Posts Categorized: Home Sweet Home

Welcome Home

September 23, 2016 Home Sweet Home 4

We had 2 new kiddos join our family this week.


(If you follow me on Instagram you already know this… sorry for the repost I guess, but CATS so whatever.)

The slinky gray one on the left is Bentley. He’s a little shy, hates closed doors, and is very good at pouncing and going for the kill.

The fluffy orange one on the right is Oliver. He’s a big cuddlebug, likes watching TV, and he hasn’t quite figured out how the litterbox works yet.

These two are a bonded pair — probably siblings, but we don’t know for sure. They were at the shelter for a while because their previous human passed away, but they couldn’t be adopted out separately because they’re so attached to each other. I found out that the shelter was having a 50% off sale on cats AND they have a BOGO deal for bonded littermates, so… here we are!

Saying Goodbye

January 7, 2016 Home Sweet Home 0


We had to say goodbye to our beloved cat, Curiosity, this week.

He was only 10 years old. He had a liver tumor and some other internal issues, so we elected to put him to sleep. Holding my sweet, handsome boy while I let him die was the worst thing I have ever done.

Getting used to life without him is going to be hard. I keep expecting to see him in his usual napping spots, seeing little reminders everywhere. I miss him so much.


New Home, New Jobs

October 1, 2015 Geekery, Home Sweet Home 0

These past couple of months have been just a tad overwhelming.

First, our new house ….

It took about a month and a half of waiting and a mountain of paperwork and several sleepless nights to get here, but we’re finally settled in and getting everything set up just right for us. There are lots of things we need to buy or fix or change, but this place is finally starting to feel like it’s really ours.

Here’s some more good news ….

Last month, while we were in the process of buying the aforementioned house, Gary was offered a better job at the museum. While he certainly enjoyed (and was very good at) his previous job, it was an hourly customer service position that required lots of energy and patience. His new position is salary, which is certainly nice, but more importantly he’s getting to work with the actual artifacts and other back-end type of museum stuff.

Here’s even more good news ….

I’ve started work at a new library. I’m now in the technical services department of a university library (a very nice one, though I’m not really comfortable going into too much detail about it). This is really kind of bittersweet, because I was truly sorry to leave my job at the public library. I enjoyed working there and I’ll miss my coworkers and even some of the patrons (though definitely not some others). But when a big opportunity like this falls in your lap, you can’t ignore it, can you? So I took that opportunity and now I’m settling in at the new place and learning lots of new stuff. It’s exciting but a little bit exhausting, not gonna lie.

To be quite honest, I’m really hoping for a period of stability now. This past year has been absolutely bonkers — a big car wreck followed by an unexpected promotion for me followed by a hoped-for promotion for my husband followed by a new house followed by another new job for me….

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for our recent good fortune, but I’m ready to sit back and enjoy life for a while!

Home Sweet Home … ?

August 29, 2015 Home Sweet Home 0

We bought a house!

It’s been an adventure. We’re first-time homeowners, and this is one of those situations where no matter how much you read on a subject you just can’t be 100% prepared for all the stuff that will or can happen. The whole process has just been a roller coaster ride.

First, it’s a seller’s market out there – most homes won’t stay on the market for more than a few week if the price is fine, and many people are putting offers in on houses without ever even seeing them first. This, of course, drives up home prices… but at least interest rates on mortgage loans aren’t so bad right now. The house we chose did have at least one other offer – but we won!

Then we discovered that all of the accounts from one of our student loan companies were duplicated on our debt/liability report, making it look like we owed almost twice as much as we actually do. What a headache!

Then the appraisal didn’t match up with the price we agreed to on our contract. Turns out the house is about 300 square feet smaller than advertised! So we had to renegotiate the contract after we thought we had all of our ducks in a row.

There were a couple of other little stumbling blocks – paperwork missing dates, the sellers moving out of state earlier than expected, movers being far more expensive than we planned for, that sort of thing.

Everything turned out OK in the end, though.



Sneakers here, enjoying the new living room before the furniture arrived.


Our new home has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a big living room, and even an office space! It’s a bit bigger than we thought we’d get. And it is right at the top of our price range, but it also came with appliances (which we would have had to buy since we didn’t own the ones in our rental house) and is in spectacular shape — the inspector only found a couple of little things that we’ll have to address after moving in. It’s in just the right location for us, too, and the surrounding neighborhood is decent.

