Flow - Just Livin'

Flow - Just Livin'
Florida Sunrise

Monday, 28 September 2009

Natural World

If you get to come visit us in our new home, you will see signs like the one in this photo. The Florida Panther is a protected species and, on this stretch of highway, the speed limit is reduced at night when they are on the prowl. I don’t know anyone who has actually seen one, but I anticipate the opportunity! Alligators aren’t all that visible, either, but I have seen a few of those. I have a photo of one somewhere..... I found the moth - as big as my hand - on our neighbor's front door last week.

Progress on the Home Front

We are IN!

Jesse took off work Thursday and Friday so we got so much more accomplished! The piano made it without a scratch, and yesterday he brought fresh flowers to brighten up the house.

The pets are enjoying the extra space, and Onyx - the old man dog - has suddenly resurrected his curiosity. Every time he goes out, he heads straight for the woods, where I'm sure he would get lost because he can't see or hear very well. And he loves sniffing around the canal, and walks right in. I will have to accompany him every time he goes out. Lenny hid most of the the first day, but has adjusted well. Right now, he's trying to pick a fight with Delilah. He doesn't like going outside much yet, but is curious. Delilah LOVES it here. She spent almost all of Sunday on the lanai. Angel....she loves exploring, but doesn't go far. And she's "in the doghouse" now because she pee'd in the house, although she had been outside almost all day. Not sure what the future holds for her.

Today, I am TRYING to catch up on some school work, as well as all the other things that fell to the wayside while we were getting ready to move. Well, “catch up” is probably too optimistic. I should probably say “not fall farther behind.” It may be impossible to catch up at the moment.

Also, the fun part of moving starts today: choosing some curtains and towels. There are also still pictures on the walls and some miscellaneous items still to bring from the condo. Plan to move some of that today, although I probably won't be able to get all of it.

The major painting is finished. I only have touch-ups where drips and smudges are. After that, we will be painting trim as time allows. That’s OK with me. The motto “inch by inch, anything’s a cinch” is a good one for me, although I’m prone to get caught up in a project and not let it go until it’s completed. When I have a job that I know cannot be finished in one sitting, I’m able to plan regular work sessions until it is finished.

Yesterday, I got to plant a tomato and a basil plant - in containers. I may have to get a tiller when I'm ready to plant an entire garden, because the turf is so thatched here. We also bought a small palm and two orchids. The orchids can be planted outside – a major difference from the way I had to pamper them in Arkansas!

As for schoolwork, I have been mentally writing a paper while I paint. I know what I want to say, it’s simply a matter of expressing it effectively. I had hopes of finishing this fall, and then in the spring, but I may have to stop projecting a date, and just be happy if I manage to finish. I have been having a little trouble prioritizing schoolwork amid all the other things I need to do. It seems that, in order to get one thing finished, I have to neglect an entire list of other things. As I've said before, Stephen Covey would be so disappointed, because I have tried doing the priority list, but everything seems to be high priority!

I'm visiting northwest Arkansas next week, and hope to see everybody then!
OK, time to get "moving!"

Monday, 14 September 2009

House Painting Pictures and Video

The video was taken Labor Day weekend and the still shots were yesterday. We finished painting the living room, master bed and bath, and dining room yesterday! The ceilings are done now, and I hope to go out this afternoon and paint the laundry room. If I get some good photos, I'll post them tomorrow.


Yesterday, for the first time since I moved, I felt like I was driving west, and I WAS! Maybe that's a good indicator that I am not feeling quite as lost as I was ... know where I'm going. It does make a good analogy.

My prior posts titled "Is It Really September?" and "So Much To Do" revealed a lot of my thoughts on this big change in the middle of my life. It wasn't easy to break out of a mold, especially when some people in my life disapproved, and it was extremely difficult putting more than one thousand miles between myself and my daughter, son-in-law, and new granddaughter. But those who know me also know that I rarely do anything without a lot of thought. I recognize how fortunate I have been to have friends and family - including Rachel and Eric - who encouraged me to do what was best for myself.

Another thought regarding my kids: I so loved and enjoyed being their mother! Of course there were some difficulties and issues (we are distinct human beings, after all), but the pleasures of motherhood exponentially outnumbered them. We played GI Joes, Little People, Barbies and Laser Tag together ... fished, rode bikes, cooked, colored, gardened, studied and read books. I have so many pictures of them in face paint because we loved dressing in costume. Still do, as a matter of fact!

But now that they are adults, our relationships have matured to real friendship, and that is a tremendous joy that surprises me! Though I was saddened that they grew up so quickly, our new relationships have more than alleviated the sadness. I believe the reason must be that we have the freedom to talk to one another about anything ... no subject is tabu...even if we disagree. I remember the last time I visited Eric and Amber, she made the observation that, "Your family talks more than any I ever met!" I don't doubt that at all! :) Baby Lela is another catalyst for the evolution in our relationships. As a new mother, Rachel now understands the emotions and thoughts that I experienced. And my son-in-law, Rick, and daughter-in-law, Amber, are two more blessings my kids have brought into my life. I love both of them!

Jesse's family and their friends) have been kind and generous during this transition, and they treat me as a member of the family. His dad has been a wonderful help in getting the house ready to move into.

It's difficult to verbalize how kind, loving and supportive Jesse has been. He's done so much, and been so understanding when I feel homesick or forget something, or get lost for the bazillionth time. He encourages my creative side, even working on some of my projects with me.

But I think the best illustration would be that, every morning as he leaves for work, he looks back and smiles.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Is It Really September?

There are never enough hours in the day, or even days in a year. I expect that when I reach the end of my life, I will say there haven't been enough years.

That's why it's so important for me to live as Myself. It is not the job of another person to tell me what I should do or think. If I agree with you, that's OK, but it's not necessary. We should be able to appreciate one another's differences as well as our similarities.

I once heard someone say (wish I could remember who), "If two people are exactly alike, one of them is unnecessary."

That's a good point to consider, because I spent so much of my life trying to conform to the pattern others had chosen for me. That is not to say that I have eradicated that tendency, but - at last - I can do what I believe is best for myself, whether or not others approve. Sometimes I have to stop myself mid-action or mid-thought, and even verbally remind myself that, as an adult, I can make my own decisions based on who I am and what I need because I know myself better than anyone else knows me. If I am judged and "found wanting," it is that person's problem, because he or she can be judged by the same criteria, and with the same verdict.

Carrying that thought a little further: people who condemn others are generally guilty of the very same "sin," though it may be hidden. It is interesting that they think they can "fix" someone else when they can't control themselves.

Time to close the "forum" for today. I hope to post photos of the house progress soon.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

So Much To Do

Since I moved to Florida, I have been in a metaphorical whirlwind. I've been here almost 8 months, and yet I still sometimes have that Is This A Dream? feeling. I suppose that should be expected when I have essentially turned my world upside-down!

As a person who prefers organization and order, it can be quite disconcerting at times. I can't seem to prioritize and follow through with the things I need to do. Everything seems to be of equal importance, so I try to do too many things at once. That's like grasping for straws in a tornado. Stephen Covey would be so disappointed in me!

Jesse has been particularly supportive in this adjustment period, while adjusting to some life-changes of his own. When I became frustrated because I was constantly getting lost when driving, and couldn't determine the compass points unless it was sunrise or sunset, he gave me his GPS. It has helped, though I still get confused sometimes. When I get discouraged in the job search, he encourages me to view it as an opportunity to do more writing and school work. Recently I've been homesick to see family and friends, so he checked out airfare to Fayetteville. I hope to make the trip once the house purchase is final.

And....we're still waiting on that. We are in the process of buying one of the Fannie Mae foreclosures, and experiencing Your Tax Dollars At Work. We closed on August 31 (the original closing date had been August 19). Tuesday morning arrives and -uh-oh- they had one other paper they wanted a signature on. Jesse went by and signed that, they shipped it out and we thought all we were waiting for was the doorkey.

We're still waiting. The new paper had a different date from the rest of the closing documents, and they couldn't accept that. They now have to review ALL the closing documents, which they had initiated themselves! As of Tuesday evening, the earliest we can expect to close, for the second time, is Friday, September 4. We had hoped to begin painting this week and have the Labor Day weekend to get a lot of things done.

So there you have one of the undoubtedly INNUMERABLE reasons for the decline and fall of the government loan empire.

I'll keep you posted.