Sunday, October 16, 2016

Small Changes

Today I made small change to my living room and it immediately felt more homey and comfy.

First I added curtains. The previous owners left the curtain rods, and they have been sitting empty since I moved on. I bought white ones with a simple pattern at Ikea.

Second, I moved my couch from the wall at the front of the home, to the wall on the north side of the home. This makes the living room flow so much better. It feels connected, especially with the chair and ottoman my mom and sister bought me as a housewarming gift when they were here. (The bike and couch have been swapped.)

Don't mind the measuring tapes on the floor. I'm measuring what size of rug I need, which will be my next purchase. Something that will tie the room together.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Texas State Fair

On Wednesday my friend Stephanie and took a half day and headed to the State Fair. It was Stephanie's first time, and my second. We just so happened to choose the hottest day of the week to attend. That was unfortunate.

While at the Texas State Fair, it is expected to eat a lot of foods that are fried, some expected and some not expected. Expected: a corndog, which was probably one of the best corndogs I've ever had; unexpected: a fried s'more and fried mac cheese, both of which were fantastic.

I insisted we made time to see the pig racing, which is probably the best thing about the Fair. We then checked out the rest of the animals. That's by far my favorite part of the Fair, especially since I don't ride the rides anymore.

We did ride the Ferris Wheel, which was kinda fun. Since it was five o'clock in the middle of the week, the line wasn't long. We had to ride with a group of three, since the carriages can't carry less than 4 people (I guess for efficiency). It offers some great views of the fairgrounds and downtown Dallas.

I'm glad I did the Fair better this year - not waiting until the last Saturday at 5 p.m. I had a lot more time and it was nice. I think I'll keep getting better at Fairing each year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Goonies On the Square

Denton is quite possibly perfect. And Tuesday was one of those perfect days. I went from my early kickball game (we lost) straight to the Square, where my friend Suzi was saving a place for me for that night's movie presentation - The Goonies. The weather was perfect. The movie was perfect. The people were perfect.
 I love outside movies. 

Since moving from downtown, I haven't spent much time there. I used to go for random walks around the Square (generally with an ice cream in my hand from Beth Marie's). It was my neighborhood and I always felt comfortable in the shadow of the Courthouse. As I walked up to it from Oak Street, I was in awe of the lights on the trees and the towering Courthouse. I have missed it.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


I'm still unsure how I feel about yardwork. Generally I like it. However, I don't really know what I'm doing. Yes, I know how to pull weeds and cut down overgrown trees. That's the easy part. Easiness that takes sweat and getting dirty.

And that's what I did today. I have sort of neglected the backyard since moving in. I pay to have the lawn mowed, but not for the weeds to get pulled. Today I noticed that the bamboo, which has creeped into my yard from the neighbors behind me, were severely overgrown. And that the landscaped area was looking pretty sketchy with all these weeds and such.

This is what it looked like:

Bamboo is literally the worst. It's strong and hard to get rid of. All I did was trim them all back. Then I tackled the landscaped area and pulled out all the weeds. I would have done more, but the garbage can was completely full. I felt pretty satisfied when I surveyed my work.

I realize these pictures aren't the best; the sun was in the wrong location to get good photos. But it looks great.

Now to figure out the hard stuff - like what to plant. That's what I know nothing about, and it's the one thing that overwhelms me the most about being a homeowner.

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Friend Susan

My dear friend Susan passed away yesterday.  
Susan was the first friend I made in Topeka. She had been hired the same time as me to be a planner for the City of Topeka. She had started two weeks before me, so on my first day she gave me tips. She also invited me to lunch during my first week. Well, she actually invited me to go with her to the gun store because she needed to get something. I had never been to a gun store before. Afterward we stopped at McDonald's in North Topeka.

And our friendship started.

Susan was always willing to help with any of my work projects. She was always ready to give advice , be it professional or personal. She was a great sound board. I could always count on her for anything.

When I decided to be Wonder Woman for Halloween on the day of, she helped me with making my costume - we spray painted some pearls for my lasso of truth, we made the crown and bracelets. She loved holidays, always dressing up for Halloween and decorating her office for Christmas.

We watched the World Cup 2014 at various places in Topeka. We also got together with co-workers to watch the Royals' stunning run to the World Series in 2014. She was one of the first people I told about interviewing in Denton. And before I left, she made sure to plan a goodbye party that included ice cream. That was Susan - she wanted to make it special for me.

I last saw Susan when I was in Topeka for Thanksgiving last year. We had lunch and she brought me chili from Porubsky's to take back to Texas with me.

She hated that I had used this picture of her. 

Susan was a great friend, and I can't believe she is no longer here. She was kind and caring, smart and creative. She was funny and dedicated. Nothing I write will be enough to adequately capture this beautiful person. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Biscuit Has Fleas

My friend Suzi was over last night. She noticed that Biscuit had fleas. Without her, I likely never would have noticed because I've never had a cat that had fleas before. She's been an indoor cat ever since I got her, however you might remember that I took out into the backyard a few weeks ago. That's probably when she got the fleas. So she's been living with fleas for three weeks (probably). Gross, on so many levels.

Now I am in the deep cleaning process of getting rid of the fleas. Besides a topical for Biscuit, there is carpet powder and linen spray for the home. Nearly all the blankets and such are getting washed. Or have been sprayed, making all the places I want to currently lie down on out of commission.

Biscuit is currently holed up in the bathroom, since every other room has been sprayed or powdered. I'm sure she doesn't like it. I don't like it either.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Mom and Sis Visit

My mom and sister came out to visit me this past weekend. They have both been to Denton before, but not since I bought a home. They arrived Friday morning at Love Airport, and we promptly hopped on the freeway and headed for San Antonio. We stayed on the Riverwalk and went to the Hard Rock Cafe, toured the Alamo, took a river boat tour, experienced the Cathedral light show, and sweated in the awful heat and humidity. The highlight, for me, was being greeted by the Alamo cat, Bella, while in the gift shop.

We left Saturday afternoon to see Austin and the bats, which Em and I didn't get to see last year because it was too late in the season. First, though, we stopped at Buc-ees, because it's a Texas thing. We had some good pizza at Home Slice on South Congress, then waited for the bats to come out of the bridge. The bats didn't come out until it was rather dark, and they didn't come out in a swarm, which meant that they were kind of hard to see. It was cool, but not what I had imagined. We made it home very late (I was kept awake by jamming to Hamilton).

On Sunday, we took a trip to Ikea so I could buy some furniture. I needed help with this anyway, so I decided to wait until they were here and force them to help me. They were also forced to help me assemble the couch. Nothing brings people together like putting together Ikea furniture.

We had a nice time. It's nice to have family visit and show them the great state of Texas.

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