We just closed on the house a couple of days ago. So now begins the moving process! Lots of unpacking and cleaning to do….

Thus begins our latest adventure. More details to come. 🙂

Fond Farewell to a Noble Steed

March 11, 2015 Home Sweet Home 0

I found out this week that Karmit was totalled.

Karmit was my 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid. I named him Karmit (Car-mit) for obvious reasons….


Yes, I 100% fell
for Muppet marketing.
No regrets.

I was rear-ended on the highway in late February of this year. I was lucky in 3 ways. First, I was not really injured. Minorly bruised ribs due to proper seatbelt usage hardly counts as injury. Second, I did not hit the car in front of me, causing a chain reaction of rear-ends. (Although now I’m picturing some sort of chain reaction of butts, which is far more amusing than what actually happened.) I veered off into the grass, so there were only 2 vehicles involved in this accident. The third lucky thing, obviously, is that the accident was not my fault — and the other driver had insurance.

smashed car

This was the last I saw of Karmit.

I admit that I cried when my husband told me that the collision center declared Karmit a total loss. It’s kind of silly, but I was super attached to my Escape. He was only my second vehicle, the first (Fred) being an older (but safe, sort of fun, and begrudgingly beloved) hand-me-down from my mother. Karmit served me well for almost 8 years.

He was a good car.



November 27, 2014 Home Sweet Home 0

I’m thankful for my job. I work at a decently funded nonprofit, which is practically a miracle in and of itself. I was somehow promoted within 1 year of being hired on there, and regardless of whether I was really ready for that it was an amazing opportunity. And despite not being 100% mentally prepared for that change, I managed to make it work with the help of my officemates, management, and mentors. The majority of the people I work with are excellent coworkers. Furthermore, I generally like what I do and I look forward to going to work almost every workday. For this, I am thankful.

I’m thankful for my husband’s job. He works and volunteers at one of the best science museums in the world and he gets to be around some really amazing stuff all the time. A lot of interesting and outstandingly intelligent people work there with him. Many of his coworkers have evolved into friends and mentors. He gets to make good use of his talents and knowledge, and there’s a possibility of an even better set of job duties in the future. For this, I am thankful.

I’m thankful for our friends. We have friends who live nearby, with whom we go out for pizza or talk about books and videogames or watch movies. And then there are the far-away friends, whom we don’t get to see nearly often enough, but the truest friendships last despite the distance and time gaps. Some friends are parents, with adorable kids who will necessarily grow up to be awesome people because their parents are awesome people. Many friends are childfree like us and our shared freedom is certainly cherished. A few very dear friends have known us since childhood and have for some reason opted to remain friends anyway. For this, I am thankful.

I’m thankful for our family. Perhaps we don’t get to see everyone as often as we’d like, but the love we share is still strong. Our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on all helped shape us into the people we are today. Our parents, especially, had to put up with quite a lot of mess — literally and figuratively — but they managed to survive the raising of us. My mother is one of the smartest and most determined people I know. And I couldn’t have asked for a kinder, more wonderful set of in-laws. For this, I am thankful.

I’m thankful for our ancestors. This random assortment of people make up our own little piece of the history of humankind. They were Irish, English, French, German, Austrian, Spanish, and so on; they immigrated because they fled war or wanted adventure or saw economic opportunities or needed to start life afresh; they crossed the ocean in sailing ships or steam ships and they crossed the land in covered wagons, by train, or by foot; they were farmers and carpenters and weavers and watchmakers and roughnecks and preachers and journalists. We have inherited some fascinating stories along with our DNA. For this, I am thankful.

I’m thankful for our home. It isn’t ours, technically, but we are lucky enough to have a fairly laid-back landlord — and even more lucky to share this place with decent neighbors. The dog has his very own back yard. The garden includes a spectacularly self-sufficient and overenthusiastic lemon tree. We have plenty of room and lots of interesting stuff to fill it up with. We have electricity and clean water, which are 2 things that far too many people still have to do without. For this, I am thankful.

I’m thankful for my health and for the health of the people I care about. Neither I nor my husband have suffered any terrible injuries or devastating illnesses over the past few years. We don’t take care of our bodies like we should, it’s true, but we’re both getting better about that. The health insurance our jobs provide gives me peace of mind. And even though our parents and some friends have dealt with health problems recently, they all came out OK (or at least not dead, which is almost the same thing if you look at it from a certain angle). For this, I am thankful.


