This morning at Six Little Acres

I said it “rarely” snows here in west Georgia. Man, do I ever stand corrected!

The news said it would happen. The schools closed. I was still thinking maybe a dusting or something. Thinking that, but still making sure we had “all the things” to survive a snowpocalypse. Ie: milk and bread. For milk sandwiches? I dunno. It’s what we do.

Anyway, we woke up this morning to about 3″ of snow. Oh, it’s on top of ice, of course, and we don’t have neighbor guys with snow plows duct taped to the front of their pickup trucks, so we are in for the day- or two.

Anyway, here’s us today. At the humble Six Little Acres.

Thanks for visiting and God bless.

Kathy Bo

PS: our Baby Wren and her mommy (our favorite daughter- disclaimer: we have only one) just returned from Philadelphia for a checkup. She’s doing great! Please keep praying.

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To do lists

So we are now living life at Six Little Acres.  There are still many things to unpack and I’m slowly but surely making my way through the boxes.

Sometimes it’s like Christmas! I’m seeing things we “thought” were going to be stored for only three months, but glory be, it took a stinkin’ year and two months to finally get out of those storage units.

We’ve had only a few casualties; some china, a couple of items the movers thought they deserved (small stuff, God has that so we don’t have to pursue it), and Ninja Man’s shoulder. Yep, two slight tears in his rotator cuff. I asked him what happened. This is how it went:

Me: What in the world? Are you ok? Does it hurt? How did it happen?

Ninja Man: I don’t know.

Me: (We have been married nearly 41 years so I kinda know which question he chose to answer.) You don’t know how it happened? Were you with your shoulder all day? Did you loan it out? Are you secretly trying to do some sort of one-armed extreme sport?

Ninja Man: I don’t know.

Me: (see above part about 41 years)

Well, after several weeks of his wincing in pain, we went to the doc and it is determined that he will live. He got two shots, one where the sun don’t shine and another straight to the shoulder. I held his hand and gently reminded him that I delivered BOTH of his babies naturally. It’s the best I could do under the circumstances and it made the doctor laugh so it was sooo worth it.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

Spoiler alert: Having no money made me a list maker long ago when our kids were little, our mortgage was huge, and we were depressed when we were broke and irresponsible when we weren’t.

My lists went like the one I’m pasting in here. Stuff we can do that takes NO money and stuff we can do when we have a little extra. If any of you are IRS agents, I promise not to get anything until y’all are happy and friends with us again.

This will hang in the message area of the kitchen. What’s a message area? A blank wall for now but I’m going to make a sweet little something to hold lists such as this one.

By the way, the “no cost” list includes several things we already have like paint and stuff. It also includes elbow grease, as momma used to say, which means to get off one’s lazy fanny and work.

Things to do at Six Little Acres

No Cost

Outside:

Clean under carports

Clean up yard

Pick up branches

Clear spiderwebs

Touch up and paint porches

Put rug down on front porch

Fill holes in yard

Inside:

Master bath:

Add lights

Fix drawers

Touch up paint

Hang my makeup mirror

Adjust faucets

Studio bath:

Décor

Fix TP holder

Adjust faucets

Living room:

Repair and repaint post

Touch up paint

Décor

Make scripture for wall (Silhouette / vinyl)

Fix barn door

Kitchen:

Make rolling island

Make vinyl sign for chalkboard

Need funds:  

Outside:

$$     Paint carport roofs

$$     Buy or repair weed eater

$$     Install stepping stones or walkway to cars

$$     Make sitting area on hill

$$     Make firepit

$$     Get tree guy to see diseased trees

$$$   Remote for gate

$$$   Hire bobcat guy

$$$$ Build new porch on side of house

$$$$ Install fencing

$$$$ Install gutters

Inside:

$       Cordless phone with extra base

$$$   Rods and curtains in living room

$$$   Kitchen pantry

I hope this encourages someone to see parts of your own picture, not the whole overwhelming enchilada. Yesterday I unpacked our bedroom and organized the closet and dresser. It made all the difference in the world and I have to say I woke up happy for the first time in a long time. Cost was zero and momma would be proud.

