Dear Folks, Sorry I haven’t Written Part 2

As promised, here is the first installment of Dear Folks, Sorry I Haven’t Written.

My last true post in October of 2014 talked about how we had sold our house and were building a new one. I’m happy to say that we did move into our house right on schedule. In between moving out of our old home and into our new one, the three of us (Hubby, Buddha the Bulldog, and I) stayed with my mother and my little brother. I’m sure some of you are thinking “Oh God, this poor woman!”. Think again, my friends! We’re quite a close family and, truthfully, it was a lot of fun being that close (almost on top of) each other. It definitely made binge watching our favorite TV shows much easier since we didn’t have to figure out who was going to host the most sacred of nights.

Things were relatively calm from October through February, our only struggle was deciding everything for the house (who knew there were so many options for door handles?). Our first snag happened on the day we were to move in. An epic winter storm was heading our way and was expecting to dump a couple inches of snow (big deal here in the south) and ice (even bigger deal) on us. Being the crazy people that we are, Hubby and I quickly started loading everything up in the moving van and began shuffling back and forth from our storage shed to our new house. We managed to get everything moved over in just a couple days (thanks to some amazing movers and family help). Just a few hours before we finished moving, the snow started to fall… and fall, and fall. Snow was falling pretty steadily by the time the last box was brought in. It wasn’t until later that night (maybe 9:00pm) that I realized it was Valentine’s day. Dinner was a romantic evening surrounded by boxes eating out of Chinese To Go containers.

When we woke up the next morning we were in a winter wonderland… And stuck at home. When I say stuck at home, I mean that we couldn’t even get out of our neighborhood. This was discovered after Hubby (an Upstate New Yorker) tried to leave for work, only to come back a few minutes later to let me know that there wasn’t a chance he could make it to work today. Not such a big deal, really, unless you’re planning on having appliances delivered that day. That’s right, folks, we were in our new home with no fridge, washer, or drier. The company we bought our appliances at called a few minutes after Hubby came home to let us know that nothing was going in or out until the snow and ice had melted. Okay, we could live without those appliances for a couple days.

Or so we thought.

A couple days turn into ten before they could finally deliver anything. At that point we were using a cooler for a fridge and our back porch for a freezer. We had a small pile of clothes and towels at that point and I was actually looking forward to doing laundry by the time we finally got everything installed.

Things went smoothly for a while after that. The rest of February, March, and April went by without anything happening besides unpacking and decorating our new home. Mid-May came and my mother sold her house. She and my brother moved in with us, planning on only staying for about a couple weeks at most until mom’s house was finished. Being in the half-assed lane, that didn’t happen. Different issues (all mostly minor, but a few more major things) pushed her closing date further and further back. Instead of closing on her house in late May, she finally closed sometime in August. During that time, my Aunt moved from California to an apartment near us. Her move was uneventful, which was a blessing since moving across country is much different than moving a few miles away (and anyone who’s moved knows that there’s no such thing as an easy, eventless move).

After having my mom and brother living with us, the house felt empty for a while. There was a kind of easy chaos that happens when the four of us are together. A whirlwind of projects, family dinners, can’t-miss-TV, and other random things always happen when we’re together for any length of time. Not that her being down the street changed that, but it was different than when they were living with us. The calm that fell over the house after they moved out stayed through out September, which was filled with an easy calm. Little did we know that it was the calm before the storm. You know, that almost eerie silence that settles over the area right before a severe storm or some other natural disaster moves in.

Tune in next time for another installment of “Dear Folks”.

 

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Dear folks, sorry I haven’t written… Again

In true Half-Assed Lane style, I am now back from my 18+ month hiatus. I do have a good excuse reason; quite a few of them, actually. Believe it or not, my life went from its normal Half-Assed schedule to one that went beyond hectic and straight into mind-numbingly crazy. When I last wrote, Hubby and I had just sold our house. It sounds like such an innocent thing, doesn’t it? If only it was as simple as “sold house; moved into new house”. Because of how crazy it’s been over the past 18+ months, I’ve decided to give you all an update. In four installments of “Dear Folks, Sorry I Haven’t Written Lately”, I’ll tell you about the insanity that my life had turned into so you can be up to date on all the changes that have happened (and there have been quite a bit!).

