Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible,
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
~St. Francis of Assisi

Rise early, work hard, strike oil.

~Jean Paul Getty

Opportunity is missed by most people because

it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
~Thomas Edison

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baby you can drive my car...

When I arrived at the DMV this morning, I already knew it would be the topic for my blog tonight. I imagined it would be something about the DMV having not evolved at all or being dark and dirty inside or about its amazing and long-standing inefficiency.
Gratefully, I am writing from a completely different perspective!
I have had the same driver's license for nearly 10 years. The address on it has been wrong for a long (long!) time, but because I have never had a ticket (nope, never!) they have continued to send me renewal after renewal. Knowing that I am now STAYING in THIS home for a while, and that I needed to change my address at the DMV anyway, I decided it was time for an updated driver's license.
I scheduled a 9 o'clock appointment for this morning and I walked in the place at 8:52 am. I got in the (very short) line marked 'appointments' and was quickly given a number, told to have a seat and to report to the assigned window when called.
I sat down and literally read ONE LINE of my book when my number was called! I reported to Window 21 where 'Phuk' (seriously!) took my paperwork and my check and rapidly gave me a two-line vision test.
Then he asked if my weight had changed. Now here's the deal with that--the day they make me get on a scale at the DMV will be the day I buy a bus pass. No Phuk, (I did not attempt to pronounce his name, though you can IMAGINE how creative I was going to be with my answer to him!) No, Phuk, my weight has not changed. (They DO want your GOAL weight on there, right?)
He quickly gave me a temporary license with my new correct address on it--and wisely did not comment on the weight--and told me to go to line #22. Once at window #22, 'Chris' grabbed my paperwork, snapped my picture and let me know that my new license would arrive in about two weeks.
I walked out the door and looked at my phone: Exactly 9:00! The WHOLE process took less than EIGHT minutes! On top of that the place was clean and bright and every single person was efficient and friendly! Amazing...and not at all what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the DMV has indeed evolved.
I guess even when you're paying $63 for a tank of gas, it is still considered a privilege to be issued a license to drive. And I would have to say, when you actually enjoy your visit to the DMV you have to think that just about anything is possible.
Maybe someday I'll even weigh what the license says I do.

Monday, August 29, 2011

'Surrender isn't always defeat. You may choose to relinquish something
so that your hands and heart can be filled with something new.'

~Brad Johnson

Sunday, August 28, 2011

There's no place like it...

As I prepare myself to go back to work tomorrow (and attempt to locate everything I need to do so!) I must admit, it's been quite the productive week! The kitchen and both bathrooms are totally cleaned and everything for those rooms has been (absolutely perfectly and meticulously) organized and put away. The painter will finish up on Wednesday and Thursday--baseboards will be done at that time too. Carpet for the Master bedroom comes on Friday too!
Then...I'll be able to put almost everything else away too. (Well, I will need to make one big trip to IKEA first!)
The place looks SO great--I totally love it-- and really look forward to continuing to work on it over the next few months.
I've included a few photos of the works in progress today...lest you think we're finished here!
It's been a really fun week! Lots of friends and family came by to see the I had an extra special treat--a surprise visit from Gina, Sunny and Elijah!

Headed to the bath tub with a beer in my hand...
I will be in (my nice, new soft, comfy) bed before the sun goes down.

Progress Report

Success! The kitchen is all set up and organized!
I have DOUBLE the amount of cabinets that I had in my last home!
I will have quite a few empty ones!
I feel MUCH better now! The painter just called to say he's on his way and the baseboard guy is due to show up today too! My new (AMAZING) bed came yesterday too...just waiting on carpet (oh, and paint) in my bedroom...then I'll get that in order too.
This is a very good test of patience for me, having to wait to do all the things I want to do.
I keep saying, "Do what you CAN do, Julie Hibbard!" And I listen.
I did get to end the evening with my cousin Robin and her (former) sister in law, Ev.
We all became single women in the last four or five years.
And each of us had been married at least 23 years.
Only difference is that Robin and Ev each have a nine-year-old child.
And a cat.
I, quite gratefully, have neither.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You move me

Call me crazy, but these little 'number slide' puzzles have always been my favorite game. I remember getting them in goodie bags at a birthday parties when I was little and thoroughly enjoying working diligently on them to get the numbers in the right spots!
I LOVE getting everything in order.

The trick with this game is that, most of the time, you have to be OK with everything being in the wrong place at first. You have to learn to be comfortable with what isn't quite right--initially. You might have to move '6' down over to where the '10' should be so that you can move '5' up and next to '4'....or vice versa!
You have to trust your moves knowing that with good planning--and lots of patience--things are going to line up just right.

It can actually start off looking pretty hopeless--seeming nearly impossible--everything appearing confusing and not being lined up the way it should be (read: the way you want it to be.) You are encouraged (ok, forced) to think several moves ahead--things have to be done with forethought and with a plan. And you HAVE to stay focused on the ultimate goal: getting everything to line up the way you want it to.
Your movements have to be based on the big picture

It can also be quite frustrating. You want it now! Just line up already! Sometimes, you think you just have it--or you have (a big) part of it! But then there's that one piece that is still in the wrong place. You might even think about giving up or throwing the game.
Instead, remember the goal and take a look at it again. Realize that you have to move one piece at a time--maybe even (temporarily) giving up some of the parts you already have in place--to get that last piece to line up.
It's truly a game of logic and timing. Again, you have to have a plan.
And a whole lot of patience.
But for someone like me, the challenge--and the reward!--far outweigh the frustration.
And it's actually unbelievably rewarding to see it come out just the way you want it to.