5 Years

July 10, 2014 Home Sweet Home 0

We’ve been married for 5 years already.

Sometimes it feels like it’s been much longer. Really, it sort of has. We dated for quite a while before tying the knot (we were quite young), so actually we’ve been together for about 9 years total.


Sometimes it feels like it hasn’t been very long at all. My parents didn’t even get to have their 5th wedding anniversary before my father was killed. We are so lucky to have each other during the short time that we’re allowed in this life.

Enjoy your time with the people you love. Time sometimes runs out faster than you imagine it can.


Ammonite Tie, Simplicity 4762

July 1, 2014 Home Sweet Home, Stitching 0


Today is my husband’s birthday. He works at a science museum and he’s required to wear a tie every day. He’s gathered quite the collection over the past couple of years. Still, most of his ties are of the abstract pattern variety — stripes, dots, checks, paisley, and the occasional vague floral. And when one works at a science museum and one’s only mode of self-expression through dress is a necktie, well, one wishes for something more… sciencey.

Hence: the Ammonite Tie.


The fabric is a “ditsy” print by Roz Robinson at Spoonflower. I got a couple of yards of the cotton sateen, which worked OK for this project even though it wasn’t as silky as I’d hoped. Frankly, it feels… cheap. Which it certainly wasn’t. It’s too bad, because the ammonite print is so charming. Gary hasn’t worn it yet, so we’ve yet to see how well it does during an average workday.


All told, this thing took me about 4 to 5 hours (not counting a practice run), and I’m a novice. You could probably whip up a tie in no time flat with this pattern (Simplicity 4762) if you’ve had more experience and are more confident with things like basting or fusible interfacing.


I’m very likely to make another tie and I may order some more fun science-themed prints from Spoonflower artists, but I won’t be using this fabric again.


May 18, 2014 Home Sweet Home 0

My mother generously gifted us both AncestryDNA kits for Christmas last year. It took us far too long to get around to sending our spit off to be analyzed, but I’m so glad we did.

No big surprises here — we’re both fairly familiar with family lore, though we both also have plenty of holes to fill and not a lot of proof about certain stories (see: every white American’s hypothesized Native great^n-grandparent). But it is nice to see some actual biological evidence of one’s family history.

Here’s mine. . . .


The British + Western European isn’t surprising at all. I grew up knowing that most of the family was English, French, and German (both sides). The Scandinavian isn’t too surprising either; family lore indicates the possibility of Scandinavian roots, plus there has just been a lot of admixing between Scandinavia and the rest of Europe over the centuries. (Regardless, I’m totally going to pretend it is because I’m part Viking and you can’t stop me.) Iberian (Spanish) fits in with a certain branch of the Cajun part of my family. I’m a little surprised by all that Irish. I guess that’s a branch of the family that I haven’t investigated yet!

Besides all that, the system actually matched me up with a distant family member who’d also done the DNA test. We’re apparently 2nd cousins 1x removed (her great-grandfather was my great-great-grandfather). Isn’t that just amazing? I’m so glad that she’s got a detailed family tree available publicly — now I’ll be able to find out so much more about that branch of my family tree.

Here’s Gary’s. . . .


My husband has even less information about his family history than do I, but the primarily British + Western European ancestry isn’t a big surprise for him either. But look at all those “trace” possibilities!

Gary’s great-uncle has also done this DNA test (his great-aunt is the one building the family tree), and they were matched right away. Thankfully they’re still in contact and we’ll be able to “steal” some family tree info from them, too!

I’ve been working on our family trees off and on for the past few months, and the more I learn the more I want to know.


Next Year’s Lemons

March 30, 2014 Garden, Home Sweet Home 0

Our lemon tree is already hard at work getting ready for next winter’s harvest….

Lemons_2014_1 Lemons_2014_2

The backyard smells incredible. It’s almost a little too strong, like a woman wearing just a tad too much of an otherwise nice perfume. Thought I ought to get some good snaps early this morning before the wasps start showing up.

Lemons_2014_3 Lemons_2014_4

It just occurred to me that I never posted about our lemon harvest this past winter! We didn’t even get an “official” count. I guesstimated that we pulled about 300 fruits from the tree in January.  I wonder how many we’ll pull next year?