AWOL Explanation

Sorry I’ve been AWOL for the last two months, guys. Things have been super crazy. Like, my whole world was just picked up and shaken like a snow globe. What has been going on, you ask? Well, Hubby and I have decided to build a house. And sell our house. And move in with my mom, who is also selling her house and is also building a house. What can I say, we’re a slightly crazy family. Since I’ve been absent for the past two months, I thought I would give you a rundown of what we’ve been doing.

On August 17th we got home from DC, about a week later we innocently headed out to drop off a package and drove by a development that caught our eye. This place looked awesome. After we dropped off the package, we headed back to the development and took a look around. Well, we were totally sold on the place. That weekend we took my mom out and she fell in love with the area, too. With in a week we had both reached out to our realtor friend and started looking at homes. It wasn’t long before Hubby and I began working day and night getting our house ready to be listed. There was nothing major we needed to do, but there was a ton of little stuff. Paint touch up, holes that needed to be patched, etc.

Anyway, we finally found a house plan that we absolutely love and decided to build. Meanwhile, my mom also found a house and signed a contract. She was the smart one, though, and decided to wait to put her house on the market until things were a little closer to the move in date. The next step in our crazy adventure was to start picking everything out. And I mean everything, right down to the exterior mortar color. We had about twenty, maybe even thirty, different colors to pick from. Maybe this is just my inexperience talking, but I didn’t even know they made colored mortar! Right after our second design meeting, Hubby and I met with our realtor and signed more papers to put our house up for sale.

Around this time I got a surprise in the mail. It wasn’t anything fancy or expensive, but it was a first for me. This little surprise was… My first royalties check! OMG, right? Okay, it was only $5.00, but who cares?! Not long after that mom and I headed to LA for a little trip to get away from all the craziness of selling and buying houses. Little did I know that the day after I got into LA we would get an offer on our house. We literally had our house on the market for five days before we got an offer that we accepted, which started a whole new level of crazy in our life. By this time Hubby and I had already started packing little things up and moving everything into storage. We had also moved into my moms home, so we didn’t have to worry about finding an apartment to rent while our house was being built.

That all happened a month ago, though it feels like it all started earlier in the year. Just a couple weeks ago we finished our last design meeting and got to watch as our house transitioned from a dirt lot to an outline of cement blocks to a framed house. Yes, folks, our house is now framed! Which is absolutely astonishing considering that we got this whole thing started only (only?!) two months ago. Just yesterday, Hubby and I went through our framed-in house on an electrical walk. An electrical walk, I found out, is just about deciding where outlets, switches, and lights absolutely must go. Turns out new building codes require an outlet every six feet in a room, which is absolutely awesome. Our electrical walk only took an hour, but that felt a little long when it was only 42 degrees  and we were standing in the shade most of the time. Okay, truthfully I didn’t really care about the weather, I was inside my soon to be house!

So that’s it, really. That’s what I’ve been up to these past couple of months, hopefully you can forgive me. I can’t promise a consistent update, but I can promise that I will be posting regularly for the foreseeable future. I’m sure soon I’ll include you in more drama, especially if mom sells her house soon.

Well, until next time!

DC, Day Two

The last couple of days have ended a little late and a touch blurry, hence the no post. Since today is mostly our last day here (almost, we still have most of saturday) I thought I’d catch you up on the past couple of days

Day Two

Day two started out with a trip to the zoo, which was absolutely fabulous. Not long after we got there we realized that they had a baby panda (adorable!!!!). Little Boa Boa was one of the cutest little things ever! It was hard to get a good look at him since he decided to stay near the back of the exhibit (each exhibit was gigantic), but I did snap a couple good pictures.
Around 1:00pm we were getting a little peckish and thought about getting a snack, around this time Hubby looked at the map and realized that we had only seen about ⅓ of the zoo… and we’d been there for over two hours. The snack turned into lunch, which turned into cluster f*ck. There were four windows, two for po’boys and two for Italian food (pizza and such); however, you can order either one from either window. That wasn’t made clear to anyone until one clever person just ordered a damn pizza and a side of fries at the po’boy window. After that, things went slightly smoother… It still took a half hour for the six people in front of me to order.

