As I’ve mentioned before, we all take turns cooking. We tried The Who’s next plan, but it had some flaws, mainly us forgetting the order we would go, so we amended it, to pick specific days. Mitch is Sunday, Angel is Monday, I’m Tuesday, Taylor is Wednesday, Eli is Thursday and Nettie has Fridays. Saturday is fend for yourself day or whoever has an idea.

This past Tuesday as we sat around having dinner, someone asked Miss Taylor, who’s 12, what she was making for dinner tomorrow. She’s mastered the grilled cheese, Ramen noodles and spaghettios, and is an amazing assistant when I’ve been cooking or baking in the kitchen. She wasn’t sure what to make, so it was suggested she check out some cook books to get some ideas. I immediately go to the bookshelf and grab her a stack of recipe books.

The stack of cook books

In the stack, was a recipe book that her Great Great Grandma Baldock had created years ago.

She began reading the inscription, and got quite intrigued.

Not only did she decide to make a few things from the book, but she’s now committed to making everything in the book. Each week, when it’s her turn to cook, we get to experience the new generation honoring the past. She made a list of everything in the book and will check them off once created.

She made for us Beef steak bundles

copper carrot Pennie’s

Together they tasted really good

and snicker German cake, so yummy!

We also learned that oleo is another word for margarine
Delicious with vanilla ice cream (notice the counter)

She was in the kitchen for hours, slicing dicing and baking. It was all her, except for cutting the meat, which she asked nana (angel) for assistance.

Master chef Tay, cutting onions like the pro’s on the shows

As the evening died down, Mitch and I were still awake at midnight, digging through more boxes. Exhausted, we finally called it a night around 12:30 am. Approximately 2 a.m. we are woke by a panicked knock on our door, and Angela’s voice saying, “you guys! Taylor got bit by a scorpion on her chest while she was sleeping! I don’t know what to do!” We hop out of bed, skeptical that it was a scorpion because we just had the whole house sprayed for bugs on the 9th. When Mitch made it into her room, there it was laying on the bed…dead. Mitch grabbed a paper towel and took it off her bed. Taylor had already been up, icing it, fearful of the possibility that it could kill her.

The culprit
It was a bark scorpion

Not only was she bit, under the sheets, under her shirt, she was bit on the hand. She was in quit a bit of pain, saying it felt like 5 bee stings, but mainly the fear of getting bit by a poisonous scorpion had her in a panic. Honestly, we were all in a panic. We decided to call poison control to ask what to do. They stated that we need to watch her eyes, if they begin darting back and forth, nausea and vomiting and difficulty breathing we should take her into the emergency room. Mainly in the first hour, otherwise use an ice pack for the pain and try to keep her calm to reduce the spread of the venom. The hour passed, all was good and she fell back to sleep before the rest of us did.

Nettie decided to go out on the back patio after all the excitement, and spotted a large black spider up on the ceiling.

This was identified as a wolf spider by the pest control guy

So how did the scorpion get to Taylor you ask, well, I’d ordered her a day bed from Amazon but it wasn’t scheduled to be delivered until June! She had her bed, but no frame. Since the exterminators came and sprayed, we thought she’d be safe sleeping on the bed on the floor. Wow, were we wrong! Having a frame that keeps the bed off from the floor, is essential, as scorpions can’t climb up wood or metal. Our friends lent us a frame and box spring the next day. We canceled the daybed order and decided to just get a frame so she can stay safe and get it sooner.

We called patriot environmental (the exterminator company) and told them what had happened the night before and they sent someone back out within hours, and at no charge.

The next morning she said her hand tingled a little and the other area didn’t hurt at all anymore. Our tough little cookie took it like a champ, and now has bragging rights.

Another Leak!?

