A New Start...

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Hello, finally!  I can't believe my last post was on August 16.  I'm sorry for the long lapse, I thought I would find time to write much sooner!  I don't have a recipe for today, but I thought I would still pop in and tell you what's been going on.  Actually I had a recipe but it is for vanilla poached pears I made this week, and realized I have already posted that one! :(  The days are filled to the brim and just fly by.  Things are finally settled and I can start getting into a routine. Since mid-August, I closed on my house, had the house painted (took 10 days!), the floors refinished (another week),  had all my belongings moved from storage at my mom's to my new-old house in Winston-Salem and moved my cats and me to the new home.  In the midst of it all, my car got hit-and-run by a giant transport truck.  Fortunately I was close to home and not hurt, but it added a layer of complexity to life as I managed claims, a rental car, and repairs.  Besides moving, I registered my car (wow, property tax!), got a drivers license, a library card, and finalized my NC nursing license.  I think I am officially a NC resident!  So here are some other random goings on….

My house has hardwoods everywhere but the bathrooms.  The kitchen, office and two bedrooms upstairs are heart pine, and the rest are white oak.  I had them all completely stripped and sanded and finished with Magic Oil in medium brown.  You can read about Magic Oil here.  I don't like polyurethane which is like sealing your wood in plastic so I chose this hybrid oil product that is low VOC, protects the wood, and the upkeep is so easy.  They turned out beautiful!  I am so happy with them.  You can see the process above and one photo as I moved in below. 

I plan to do some before and after posts of the house once I get all my artwork and mirrors hung.   My paint colors all turned out beautiful.  It is amazing the difference the change in paint and revamped floors has made in the house.  Despite losing about 600 square feet in the move from my last house,  I love the space and have made most of my things fit perfectly.  I left a few things at Mom's to sell in some future garage sale but what I have makes me so happy. I like living in the smaller space.  This house is well planned to use every square inch of space and I love how organized it all feels.  Pictures will come! 

Tom and Beau came for a quick visit.  The floors had just been refinished the day before and I didn't want Beau in the house yet.  Tom went in to look around and this is how Beau stayed the whole time!  Waiting on Tom….Hasn't he grown into such a big, handsome dog?  He is almost 2 years old,  69 pounds and is the sweetest, best tempered dog. He made his first road trip with Tom from Houston to Winston-Salem, then to Ft Knox, Kentucky, then to Baltimore, then back to Winston-Salem and finally home.  He did great in the truck and behaves in hotels.  I sure miss him…and Tom of course.  

Tom is coming back this week sans his travel companion, to celebrate my birthday and help me around the house.  Since my house was built in 1927 the walls are plaster and you can't just hammer in a nail to hang things up.  

Have you tried these Command strips?  It is sort of like velcro with sticky stuff on the outsides.  You stick half to your picture and half to the wall and then they velcro together to hang your piece.  They peel off the wall later so no holes or damage. Kind of magic.  I am using them for all the small things I am hanging.  Tom will hang the heavy stuff but these work great for light things.  

Elizabeth Berg

Elizabeth Berg

I went to a book festival last weekend.  I love how much there is to do in Winston-Salem!  My favorite author ever is Elizabeth Berg and she was here!  If you have not read her books I highly recommend them.  She is an excellent writer.  Her new book is historical fiction which is not my favorite genre but I am going to start it now that the boxes are all unpacked! 

This goes in the when life gives you lemons, make lemonade category!  I have a big backyard and the prior owners left a long hose that goes from the back of the house all the way to the little raised bed at the far end of the yard.  It has a huge hole in it and water sprays out like a fountain everytime I water the vegetables I planted.  I decided it is like a built in sprinker….it really does a great job watering my grass.  I sprawled out on my favorite wooden bench and watched it water.  So nice since I haven't unpacked a sprinkler yet!

I planted some seeds in the raised bed to see if I can grow vegetables.  So far my kale is doing great, the beets and broccoli okay and chard is a fail.  Hopefully I'll actually get something to eat out of it! I've never planted from seed before so this is all new to me. 

Today I went to the Texas Pete Hot Sauce festival.  Texas Pete is actually made here in Winston.  Who knew?  (We are also home to Krispy Kreme….)  The festival was in the Arts Distric downtown in a several street area blocked to traffic.  It was mostly food booths and some bands. Some stores and art galleries were open but I only went in the Mast General Store.  If you haven't been the Mast, you have to go if you are ever near one.  So many good things.  All kinds of outdoor clothes and gear, every kind of old penny candy, toys and puzzles, kitchen stuff, really good clothes and scarves.  Quite the assortment and so fun to browse through. I had some really good cauliflower with red curry, and fried catfish with sweet potato and regular fries.  I left most of the regular fries but ate every bite of everything else.  So delicious! 

I've met a few of the neighbors, all are super nice.  it is the kind of neighborhood where everyone sits on their porch, kids play in the street and there are lots of runners and walkers.  (The houses are amazing - I'll post some photos later this week.) My boys love looking out the storm doors which I have on the side and front doors.  They have met one kitty who comes to visit.  Forunately no howling like we had with Smoke! 

Isn't this water pretty?  Yesterday I went to a few estate sales (I found nothing!) but one was about 30 miles away on a lake.  It was beautiful!  

So that is probably enough randomness.  I will start posting again regularly and include some recipes.  I am still looking for work.  I am in touch with Novant still and feel good about a position with them in cancer administration.  I should hear something more this week.  Fingers crossed. In the meantime, I have been hired for a very part time, intermittent gig teaching Kaplan review classes for the nursing board exam.  I will teach a few clases a year and hope to get started with the training soon.  I think it will be fun, and something I can do for a long time to come, no matter what other work I do.  I also applied for a hospice nurse position that is a long shot but you just never know!  I am also ready to file my paperwork with the county and the state for a personal chef/health coach business.  I am not sure how it will all work out, but feel certain it will be as it is supposed. to. So thanks for reading!  See you again soon!