Only the Fun Stuff

Our time in Bakersfield has stretched on much longer than we had planned.  While that is trying in some ways, one of the nice benefits is getting to spend some more time with our family.

sara-and-abby-hug

I got to spend a couple of days with my nieces Abby and Sara while their parents were out of town.   It is so much more fun to be the aunt instead of the parent.

abby-nails-little

Abby has enjoyed getting her nails painted since she was very little.  Being the aunt is all about the fun stuff, rather like what I think grandchildren will be some day.  I’m in no hurry for that – and much too young! But the girls are a lot of fun.

sara-w-patches

We have introduced them to new creatures.  No cats at their house.  We don’t have to worry about all those parent things.  Not a lot of rules or responsibilities, just the fun stuff.

abby-princess

The girls have put on many fashion shows.  Here is Princess Abby modeling one of Megan’s old costumes. This visit Abby and I ate brownies for breakfast.  What fun is it if you can’t have chocolate for breakfast?  No, I would never let my own children do that.  But they have parents for those rules – I’m just the aunt.

megan-and-sara-skating

Megan teaching Sara how to skate.  My kids have learned a lot about children being around their much younger cousins.  Of course, they do usually complain “You never let us do that!”

abby-and-rick

They like to wrestle with Uncle Rick, even though he tickles.

sara-and-abby-couch

On this last visit we learned about making pillows and scarves.  The girls were very ambitious with their plans, but we got them all done before their Mom and Dad returned.

abby-w-reading-glasses

My reading glasses are a little large for Abby, but it is quite a fashion statement.

sara-sleeping

And the best part of it all is, when they are dirty, exhausted, filled with sugar and cranky – you just send them home to their parents 😉

Another Move

If we weren’t having enough fun sorting through and packing all our stuff, we got to make another move last weekend.  Alex, who is six classes away from graduation and his degree, was not able to secure a student loan for his last semester of college.  This financial meltdown in our economy has affected everyone it seems, including college students.  So, he needed to move out of his apartment.

 alex-stuff-1

Rick and I drove down to Riverside, rented a U-Haul truck and helped him pack and move.

alex-stuff-2

More stuff to move.  His girlfriend Carly was very helpful in all the packing and loading and I don’t have a picture of her.  Sorry Carly!

patches-on-suits1

His cat Patches was very helpful.  She was happy to sit on freshly laundered clothes to get cat hair on each one.  So  now Alex is back in Bakersfield at least for a while.  He is sharing a house with a local guy who is a high school teacher and looking for a job while he tries to figure out the best way to finish his degree.

rick-and-alex

One good thing about this new arrangement is that now he is able to help Rick with the Scout.

muddy-truck

Just so you don’t think the guys are not having any fun, take a look at Rick’s muddy truck.  Actually, it is a lot less muddy now that the rain (Rain in Bakersfield!) has rinsed it off.  A few days ago when it actually rained a lot for Bakersfield, a truck from one of the cable companies got stuck.  He was out in a new housing tract where there are not any roads yet laying cable.  He got his F-450 with a service bed very stuck.  It was a brand new truck with a lot of expensive equipment on it so they did not want to just let it dry for a day or two.  The tow truck could not make it in, so our friend Whit from the garage asked Rick to help.

muddy-truck-2

This is where I should insert a photo of the cable truck and all the mud, but I confess I passed on that little adventure.  It was dark, cold and rainy and there is a limit on what I will do for blog photos.  So, you will just have to imagine that part and see all the mud still on Rick’s truck.  Rick and Alex had a great time, he actually gets paid for pulling the cable truck out and after beating their clothes on the fence and washing them twice no more mud!

Sorting and Packing

We are still in California finishing up year-end business, working on the Scout and getting our house here ready to put up for sale.  Sorting through seventeen years worth of stuff takes a lot of time! A lot of junk with some treasures, it all has to be sorted.  boxes

It has been nostalgic to go through the huge closet where I’ve saved all the kid’s school mementos over the years.  Pre-school to college, it is all there.  It seemed like such a long, slow trek at the time, but looking back it seems to have gone by very quickly.  I must be getting old!

more-boxes

We are sorting things to take to the ranch, things to store and the Goodwill stuff.  I think we have taken three loads to Goodwill so far, with more on the way.

boxes-in-blazer

 How did we ever get so much stuff?  When Rick and I got married we loaded everything we owned in the back of a Toyote Celica and Honda Civic and were on our way.  Amazing how much has accumulated since then!

for-sale

So, ready or not, the house is officially up for sale.  Now we have to try and keep it clean at all times so it is ready to show to potential buyers.  I don’t know how families with small children do it – Rick and I are having a hard time by ourselves.

daffodils

The weather has been sunny and warm.  Flowers that don’t bloom at the ranch until April or May are already up and blooming here.

snow

We talked to our friends in Washington a couple of days ago and the ranch still has lots of snow.  Our Indiana relatives are dealing with snow and ice storms.

camilia

So, we are enjoying the warm weather while we can.  We hope to be heading back north in about two weeks.  We miss the mountains, trees and crisp, clean air!