Yard Sales, and Rivers, and Zoos and Sunburns

That’s been pretty much our life the past two weeks ūüôā

Kiddos and I spent a whole day in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. ¬†We have a membership to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and since we’re leaving soon, wanted to use it as much as we can. ¬†Seattle is always a special day for us, as we go to our favorite burger place (Dick’s), our favorite store (Archie McPhee) and explore! ¬†This time I took it a bit further as I knew we may not get to come back before we leave. ¬†First we went to the zoo for a few hours, and then we went to Dick’s Drive Through, and then we went to Archie McPhee because Andrew insisted I buy myself a mask as well.

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Yeah. ¬†A unicorn Mask. ¬†We all have one and we plan to get a silly family photo taken in July sometime with all of us wearing ours. ¬†We have my Unicorn, Andrew’s Horse, and then the kids have a Giraffe, Cardinal, Rat and a Squirrel. ¬†They’re quite amusing actually.

So anyway, kids and I went to Archie McPhee, but THEN…then we went to this wonderful little Gelato place called “The Fainting Goat”. ¬†A gem of a place in Wallingford, and it’s all made with Goat’s milk. ¬†Say What? Yes, Goat’s milk. ¬†It’s amazing. ¬†I had Green Tea, Roasted Almond and Lemon Grisbi (all amazing) and the kids tried various flavors like Pink Grapefruit, Chocolate, Strawberry, lemon meringue, and a couple of others I can’t remember. They have small scoops in small bowls, so you are able to try several flavors out. ¬†I took home a pint for Andrew that is Mango Habanero…WOW! it has a bit of a kick, ¬†but it’s so tasty! ¬†And one for myself that was Blueberry Pomegranate.

After that we headed to the Fremont Troll. ¬†We’ve lived in WA for years, but have never been there, so I figured it was high time we visited the troll under the bridge.

iPhone backupJune2013 949Ok it’s an absolute awful photo…took a pic of the computer screen with my iPhone. ¬†But this is the Fremont Troll. ¬†The kids loved climbing around on it. ¬†We stayed for about 15 minutes and then moved onto Gasworks Park (we were really making the rounds). Gasworks park is pretty amazing, right on the water, lots of hills and kites and people and trails. ¬†Then we went home, tired and exhausted, but filled to the brim with fun.

The last two weekends we have gone to my friend Janelle’s house, and spent hours in the River. ¬†I hope we can go back maybe one more time before the big move. ¬†The kids love to swim there, and it’s hard to tear them away. ¬†It’s hard to tear me away for that matter, as when I am near the water, I feel more at peace than I ever do. ¬†Water is calming to me, relaxing…I just love it. I’ve almost always lived no more than an hour from the coast, so moving to KS will be a huge change being landlocked. ¬†Yesterday we even took one of our dogs, Athena, who is a total water dog and LOVES to go swimming and play fetch in the water. ¬†The current was a bit strong for her at times, so we had a few good laughs watching her paddle in one spot for a few minutes till she finally figured out how to go at an angle. ¬†She’s still exhausted today, as she played in and out of the water yesterday for¬†almost four hours! ¬†She is overly possessive of her tennis balls, so I got some HILARIOUS photos of her barking at us to give them back. ¬†She looks pretty scary here, but she was just barking impatiently for her tennis ball.

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We all got horribly sun burnt, even though we did apply SPF50 sunblock. ¬†My fault, we forgot to reapply after being in and out of the water. My lower shins and calves are angrily red and really sore right now, and the kids got red spots all over. ¬†Let me tell you, the weird burn shapes show how adept they are at applying sunblock ;). After we got back from Janelle’s house, I picked up some pizza at Papa Murphy’s, let the kids eat till they were stuffed, and bribed them to help me set up for our yard sale. ¬†That took another two hours. We moved furniture around, priced items, borrowed a table or two from the neighbors, went through more goodies to sell, and then came the bribe.

I’d post a picture of it, but I’m not too big on posting my kids pics publicly…so you shall have to imagine it. ¬†I had five with me yesterday, including my oldest’s bff, so it was really like having five of my own. ¬†Out we went to McDonalds, barefoot, dirty, sun burnt and half of them in their pajamas, just for an ice cream cone. ¬†Kids are happy with the smallest things, and this pleased them. ¬†They all crashed shortly after.

Today dawned bright and early, and we were outside by 8AM getting our yard sale set up. I sold pretty much everythng we set out, and only took a couple bins full of items, an old vacuum and a couple small toy bins to goodwill afterwards. ¬†I’m happy with that, as I have less clutter in my house, and am $250 richer. Woohoo! That money will be coming to NYC with Andrew and I, and will pay for a nice dinner for us on our honeymoon. ¬†I am pretty stoked ūüôā

The sad part of today was saying goodbye to some of our favorite neighbors, another military family, who moved in three and a half years ago the same time as we did. ¬†They’re moving to Hawaii this week, and we probably won’t ever see each other again, but such is Military life. ¬†We can still keep in touch on Facebook. ¬†It’s hard to leave a life you have built and never expected to leave, but at least the world is smaller now and we can easily keep in touch. ¬†Actually, most of my cul-de-sac is military…there are two retired couples, and five active duty families…four of us active duty families are all in a row, one after the other. ūüôā

This ends June for us…nothing much happening tomorrow. July is our month of big changes…My husband comes home in 6 Days!!!



