Phoenix Day 1

Friday, August 5, 2011
Time to hop back on the blog wagon!  Sorry to anyone out there reading along.  I got sidetracked by this trip to Arizona.  The next few posts will be mainly about our trip there.

We got off to a good start.  I stayed up all night and woke the kids up at 4 am.  I expected whining and crying but they both hopped right out of bed and got dressed to go!  Wow didn't expect that.

We checked in and grabbed a muffin and coffee and waited for our plane, which was right on time!  The boys got not one...not two...but THREE bags of snacks from the flight attendant.  They were very happy and we were well on our way to fulfilling the kid's meal plan of 8 meals a day. (Like Hobbits)

The boys and I were lucky enough to all find a seat in one row.  I had the mistaken notion that they would leave me alone to sleep on the flight.  You would think I'd know better.  

The Greek sat in the window seat across the aisle and managed to sleep the entire flight, a fact he made sure to rub in later.

We retrieved our bags. which were among the first 5 to come off the plane!  I know!  How awesome is that? Then we picked up the rental car.  A Chevy Impala.  It rode well and had a ton of trunk space but the cabin was cramped,  Barely any room for my purse and my feet on the passenger side and no cup holders in the back!

First order of business...LUNCH!  We all wanted Chinese so stopped in at Phoenix Palace for dim sum.  If there are semi empty dishes, it's because we all dug in before I thought to take pictures.

After lunch we met with our awesome RE Agent, Gina, to look at a few houses.  Some didn't fit our needs.  In one of them, the layout was awesome but it was trashed.  Furniture, clothes and trash left behind in every room.  Carpets were stained, walls marred.  There was even cat poo sitting in the middle of the hallway.  There was a pool in the backyard but it was drained and full of debris.  It was just too much to have to deal with, so we passed.

As we were in the car going to the last house, Horse says, "Mom, I think I might have accidently touched the poop with my hands."

"WHAT?  Did you or didn't you?"

" I don't know, I might have."

"It wasn't on the wall!  It was on the floor so you had to have bent over to touch it!  Even if you didn't know what it was and you picked it up, you KNOW that you touched it.  So did you touch it or not?"

"I don't know...maybe"

"Well don't touch anything!  Especially NOT your brother.  Or your face.  Or mouth, or......"


We didn't find anything we really liked so headed out to check in at the hotel.

The "hotel" was hidden away behind a tech park.  It wasn't really a hotel but a vacation time share or condo I guess.  We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bath. living room, dining room, full kitchen and even a laundry room and garage.  It was 1100 sq ft, almost as big as this house!  All for about $76 a night!  Only downside was no daily maid service and no internet.

Dining Room

Full Kitchen

Master Bedroom

2nd Bedroom

Entrance to Master Bath and WALK IN  closet!

Living room
We were very happy with it, except for the internet part.  Will continue next post!

Leaving And Saying Goodbye

Saturday, July 23, 2011
This may be the last post for a few days.  The Greek, the boys and I are going to be on a plane in 5 hours to go house hunting.  We have to get up at 4 am, so I'm just not sleeping tonight.  I can sleep in any moving vehicle so I'll just nap on the plane.

I got some more bad news tonight though.  Another very close friend was a victim of this heat wave hitting the eastern part of North America.  You hear about such things and you feel bad but when it hits close to home it is a different story.

Jay was not only a close friend but one of my biggest fans.  I often did shows for his venue but had to cancel the last one when I had surgery.  We didn't get a chance to reschedule.

He was the kind of guy who took care of everyone else but not very good care of himself.  He has always watched out for me and steered me away from some bad people.  He pushed and encouraged me when I had just started singing.  He often Skyped me just to chat.

Goodbye my friend.  Thank you for having my back.  I love you.

Stop today and tell those you love that you love them.  Be Safe.  I'll post when I get back, if not before.

Thumbs Up!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Airline tickets are booked.  Hotel is reserved and rental car is paid for.  We leave for Arizona and house hunting this weekend and will make it back for all my shows the last weekend of the month.

The Greek and our RE agent are in touch daily.  So hopefully we'll have a few really good houses to see.  It will be a short trip but so much to pack.  I need a list.  I'll try and keep everyone updated from my Kindle to FB and Twitter.