It's so very much like life, don't you think?
Sometimes you have to intentionally hold off putting things where you want them to be. Keeping the ultimate goal in mind, you have to trust that with a little forethought, a lot of patience and a couple of really smart moves, eventually everything will line up exactly the way it's supposed to.
I'm game.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another productive day...with a very happy ending!

EVERYTHING is moved from the old house to the new now...and ALMOST everything is in the living room, waiting on paint and carpet to be put away. (Those of you who know me well understand that this disorder is very close to TORTURE for me!)
I was thrilled to be able to clean off ONE the paint dried!
(And how 'bout that new fridge?!)
I made one last trip back to the apartment to clean up and say goodbye.
I will miss this patio...and its view.
Came back to the new place to find a Lemonade stand! Since it was 94 degrees, and, well, since I couldn't resist the cute faces...I had to stop and get some! The girls were SO cute...they welcomed me to the neighborhood!And, as the perfect capper to the day...dinner with the DiLallo family!
And a celebration of Leesa's 41st birthday!
...and a little more Sun shine on this warm summer day...Sunny is in town for a few days...
always a treat to see her!
Looking forward to my first night in my new home.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Third times a charm...

My nephews, Logan and Thatcher, helped me UNBELIEVABLY these last two days!
Remind me to never move when it's 97 degrees out.
Oh, yeah, remind me to never move again!
We made a quick stop at TJ Maxx to buy a mirror that I was unable to fit in my car.
Logan and Thatcher both REALLY loved the Halloween decorations there!

Our lucky day! The soon to be opening Chick Filet was giving out free sandwiches in the parking lot! Sure, why not?! (No, I did not partake.)
Found a beautiful bench for my front patio at TJ Maxx too.
It was a bit hard to get in Logan's car...but we made it happen!
So perfect, right?
And the new mirror for the Master Bath...
OK, and for someone who GAVE AWAY most of her belongings...
I certainly still have plenty of stuff!

I will have something to do for many months now...
finding my toothbrush and something to wear to bed will be first on the list.
GREAT lunch time visit from Tony and Sarah and Papa DiLallo!
BIG stuff gets moved tomorrow and then I'll close the door and say goodbye to my beautiful little apartment. I have to admit, I've enjoy every minute here...and have some great memories from the last several months. But it's time to move on.
There will come a time when you think everything is finished.
That will be the beginning.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Productivity Inc.

7:00am Packing up the apartment
9:00am My first helper arrives at the apartment to help take down all
pictures, curtains and remove all nails!
9:30 am Logan and Thatcher start the actual moving process!
(And they did not stop til well after 4pm! Life savers!)
All packed up!
Yep, another trip to Home Depot...and a quick visit with my buddy, Sal!
Back at the NEW place, Joe, the painter, was hard at work!
2:00pm Domino's saves the day!
(Why yes, I do have a LOT of photo albums...)
2:30 Gabriel and Joel arrive with the new appliances!!
How beautiful is that new range? I can practically SMELL something baking!
Gifts of wine from my realtors and flowers from my friend, Sonja...
7:00 pm...Yes, Day two ended a tad earlier than Day one...
I am filthy and exhausted and headed STRAIGHT to the tub.
(Well, maybe one quick trip to TJ Maxx to check out their mirrors...)
A good night's sleep and a GREAT breakfast and I'll be MORE than ready for Day three...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Extreme Makeover--Day One

Started the clean up with a little rodent removal...poor guy probably died in 1995...he was removed in three pieces (along with SIX other rat traps in the attic!) That's Gina's father in law, Al...he also went through every single item on the inspector's report and fixed, took care of and checked off everything for me!
I scrubbed and scoured and bleached the kitchen counters...using a toothbrush on every single inch of the grout. I washed and cleaned out all the cabinets and got a little more than half of them lined with shelf paper.
My friend, Sonja spent HOURS cleaning the guest bathroom, sweeping and washing and making sure that vent got thoroughly dusted and cleaned! We decided to take the mirrors off the walls in both bathrooms--and we took off the glass shower doors too. Why not?!
Those lights are the next thing to go!
When Kelly wasn't busy taking fixtures off the walls, she was working hard in the Master bathroom--I told her to do an EXTRA good job cleaning that giant tub (I can't wait to get in it!)
We took down all the shelving in the extra bedroom and patched up all the holes.
The guy doing the baseboards was there most of the day too! (How great do THOSE look?!) We decided we'd go ahead and throw out that carpet while we were there! (Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE to be productive? Gratefully, all my friends do too!)
Seriously, the baseboards turn me on! What a difference!
Gina joined us after work and instantly started washing windows and light fixtures. She swept and cleaned the outside stairs, scrubbed the laundry room and, more than anything, totally added to the fun. We played 80s music the entire time and definitely MORE than earned our delivered (and OH so delicious!) pizza dinner.

All I can say is, I WISH I had a dime for every time someone said they needed, wanted or could use 'caulk' or 'a screw'...

All the appliances will be delivered in the morning and the painters will be doing the majority of their work tomorrow as well! Hooray! Day Two will begin bright and early for me as I was stoked to find out that Home Depot opens at 6am!! I have a long list of things that need to be purchased to make sure tomorrow is another very productive day!

Interestingly enough, 'caulk' is at the top of my list.