Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real (Vol. 1)

I read Like Mother, Like Daughter on a regular basis...I love the practical advice and the beauty of the pictures, etc. that are posted on their blog.  Since I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging and I love their blog, I'm going to try to join their weekly Thursday feature, Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real for a while.  Go check them out and see for yourself! Besides, it will get me into the habit of taking pictures on a regular basis again, since I tend to forget that there is even a camera feature on my phone most of the time!


Flowers from around campus
One thing that I'm really in awe about here in the eastern part of TX is the amount of flowers that are around.  It isn't that there weren't pretty flowers back in El Paso, but the colors tended to be less vibrant unless there had been a lot of rain.  Here, we have LOTS of rain, dew, and precipitation in general, so the greens are greener and the colors are deeper.  It has been a feast to the eyes for me, but also is making for a lot of allergy issues.  If I forget to take my allergy medicine, I usually end up with a killer sinus headache by the end of the day.

My parish from the choir loft around sunset
 One thing that I've begun doing is to sing with one of my parish's many choirs.  We meet in the choir loft, and the parish has an East-West orientation.  Once the time changed, it made for this particular photo opportunity. I'm a little sad that we only have 2 weeks until we break for summer.  Since about 75% of the choir are college students (and our choir director is one of the music faculty at A &M), we wouldn't have enough to sing in the summer if we wanted to. Still, I'm going to miss it.


So, as promised, here are some pictures of the house I'm buying.  It is a cute little house built in 1940, and is 2 bedrooms/one bath (~950 sq. ft).

I really don't like the vinyl tiles that they put on the bottom half of the wall here. 
 This will be my first project, removing the vinyl tiles and replacing them with something else.  I'd just remove and paint the whole wall, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to remove the moulding that cuts the wall in half. Part of me likes the idea of putting tile there, although paint might be quicker.  I've also been toying with the idea of painting the bottom half of the wall a different color than the top half. The problem is that, when I peeked underneath the tiles, it looks like there was once wallpaper there, and I'm not sure how easy it is to paint after removing wallpaper.

The bathroom from in front of the tub.

The living room with the original hardwood floors. I need to find someone to make some more shelves for the built in bookcase.
Another view of the Living room.
I love these hardwood floors!

The kitchen. The door here goes to the backyard. I plan to paint in here before moving in as well. I plan to put a table where the refrigerator is currently.  

So, I measured the area, and I will just barely have room to place the fridge beside the stove on this side of the kitchen.  It means that there will only be about 1.5 feet between the stove and the counter, but it is the only way I will have enough space for a table and chairs.  The 2 bottom corner cabinets will not be as accessible as I'd like, but that is worth it if I can have a table again.  That corner will be used for small appliances, so I won't really be losing out on counter space.

The front bedroom. It gets all the sunshine in the afternoon.

The back bedroom. I'm hoping that it gets sunlight in the morning...I don't know because I've never been there before noon.

View from my  (the back) bedroom toward the living room. There really isn't any wasted space in here! 


My niece has to work sometimes on the weekends, and I'm in the house with both her and my animals.  So, I will sometimes send her pictures of her dog to cheer her up...These are my most recent attempts, in which the first catches us a bit off-guard.
Taking selfies with dogs is HARD, and I hate being licked!

And when you get the dog to sit still long enough, they are often a bit annoyed with the whole process!

I've been working on this quilt for my niece for a very, very long time (I think "working" is probably much too strong a word--I have had the project in my closet, accusing me of slacking, is more accurate).  So, I promised my niece to have it done for her birthday this year, with the full intention of using Spring Break to marathon quilt and git 'er done.  That didn't happen, so the quilt is still not finished, although I'm a little bit closer than I was at the beginning of March.  At this point, the goal is to have it completely done by Christmas.  As long as I can keep the momentum going, that is actually doable.  I've had to take a bit of a break to get caught up on grading, but this weekend will see me working on it further.  I will post more pics as I continue to work on it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

And so it begins...

Life has gotten in the way of posting very much here, but I've been wanting to pick up blogging again.  Since I've actually begun planning my next Camino, it seemed like a good time to re-start writing.

At this point, the plan is that I will be back on the Camino in July/August of 2016--at a little over a year until I go, it seemed appropriate to start the planning.  In some ways, I feel like the planning will go a little bit easier, since I have a really good idea of what I should and should not bring.  In some ways, I feel like the planning will actually be harder, since I need to keep my feet into account.  They are still bothering me, which means that it might take me longer to get to Santiago, that I might have to send my backpack forward, that I may have to take more rest days along the way, or some combination of the above.  It might also mean that I will need to bring KT tape with me for my feet.  The extra weight of having to do that is not something I relish, but if I'm sending my pack on each day, it won't be all that terrible.

I actually knew that it was about time to begin planning for my next Camino when I started thinking about being on the trail every time I passed this old gas station here in town....It has some spray-painted yellow arrows on the pumps, and it reminds me of the trail markers that are ubiquitous on the Camino.

Of course, that isn't the only new adventures that I'm in the process of.  I've made an offer on a house, and, assuming everything goes well, I will be closing on June 2.  I'm not looking forward to moving, but I am looking forward to having my own space and to be able to decorate any way I want to without worrying I'll lose my deposit over it!  We are doing the inspections today, and I will take pictures while I'm there.  I'm hoping to make it my Refuge, and already have a few things I want to do to make it better.  It will be a long process, though, so I'm not planning to do everything all at once.  It has to pass the inspections and the appraisal first, though!

With a June 2 closing date, it also means that we will have about 2 months to move and get the apartment cleaned/fixed up.  Because of our critters, we will need to replace some of the blinds and pick up the dog doo, not to mention clean deeply and maybe put down new contact paper in the cabinets.  I'm really starting to get excited, and it is fun to plan/get ready for the next step!