Memphis bound.

So it's official. Mr. Hoozey, myself and the Zs are moving to Memphis soon. Mr. H accepted a great job opportunity there.

Since January Mr. H has been contacted by 3 recruiters, even though he wasn't looking for a job, the first one was in early Feb. and when he told me about it, I kept saying "It's like they literally wrote this job FOR you." He did several phone interviews and then onsite interviews in March. While in the process of this opportunity, the second recruiter (found him because he was recommended by someone at previous job that is working with this recruiter to get another job) contacted him about a job about an hour away from our KY home. He did phone interviews and an onsite visit while waiting on the first one. The second company extended an offer before the first one, but Mr. H turned it down for a couple of reasons.
#1 it was 65 minutes through desolate KY to get there from our KY house- a little too far to do daily commute but a little too close to justify another home that gets you 30 minutes closer (would have meant living in Clarksville, TN since area is rather remote.)
#2 job was just plant manager. Mr. H has participated on a much higher level until he took the local plant manager job to get our youngest through HS. The Georgia job was VP of operations so probably why the first recruiter called. In October his division was sold off- and new ownership treated him like "plant manager" and he realized that he doesn't enjoy his work when he is not part of the decision making process. The new ownership is rather micro-managing so even low level decisions were expected to go through bureaucratic BS.

The third recruiter was a recruiter Mr. H worked with at last job for staffing in the plant and was told to contact him if he came across anything for him in Louisville area. That contact didn't go far because first one was very appealing already and this job was automotive-- they really seem to always require automotive experience which Mr. H does not have.

SOOOO, months later from original contact we have begin date of next chapter in our story. I was rather prepared for it overall as Mr. H was not happy with new ownership because since the sale of the division Mr. H no longer gets vital financial information (sales, budget, etc) that is necessary for his being able to do his job. Also one person has been given more power and this person is literally destroying the business singlehandedly and no one was reining him in. So I had been in the mindset of this wasn't permanent- especially since the original company HR guy said that Mr. H would get a call on day 366 to return to original biz- that they would make a position for him.

So I have been preparing house with intent to sell since 2018 rung in. We listed May 10-- realtor arrived at 4 pm, had first showing at 7pm- before it had even technically hit the market. Just people going by with realtor that saw the sign. They put in an offer on May 13. We countered the offer but first offer was their best offer. Rather surprising to us that FHA buyers would be looking in country club community. They were pre-approved for just about our house price but wanted 3.5% at close which is exactly the minimum downpayment needed for FHA loan. Mr. H and I did not want to have sale contingent on their getting financing since to us it seemed likely it wouldn't happen and just prevent qualified buyer from seeing the house thinking it was no longer available. The next day after listing a professional photographer came out to take photos. I was pleased that there was very little that he changed to my staging- as photographs are on of most important part of process- that first impression online is what has someone request a showing or not.

After the photographer finished it was a mad rush to finish packing for vacation which we were leaving for in the morning. I was actually rather impressed with myself that I was able to get house listed & photographed AND pack for vacation. Before leaving for vacation the house was staged for showing. Extra stuff removed from countertops, beds made "just so" even a quick run of the vacuum cleaner where little bulldog had chewed up "bone."

Overall, it is a much easier to be "showing ready" here, even with two bulldogs. The last time we sold a house, kids would have been 6th, 3rd & 1st graders. We also weren't in a hurry to sell because Mr. H actually wanted to convince boss that moving closer to one plant made more sense than the headquarters as a big project was going in. It was much harder keeping show-ready while still trying to keep real life going for a family of 5. Here I really only have to deal with master bedroom and kitchen. So for showing, I throw a new quilt over master bed and fix pillows. I put away the towels we actually use so only "show" ones are out. In the kitchen I put away real life (dish soap, sponge, etc) leaving only a few items out. In one guest room that Zoey likes to sleep on the bed, I remove a cheap bedspread from the "made" bed. I do dishes almost immediately and hand dry and put away any non-dishwasher items. So can be ready for showing in just minutes. Also had week at beach that house could be shown and only have 2 work weeks left of this living here and trying to be ready for showing. Another plus is that almost everything here is here on purpose. We didn't have years of accumulating stuff since we only brought/bought items we use here- other than a few things that came here when we thought we'd be selling KY house- much of that I have returned to KY when we visited since it became apparent we were going to move. The hardest part is trying to use up the perishable food. The beer stock was taken to the beach so that's been seriously depleted.

Starting tomorrow we should be getting a new roof put on. The HOA approved my shingle choice and have sent the green ribbon to put around mailbox to show that it's approved. Crazy huh? People have asked if we regret the move to Georgia since it was only about a year. I try to look at the positive things that have come out of this experience. #1 I know that I can move without my kids- this was the first time without them. #2 This job opportunity may not have come to Mr H had he not moved back into a position of VP of Operations as they want someone to fill that position and even move up in the leadership team very quickly #3 Yes, it sucks selling a house a year after buying BUT figure almost a wash what realtor fees will be and what renting would have cost. I like this house. There are things that I will look for in another house (like pullout shelves in lower kitchen cabinets-- makes getting things out so nice & love the gas stove/oven) and things I will be adverse to in next place-- overbearing HOA. #4 I enjoyed being a part of knitting club while here. #5 Really enjoyed going to breweries on the weekends we didn't travel to KY. They are dog friendly so we'd take Zeta (Zoey isn't dog friendly so we need to work with her before she can go.) Craft beer is tasty- especially on tap.

So if it seems like I fell off the face of the earth recently or in the near future- this is why. On to the next chapter. A little sad I didn't finish everything I'd would have done here.

Little projects.

