Well here we are zooming through September and I still haven’t sorted out the comings and goings of August. With one blink and a skip October will be looming on the calendar with Halloween swinging on it’s coattails. Whew.
I have sorely missed my blog and my blog friends. It has been a crazy couple of months and still we linger in one house with no new house chosen to replace it. Certainly our quest for buying before we were forced to rent has fallen by the wayside. Between continuing the search for a purchase home and needing to locate a rental going on concurrently it has proved a journey loaded with silly stories and abundantly rich in craziness. All great for blogging, somewhat less for providing successful moving options.
For the time being I will blog on an “as able” basis, but wanted to at least throw my hat in the ring lest susartandfood was to die of neglect never to be dug up and breathed life into again, to continue in the Halloween mindset.
My first posts are those I wrote when I tucked away an unused minute with the expectation of publishing them when I began to blog again. This was a funny day so I took the time to stop and document it.
What a time we’ve been having. Last Friday the entire day was devoted to driving around viewing this house and that with our realtor. It was an amazing contrast for the senses, literally. At the first house, a sprawling mustard yellow structure with catsup trim (always thinking of my stomach, I, of course, made a mental note to stop at the Sonic we passed on the way out of town). Our SUV pulled to a stop behind the enormous tricked out truck, which was our realtor’s choice of rides, beneath a canopy of tall trees donating generously to a seemingly endless bed of pine needles.
Three buildings were included under the heading “property description” on the flyer, the house itself, a detached garage, and a shed. All three appeared to be in various stages of disrepair. Yellow tape cordoned off a large hole outside of the front door making it resemble a crime scene. Nearing it, we quickly determined it was the septic tank which apparently needed to be repaired, replaced, or at the very least filled in, before somebody found themselves knee deep in, well, knee deep. Phew. Clothepins should have been listed as optional. Not necessarily the optimum beginning for touring a home, we held our breath, collected our pioneer spirits and waited as the lock box was opened. A well weathered sign on the front door read, “Cat Rescue Mission – Please Purr Loudly Lest We’re Out Back”. Oh-oh. Now you know I love the ornery furry little buggers but if there are twenty or so gathered under one roof the combination of feline aroma, molted hair, and urine offenders, along with composite dander could land a person with the healthiest of lungs in the asthma ward.
On opening the door no doubt was left as to whether or not the house had indeed at one time been a functioning cathouse. OMG. According to the literature this house had lingered on the market for some time. Really? How astonishing. Two rooms in the house, the kitchen and upstairs bathroom, had been updated making them appear like proverbial petunias in the onion patch when compared to the others. Cat accoutrement was evident everywhere with scratching posts in corners and window perches, well, in windows. As strange a house as I’ve seen yet. It was on a full acre. To say the grounds were untended would be like saying Oprah had a few dollars in the bank. I would not have been shocked to see a sign posted reading jungle habitat. It would take a crew, a backhoe, dynamite, and money to put it right, and we were a hair short on all four counts.
There’s something desperately sad I’m finding in a house that has laid dormant for an extended period of time. A feeling of total abandonment that lingers there. Laughter and tears faded like the wallpaper, life forces moved on. A kind of melancholy feeling that makes the strong rescuer in me want to move in, slap on some paint, scrub the dusty floors, and make it happy again. I tried that with a husband or two with little success. Wounded birds are sometimes beyond repair. Sensing my thoughts, Rick took my hand, shook his head, and pointed me in the direction of the car now buried in several layers of sappy growth.
House No. 2 was the kind of house you walk in, survey the first room, and walk right back out. There were numerous holes in the wall apparently left by former owners not happy about relocating. It was dark, dark, dark, dark. I saw several pairs of beady eyes in one black dusty corner and didn’t linger to introduce myself. The two sets of sliding glass doors were liberally coated with what looked to be dog lick and the backyard so lacking in care a bull elephant could have gone unnoticed. Sigh.
Next we were guided through a gorgeous mountain community in a golf course setting. Property owners showed obvious pride in their lots and homes were neat and well kept along the zig zap patterns of streets winding up and down the various hillsides. Lovely. Our hopes somewhat buoyed we pulled into the first house on our list for this subdivision. A chalet type structure, two stories, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Inside was rustic chic obviously influenced by an extreme childhood obsession with the Easter Bunny. The kitchen had emerald green and white cabinets with cooked kale green on the walls. Lavender rooms greeted us upstairs and the bathroom was a rich shade of peacock blue. They must have had a sale on vibrant colors at the local Home Depot. The yard provided a perfect Rapunzel backdrop for the unfortunate prince to fall into. Check the no box here.
At this point the temperature had hit the boiling point and we stopped for lunch. I have overstayed my welcome so will continue in my next blog.
My cooking remains my passion and even with time constraints we’ve tried and documented lots of good recipes. The one below is one of my favorites. It is equally fabulous on top of a sizzling bacon wrapped filet as on a slice of baguette with a bit of sun-dried tomato. Yum.
Garlic Feta Pate
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
2-3 dashes Tabasco
Freshly ground black pepper
Place all ingredients except black pepper in food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.