for rent

For rent: very small Cape Cod single family home in Hamilton Square, NJ. Three bedrooms, 1 bath. Nice yard. Great neighborhood. Monthly rent: TBD. Available: June 1st.

Any takers?

sins of ommission…

…and how they come back to haunt me.

We moved into this house in March of last year. I was just entering my third trimester of pregnancy with Pete. I had to finish school with Fritz, and I learned that I had to do a standardized test to comply with Virginia law.

Those first 50 boxes or so that I unpacked were all put away in my new home in a neat and orderly fashion. But then…

Sin of Omission #1: I failed to finish unpacking. Somethings just simply didn’t have a good spot in the new house. My sewing machine got shoved into the back of a closet. Ditto with boxes and boxes of photos (a future project…for my old age, I guess). Some decorative items didn’t have shelves, and there are boxes and boxes of Bill’s stuff that I had (have) no idea what to do with and he hasn’t had time to deal with either.

This haunts me as, time and again over the last year, one particular thing is needed from a buried box and retrieving said item becomes an olympic sport requiring strength and stamina. For months I avoided sewing the patches on Fritz’s uniform because it meant digging in the worst closet in the home. I finally managed to get the machine out, but the items surrounding it have collapsed making a return impossible without serious work (think about a mine shaft overcoming its supports).

So, my sewing machine is now a doorstop.

Sin of Omission #2: I failed to prep well for this school year. Pete was born just weeks after I finished the last school year. I bought school supplies for the coming year shortly after he was born, because I knew it would take lots of time with a newborn around to get things ready for the next year. But over that summer, I failed to scan those reproducable workbooks and tests and failed to assemble little workstations for my preschooler who requires (demands) more of my attention during the school day than my school-age boys.

So all school year long, I’ve been scrambling to scan weekly assignments and tests which delays the school day and makes for a nice mess of my school supplies. And every day is a struggle to provide interesting, educational and, most importantly, time-consuming and independant work for Katie and, more and more, Jenny. I have the stuff, it’s just not in a presentable format.

Sin of Omission #3: I failed to properly clean for my annual Oktoberfest. I pride myself on a neat, orderly and clean home. Please note the deadly sin of pride, because I want to kill myself over this one. Since we were having a yardful of people (over 100 this past year, I believe), I wanted to present a nice home for them to traipse through. My home is usually neat, but at this time, Pete was only 3 months old, so the clutter-monster had begun to take over. So, to get ready for the party, I took tons of clutter and deposited it in closets.

The house looked great, but the closets reminded me (still remind me) of the closet on Zaboomafoo, if you know what that show is.

And finally, Sin of Omission #4: I failed to clean properly after the Oktoberfest, and after Christmas too. Since those closets were already a wreck, what would it matter if I shoved the decorations from the party in there as well? And instead of going out to the shed and findng the right box for those chocolate molds I used at Christmas time and had in a cupboard, why don’t I just shove them back in the cupboard and worry about it some other time?

Well, that time is now.

The end result of all these dirty deeds is that my closets and cupboards are all big big messes. And now it’s time to move, so I finally have to face those disaster areas.

It will be like a mini-purgatory. Getting the soul of my home in order, purging the trash, putting things where they belong, and emerging in perfection.

And trying to avoid these sins in my next house.

moving date

Well, yesterday I called housing and set our moving date for April 27th. I am not confident that this date will actually be our move date. I went to the house last Sunday – the door was open so I walked in to look around. The bathtubs were in and the bathroom tile done. Other than that, no bathroom or kitchen fixtures were installed. No paint on any walls. At least the walls were up.

According to housing, the house will be done by April 10th. We’ll be able to get our keys and move stuff in, if we want (we want). So, every Sunday (when very few workers are around), we’ll sneak over and see what the progress is. Housing has been notorious in waiting until the last second to tell people that their new house won’t be ready. One neighbor was supposed to get her keys on a Friday and move on the following Monday and was told that Friday, uh, no, you won’t be moving for 3 weeks. That delay affected every family in that 3 week period. More than a week later, another family scheduled during that period had still not been contacted and informed of the delay. My guess is that they were waiting for the most inconvenient moment to tell them.

Anyway, with a move date less than a month away, I’m beginning to sort and organize. I did the toys. I wish I could give more away, but…we have a big bin of Rescue Heroes that the boys don’t play with, but I know in a short time (6 months or so) Pete will be thrilled to have them. And so, I store stuff.

The Awakening

We went into DC again this weekend to see the cherry blossoms, but they weren’t ready. It was pretty cold. We picnicked at Hains Point, not far from the Tidal Basin. There is a cool sculpture there called The Awakening.

It was made in Princeton, NJ by Johnson (sorry, can’t remember his first name).

Not far from Princeton, in Hamilton Square, is a really awesome park called The Grounds for Sculpture with tons of sculptures, mostly by Johnson, and the same ability to climb on/around/under them.

The Agony in the Living Room

My usual morning routine consists of getting out of bed at “O-Dark-Thirty” to spend a few minutes with Bill before he leaves for work. O-Dark-Thirty is mil-speak for “A Time Before Even Bakers Awake or Cocks Crow”.

He usually leaves for work at 515 am, and I sit on the living room couch and begin to pray the rosary. If I’m really lucky, I can get through 3 or 4 decades before Pete starts crying for me.

Today, I was mediating on the Agony in the Garden (the FIRST decade) when I heard the baby. So, as usual, I go up to bed, nurse him back to sleep and then slip back downstairs and pick up the rosary where I left off.

I was mid-way through the Scourging at the Pillar (decade #2) when I heard the boys in their bedroom, which is a downstairs room. It was 550 am. My already distracted thoughts are now completed shattered as I ponder why in the world they are up so early. Besides, of course, the fact that it’s beginning to be daylight.

I hear them come out of their room and peer into the living room. Then I hear Fritz whisper, “Billy, let’s go back to our room.” “Why?” “Mom’s praying.” And off they go.

Good, I think. They’ll stay there for a half hour or so. They have interrupted my early morning prayers before and they’ve been given three options: go back to bed, pray with me, or sit silently in the same room. The confines of their bedroom are much more appealing.

But I’m wrong. Each successive decade is interrupted by the sound of their door quietly opening, little feet trying to be stealthy, and an exasperated sigh as they discover that Mom is STILL praying. And so, instead of meditating on Jesus carrying the cross, I’m stuck in the Agony in the Garden as I ponder how Jesus prayed for a long period of time despite the distractions of unsupportive disciples, plotting betrayers and enemies and approaching soldiers.

week 27

Yessiree, we started week 27 this week. Can you guess who wants the school year to end most? We have 6 weeks to go in our curriculum, so if all goes well, we can take the week before Easter off and be done – totally – by the time Fritz makes his First Holy Communion on May 14th.

The big wrench in the gears, potentially, is that Housing claims my new house will be ready for our occupancy by the end of April. I may be good, I may be determined, and I may want to be done already, but I really think moving into another house – even a local move done by movers – will set me back by at least a week. I plan to spend all of Holy Week doing my spring cleaning – as I usually do. But this time, the focus will truly be on sorting, organizing, and weeding things out in prep for the move.