After lunch we started down to see the rest of the zoo. Just as a warning for you folks, the hill that takes you down is easy to walk. The walk back sucks. It’s 8/10 of a mile. Up. Hill. And it’s not something that’s barely inclined, it’s a flipping hill. By this time we were pretty tired (read: my feet were hurting and i wasn’t looking forward to walking nearly a mile up hill). After seeing a few of the exhibits, Hubby and I trudged up the hill and started to make our way back towards the metro.

Our next stop was the Library of Congress. This place is an absolute must see if you’re ever in DC. I had seen pictures of the library part, so I wasn’t too convinced that it’d be as fascinating as everyone was saying. I was totally wrong. When you first walk in you see nothing but gorgeous archways, beautiful mosaic floors, and ceilings that are painted with angels.This was not what I was expecting. The beauty of the place made my jaw drop and all I wanted to do for the next few minutes was just stare at the ceiling and take pictures. After that we headed towards Thomas Jefferson’s library. That is a must see exhibit. This man had books on nearly every subject under the sun! From history to surgery to Spanish-English dictionaries and everything in between. It was amazing!

Afterwards we wandered over to the Persian exhibit. I can’t tell you all there is about the Persian exhibit, except that the books there are so beautiful that I wanted to take them home with me. Gold foiling, blue, red, and a myriad of other colors decorated pages of delicate script. It was absolutely gorgeous. Next was the American History exhibit, something I wasn’t too thrilled about. Once again I was blown away. This wasn’t the American history that you learned in school, this was the history of the Americas. There were artifacts from the Mayans, maps from when the Spaniards came to claim the land, and artifacts that made you wonder just how in the hell they did that. Seriously, folks, you must go the the Library of Congress.

Once we finished the Library, it was dinner time. Our choice of restaurants that night was Ben’s Chili Bowl. O.M.F.G. Delicious! The chili there was the perfect consistency for hotdogs and hamburgers, it held just a touch of spice, and was so flavorful. The chili cheese fries are to die for. They’re smothered in just the right amount of chili and cheese to make them messily delicious, but not soo much that it’s just a pain in the ass to eat. If you like chili and you like foods smothered in chili, you definitely have to go to this place.

After dinner we hit up a couple little bars that were near the restaurant. The first stop was Wine Bar 1301. It was a simple little place and we stopped in during Happy Hour. I had a glass of Rare Red, a blended red which was smooth, and Hubby had a glass of The Truth’s Flying Dog. As we were drinking, Hubby told me about this little bar around the corner that specialize in prohibition style drinks. We paid our tab and wandered around the corner and nearly walked by the place. The Gibson isn’t marked with a sign or anything, it just has a black door with their liquor license tacked up discretely in the window (that was the only way Hubby knew where it was). Once you go inside you’re taken to a table and given menus with a few pages of different drinks. This isn’t the place to get a Pina Colada, this is where you get a perfectly made Old Fashioned with an order of their house made olives. Hubby got himself and Old Fashioned and I ordered the Hollywood Addiction (a champagne mixed drink that was divine).

And that was that, folks! At least for day two! Right now Hubby is telling me it’s time to get my butt out of bed so we can start our day. I’ll tell you about our day yesterday later, but for now here are some pictures!

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DC, Day One

Day one of our DC trip started out a little soggy… okay, a lot soggy. Our drive from York, PA to DC was nothing but a soggy, flood condition, mess. It was the kind of rain storm that makes you wonder if someone’s been building an ark. Anyways, we did managed to make it into Baltimore to visit a little corner restaurant called L.P. Steamers. This place was absolutely amazing! When you walk in you’re greeted with picnic bench style tables and butcher paper table clothes. The atmosphere is super relaxed and everyone’s happy to see you. Our waiter immediately seated us and told us the best thing on the menu for sea food lovers was the Natti Boht Load, which had a generous helping of clams, oysters, scallops, shrimp, muscles, a lobster tail, and a dozen medium sized blue crab. This might seem like a lot of food to order for two people (and it was), but boy did we devour every little fleck of seafood that was on our table. Though this was the only restaurant that we’ve eaten at during the start of our DC trip, we had already decided that we were going to make the half hour drive from our hotel to return and smash some crab.