On a more recent note, I took the boys to see the new Harry Potter movie today.  I'm no great reviewer, I just know what I like and we liked this one.  I, of course, fell asleep during a couple of parts.  Par for the course for me.  I think I might even have been snoring this time since Rabbit shook me awake at one point.  No dirty looks from anyone so it must not have been that loud

Missed this part

And this part
I saw this part!  The boys covered their eyes I think!
We OD'd on popcorn, 2 large.  I guess that was our lunch since when we came home the buyers started their inspection shortly after and we couldn't make lunch.  Dinner was Spaghetti Carbonara (bacon, eggs, Parmesan cheese and spaghetti).  Too many carbs for me and I fell asleep for a couple of hours.  Carbs do that to me now days.  They say carbs give you energy.  They LIE!  Sucks getting old.

I'm off to make a packing list.  I remember all the electronics, it's the power/charging cords I always forget.  So those are first on the list.  After all the kids can wear their underwear inside out right?

I Need Space!

Saturday, July 16, 2011
I moved in with The Greek almost 2 years ago.  I had never moved into anyone’s home before.  In all my relationships, we either moved in a new place together or he moved in with me.

The Greek and his sons have been living in this house for over 10 years.  They set it up and they are used to things being where they have always been.

It’s been hard to integrate my things into the household.  I have no closet space.  By that I don’t mean it’s so small, I mean none at all.  It took more than 6 months before I got a dresser and could stop living out of plastic bins. 

My necessary kitchen stuff are in a nightstand drawer in the dining area.  Can you believe these men didn’t even own a decent knife?  They chopped onions and garlic with a little steak knife.  My chopsticks have made it to the silverware drawer, thank heaven.  I have two coffee cups in the glass cabinet and four glasses.  They only use Tupperware cups.  The Greek even drinks his coffee out of a plaster commuter mug.  I CANNOT stand drinking out of plastic cups.  The disposable ones you get at picnics are ok but not the kind you reuse.  They pick up the smell and taste of everything.  If I wanted my water to taste like orange juice or Kool-aid, I wouldn’t be drinking water!  Not only that, water and ice look so much prettier in a glass than a plastic cup.

I have half of a 10 x 10 room for my 3 computers, files and musical instruments.  I spend 90% of my waking hours here at my desk.   The other half of this room is The Greek’s office.  Sometimes it’s nice being able to just talk to him while we’re sitting at our computers.  Most of the time, it’s just annoying.  When he’s around, I have to watch what I write on my blogs, or even when I’m talking to friends or my daughter.  If I’m on the phone, he is always listening and wants to join in the conversation too.  If I try and ignore him he gets more insistent.

His son likes to watch military programs and things like gang wars.  I don’t want my kids watching that stuff.  He cranks the volume way up.  I have sensitive ears and am constantly telling my kids to turn the TV down and they listen at only half the level he does.  Plus he doesn’t bathe often enough and the couch where he sits smells like him.  Ewww.

It’s tough to live like this.  Especially when predivorce, I was living in a 3000 sq ft house and I got to decide where everything would go.   So essentially it was all my space.

I wish!

So for our new home, I’ve made some stipulations.

1)      I need an office to myself.  Room to put up shelves and filing cabinets.  It has to be away from his son’s room so that I can do late night shows.  Where I can work in peace and not feel bad because I have to tell him to turn the volume down on his music.

2)      There has to be at least 3 full baths, 3.5 would be even better.  One for The Greek and I, one for his son and one for my kids.  I don’t want to have to be yelling at his son to keep the bathroom clean so my kids can use it and I shouldn’t have to clean up after him.  I’m not his mother.

3)      I have to have a dedicated chill out space.  A place the kids and I can watch TV or play video games or just sit and read that will always be available for our use (meaning it is off limits to his son)

4)      I get at least half of the master closet space

5)      It has to have ample storage space in the kitchen for BOTH our kitchen wares

6)      It has to be in a really good school district.  I don’t want my two geniuses boys to get bored and get into trouble.

7)      It absolutely has to have a good stable reliable internet connection.  It has to be able to hold my “radio” stream for my shows.  Cable is ok…DSL is ok… but not satellite internet.  Believe me, we’ve been having a hard time finding a house that meets our criteria and has a good ISP.

Then there are things I would like but aren’t a deal breaker.

1)      A swimming pool would be awesome.  It’s the only kind of exercise I really enjoy since I hate to sweat.  It would keep the kids busy too

2)      Enough bedrooms so the boys could each have their own room.  So it would have to be 5 bedrooms minimum.

3)      Less than 30 minutes to a good oriental grocery store, Whole Foods, Costco, and Trader Joes.  I can’t drive further than 30 min away.  I fall asleep at the wheel.  I’m talking absolutely cannot keep your eyes open kind of sleepy.  The Greek will drive me but then when we get there he says, “OK,  what do you need so we can get out of here?”  I’m more of a  “cruise up and down every aisle to see what is there” kind of shopper.  Then as Rabbit says…I would have to berate him.