In my last post I’d mentioned how we had a leak and didn’t know exactly the culprit. I’ve learned a few things since then. One, is submitting a claim online with the warranty company does nothing. I waited 5 days after opening the claim to call and see what the hold up was. It was them, their system, because the minute I called they had a plumber contacted and scheduled for the next day. Lesson learned, CALL, don’t do it online. Two, is that it’s the shower drain leaking and it’s not covered by the warranty. The cost for the repair will be almost six hundred dollars! Ugh 😑

The drain

The house we bought is on a septic, not city sewer. This is a new experience for us and it stinks… literally. There is a delicate balance when it comes to a septic tank. Too much water, bleach or antibacterial call kill the natural bacteria system and causes it to smell. Of course, we didn’t do any research, we just start pouring bleach and vinegar down the drains, making matters worse. Mitch thought it could be the washing machine drain, so he removed the drain hose, and decided to pour bleach down the laundry sink.

Who me?

I focused on unpacking more boxes in the bedroom and decided to do a load of laundry. It was about 7 pm last night 5/12/22 and it Was Eli’s turn to make dinner. Hamburger helper with peas and corn was on the menu. I’d just proposed the idea that who ever cooks the meal gets to decide where we eat. The options are the new dinner table, the living room to watch a show or the back patio.

The family having Mother’s Day dinner. Nettie, Eli, Tay, Angel and Mitch

Everyone liked the idea and I headed towards the bedroom to find my phone (I misplace it at LEAST 5 times a day) as I step towards the laundry room a wave of water greets my feet! “Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!” I say, Panic stricken I’m frozen in disbelief. It’s coming from the laundry room! The entire laundry room, part of the dining room (both tile) and a small portion of our bedroom (carpet) under a 1/4” of water! By this time Mitch, Eli and Angel come to see what I’m oh shitting about. Mitch turns off the washing machine, I go get a mop and bucket, and everyone else runs to grab towels.

With the abundance of water, Mitch decides to grab his shop vac as Angela kept soaking up water with the towels. Eli, Nettie and I address the bedroom carpet, chasing the water and moving the furniture. The water ran the whole back side of the wall, all the way to where it had leaked before. Oh bother!

After we moved the furniture forward away from the wet carpet

My day of progress organizing the bedroom, the feeling of getting things put together diminished and once again we were in crisis mode. Mitch came in with our trusty orange Rigid shop vac to suck up remaining water. He has it running in a matter of seconds, while we all are still diligently doing our part. In his frustration, he asks, “what else can go wrong!?” Suddenly, a strange chemical/electrical smell fills the house. A grey haze of smoke floats through the air and I step out of the bedroom to see what the smell is. The smoke detectors begin going off throughout the house. I stood there, fingers plugging my ears, trying to lessen the volume. I look around at the family, as Mitch, continues to feverishly vacuuming up the water. Every single one of us had a questioning look on our faces.

Let the chaos continue

Suddenly, Sparks began shooting out of the top of the vacuum! Then a flame darts out of top followed by more sparks! I yell, “shut it off! Shut it off!” Mitch, not even close to the power switch or the outlet, yells, “I can’t get to it!” Sparks, flames and smoke begin to overtake the top of the shop vac when it finally registers in my mind that the power switch is within my reach. I step forward to shut it off, but in my panic I shut it off, turn it on and shut it off. Mitch steps in to shut it off, inadvertently turning it on, more sparks fly and then finally shuts it off. At exactly that moment, Angela gets to the outlet and unplugs it.

The adrenaline subsides, we all breath a sign of relief, once again, without having to speak a word, we were all thinking, that was a close call. Thank God, that could’ve been so bad! Mitch takes the shop vac, throws it in the front yards and comes back to continue cleaning. We open all the doors and windows, place box fans at each exit and get back to cleaning up the water.

As the excitement dissipates, we begin to talk about what’s causing the this new leak. Mitch speaks up, stating, “that was me, it was my fault. I pulled out the washing machine drain hose out behind the washing machine to see where the smell was coming from, then I got sidetracked, pouring bleach down the laundry drain. I totally forgot to put back the drain hose and someone did laundry.” Yup, I did the laundry.

Reconnected drain hose

Saturday night, after having fans blowing on the bedroom carpet all night and all day, today we were able to return the furniture back to their proper location.

