Tag Archives: planning for success

Moving Update–May 5

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I feel like I’ve finally turned a corner!  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually get this huge project finished!!!  After working on these shelves for parts of 3 days, yesterday they were finally conquered.  The food that is still there is for the next couple of weeks.  The bin is gluten-free flours and grains that I will keep accessible while we are in the camper.

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This is only part of what was on them a while back!  Everything has now been sorted and packed. Numerous glass gallon jars, plastic containers and empty ice cream buckets full of dry beans, rice, sugar, brown sugar, oatmeal, lentils, split peas, etc. have mostly been packed as well.

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Most boxes are stacked, ready to be stored in my aunt’s garage over the summer.  They will likely not be needed, though, until after the move.   4-5 bins are going to be left very accessible, so I can replenish my supply in the camper.  That was part of the huge sorting process–choosing an assortment of this and that, anything easy to cook, instant potatoes, jarred spaghetti sauce, etc.–the kind of things I save and rarely use under normal circumstances. Well, the day has come to use it–or the summer, I should say.

I also have been able to empty several shelves, my aunt undid the china cabinet the rest of the way, used books have been sold, more items have been sorted out for the charity shops, some has been donated, and several loads have gone to the storage unit.  Rob burned a huge pile of debris and trash yesterday, and is making a scrap pile for the scrap guy, and a pile for the dump.

The appraisal is today, and is the last big hurdle.  There should be no problem with that, according to our realtor.  While they are doing that, we will go get a p.o. box in the nearest town next to my sister’s place.  Time is really flying along, and the next couple of weeks are turning out to be quite busy.

In the meanwhile, the girls have a dance recital next Saturday, and the paperwork has finally moved along with Patsy’s adoption, so we are going to go before the judge for an adoption ceremony on May 17!   It never rains, but it pours:)  Thankfully, we have the costumes for the recital, and the dress for the adoption.  Rob and  I got her a pair of shoes Tuesday, he will buy her a corsage, and we will be good to go!  At last.  I’m glad.  It just feels right, getting that done before we move.  She’s waited so long for this and is more than ready.  We all are.

Menu Plans–May 3, 2016

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Last week, I picked several recipes from the current Taste of Home magazine.  I made substitutions according to ingredients I had, and cooked happily away.  Soon, I realized, there was much too much food in the refrigerator, and I stopped cooking.  Leftover time!

On Wednesday, I made the Slow Cooker Beef Tostadas on page 33.  I used frozen peppers I had from last summer’s garden instead of what they called for, and then added a jar of my Salsa Verde.

I just grabbed a package of round steak from the freezer, and did not pay any attention to how much was in the package.  There were 3 nice-sized pieces of meat.  So, Wednesday night, while I finished my last lesson, they ate the meat as tacos.  I ate taco salad with the meat in the van on the way to church.  We again ate tacos over the weekend, and again, last night for dinner.  Today, I took the rest of the meat/sauce and put some black beans and tomatoes with it and we will have taco soup for dinner.  I sure hope that finishes it off!  Wow, I got a lot of mileage from that.

Friday, there were several appointments I had to do with my kids, and went shopping in the middle.  The last one was Patsy’s caseworker, who, through no fault of her own, got involved with another case.  So, after calling, she ended up coming late.  She did not leave until  5:35.  I had to be in a near-by town by 6 to get ready for my piano recital. Yikes! So, no one got dinner that night, for the first time I can ever remember. Surprisingly, no one died or even thought they were going to.   Afterwards, we grabbed this and that to eat and went to bed.

This week, I am home more than normal, but am packing up.  I hope to do simple meals based on things I want to use up.

Tuesday:  Black bean taco soup (using the last 2 cans of black beans and leftover meat) French bread I got on clearance a while back.

I am packing  a lunch with tuna sandwiches, celery sticks, cut up apples and drinks.  I am going to the used home-school book store to turn in the rest of my un-needed books.  What they don’t want I will donate.  I plan to get a Biology book for Ja’Ana for next year in exchange.

Wednesday:

Lunch:  My aunt will be here helping.  We will have salad, and leftover soup.

Dinner:  Turkey rice soup in crock pot.  We will be busy all day, packing, and doing school with Ja’Ana, and taking a load to the storage unit.

Thursday:  Lunch:  Pack a lunch.  We have to be gone for the appraisal during the lunch hour.

Dinner:  Leftovers or sandwiches after dance class.  OR:  Pull something from the freezer that looks easy to cook, or off the shelf (such as a can of soup)

Friday:  Lunch:  Soup or quesidillas

Dinner:  Barbecued chicken, potatoes, green beans

Saturday:  Pack lunch:  We plan to take a load to my sister’s, till in the morning, and work in the garden in the afternoon.

Dinner:  Rob will barbecue pork chops.  Frozen veggies, potatoes

Sunday:  We will go out for lunch for Mother’s day, and eat leftovers for dinner.

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Menu Plans– April 26, 2016

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Last evening when I was taking my nightly walk on the treadmill, I looked through my latest Taste of Home magazine for inspiration.  I found several recipes that I though I could make, using items that need to be used up.  Again, this is a really busy week (what’s new?) and so the crock pot will be used part of the time.

Tuesday:  Chicken wings in crock pot.  I found a couple of bags we’ve had for a LONG time, and thawed them. They look ok to me.  I’ll put some kind of soy sauce mixture on top.

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Beef Tostadas (from the TOH April-May magazine, p. 33)  I will modify and put in whatever peppers I have frozen, and probably won’t have time to make the tortillas into tostadas, as I work until dinner time, bolt my food, and head off to Bible study class.  Because it takes an hour to get there, sometimes I eat in the car while Rob drives, which is much more restful. The rest of the family will eat while I finish up lessons.  This will be the last Wednesday that I do that, as I am stopping work after this week to focus on the move.  Every time we go, we will take a van load of boxes for the storage unit.

Thursday:  Mandarin Pork Stir Fry (p. 20)  I will sub out some snow peas frozen from last fall’s garden, some whole grain rice (I have several part packages of brown/mix/forbidden/etc.) and might add frozen sweet peppers as well.  I will make this earlier in the day and warm when we get back from dance.

Friday:  chicken soup in crock pot–(I have several appointments for the kids, plus a piano recital that night)  corn bread (frozen)

Saturday:  Chicken nuggets (p 25)  Basil salad dressing (p 12)  I need to address the basil plant my aunt gave me to make the kitchen look nice for the showings.  It’s going to bloom and looks kind of sad now.  So, we will eat the good parts and that will be that.

Sunday:  Family Sunday dinner: Spaghetti (make sauce on Saturday in crock pot), l.o. basil salad dressing on salad my aunt is bringing, green beans, fruit crisp if I get time Saturday.

Monday:  Leftovers

As always, I have many frozen and canned vegetables we will add to these meals.  I was feeling stressed because I didn’t have a plan, so I made one.  If I am not able to stick to it, I’m ok with that. I wonder if I might have a lot of leftovers in the middle of this plan, but if I do, I’ll adjust. For me, having the plan removes stress during super busy times because  I don’t have to think, I just have to start cooking.  Also, when I check it ahead of time, I can thaw what’s needed and I’m good to go.  It takes me less time to cook this way than it does to drive to a restaurant and order food, and eat it, unless I’m driving around anyway.

You many notice I do a lot of cooking ahead of time, i.e. earlier in the day, the day before, etc. and re-warm.  Yesterday, that’s what Rob did.  He took the roast beef from a few days ago (stored in the crock pot container) and just popped those leftovers back into the crock pot and warmed them up that way.  It was delicious, and saved us time.  On Saturday, he barbecued 3 chickens and we had chicken that night, for Sunday dinner, and I had some for lunch yesterday.

Moving Update–April 25, 2016

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Things are really starting to move along around here with the house sale and upcoming move.  We have about 4 weeks left before we need to be out.  Here’s what’s going on.

The house sale continues to move along.  We had the inspection last Monday and there was a long list of small things the inspector would have liked to see fixed or changed.  Because we came down a bit on the price, we had already agreed with the buyers that we would not be fixing any little stuff.  So, the 2 things they asked us to fix were some electrical wiring in the basement that looked wrong, and some ants the inspector saw.  Rob got an electrician friend (they asked for a bonded, licensed electrician and he is) who fixed the small problem in a few minutes and a local exterminator who sprayed all around. Those receipts were forwarded to our realtor, and so that’s all done.  Now it moves on to the appraiser, then the bank finishes, then we sign.

Rob spent hours calling around looking for a storage unit.  We wanted it May 1 and need a huge one.  Much to our surprise, they are few and far between and he could not find one.   He is on about 10 lists up and down the Willamette Valley, from here to Salem.  Seriously.  On Friday, one of them called, and we took the unit offered, but it is much smaller than we really need, so he did not remove himself from the lists.  In addition, this place will be watching out for a bigger one and maybe we can switch over–yuck,   or get 2—heaven forbid.  At this point, we will do what we have to do.  We are at that point.

They made him drive and rent it.  They would not do it over the phone. (Can you tell it’s our first time renting one?)  Such a learning curve!!  We will take van loads every Sunday and Wednesday when we go to church to get started moving things.  We took a load yesterday.

Shop/barn/gardening/bikes/tractor/extra cars/lawn mower/animal item such as cages/etc. go to my sister’s.

Canning/clothes/freezers/food storage go to my aunt’s and Rob’s mom’s garages

Furniture/household items to to storage unit(s)

In the meanwhile, the sewing room is completely packed, thanks to my mom and aunt.  We did that Tuesday.  Load after load continues to go over to my brother-in-law’s farm and more will go this week.  We are taking farm items, Rob’s shop equipment, fencing, fire wood, tillers, and eventually, the tractor and all it’s implements.  Until we know if we can get property or not, we don’t want to sell those things.

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This week’s plans:  This will be the last week I teach piano.  I will work on Monday and Wednesday, and have a recital on Friday.  I will need to spend several hours in preparation for that, along with several appointments and activities for the kids.  Starting next Monday, my calendar is pretty empty, on purpose.  I will squeeze a few moving things in this week, though.

Rob and I generated a loose plan last night, which we will add to as we think of other things that need to be done.  The items for this week so far are:

B-finish working, have the recital, do appointments on Friday for kids (2), start packing the canning, continue organizing gardening things in garage and greenhouse and move more over to Rosalie’s, work in the garden over there part of 1 day, upstairs bookcase, upstairs closet (mostly done already), wash and change sheets in camper because I’ve had a friend in there all weekend, put in a few more food items I noticed were needed, keep weeding out clothes as I come across them that I think I can either donate, or pack away for a few months (I worked on this already this week and came up with a bunch), plan menus that use up more food from storage

R-make many, many phone calls organizing things and doing whatever necessary to keep the sale moving along, notify friends and family that May 22 is the big day where we can use all hands on deck, take loads of wood and items from barn over (several times, which takes a couple of hours per load, at the least), reserve a U-Haul for May 22, get more boxes if we run low (liquor store boxes often have dividers so I might need more for the canning), take a load to charity shop with odds and ends we find, burn debris (he and a friend cleaned outside and burned a lot on Saturday, but there will be more), work in shop, haul away several pieces of extremely old furniture we are not keeping

Both–completely empty sewing room of packed boxes, take down sewing tables and reconstruct in storage unit so more boxes can be stacked on top (huge, sturdy tables), I think we will be able to stack very high on those without danger of collapsing boxes or bins if we put one on top of the other and put boxes under each layer (we can try to see if it works:) ), carry down and burn extremely old dresser, fill van twice and take to storage, take girls to dance class and have our weekly “date” while we wait, try to get meals cooked amidst this chaos (joint effort), drive L to work (2 hours of driving per day) most days, get J to do some schoolwork and P to do her homework,

As far as I know, no one is coming to help this week.  We are saving them up a bit, now, so we don’t burn anyone out before the big moving day.  On that day, we will hopefully have everything packed ahead of time and it will be a matter of loading trucks and trailers with the furniture and boxes and hauling it all away, then cleaning.  We have a little longer than the 21st, but that is the last Saturday before we have to be out, so that’s when we will do it since more people can come.  During that last week, at some point, we will move our daily living into the camper so we can still function while the house is torn up.

Menu Plans–April 19, 2016

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It won’t be long now, until my menu plan includes cabbage and broccoli.  I also have lettuce, spinach, and several other things growing.  I spent last evening after work, and some time this morning working on the garden I am sharing with my sister, Rosalie.  A couple of Saturdays ago, we planted these little starts and some seeds, and last night I hoed around them.  I love gardening, and am so excited that I will not only get to garden this year, but that there will be two of us to take turns watering and weeding so there will be more freedom, with all of the benefits of a garden, for both of us.

We have been having quite a few “pick-up” dinners around here lately.  That is what we call it when we reach into the fridge and cupboard, and pick up whatever is in there and serve it for dinner.  So, last evening, we had cheese pieces, lunchmeat, some apple slices, and water, mainly.  Rob had actually grabbed some food and thrown it into a cooler and met me over at the garden after I finished work.  He had a load of fencing and hog panels to take over there.    Things are getting even crazier and busier around here, so we need a menu plan.

Wednesday:  Rob takes 2 youngest girls to the ortho really early, I work during the morning, and here at home late afternoon.  He will serve dinner to the rest of the family while I finish and we will bolt out the door for church.  So, crock pot it is.  I will do chuck roast with potatoes and carrots in it.  I never got around to that last week.

Thursday:  leftover chili from Friday, frozen corn bread   The girls have eye appointments plus their regular dance classes, so home late.  They are having Lovana work all the time, long, long hours right now since they are down some people and can’t seem to hire any more, so she won’t be asked to cook this week.

Friday:  BBQ chicken.   I will ask Rob to grill enough for Sunday dinner, as well while he’s at it.  There is a recipe that intrigues me in my new Clean Eating Magazine, for potato waffles, which basically looks like grated potatoes and chives cooked with some other things in a waffle iron.  I may try that.  I also have a friend coming in from out of town and some other appointments, so we will see how it goes.

Saturday:  The girls have an extra dance rehearsal, as recital is approaching, but I should be able to cook just fine.  Turkey meatloaf sound good, or I can do turkey burgers if that sounds better on that day.  Part will depend on what schedule my friend is on–and when she’s eating here or elsewhere.  We will work it out later.

Sunday:  Family dinner.  I will take chicken.  We will probably buy rolls, as my niece and nephew love them so much.  I may make a fruit crisp, if I get time, as I still have fruit to use up.  I will have others bring salad, I can do green beans.

Monday:  Rob can barbecue his choice of meat.  There is steak, pork chops, burgers—I’ll let him choose.  It will be my last Monday of work for a while, so I’d better enjoy him cooking as long as I can:)

For all the meals, we can have salads, and numerous veggies remain in the freezer and canned goods cupboards that will be added to the meals.  As the time of our move comes closer, I can see that I will have less and less time to cook.  Already, I used quite a bit of my day today packing with my mom and aunt (sewing room done), and hauling firewood with Rob (I went on one load, and he and J did the other).  There is lots left to haul.  We figure my sister’s family might as well get some good out of it.  If the buyers end up with some, I’m sure they will appreciate it, too.

Use Up Some More!

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I am getting more aggressive about using things up.  It seems that the more I use, the more I find.  In the past few days, I have been able to make some progress on this project.  I dug in the cupboard and found a bunch of assorted cupcake wrappers.  I made zucchini muffins with mini chocolate chips in them.  I didn’t use them all, but did use a bunch.  Some of those muffins are in the freezer for this weekend.

Another thing I made was a large crock pot of soup.  I used every vegetable I could lay my hands on, frozen broth, and some frozen turkey meat.  I even used a can of potatoes someone had given me maybe 8-10 years ago.  It was fine.  We had the soup for dinner one night, and will have it for lunch tomorrow.  I probably emptied 7-10 cartons from the freezer during this process and for dinner that night.

I also made pizza, using up several odds and ends of gluten-free flours for the crust. I used jars and cans up for toppings and sauce.

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Ja’Ana made home-made play dough for Jake when he was with us for a couple of days, recovering from a bad cold.  She used up a bunch of salt, and some regular white flour that has been around for several years, since I’ve cooked gluten-free for a while now.

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While cleaning, we found some Kool Aid.  I’ve had it for years.  I cannot remember the last time we made any.  Ja’Ana used it to color the play dough, and then has made up 2 packages during the last couple of days.

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Jake loved it!  He would not stop pounding it with that little rolling pin long enough for me to take this picture.  We have a few toys we kept when we were sorting.  He just got out some of those and used them for his play dough.

I have thawed out some chicken burger and some pinto beans that I cooked a while back and will made a small chili-type soup tomorrow or Saturday.  We have a few people helping us on those days, as we are having a big sale, so I want a little extra food prepared. I used up 2 brownie mixes I found on the shelves.  They were both very expired and tasted absolutely fine.

