Thursday, May 30, 2019


I've been accused of not knowing how to relax. Give me a day off and I'm pretty good at filling it up with cleaning, gardening, errands, and other things that are the opposite of relaxing. The only thing that has a proven success rate in getting me to sit still for hours is putting a book in my hands.

I've upped my reading game substantially in recent years, averaging 62 books read a year. I usually set my annual Goodreads goal for 52 books and will likely surpass that goal as I've already read 32 books before June 1st. 

Mysteries are still my favorite genre and I especially delight in series. If I find a series I like, I will page through as fast as the books become available through our library system. The two series that I discovered this year are the historic fiction Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear and the cozy Booktown mysteries by Lorna Barrett. I'm also eagerly anticipating two books from series I've previously devoured coming out later this year: A Better Man by Louise Penny and A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

It's been almost 18 years...

I forget I have a blog until I mention that I used to post alllllllllllllll(breathes)lllll the time. Shut-up, Grammarly, I know that last sentence has an "incorrect" word.

So I've been blogging for nearly 18 years....

On the last episode of "In Java, Literally..," Julia was having a meltdown because of our house situation and Matt's medical situation. A good chunk of last year is hazy to me because I shut-down due to stress. It was a surreal state of being present in order for all the things to get down but also needing to be detached so that I could continue to function. That said...

We finally sold our house. Matt's surgery 3 weeks before our move went fabulously. We moved into our new house three days before Christmas. Everything is fairly grand other than some unknowns in the job department for Matt. There always has to be something, right?

Our new house has an interesting chameleon-like ability to feel like where we're in the forest and in England and in the city and just about anywhere other than "here." I feel like you have to be there to understand. Either way, I'm in love with the place even though we still have so much work to do from painting the interior, getting the yard further squared away, and other stuff. I'm proud of the fact that we're nearly 100% unpacked after 5 months which, when compared to when we lived in our old house, is a near miracle.

Another cool thing about our house is that we're friends with the people who owned it two owners ago. They've shared with us all kinds of photos they took while living there, so it's a little surreal to see how they used various spaces, especially since I'll recognize a piece of furniture and think, "Oh, they have that in ___ room at their current house now." Also, we have various acquaintances who remember the family who lived there for several decades before our friends bought it so I've already been regaled with stories of good times and parties. You couldn't hope for more! Oh, and yes, the house is haunted but we haven't been bothered too much. That's what happens when you buy a 1910 house.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Stress Overload in Buying and Selling

In the almost 2 years since I last posted, a lot has changed. Some has not.

The big change is that we're selling our house. We're also buying a new home. We even have a buyer for our house. It's never simple though.

In order for us to buy our new home, our contract has a contingency that we must sell our house. That contract ends November 1st.

When we accepted our buyer's offer on our house, she didn't know until a full month later that she had to sell her house in order to buy our house. Her retirement community house has been on the market now since August.

Our mortgage commitment expired on Friday. Our interest rate lock expires today. The other deadline is looming. We will need multiple extensions at this point. Financially, we're not in a place where we can make the down payment out of savings, pay for movers because we can't physically do that job ourselves anymore, and still pay for the mortgage and utilities on our current house.

Being in limbo like this sucks. We're still showing our house given that our realtor is hoping we get a better offer since we had no contingency clause with our current buyer. He also doesn't know when she'll be able to sell her place.

Until we got the news about her situation, we had been diligently paring down furniture and stuff. We have quite a few packed boxes lining the walls. I had packed away my winter clothes thinking we wouldn't need them for at least a month or two because we were supposed to be in our new house by early September.

But here we are.

Because we can't do anything by halves, we also threw in Matt getting major surgery at the beginning of December. That can be moved, but only by a few weeks to a month. It's much-needed surgery but it also comes with being down for 6-weeks.

It has been increasingly hard to stay positive and to not let the stress wear me down. It's a major fight to stay on task at home and work. I've always worked hard to make sure I didn't let my personal life affect work life, but the stress has bled over to there. I did get away last week for a couple days for an on-the-road Rolling Hills Radio but even that, as fun as it was, wasn't really relaxing. I'm sure my friends and family are super sick of hearing me complain about the situation. It's also frustrating to have people ask how the new house is and have to update them, because we actually did sell our house less than 3 days after listing it but that buyer walked on us 2 weeks later.

I really need good news soon because this is paralyzing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Away, Away

We're on a mini-vaca in an area where they're experiencing forest fires (thanks asshole arsonist). It's an area that makes Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario look rinky dinky. Holy cow. Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg is no joke. Tomorrow we try to escape it and find some peace and nature in the (literally) Smoky Mountains.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Where A News Junkie Goes During Social Media Blackout

I'm a fan of sites that automatically refresh. It means I don't have to worry I missed something because I hadn't refreshed in the last 5 seconds.

This social media break is going to kill me. Well, it was until I got to today: Monday. Today is the day I get my first Skimm since Friday. 

I signed up for the free service earlier this year and have found it's an easy way to keep up with non-local news. Granted, I only receive one email a day but it's enough since it preps me for what to expect after I finish consuming it along with my first cuppa caffeine.

If you want to check it out for yourself, use this link as they've teamed up with FEED who will donate a meal to a child for every click through.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

When You Love Pumpkin Flavored Everything

Some years ago, my friend Jane created a group on Facebook called "Everything Pumpkin Flavored" in honor of all those wonderful pumpkin spiced items that come out in the Fall. The group has garnered several hundred members over the years, posting recipes, beers, food, and weird things like pumpkin-spice dog treats.

As one of the admins of the group, I had the horrifying realization that I deactivated my Facebook account at the HEIGHT of everything-pumpkin-flavored season. MY GOD! Thankfully, I can still blog so I will share with you two links that I also sent to my friend/EPV admin, Ali, for her to post in my absence:

Get Your Pumpkin Fix With This Pie In A Mug

Make Better Pumpkin Pie With Twice Pureed Canned Pumpkin

On Tuesday, I'll be baking my pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. I'm going to try baking both pies at once per instructions given to me by my co-worker, Leigh Anne. This will be life-changing if it works out as it usually takes me all day to bake the 4-5 pies that I bring for Thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Elections REALLY Got You Down?

If you find you're having difficulty coping with things lately, here's an article that might help:

Top 10 free and affordable mental health and counseling options.

Autumn Break

I'm on day 2 of no Facebook and Twitter. I will admit I'm feeling a little twitchy. I figured at least I could blog given how many times I've picked up my cell and stared at it in frustration.

Why am I off social media? I needed a break from the endless negativity that ratcheted up after the elections. I also needed a break from news in general. Aside from social media being a time suck, I also found it affecting my mood and productivity.

I figured a two and a half week break would be a good timeframe since I'm also on vacation from work. I'm still looking at Instagram and have the ability to tweet my blog posts on Twitter courtesy of a Chrome app that allows me to tweet from the address line. Gone, but not for good!


I've been accused of not knowing how to relax. Give me a day off and I'm pretty good at filling it up with cleaning, gardening, erra...