Y’all be blessed, and please keep praying for the Six Little Acres folks. Baby Wren and her mommy (my daughter) are heading to Philadelphia soon for further treatment and we need that neuroblastoma to be gone.

Thanks for stopping by,

Kathy Bo

Moving Day

Y’all.

Our stuff is finally here.

Here at Six Little Acres.

Oh yes it is. And we, (the Ninja Man and moi) are exhausted beyond imagination.

Here’s what:

We rented a U-Haul and – through U-Haul- we hired two movers. Y’all remember how I’ve mentioned how blessed we are? Well, those two movers turned into three, and the four hours we paid for were finished in three!

That’s a big deal since Ninja Man had worked a full day and needed to go to bed. It’s just a piece of gravel in a mountain of major challenges we have faced.

None of this has been easy, y’all. None of it.

Let’s recap since February 2016. The 15th, to be exact was when Baby Wren was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in her neck. That is the day I will never forget. Baby cancer will do that to you. Looking back, it’s absolutely a devastating event that forever altered our lives. But it is also absolutely the time we have seen more blessings than we have ever witnessed.

With this news, there was not even a doubt that I would help our daughter and her husband with Wren and big sis Phoebe.

We moved away from our beautiful Savannah home, renting it out because it’s too soon in the mortgage to sell. We knew the expenses we would incur would be substantial. We own an RV and we moved into it.

We spent a full year renovating Six Little Acres with horrid contractors. I was in charge of the whole project and had to navigate it from a distance from either Savannah or the children’s hospital. All this while living in the RV near Savannah and me driving to Atlanta every 21 days for 13 rounds of baby chemo.

Our plan was to accomplish this place with no debt. We didn’t make that goal. We had to go into debt and now we will pay that as we go.

We finally finished this build/remodel in late May. I moved in and lived as sparsely as I’ve ever lived. Paper plates. No dresser for my clothes (I’ve successfully used cardboard boxes). Very few chairs, a borrowed pot and pan, no toaster, no washer or dryer and no TV. Everything we owned was in storage and Ninja would bring as much as he could every time he came. Im 58 years old. Let me just say that I am completely over hauling laundry to a laundromat either near SLA or at the campground. Over it, y’all.

We have been married nearly 41 years. Besides the washer and dryer, we have a good bit of stuff even though I pared it down a lot before we moved. Check this out: knowing how I needed furnishings and necessities, Ninja Man tirelessly loaded his truck after working 10 hour days (he had help only once) and drove the 3 1/2 hours from Savannah to our new home. He did this nearly every Friday for over four months.

He’s 64. There were bookcases and heavy boxes.

It’s a lot, y’all.

Fast forward to tonight. I can’t describe how tired we are. I’m too tired to cry. Too tired to put on my PJs. So I won’t do either.

Ninja Man and I left the RV (I was there to get some things done in Savannah) about 9:30 this morning. Instead of sleeping, I’d spent several hours being anxious about the SneakMobile being towed. Oh, I didn’t want to. I didn’t even expect to. It’s just a byproduct of being the sweet and loving control freak that I am.

Anyway, he drove the 26′ truck with The SneakMobile in tow. I drove his huge pickup truck.

Being the control freak that I am, I was surprised that once we were on the road, I really wasn’t worried at all. The SneakMobile is obedient, and followed along as if it we do this all the time.

Here we are challenging another U-Hauler to a duel.

Don’t worry, I never looked at my phone to take this picture. Seriously. It’s just a rare talent that I discovered shortly after the invention of picture-taking-phones.

Four hours later (only 30 extra minutes from our usual time) we were turning in at Six Little Acres.

Can I just tell y’all how big this is? Huge. Huge, y’all.

And that 26′ truck was filled, as momma would say, “to the gills.”

Having spent so much already, I put a call out on Facebook for help. Even though the offer was for pizza-compensation, we had folks eager to come at this crucial time.

Crucial because:

Both Ninja and I have issues with our right shoulders. Mine due to a hard fall on concrete, his a mystery injury. I asked him if he was with his shoulder at the time it was injured, he assured me he was. We have no clue what happened but he will get an MRI next week.