So a while back I was shopping at Hobby Lobby and they had a bunch of knobs on clearance. Being the crafty gal- I immediately thought-- "I could make something cool with those"- especially since all were less that 50 cents. Ten small blue ones that I put on two light lime green boards I painted were 10 cents each. So FINALLY made some "coat hangers" out of the knobs and some plain "1 by" pine boards that Mr. H routed the edges for me. I had cut them to the sizes I wanted months ago. Then holidays had them sitting in KY house while waiting for the routing to be done. Mr. H finally did that a few weekends ago for me (technically the router is my B-day present many years ago but it's a little tricky to use so Mr. H said he'd do it for me as long as I cleaned up the mess.)

I drilled smaller holes all the way through the boards to fit the bolt of the knobs through then used a larger bit with tape at "stopping point" so it wouldn't go all the way through so the nut would be below the wood's surface on the back. (Countersink bits would do this but I didn't have them so I MacGyver'ed my own countersink bit.)  Last year's B-day present was a new cordless drill- I am quite handy with it since I've been installing most of window treatments I've made, on my own, for years. After I drilled the holes I did a light sanding to take off any sharp corners or slivers. Painted 3 of them in white paint (used trim paint I am painting the trim in GA house) and 2 smaller ones a light lime green I had from a cork board project where I painted cork-board & frame this color. On this project I used bolt cutters on the knobs bolts so they wouldn't go past the wood before I mounted them but from doing the project I would wait until the bolts are mounted and cut the bolts at the end because the nuts were hard to start on the already cut bolts.

I used Command hangers to put them up since they were mounted in GA house and not sure we will be long-timers here. One is mounted in the entranceway- it's handy for putting the dogs' harnesses on when it's bedtime. Or a light jacket for all the potty breaks with the pups. The theme of this one is squarish knobs. 

Next is one that is in laundry room. I hang my collapsible laundry hampers (for when I sort laundry) on it along with vent cleaning brushes (I've got multiples-- this dryer in GA gets a lot of lint through the screen and different brushes do a better job collecting all the lint that gets through.) This shows the nice routed edge a little better. 
Last is one I hung in the kitchen. I went with darker knobs since the knobs in the kitchen are dark on white cabinets. I can hang my dish washing aprons that I made- sewed aprons and then cut clear vinyl same size and sewed together with binding. Keeps me from getting front of my shirt wet when I do dishes. I also made cute matching "regular" aprons for baking (and sometimes eating like a bib--- hehehe) Two Christmas ago I made my mom several dishwashing and regular aprons to match her kitchen. This Christmas she brought "hers" back for me to fix because she used it for baking and burnt holes in the vinyl. Have to say it kind of pissed me off because she had regular aprons to use- just too lazy to use it- and disrespected the time and money I put into them. Most times materials for handmade things are more expensive than buying a ready-made similar item. My mom doesn't make things so she tends to take for granted my time and effort on the things I made for her. This Christmas I made my mother-in-law the dishwashing aprons to match her two kitchens and she is a sewer and valued them greatly on clever design of them and how useful they were. She thought I should mass market them. When I told her my mom burnt the crap out of hers my MIL says "Why didn't she just turn it over? You did such a nice job on the finishing of the wrong side of the apron that you can barely tell it's not supposed to be used." 
These "coat hangers" are probably a handmade craft that the materials were cheaper than trying to buy something like them. At 50 cents at most  a knob and just 1x3 or 1 x4 pine boards- I was able to make 5 of them for about $20 in raw materials since I already had the paint. I gave my daughter one of the green ones with small blue knobs to hang necklaces, scarves, etc from at her apartment. I plan on giving my mom the other green one so she can hang in her kitchen and hang her aprons on it so that she has no excuses for not changing aprons when she isn't doing dishes. 

I still have to finishing painting trim in kitchen and master (& little hallway by master) then I'm finished with entire main level of painting projects to do for GA house. Today I just picked up the 26' multi-position ladder I ordered from Home Depot because the one I bought from Walmart is not tall enough for Mr. H  to use in A-frame configuration in middle of the room to reach the ceiling and hang new chandelier I bought for dining room. I am in love with these kinds of ladders. With the 20 ft one I was able to paint vaulted walls in dining room and a guest room by using as extension ladder on these vaulted walls- painting edging on extension ladder & then rolling using pole & A-frame ladder. Normal wall heights I was able to use in A-frame configuration to paint edging (& top of window trim in vaulted living room.) 
We are thinking about retiling the main floor bathrooms-- cheap 4x4 white tiles and are #1 not attractive and #2 not very safe for flooring. It's going to be a job because have to pull up the crappy tiles but would be a great "add value" project to the house. Mr. H wants to paint the exposed concrete walls too. That's an easy one to do and probably a good summer project for me as basement isn't heated. I may do some painting in the finished rooms in the basement also but just looking forward to finally getting the main level bright white trim and new colors on the rooms that weren't so great. 

Of course I have ideas for other projects too- thinking about making two "bookcases" in white for the kitchen. One for right next to a countertop near stove that is just empty floor space (great place for cookbooks) and another in corner near kitchen table-- maybe a corner kind of thing- for phone/computer/etc charging station, and little items used at kitchen table? Also want to make a stool for the bathroom. There's some space behind the door that would be a great place for a small seat to put shoes on/take them off for bath or shower as skinny tub surround isn't very good for doing this.

Of course I still have loads of knitting and sewing projects in the works most days. I still need to fix my mom's dishwashing apron... not too inspired since it's destruction was no accident. 

