Almost an Empty Nester

Life at Bedford Manor is changing. Dot starts her second year of college this week. College! While some of her friends are going away to school, we can only afford for her to attend the local community college. Turns out, it may be the best decision anyway because it has one of the best nursing programs in the state. Yup. Dot’s gonna be the greatest Peds Nurse since Arizona entered Grey’s Anatomy.

So far we’ve navigated nicely. While I’m working the day job, she’s been taking care of the home front. Last week she earned her keep by nearly scrubbing every inch of our house in preparation for the jewelry party we hosted. Since then, we’ve both done much to keep it clean: wash our own dishes right away. Make the beds as soon as we tumble out of them. Dust the furniture when the furfamily moves. It’s been wonderful.

I love coming home to a clean ~ really clean ~ house. I like not having a huge list of chores to conquer. Just a short To-Do like check the mail, water the garden. Things that cumulatively take less than fifteen minutes. That leaves the entire evening free to spend with Dot.

And that’s about to change.

Because my wonderful daughter, friend, confidante, and house-cleaner just got her first job. You may have seen the news on my Facebook page.

It’s one of those it-could-only-happen-to-her things. We were at the right place at the right time when she heard about the opening and landed the first interview. The rest was all her! Dot doesn’t realize how blessed she is. But she’s starting to understand.

I’ve been mentally preparing for a few months. I knew once she went back to classes our closeness would shift. She’ll be doing homework at night. Some mornings I might be lucky to just get in a hug goodbye as she leaves.

And now she’s got a job.

Which makes me wonder, what other good things will go her way this year? Is this the year she moves to her own place? (I seriously hope not, but if so, please please please let it be a place that allows cats. Fluffy can’t be without Dot for more than a few hours before that mad howling kicks in.) Is this the year she goes out more than stays home? I told her “home” is not a pit stop. But I can’t fault her for enjoying these moments while she can. Is this the year I lose her as my baby finds herself? Yeah. That’s the tear-jerker statement right there.

At first, the thought of her working made me lonely. I imagine there will be nights when I’ll be eating alone. Nights when she’ll call and say her best friend is in town and they’re going out after work. Mornings when she’ll want to sleep in that extra half hour instead of having a morning chat as I get ready for my day.

The thought of her working made me lonely.

But it exhilarates her. And her exhilaration is contagious. Her future is in front of her, and she’s grabbing hold.

And I’m not so lonely as I anticipate a quiet zone that allows for more writing. More story telling and blogging and typing and wordsmithing and writing. Yeah. This job is gonna be a good thing for me her.

A job ~ this job ~ means new people. Extra income. Opportunities. Socialization… and many Pumpkin Spice Lattes for Da Momma.

My Own Personal Barista

My Own Personal Barista

But don’t tell her that. She thinks this moment is all about her.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

This ‘n That Thursday

Usually I like to write longer, thought-out posts. But tonight, there’s just a few little things that I want to share, so I thought I’d put them together in a short nonsensical collection of what my day has been.

Yesterday’s blog post My Housing Project: A New Leaf was very well received, and I thank each and every one of you who liked, linked, clicked, commented, Pinned, tweeted and otherwise shared. It’s my most popular post since Winco shared Too Hot to Cook (June’s Meal Plan) two months ago.

I woke up early this morning to make sure it posted and that I had time to spread the word to Shell’s link up and other social media sites. As I was hummingly “working”, there was a Bible verse in the back of my mind. In that confirming, most overwhelmingly see-look-I-know-you way that God has, I later checked my emails and discovered this was today’s Bible verse as shared by Air1, the Christian radio station I listen to and receive daily emails from.

Philippians 4:6 NLT

Philippians 4:6

What a beautiful confirmation that my Blog post was perfectly timed. I have God-bumps just recalling how He orchestrated this message to be heard and affirmed.

[By the way, if you missed today’s other blog post, my eBook, A Study on the Ten Commandments, is free for Kindle download today and tomorrow.]

After work, Dot and I decided to go to the Dollar Movies. We now have a new favorite Worst Movie Ever. It was so bad, it was fantastic. And we thought nothing could be worse than Avatar. And for four years, nothing was. Until now. It was a huge disappointment because we’ve been so enamored with both the actor and the director for years. But there’s just some things not worth the hype.

When we came home, I immediately went to water the shrubs. I was greeted by this little fellow, whom I affectionately now call Fred.

Baby lizard on sidewalk

Fred the Lizard

After a few attempts, he let me hold him and Dot got this great photo of us:

A Lizard in the Hand

A Lizard in the Hand

Do me a favor? This is already one of my more popular photos on Instagram, and I’d love to see my phone explode with notifications and bump it up. Would you care to help me out? If you have an Instagram account, just click here to “like” my photo. Thanks!

I haven’t done my monthly newsletter or a Meal Plan for August yet. The meal plan delay is because rather than grocery shopping, we’re saving our pennies and clearing out the freezer and pantry. I haven’t bought fast food in two weeks. Although tomorrow is pay day so I’m betting there’s a Starbucks in my very near future. That excites me because it’s also almost time for my fall favorite, Pumpkin Spice Latte. Last year, Dot introduced me to the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino. And Instagram. And photo filters. This was my first filtered photo (say that five times fast!).

Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Creme Frappuccino

Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Creme Frappuccino

I’m already in holiday mode. I’ve been in conversations with a few sponsors to see what goodies I might be able to offer for this year’s blog giveaways. I’m pretty much driving Dot and Obadiah (my coworker) a tad crazy with the holiday chatter.

But you appreciate my efforts, don’t you?

At least, once some delicious new recipes get posted, I’m sure you will.

Speaking of recipes, here’s a special shout-out to Kat and her blog, Kat eats. She found my Potato Chip Casserole recipe via Pinterest and shared the recipe, and my blog link, on her Blog post. Check out her delicious recipe photos and how she changed it up by clicking here. The Potato Chip Casserole pin is pretty popular lately, but Kat is the first to give me original credit, so Awesome Sauce to her! Thanks for keeping it authentic, Kat, and as I often like to say, happy eating!

The weather has been cooling down and it’s barely 90 degrees during the day, which means I haven’t turned the air on for 36 hours. Sleeping with a nice breeze and cooling temperatures have made the cats all snuggly, of course. And sleepy. I posted this adorable video of our furfamily on Vine last week.

Do you Vine? I’m getting the hang of video making, but I’m still a newbie. So if you have any tips, follow me on Vine and Instagram and let me know!

And now we’ve come to the end of this post. Because I just emptied a can of Raid on the fireplace wall in pursuit of a fast-moving spider that I finally squished with the Teddy Bear Stool. Seriously. Where’s Team One when you need them?!

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!