I threw out some frozen zucchini from 2011.  It’s not worth moving.  No matter where I live, zucchini from 2011 is not worth keeping.  There will be lots of fresher zucchini that people will be begging me to take.  Trust me.  People leave it on church and house doorsteps all summer around here:)  (Clearly, I am preaching to myself.  I hate throwing food away, but I have too much of some things)

I felt like I made a lot of progress in just a few days.  My next step is to empty the small freezer under the kitchen refrigerator in to the big freezers I have left, and that’s going to take some more freezer space……..That fridge is broken and won’t come with us to my new house.  Because the freezer below it is on it’s own motor, the freezer works fine, but the fridge doesn’t.

 

 

Menu Plans–Use It Up Project-April 12,2016

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I am going to combine the use-it-up post and the menu plan post, for the sake of time today.  Clearly, I am a bit behind in the game anyway.  Yesterday, we ate leftovers, and I packed a lunch for work.  The ones who were home, ate here for lunch.

Since we accepted the offer for the house on Saturday, and if all goes well we will be moving in about 6 weeks,  I am now feeling more urgency than ever to use up things off the stockpile shelf and freezers.  Rob had invited several men over on Saturday to help get ready for a sale he is having this weekend.  I was able to use macaroni, hamburger, a can of beans off the shelf, 2 small jars of tomato juice/drink that had been around forever and made chili mac.  I also made mac and cheese (homemade) while I was cooking for dinner and the week.  I used up several jars of home-canned goods in the last few days as well.  I took burger items, including home-made pickles to my sister’s on Sunday.  I’ve been using the bread from the freezers, as well as corn and a bunch of popsicles I found.  Of course, we continue to use frozen fruit in smoothies–my kids eat countless smoothies.

We ended up bringing Jake home with us on Sunday, as he has a bad cold and his mom and sister had important doctor appointments and his dad had to work.  So, his menu plan has been Cinnamon Toast Crunch (he’s eaten 1/2 of a box so far), bacon (his favorite), apple juice and a Happy Meal on Sunday night.  Pretty easy!  Our menu plan has been leftovers so far:)  I need a menu plan even more when I am so busy, so here goes!

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He’s feeling much better now, after being catered to for 2 days by everyone in this house, because we all adore him!

Tuesday:  Tacos, green beans (I will be driving Jake home, and picking up Lovana from work—not at all near each other–so will be gone for several hours around dinner time–so will cook it earlier and leave it for everyone or have some of them eat early)

Wednesday:  Crock pot  pork roast cooked with carrots and potatoes (working until 5:15-30 and then leaving for church immediately–Rob and I decided to do a 10 week Bible class together–loving that!)

Thursday:  Lovana has to work a lot of extra hours this week, so I don’t think she will cook.    We are gone until 6:30 doing dance with the  2 other girls, so I’m guessing leftovers again if we didn’t eat them for lunch.  Otherwise, sandwiches.

Friday:  Rob is having a sale and there are going to be lots of extra people helping.  I also have 2 appointments that I still need to take people to.  So–Chili in the crockpot.  Needs to be cooked Thursday, and just keep warm in there so people can dip out what then need at any time.  I also have some frozen cornbread from last week that I will thaw.  I want to make a large veggie tray and will do a large fruit crisp for both days.  We have a birth-mom visit for Patsy at a restaurant that evening, so we will eat there.

Saturday:  I will do sandwiches.  I bought a large package of lunchmeat at Cash and Carry and have frozen bread.  I will also do veggie tray and the leftover crisp.  Other than driving Lovana back and forth (total of 2 hours of driving), I will stay home and help Rob.  There will also be some extras that day, helping.  For dinner, we will do leftovers.

Sunday:  Family meal—we haven’t figured it out yet.  I will communicate with my sister via email and we will figure it out soon.

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I sure appreciate my right-hand helper during these busy times!

Menu Plans–Week of April 3, 2016

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Yesterday, we took the cousins and Patsy to a park in Salem, Oregon.  She photographed this lovely yellow flower.  I thought it was a buttercup, and I was right.  What I did not know was that it is a Fig Buttercup and is on the invasive species list here in the United States.  And to think I wouldn’t let her pick any…………

The house showings have slowed down.  I got quite a bit of cooking and eating at home done last week, which is always better on my wallet and my stomach both!  It is so easy to get into some accidental wheat when I’m eating out or to feel very disappointed when I get my meal and compare it to what I would have cooked at home.  Hopefully, we can eat at home a lot this week, too.