Major changes- year in review

Wow- I haven't posted in over a year. SO MUCH HAS CHANGED.  In the fall of 2016 a recruiter contacted Mr. Hoozey about a job in the Atlanta area. He wasn't thrilled with current job he started in December of 2015: basically took it because it was local and got our youngest out of high school without a move. Pay was significantly less than previous job that he resigned from but he wouldn't be away from home like he had to be the previous 6 years of his career of the high paying job. Unfortunately the lower pay did not mean lower pain in the @$$ (PITA) factor. It was a 24/7 manufacturing plant with sketchy equipment and no intellectual horsepower from employees (this is a company that usually promoted through attrition: those employees that couldn't find a better job and stuck around would be promoted to levels including plant manager without education or skills for that position.) Mr. H immediately turned this plant around- record setting production & profit just because he focused on actually MAKING product (single source customer that would take all the good product that could be produced- in other words literally making product was like printing money) whereas company kept spouting efficiency. Previous guy (and other plant managers) would hike up efficiency number by shutting down lines (zero product being made) vs. struggling through change over on weekends or nights- the down time was not held against this efficiency number so efficiency was high when actual production and profit were low. Yeah, dumb but that was the culture in this business. So after 9 months of making record amounts of money but constant nonsense pushed from above, Mr. H was pretty sick of the work- especially since the higher ups kept saying how they needed more people like him, but then kept doing the same stupid stuff like pushing "programs" on already overwhelmed resources. Between the shoddy equipment and lack of talent of employees, just doing the job was more than could be accomplished most days, let alone a bunch of bureaucratic "programs" that were supposed to be implemented. So Mr. H interviewed for the job in the Atlanta area- I went with him and after several close calls on the road around there told him I didn't think I could take the traffic there. So he declined doing a second interview but started looking for other jobs because he realized he definitely couldn't stay put. I wasn't keen on staying put either since this low paying job didn't equate to just "do my 40 hours kind of work" that he expected. There were phone calls at all hours and always some "fire" to put out. A month or so later, same recruiter called again and said that CFO said "Get (Mr. H) back in here. We need HIM." So we returned in December for another interview. I had become resigned to the idea that this job was fated since nonsense at current job was just getting worse. Plus my job at an attorney's office was going away as he was appointed a judgeship and could only have one assistant.
In March Mr. H finally got the job offer (they intentionally delayed so he could get bonus from current company & there was some uncertainty in the job itself- division was potentially up for sale.) Bonus from previous company was yet another reason to "go" because even though Mr. H literally took plant from possibly being shut down to making millions $ more than budget in one year, his bonus was not a very good compensation based on results- bad results got same bonus--- where is the motivation in that? During this time, I had been doing updates to the house-- knowing that long-term I couldn't see us staying there forever- so prep for selling.
We found a home in Atlanta area on quick house hunting trip: literally house #3. House #1 was in nice neighborhood but had weird layout. House #2 was 2 doors down from where we chose. It was a lovely house but just TOO BIG for 2 adults and a bulldog since the boys still have college (& free tuition) at previous city and daughter had graduated with masters degree in chemistry and looking for job in pharmacy research. House #3 was ranch style: 3 bedroom 2 bath main level with full basement that was partially finished. Still a ton of house but more manageable than 3 story (including basement) of house #2. Mr. H said "I will look at any house this size or smaller." So that immediately reduced the #- next place ended up being a lot even though listing said "May finish." Looked at 2 other homes on other side of highway but they would have meant longer commute times to Mr. H's new job. We put in offer for house #3 and able to close very quickly on it- it had just come back on market as offer was contingent on buyer selling home & that deal fell through- we actually closed on the same day as the original offer. Mr. H came to ATL for week of work and closed on house while I continued to work on other home. (Late April)
He had a few weeks off between start of new job and worked on basement rooms- closing  down odd sized doorway in one room to fit normal double bi-fold door closet doors, installing another double bi-fold closet door in my workroom to closet where I keep most of my sewing supplies. We trimmed out the finished rooms. I painted all the new doors and trim while Mr. H started working in ATL. This made me decide to paint all the upstairs doors and trim as that had gotten a little grungy looking after 12 years. Mr. H came home Friday and helped me finish up the trim painting on main level. Boys then had a gig that weekend which we went to. Met with realtor early the Sunday morning after late night of gig and afterwards Mr. H is like "why don't we just keep this house?" By this time, I had a found a 3 bedroom/2 bath rental house for the kids (& old beagle-- thought moving him might be a little rough on the old guy) and we had moved them in there so A LOT happened in a few months. We also had to buy a vehicle for Mr. H before new job as he had a company vehicle at previous jobs and since boys commute they needed vehicle each.
So Mr. H & I loaded up the Rav4 and the Sienna with "must haves" at new house along with bulldog. I had purchased an inflatable bed for time before we could buy mattress at new location. So week one was much like camping. I had brought 2 camp chairs, bought a folding outdoor table at Target and that was our kitchen table set for a while. I also bought a loveseat and 2 "wicker" outdoor chairs at Target. We used those as our living room furniture until the sofa and loveseat were delivered from La-Z-Boy.
For the next few months we returned to KY every weekend (save 1) loaded up the van with more stuff for GA house. We had decided to keep the KY house because the sale of the division was still possible. We were able to get out of lease of rental house for kids and they moved back into KY house after a few months in rental.
We ended up buying loveseat & couch, mattress set for our bedroom, another mattress set for guest room, dining room table & chairs, and kitchen table and chairs, and a few smaller furniture pieces for our GA house. Everything else we were able to fit into the van (including twin mattresses.) When we purchased the van in 2015 we didn't really "need it"- it was basically used to take pole vaulters to track meets that spring- but this move has definitely made me appreciate the usefulness of this vehicle tremendously.
We went on vacation to Topsail NC in late June. The boys drove to GA house (daughter couldn't get away from work) the day before. (Only time they've been here-- daughter still hasn't been.) It was nice to be able to get to vacation in less than 8 hours. Meant leaving in morning rather than day before or 11 plus hours doing in one drive. Typical drive between GA & KY houses is about 5 hours. We went back almost every weekend for most of the first 4 months in GA.

Living in two states is definitely complicated- especially these days. Most can imagine the challenges- utilities for 2 homes (I have finally gotten most where they come to GA house regardless of which house it is serving) but some are more subtle like health insurance. We bought our own private health insurance long ago, long before ACA because company plan premiums were going up astronomically- literally doubling in one year- and we looked into our own plan. We got an option that is now grandfathered in as an option as we wanted INSURANCE-- major medical or hospitalization of "old days"- not "health care." Our plan has a high deductible and covers some preventative care (i.e. annual & mammogram) with no deductible but overall doctor sick visit would be paid out of own pocket. Return on investment is that high deductible was recovered in premium savings in 2-3 years. Since we rarely use insurance it makes sense- plus when we do have to use insurance we get "insurance price" vs billed amount. So when Mr. H had a $4000 ER visit & MRI it was less than $1000 for us to pay once that was adjusted to insurance price. So, changing states actually affects health insurance-- our decision to keep KY residence has been helpful in that regard as can keep current health insurance without issue.
I have also kept my KY drivers license: I had to renew in March,  so before we even knew certain about job/move. I did try 2 times to get GA driver's license. First time Mr. H & I went together early on Saturday morning. Already quite crowded. Person at door mumbles about what we needed to do-- take a number and fill out form on computers. Computers are stand at counter ones-- (I am short)- plus keyboard is under glass- so hard to see. To make it even more interesting, I was starting to get aura for migraine (get flashing lights and lose middle vision.) To take it to level of insanity-- the computer will time you out, even if you are progressing through it after a certain amount of time- even as you work on it!! I was super stressed. Our numbers got called before able to get it filled out. I was pretty amped up to say the least. Finally filled out stupid computer stuff, took another number and waited for my turn. Get to window and I am denied license because I didn't have my marriage license. Mr. H got his license because his name didn't change from birth to current, MINE did. So on try #2 I went to an office in small town west of where we live (I didn't want to attempt ATL traffic on my own during work week)- unlike license plates, drivers license offices are not in every county- so my choice was ATL or this one in the boonies. I get to counter with paperwork, including marriage license, and clerk denies me again-- my birth certificate was too torn up in her opinion (why didn't the clerk at ATL office say anything when I used the very same one previously?) So I had to get a replacement birth certificate. Since then, I have decided to hold off on getting GA license because division DID SELL in October-- so far hubby is not keen on new ownership- not what he signed up for when he took the job-- so we may not stay long-term. On the downside--KY is one of the states that doesn't do a good job of verifying it's driver's license- so if I want to fly even on a domestic flight in 2018 I will have to have passport too.
Another complication was the vehicles. Rav was bought in April right before move- still had temp tag but Sienna was due for renewal in May. Decided to get GA tags for van- but you have to have driver's license before that- so Mr. H had to meet me to get those. Also, GA charges property tax UP front for vehicle-- so getting plate was over $1000. Plus have to get emissions test for anything 3 years old (van is 2014 but their rule means 2017, 2016, 2015 models) but I had gotten that done fairly painlessly so not a big deal. Then in late September Mr H is smashed into by a semi-truck on his way to work. He got the worst of the impact (2 other vehicles also took minor damage.) Rav was totaled. After weeks of waiting out at-fault insurance BS finally got replacement vehicle. Opted for Camry as he had it as rental car during the wait and liked the gas mileage. It seemed smarter move to replace with less expensive vehicle since ATL drivers are terrible so why have something nice when you never know when someone else is going to destroy it with their dumbassery. We actually got paid out more on the Rav than what we paid for it in April: we bought used at Hertz car sales- so that kept this accident from hurting even more. The tags on the Rav were KY- and in the summer we got a notice that those tags would go bad because we didn't have proof of KY insurance- I had switched to a GA policy so had to switch BACK to KY policy (boys vehicles on that policy already)- actually cheaper but definitely complicated having one vehicle on GA policy and 3 on KY.  So fast forward to letter after buying Camry that we need to get odometer read for permanent tag. Mr. H takes a day off and we head to KY on a Friday morning to go to county courthouse to get this done. Then we go to tag office-- get told we have to pay $260 in taxes on Sienna before we can get Camry title stuff done. We MAY be able to get a refund but one clerk is pretty sure if you own the vehicle on Jan. 1 you have to pay tax regardless that we basically had already paid up until May, where we just renewed in another state. Government gets you-- GRRRR!

For most people this kind of chaos would be too much but have a few things that make this upheaval something I can bear. #1 we owned KY house outright for almost a decade so didn't have to worry about paying mortgage while trying to relocated. #2 we bought house in GA with cash. Since paying off KY house, we saved equivalent of mortgage payment and then some automatically-- life gets really easy when you learn to live on a lot less at the beginning- it was the reason Mr. H could resign VP position and take year sabbatical without even having to worry about another job or how bills would be paid. So we did not have major stress of financial worry of move. We were able to move the furniture we wanted in van rather than moving expense. Bought bigger items here, but covered by moving bonus- so financially it wasn't overwhelming. Another big reason I was able to handle this move was my oldest son, B. He is a very responsible young man- so I could trust that the KY house would be taken care of. Every time we came home, the yard was mowed before we got there- including when B was both working and full college schedule.
Recently there was an incident where we had just returned to GA after we bought Camry (2 vehicles driving back)and got a text from B that water line into house was leaking in basement (internal shut-off was after the point of the leak so that wouldn't help.) I returned to KY (with bulldog) to take care of the problem. Both boys had classes and daughter had moved to Lexington for a new job she started in Oct. Plumbers were able to dig up leak and fix it that afternoon. I spent the rest of the week "taking care of things in KY" including annual checkup. Mr H drove back for the weekend since boys had a gig that Friday night. We made return trip in separate vehicles again. Stressful but not as bad as trying to figure out how to fix something like this while being in another state. It was easy enough for me to get up when Mr. H was getting up for work Monday morning and just drive to KY and fix it rather than try to coordinate the fix another way.
Another issue was when B's truck was giving him trouble. 2000 Dakota had been a champ until spring- B tried all kinds of stuff to fix it. Eventually in August he finally decided it was time to get something reliable. Went to Hertz Car Sales again- he got 2016 Rav4 in red (Mr. H's was black) as good cargo space for most of band equipment (and better fuel economy compared to 2011 E drives.) We had paid cash for P's Corolla in Sept. 2016, she made payments to us- so did the same with B. So at one point we had 3 Ravs on one auto policy. LOL We were hoping the truck would make it until his graduation (spring 2018) but didn't work out that way. While I was fixing plumbing leak, we finally sold truck-- B & I went to courthouse to do the title stuff-- somehow I grabbed the wrong title and almost sold his new Rav to buyer for $200- had the clerk not said that taxes would be $XXX because they had to charge on at least $8000 value I would not have realized I took wrong title. She's like this is a 2016 Rav 4. I had to pay $8 to get the title reissued/fixed on that. LOL Chalk it up to old age (eyesight going) and not knowing which state I am in. (Seriously, times I wake in morning asking myself "where am I?" Oh, yeah, we're in KY/GA house today.)
When we are in KY, I try to do some grocery shopping-- getting the staples (toilet paper, cleaning supplies, coffee) and more costly stuff (meat) so the boys don't go broke feeding themselves. I also take prepared food (spaghetti sauce, soup, etc) that I've made in GA and freeze for their use later. I do know that they miss my home cooked meals as plumbing leak fix week they enjoyed my cooking for them. It's a big change for Mr H & I- when I would grocery shop for the family I would buy a large amount of a meat (whole package of chicken legs) and prepare the whole amount. Most would be eaten that day with maybe enough for one lunch leftover. Now, I buy "normal" packages of chicken and divide up into lots of 2 legs/1 breast packages- which is plenty for us. I would buy GALLONS of milk. Now I buy 1/2 gallon and hope we use before it goes bad. has made the dog food a non-issue. Old beagle and bulldog are on same food- so sometimes I have it shipped to KY, sometimes GA. I'd hate for the boys to have to buy the dog food since it's kind of pricy for college kid's budget.
Shipping of stuff has been a bit of stressor. Our usual routine- the workweek is in GA but the weekend is spent in KY. In GA, UPS is really late delivery (after 6 pm most times) so a Friday delivery on a weekend we go to KY means package outside for days. Sometimes it's easier to just ship to KY house since I know someone will be there-- that's how I did much of my Christmas online shopping.
It gets confusing at times- like I said, I sometimes don't know which house I am in when I first wake up. Recently when I was going to start my Christmas baking I realized I didn't have the butter I needed. I thought I had purchased it for KY house: ends up I had put in basement refrigerator in GA house- I didn't figure this out until I had bought more (good side was that I bought powdered peanut butter on that shopping trip which WAS needed for buckeyes) and was actually storing some truffles I'd made in that frig. Scheduling things isn't as easy. The drive back and forth gets tiring. Now we try to schedule things so we don't have to do back to back weekends if possible. Christmas is going to be in KY- P can't get extra time off from new job- so easier to have things shipped directly there and have the family all together there. New Years will also be a KY holiday- boys are playing so that's a fun reason to be there. It also allows my mom to come for the holidays to see everyone- not just Mr H & I. She came to visit in October for the first time. She broke up the trip by stopping to see P in Lexington- then drove to ATL- spent a few days here and then they headed to a vacation in mountains before returning to Ohio. She's going to KY house- celebrate with the kids there and then follow us to GA house because then they are spending a week in Florida. Eventually if we stay here, Mr. H & I will hopefully take some trips to the coast. Panama City beach is a doable long weekend trip- as is Savannah or Georgia coastline.

I miss the kids a lot. Having the bulldog to care for helps but then it also means that we are limited in where we can go- either have to take with or figure out who will care for her. Luckily she LOVES going bye-bye- so she eagerly jumps into vehicle for drives.
I've spent much of the work-weeks in Georgia painting and decorating. Something to keep me busy. I like things about both houses. Georgia house is better size for this stage of life. KY house is really big. Like the lower kitchen cabinets in GA: they have pull-out shelves which makes finding things (even for Mr. H) easy. Prefer the wood cabinets in KY as far as finish. Living room in GA is more homey feeling. Like the bathroom finishes in KY house much more too. GA has small 4x4 white tile everywhere-- looks cheap compared to ceramic tiles (& granite) of KY ones- plus shows every hair, lint ball, etc. Upside is only one jetted tub to clean. Miss the really nice shower "room" of KY house in master bath. Like no carpet of KY house, especially the basement. Basement in GA has partially carpeted and always smells a little musty-- cement floor & carpet are not a good match. If we stay longer in GA we will work on at least the bathrooms being updated and maybe eventually tile the finished areas of basement as we did in KY. I like having a completely enclosed deck in GA-- allows bulldog to outside access without worry. She tries to bolt out back doors in KY to "freedom" or at least a good chase. She seems to like having more carpet to roll around on but at least she has area rugs in KY to do this too. I miss my KY kitchen faucet that was my birthday present one year-- faucet here takes longer to fill the coffee pot than I like- one of the specs I check when I buy faucets now. I REALLY miss the bathtub faucet in KY. The one in GA master tub is SO SLOW- by the time you get a few inches of water in the tub it's already cooling down-- it's a large oval jetted tub so it's really annoying. I notice even Mr H jumps in the tub on visits to KY a lot. Like the cable service in GA better- it's Comcast but they have a button on the remote that you just talk into remote after pressing a button- like "NFL channel" & it will bring up that channel, or "Denzel Washington" it will bring up biographical info and movies he is in. Makes using regular cable guide so hard to go back to. It is also a source of entertainment. Like Mr H said "A&E" but remote heard "Annie" and brought up that movie. One time he says "F--- this" and it comes up with an apology that something is wrong. LOL

Location to shopping and stuff is pretty close to identical. A few miles from a mall, Walmart, grocery stores, etc at both locations. Miss the amazing beer shopping offerings of The Liquor Barn (or Beer Jungle as Mr. H likes to call it) in KY-- it used to be a Goody's department store- now it's wine, beer and liquor! ATL has some really good breweries locally- one of our favorites is Monday Night Brewery. They make a great blood orange IPA called Blind Pirate. Most beer is a bit cheaper in GA too.
Mr H misses his pole vault pit in the backyard while in GA but there are 2 pole vault clubs within an hour's drive. He likes that there's the perfect hill to run in GA (same perfect incline from cul-de-sac to driveway) for his training workouts & that basement has crazy tall ceiling so he can do "Bubka's" (exercise for pole vaulters) inside on new weight rack we bought for house.  I enjoy the GA neighborhood to walk- technically a "golf & country club" community so part of the neighborhood has golf cart paths. One leads into woods that has a stream running alongside of the path for a bit and then has a waterfall you can see from a hillside above. Another goes through woods and near the "lake." The terrain is quite hilly so just walking is a decent workout. Hilliness of the area is one thing that really surprised me-- for some reason I thought of ATL area as being flat but it is really hard to find flat areas. It's always a nice change to go to KY and be so out in the open (lots of trees in GA area) Miss being able to do neighborhood runs- too hilly for this old lady to do continuous running. Enjoy the community pool during the summer. Mr H loved heading to the pool for an after-workout dip in the pool and beer (allowed as long as it isn't in a glass container.) He likes it enough that next place he'd actually consider having a pool. There's also tennis courts but I don't play tennis very well. We don't golf but I do love the paths to walk through the course- it's nice way to get exercise.

Still dislike the traffic in GA. I was really ready to leave after Mr H's accident in September. Such a scary thing to deal with and very frustrating when so much of it can be prevented. You'd THINK in such a congested area, people would use turn signals- easiest way to let others know your intent-- nearly effortless yet still such a rarity. Also the "get ahead" mentality-- aggressive driving to get a single car length ahead nearly causing collisions is not helping anyone-- often times that person ends up never getting ahead yet risks so much by this behavior. ATL traffic has made us less impatient drivers- but we will still road rage at the complete idiots. Like one trip to KY, driver in "Army Wife" vehicle stayed in left lane when a huge opening in the right was available. Mr. H flashed his lights at her to get her attention. She starts pointing that he should go around her on the right! Army Wife obviously is clueless that it's AGAINST THE LAW to stay in left lane if you aren't passing (let alone that it makes roads more dangerous for everyone else because another rule is don't pass on the right.) There's on part of the drive to KY near Chattanooga that always gets me raging because people race ahead in right lane to get ahead (and make everyone else have to stop because of this behavior) because exit onto 24 goes down to one lane-- these are obviously people who know about the lane collapsing but still have to be pigs. There's also some really terrible traffic patterns- i.e. one traffic light in town has really humped up railroad track on one side (room for 1-2 vehicles between crossroad & track)-- they allow left hand turns when there is no lane for this. So traffic gets help up for all these left hand turns when it's an easy place to "go around a block" for that turn and not have danger of people on railroad tracks waiting for someone to finally make this turn. Other lights have such heavy traffic at times that you don't even get through a light even if car #1 due traffic blocking intersection. At least in KY that is usually limited to weekends and "mall traffic" near Christmas.

Overall, I guess I am happy we made the move. Mr H is definitely happier in his job (at least before new ownership)- he had a boss that gave him the autonomy to do his job. He was enjoying the work and no stress on weekends as they aren't 24/7 schedule. He had made enough impact that by the time of the sale, the original company HR guy was saying how he can expect a call on day 366 (year non-solicitation clause) and they will MAKE him a job. He was definitely miserable at the local KY job. I like the neighborhood for the most part (not the awful, racist HOA representative who "welcomed" us)-- funny to see Mr H racing neighborhood kids up the hill and their shouting "your fast, your fast" or see them at the pool and ask me if I sprained my ankle (pulled calf muscle) running the hill. Found a knitting club that meets once a month at a local coffee shop. Local Lowe's sells cement bulldog statues (I am going to paint a block "O" and "Brutus" on the red jersey already painted on the one I bought.) I may regret that we bought a house here but at least I have projects to keep me busy in the time being. It's preparing me for empty nest time coming- how to shop, cook, and clean when it's 2 adults and a bulldog-- gotta change the mindset. Last week Mr H was going to wear a shirt that normally isn't a workout shirt "to save on laundry" and I told him that I NEED more laundry-- it's hard to make loads when it's just us. I'm glad we are able to keep 2 houses as it gets E through college as a commuter and who knows the what the future holds. Maybe we go back to KY to retire? LOL 

Been forever... so much has changed

Seriously has been SO LONG since I posted and even longer since I did a makeup related blog. Last time I did real makeup blog I was wearing almost all my own mineral makeup and since the end of summer 2015 I have been wearing IT Cosmetics CC cream. I was finding that my mineral foundation even with emu oil and other moisturizers just wasn't cutting it. So I saw demonstration on QVC one day and thought maybe I should give it a try... especially liking the 50 SPF as I get melasma from sun exposure on my face. I went to our local Ulta and bought medium color in their illumination CC cream (and a CC illumination bronzer that was limited edition too.) I tried it out and really liked the feel of it for a non-mineral foundation but surprisingly too "glowy" for my tastes. I kept it and went back and bought just the regular CC cream in  medium. In today's photos, I am wearing only the regular medium with a tiny bit of the bronzer for a bit of additional color. I find that the regular CC cream is pretty glowy on it's own but most days I do add a touch of the illuminating version (50% or less.) Why I am pretty happy with this new foundation...

  • My skin is SO DRY so anything that feels a little creamier is a good thing. 
  • LOVE the SPF factor. My spring weekends are lots of hours logged outside for track meets (or doing pole vault video taping for hubby.) Really nice to have such a light feeling foundation have so much SPF. 
  • Colors tend to be on the yellower side which suits me just fine as I typically find makeup too "pink" in most brands. Shade is pretty forgiving so doesn't looks mask-like at all. 
  • While it is said to be a full coverage foundation, I would disagree with that. It's more like a  medium coverage foundation (at least with the amount I use.) If you wanted full coverage I think it would take multiple layers with letting it set in between to achieve full coverage. I don't really like looking made up so I like this not so full coverage that blurs most of the imperfections just fine for my tastes.
  • A little goes a long way. I still have at least a half full tube of the regular medium color that I bought in August and because it has SPF I tend to wear makeup more often than normal AND "while I was away" I was working part-time in a law office 5 days a week- so wearing makeup every day I worked. (In February we changed things so I only fill-in for the normal secretary when she is sick or needs time off.) Two partial pumps is plenty for a full application for me. 
  • It's easy to apply. I put a pump or two on the back of my left hand and dip my finger in. No fancy applicator needed. You can use a foundation brush or sponge but I find that more wasteful than applying with my fingers (which I wash right before makeup application.) 
  • I don't break out from this foundation and it has a pleasant smell. Slightly lavender smell that is very tolerable for my picky nose. I really don't like makeup that smells like talc or chemically. 
  • It's supposed to have skincare effects so that's a bonus. 

Another change from my old makeup is almost always using a Tarte gel blush rather than my own powder blushes. With my dry skin, the gel blush just looks really pretty and glow from within. I knew I was onto something when on a family trip (hotel lighting makeup application) by daughter said "Oh, I really like your blush." Unfortunately the color (Ambition) was only available in mini-size kit so I have bought a similar full-sized one in a color called Exposed that I use most days and then save the Ambition for special occasions. I have used Tarte gel blushes for over a decade but these recent purchases are much better. Old versions would have unique scent added to them, so "Cloud 9" was a grape smell, others may be a berry smell, etc. so you kind of had to put up with the scent if you liked a color. Now they all seem to be rose scented- real rose scented, not cheap "off" smell. Also seems like they are less tacky feeling than older version- older version took quite a while to "set up" after application. At 48 years old, these gel blushes help keep me looking much younger than my years.

Third big change in my daily makeup routine is Anastasia brow gel. I started using IT brow gel (and still use the IT brush that came with) but found IT colors to be too red-brown, even the universal Taupe was reddish brown in my opinion. I gave these to my daughter who dyes her hair red (at this point basically considers herself a redhead.) I find that Anastasia's colors are more realistic brow color on me. The brow gel I purchased around the same time as the IT foundation and I literally have barely scratched the surface. Really an awesome product. If you remember, I am kind of an all or nothing kind of gal when it comes to makeup. IF I am going to wear foundation then it means I WILL wear blush, brows, mascara and lip balm at minimum. I hate to see someone wear foundation and not have blush, and I hate to see "no brows" and hate to see no lashes.

Last big change in my daily makeup is Mally volume mascara. Previously my go to mascara was Maybelline Full N Soft waterproof but I was starting to find my lashes getting brittle (and definitely a bit hard to remove mascara) so when I saw a 6 pack for $60 on QVC I tried it out. It is not waterproof but it does give volume and length with very few coats and seems to condition my lashes. I have pretty good lashes so mostly need volume and darkening. This one works well for that. Of course now I am touching my lashes and they feel soft and supple-- not "crispy" like most mascaras feel after a few hours. My lashes seem to be longer than before I used it (maybe because they aren't getting pulled out while trying to remove mascara?) Not looking too shabby for 48 years old with these products to help =)
IT CC cream Medium
Tarte gel blush Exposed
Anastasia Brow Gel Medium Brown


Yesterday I stopped by my Sam's Club-- I don't shop there often but I have certain items that pay for my membership fees alone-- #1 being yeast for bread making.  I can't tell you how excited I was to find this in the beauty aisle (Oil of Olay offerings/razors/lotion/shampoo aisle) a 9-piece makeup brush set for $7.91!!!! Yes, I typed that correctly, 8 brushes and a case for $7.91!!!

#1- I do believe this set includes the biggest powder brush I have ever seen. I took photos with my hand in background as an comparison for size.

#2- The pointed foundation brush is exactly like the kind I have been loving lately (from Target that sells for $6.99 by itself) for my foundation/SPF pre-mixed foundation for summer. Since I mix Neutragena SPF & my foundation into a mousse-like consistency & store in hinged paint-pots (like what you get in a paint by numbers set but I buy empty ones at craft stores) this kind of foundation brush is perfect to apply my foundation mix. I then purchased another one & polka dotted the ferrel with nail polish to use for cream blush application. <---Currently been using a Hard Candy highlighter/blush combo that I split apart & melted separately & repotted (blush in MMU jar/ highlighter in lip balm stick.)  Since I am approaching 47, cream blushes seem to just look better anymore.

#3 These are NOT chintzy eye brushes--- the 2 "domed" shadow brushes are densely packed, the 2nd from left brush is nicely shaped & perfect softness/density for almost any eye shadow application. The liner brush is a little larger- so best used for smoky liner look rather than thin lining but can't complain about the price.

 #4 The blush brush is nicely domed and highly dense-- very soft. The skunk brush is same quality of much pricier brushes I have in my collection.
 Seriously I can not believe that the price was $7.91 for the entire set. They are now drying out after my washing them. Looking forward to putting them to good use.

Long Time No Post- some beauty blabblings

Howdy. I know it's been forever since I posted anything beauty-wise. So with summer in the air I will tell you a couple of things I've been doing with my makeup routine.

#1 been mixing my foundation with Neutrogena Clear Face liquid lotion SPF 55 (see post from last year about this) but changed things up a little bit for a more skin like look recently. The beauty biz recommends going lighter on foundation as you get older so on days I'm wanting a more natural look I've been using a new mix. I still use the Neutrogena Clear Face SPF but added a slightly darker golden/bronzer foundation that I had added some golden shimmer (tiny particles not glitter) to. I blended with SPF to a "tinted moisturizer" consistency- still pretty liquid and pale beige (SPF/foundation mix was more creamy consistency & fairly pigmented.) I store in "paint pots" (cut apart)  that one can purchase empty at Hobby Lobby-- remember the paint pots that came with oil paint by numbers-- you squeeze the 2 prongs & that helps pop the lid up.

So here is my makeup a few days ago with this glowy barely there mix. As you can see, it's a sheer look but better than bare skin. Blurs rather covers.

#2 Beauty magazines recommend lip balms during the summer rather than glosses because glosses can produce more sun damage to lips. So I looked all over for SPF tinted glosses and sadly there are not many available. Neutrogena has Revitalizing Lip Balms in a few tints that are SPF 20. Blistex makes Lip Vibrance (SPF 15) in one color. Wet & Wild makes a SPF 15 "Mega Lip Color" in about a dozen colors. So with my Hoozey "try anything" I bought a bunch of high SPF lip balms (like Hawaiian Tropic SPF 45) pulled out the balm & put in small pyrex measuring cup along with various amounts of lipstick (I went cheap Wet & Wild 93 centers for most of the colors) put in microwave at 50% for about 90 seconds to melt. Stirred with popsicle stick and poured into lip balm tube (from my MMU supply I have tubes but you could always reuse balm/lipstick containers)- making my own tinted lip balms. Granted they will not be SPF 45 but at least will be higher than most readily available tinted SPF balms and can make more personalized colors.

#3 I found a E.L.F. HD blush and thought I'd give a try. OMG it was INTENSE color... no way to control from going 100% clown makeup in original form. So again my Hoozey "try anything" kicked in. I took a little Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme (I use this as a makeup remover- especially in winter with my super dry skin) & mixed into a single pump of the blush until it was diluted enough to give sheer color rather than clown-face intensity. I put this in a small container that I have from MMU supplies so now have my own moisturizing blush to give a nice glow from within look. I am guessing one $3 bottle of this E.L.F. blush will be a lifetime of color but I do like it as it's not glittery color and I do like natural look of cream blushes vs. powders.

New Footwear Obsession

4 out of my 5 pairs of Orthaheel flip flops. Love the variety.
Hoozey has a new footwear obsession. At the end of this summer I was experiencing plantar fasciitis. I thought I had bruised my heel but when I shared this with hubby he was like "Nope, that's PF. Exactly what I felt & it's really hard to bruise your heel without remembering what you stepped on to do that." I had been running the neighborhood- hard pavement- more than I've done previously. I am stickler for good running shoes, as I have flat feet, so wondered what else I could do to help with PF. One thing that is recommended is varying heel height. I have always found flats hurt- as did cheap flip flops- so the only flip flops I had were Fit Flops which I loved for many years & collected many pairs. Problem with Fit Flops is that they were basically like wearing my running shoes so one day I randomly posted on Facebook how I was wearing heels around the house while cleaning as my PF helping technique. A friend posted she too had PF & found Orthaheels as a helper for her feet. So I ordered 2 pairs from 6 p.m. (on clearance as it was getting towards the end of the season.) One Salmon pair of "Tide" & one bronzy pair with embellishments. 

At first, I found the Orthaheels a bit odd feeling- there is a lot of arch support so my flat feet took some time getting used to this feature. Soon I grew to love them and recently ordered 3 more pairs (from 6 p.m. again as I find their pricing best-- seriously cannot justify paying full price for flip flops no matter how great they are.) Love the colors and different looks. 

So why do I prefer Orthaheels to Fit Flops? 

Fit Flop arch is much flatter.
Orthaheel very distinct arch support
#1 The more rigid arch support helps keep foot from rolling in- very common for those who have flat feet. You know the look of people wearing cheap flip flops & looking like they are walking on the inner sides of feet rather than soles? I think QVC sells Orthaheels & does a demonstration of a model with lines drawn on shins-- showing how different the alignment ends up being in Orthaheels. 

#2 The footbed is less spongy/foamy compared to Fit Flops- so Orthaheels seem more durable as the footbeds will not collapse as Fit Flops eventually do. Trust me- my original Fit Flops are very flat with no arches left. 

#3 The less spongy footbeds of Orthaheels prevent my turning my ankle like I often did in my Fit Flops. Fit Flops' straps get stretched out & seem to cause me to hit the wrong part of the Fit Flop- in turn causing me to turn my ankle since the footbeds are taller than Orthaheels footbed. 

Grungy footbed even after LOTS of scrubbing.
#4 Orthaheels clean up better. One of my pet peeves with Fit Flops was that the white/light colored footbeds always got so disgusting looking. I routinely scrubbed- we are talking baking soda plus detergent plus nail brush- my Fit Flops but no matter how much I scrubbed the ground in dirt "foot" stains remained. Fit Flops offer dark colored footbeds but I notice these collapse sooner than lighter versions. The Orthaheels have harder footbeds so even with light colors they clean up better. Some even have nice sueded footbeds. 

Most worn pair of Orthaheels I have. Clean up nicely. 
#5 Orthaheels aren't so bulky so they look a little more dressy. The large footbed of Fit Flops detract from the shoe regardless of style you choose in my opinion. Some of the Orthaheels look quite sporty (Tide- salmon/grey) while others can look rather dressy. Orthaheels even makes sandals & heeled versions. Only downside is that their closed shoes are pretty hideous so I don't see myself buying any of those. LOL My 5 pairs of Orthaheels give me quite a wardrobe for my feet whereas I had about a dozen Fit Flops but only real variation was the colors. Already looking for the warmer weather to come back so I can wear my Orthaheels.