11/22/63: Stephen King

Book style: “historical” fiction

Beer pairing: Nebraska Brewing EOS Hefeweizen.

I’m not a fan of history. I was a good student in high school. I made the top 10% of my class, got a small scholarship at a college, really loved the sciences, like biology, but I was just never interested in history. It just seemed like memorizing a bunch of numbers and names and locations.

As I get older, I have a much better appreciation for history and each and every impact someone could make that can affect history. 11/22/63 is a book that takes that thought and runs with it in all different directions. Stephen King is already a great story teller and this one is not only a great story, but it also makes you think about the affects little changes, or big for that matter, could have changed history. For the good, or for the bad? It’s debatable, as we obviously will never know.

Continue reading “11/22/63: Stephen King”

Almost, almost

My life is going through a ton of changes right now. Changes that involve Yeses, Nos, and Almosts. We sold our house in 72 hours which was a big Yes! We are now reflecting on the inspection. They either want little piddly things to be done (nail the fence post that’s loose, change the AC filter) to big things (re-do duct work, change out electrical).

Let me clarify, our house is in great shape. None of the things they are asking for are necessary for the safety of the house. Inspections are a weird thing. Some guy whose never been in your house comes in and tells you everything he thinks is wrong with it. Some things are legit, some are squabbling. At first I got really angry. I just wanted to yell, “Here’s a hammer. Fix the damn fence yourself!”, but that’s not quite advisable so we are working on compromises now. We’ll have someone out to fix some of these small things, with a few bucks for them on the table to do their own electrical if they so feel the need to rewire the house.

So with the house…we are at an Almost. Hopefully by tonight, we will have a Yes.

During the craziness of selling our house, I also was interviewing for jobs. I had three interviews in one day, so I was really hoping one would work out. One was certainly a No, I think mutually. One was a Maybe, but nothing on their side was solid, which made me nervous, but the last one felt like a Yes and ended up being so. I ended up getting a second interview with a company and they called the next day asking if I’d accept a position with them. A definite YES.

With all of the craziness, and change happening, I definitely needed to get a run in. Between sitting in a car for hours, waiting for people to be done strolling through the house, then stress eating to calm myself through all of this (breakfast tacos and chocolate shakes…mmm), I needed some exercise to make myself feel better again, and clear my mind. I remembered that WordPress was running a 5K challenge, asking people to run/walk/stroll/bike a 5K and post about it. I was hoping to get one in last night, but I didn’t quite get there. I knew time was a crunch because we had plans to meet friends for dinner, and I needed to bathe the dogs as well. I decided on one of our shorter routes in hopes that it was still a 5K. No luck. An almost.

Even though this wasn’t a full 5K, between all my walking around, I’d  hit over 10,000 steps which was around 5 miles. I felt good about that.

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My Almost 5K

 

To be honest, I’m not a fan of Almost. Almost doesn’t cut it. But Almost is what I have and I am hoping that tonight Almost becomes a Yes. Almost is better than No. I almost ran a 5K today among the worry of inspections, dogs needing to get bathed, meeting with friends, figuring out when to pack, what house to buy next, I still got a run in. I still did something for my health. That’s what matters. Getting into the habit of this is what matters.

We will be road tripping it to Omaha this weekend to house shop and hopefully buy, our next home. I’m excited and nervous and what we’ll find. All I hope is that whatever we decide on, I hope it’s a Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

72 hours

Our house sold in 72 hours at more than we were asking for. I couldn’t be happier for that. I’m still sad to be leaving our house after nearly three years, which doesn’t seem long enough, but I’m grateful for the time I spent there and the lessons I learned while overseeing projects, as well as seeing to my own projects.

I can feel myself slowly disconnecting from my house, like a love relationship ending.

I just hope they treat you as well as I treated you….