Our half hour drive from Baltimore to DC was filled with more rain and puddles of water, and the slight worry that we might be having a repeat of our Florida adventures. Thankfully that didn’t happen and we made it to our hotel with little problem. Once we got to our room (which had a king bed, thank you god), we (i) quickly unpacked our suitcases and began planning just what we really wanted to do while we were here. Today’s itinerary involved dinner at Chadwick’s and a stroll through parts of the National Mall.

Oh, and another part of that itinerary was getting me on a bus and the metro for the first time ever. Yes, folks, today was the first time I’ve ever been on public transportation.. And it was a little nerve wracking. Most of the nerves came from Hubby who decided today would be a good time to give me a crash course in navigation. This meant that I had to find the nearest metro station (and i did after going the wrong way for half a block), and then figure out just how to give from there to Chadwick’s. Surprisingly, I managed it. Not sure how, but I did.

When we got to the restaurant we were immediately greeted and taken upstairs to a second bar, which was totally empty. Not long after we were seated, a great waiter came over and began explaining about the menu and their happy hour special. One of the things on the Happy Hour menu were wings. Hubby, of course, ordered those hot with extra sauce. I ordered their daily special, the chicken enchiladas. When our food came, Hubby was slightly worried since they weren’t extra saucy and they weren’t traditional Buffalo style. After the first bite, though, all concern went out the window and he mowed through that plate of wings like a garbage disposal. When he finally finished nibbling off the last bits of meat from a drumstick, I asked for his rating. Guys, he gave these wings a 9/10! Can you believe that? Obviously Chadwick’s know what they’re doing.

Sadly, my enchiladas didn’t get that high of a scar. Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious.. they just weren’t what I was expecting. The sauce was delicious, the tortillas were soft and perfect, the cheese that coated the top was just the right amount of melted, but the filling… that was where it lost points. This filling had little chunks of potato in it and it just wasn’t a great texture to go with everything else. On the side was some strange black bean rice (it looked terrifying, but it was beyond delicious) and a little salad. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the potato chunks, I still managed to clean everything off of my plate. The food was that good.

After dinner we decided to go wander around the outskirts of the National Mall for a little while, which we finally were able to do once we managed to catch the right bus to the right place. We got to see the White House, some memorials for World War One, World War Two, and the Vietnam War. Standing before these monuments was a heavy experience. Tears came to my eyes as I read the placards for each of them. A little while later Hubby and I wandered the area for a little while before making the trek home (which was a bit easier since hubby was navigating this time).

Today was a fun filled, emotionally charged day and I can’t wait for tomorrow to start. We haven’t yet decided just what we will be doing, but we do know that it will be fun! Here are some pictures from today. Hope you enjoy them!

 

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The Thousand Islands

As promised, here is the Thousand Islands break down. Our time there was mostly spent just being with family, which meant that we sat around a barbecue and drank beer and shot the shit. During the day we did some sight seeing, like taking a boat tour of the area and a little walk through of Boldt Castle, but it truthfully was just about being together.

Our vacation also coincided with Pirate Weekend, which was pretty awesome. Everyone was dressed up and there were some pretty fun reenactments, but it was mostly just an excuse to dress up and get drunk (which we did). I had honestly thought that there was more to say on our vacation, but Hubby’s parents really just wanted to spend time with us. Every day was spent getting breakfast in my father and mother-in-law’s room and chatting about the things we did the night before. During the afternoons, we went and got a light lunch (and a beer or two) and by dinner time we were gathered at the motel’s patio grilling clams and sausages and just talking. It was truly a special time for us since we don’t get to see Hubby’s side of the family all that often. The trip wasn’t about sight seeing or partying, it was just about being together as a family. I would have been happy if all we did was sit around the grill all day just talking, we didn’t need to go sight see or take tours or even go out to eat and drink.

Our adventure in Washington, DC starts later tonight and I can’t wait. We’ve already got a list of places to visit and things to do and we’re dying to go out and do them!

Oops

So remember how I said I’d post everyday? Well… That didn’t work out, obviously. Part of it was that the motel we were staying at didn’t have any internet, the other part of it was that I was partying and having a little too much fun every night to remember to write down the daily events. I’d say I was sorry… but I’m not

Tomorrow Hubby and I are driving down to DC (where I’ll do my best to update you about everything), but tonight we’re hanging out with Hubby’s sister and her fiancé. Tomorrow during our drive I’ll be writing out everything that we did in the Thousand Islands. Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer!