I’ve learned there is something good about every where we’ve lived!
Posted by Carol on December 2, 2010
I’ve learned there is something good about every where we’ve lived!
Posted by Carol on August 11, 2009
Beginning several months before we moved to Colorado and continuing to this day, I have been in a bloggy dry spell. I blame it on the move – the physical and emotional upheaval that moving across the country (or even across town) causes.
But now we’re here. We’re all settled in. Mostly.
Just don’t look in my office – I haven’t organized that yet. Almost every file was dumped out somewhere between New Jersey and Colorado and I still need to go through about 20 years’ worth of papers and save what we need and shred the rest.
Ok, I’ll show it to you. It is actually much worse than the picture shows, you can’t see the area in front of the desk!
But other than that, I really want to get back to this blog. I miss it and I miss my bloggy friends. Problem is even though one would think I would have a ton to write about, I can’t think of a blessed thing.
So, last night on Facebook, I asked for suggestions and one of my younger friends said I should write about how much I love and miss her.
Good idea. Thanks, A!
Because the truth is part of my bloggy dry spell is being caused by homesickness for my friends in New Jersey. I am so thankful that we got to move to Colorado and live near family, but New Jersey was our home for 10 years!
I miss my church family at CBC so much that it’s hard to feel at home at church here. I miss my many friends that I could just pick up the phone and grab lunch or coffee with at any time. I miss my friend, S, that I could goof around with and then share my heart and pray with.
But, I know God has moved us here for a reason and He is using this season when I am the new girl to teach me to depend on Him for all my needs. When I am looking for a friend to talk to, I need to turn to Him. When I am frustrated with my kids and need advice, I have to turn to Him because there is no one here who I am close enough to to be that open with.
This newness hurts, but it is good. It is good for me to have only God. Of course, I have my husband and extended family, but I know God wants me to learn to look to Him first – to need only Him.
Soon enough, I will have a full calendar again and a church and girlfriends to go to lunch and coffee with. But for now, Jesus is teaching me some lessons that I could only have learned by being taken way out of my comfort zone of the familiar and plopped down across the country in a beautiful new place full of His possibilities.
Posted by Carol on July 19, 2009
I need everyone reading this post to start humming that tune now. You know the one. The obnoxious song from Disney World that will stay stuck in your head all day once you start.
I’ll wait til you’re all in unison…
Ok, now I can begin my story.
We’ve known since around January that my husband’s company was going to move us West. At first, they wanted to move us to Dallas, Texas. But, once Dear Hubby found out that he could possibly do his job from Denver, Colorado, he campaigned hard with his boss for that to happen. He grew up in Colorado and we have a lot of family and friends here, which made Denver a much more attractive choice for us than Dallas.
Back in New Jersey, for most of the 10 years we lived there, we attended the same church. Our kids went to Sunday School and Youth Group, and Hubs and I were involved in the Married with Children (not the official name) adult Sunday School class. I was also very involved with the Women’s Ministry at church. One of the benefits of being involved with Women’s Ministry is getting to know many of the women at church.
Now re-wind to a little over a year ago. We were still in New Jersey and the women of our church were away for the weekend at our annual retreat. I was (wo)manning the welcome table, greeting the women as they arrived. At a particularly slow time at the table, one woman (we’ll call her K) and I got talking. She shared with me that she and her family were moving to Colorado that summer. We discussed her move at length and she told me the area of Colorado they were considering. I was familiar with it because a) we have lots of family in CO, and b) we used to live there ourselves years ago.
I told K that my husband would be very jealous that they were getting to move to Colorado because it had always been a dream of his to get back there some day.
A few months went by, they moved West. K and I became Facebook friends and I was able to stay in touch with her that way. Through Facebook, I knew what town they had moved to, and what high school her kids attended.
Now, fast forward our story to this 4th of July weekend. We had just closed on our new home in Colorado and moved in on July 2nd. Apparently, our new neighborhood has a 4th of July party every year. This year, it was held on July 5th (go figure).
Being new here, we thought it would be a great opportunity to meet our new neighbors very quickly. So on July 5th, we marched ourselves right on over to the party, where approximately 60-70 of our soon-to-be closest friends were attending.
Hubby and I were chatting with several people when around the corner we spotted a very familiar couple walking to the party. We looked at them curiously, and they were looking at us with the same curiosity. All of a sudden the collective light bulbs in our heads went on when we all realized who each other were.
It was K and her husband from New Jersey! Not only do they live in our new neighborhood, but they live right across the street from us!
Like I said, I knew the town they had moved to and I knew their children’s school, but I did not know their street address. What are the chances that with the thousands of people who live in this town and school district that we would end up across the street from the only other people I know from New Jersey?!
And our former church?!
It IS a small world after all!!
(You can stop humming now)
Posted by Carol on July 16, 2009
Trying to put words to the whole experience of moving across the country from New Jersey to Colorado would not only be a very long post, but a very boring one as well. Instead, here are some pictures I took along the way to remember the experience by.
Our kitchen in NJ all boxed up.
The movers padded the doorway and protected the floors as they moved everything out.
Off they go to start the long trip from NJ to CO
Getting ready for our very long trip from NJ to CO
We passed St. Louis at around 6:30 am. Little did I know at this point that in a few short hours, I would get a speeding ticket in Kansas City. Thanks for the memories, Missouri!
Windmills in Kansas (almost to Colorado!)
And finally- the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (this is the view I see of Pikes Peak when I drive out of my new neighborhood)
Here’s Kobi – the only member of the family to get car sick on this trip and it was a lovely experience. He is actually the reason we drove from NJ to CO instead of flying. We didn’t want to put him under the plane after hearing too many horror stories from friends who have flown with their dogs.
Obviously, we all made it safe and sound. Most of the boxes are unpacked, pictures are hung on the walls (thanks to my husband’s brother and sister-in-law!), the kids have made a few friends, and I am trying to learn my way around a new town and a new grocery store.
Today while dropping some clothes off at the cleaners for the first time, the woman who worked there saw my New Jersey license plates and asked me about them. It turns out she is from Philadelphia and was tickled to meet someone from her neck of the woods.
I want to say that tomorrow I will tell you how it really is a small world after all, but we all know that lately my “tomorrow” means two to three days from now.
(But I really will try for tomorrow.)
(Thanks for your patience.)
Posted by Carol on June 21, 2009
Sometime this week, and I suspect sooner than later, I will lose my internet because of the pesky packers that are coming tomorrow to pack our house up to move us to Colorado.
Actually, they aren’t pesky, I love them because if they pack, that means I don’t have to.
Anywhoo, no matter who packs us up, at some point it is inevitable that I will have to do without the internet, and therefore, you, for up to a week.
I plan on taking lots of pictures of the chaos to post when I arrive at the other end of this journey to Colorado. There should be lots to write about because the four of us and our little Shih-tzu, Kobi, will be driving across the country starting around Thursday.
In the meantime, if any of you are interested, I plan on Twittering the whole event. If you’re not following me, you can start by looking for me under the name: IThrowLikeaGirl on twitter.com
If you want to try to respond to any of my tweets, you can DM (direct message) me because I have set up my BlackBerry to receive DM’s. At least I think I have. I’ll need someone to actually DM me to know if it worked. (Thank you Antique Mommy, it worked!)
See ya when we get out west!
Posted by Carol on June 19, 2009
When we first found out we were moving to Denver, I was feeling a little guilty to be so excited about it. We’ve lived in New Jersey for 10 years now (the longest place we’ve lived in the 23 year history of our marriage) and I/we have so many great friends, neighbors, and memories.
Yet, thinking about moving to Denver was exciting. My husband has 3 siblings and his mother that we will now be living near. We lived in the Denver area about 15 years ago and we still have friends that we are in touch with. And did I mention that Colorado is beautiful?
So back in March, April, and May if you asked me about the move I felt very brave and excited about it, yet still a tad guilty for not being sad enough about leaving NJ. How sad is sad enough, BTW?
(Have I ever told you that I am one-half Italian? Guilt is an ethnic trait of Italians.)
Well, I guess I worried about not being sad enough too soon because as soon as June hit, the countdown to the Big Move started, and the beginning of all the goodbyes began which, naturally, led to all the sadness.
The first goodbye was to Joyce, my hairdresser. I think only one or two other people in New Jersey has ever cut my hair. She has seen my hair long, short, and in-between. She introduced me to the wonderful world of highlights to hide the gray. Our sons have grown up together, only they didn’t know it. Joyce and I have traded stories about our sons every 6-8 weeks for the better part of 10 years. My last cut was June 4th.
And so it goes all around my town. I picked up my last load from the dry cleaners this week, and the Chinese woman who owns the shop (her name is Gina and I’m pretty sure that’s not the name her parents gave her) said “See you next time!” but I realized there won’t be a “next time” and I had to say goodbye to her.
But even more difficult than saying goodbye to all the familiar faces of the shopkeepers and bank tellers who I now know by name, is saying goodbye to my dear, dear friends whom I have done life with these 10 years.
I have by no means been able to contact every single person who has impacted my life in a meaningful way during our time in New Jersey, but I have been able to spend some time with some very special people in the last few weeks and days.
This has been a very tender time and I have not really been able to process it all properly because in the middle of all the goodbyes were the septic system replacement, cleaning and showing our home for sale, house hunting in Colorado, making no less than 5 offers on homes with nothing working out (well, I think this one will work, but I won’t stop holding my breath until after the appraisal), endless phone calls arranging this that and the other, and now, finally, actually packing up and moving out of the home where my little boy and little girl became a young man and a young woman.
There is a lump in my throat that I know is only going to grow as this week goes on and we pull out of our driveway for the last time on Thursday night.
I know that once the packers and the movers have done their jobs, and this house is empty, I will be able to close my eyes and remember all the friends that have graced our doorway, all the Christmas trees that brightened our family room, all the Thanksgiving dinners shared with friends and family around the table, and all the random days that have made up our life here for the past ten years.
And I will thank God for every one of them.
Posted by Carol on May 26, 2009
As of Friday, all that was left to do to finish our brand spankin’ new septic system was to run a line connecting the new septic tanks near our house to the new septic field way out back in the Promised Land.
See that tall, reddish bush in the back of the picture? The Promised Land is behind that, way in the back of our yard. It is so far back that they had to install a pump with the new tanks to keep things moving along.
Speaking of the Promised Land, here it is now. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but it is now a 24″ mound that is also 42 feet long and 24 feet wide. We were lucky. Depending on the soil tests, some folks have to have a 4 FOOT mound as their septic field.
So, by the end of the day on Friday, all that was left for the guys to do was to put a few bushes back in place and take their big toys home.
Neither of which they did.
Which left Hubby feeling like he might want to help the guys out a bit with the bushes and all.
Much to my chagrin.
Why wait until Tuesday to let the professionals re-plant the bushes when you can do it yourself?
If his day job doesn’t work out, he might have a future in landscaping.
Getting a little direction from our visiting bro-in-law.
And before we knew it, the bushes were back. It was as if they never left. That night, God provided a deluge of rain to give the traveling plants a nice big drink of water – just what they needed.
And the old septic field?
As good as new.
This morning the guys finally came and took the heavy equipment away – thank you, Jesus! Now I get to go down to their office and write the final check.
Sure hope Dear Daughter didn’t plan on going to college immediately after graduating high school next year. Sigh.
Posted by Carol on May 21, 2009
I warned you, these posts would be riveting. What’s better than news about a new septic system being installed?
Dancing With the Stars?
Ah, but septic systems – where else can a girl get her fill of dirt, heavy equipment, men working hard, and grossness all in one location.
That’s right – here at I Throw Like a Girl. My devotion to you knows no bounds.
So let’s get right to it. The last time we visited the Promised Land, it looked like this:
The next day after the guys drove in and out of our yard all day long with their big trucks, the Promised Land looked like this:
Now, don’t be fooled. That may look like everyday ordinary sand. But let me tell you – it’s not. It is very special sand from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
If you are not familiar with NJ geography, here’s a quick lesson. NJ’s entire eastern side bumps right up against the Atlantic Ocean. Also, NJ is a very narrow state, that runs north to south, or south to north depending on how you want to look at it.
We live pretty much smack dab in the middle of the state of NJ. If we head due east, we will hit the Atlantic Ocean. The beach we would probably run into first would be Belmar, or maybe Point Pleasant. It would take us just a little over an hour to get there.
You know what beach we would not run into by driving one hour straight east?
Atlantic City beach.
