Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Well, it almost felt like it was too much to hope for. As we signed the papers for our counter to their counter-offer Mr. C said something to me about what a nice way this would be to say hello to the New Year.

It turns out that it wasn't too much to hope for.

(please, please, please let the inspection go well)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My offer to you: free stuff

A while back I responded to Niobe's post titled "free stuff redux" about a meme she found on Rhymes with Javelin's site where you get and give away free handmade stuff. Niobe was kind enough to offer to send me a print of one of her beautiful photos, so now I am finally getting my act together and offering some free stuff to the first three people to comment and actually ask for it. Your only obligation is to then post the same offer on your site.

If you think that you can't participate, I encourage you to think again. I believe everyone has something to offer when it comes to creativity and most often we undervalue our own efforts.

Here is what I will create for those that are willing to play along: I will paint you a painting.

My interests in art span a wide variety of media and genre, from realistic oil paintings to mixed-media collage and art books and a bazillion points in between. I tend to work on pieces for a very long time, fussing over them and very rarely feeling that a piece is truly finished. Perhaps that will change once we are settled here and I have some more time on my hands. For now, though, I know that I can start and finish abstract pieces that focus primarily on color, texture and shape.

So if you are responding to this offer here is the information I will need from you:

>Approximate size and format. For example, 8" (wide) by 10" (high). This is to give me an idea of whether you want something smaller or larger, vertically or horizontally oriented (or square), etc.

>Color scheme you prefer. Don't worry about using technical art terms here, just let me know what kinds of colors you like. Please let me know if you prefer bright/intense colors versus more earthy colors, though, as "red" can look like the color on a stop sign as well as the color of a Japanese Maple in the fall.

>Motif/shape/concept I should focus on. This can be as basic as one shape, like a circle, or a more complex idea or theme. But I do need something to give me direction.

>If you would like text/a quote included and if you have something specific in mind.

>I will need an address from you as well, which you can e-mail to me.

the counter offers

I woke up today feeling even worse than I did last night. My cold is getting nastier and when I try to walk it feels like my brain is floating four inches above my head.

And we heard back from the sellers this afternoon and their counter was pretty harsh. So I've moved from peaceful detachment to feeling anxious. It's hard to know how I would be feeling about it if it weren't for this awful cold and the withdrawals from the anxiety medication. At any rate, we should hear back from them by this time tomorrow. Maybe we'll hear from them sooner.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

the offer is in

We went out to take some second-looks today and decided that we found the house for us. Now we wait to hear back from the sellers.

My head is feeling even more like it is about to explode today, but not because I am stressed about buying the home. Of course I am excited about it and am imagining all of the ways that we will furnish it and decorate, but I am also calm about the whole thing. If it doesn't work out then we will find something that does. I simply have what is shaping up to be a terrible sinus cold. Oh, and yesterday I took my last anxiety pill so that probably isn't helping anything. On the other hand, having a bad cold might be a very good way to mask the withdrawal symptoms from the anxiety medication. When things were really bad with my anxiety this summer, right before I went on the medication, I wasn't able to eat much for a few weeks. Once I was feeling better I realized that I was over my caffeine addiction. Always look at the bright side:)

The other day when I made the label my head felt like it was going to explode because I was so busy/tired.

I almost posted 10 days ago to say that I was breathing a huge sigh of relief. Finally, the day that had been looming pretty much since we moved here in October had come and gone with the best possible outcome. The Adult Family Home Licensor came for our inspection and after an extremely thorough three hours, she told us that she liked what she saw. The rules and regulations that must be followed for every aspect of running one of these homes literally fills a large book, which is revised by the state legislature every year, so this is no mean feat. And it is not uncommon to have to repeat the initial inspection before the license is granted. Fortunately we were given the green light to move forward. The feeling of relief was intense, but not followed by any down-time to savor it because Christmas was only a few days away and none of us had been able to do any preparation for it.

Shopping for gifts and whatnot was a lot of fun-- being out among the last-minute-shopping chaos wasn't as bad as I had anticipated--and on Christmas Eve I spent pretty much the whole day in the kitchen. Being able to do that was wonderful, as I've been eating on the run most of the time lately. On Christmas day I didn't even get out of my jam jams and I was in heaven, an entire day of puttering around and doing nothing. But every day since then has been action, action, action as we have been house-hunting and I have been touring families of prospective residents through this Home.

We are moving out of here next week and soon this place will be full of residents and staff. We will be staying with Mothership and Pops until we are able to move into our new home. If all moves forward with the house we are hoping for then we will be living in it by the end of January at the latest.