And can I just say that I saw my X-ray and I’m downright skinny up under all this fluff. Skinny bones. Yep. That’s me.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the “during”. I will start on boxes tomorrow, right after I sleep until somebody makes me drag my drivin-all-over-the-dang-place-paper-plate-using-laundromat-hanging-out-whiney butt out of the bed.

And not a moment sooner.

Thanks for stopping by, and thank you all who have been praying for Baby Wren. Keep it up please, she has a ways to go yet.

God bless,

Kathy Bo.

An uninvited guest named Irma

We are southwest of Atlanta. We watched the news of Hurricane Irma with great interest, as we have friends and family in Florida and Savannah. We also still own a home in Savannah and so far it fared well.

Being southwest of Atlanta, we figured we’d have nothing more than rain.

We were wrong.

That danged old storm just found her way into places no one expected. And though we had only wind and rain, Six Little Acres was no exception to Irma’s SE trek.

There was rain, lots of it. It was the kind of cold rain that the pups refused to go outside.

All weekend.

We finally devised a plan that meant leading them out and letting them go in the carport. The carport is a metal roof thing with dirt as a floor, so it was perfect for pups “on the go”. This single thing was probably the best plan all weekend.

We had wind that twisted the treetops in a weird and creepy way. That wind got up to a guesstimate of about 40 mph and spread that cold rain with it.

We were ready for a power outage. We had hurricane snacks as well as bottled water, sandwich fixings, canned goods and chips.

Ninja Man and the FSIL filled every gas tank we had just in case we needed the generator.

The grandLittles were stir crazy after a few short hours and needed some chicken-chasin’ outdoors. But as the rain and winds continued, we all just did our best to entertain them.

Here’s a great illustration of Ninja Man, favorite daughter (ok, she’s our only daughter) and yours truly, coping with the storm.

I know. It’s hard to muster up any sympathy. Except for a flicker or two, we never lost power.

Please keep praying for those who were hit hard during this storm as well as Harvey. They may never regain their lives and livelihoods. Having once lost all our possessions in a fire, it breaks my heart to see the devastation reported from these storms across the Caribbean, Atlantic and the Gulf.

Prayers also please for Baby Wren and favorite daughter as they travel to Pennsylvania for more treatment. We are so blessed that they CAN travel. That there IS medicine. That we ARE able to have treatment for our Little. We are blessed beyond imagination.

Thank you for stopping by, and God bless each of you.

Kathy Bo

Sleep is overrated

It’s 3:45 in the morning and I can’t sleep.

Most of the time the reason I can’t sleep is because my mind is overcome with concern over our grandLittle Wren’s illness, other family needs, finances, and the fact that right now, Ninja Man and I are living in two different cities until his retirement is a reality.

But tonight it’s different.

I’m excited.

I didn’t know I was excited until I had spent maybe an hour lying there, wondering why I couldn’t sleep. I tossed. I turned. I prayed for people. I thought about reading, but Ninja Man was snoring beside me and the light might wake him.

I finally slipped out and, followed by the dog who never leaves my side, I quietly closed the bedroom door and walked into the kitchen.

That’s it.

My kitchen was becoming familiar.

There was the salt and pepper shakers I’ve had for years, right by the stove where they belong. Close by, my cooking utensils filled a decorative jar. The dishwasher, full of favorite dishes, waited to be emptied.

There’s a lamp softly glowing in the living room. Ninja Man installed those energy efficient light bulbs in everything so the lamp can stay on for ages and barely click our meter. I love seeing its gentle light as it stands sentry in an otherwise dark room, illuminating a small collection of photos of Ninja Man and me.

Until recently, this “new” home has been sparsely furnished with items we have been given or had to purchase. Until yesterday I’ve had disposable cups and paper plates. Even the sofa, love seat and recliner are some we purchased from a yard sale.

All of this because everything we own has been in storage. Most of it still is.

I’m not nearly as materialistic as this may read, but I do enjoy some of the familiar things that have made our house a home for many years.

