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We Bought a House!


Keith and I are still pinching ourselves to see if we’ll wake up from this dream.  But it seems it’s real and a bank has really agreed to loan us a shit-ton of money to buy a beautiful 1905 farmhouse, so I guess we’re really grown-ups now.  Or something.

Today was the first day I put my key in the lock and pushed the front door open.  I got a little tingle of delight.  Doors open differently when they belong to you, did you know that?

This is the part where all you experienced home-owners are going to step in and tell me I’m going to be getting a different kind of tingle when I realize the roof needs to be replaced.   Just shush your mouths and let me wander around my gardens  and gaze in rapture at my wisteria for a while before you make me be practical.   Plus, the roof is new.  And so is the plumbing and the electrical.  So there.


The house is so cool, you guys!  I just can’t wait to have summer bbq’s and invite you all over!  It’s a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath farmhouse built in 1905.  At one time, I assume it was the farmhouse for a large tract of farm land.  But now that land has been built up into neighborhoods in Philomath and the house is just on a residential street.  So, no we don’t have any acreage.  But we keep savin’ our pennies and one day soon we will have some land of our very own!  In the meantime, we will happily live in this farmhouse, with its original apple trees and walnut trees in the backyard, and imagine the fields that once surrounded it.  There are so many great things about this house and it was kept in excellent condition.  The original fir floors are still intact all throughout the downstairs and there’s new carpet in the upstairs rooms.  The ceilings are original beadboard – one of my absolute favorite features.  The kitchen island is lovely original hardwood.  We have a clawfoot tub in the main bathroom.  The whole freaking house is straight off a Pinterest dream home board!

And then the yards are just full of every type of flower and plant imaginable – clematis vines (Keith got confused and called them Chlamydia and now I keep getting confused too) winding up the porch posts, wisteria trailing over the backyard patio pergola, peonies, roses, lilacs, figs, pears, apples, walnuts, bleeding heart, lavender, grapes, artichokes, asparagus, raised beds for vegetables, you name it.  I had to write it all down because I started losing track after about 20 non-stop minutes of Beverly naming plants for me and telling me how to take care of them.   It’s been well-landscaped, so it shouldn’t be too hard to keep it looking nice, even for me.  I’m much better at taking care of animals than plants, but I’ll try my best.

I’ll have more pictures of the actual inside of the house soon.  Right now, my life looks like this:

photo (44)

It’s not crazy or anything to try to move house just as farm season is picking up momentum for the summer.  Totally sane.  Butcher a few chickens, pack a few boxes.  Take time to stop and smell the chlamydia flowers.   It’s all good.


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One Good Man

The news is saturated with stories about selfishness:  the AIG bonus scandal, Bernie Madoff, murders in Oakland, the list goes on.  That’s why I seized upon the one positive headline I spied on CNN.com this afternoon.

You can read about Jorge Muñoz HERE.

This incredibly kind-hearted man is a Columbian immigrant who lives in Queens, NY and works as a bus driver.  He makes $700 a month, and spends at least $450 of that on feeding the homeless in his community.   Most of the men and women on the street in Queens are Latin American immigrants, trying to make it in the harsh neighborhoods of this “land of opportunity”.  Jorge and his family make homecooked rice and beans and hand the meal boxes out to the homeless every single day. He says that his reward is the smile on each of their faces when they receive their meal and cup of hot chocolate.  For many, it is their only meal of the day.

Jorge Muñoz

This story brought tears to my eyes.  He saw a need and didn’t think twice about sacrificing his time and hard-earned money to meet it.

I think a reader named David has a good point with his comment on the cnn.com article:

“A great story followed by the AIG bonus story! such a difference in attitudes… wouldn’t it be great if those execs at AIG donated their bonus checks to help this guy!”

It’s an amusing idea, but let’s not pass the buck.  Everyone needs to be more generous, not just the Wall Street executives.   I’m blessed and inspired by what Jorge is doing in Queens, and I hope you are too.

Read more about Jorge’s outreach on this website:  An Angel in Queens

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A Recession Garden

It’s not the 1940’s, but Michelle Obama is planting a modern-day Victory Garden. In a quote from the New York Times today, “(She) will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden.”  For some reason, the part about digging up the White House lawn just kills me.

Evidently, this is not so much an attempt to economize (though current US budget deficit being what it is, the Obama’s should be the first to stick some spuds in the ground, if ya ask me) as it is a diet effort for porky little Sasha and Malia.

Keith feels a special kinship with Mrs. Obama, as he too dug up a “patch of  our South Lawn” for his raised-bed garden a few years ago.  As she will be planting a small patch of rhubarb, Keith emailed her a copy of our recipe for Rosemary-Lemon-Rhubarb Spritzer.  Maybe she can sip on it while she’s out there pulling weeds.

You too can dig up your lawn for a Recession Garden.  If you find that to be too time-consuming, at least contribute to the Economy Effort by throwing some of your spare change at the National Debt.   Here is the address where you can send your Gift to Reduce Debt Held by The Public.  *snicker*



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Noah Wasn’t PETA-friendly?

Because I’m in the food processing business and because I’m in quality assurance, I get these really uplifting FDA alerts in my email inbox every day about the latest food recalls. The scenario goes like this: I arrive at work, cup of coffee in hand, get started on my breakfast and open Outlook. I proceed to mow on my Frosted Mini Wheats while catching up on the latest news about pathogens in the peanut butter, the cheez-whiz with listeria contamination, botulism-laced fish (turns out you should make sure you gut the fish before you package it up). And then this. What the heck??

Three things of note:

  • Don’t eat those Elk tenderloins ya’ll bought last week at the Save-Mart.
  • This facility processes exotic animals
  • This facility is called Noah’s Ark Processors

Weird. That’s about all I have to say about that.

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