Maybe next week I’ll get things put away 🙂

The eBay store is back up for business as we organized and cleared out a CRV load of donated items.

I’m sitting on the back porch at 7:42 pm, it’s now Sunday evening and Mitch is still trying to fix the stink. We got rid-x (septic treatment) today in the mail, followed the directions, but there’s still a lingering smell. Not just a little smell, it’s a putrid, nauseating order that keeps emitting from the laundry room, and sometimes it would engulf the whole house. Especially when a load of clothes are washed. We’ve cleaned the washing machine, Tried to chase the smell, light candles, kept the door shut, and all the while I’m certain it had to be the septic. Mitch, on the other hand isn’t so sure it’s septic. He’s been on the roof trying to snake the vent pipe, called a friend looking for ideas and is now in the house snaking the laundry sink drain.

Nope, wasn’t the problem

He decides to check the floor drain in the laundry after snaking the sink. Especially since it didn’t drain when we had our latest flood…could it be? Maybe that’s why the toilets aren’t flushing right? The tub isn’t draining very fast? Could it all be connected? He hit drain clog gold! Warning, unpleasant photo to follow.

Mitch believes it’s dryer lint that had closed the drain

I chase him around trying to get more pictures of his find so I can share it with everyone.

He snaked the drain one last time, and states that it already smelled better. Nothing else came up the second time around and we began wondering if that’s why things weren’t working right. I couldn’t wait, I run to our bathroom and flush the toilet… it swirled! My man fixed it! I am so glad he kept looking and found the problem.

The view from our back yard tonight

What a relief, one problem solved. Way to go hubby! The plumber comes tomorrow to fix the shower. On to finding our curtains, getting blinds for our bedroom patio door and getting our drivers license. Oh and keep on keepin on.

Never Enough Time

Wednesday may 4th 2022 we decided to tackle the bedroom. We had boxes stacked higher than our head. We’d made good progress in the living room, and decided to get something done in the bedroom.

Our bedroom

We started with one stack, opening a box and putting things where they belong. When we finally made it to the bottom box, it was soaking wet. We initially thought something had leaked out of one of the boxes, so we began searching for the culprit. Was it the baby oil? Nope, it was water. We get down to another row of boxes and the bottom one was again, drenched. What the what! The carpet is all wet! It’s not coming from the boxes, it’s coming from the house! Mitch pulls up a corner of the carpet and brings in a big fan to try and dry it.

Trying to dry the carpet after finding the leak

We’re thinking it’s the shower maybe, or could it be from the washing machine? Either way, our unpacking came to a stand still and I reach out to the home warranty company that was purchased by the seller when we bought the place. (Side note: it’s currently May 8th and we haven’t heard from them)

This was my version of progress

I woke this morning with big plans to start again in the bedroom, but God had other plans. Bentley had passed in the night.

Bentley enjoying his pupachino

My heart is beyond broken. We all knew it was just a matter of time, we’d been treating his congestive heart failure with a couple different medicines, morning and night, along with seizure medicine.

Last night his breathing was labored and shallow. We figured it was because he’d snuck into the cats food, eating all he could handle. I planned on giving him another lasik pill before I went to bed. After putting him in his bed, I decided to put away some things first, then go back out and check on his breathing later, while he was sleeping. I forgot, I didn’t check on him, or give him an extra pill and he died. I should’ve done it when I thought about it. The guilt, the sadness, questioning if I’d only done things differently. I’ve let all this clutter overtake my my mind, and my life.

I’ve realized that I am not ok. Not ok in so many ways. My priorities have become overshadowed by stuff, weighing me down. My mind, like our room, is a jumbled mess, unable to find things, I am unable to find my old self. The self who cared about getting things in order. About being organized, about doing instead of having. I am not equipped to be weighed down by stuff anymore. I know giving him that pill wouldn’t have cured him, but I can’t help but think that he’d be on my lap right now if I wasn’t so overwhelmed with all this stuff. I only have myself to blame, I did this.