While all of this was happening over the weekend, I actually had three phone interviews for jobs! While I’m ever so grateful for this, it definitely was a challenge to do this, while getting the house ready for multiple showings. I had to clean up the house, get it looking as perfect as possible, turn on all the lights, light candles, etc., get two dogs and a kitten in the car, and keep them happy for hours, all while trying to prep for potential jobs. Luckily two of the interviews I was able to complete before the first showing, but the third was in my running car with two dogs in the back, one cat in my lap, in a library parking lot. The dogs did a fantastic job staying quiet, and little miss Edith slept most of the time.

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Neurotic Stan to my right, beady eyed Arthur behind me, and Edith on my shoulder – right before my interview.

Two of the jobs interviews went well, and the third….I didn’t feel into the company so I think I’ll refrain from that one. I have a follow-up today on my favorite of the three (yay!) so here’s to hoping!!

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Nobody puts baby Edith in a carrier

Now that the house selling is over, we can rest a little more, and just enjoy the house while we have it for one more month. I want to relax in my house, spend time enjoying it, adding any last fun memories I can before I have to fully let go.

This weekend we will be exploring Omaha for houses. I have a list of potential homes we’d like to see, and hopefully we can see all of them, barring that they’re still available by the time we get up there.

Anyone know a great realtor in the Omaha area?? Anyone?

 

 

Crossroads

When life starts pulling you apart, what do you do? Until today, we were at a crossroads. Both of us had job offers come our way. Sounds great at first, but the jobs are not in the same place. One is out of state. The out of state job would have been much more of a challenge up front because moving takes a lot of time, effort and money, but it would have brought us closer to our family and friends, and most likely would have lent to a less chaotic life a large city provides. The other offer would keep us here where we are, and give a good pay boost (not as good as the other one), but would help out, and possibly help enough so that we can at least fly home every once in a while instead of driving 19+ hours. Continue reading “Crossroads”

Lost Maples Nature Trail

Friday was a good day to get away from the city and plant ourselves into no-signal land. After work, we quickly finished packing up, grabbed the pups and headed out of town. Three hours later, we landed in Lost Maples Nature Trail, set up camp for the night, cracked a beer or two in front of a small fire, then proceeded to bed.

I had been in charge of most of the packing, as I was working from home that Friday, but I failed a bit in the food department. Continue reading “Lost Maples Nature Trail”

Importance

The holidays always pose as a time of reflection and solitude, although sometimes the solitude part can be difficult in the mad rush of gift getting and travel plans. We decided to surprise the family with a trip up north. This included a lot of sneaking around questions, pretending the presents were on their way, and a 20 hour road trip with two dogs. We got Dylan’s brother in the loop so he could help us plan where to be. The look on my mom and his parent’s faces were priceless, and the feeling of being home during Christmas-time, was a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time. A feeling of warmth and contentment, even after an exhaustive trip. We realized again how important being near old friends and family is, and although it’ll be sad to leave Austin, with it’s nearly unlimited supply of restaurants, things to do and things to see, and usually great weather, but if you can learn to be content in any situation, decisions like these aren’t as difficult.

We decided to make the slow move to Omaha. Omaha, you say? Why you ask? I know I wrote a little before about Omaha, but expanding on it won’t hurt. I’m sure there’s a lot of people laughing or wondering why you’d move to a “flyover state”.

Well…Omaha is a good size city. Around a half million people and under a million with metro. The city did a good job prepping for growth, so the roads aren’t packed and traffic jams are rare. Here in Austin, they’re an everyday occurrence and something to be expected.

Omaha is 6 hours to home in Minnesota so getting to visit will be much easier and we won’t need to use so much vacation each time. It’s also 9 hours to Denver for rock climbing and hiking, 9 hours to Little Rock, where some friends of ours lives, and hours away to the badlands of South Dakota. Overall, being in the center of the country gives us a wider berth for more diverse travel. Yeah, we won’t be near a beach, but I think we can handle that.

