Adventure: En Why See

My sweet lil friend Celine came to visit from Idaho this past week! It was my pleasure to assist in checking a few items off her bucket list. Honestly, I’ve explored the city many times and it’s always a dream for me; however, this time was different and magical for so many reasons. The biggest reason being – the awe and delight on Celine’s face brought me so much joy – she was such a trooper too! So thankful for her in my life – she is one of the best around and I adore her face!

12.5 miles walked | Times Square | Empire State building | Grand Central station | The Met | Central Park | Bethesda Fountain/Terrace | 5th Avenue | Alice and Wonderland statue | Brooklyn Bridge | Statue of Liberty | Tiffany’s | Madison Avenue | Vera Wang | NYU | Hillsong Church NYC | Bleeker Street | NY Subway | Washington Square Park | Macy’s/Herald Square

She definitely got a true NYC experience: drug deals, public urination, piles of vomit, mobs of people, two famous people, the best coffee, the best pizza, a swanky hotel and rooftop bar, and her Gossip Girl dreams fulfilled on the Upper East Side. She kept up with me, power walked like a champ and brightened everyone’s day with whom she came into contact. I can’t wait till next time – hopefully, it is warmer than 23 (“feels like 11”) degrees.

six years

Many years ago I was driving through Georgia; I pulled off 95 South to use the restroom and grab sustenance. I was not in the most populated area, but it did not seem like I was entering the plot of a horror movie either. [A common rule to determine ones safety.] I entered the “ladies” room and immediately noticed the strong stench of bleach. My initial thought was, awesome, I found the one gas station bathroom they actually clean! I noticed the sink was shiny, the mirror sparkling – SCORE! As I walked toward the stall, the smell grew stronger, except now it was mixed with another smell…something horrible. I entered the stall, as I turned toward the toilet I realized I was in a horror movie, my nightmare. A brown liquid substance covered the stall walls, filled the mini trash can and splattered all porcelain surfaces. As I fumbled for the lock, I did my best to not bring any additional damage to this restroom. If this was Georgia’s idea of a “ladies” room, I needed to vomit elsewhere.

Once I was back on the freeway I consulted my phone list. I had made a check list of people to call to keep me awake or entertained as I drove seventeen hours south. Someone I only recently met was next on the list, some guy named Micky. Welp, this is as good a time as any to break the ice. I dialed his number and began the conversation with my recent introduction to Georgia bathrooms. I do not want to put words his mouth, but I am pretty sure this is when he fell in love with me.

As Micky and I embark on our seventh year together, I look back at our humble beginnings. Even before we met – we had both been through so much change and hopeless moments. Together we have now faced tragedy, but it never feels difficult to love him; it is the most natural thing in the world. If I only knew at fifteen, eighteen, twenty, twenty-four – this is what I should strive to achieve, this is love. Love and marriage do not mean finding someone who can provide financial security. Love is not meant to be out of control and dysfunctional – those highs and lows – although seemingly romantic at times – will not get you through the dredges life inevitably throws. Love is courage, it means fighting for something despite our insecurities. You can love someone, and with everything inside yourself know they are your soul mate, but if you’re a coward, it is likely you will lose them. If your insecurities rule you, how much can you offer another person. Love is sacrifice, it means letting go of self, pride, expectation, and giving yourself in every way to someone else. It is honest, sharing even the ugly parts, because if you’re fighting the same fight, those ugly parts will become beautiful. No one does it perfectly, every one of us is flawed, but when you have someone with whom you are courageous, sacrificial and honest –  exceptional things await. Remember, my first adult conversation with my now husband was about explosive diarrhea…I clearly know what I’m talking about.

Roughing it

Adventure has been our theme the last year or more, so, we decided to take it to another level. This weekend we went camping about 90 miles North. I thought we would be on a lake but we were actually on the Priest River – which is only 10 miles from Priest Lake in Coolin, ID. The adventure began for me when Mick came home and announced he had agreed that we’d go camping with a guy from his work, which to me translated as – strangers. (I had an opportunity to meet two of the seven prior to Friday, but still, does he know me at all?!) Although both Mick and I enjoy camping/the outdoors/roughing it – it’s not something we have actually done together. When we began our original moving adventure, we sold a lot of our belongings and/or gave them away – this included Mick’s 15-20 year old camping gear. We had about three weeks to figure out what we would need, where to buy it and how to fit it in the Subaru. Thankfully we were loaned a tent and a cooler and the rest we scraped up via Amazon and our local outfitter store.

ASIDE: The BEST purchase was our MSR Pocket Rocket stove – it is the coolest thing and literally pocket sized. It was bought all in the name of coffee – boils water in 3 minutes or less – sweet! Having that little guy enabled us to bring our kettle and chemex and enjoy some hot organic coffee. Our upmost amenity. It somehow tasted better out there – it could have been the lack of civilization/bathrooms/running water – whatever, it was heaven each morning firing that thing up.

Anyways – We camped in the national forest – off a 2-3 mile dirt road that went up and then down a mountain to a river bank. There were no bathrooms, running water, organized sites – you make it your own and leave it better than you found it. Digging a hole to use the bathroom was a new experience for me, but I managed just fine. It’s a site only known to locals and boy did we get a taste of local flavor. I think the neighboring site – which was about 200 yards away – probably shot about $1,000 in ammo into the water – just cuz. It was not only obnoxious but a ridiculous waste of money. We were privy to a stellar domestic dispute at 3 Am – you mother effer, you just effing told me you are going over to the next campsite to eff some skank whore *kicking his car* if that’s your plan you better get me off this GD Effing mountain right now – I can’t respect that! I’m going to DO someone in our group, what do you think about that you piece of S – and I bought that effing booze you piece of  S?!

It made for great breakfast conversation. This was all to the back drop of gangster rap on one end and terrible country on the other. Good times.

All in all – it was really awesome and breath taking. Some photos –

The drive in

the drive in

our camp site view

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Mick

guest room

We are looking forward to at least two, hoping for three, weekends without a house project while the MIL is here. This weekend has gone by way to fast between running errands, buying beds, painting 15 foot tall walls, and cleaning. We need an exploration weekend, or two. All that said, the guest room is complete! We used our old mantle as the headboard, curtains are West Elm (they were in our master bedroom), all trinkets are Target steals and/or antiques, mirror – TJ Maxx, dresser – very old but refurbished, and knobs – Anthropologie. The cameras are finds from our time in Nashville and Virginia antique stores and the bottle – Farmers Organic gin – handcrafted heaven. It was our first gin adventure in Idaho. The botanicals are a unique combination of juniper, elderflower, lemongrass, coriander and angelica root. Like I said, heaven.  I will save our recipe for another time, after all, this about the house.

I don’t have any before photos, but picture an empty room with doo doo tan walls and a peach accent wall. barf.

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Plans for the next month to include, but not limited to: sampling at least three new gins, driving North to Sandpoint, ID (#4 on the nations top ten mountain towns…our town was #1, no big deal), long talks, movies, laughing and stuffing our faces around town. We found an awesome Hungarian breakfast joint this morning. Mick ordered stuffed french toast – two massive slices – sandwiching ham, sausage and eggs. I ordered a lame healthy omelette with a side, of my very first, biscuits and gravy. X’s over eyes, died and went to heaven delicious. I know quite a few friends back east and south who would eat there every.single.day.

The little things

With everything else going on at the house, we decided to distract ourselves and complete a few small projects. These projects tend to become more involved than anticipated. Thankfully, Mick knows what he’s doing and can roll through these fun surprises. We hope to remodel our kitchen someday, in the meantime, we can make small changes that have a large impact. The first is painting over all the peach, poo brown and orange, then painting the cabinets and replacing a couple of them.

Saturday we tackled a cabinet replacement. After assessing the current cabinet we realized it was put up before the drywall which meant a surprise in our future.

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Oh, it was lovely…1970’s fake wood paneling, hideous.

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Mick ran back to Lowes to grab drywall and did a great job matching it all up.

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With dishes everywhere, we immediately started painting so we could put the shelves up and organize! We have a lot more painting in our future but just that small space made a world of difference. Mick snagged some great reclaimed wood from his job site [love free stuff] and we picked up a few brackets and anchors from Lowes. He is a perfectionist and had the shelves up perfectly, everything looked great…then I came in. Problem was, I couldn’t reach a single one! Mick had to move all of them, I felt terrible but living with a tiny person, brings a new perspective. Next, finish painting the walls and start on the cabinets! Whoop!

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the week’s end

After sneezing through the last three nights, getting little sleep, and accumulating the Machu Picchu of tissues, I hope today turns it around. My cold has hit a plateau and unfortunately I still feel rotten. The plumbing issue is yet to be resolved and the bill we got for a 5 minute visit [where he didn’t step foot in the bathroom, let alone flush the toilet to see it’s outcome] is laughable. So, today, is going to be better. There will be no bloody snot rockets on my white comforter [this really happened unexpectedly in my sleep – it was 80% gross and 20% awesome], there will be no plumbing talk, or poop puns. I will make some strong coffee, take Bud to the park, and enjoy an extra day off with Mick.

Highlight of this week – Mick’s mom bought her plane tickets! Whoop! She will be here in a month, for a month! This is how I feel about it…

poop

poop. We have poop, lots of poop and it’s bubbling up in our 1st floor shower. This means whenever I do laundry, one of us showers or flushes an upstairs toilet, the 1st floor shower fills up with doo doo brown nastiness. It’s pretty foul and infuriating. We are learning the previous homeowners did not disclose some key information regarding the septic system, so we have a lot of plumbers in our future. Worst case we need to replace all our pipes to the septic tank, best case, we have a clog somewhere which is a much simpler fix. We lived here three days before it all happened which means a lot of the poo we are dealing with, isn’t even ours. ew.

In our trips to the depot to get snakes, plungers and other plumbing tools we grabbed a few paint samples. Since we won’t be remodeling the kitchen this year or the next, we plan to paint our existing cabinets. We can’t escape grays and I think we found the shade we like – Chinchilla by Glidden – hope it’s not too light.

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In the coming weeks we will start sanding the cabinets – there is an easier option, Liquid sandpaper, but it’s incredibly toxic and I’m not down with that. If it’s not too crazy a process, I will also do to the bathroom vanities – they are pretty dank. We also plan to paint the large open space walls of the vaulted space white instead of the current gag inducing shade of peach. Looking forward to see how the space transforms! Also, Mick’s mom is coming to visit in a month and she has a great eye for decorating. Excited to hear her ideas, but more excited to see a familiar face, squeeze her tight and show her around this awesome place!