Sunday:  Family dinner–chicken, salad, corn, rolls (purchased).  Leftovers for dinner.

Monday:  Chicken soup in the crock pot.  It is fully cooked from Friday, and just needs to be warmed while I am at work.

Tuesday:  I have a late haircut scheduled and a showing that will be held that day–just not sure when, plus many, many other things planned, such as the sewer being pumped and tested, my sister coming to clean some more……So, lunch will be leftovers if there are any or sandwiches or salad with my sister, and dinner will be beef stew in the crock pot, so it’s flexible.

Wednesday:  Barbecued beef steak, vegetable basket

Thursday:  Lovana cook.  She hasn’t for a while.

Friday:  Fish tacos

Saturday:  Sweet and sour chicken or pork

Sunday:  Family dinner:  hamburgers and relish tray (my part)  Potato salad, drinks, etc.–other people will bring.

 

 

Menu Plans–Week of March 27, 2016

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Sunday:  We went to the beach and ate at Mo’s.   It was very different from our usual after-church tradition, but we enjoyed the scenery and the food, as always.

Monday:  Pork roast in the crock pot

Tuesday:  Lunch:  Chili (my sister is helping me do additional cleaning on this day)                 Dinner:  Fish tacos (with tilapia I got on super sale, and tortillas that need to be used)

Wednesday:  Pork enchiladas (Make Tuesday, as I work later on Wednesdays)

Thursday:  Lovana’s birthday.  We will take her out to eat, hopefully.

Friday:  Chicken  (If Rob feels better, we will have a garage sale, so oven-roasted.  If he doesn’t shake this super-bad cold I’ve had for 14 days now in time to sort and clean enough, maybe he will feel up to barbecuing)

Saturday:  Leftovers or soup in the crock pot. Maybe both.  My niece and nephew are coming to help with the sale, hopefully.

Sunday:  Dinner at my sister’s.  Since she is still on vacation, we have not discussed details.

Of course, this is all subject to change if they want to show the house.  I’ve noticed that the frequency of viewings is slowing down, which makes sense, so am hopeful that we will be able to work around them more easily with our meals.  I still hope they show it, though, and will happily leave, if need be.

Moving Update–March 23

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As of tonight, we have had 30 couples through our house, including the 24 that came to the open house.  We have 2 more lined up for Friday.  There have been over 1,000 hits on Zillow, the most our realtor has ever seen.  But, we still don’t have an offer.  So, we are trying to be patient, and just wait, while keeping things sparkling clean and leaving the house a lot.  I am encouraged by all the interest, though.  I have little experience with selling houses, but I’m figuring that the more interest, the better chances we have of selling sooner, rather than later.  I can see that keeping things perfect and leaving all the time, will wear on us all if it goes on too long.  But, again, patience.  It’s only been 1 week tomorrow:)

So far, we’ve gone camping and had a blast.  They wanted to show the house some more, so we went camping a little bit more.  Today, we went to the zoo with Patsy, and then out to dinner.  We are trying to spoil her a bit, as she is the only one here with us for a few days this week.  All of our attention has gone to the house lately, and she needs some.

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We gave the latest batch of prospective buyers over an hour to look around, but they were still here when we got home from dinner, so we drove on by and got gas, and took a small drive.  Tomorrow should be easier, we both have appointments, and we have no one lined up, yet.  So, we will spiff up in the morning and leave, just in case anyone texts us and wants to go through while we are gone.   Then, Thursday, and then Friday, the other girls will be home, so it’s “clean up” times 3—Yikes!  It took us 2 hours to spiff up this morning and we haven’t even been home from camping for very long.IMG_2312

The new elephant exhibit at the Oregon Zoo is amazing.  Those elephants have a huge enclosure and can walk for a long ways.  There are cameras to look at so you can find out where the keepers have the elephants at the moment, as the exhibit is in sections.  I can remember a time when I was young when we would go to the zoo armed with bags of cut up apples to feed the giraffes and maybe the elephants.  Those days are long gone, but it is amazing that the oldest elephant, Packy, is about the same age as both Rob and I and we both saw him many times growing up.  (This elephant in the picture is not him–we saw him and he is MUCH larger and more mature looking).  We had not been to the zoo for several years, and enjoyed ourselves very much.  Patsy loved both the zoo and her time of “getting spoiled.”  IMG_2316