carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

Things I’m happy about

I occasionally do stop complaining.  Here are some things that Ben and I are delighted about, tickled about, happy about….

Fruit    I really expected crappy fruit and very high prices.  We are both very surprised at how good fruit is here.  We have had some very good cantaloupes.  Yes, I know they are not in season and not local, but they are good.  Really good and big.  We can manage to get 4 breakfasts from one of them.  Citrus has also been a surprise.  I was afraid I would never seen a blood orange again, but not the case.  And more variety than what we saw in Italy.  I am happy to be eating Temples and Minneolas again.   And tomatoes!  As good as ones that I used to buy at Esselunga.   Last week I even saw beautiful mix of heirloom tomatoes in my Harris-Teeter that were not too expensive.  But by and large I find groceries expensive.  However, I have to qualify that by writing, that we are shopping at a fairly pricey store, simply out of convenience.  Raleigh is blessed with many grocery store choices.  I know this.  I just need to plan our time a little better and start visiting a store more than 4 blocks away.   I think I am still seduced by 2 grocery stores that I can reach in less than 5 minutes.

Newspapers     One arrives at out door every day.  It is crap compared to what  I remember, but still a delight that it arrives.  I find that of the 60 some households in this complex where I share a recycling bin, we are one of the few that recycles a paper and I think gets an actual paper.

Weather    Oh, I know this is a true exception.  But it is sunny here.  No fog.  And at least one day a week in the 70s.  But I know it is still February and all this can change very fast.  I’ll take every 70 degree that there is.

Basketball!  Oh my goodness!  It is almost too much.  We need to schedule our lives around all these games.  But this too will end.  The almost, last big event, the ACC tournament starts on March 7 and then of course there will be the NCAA tournament.  And then it will be all over but…. by then nice weather will be here for sure.

Work on the condo    Progressing at a nice pace.  All the ripping out is done.  New walls are studded in.  The deck was approved and work on it will start this week.  That means Ben will be able to get in and see things.  I’ll be able to set up the planter bed.  We still have decisions that have to be made but maybe by the end of this coming week most of those will be done.

So by and large we are doing well.  Hope you are too

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Oh yeah, we can have BBQ whenever we want….That helps immensely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Work has started

A number of years ago, Ben and I spent a week in a small house in a very small village, in the south of France.  One day I put laundry out to dry and we left.  A wind storm developed while we were gone and when we came back we discovered that laundry was all over the place.  I had to go through several yards to reclaim my ‘knickers’ (as my friend Jules would say) and ended up in the yard of the manor house.  The husband of the woman who had inherited it all was there and we started chatting.  He was  Scottish, and had worked for BP all over the world.  Very interesting man.  Then he started talking about when they first got the place and started trying to clean and update it.  “I couldn’t believe the electrical box.  Wires coming out it from every where.  We started pulling wires.  Lights started going off in that little  house (pointing just outside the wall)  and then that one and then that one.”  Turns out that most of the village  was getting their electricity through his meter.  Ben and I snickered over that for the rest of the trip.

So this morning I was over to see how work was  going on our condo.  The electrician called me to show me this

 

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This is where my bathtub was.  The other side of the wall is a room owned by my neighbor.  Evidently this plug has been wired in to my electrical source for 30 some years.  I laughed and thought of that Scottish Frenchman.

Anyway, work started last week.  Just ripping out so far.  So this has become

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this.  Wow huh?  I guess I need to get busy and finish picking tile, cabinets and things.

Ben and I were both sick last week.  The whole week.  We are feeling better and got out today.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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Tuesday, January 24

We finished the first phase of our move.  You know, the move that started December 1.

In January, we had been having unusually mild weather and I felt like it might not last.  The lease period was running out on our rental car.  The pots and pans in our rental unit are all warped.  Rent would soon be due for the storage unit in New Jersey.   All good reasons to rent a van and make the trip back to Ocean City, NJ to collect the last of our belongings.

So this was our third rental vehicle.  Our friends BK and Jim drove us to pick it up.  Ben stayed in the car with Jim.  BK got in the rental van with me.  I started the van.  There were some random beeps.  We checked seat belts.  I checked all the display lights.  The beeps stopped.  We drove off.  The beeps started again.  Randomly!   I’m thinking maybe it is a speed warning so I slow waayyyy down and still the beeps are happening. Randomly!   I am getting more and more irritated.  BK has pulled out the manual and is looking for warning sounds. I’m screaming obscenities because the beeping is driving me crazy!  Randomly!   We arrive to where we are meeting Ben and Jim.  I’m still screaming.  Threatening to take the car back to the rental place.   Go to take off my seat belt and realize it is my cell phone that is beeping.   As I said, it was our third rental vehicle in less than 2 months.

Anyway, Ben and I made it up to Georgetown, Delaware and spent the night there.  The next morning we got up, drove to Ocean City, NJ.  My cousin’s husband, the wonderful Pete, met us at the storage unit.  We (who am I kidding, HE) loaded the van.  It was packed to the gills.  We drove back to Georgetown and met Ben’s son and his wife for dinner.  The next morning we drove back to Raleigh.  And finally on Tuesday, January 24, a total stranger who I found on the web site Moonlighting  (https://www.moonlighting.com/ ) helped me unload all the suitcases.

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So now the first phase of our move is finished.  Several times last week we made visits to the storage unit and found all kinds of treasures.  Teaspoons!  We have more than 1 now.  Pots and pans that actually touch the stove top.  Sheets, more than one set.  And our blue blanket.  It is amazing how a few items can bring such comfort.

We also picked out some of the finishes for the condo remodel.

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Flooring on the far left. Ben’s shower floor in the lower center.  Ben’s shower walls, the large bluish piece of tile.  Kitchen cabinets, hardware and counter top above.

We managed to pick up some replacements for the bits that didn’t move, like a slow cooker, a cast iron skillet, a snow/ice brush for the car (more about the car later) and paint samples to consider.  While that doesn’t sound like a big accomplishment you need to know that even though Ben and I lived in Raleigh, we have been gone almost 20 years.  It has changed a lot.  I keep getting lost.  For those who know Raleigh, you can laugh when you read that I am confusing Oberlin Rd and St Mary’s St.  So that when I arrive at Glenwood Avenue, at not where I thought I would end up, I am so irritated.  And then I keep thinking the Harris-Teeter is Big Star and the Bank of America is NCNB.  And Ben and I have to chat in the parking lot about how we are going to get somewhere, once we get there and start back another discussion ensues.  So any activity takes much longer than expected.  And we won’t even talk about Cary!!!!!!

We had BBQ at Clyde Coopers.  Good seafood in Delaware and Virginia  http://www.thegreatmachipongoclamshack.com/  (Tania and Keith did you get my email about this place?)  Lots of Asian food because we did find the new Super H (Asian market) in Cary and a spiral sliced ham that was soooooo good!  And we have managed to go a whole 7 days without having sauteed yellow squash.

So we are eating well.  Ben has received in-home physical therapy which he is, on his own, keeping up.    We have lots of things that make us feel ‘at home’.  We have seen friends.  We have a car.  We are moving forward with the work on our condo.  I am so grateful that things are going well and that it has been as relatively easy as it has been.  And I feel for all those folks who were approved to immigrate to the US and had their plans STOPPED!  If that had happened to us I probably would have had a heart attack and a stroke.

Now that we are more settled I hope to catch up on the bits of our trip that are missing and work starts on the condo next week so it will be fun to follow and there is the car.  Just wait until you see that!

 

 

 

 

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