Thursday, April 30, 2015

Emptiness ...

Here's our den last night...


So now our stuff is either in our new apartment (13 minutes away from that house),
or it's in storage.

And we like our apartment.
We particularly like how we slept last night.
We heard not one sound...
and we're on the second of three floors.

Right now I'm babysitting sweet Nell,
but later I'll go and finish up whatever needs finishing up in our house...
which is huge.

If you've been there you know it's a huge house.
 If you count the studio over the garage, it's 4600 square feet.

Our apartment is 1100 square feet. 

So yes, there will be some adjustments to our lifestyle.
But for now I'm liking the emptiness of that photo at the beginning of this post.

It means we've moved... on ... and up,
while downsizing all the way.

Oh, I got a little sad yesterday morning,
after spending our last night in that huge house...

But now I'm not sad.
I'm glad.

Thanks for sharing this move with me.
Writing this stuff down (blogging)
is good for me.


(which of course you're always dying to know, right?)

I'll leave you with a picture we took last night...
You can tell Will took the selfie - if you look in the mirror behind us.

(Nell was smiling on the inside.)

(My next post will be more about that sweet Nell.)

(Stay tuned.)


Monday, April 27, 2015

It's coming down to the wire...

What does that expression mean, anyway?
I'm sure it means something meaningful.

Well, to me, it means this business of moving out of this huge house is getting closer and closer.

Here are the piano people getting ready to store our huge piano...

I took this picture so you could see the number to call if you want to store your piano
(if you live in Texas, anyway).


In other (yet not unsimilar) news, this box has been at the bottom of our freezer for a little less than 5 years.
(I know: I need to clean out my freezer more often.)

 I had been thinking it was the top of Will and Bailey's wedding cake (from Oct. 30, 2010)...
but they told me they'd already eaten the top of theirs - on their first anniversary.

So I looked inside...
It's Laura and Ryan's cake-top!!  (from June 5, 2010)

I just contacted her and she told me I could toss it.
(Well, I didn't want her and Ryan getting sick anyway.)

Those two above events happened Friday and Saturday.

TODAY the moving people came!
It's a great moving company here in the metroplex...
and it is owned by a dear friend of ours... Erich Holder.
That's Eric with an 'h'.
He's a German with a thick German accent,
and a great German work ethic.
(I'll have to tell you more about him someday.)

So we are downsizing... in a major way.

It feels good to purge.

I'm thinking I'm already breathing easier.

I've made two big trips to the Good Will Donation Station,
and will make at least one more trip tomorrow.

Mm. It feels good.

By the way, I know some folks who mainly shop at Good Will,
or other thrift stores,
and I think that's smart!
(My own daughter is one of those folks!)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Got junk?

Yes, we have junk!

And it is leaving the building!!!

Thanks to...

I'd seen them on "Hoarders" and then I saw one of their trucks on Glade Road recently...
So I got online and scheduled them to come... and this morning they came - first walking through to see our junk and to give an estimate on how much to haul it off. ... and well, now they're at it because we liked the estimate.
And I am feeling actually cleaner knowing that the junk is leaving.

You can click HERE for their website.  You will find that they give over 60% of junk to charity. (They'll clean it up... and make it redeemable.... well, unless it is pure junk.)

I've only taken one picture of them - and it is in our lovely attic... where Sam was showing them some of our junk...

I know that one person's trash is another person's treasure... but I have gotten decisive, aggressive, ruthless, relentless, crazy, etc., in getting rid of stuff.

If I didn't invite you over to see what you'd want, well, it's because I was going through the crazy phase of LEAVE-ME-ALONE-AND-LET-ME-CULL!!!
Yes.... and some moments I was crazier than other moments. 

I know I will have regrets.

I did years ago.
We were moving and I'd recently read in a 'Simplify-Your -Life' type-book that if you haven't opened a box in over 2 years to see what's in it - throw it away!  So we did.
Well, I evidently threw away my high school year books with that purge.