Kansas Pictures

I just wanted to share some photos I took of this really fascinating, yet eerily creepy home we found on the side of the road on our way to the Oz Museum. ¬†I saw it back in January, but did not have my camera with me, so this time I made sure to take it. ¬†I got some fantastic photos ūüôā

So, I kind of fell in love with this house, and took about 200 photos of it. ¬†Way too many ūüôā I picked out the best ones and figured I’d tell you all what I saw inside.

I wanted to go in the house, but my husband cautioned me not too, as we were concerned the floorboards might give way while I stood there. ¬†I don’t know how this house was even standing anymore, but it was. ¬†As I walked up to the non-existent front door, I took a peek inside, and those are the two pictures you see with the bed to the right, and the empty doorway on the left.

I could almost swear this place was haunted.  Of course it was a somewhat breezy day, but there were some bizarre things happening.  Look at one of the pictures in black and white, do you see the old denim overalls on the right of the door jamb? As I was taking these photos, they kept swaying back and forth, back and forth.  They just hung there by a nail in the wood.

If you look at the photo with the bed, there is a cardboard box on top of it. ¬†While looking through subsequent photos, and clicking very fast, it was apparent that one of the box flaps was also moving up and down rapidly. ¬†The bed skirt also did this. ¬†I am sure it was just the wind, but…I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some other worldly presence, as I didn’t notice any other “fluttering” when I was taking photos, except for the denim overalls.

One other suspicious item I noticed was the fridge. ¬†If you can zoom in on the photo with the old fridge in it, it says “Open if you dare”. ¬†I certainly did NOT dare, though I was very very curious to see what was inside. ¬†I was not able to get to that part of the house though, unfortunately. ¬†I think there must have been an attic or stairs at one point too, because I could see something eluding to that to my left when I stood inside the doorway.

Moving around to my right, and behind the house, I came upon the kitchen window. Through fragments of glass and wispy shreds of old curtains, I saw the kitchen.  You can see that photo in the gallery.  WOW is all I can say about that.  I moved aside the old curtains, and peered inside to see a plethora of old bottles/jugs filled with something brown and long forgotten.  I wish I had grabbed the milk glass vase, but there was no way to reach in through the window and get it off the little table.  Look at the old convection oven on top of the stove too, complete with a cookie sheet!

I kept walking around the house, and came to the actual front of it, which you can see in the photo where the house looks “L” shaped. ¬†I saw a storm cellar and the kids asked if we could go down there to explore. ¬† My husband and I said a resounding “NO”. ¬†If we weren’t sure about the main floor, how safe would the cellar be? I could not get any clear photos inside the cellar, but someone had been doing some canning there ages ago, as I saw some old mason jars filled with what must have been food at one point.

As I was editing these photos last week, I could swear I saw some ghosts in the old screens through the windows.  What do you think happened to this house? I suspect it got hit by a tornado at one point.  Probably squatters too?

All I know is that it had a very “The Hills Have Eyes” vibe about it. ¬†Very unsettling and creepy.

Forcing The Positive

Over the weekend I had a bit of a breakdown over moving to Kansas. ¬†Unfortunately my husband, as hard as he might try to understand, just won’t ever understand how hard it is for me to leave Washington. That in itself made it even worse for me, feeling so alone and just devastated that I was leaving. ¬†I don’t particularly want to get into the reasons as to why I am upset to be leaving, but to summarize it as easily as I can…I put down roots, and never expected to move out of this house after my first husband passed away. Change is extremely hard for me right now.

Ok, that being said, I have to make myself be happy about it.  I AM excited to move to a new place, as hard and as daunting as it may be.  I have to force myself to think positively, otherwise I will just be miserable the whole damn time.  I decided to make a list of things I am looking forward to with our move to Kansas:

  • Beautiful, gorgeous sunsets that we can see for miles
  • Four seasons!!
  • Having my husband home every night for dinner (unless he’s deployed or working, but home about 99 % of the time)
  • Sleeping in the same bed as my husband
  • No utilities!!! (yes, we have no utilities living on post unless our electric bill goes above the average. ¬†This will actually save us $3-400/month!)
  • Being close to the grocery store/commissary/exchange so that we can walk and get things if we need
  • Having a free pool/fitness/community center right down the road. No more gym fees!
  • Possibly having a white Christmas
  • Kansas…it’s the Wizard of Oz. ‘Nuff said.
  • Having our family together after 9 months of marriage
  • Making new friends!!!
  • Being able to take pictures like this: