least-our Cal King bed!!!  He said he'd plead with the Salvation Army to include all of this since the pieces we were supposed to donate (a coffee table and matching end table, 3 leather barstools, a custom picture table and some smaller objects were all dispersed between some window salesmen-I swear- and the family member helping him)were no longer there.

    The bed got thrown into the mix when the mattress caved from the weight and being hung with two few people holding onto the "mammoth with no bone structure".

    I was so mad I swear steam was coming out of my ears.  What were we supposed to sleep on?

    Steve said we had our nephew's old double mattress at our son and daughter-in-law's home and we would borrow it until we got a new bed.

    Seriously.  The man thought we'd be okay going from a Cal King with bells and whistles to a teenager's old double bed.
    Let me assure you-WE CAN'T.

    I'm posting this on Black Friday.  My goal is to get coffee and some bathroom cabinet organizers at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Home Depot for new fan remotes and then to our son who manages La-Z-Boy's new concept store that sells bedroom furniture and mattresses.  

    As with everything-Murphy's Law hits here as well.   There are no mattresses in stock or furniture either.

    There's more to tell, but right now I have to get started.   We all know how much I love to shop.

    5 Replies
  • To Answer a Question

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Are you ready Mom?

    Our son called me late yesterday.  Nothing unusual there.  

    I wasn't going to post here again until after the move, but the course of our conversation really moved me enough to write this.

    Knowing how sentimental I am about this home that we've carefully evolved over the years into what I felt was our dream home, he asked me:  

    So mom, are you ready, I mean mentally to leave on Thursday night?

    I responded with something akin to:  Adam, how do you prepare to leave a place you've spent almost half your life in?

    Thinking it over, the thoughts piled high and the tears have flowed.  

    Am I ready?  No.  Will I cry more when we leave the keys on the empty kitchen counter and use the spare in the lock box to back our way out of the empty structure and lock it?  Yes.
    Have I been taking extra time just staring at the room where our daughter and son-in-law started their engagement and then our son and daughter-in-law did the same?  Yes.  In my little 10×10 office where our son moved in when he was 5 am I thinking of all the little boys who played video games on his platform bed?  You bet.

    Our master suite where we slept with our German Shepherd rescue Lucky and our beautiful rescue white cat Snowy and then our beloved Sunshine and now Pepper-am I trying to BURN in the layout in my mind?  Absolutely.

    The kitchen where I've prepared literally thousands of meals, put in not 1, but 3 sets of appliances and had dozens of arguments with pre-teens, teens and fed hundreds of toddlers-will I compare that nook with the new one? Probably.

    But no matter how many tears I shed or how many remaining hours I spend looking over the rooms-I will probably look at my husband and realize that we moved in here as we entered our 30's-the same age as Sarah is right now and we're leaving to start a brand new life, in a brand new home (one devoid of disgusting paint, new blinds and only one bathroom to re-model) and we will make brand new memories.

    It won't make the life in this house be forgotten; it will just be that the memories will be just that-memories.  What is life without those?

    So Adam, to answer your question-for once, I cannot give you a firm yes or no-but I can say I'm ready to stop the tears of sadness and replace them with ones of happiness of being re-united with your dad, all of my precious children and my "dividends".  I'm ready to find new walkways with a new pup, create new and memorable family dinners in my new kitchen and maybe, just maybe-not look back.

    5 Replies
  • Goodbye Surburbia, Hello Country Life

    Posted on Friday, November 9, 2012

    Good bye city life!

    Finally got to visit my ever-lovin' and much missed husband, if only for 2-1/2 days. Boy did we have a romantic time too.  

    Because of my "faulty" hand and torn rotator cuff, I asked a gentleman to help me with my carry-on.  A very nice woman said she'd help and we wound up sitting next to each other.  Turned out she was masseuse and gave me some ideas on how to help myself with self-massage, Epsom salts, etc...  Most I knew, but she was very nice and we chatted away the entire 50 minutes.  

    She lived in Scottsdale where Steve is working.  When I told her where I would be she said, "Oh how wonderful, you get to live in the country.  I've always wanted to live out there."

    Hadn't thought about it that way, but I guess that's why Sarah, Sam and I will be making 30 minute treks to get our produce at our familiar "Sprout's" market and 20 minutes for any needed Costco runs.

    As soon as I landed and connected with Steve, we sped off to dinner w/ the family.  Then he took me to see our new home.  


    You'd think w/ the advent of digital cameras that I would have been prepared for the colors that the former owner put on the walls. But NOOOOOOOO.  

    Mucus green, slate bluish black, rust orange, dark espresso and yes, mustard yellow simply do not come out and show you the beauty that is theirs unless you're standing there in person.  

    Plus, most of you out there know my complete and utter aversion to cultured marble. Well, lucky us-our master bathroom not only has shower walls and tub surround made of the stuff-my tub is molded from it.  

    Can you all guess what our first huge project will be????

    Anyway, Steve and I picked out the new paint, started the painter on that task. We picked out and ordered new window coverings for the few areas that don't have nice plantation shutters covering them, we picked/bought and hired the contractor to put up the new backsplash in the kitchen and we picked out and bought the room fans for those without those items as well.

    I do like my new kitchen.  I have more work space than I thought and Steve ordered the lazy Susan for the corner cabinet that needed it. The room sizes are nice and our new office is narrow, but will do quite nicely. Our front porch has a beautiful desert view and our grandsons were happy to hear that across the street is a nice park for them.