Ah, but at least now I won't throw away my year books.

This move is making me not want to buy another single thing.... well, except maybe a Schlotzsky's sandwich for lunch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NanaWee would be proud...

... that her first grandchild is getting her dining room furniture!
(We've had it for years, and are now downsizing big time, and well, who better to have it than Jennifer!)

Here she is after she loaded her car with the chairs and a few other things.

Before that she looked at her Uncle Sam's library to see if there were treasures for her and her pastor husband Ryan to have.  (He may come take a look, too.)

By the way, here is a picture of Nana and Daddy Bob with their grandchildren, at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration, years ago...

(Front row: Daddy Bob, Will, John, Laura, and Nana (also known as NanaWee).
Back row: Justin, Rob, Jennifer and Marian.)

Now here is something interesting:
Daddy Bob's dad was called 'Daddy Pap' by his grandchildren (including Sam).
Well, Sam was going to go by 'Granddad' to his grandchildren (like Nell),
but he had a dream a couple of weeks ago,
that his grandchildren called him 'Daddy Pap'.

In short, he woke up saying, "I am now Daddy Pap to Nell."
And that is so appropriate.
Sam is Samuel Williams Carmack V,
and his granddad (whom he knew as 'Daddy Pap') was
Samuel Williams Carmack III.

(The IVth had all daughters, so Daddy Pap wanted my Sam to be the Vth.)

So here is Daddy Pap with his sweet granddaughter....
And she's coming over soon.

She'll hold up her arms to Daddy Pap,
because she loves to be lifted high (as in that picture).

(I'm still 'Grammy',
unless and until I have my own dream.)

Life is good.
But we're in the throes of moving so occasionally (not often) I feel like this...

And then I get to see my granddaughter and I feel like this...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Serenity now...

I woke up feeling overwhelmed (about moving).

Then I settled down and reminded myself that this is Sunday, the Christian Sabbath.

So I'm resting.
And being still, and reminding myself that God is God ... and I am not.

(I was needing a peaceful picture.)

I am thrilled we are downsizing... but the doing of it is something else.

I can see why folks never move.
Or never change jobs,
Or never do anything that would mean major change.

I'm glad we're doing this at our age... and not any later!

And this move is making me appreciate my parents' move from the east Texas countryside, with a huge barn (and horses, and what goes with them, etc.) and over 90 acres... and move to an apartment in the Metroplex for a year, and then a house.... and then Mother moving into the retirement center (that both my parents signed up to move into in 2004, then Daddy got to feeling better).

I guess you don't appreciate your parents fully, until you become a parent.
And likewise, I didn't appreciate their big move, until I'm doing a big move. (Well, this is different - in that they left their friends, their church, their 'world' - to be closer to me, so it would be easier on me.  Wow.  Thank you.)

Anyway,  besides blogging, and maybe going through my kitchen utensils' drawer, today is rest-day.

And thanks, Elizabeth (and Anna), for the help Friday.
And the taking of some stuff...

And Bailey and Will are taking some stuff...
and a few others are taking some stuff.

If this weren't such a quick move, I would have more of you come and get what you want... but for now, lots will be in storage (to cull later).
We also maybe would have had an estate sale... and/or a garage sale - if we'd had the time.

Anyway, here I am... resting.
And trying to detach from the junk all around.

If you have any advice on how to deal with a big move (physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally) feel free to give it as a comment here or on FB. 

And I'm going to talk to Mother more about how she dealt with it. 

That's my blog-post for today.

Serenity now!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hello, my name is Nancy and I am a pack rat.

I have never particularly thought of myself as a pack rat or a hoarder.
But now I'm rethinking my identity...
and I'm calling myself a 'recovering pack rat'.

We've been going through things... well, everything...
as we are doing an extreme-downsize.

Here are somethings I'd forgotten I had ...

Now read what was written on the back...
My mother's first name is Eulah, and that's what she was called growing up.
Now she's 'Margaret' (her second name),
though I call her 'Mother' (sometimes 'Mother-Lou', for fun).

