As I type I am writing from the back deck of our new home. Last week marked 11 years that I have been writing this blog. 11 damn years! In that time the following has happened in my life:
- My only child graduated from high school and college and moved into his own apartment
- We have taken 5 cruises – 2 in Europe, one in Egypt, and 2 in the Caribbean. And one of those was my first EVER solo vacation
- I became a travel agent – mainly to get a kickback on my own travel, but if you need help planning YOUR vacations, hit me up!
- John got his doctorate
- I had my left knee replaced
- I lost a parent
- I lost 40 lbs
- I joined a cookbook club and made new friends
- We downsized to a smaller home
- And so much more
I have been absent for some time, and I apologize, but I am here now.
I haven’t had the mental bandwidth to write anything except thank you notes. I’d sit in front of my laptop and just stare at the blinking cursor feeling overwhelmed and like no one wanted to hear anything I had to say.
Not our first rodeo or our first old home
Last April, we put our suburban home on the market and moved into a vintage 1939 Tudor style home in downtown Las Vegas. We’ve been remodeling the home and LIVING in it at the same time. You can go to my Instagram and scroll through to see some of the pics. It’s been a massive undertaking, one that we frankly were unprepared for. You see, when we put our home on the market, we didn’t realize the state of the housing market. We had no clue that we’d sell the house in less than 24 hours. We had hoped we’d live in the “old” house for at least a couple of months while renovating our “new” digs. Instead, we ended up living in a construction zone for the better part of a year while we waited on every damn thing to arrive. Cabinets took 16 weeks instead of the originally planned 8 weeks. It was a 6 week wait just to get on the calendar for the folks to come and recreate a stairwell that was not built to code. You get the idea.
Everything Old is NEW again
This is not our first old home. In Sumter, South Carolina, our home dated to the 1800’s, so we knew there would be challenges. We were wholly unprepared for all of the major things the home inspector missed (rotted floorboards, leaking hot water heater, cracked and damaged plumbing, and so on). Because we want to maintain as much of the original home as possible, in the kitchen I kept the original footprint with the lovely windows. Everything else was updated. The claustrophobic drop ceiling was raised and the kitchen was gutted from floor to ceiling and to the wall studs.
The kitchen was the lynch pin on which all other projects revolved. Nothing could be completed until the kitchen was done because everything that belonged in the kitchen was being stored in every other room of the house. The originally anticipated completion date was 1 November 2021. It was finally completed in January 2022.
I knew a new home would be stressful…but seriously?
We moved 13 times in 21 years with the Air Force. Change is always stressful. With all the military moves in my rear view, you’d think I’d have the stress of moving on lock. I learned that is NOT the case. The movers showed up more than 4 hours late. All they had to do was load and unload the truck. I had already packed everything. By the time they unloaded, it was after 1:00 am. That should have been my first clue that all was NOT going to go as planned.
This past year was the first time in our married life that we didn’t eat T-giving dinner in our home. It was bizarre to say the least, but thanks to wonderful new friends we had places to go, and people to be with who made us feel welcome. Not cooking was a serious blow to my already crumbling mental state. I had to shake my expectations of what a holiday could be and embrace something new. It was worth it!
Now that the kitchen is done, I am sure some of you are waiting on the restart of the live online cooking classes. While I am prepped and raring to go, Sister Nancy got herself a new job and she is in training right now, so we will resume once she knows what her schedule is going to be. Take note – since this was a way to teach Nancy how to cook long distance, it may not be on a weekend like before, but of course you will be able to go to YouTube and watch it there after the fact.
We have one room left to repair, but we hosted a “thank you party” for everyone who welcomed us to our new ‘hood, helped us move, or helped us complete projects. It was a smaller, more intimate get-together than we usually host, but after 2 years of not socializing in groups, and still figuring out where things fit in this space, we knew that “going big” was NOT the way to go this time. We were very excited to open our doors to guests for the first time and host our first party. And I do hope a good time was had by all who were able to attend.
I am cooking and doing recipe trials, and getting ready to write and record some simple recipes for all of you. Hopefully that will happen sooner, rather than later. The biggest obstacle is on the weekends when my “camera man” is home, we are busy doing home renovation projects to get this place finished.
In the meantime, I hope you take the time to follow, like, and share my content on other platforms and be on the lookout for cool new stuff soon!