Out Of The Blender

I’m feeling as though I’ve been slung out of the blender and landing into what I call pressure free days. The last week without hubby was a stressful week. A week of getting things lined out, I’ll spare the details of my daily chores. But each day seemed to fall into place and all the things I wanted to accomplish were scratched off the list.

Saturday dawned and I woke with extraordinary excitement. I was going to see my hubby, and I couldn’t wait. My suitcase was packed, the house was all in order and I felt on top of the world knowing everything was in place. It was time for me to finally go home. We consider home to be where we are as we’ve bounced around so much. As long as we’re together, that’s all that matters.

The cab driver rang the door bell on the early side and since I was all set, we hit the road for the airport.

As we pulled out I had that sweet calm feeling knowing I was ready for my trip out west. When I arrived to the “little airport”, very little airport, there were a few snags in my outbound plans. The weather (in Philly, my only stop along the way) threw a wrench in my take off and it looked as though I may not make it to my destination that evening. My heart dropped but I decided I would fly into Philly anyway as I would be able to catch an early flight out the next morning.

Luckily the plane lifted 45 min later rather than the expected 2 hour delay. Saying goodbye to the beautiful rolling hills and autumn.

There were 7 passengers on the plane (I counted) including the stewardess. I had the whole backseat (5 seats as there was one right smack dab in the middle where the isle meets up to it) all to myself.

I even got to prop my feet up.

My reading material for the flight

If you have not read this book, it would be a good one for everyone. I think it should be a requirement that everyone at least read it once.

A couple quotes I liked

Modern day philosopher – Linus (alias Charles M Shulz) “Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears that we never use!”

As someone has said – “People don’t fail because they intend to fail. They fail because they fail to do what they intend to do.”

There are a few things that I want to do and I have put them off by using excuses like “I’m too old to do that” or “I don’t know if I can do that” and so forth and so on go the excuses and I just end up not doing what I would like to try.

I’m making a list of things I would like to do. I don’t want to overwhelm myself at first but I would like to start doing some of the things I want to do and stop waiting. As he states in the book. You may get to a point where the thing on your list is just not for you and if you discover it’s not for you…then by all means scratch it off and you’ll never have to look back and say I wish I would have…I could go on and on about this book but I for one am thankful it was on our bookshelf.

My little hop into Philly came so fast, either that or my book was that good that I completely lost track of time.

I quickly gathered my belongings and set off for the proper shuttle to get me to the right terminal. The bus was efficient and I was able to hoof it to the appropriate gate where all the other passengers were already on the plane and lucky me they waited for me to get there.

I secured my window seat and settled in with my reading material, ipod, Sudoku puzzles and was ready for my one last flight to take me all the way from Philly to the west coast of California.

It was a comfortable trip as no one was in the seat next to me and I was able to use that seat for all my stuff.

And as the flight came into the city lights of California my heart began to race and at that moment I said to myself “I’m not in the country anymore”.

Hubby was there right on time waiting for me and all was right with the world.

Sunday was one of those days that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Had no clue what time it really was and had to constantly remind myself that I was in California! Hubby took me for a nice Sunday drive and I left my camera in my purse. All I wanted to do was take in the beauty without snapping pictures. I’m totally in LOVE here!

We met up with a friend last evening here at this restaurant.

And enjoyed the tiki island feel.

Can I say ABUNDANT sunny skies, beautiful palm trees, and amazing weather in the low 70’s in the middle of the day. I understand the temperature averages in the 70’s “year round”. All of a sudden I feel I’m in the land of milk and honey.

When hubby and I were in the beginning stages of building our new home, I told him that I didn’t think he would ever be able to drag me away from our house once we got in. Funny thing is that God had something else for us just two months after moving into our home.

I feel blessed that His plans outweigh my plans. I’m a firm believer that He knows us better than we know ourselves and I’m thankful that He meets our needs and gives us more than we could ever ask or dream. Let it be Lord, let it be.

Stay-cation Blessings

As we round the bend of our little stay I’m filled with emotion, to the point I can’t keep it all in. As hubby held me tight this morning, tears pooled as I could no longer hold it in. When he asked what was wrong, I assured him that all was well and explained that it was sweet emotion.

The day started with the prettiest little setting here at our house.