Isn't that a great little 'gift' to her for reading the most books in the second grade!!!
And I thought I'd remembered all of my dad's pictures...
then I found this precious one...
I just love it!!!
I can't look at it enough!!

Then I came across this picture (that directs my attention from the above picture)...
Awwwww.  That's my little Laura!!
And here's one of her senior pictures...
The photographer told her to look 'sulky' in that picture!

Then he told her to be herself in this next picture...
Isn't that a great picture?
I love it - and her - so very much.


Well, there are other things I've found... and have yet to find... 
so I better quit blogging and get with 'the program'!
'The program' is: culling out things to take to the apartment, and things to store, 
and things to call for "YOU GOT JUNK?" trucks!!!

It does feel good to go through stuff ... 
and I'm not as overwhelmed as I was a few days ago.

I do have to give myself some pep-talks every now and then, though. 

And if you want to give me one, you can. 
I need all the pep-talks I can get. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Elizabeth and I ... and then Andrew and his Great-Granddaddy Andy....

Elizabeth and I are closer than most aunts and nieces, I think.

Here we are Sunday at Andrew's T-Ball game...

And here we are (were) years ago at Elizabeth's graduation from Texas A&M (Gig 'Em, Aggies).

We are special together.
Super special.

Her mother was my identical twin...
so technically she's more than just a niece.

And her son is more than just my great-nephew...

Here he is playing T-ball...with his dad being the head coach...

And here I am with my more-than-great-nephew, after the game...

And here he is playing the violin (which I didn't know he could play)!

His mother told him that his great grandfather  ("Great-Granddaddy Andy" - his namesake ) learned how to play the fiddle at age 70!  And then he played in nursing homes and 'opening exercises' in Sunday School... and here at his 80th birthday party....
He was inspired to learn to play by a lady who learned to play when she was 80!

Is that not inspiring?!

It inspires me ... to think ... what's next that I can learn?!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Shiloh has a new home!

Shiloh is wondering: Why didn't they bring me here years ago???!!!

That's Elizabeth with Teddy Roosevelt and Tally... with Shiloh coming from behind.  (They already sniffed each other, so Shiloh was feeling secure, as were Teddy (age 2) and Tally (4 months).  Shiloh is 11 years old so he will give them some comfort and maturity.

You can see that he will have lots of room to roam...

And here he is getting some shade...

.... while his new owners, and their little cousin Nell, are having fun on the trampoline....

Here's Andrew showing that he can stand in the tree without holding on!

After we realized that Shiloh would be a great fit at the Huffmans, Sam and I went back to our house to get his bed and other stuff.  When we got back to the Huffmans, we found that while we were getting Shiloh's things Caroline, Andrew and Anna had drawn a chalk picture of their family with their new addition!!

Andrew wrote out Shiloh's name as Andrew pronounced it phonetically...
... "Shy-lo" --- isn't that great?!!

Frankly, we were concerned that Shiloh might not get along with the Huffmans' two dogs...
since they're all male (correction: Tally is a girl - I just found out).

As we were driving home and marveling at how well it all went,
Sam remarked "Well, Shiloh didn't know Teddy and Tally,
BUT he knows he IS still with his 'pack', 
as he knows the Huffmans VERY WELL.

Thanks, John, Elizabeth, Caroline, Anna, Teddy Roosevelt and Tally,
for letting Shiloh live with you!!!


He's got a good home!!!!

And we can come visit him!!!

Oh, and if that hadn't worked out we had a super Plan B in place....

Doug and Laura Hisey offered to keep him.
They have an 11-year-old female dog, Cassie.

You can see that Shiloh would have had a good place there, too.
Isn't that a great picture?!


Ah, but since Shiloh knows the Huffmans as his already-family,
he already feels right at home there.

Life is good.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Our life is changing.

We've sold our house!!
(Well, it's under contract... and it's looking pretty sold.)
No, that's not our house, but it's how I feel about our house.
And I'm letting those two dogs represent Shiloh and Marco (RIP).