He and our RE Agent have found a few interesting ones.  We will go down next week to take a look at them.  Keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Winds of Change: A Future and A Good bye

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Thank you St. Joe!    Guess he liked the new spot The Greek planted him in.  We got an offer on the house, countered it and they signed the contract yesterday!  If all goes well, we will close just before school starts here!

No more snow for us!  Next week we’ll go house hunting in Arizona!  The Greek has been looking online for months.  I started out helping him but as time dragged by without even a nibble, I stopped.  It just got too depressing.  He’s going full force now and between him and our real estate agent down there, I’m sure we’ll have a ton of houses to look at.

Our list of needs and wants are very specific and will drive G (our agent) crazy.  I’ll talk about them in tomorrow’s post.

So we’ll hop on the plane and check ourselves into a nice hotel for a few days.  I LOVE traveling.  I love staying in hotels.  I mean, how can you not like leaving your room and coming back hours later and the beds are made and the bathroom is clean?  The best part?  I didn’t have to do it or yell at the kids to do it!

You want to know the thing that I’m most excited about?  Being able to eat some good Asian food!  I’ve been craving Chinese food, but here is not a single really good Oriental restaurant in this town.  Sadly, all our favorite places to eat any kind of cuisine here are national chains. All the mom and pop places are mediocre at best.  I cook all kinds of foods, especially Asian but I can’t find the ingredients for most of our favorite dishes.

We’ve already decided that we will hit the Chinese restaurant we found last trip.  We will hunt out a good Vietnamese place too and of course have to make a visit to the Hawaiian BBQ joint near the University.  The Greek has been craving the dark chocolate raspberry habanero ice cream we found at a local ice cream shop on our previous visit.

We’re off on a new adventure!  It seems like our lives have been put on hold until now.  Can’t wait to see where it leads.

Before I posted this, I found out that a dear friend had passed away in his sleep last night.  He had waited over a year to get a visa to go visit his fiance in Germany and finally got there last month.  He was a true bluesman...the real deal ... and a true gentleman and friend.  I'll miss you Kevin.

Out of the Mouths of Babes II

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Kids say the most awesome things.  Sometimes it's just funny.  Other times we wish we had the courage to say what was on our minds.  Occasionally they call us out on something too.  Here's some recent and not so recent words out of the mouths of my babes.

Telling The Whole Truth And Nothing But...

When my daughter was young she was a little on the chunky side.  One day at preschool a little boy asked her why she was so chubby.  Her answer.

 “If YOUR mommy cooked as good as MY mommy then you wouldn’t be so skinny!”  

Go Di!

McD's Light

Everytime we go to McDonald’s Horse says he wants dessert.  Our last trip he firmly told me that he had decided to have a Rolo McFluffie!  Rabbit laughed his head off and made a recording on his phone so he would remember McFluffies.  I don’t know, I think maybe McFluffies wouldn’t have as many calories as McFlurries.

Girl Power!

Another time at preschool my daughter and her friends had been talking about their parent's jobs.  I asked my daughter what she told them I did.  She smiled and proudly stated, “I said you were a Doctor!” 

I said, but I’m not a doctor (I was a medical assistant), Dr. Oh is the doctor.” 

Her eyes opened wide then she whispered, “He can’t be a doctor.  He’s a boy!”

Helping The Greek

One day we were eating lunch and The Greek had loaded all the stray silverware into the dishwasher before we were done eating.  He does this on a regular basis and it drives me batty.   I had to take out new ones for the mayo and mustard so the boys could make their second sandwiches.  

Rabbit was calmly spreading mayo on his bread when he asked me, “Mama, are you going to berate The Greek again?”  

That stopped me in my tracks.  “Berate?  Do I ever berate him?  And how do you even know that word?”  

Rabbit giggled and said, “Yup, you do!  And Mama!  I read!”.  

I thought a moment, chewed my sandwich.  Then I told him.  I don’t berate The Greek, I just let him know how he can make me happy!”  

Rabbit laughed and declared that a good answer.  He still asks me all the time if I need to berate The Greek for this offense or that.  I don’t think he has anything against my partner, he just likes to hear himself say that word…berate.

If you don't want to be BERATED, follow the list!

What has come out of your child's mouth that made you laugh or think?

Permission To Hit Your Brother...Granted

Monday, July 11, 2011
In my post yesterday, I talked about going to the Ren Faire.  Besides eating and shopping, this is what my kids like best about the faire.

 There is that non-aggressive thing going on again.  I told them that next time I would make sure they were good and mad at each other before they got in the ring.

But hey!  Where else do I get to yell at them to "Whack your brother on the head!  Harder!"