The Atlantic City beach is approximately 3 hours southeast of us. Then, one might ask, why do we have to pay for truckload after truckload of Atlantic City beach sand, when we have several choices of perfectly good NJ beach sand a little over an hour from us? No one seems able to tell us the answer to that question.
Assuming part of the cost of this septic system is for the transportation of all the materials to us, I would be very happy with Belmar sand or Point Pleasant sand.
I think only Tony Soprano knows the reason why they get the sand from where they do.
Anyway, after a full day of delivering Atlantic City sand to our back yard, the next day was spent topping it off with this…
I have no idea where this gravel came from and frankly, I don’t want to know.
But that’s not all they got done in the last few days. They also installed yet another tank closer to the house.
I have asked our Real Estate agent to make sure that our buyers don’t come anywhere near our house until all this septic system stuff is done. They were very nervous when they made the offer on our house about what the septic system installation would do to the yard.
I thought they were being silly to worry so much. But little did I know that our yard would go from this:
in under one week.
Yeah. I think we need to keep the buyers away until all the big toys go home.
Posted by Carol on May 19, 2009
Yesterday, on the septic system front, the guys didn’t accomplish much.
All they did was connect this old septic tank to the new one below.
See, that’s all they did.
I probably should show you how the new tank got there in the first place.
That is the new septic tank all shiny and clean. Poor thing. It has no idea what its future job will be. See the guy in the orange Broncos cap? That’s Dear Hubby. He just wants to help. All this heavy equipment is like giant Tonka toys to him. He is beside himself with testosterone.
Guiding the new tank safely to its home.
Tank in place with its cover on.
That brings us to yesterday. Other than connect those two tanks, the only other thing they did all day long, was dig.
And then dig some more.
I don’t think they found Jimmy Hoffa, though.
But they came pretty close to finding China, I think.
The dump truck was in and out of here all day long and I didn’t want to risk getting run over trying to get a picture. I do have my limits. But after they left for the evening, I ventured outside and this is what I found in the Promised Land.
This picture does not do the hole justice at all. It is 8-10 feet deep and 47 feet long. I could just picture myself falling in while trying to get the shot and then not being found until morning when the guys came back to work. On the bright side, it would have given me something to write about.
To try to put the size of the hole in perspective, those trees behind it are 30-40 feet tall.
Tomorrow, the guys will be bringing truckloads of rocks and sand to put back into the hole they just spent the whole day digging.
Stay tuned for the next installment of “Adventures in Septic Systems”.
Blog writing at its finest, I tell ya!
Posted by Carol on May 17, 2009
Do you remember the Promised Land that I showed you in yesterday’s post, Adventures in Septic Systems?
Here, let me refresh your memory:
This is the chosen location for the new septic field. Little did I know how much digging is required to make a new septic field. This is just the beginning of all the digging:
By the time they are ready to get down to business, this will be an 8 foot deep hole. The picture really does not do it justice. It is 47 feet long by 25 feet wide. It is going to be quite the large hole. Maybe they’ll find Jimmy Hoffa down there. This is New Jersey after all!
Right now they have just removed the grass and top soil. Once they really get going deep, I will be right there taking pictures for your enjoyment. The guys already think I’m crazy, so I’ll just be reinforcing that idea.
The new septic field is not the only place that needs digging. They also have to put in two new septic tanks closer to the house. My husband just informed me that one is for solids, ahem, and the other is for liquids. How each knows where to go, I don’t want to know.
Here’s our current septic tank. It is safely and very non-threatenly underground. Just the way I like it.
But, they couldn’t leave well enough alone. See all that lovely pachysandra around it. Well, say goodbye to at least half of it. The guys had to dig a trench to connect this old tank to the new tanks.
The beginning of the end of my pachysandra and a few other bushes. Sigh.
The guys actually don’t mind me taking their pictures. They want me to show them to their boss to prove they are working. All he’d really have to do is look around a little bit and see the evidence of their handywork.
See the black shoe in the lower right corner? That’s my husband’s foot. He can hardly stand it with all the digging and heavy equipment around. You’ll see more of him in later episodes.
Oh, Look! We struck….
Oh, never mind.
But this guy is paid handsomely (at least I hope he is) to take care of such messes.
Let’s end this post on a high note and focus on what little beauty is left in our yard.
More septic system pictures to come. Don’t worry, I think the worst is behind us (as far as grossness goes).