I get by with a little help from my friends

My pretty little pond.
My pretty little pond.

It’s been a great week for people working their butts off for me. I only hope that I am worthy. In return, I’ve exchanged a big, wide-open door policy: you are all always invited. Plus, there will have to be some kind of official house-warming party. Tara and I are thinking maybe the 22ndย of August. We will fit you in between J & T’s wedding, and Kumoricon.

It would be great if we are done scrubbing by then, or even done with primer painting. We certainly won’t be unpacked yet, but you will forgive us. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is what the TV room looked like a week ago, and what it still looks like now. Well, except for the mattress on the floor. We have the beds set up now.
This is what the TV room looked like a week ago, and what it still looks like now. Well, except for the mattress on the floor. We have the beds set up now.

The person I bought the house from is not as clean as I am. He lived here for four years and I am pretty sure there are things he never did in four years, like clean the refrigerator or mop the wood floors. He also smoked inside the house, so the place reeked. Tara and I opened the windows and doors on our first day of occupancy, and they have not closed since. The place still stinks, but it doesn’t reek.

Obviously, Tara and I were in full agreement that we didn’t want to unpack our clean things into the filthy house. So we still have nearly everything in boxes, and we are scrubbing.

My friends who heard the story volunteered to come scrub with us – yay!

N mows the enormous lawn past our new adorable chicken coop.
N mows the enormous lawn past our new adorable chicken coop.
Our new babies have most of their feathers now, and are getting to know their new home. We have room for only four, but four eggs a day should be enough. :)
Our new babies have most of their feathers now, and are getting to know their new home. We have room for only four, but four eggs a day should be enough. ๐Ÿ™‚
Racecar helps from the deck, in the way that cats do.
Racecar helps from the deck, in the way that cats do.

Last Sunday co-workers and spouses showed up. We all took on a different task, turned up the stereo, and worked hard. N soon found out that I had purchased a used riding lawnmower, and hinted until I realized she wanted to mow. Off she went and didn’t come back for about two hours. She is awesome! K didn’t want to clean but noticed how there were piles of trash at the base of several of the trees on the property. He put on gloves and began hauling old tires and rusted metal and rotting wood up the hill to the shed on the side of the house. G had lots of experience with scrubbing hospitals and felt most at ease scouring a bathroom, and went to work. Really? She wanted to clean my bathroom? I am humbled. B showed up with wife T and they brought a new chicken coop and got that set up for me.

Tara cleaned up another bathroom, and I continued the extended project of scrubbing the kitchen. The refrigerator took 3 hours earlier in the week, and this day I was washing cabinets. I found a melted KitKat bar on the top shelf above the sink. It took lots of water and a knife to gouge it out of there. “How did you know it was a KitKat?” Tara asked. “Because when I can get a large enough piece of the wrapper up, I can read it.” Eeew.

The following Wednesday, Marlene Herself, from the blog Insearchofitall, and son Tech Support came over. TS had moved wrong and hurt his back, so his name switched to Moral Support for the day. He brought his good camera, and the tripod was up on the back deck in about 5 minutes while Marlene and I made a plan of action.

I suggested that Marlene sweep the cobwebs off the front of the house and porch. The kitchen still wasn’t done, and that’s what Marlene felt comfortable with. She even insisted on washing our dishes from the day before. “I was going to wash those up real quick,” I said. “No, I will do them,” was the response. Marlene is not a woman to be trifled with.

So there was yet another friend, up to her elbows in Mr. Clean, washing out cabinets, the microwave, and ending by mopping the floor on her knees (I felt so bad about that and tried not to let her do it, but again I found it is very hard to tell Marlene what to do.) I went out to the front with a broom over my head, and cleared cobwebs, and spiders, and about 40 of those little white egg sacs (shudddderrrr) that were all over the front of the house and draping down from the porch roof. Then I swept it up and cleared away broken tiles and cigarette butts.

The end of the day was time to rest and enjoy the land.
The end of the day was time to rest and enjoy the land.
The tip of this Foxglove is still blooming. There are only two left on the property and I'm glad I get to see them before their season ends.
The tip of this Foxglove is still blooming. There are only two left on the property and I’m glad I get to see them before their season ends.
A glass of wine, a flat rock in the shade, and the gurgles of a creek are the right combination for restoring my soul.
A glass of wine, a flat rock in the shade, and the gurgles of a creek are the right combination for restoring my soul.

The kitchen is clean now so I have begun unpacking dishes and utensils and food – a priority! The bathrooms are clean now so we actually feel clean when we are done using them – another priority!

There is no way we could be this far along without the generosity of my friends. How amazing it is to let people help you. I have not asked for help for most of my life, but in the last couple of years have been practicing how to let my friends help me when I need it. I thought it would be humiliating to admit that I can’t handle everything myself. But I find instead that the greater result is that I am flattered over and over when people actually seem to like helping. And the friendships grow closer.

