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A Stinky House and Sweet Treats

There's been a lot of life going on since I last wrote.

The divorce is final now. It's not where I imagined I'd be in life right now, but here I am.

I bought a stinky, little house. We're scrubbing the layers of gunk off the walls, floors, and everywhere to bring good smells back--"we" being an army of friends, plus my children and me. Painting the walls and ceilings and refinishing the floors will help, too.

There's so much more to this house than the stink. For weeks before I closed on the house, there was the top of a china hutch lying out on the sidewalk in front of the house. Somebody had dragged it out there and left it. By the time I closed on the house and had some help hauling it out to the alley store, it had disintegrated so much it was falling to pieces.

Speaking of the alley store--which, if you didn't already know, is how I refer to the alley side of the house where people drive trucks up and down and collect the junk (great place to get rid of big stuff that won't fit in bags)--it's so full of trash right now, I don't really know where to start. I'm thinking hazmat suit. I have a fairly strong stomach, but this is really pushing the limits of my gag nerve.

Brick house, Sold
Minus the thistle garden. No good "before" picture.

My friend, M, and I took care of the thistle garden growing in front. If thistle gardens were a contest, this one would have won. Thistles were stuck in the cracks of the retaining wall and hung out over half the sidewalk, all accented by hundreds of little trees and clover.

M's children and Kara have been attacking the kitchen grime. They're an amazing workforce.

All this cleaning up somebody else's mess has me thinking about the attitude that motivates someone to create and leave such a wreck. Why? Unless they are truly disabled or at a point in life where they are needing continual help, I'm having trouble making sense of it. Laziness, selfishness, apathy? It's childish, irresponsible, and immature. That's all I can come up with now.

"Somebody else will clean it up later." "I'm done with it, let it rot." "I don't care." "I don't want to do it." "Not my problem." Except it is. You make a mess, you clean it up. That's how I was raised anyway.

I hope, at least, this cleaning-up project helps my children see why they should take responsibility for themselves and their corner of the world.

Dirty house
Just imagine the smell that goes with this picture.


Fall Break is over now, and school is back in session. I tried to do some fun things with Kal and Kara in between closing on the stinky house and starting the scrubbing.

Kal and I went over to the 1812 reenactment. Kal wasn't too excited about going until he heard there would be cannons and guns and pretend dead people.

Besides the reenactment, it was fun to wander around all the tents of vendors. Leather, tin, brass, wood, pottery. All sorts of ways to waste a buck.

We tried the roast duck and homemade root beer, both delicious. It's one festival where you don't see normal carnival food. A nice change of pace.

When we left there, we went to Oley's Pizza, which is my favorite pizza place and something Kal hadn't tried before in person. He'd had some of the leftovers before this. Hot, fresh, Chicago-style pizza and garlic knots. Enough carbs to make anybody's day delightful.

Kara's special time was going to the Cake Bake Shop which is a fancy bakery and tea place in Carmel, Indiana. The atmosphere is as much of a treat as the food. I think of it as a fairy tale tea shop with over-the-top glitter and decorations that fit perfectly into Carmel's little bit of Paris.

We met with an aunt and cousins there for fancy lavender lemonade and enough sugar to fuel the kids for 3 weeks. Some chose huge slices of carrot cake; others chose the macarons that were as big as hamburgers and filled to just as tall. Pink, fluffy, and topped with a dollop of icing and a raspberry and chocolate. Perfect treats.

Pretty sugar

As yummy as all the sugar was, the real favorite, food-wise, were the French baguettes. Hot, fresh, and dipped in butter.


So this is just a skimming of life over the last few weeks. For awhile, I wondered if the stinky house would ever close because of the crazy story surrounding that. It did, thank the Lord.

Time with the kids is different right now while we work out what co-parenting looks like. As soon as the stinky house in un-stinky and has a working bathroom, I can take my bi-weekly rotation with the children.

Between all the real estate work and a little bit of sewing, I'm working as hard as I can to get the stinky house ready for new life and light--and pleasant smells.

And one last picture from the stinky house. A joke, maybe?


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