    By the time I get back there permanently in about a week-the home will be much more to our liking (except the master bath).  

    I wish Steve and I would've had a bit more time to spend just catching up, but at least we finally got to see one another. Came home to a de-termited house (you'll note I am no longer saying home), a very upset Pepper and wishing I had something other than salmon patties in my freezer to use as my protein until I leave. LOL

    I was also able to see Sarah and Alex's newly remodeled and beautiful kitchen as well as Adam and Sam's beautiful new home. We helped Sarah with Aidan's cavity filling (there's a story waiting to be written!) and picked up Dylan from K-garten.  

    Before we knew it my bag was re-packed and we had just barely enough time to have a bagel and coffee together before Steve dropped me off at the airport.

    A little FYI-Steve is "shutting me down" on the 14th, so this will have to hold everyone until we get settled.

    My plans are to be up and running and able to post before Thanksgiving, but now that I will be a "country girl"-best to figure in Murphy's Law and wish you all a wonderful and blessed holiday right now.

    0 Replies
  • What I've Learned

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012

    What I've Learned

    This entire experience of moving from a home I loved has given me some insights on the enormity of what exactly it takes to undertake this task when you've lived in a structure for almost a quarter of a century.

    What I've learned:
    1) It doesn't help to complain.  No one cares and it doesn't change a single, solitary thing.  You're still going to have to move.

    2)No one's spouse should leave to start a job and leave the other half home by themselves.  It's lonely, frustrating and yes, rather scary.

    3)Getting the various parts of the move to coincide with the date of the close of escrow is not easy.

    4)Before you open up the estimates from the moving companies-you should be in a sitting position and in a chair with extremely strong arms because you will probably experience a mild coronary.  (After my husband had his, he made me call and rent a U-Haul and try to enlist the assistance of viable family members to load it)

    5)Because of insurance-do not expect any charity to come into your home and pick up donations.  They won't do it no matter what kind of surgery you've had and no matter how unable you are to get it out on the curb or driveway.  ( I tried to plead with about 6 different people and got nowhere)

    6)If you are the remaining spouse who has been left to "close up shop"-the other spouse who has missed your hand surgery and partial recovery really has NO FREAKING idea that when you say you can't open up his file cabinet, tape a box or change the bed sheets that you really, really mean-YOU CAN'T DO IT.  They only remember what you could partially do before they left.

    7)There is nothing better than realizing that once you know that escrow is at the point where there will be a final day in the house-you no longer have to put away that dish towel on the work island, you really can leave your water glass on the bread board and you'd better eat the remaining salmon burgers in the freezer.

    8)You know that somehow, with your remaining hand-there are a lot of items you will have to put into special Ziploc bags before the termite tent is put on and that you will have to put all your meds/open cat food and make-up in the back of your car and park it in your relative's driveway until your return several days later.

    9)Calling all the utility servers, the newspaper, the trash company and whomever else has provided you with services throughout the year all need to be notified and that every single one of them will be "busy and need to put you on hold for the next available customer service rep".

    10)And last, you see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and it seems to actually be the sun you never expected to see-it's just in a different place.

    4 Replies
  • Well, this has been fun

    Posted on Friday, October 19, 2012

    Well, that was fun

    It's been a little over 3 weeks since my hand surgery.  While it thankfully wasn't near as painful as the physician's assistant who did my pre-op appointment told me it would be, it wasn't exactly pleasant either.

    The healing is typically slower than I'd like, yet the limb no longer looks "gross" as both my husband and grandsons insisted.  The extreme bruising is about 80% gone and the scar is looking much less raw and open.  So all this is a good thing.

    Last week I started occupational therapy.  It took over an hour and I left with a customized splint to wear at night and a couple of sheets of exercises, as well as a "recipe" to make myself a rice heating bag.

    Like the trouper I am-I did it all, every hour on the hour, I gave my scar a massage and 5 times a day I'd do the exercises-plus the 2 heat treatments.  After 2 days I was sore and my "bad" shoulder hurt from all the massaging and stretching.


    Then came appointment #2.  The OT took one look and put a heating pad on my shoulder and another on my hand.  Thankfully, she was duly impressed with what I accomplished in the week since we first met.  This week, because of my shoulder, I was told to tone down the times per day, concentrate on the massage and she adapted the split to fit my less swollen hand.  She added a little piece to it to help the scar be "self-massaged" since the shoulder pain was turning me green and giving me a headache.

    Since last week, our house is officially off the market, the inspection behind us and the appraisal as well.   I've had 3 moving companies come out to estimate the cost of the move.  I've also called all the utilities and given them a closing date-November 16th.

    After we got the estimates and had our minor coronaries, Steve and I decided to rent a truck, hire either my nephew or one of his friends to help load and the same men who are helping our son, come and help us as well.  My sister has volunteered to help me drive out there with Pepper.  I'll fly her home the next day.

    My goal was to be in Arizona by November 1st-I'll be there, but just for Halloween and back on the weekend. While I'm there and Pepper is at the Pet Hotel, the house will get the required tenting.    

    It's working out fairly well at the moment-seems I'll be in my new home just in time to celebrate my birthday.  

    Not a bad way to start my 55th year.

    6 Replies