Friday, September 30, 2011

Picking Up Where I Left Off...

Previously, on Three Mutts and a Baby:

My Baby turned one.

My Mutt, George, passed away suddenly at the age of five.
Then I ceased all blogging. I was just in no mood. I had nothing to say. Can I even continue blogging on Three Mutts and a Baby when I don't have three mutts, and my baby isn't a baby anymore? How was I to proceed?
"I can't think about that right now. I'll think about that tomorrow."

If these coping skills worked for the incomparable Scarlett O'Hara, they can work for me.

Tomorrow came, and I received word that my 80-year-old maternal grandmother, widowed for twenty years and living independently, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and would have to move to a nursing home.

Later that same week, Amy boarded a plane and moved to New Jersey.
"She was my best good friend."

Forrest Gump coped with his grief by running. I only run when I'm being chased or when I'm trying to catch one of my mutts on the loose in the neighborhood. Instead, I fell into the rabbit hole that is Pinterest. I began compulsively cleaning out all my closets and cabinets and trying out craft projects I found on Pinterest:

I decoupaged a wreath
I began a t-shirt quilt project using all my old t-shirts that has, at the moment, stalled. If I can just complete the next stage, my Aunt Wilma will quilt it for me. Yeah, I have an Aunt Wilma. You wish you did, too.
I constructed a new jewelry display

I reorganized my closet for the fourth time in as many years

I made homemade laundry detergent. And I'm not even a Duggar!
I am obsessed with making Shutterfly books. My latest creation? A tribute to George. Obviously.

As a little side note, I learned a lot about crafting during this experience. It is expensive! I always thought crafting was a hobby for women who weren't athletic or rich enough to play tennis. Turns out you have to fork out plenty of dough to make your own decorative household items. If I hadn't clipped coupons and purchased all the supplies over a period of a couple weeks, from a number of different stores based on lowest price and special discounts, it would have cost me about $50 to make that little wreath. I spent about $25, but chasing down sales and waiting for coupons was kind of a pain in the ass. I realize that people craft as a hobby and they have a special satisfaction from making something themselves, but seriously? Did you know for another $10 you could have the peacock wreath from ZGallerie?
Me likey.

So, I was leaving Hobby Lobby the other day, when Steve calls me from work. He has a bee in his bonnet over the ever-decreasing home mortgage interest rates, and says he wants to refinance our home to get in on the savings. 

My heart sinks. 

We live in a lovely neighborhood, but it is more than 30 miles away from where Steve works. Steve leaves every morning between 6:00 and 7:00 AM to beat the traffic and get a jump start on his day. If he works until closing, he doesn't get home until 7:45 or 8:00 PM. He only takes a couple days off a month. What I'm saying is, we don't have much of a family life. We have always said that our next home will be larger (read: more expensive) and closer to Steve's place of work, and that we'll make the move once we've saved more money, but before Robinson begins school. Anybody who understands home refinancing knows that it is foolish to refinance a home you don't plan to live in for at least five more years. If we stay in this home five more years, Robinson will be playing tee ball, starting Kindergarten, he will have friends. We will have planted roots here, and we'll never leave. Since Amy has moved away, I don't really have anybody up here. The rest of my friends are scattered throughout the metroplex. I feel like I live on a deserted island. I never saw Amy on a daily basis, but now that she's gone, I realize how comforting it was just knowing she was down the road. It made me feel like I'm not alone. 

Through Steve's job, he's made a lot of friends and acquaintances in the community where he works. He is invited to socialize, participate with volunteer organizations, and just be part of the community. I want that for our whole family. I just want to be someplace where we feel like we belong. I want to run into somebody I know at the grocery store. I want to know my neighbors. I want to spend more than an hour a day with my husband. 

So I throw out a suggestion: "Hey, instead of refinancing this house and continuing this brutal commute, wha-da-ya-say we make a lateral move across town? Think of how much you'll save in fuel and tollway charges! And you can actually see your son before bed time every day..."

To my surprise (and delight. and relief.) Steve agreed. And so begins our latest adventure...