This has been an expensive and exhausting time in our lives and it isn’t over yet. We really can’t afford the huge moving van so almost every weekend Ninja Man arrives in his pickup truck, loaded with as much as he could haul from one of our storage units. We will do it this way until we get it down to U-Haul size. Meanwhile, he has been awesome by bringing as much of my crafting and sewing supplies as possible, and my studio is coming together really well. But the stuff he brought this week was special.

There was a box marked “favorite everyday dishes” and yes, they are. Another held daily silverware, something I’ve missed quite a lot. Others held my mixing bowls, a toaster oven, dish towels and many things I “need” in my kitchen. I unloaded several of these boxes and filled the dishwasher. It was running late into the evening.

It wasn’t anxiousness or worry this time. I couldn’t sleep because I’m so happy my house is becoming our home. It’s almost like Christmas, and Ninja Man has to many more trips to make before everything finds its way here.

But for now I’ll enjoy what we have. Oh, and dream about the fact that the Emotional Baggage Room will have a floor by the time Ninja Man leaves on Sunday! This is huge, y’all. It’s a game changer. More on that later!

Y’all be blessed, keep up the prayers for baby Wren, and know I appreciate each of you!

Kathy Bo

 

 

IKEA farm sink

I can’t even say how long it has been since I first wanted a farm sink. What is a farm sink? I dunno, but my definition is a very large apron sink. 

I found one online at IKEA and fell in love with it, but actually getting it was a huge challenge.  Once I ordered, I found that you cannot do some very basic things once you’ve surrendered you hard earned money to IKEA. 

You cannot track an order on the IKEA website. 

You cannot access your order. 

You can do nothing towards seeing what you have ordered. 

What you can do is call the 800 number. 

I called IKEA and held on for 23 SOLID MINUTES before getting a human. 

I told the human, “Wait a minute. This is 2016! We’ve been tracking orders for a hundred years!” 

Human was not amused. 

I had an email – not an order confirmation- oh no- that sort of thing apparently is too high tech for IKEA. The email showed it had shipped, via some carrier, and it gave an order number. I gave that number to Human. 

“It has shipped,” Human informed me. 

I was now into about 28 minutes to find out what I already knew. 

I was told to call the shipper to get more information. 

I called. I was told immediately that the sink was broken- or lost- and IKEA should have gotten with me to replace it. There was a faucet too. It was going to be held for the replacement to arrive and they would ship together. 

Oh happy day. 

Well, except that I now had to go through all that IKEA customer service call stuff again. 

We were in the process of a mega move. Why mega? Because: long story. Trust me, it will make you cry. Ugly cry. I’ll save the whole sordid tale for a night out where ice cold low carb beer flows from a tap. Then we will laugh and laugh and laugh. In between bathroom breaks I’m really funny when I get ice cold low carb beer on tap. Really funny. 

A few calls later and my sink was on its way. It finally came, amid a bit of drama (full disclosure on cold beer night).


Isn’t it adorable? Joanna Gaines uses these all the time on her Fixer Upper show. 

But as fabulous as my 108 lb, 36″ sink is, it’s just a fancy birdbath unless you have a faucet. 

And my long-awaited sink/birdbath needed a really neat faucet. One just like this:


And that happened to be the one that is, to this day, waiting on its sink in a dark corner somewhere on a loading dock. 

So I called IKEA and got a REAL human, one who clearly excels at everything IKEA and without a doubt is an overachiever in life. She is probably also cute and will be cute even when she is old. 

I liked her anyway. 

So much so that I asked for her supervisor so I could share how helpful she was in getting my replacement faucet on its way to me. 

IKEA may lack what most third world countries have in decent customer service, but I still love their products. Even better are their meatballs. But that’s when I’m fortunate enough to be able to actually go to the IKEA store and not order online or by phone. 

Imagine the length of time to get meatballs delivered. I’d starve. 

So the sink is here and the faucet FINALLY shipped 8 days (7 to 10 was the timeframe) after I called. It is actually paired with a tracking number and FedEx will bring it on Friday. 

I’ll post a selfie with it on social media and only readers of this blog will have a clue about why I’m posing with a faucet and a smile. 

It will be a great story to share. At least if we have some cold beer first. Then it will be hilarious. 

Thanks for stopping by and God bless!

Kathy Bo