Yes, our house is under contract: the big house on the cul-de-sac... that has hosted family reunions, and birthday parties, youth group events and slumber parties, and bridal showers, and even a wedding, and a rehearsal dinner, and family suppers/dinners, and tons of fun.

Yes, we're selling That House.  (Closing is May 1st.)
And that pool.
And that studio above the garage.
And that theater with the Murphy bed that David and Nathaniel liked sleeping on.....
And that cul-de-sac with the old historic cemetery next door, that made life quiet, and peaceful, and serene.

It was getting too much.
Well, too much expense.
And we are not getting any younger (we're actually getting older EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!).
And we were (are) wanting some simplicity.

So this is how I'm announcing it. 

Fourteen years ago we moved into this house.  It was in June, 2001.
It's the longest we've lived in a house.
And it's been a great house.

But we have no regrets.
We're ready to MOVE ON!!!!

For now we're moving into a 2 bedroom apartment, for a year at least.
It has no yard to keep.
And no pool to keep.
And we can call the manager when we need something fixed. !!!

Anyway, that's our in our life.
Just so you know.

(Oh, and we have plans for Shiloh.  I'll tell more about that later.)

Right now the move is energizing me.
When I get more knee-deep into packing and stuff I may not be so energized...
but I'll enjoy the energized-state while it lasts.
(Might as well.)

[Stay tuned for my frantic thoughts on this new stage of life... for which blogging is good .]

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dog Day Afternoon....

 There are all kinds of personality-type tests you can take online.  And many can be found on (through) Facebook.   And of course they're accurate.

Just this afternoon (while little Nell was napping) I took a test called :What is Your Dog Personality?

I'd taken a similar (but different) test a while back and got 'Golden Retriever'.

Well, today I got Husky!!! 

It showed this picture in announcing my results...

and this description....
You got the Husky! Gentle and dignified, you are a dog that prefers an equal partnership between you and your human. You are fiercely independent, to the point where you may run away for days or weeks at a time, but will always come home to those you call family. Radically playful, you cannot help but run in the fields, jump in the water, and finding new friends. Your fierce eyes give you a character all your own, making you one of the most distinctive breeds out there!
Whoa.  So I've become more like Shiloh through the years.
I like that.

We got Shiloh about 11 years ago - at the North Richland Hills animal shelter.  All the other dogs were barking and yelping when we passed by, but Shiloh just lay there, quiet, looking up at us with sad-looking eyes.   On the sign to his cage, it read "Shiloh, 4-month-old Husky-Mix."  

He was so beautiful, we could hardly believe he was a rescue dog.  But he was ... and he rescued us.

He's been a happy dog with us...

Sam has thought that he's more of an Alaskan Malamute than a Husky.... but they look alike to me.

Here's a Malamute...

As I understand it the Siberian Husky is a little smaller than the Alaskan Malamute.
Shiloh's weight is actually more the weight of a Malamute.  I don't know about the height.

Both are made for colder temperatures than Texas has... but Shiloh does enjoy Texas....
Well, Texas is all he's known.
(He started out in a mobile home park, but he kept running away (jumping the fence), so animal control would find him and take him to the shelter.  That happened several times. Finally Shiloh's owners just decided to let him stay at the shelter, hoping that some loving family would adopt him.  And a loving family did!!!)

You can click HERE to take the test I took today.
Maybe you'll match up with your dog.... or you can go get one that matches up with you.

The North Richland Hills Animal Adoption and Rescue Shelter is wonderful. ... and this week it's opening up its new facility!!!
Very Classy.
(They know how to treat animals.)

In closing here are some quotes about dogs....

"Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads."
 - Harry Truman

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." - Ben Williams

"To err is human, to forgive canine." - Unknown

And I like this....

Trivia Tuesday

The word “infant” is from the Latin for “unable to speak".
 Ah, but that little baby speaks volumes, don't you think? 😊 ---------...