Hanging Pictures with Rocks

We got the keys to our new home a week ago and have been slowly moving in. We rented a U-Haul van last Saturday to bring the big stuff – which consisted solely of our queen size bed, our small chest freezer, and our kitchen table/desk – and a handful of boxes. I’m happy to report that we sold 100% of the items that we listed on Marketplace, for a sum total of $850.

For introverts, there’s an upside to moving during a pandemic. We got to sign our lease online and moved into our apartment without every having to step foot in the office. They left the key on the counter and the door unlocked. I say key but it’s not even a key really – is an electronic fob that unlocks the door by just holding it close to it. It’s very hotel-like 🙂

We had most of the boxes unpacked the next day, but then, life happened and the items that have yet to be placed in homes are still sitting in the living room where the couch would go (if we had one).

Land of the Homeless Stuff

After much debate and online browsing, we did finally order a new couch. It was supposed to be delivered this past Thursday but has now been delayed until after the 16th. I’m hoping to find homes for all of the miscellaneous stuff and pictures before it arrives so that one day, the room will look complete (and photo worthy!) The new couch is smaller and more versatile than the old one. It can be L-shaped or flip out to make a full-size lounger/sofa bed. It’s not the old-school kind with the mattress inside but rather something akin to a recliner where the bottom folds up or down. We thought it might be a better solution for our overnight guests (namely our 5-year-old niece) rather than the twin size air mattress we’ve been using. I’ll have to post pictures because my description does it no justice. The new couch cost $458 (tax included). We made $450 off the old set so you could say that we got the new one for a mere $8. I love frugal math!

It’s been a wild ride these last few weeks. Deciding to move at the spur of the moment was both a boost and a drain. On the one hand, it motivated us. I think ever since our travel plans got cancelled for COVID, we’ve been in a bit of a funk. Having to get busy doing something, especially something this exciting, was the kick we needed. On the other hand, we had to do it amid all the work that we had scheduled for June. We flew through our house surveys, completing 83 subdivisions in 3 days! And I spent more than 40 hours tagging stuff at Dollar General (yet another of those unusual jobs that I have a habit of stumbling across and will explain more about later).

Just a little more than 48 hours after we officially moved in, Angie flew off to Texas for her annual visit with her parents (or summer camp, as I like to call it). She’s building things, like this:

Meanwhile, I’m trying to hang a bulletin board in the kitchen using a rock for a hammer – a painted rock at that! I’m pretty sure our hammer is still in the tool box at the old apartment. I left the tools there until I can remove the water filter that we installed on the kitchen faucet, which I’m hoping will be today. Along with the tools, I have a broom, a fishing pole, and a badminton set that I need to retrieve as well, and then we can finally turn over our keys – though, we technically have the old apartment until mid-month.

I might also mention, that along with all the work and moving and getting Angie ready to go to Texas, Caesar had to go to the vet (kidney infection) and my mom had to go to the ER by ambulance. She twisted around to answer the phone and apparently tore the cartilage in her ribs. The pain was so great, she collapsed and couldn’t move. At first, we thought she had broken her back again (she has compression fractures and once broke her back changing a light bulb, so it happens). I’m happy to report that while it was quite painful, it wasn’t serious and she has recovered well. She even helped me in the garden yesterday.

And Caesar, well, he’s good too – taking his medication like a champ and enjoying the new patio.

 

I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that July is not such a busy month. I have plans for a lot of upcoming posts, including a garden and job update, along with photos of the new place, of course. So stay tuned…and have a very happy and safe 4th of July!

Mad at the World

I’m kind of mad at the world right now and I’m beginning to question its sanity. Have we lost all sense of what it means to be kind, decent, and respectable human beings and given into throwing the type of tantrums and fits that even my 4-year-old niece knows better than to do in public??

We’ve all spent the past 3 months worried about a virus, to the point that life has been disrupted in a way that may never return to the “real normal”. We debate and even hate on one another for opting to wear a mask or not wear a mask in public, as if this single act alone is going to save our lives. We act out in the grocery store when we run into neighbors and acquaintances we once would have taken a moment to speak to, all because they fall on the opposite side of our stand on social distancing etiquette. And if you think this is not true, come with me when I go to work my merchandising gig sometime. Just last week, I witnessed nearly a dozen incidents in which one person was being mean to another – all over a piece a cloth!

Given all this, there is no wonder then that folks are burning courthouses and vandalizing Target stores too. Life as we know it is already in a state of chaos so why not just add to the madness!

What happened to George Floyd and all the other people of color who we aren’t hearing about on the news is unacceptable. It is wrong. It is outrageous. It is serious. It needs to stop. But folks, it’s not going to. Why? Because we hate each other over the stupidest of things!

I fully understand that not all people are acting badly, not all cops are corrupt, and not everyone is berating their neighbor over a face mask. But even if we aren’t being outwardly hateful, all of us carry our own set of prejudices. And what is prejudice exactly? I had to look this up myself because I was a bit confused. My family (misguidedly) taught me that prejudice could be good in some instances – such as when it keeps you from making a bad choice. For example, when you don’t go to McDonald’s because you “hate” how they are killing people every day with their food.  This is not prejudice though – this is called being discerning. One is acceptable, the other is not.

Prejudice is having a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Prejudice is when we think the black man who has picked up our trash for the last 25 years is somehow less of a person because of the color of his skin. Prejudice is telling your gay relative that she’s going to hell because she “made a choice that no one else agrees with”. But prejudice is also thinking it’s “us vs. them” in every single situation, from how we react to senseless tragedies to how to fight a virus.

Every argument, every feud, and every war was started by the “us vs. them” mindset. Isn’t it time we changed that? All lives matter and despite what we have been taught to believe, people have way more in common with one another than they have differences – starting with the fact that we all live on the same planet, bleed the same color blood, die of the same diseases, and have the same choices when it comes to treating others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Yes, I’m mad at the world right now. I’m mad at my own family, my neighbors, and my community for being mean to one another when we should all be trying to lift one another up. Life is hard enough as it is. We don’t need to fuel the hatred and indecency just because we can. So here’s what I’m going to do about it…

I love you all. I respect your choice to wear a mask or not wear a mask, because only you know how you have been affected in this pandemic. I respect your political choice, whether you are Democrat, Republican, or in-between. I share your outrage at the senseless death and destruction that has become the sad hallmark of our country and I stand with you in peaceful protest, hoping one day soon this will change. While I will always be discerning in my own choices, I vow to no longer let the “us vs. them” mentality creep into my life and above all, I will not pass down any prejudices I may have learned in my lifetime to anyone that I love.