Omaha’s cost of living is good. Housing costs are much lower in Omaha than Austin and overall prices of a night out on the town is lower as well. Getting to a nice restaurant (which there are many), is much easier and less stressful. In Austin, there are hundreds of great restaurants, but there’s usually a line, or it will take you an hour to get to it due to the terrible traffic. I’d miss the beer and bar scene here in Austin, but Omaha’s scene is starting to grow. There are a few good breweries there, as well as one of the nation’s top pubs in the nation. The job market is good and the pay for our lines of work is good, and actually a little better than here in Austin.

So there’s a few points in a nutshell. I’m excited, but nervous and scared. Big change is always nerve wracking for me, especially after spending four years in a new place. The thought of uprooting again feels exhausting, but if I think about what it will mean for us financially, personally, and even professionally, I think it will be a great thing. Fear will always be there. I just have to make sure it doesn’t control my decisions.

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Road trip chaos

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We’re taking a road trip next week to visit friends and family up in Minnesota for a wedding. I’m excited to see friends and family again, and to see Minnesota, but to be completely honest, I’m not too excited about everything leading up to, and including the 20+ hour car ride.

Sometimes the prep involved in a road trip needs it’s own vacation. I have at least three stores to hit up, plus the library (don’t want those late fees!) just today. Hopefully this will knock out most of the errand running for the week. The rest will be trial runs of packing to see what we can fit where. Besides wedding gear and Minnesota clothing, which, due to the weather up there, will include everything from shorts to sweaters, plus, try not to forget, climbing gear. We plan on meeting with a friend to go indoor rock climbing in the cities when we’re down there. I really hope we’re able to go rock climbing. Usually when we visit, we drive up, try to meet with every person we can in a whirlwind of roads and faces, but stopping to enjoy some climbing while catching up would be amazing and refreshing. The hubs and I have also shared a google calendar (Thank You Google), to schedule the week while we’re up there. Since the hubs is in the wedding, he has a couple more responsibilities so we have to make sure he meets those, while meeting with everyone who wants to see us and who we want to see, plus of course, the parents. Luckily our parents live in the same small town, so driving back and forth to see them won’t be too bad. Did I mention the wedding is actually in Wisconsin? Yeah, so we’ll be crossing even more state lines, even while we’re vacationing.

And I haven’t even talked about the kids (i.e dogs). We’ll have to pack bowls for food and water, and coordinate with the parents to watch them while we’re at the wedding.

Uffda! (Haven’t lost my MN expressions yet).

This is just scratching the surface of work to do this week (not to mention I have a full time job), and I’m sure, for all you road trippers, you’re nodding your head at this, thinking, mmmhmmm…. yep..oh yeah.

I’m a list maker, and trips drive me crazy because my brain goes into list-making overdrive. I have a bullet journal, with a list in it, plus a big 4×6 sticky note on top with a list, and in my book I’m trying to finish (so I can return it to the library today), it has two sticky notes with lists on it. I have lists of stores I need to visit, things I need to do, things I need to pack, and things I need to remind the hubs to do.

Uffda again.

*breathing slowly*

I’m going to consolidate lists (I recommend this to anyone) and make it into a timeline so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. The more I can knock out today, the less I have to worry about as the week goes on.

If you have any road trip advice, I’d love to hear it. This is definitely not our first rodeo up to MN from TX, but I’d love to hear any advice you have.

Needless to say, I’ll try to be on to post when I can, but I’m guessing it’ll be a couple of weeks before we’re back and making more progress on the house.

Happy blogging all!

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Pace Bend Park hike

The hubs and I decided to take a hike and get away from the city for a while. We didn’t want to drive too far so we found Pace Bend Park, out by Lake Travis, and about 45 minutes away from home. It was going to be too hot for the dogs to be out more than 20 minutes so we left them at home and took them for a short walk later in the evening. We were out for about an hour and walked almost three miles in the 90 degree heat and even higher heat index. We were very sweaty but if felt good. As long as I have shabby clothes on, I don’t care at all about sweating. Feels like I’m filtering out toxins. I tried taking a few pictures as we walked with my 8 year old point and shoot. Maybe it’s time to upgrade? It still takes decent shots though, so who knows.

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