22 thoughts on “I get by with a little help from my friends

    1. I appreciate the love, Derrick! I *am* worthy, and now I just need to show my friends how grateful I am that they exist in the world. I am a fan of foxgloves. It’s a common flower, and possibly I should be bored with them by now, but they always delight me.

  1. Welcome to your new Home Sweet Home! This really, truly was a story of beginning a new life, Crystal! And such a beautiful woodsy environment to move into. Cleaning and all the work it entails (was it hot?) Really is exhausting but your title says it ALL!! So happy to read of this big move. Your sweet animals seem to have adjusted and your cat Raceway looks like a calico cat I wrote a silly poem called, “Side by Side” and he looks like Tayla in it. (There are 2 cats, used to be barn cats, other one is a white with patterns on her named Kira) I am cat sitting. Smiles, Robin

    1. Thank you for your kind words Robin, and yes! the friends make all the difference in the world. The beginning of a new life, as you say. And who knows where it will take me – the possibilities are endless and exciting.

      My kitty Racecar is indeed a calico. She is the colour of October nights, with white feet and neck for night time stars. She is beautiful and sweet and playful and I am pleased that she has adjusted to the move with grace. I would be happy to cat-sit, but my Racecar is a meanie. She fights with any visitors. Ah well.

      1. The two cats I sat for have known me since they were wild barn kitties, Crystal. Kira is mainly white and actually has a butterfly patch, it makes me smile like she has a “tattoo.” Tayla is rown, tan and gray. Her owner still calls her a calico since each color is a patch. Hardly any white though. Raceway has sounk! Good for him! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Oh dear I did not mean “he” as calicos usually (all?) are females. Raceway is spunky; good for her! Aldo, brown is one of Tayla’s colors. ๐Ÿ™‚ going to bed and will stay in touch. . .

      3. You are right on both counts: Racecar is a “she” and she is full of spunk. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tara named her Racecar after noticing “She is either zooming around, or sleeping, like a race car.”

    1. Your picture gives the impression that you are a tall guy, Bruce. I could have used that height to get the upper cupboards and spiderwebs. Lucky for us both, I have a stool to stand on.

      Good fortune is indeed mine – to have so many supportive friends in real life and on line. Thank you!

  2. I would have like to stay and help more. Knew you had somewhere to go later so we decided to let you get ready. Settling a house is a long process but you have the basics done now. I have a wedding to go to that weekend and TS is heading to Calif the next weekend to make his Goddaughter happy. It’s her birthday and Quinceaรฑera. You don’t disappoint a 15 year old. We were going to do a housewarming but just never got around to it. I hope you do. It’s good to bring all that loving energy into a new home. I did enjoy doing the work. Love the pics of your toes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Well I will miss the both of you that weekend, but we will find another opportunity to get together and it will be better because then I can focus my whole attention on you. Speaking of that, how on earth did I forget to ask you about your Canada trip while we were at the cafe? Oh silly me.

      1. Enchanting…. I really do enjoy that place. It is the same idea as Disneyland, i.e. modeled on children’s faery tales. But it’s just not Disneyland at all, though still appealing. I will have to do a post on it.

  3. I understand the independent woman thing – I can do it myself ….. And for most of my life I did. I was very happy to help others, but not so happy being helped. An interesting personality defect huh? I have learned to step quietly back and away and let others do what they want to do, have to do, need to do and to be grateful for their help. I have come to see that this is love in action. And all that energy in your new home clearing away the old, the stale, the dirty – priceless!! And I love that you can’t say “No” to Marlene ๐Ÿ˜€ xoxo

    1. Marlene is the best!

      Yes, you can relate exactly to my mind set, and to the change I am moving through, learning to let others help, and learning that it means love. Maybe I can keep a relationship together longer now that I have figured this out. Maybe… ha ha. I completely agree in the healthy process of cleaning and making a home my own.

  4. I feel quite sure that you would jump in to help your friends and that is why they have arrived in number to help you out!
    How absolutely wonderful that you have had such help!
    And yes, a party is essential. I don’t think I can be there on the 22nd though ๐Ÿ™‚
    I just had my “Gratitude Party” to thank everyone for all the help they offered after the wreck. When you have your housewarming party, you will be saying thank you as well.
    Truly wish i could be there to help! So exciting!!!!

    1. Your Gratitude Party!! Oh, you must have blogged about it and I have not been reading your blog lately. I have a day off today, and no pressing appointments, so I fully intend to read a whole bunch of blogs and find out what’s been going on in your life. My goodness, so much has happened since your accident.

      Thanks for the kind words. I guess pitching in would be easier in if we lived 3000 miles closer, or so, ha ha!! This has all been exciting and I am having a blast sharing the story with you.

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