A partial view of what we tasted as we woke – love it that we have this view without even getting out of bed.

The beauty surrounding us is indescribable. Even my hubby (who does not appreciate the cold weather) admitted how pretty it was. But he also states that “it’s a sign that it’s time to go”.

The street in front of our home

Secretly I had the wish of seeing one last snowfall before we moved away. Perhaps it’s the sentimental side of me, I really don’t know. But that dream came true yesterday as it snowed all day and into the night. But the greatest blessing came this morning as it stuck through the night.

I’m still in awe that it came right smack dab in the middle of our autumn blessings. I feel double blessed.

My mission was to enjoy the moment and take in as much as possible.

Our neighbors front yard

A tree in our side yard

Hubby’s car was picked up and his little car is already on the road for California.

Can’t get enough of my guy

Loved the pose they struck as they finished up.

Hubby’s final day of work was yesterday and he had to take a break from his “Stay-cation” work here at home to go in and return his work related items. It was a good day and he’s grateful for the last 10 years with the company.

We celebrated last night at the Japanese restaurant

Later in the evening hubby pulled out this sack

Earlier in the day he stopped by the candy store and picked up my favorite fudge ever.

Peanut butter chocolate swirl

I’m so grateful for my husband and the blessings that surround us. I’m thankful for the beautiful snow that I so wished to see once again. My cup is full and I feel ready to embark on our next great adventure.

May the blessings that surround you bring joy your way.

Our Stay-cation Winding Down

Taken from the end of our driveway

The last two days feel more like “work-cation” than anything else. Scrambling would be more like it. Scrambling to get the house just so and running last minute errands to ensure a smooth take off. I’ll spare you and me the details but all in all we’re right on schedule.

The trees are still alive with color

From the balcony yesterday afternoon

From the balcony at 6:30 this evening. Love the dark stormy clouds rolling in.

Now hubby and I have plans to sit a spell, relax and catch up on some of our recorded shows that we haven’t gotten to yet. I look forward to an evening with our feet propped up but first I’m going to put a pot of coffee on. It just sounds good on this cool stormy night.

May your autumn days be beautiful and your autumn nights be restful.

A First Impression and A Question

Showing your house is a lot like finding your right mate. If they like the first impression they may ask to see you. If they like what’s on the inside they may want to keep you. This little ditty popped into my head today while cooking for my darlin’ and I couldn’t wait to write it down.

I’ve been looking at a lot of MLS listings and by now I’ve compiled a stash of do’s and dont’s when it comes to giving first and lasting impressions. Now that we are going to be listing our home, I’m trying to put these things to use.

A few things I’ve learned

  • Do not expect the Realtor to get the best pictures. You know your home better than any one else. Learn the right time of day to get the best shots.
  • Do take hundreds of pictures. I’m up to almost 300 pictures on the outside alone. I’ll be out again tomorrow by 10:00 if it’s not raining.
  • Do not forget that timing is everything. I want an autumn shot and don’t have a lot of time remaining so take pictures daily.
  • Do take pictures from many different angles to locate the right spot
  • Do not underestimate yourself just because you’re not a professional.
  • Do pay close attention to everything by adjusting things for a photo

Below is a picture in the running as of today. There are many things I like about this. Before I go on about this pic, let’s get nit-picky.

This picture (below) is okay but not the one. It’s a bit drab even though the sun is shining. The problem is this. It’s the late afternoon sun which does not provide the right spark for this angle. The trees up front are just there not offering much. If you look up to the one I like, the trees make a canopy providing a nice frame for the home.

Cars in the drive hit a nerve when looking at MLS listings. And all the branches don’t do anything for me either. Notice the mailboxes out front. If possible, try to give a better view, it may be your only shot at getting the right buyer to see your home.

Cars are moved and we’ve moved past the branches and mailboxes. This shot was taken late afternoon. The sun is setting a little lower on the west side of the house supplying just the right punch.

Back to the front of the home. We’re getting closer to perfection. This was taken around 9:30 this morning, good morning sunshine! I wanted to get out first thing to show her with a smile. She’s beginning to shine but the sun still has about an hour to go for the effect I’m aiming for.

So around 10:30 this is what happened – Same as the first photo, just didn’t want to make you scroll up. Again, notice the frame the branches make for the house. Had I not taken hundreds of pictures I wouldn’t have caught this small detail.

And then by 11:00 we have yet another look.

I still like the one taken at 10:30, it looks warm and cozy and the one taken at 11:00 looks crisp and cold. Which one do you prefer and how would you describe them?

I took the rear shot at 5 this evening, it proved to be the best lighting for this angle.

I’m hoping for more sunshine tomorrow morning as I would love to snap a hundred more shots in hopes to make contact with the right first impression.

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Stay-cation Day 2

We had a nice relaxing morning. We lounged around, visited with each other, I had a wonderful long visit with my mom via southern bell and pretty much didn’t exert ourselves too much.

The afternoon came and we both kicked it in drive. We cleaned our cars together, worked in the garage, went shopping and made a nice dent on the to-do list.

My autumn stay-cation wouldn’t be complete without a couple pictures taken from around the house.

The pretty gold leaves mesh well with our beautiful blue afternoon sky

Pretty autumn flowers brought over by our neighbor

A pot of bean soup is delightful on a crisp autumn day.

It’s nice spending the last few days here together. We’re able to mix work and play seamlessly and I feel so blessed that we have each other to share these precious moments.

Stay-cation Day 1

It all started for me at 7:30 when I could not go back to sleep. I thought how nice it would be to just lay there a while but I couldn’t take the excitement a moment longer. That’s when I hopped out of bed. As soon as hubby heard me rustling he said with a chuckle in his voice “just where do you think you’re going”. That’s all it took for me to snuggle in and the next thing I knew I was waking totally rested at 9:30. That was a great way to start the day.

Around 11:30 hubby and I left to meet some guys from his group for lunch. I was disappointed that I didn’t get my camera out earlier but at least I got a pic of the guys paying for lunch.

It was such a joy for me to get to know the group and even better that one of the guys will be joining us in California! “Q” that’s what we call him, he’s the guy on the right and he’s been working with hubby since we arrived in NY. Hubby is delighted that he gets to have this bright young man working with the team out there.

After lunch we stopped by one of our favorite stores “Lowe’s” to pick up an item.

However this little nativity stopped me right in my tracks. If we were going to be here for Christmas, I think I would have considered picking it up. I love the colors and it looks like pottery and well, I love it and it moved me…

Back home we had a little visit with our realtor who stopped by. We had a great meeting and we should be listing the house soon!

The view out back taken from inside around 4:00 this afternoon

And a view to the side. We had ambitious plans to chop down all the little saplings so that we can see the water on that side. But that’s a job we’re letting the new homeowners tend to.

Started the coffee pot at 5 pm to enjoy sipping through the beautiful evening hours.

We have big plans for a nice restful evening here in our home. And I’m totally loving the idea that I’m calling this last week our autumn vacation. It’s too beautiful to think of it any other way.

An Autumn Vacation

I’m calling this last week our beautiful autumn vacation in our new home. It truly is a splendid thing. Hubby is taking vacation time and we are enjoying our last days in this pretty setting.

Taken from the balcony ~ Love sitting in my lawn chair sipping my morning cup of coffee on the balcony. It’s calming to watch the little ducks swim and listen for that next fish to flop and spy the deer and chipmunks at play or watch my neighbor’s fish.

Looking through the reds and golds in the front yard

Hubby and I had some errands this week and thought I’d take some pics along the way.

Some trees are just starting to turn color

While others are bursting with beautiful reds and gold’s

I was pretty excited to score this hand made glass ring for $5.99 at a cute little shop along the way.

A barn scene

And a beautiful building on a street corner

I tend to think we’re having the best stay cay ever. Autumn brings such beautiful changing color, it’s a season of change and seems fitting that this is our time for change too.

I have never been to California as I don’t count my layovers in LA an actual trip there. I’ve never seen the lay of the land, haven’t a clue of what to expect. Sure hubby tries to describe it but it’s truly hard to fathom unless you’ve experienced it. But the one thing I do know is this…Hubby declares I’m going to be in love and that’s all I need to know. He knows me well and he is so anxious to get me there and introduce me to the place for the first time. Excitement wells each passing day but for now, I’m on my pretend vacation enjoying my last few days here in the beautiful northern country.