A few days have gone by, my tear soaked towel is crumpled on the floor along with a thousand other things. Mitch and I just got in a heated conversation about all the boxes, still full of stuff not being unpacked, all the things going on, who’s doing what and such. Going from 3,000 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft and having a reselling business take up the entire two car garage, It’s just such a trying time. Not to mention three houses into one, with the families things as well. But, honestly they don’t have that much, it’s mainly us…ok honestly, mainly me.

The girls being silly during the yard sale,
trying to lift my spirits

We had our yard sale on Friday, sold about half of the stuff and loaded up the rest. The guys took the remaining items to Saint Vincent DePaul’s thrift store. We already have two more boxes full to donate, and I’m sure I’ll fill up many more in the days to come.

To my baby boy Bentley..the privilege to love you, the gift of your love, has been a glimpse of heaven. Please forgive me for failing you.

The Welcoming Committee

Moving to warmer weather has been a treat since the first day we arrived. Sunny skies greet us in the morning, and blooming cacti sprinkle the landscape with vibrant colors.

The vast variety of birds sing throughout the day, and make us wonder what it is they have to say.

We were able to close on the house yesterday, Thursday April 28th, 2022 at 3:15 pm. We’d packed up most of our items a couple hours earlier, just leaving out the essentials after hearing it was possible we could close a day early. Bringing in our basics and getting the beds from storage was priority one. Thankfully they guys had organized the storage shed so they were easy to access. The frames were buried, so we just slept on the floor. Normally that wouldn’t have been an issue, but the first time we looked at the house, Eli saw a live scorpion inside the front door. I was hoping it was a fluke, but when Mitch was testing the sprinklers he found another one. Last night, while Mitch, Eli and I went to grab a bite to eat Nettie encountered a scorpion on the back patio. EEEEKS!

These kind glow under a black light

Not to be ignored, another species made their presence known last night. A cockroach! He was in the kitchen, acting like he owned the place. Maybe it was because the house had been vacant, I don’t know but I’ve never had roaches! Now, I’m not about killing bugs out in nature, I respect their space, but the minute they try and invade my space, it’s a whole other ball game. Unfortunately, while unpacking today I found another, larger cockroach. We have an exterminator scheduled for next week but until then, those creepy crawlers are going to keep me on high alert.

Living in Washington state we had bugs, but not these kinds of bugs! We’d get ants, frogs croaking somewhere in the house, and bats swooping around from time to time and of course the dreaded mosquitoes. The locals here in Arizona also state that tarantula’s, black widow spiders and rattle snakes are also around. I’m hoping not to have any encounters, but we’ll see.

Here I am, editing the post around 8 o’clock at night, enjoying our enclosed patio when suddenly something falls onto my head. I scream so loud, Im sure it was heard throughout the neighborhood. I jump up, knowing it has to be a scorpion! Where is it? Every fiber of my being is tingling when suddenly nettie see’s the cats chasing it. It was a grasshopper! Having been traumatized by my brother at a child with a grasshopper (he’d pin me down and held it so close to my face I could see my fear reflected through its eyes) it was almost worse than if it were a scorpion. So I killed it.

Now onto a welcomed kind of welcome, a lady down the street knocked on our door yesterday. She said her name is Ruth and wanted to introduce herself. She’s in her 70’s and had a welcoming smile. She offered insight about the neighborhood and stated that next weekend is the community yard sale and if we had items that we decided we didn’t need it would be a perfect opportunity to let them go. She couldn’t have been more right. I am beyond over all our crap! Before We moved I refered to them as treasures, valued items or memorable keepsakes. At this point, I find myself fed up with every little thing I see, the 8 dust pans, the 40 stained mismatched dish clothes and 20 blankets strewn across the house, the 4 ladders paint stained and the same size, I want them gone. I feel suffocated by the abundance of randomness. In the end I’m sure I’ll be grateful for this move, making us realize how unnecessary the majority of our stuff is, especially having more than one of certain things. As for now, it’s getting through the thick of it, assessing necessities and letting go of the excess.

Just a glimpse of the chaos