Spring has definitely sprung here in Jacksonville, my second favorite season. I love it when the weather is a bit crisp and the cloudless sky is such a beautiful color of blue. Breathing in the wonderful air, turning my face to the sun and feeling its warmth is so refreshing...and then for me, I began to sneeze uncontrollably (stupid pollen!).
Signs that spring is here are the beautiful azalea blooms, seeing and hearing bees buzzing around, and beautiful flowers popping up all over the place. When I was very young, we lived in northern Alabama, where daffodils grew wild in our yard. I vividly remember their distinct smell - so sweet - it just screamed spring to me. Once I spotted them blooming, I knew Easter was not too far away.
Today, when I walk by a pot of daffodils in a grocery store or super center I have very fond memories of my childhood. I'm not too sure that I will get to experience seeing daffodils growing in Alaska, but I wanted to share a beautiful photo of these delightful flowers with you - shades of yellow buttercups that make me smile.
Yipee, we now have a place to live, a vehicle to use, and a roommate! Whew...what a relief. A beautiful two bedroom town home has become available for us and were are thrilled. It is located in the southern part of Anchorage, but the use of the vehicle makes it perfect for us. We can check one thing off the "To Do" list but we have many, many, more. The list seems to be growing as each day counts down - 26 more days to go!
While we are across the country, we will miss our family the most, however, there are three little (some not so little) things we will also miss. Pets quickly wrap your heart around their paws and become like family. They are chalked full of personality and keep you laughing when days are rough. Three guys we'll miss are our two cats, Simba - eleven years old (pictured at the right) and Pooh Bear - ten years old, and our grand-dog, Butch - three years old. One thing Rennie will not miss is the abundance of cat fur! Two light colored cats and most clothing do not mix!
Simba and Pooh were both born in our home, so we are all they know. Most people call them little lions - which they are extremely big for domestic cats (Pooh - pictured at the right - weights 21.4 lbs!).
They have to stay behind and be taken care of by our son, Adam. I know they will miss us just because we're at the house most of the time. I will be sad to leave them behind, if only for five months but would not want to ship them to Alaska.
Butch the grand-dog - awaiting a treat and he must be the center of attention at all times!
The Lord knows that I must need to work on my patience because we're playing the "Hurry Up and Wait Game" - which personally drives me nuts! Twenty-eight days to go, things to do around the house - pack, sell, pack, make lists of what to take and what not to take, awaiting a yes or no from a potential room mate, saving money to purchase our tickets, as well as money to ship items to Alaska. Sometimes it just makes you want to throw your hands in the air and scream. But...God is still in control, not me - sometimes I just don't understand His timing. I am a planner and like things to run smoothly and in order, so, when it does not, I get a wee bit stressed. Needless to say, I have been one stressed woman lately or as my family would say, "A donkey on the edge" (from the movie Shrek). I guess writing about it today has been my way of venting.
I was reminded that I forgot to post about my trip to Orlando with my sister, Lolly. We had a great time at Disney's Magic Kingdom - which is my favorite of the Disney resorts. We basically pretended we were kids - hey, who can't help but be a kid there???
After a long day of fun and excitement we checked in to our hotel, freshened up a bit, and headed out to the most amazing restaurant I have ever had the pleasure of eating at. It was a Texas-Brazilian Steak House. OH MY GOODNESS....was it good - the service was impeccable, the food was fantastic, and the bill was, well, expensive! But well worth it - every morsel! One day I will return with Rennie. He would really enjoy the enormous amount of food available!
Today marks thirty days until we leave for Alaska. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!! We're still working on finding a place to live but have a great prospect in mind, and this one comes with the use of a vehicle. I will post more once I know more information.
Wow, the days seem to be going by faster and faster as each week whizzes by, however, April 25 will not get here soon enough! We now have 35 days remaining before we leave Jacksonville. Thirty five more days to get our act together.
The next leg is finding a place to live in Anchorage. My friend, Kim, has connected us with a wonderful lady named Donna, that is looking for roommates. She is a seasonal employee who is planning her third year in Anchorage. The great thing about her as a roommate, is that she knows the "ropes," as well as, what to do and not do. Her companionship will be a blessing for us and I will be picking her brain a lot!
Donna has inquired about a two bedroom, newly renovated, basement apartment located approximately 1.5 miles from the rail yard - which would be a wonderful walk for us (we MUST get in some exercise!). She is gathering the details regarding the deposit, etc., and we should know something soon.
In the meantime, Holland America and Princess have merged companies which presents more opportunities to us as travel guides. Our days on and off the train have changed some, but for the better. We will work two days on, one day off, two days on, then three days off. The three days off affords us more time to experience some excursions (like riding an ATV, snowmobiling, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, etc.), or allows us to pick up another shift if we want to work more. We did take a slight cut in pay, but it was not enough to hinder us from going. The one "bummer" factor is that Kim will not be our boss, but, we will adjust I'm sure.
This weekend I'm spending time with my sister, Lolly, in Orlando - visiting the "Mouse". We always have tons of fun with each other and get sore cheeks from laughing so much. I'm sure I will write about our adventures and post goofy photos next week.
Whew...the first yard sale is over and I feel as though we had success. We still need to raise more money for the trip, but we will have another yard sale toward the end of March. A huge "Thank You" goes to my daughter, Stephanie, who helped us tremendously. We really appreciated her assistance.
Spring Break has come to an end. Next week, it is back to the classroom. However, there are only 40 more days until we leave for Alaska. Yippee!
We are believing that tomorrow and Saturday will be very prosperous for us with our first yard sale. It is strange how people need to spend money to make money, like, purchasing Yard Sale signs that look professional and stand out. But, we are doing what we feel must be done. Now I will need an abundance of energy to carry this yard sale out.
Thank the Lord I have help from Rennie, Stephanie, and my adorable grandchildren. People should stop by and make large purchases just because I have such cute grandchildren!!! Julia can give them the sad face and plead with people to help her grandparents, ha, ha. "Please Sir, buy something from my grandparents, they need to go to Alaska." Sounds like alms for the poor with a British accent...
Today is our son, Adam's, 25th birthday. Rennie and I were remembering the activities surrounding Adam's birth and how humorous it was. I was in labor for about nine hours, but spent the majority of my labor walking around the hospital with about six of my friends following close behind me - stopping each time I had a contraction, praying and some taking turns rubbing my lower back with a base ball (thank you Ray Schmidt for the use of your baseball). Each time someone would walk by us they would chuckle as to how many "helpers" I had. My labor coach, Sharon, was also extremely pregnant - the nurses kept asking her if she was ok or in labor too. Where was Rennie? He was socializing with approximately fifteen friends and family members who were packed into the labor and delivery waiting room. I was in no mood for him to be following me around at that time. Only mothers who have experienced natural childbirth without the assistance of any drugs would really appreciate that thought! At 6:13pm, Adam, made his arrival - all 9lbs., 6oz., of him. Today he is 6'1" and towers over me!
I pray that this birthday is special for Adam, and I am believing that this year he will be blessed with a lot of good, good, things. You are loved by many, Adam! Happy, Happy, Birthday!!!
In the meantime....I'm still furiously working on packing and pricing items for our garage sale this weekend. Even if we were not going to Alaska, I still need to get rid of this stuff, just to unclutter my life a bit. Now it is back to the stacks!
Whew......after working all day yesterday and into the night, I am still up to my elbows (no, up to my neck) in scrapbook supplies - mainly patterned paper and card stock. I haven't made a dent in all the patterned paper I have. Will I ever get through this room? I am hoping to have the room finished by Tuesday so I can move on to my office. Now that's a whole different story!!!
It is another beautiful day here in sunny Florida. I'm off to walk with Rennie, then I'm going to purchase some more supplies needed for pricing items.
I have to keep telling myself, breathe... and not hyperventilate! Shoot, I'd need that paper bag for putting garage sale items in, ha, ha. Have a wonderful weekend.
Spring Break.....awwwwwhhhhh......a time when most people will actually take a break and do something fun and exciting, but it will not be that type of vacation for us. This week begins the room by room excavation of "stuff" that we have accumulated over 30 years of marriage (mostly by me...I'm the art and craft hoarder) .
Throughout our years together, Rennie and I have always moved up and out in space when it came to housing. However, our five bedroom house has provided more space to collect things - things, that really in the long run don't matter. It's just stuff - now at this time in our life, unwanted clutter. I told Rennie this morning that it is amazing how much we really don't use or need, and how many things we are willing to sell in order to go on our Alaska adventure or simply de-clutter our lives.
I was talking to my friend Charlotte last night, in which she stated that she and Mike are selling just about everything they own just to de-clutter. They, like us, have also come to the realization that they were holding on to stuff that had no major meaning in their life. Of course there are sentimental things that I would not rid myself of - or at least if I no longer had a use for them, I would offer them to my children first before selling them. We were laughing hysterically and saying that when we return, both of us want to scale down our housing and move to the beach. Is this a mid-life thing? I want to call it a "reinvention" of one's self at the 50+ year mark. How's that??
Next Friday and Saturday, we're having a garage sale - hoping to sell everything we can, in order to put most of that money toward our plane tickets and relocating expenses. It is necessary to ship some things ahead of time to Anchorage (like linens and such). A lot of hard work, but oh so worth it in the long run!
Here's are some photos of just a SMALL part of the art and craft room (Rennie calls it the art and crap room..). This room has become a "catch all" for anything we wanted to get out of the main part of the house. See what I mean??? A room full of things I will never use - sad I know...
Even my cat, Simba, wants to get into the action!
Since it is such a beautiful day, Rennie and I are going to go on our 3.5 mile walk and then I will begin my clean "up and out" project. Rennie is standing here laughing at me as I type and commenting that it is MY project - there was no WE involved in that room at all... He's so funny!
I pray that everyone will have a blessed weekend - get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy life!!!!!!
On My Goodness....we received our narration requirements/scripts yesterday (24 pages to be exact)!!! We are required to memorize the first two sections before we report to work on May 1. Rennie and I are hoping that our mid-life brains can remember everything that needs to be memorized. It is strange to be on the other side of "education" - I'm not the teacher in this case...I'm the STUDENT! Once I began reading through the information, my excitement about the trip escalated - we will see and experience some amazing places. It would be thrilling to me just to see moose or bears (then I can sing the "moose and bear song" - just for my friend Debbie who wanted to see either moose or bear when we visited Juneau five years ago - but we never saw one!)
Next week is Spring Break for me, but there will be no "break". I will once again be plundering through the piles and piles of scrapbook supplies in my art room, throwing away mounds of junk, saving what is necessary, and pricing numerous items for a garage sale. I happen to watch the Oprah show yesterday about people who hoard things and really need to get rid of a massive amount of "stuff" that is crowding their life. My scrapbook room is one of those places where I have too much that I will never use - great supplies mind you, but things I will never use. So, we're selling it off and using the money to help pay for our airfare.
Hello, I'm Pamela and welcome to my blog. I enjoy so many things associated with the art and craft world! As well as being a science teacher, I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. Thank you for stopping by!