While we have been extremely busy since we got here it has been the best kind of busy. I love it here and I love what we are doing. Besides loving the work with the residents and all of the other people that I come in contact with, I love that we are calling the shots here. We work long hours because it is what we want to be doing and we know what needs to be done. At the same time, we can sleep-in when we don't have meetings or appointments early, or we can take lunch when we want to. And whenever I start to get tired when I am out and about running errands and such the voice of my sister Lara comes into my head saying "Your job includes shopping, decorating, and visiting with people--you are so lucky." She has never actually said that to me, but she definitely would if I complained of being tired.

And before I stop writing, a little bit about the house we are hoping to buy...

It is move-in ready and has everything from our "must have" list and many of the items from our "would love to have" list. This is a relief to me since I have completely painted and decorated both this Home and the new office for the business. The office ended up being far more work than I had initially anticipated because there were so many surfaces to refinish (wood paneling, bare sheet rock, cinder block, and this awful paneling in the bathroom). The idea that we can move in and I can do things as I feel like it or am up to it, rather than needing to do it in order to make the home livable, is quite attractive to me right now.

We should know by tomorrow where things stand.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

thanks niobe

Um...I really don't have the mental power right now to figure out how to make this bigger (other than by clicking on it, as it will open up to another window much larger). My tech. support guy is at the office right now, otherwise I would ask for his help (and he would, undoubtedly, make fun of me for it).

look what I just found in my inbox

This is my sister Lara and her husband Matthew and their dog Enzo. She said she sent this to me because she thought it would make me laugh.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

a lot to write about, but for now I will share some pictures

I sat down to catch up on my e-mail and to write a post and after only sending one message and clearing out my inbox my brain just isn't up to the task.

Here we are on Christmas morning, which turned out to be a quiet and relaxing day to ourselves. Mr. C had the brilliant idea to open all of our presents on Christmas Eve while Mothership and Pops were over. As a result we were able to just chill and hang out with Gracie and the cats all day.

Oh, and the aquarium water has finally reached a safe nitrite level. We have 10 surviving fishees and they look like they are doing great to me.

More later.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A big, beautiful baby boy!

I'm a little late in reading the news, but am over-the-moon to find out that Beruriah and Josh over at Further Records are now holding Samuel in their arms. Congratulations!

Friday, December 7, 2007

the countdown starts

I picked up my last month of prescriptions at the pharmacy yesterday. While missing the little pill the other day made for a "sadly unfunctional" day, I believe that was largely due to the fact that I was caught off-guard and wasn't prepared for the physical reactions. Over the past few months I have developed practices that I know abate my anxiety and will be invaluable in the future. Most significantly is my daily meditation practice--this is so powerful. Right now there aren't really any situations or circumstances that are cause for stress or anxiety (imagine that!). But the absence of legitimate or "big" causes for stress or anxiety didn't necessarily preclude my experiencing anxiety in the past.

And then there is the other prescription...

I am uncomfortable about writing about it. I realize it is magical thinking that is causing this discomfort. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that you should do one thing each day that scares you, so I can just do this. (All the while I do realize that it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out, but that really isn't the point.)

We are ready to start trying. We have been ready for a few months now, but have had to wait for insurance to kick-in since the move. I don't plan to have a daily record of our path, regardless of how long or how short it might be, so that is all I will say about it for now.

And since I am sharing good news, here is some more: we are shopping for a house! We were pre-approved for a home loan this week and are happily looking around for the one that is right for us. Yay!

Gracie is doing very well. We will attend obedience classes soon, although we have already started our own training. She will sit, shake, and go down to the floor on command (but not when she is excited or distracted). And she is getting better at walking next to us rather than pulling us along. She loves all other animals, including the cats. The cats, however, don't really love her. Jackson growls at her whenever she comes near him. Gracie chases Cleo around, with her tail wagging like crazy because she just wants to play. Since Cleo is so fat we just let it happen, figuring the exercise will do her some good.

The fishees aren't doing so well. We had a tropical tank set up a few years ago and didn't lose any fish, so I thought I knew what I was doing. Apparently that was beginner's luck, though. This time Mr. C didn't hold back and bought a whole mess of fish and now they are dropping like flies. Or, more accurately, they are dropping like fish who are being poisoned by nitrite. Now I know. It's too bad so many beautiful little fishees had to die in order for me to become so knowledgeable about healthy bacteria and all that.

My days are so full. Lately I've become a night owl, though. What a luxury it is to be able to go to sleep without setting the alarm clock. The resident that was here moved to one of the other homes that has a 24 hour awake staff. Since then it has been one project after another for me and I am loving it. I also spend a lot of time with our residents--going on outings with them, helping out on "spa day," sharing meals, and just visiting with them. Tomorrow we are going to the mall so they can shop for Christmas presents.