Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A bit of decorating

My roommate Bethany worked with me today to get settled in and make things look pretty. Under her touch, rooms have transformed from, "Oh, look at this room. It looks like where someone dumps all their junk," to "Oh, look at this nice, inviting room. I want to be in this room." I'm hoping some of her decorating skills will rub off on me! 

We set up a little office/workstation where I can sit and write. Need flowers in the vases, and it will be complete.

A cabinet I got at a yard sale for $5 dresses up a corner nicely. 
(Ha! I think of some of the blogs I have seen where a woman will tour you through her house and describe all the little details...yeah, we know we're not at THAT level yet. Our house is still pretty empty, so we're making do with what we have.)

Project: Primer on a table to turn it from black to white. I think I'm going to need a lot of coats. It doesn't help that the leg came off of this $5 yard sale table while we were loading in into the car. We'll have to figure out how to put that back on, too. 

This room just off my room used to be the dining room. Now it contains the overflow of all my stuff that won't fit in my bedroom...and a lot of bare wall and carpet space. When I get my table painted, I'm thinking it can go in this room and be a craft table.

Pictures up on my dresser...starting to look homey!

A $5 easel--another yard sale find

Pushpins in the wall??? A liberating concept. Thank you, Bethany, for this lovely display that is SO much more accessible to get my jewelry!

Upstairs living room, just a tad bit sparse. Looking for a couch...

Empty bedrooms (we may be getting some more roommates, or we may not if we move out when the rental agreement expires in September. Not sure what's happening with that yet. In the meantime, it's a lovely large, spacious house.)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Target vs. Sam's Club vs. YARD SALE!!!

Setting up housekeeping. Ahhh... what a delightful thing to do... except when it comes to the rapid drain on the pocketbook. But, yet again, God chooses to make this into another episode of "GOD TAKES VERY GOD CARE OF ME." I just love being HIS! 

Let me highlight the GOODNESS of God by providing my Target and Sam's Club purchases as a case in point to show the contrast of the amazing gift God gave me at a yard sale.


Just a drawer not-even-quite-full of stuff: basic, bare-bones essentials, and it cost $101.98.

My purchase included:
Plastic dishpan: $1.87
Glass pitcher: $12.99
Anchor 2-cup measure: $3.79
Wire whisk: $8.99
Pancake turner: $6.99
Peeler: $7.99
2-piece spatula set: $3.12
3-piece bamboo tools: $3.98
Measuring spoons: $3.99
Measuring cups: $4.99
Rolling Pin: $20.19
3-pack sponges (not pictured): $3.89
4-pack scouring pads (not pictured): $2.99
Broom (not pictured; I took it back because it was useless): $9.99

Sam's Club

I think it's a little larger pile, but it's fewer items...and it was $107.81

This time I got:
2-broom set: $10.98 (Waaaay better than the Target broom, just sayin')
Cascade Dishwasher powder: $9.28
2-pack cookie sheets: $10.78
Glad Cling wrap (2-pack): $5.97
4-lb organic carrots: $2.98
Mop: $8.88
Mop Bucket: $39.98
Flour Sack Towels: $12.48

Yard Sale

And then there was the yard sale.

I woke up Saturday morning with the distinct impression that God wanted me to go to a yard sale. "I have something for you. Go out to some yard sales."

Okaaaay.... but I don't have internet, so how can I look up where the yard sales are? OH! I can do it the old fashioned way. Maybe I'll go down to the gas station and get a newspaper!

I got in the car and left. On my way to the nearest gas station, I saw a couple of yard sale signs, so I followed them and got this chair for $1.00.

It needs to be reupholstered, but I couldn't turn it down for ONE dollar. And I can reupholster it. It'll be a fun project.

I took the chair home and went back out. I decided to just drive around and look for signs, so I drove toward the part of town where I figured there would be the most likelihood of seeing signs. I saw my first sign and pulled in. It was at a storage unit, and a family who had already moved to another state a year ago had come back to clean out all the stuff that they had put in storage that had been sitting here for a year. They had already replaced everything. They just needed to get rid of all their stuff.

I walked up and the lady asked me what I was looking for.

"Oh, maybe kitchen stuff," I said.

"Oh, we have kitchen stuff," she said. "If you can just give me a minute."

So she started pulling boxes out of the storage unit, and I started collecting a little pile of stuff I was interested in, and as the pile grew, I migrated it into the back of my car. Finally it came time to reckon up.

"How much do you want for all this stuff?" I asked.

"Whatever you want to give me," she said.

"How about $50?" I said.

"Fine," she said.

So I handed her $50 and drove away with THIS:

9 small green glasses, 6 large green glasses, 4 tall clear glasses 

5 pie plates

6 serving/mixing bowls

A round casserole dish with lid

Two 11x7-inch Pyrex dishes 

A 13x11-inch Corningware casserole dish and an oval platter

Random stuff...Paper plates, two mugs, a microwave cover, and a cutting board

Two round cake pans and two colanders

A roaster pan and a crock pot

A giant electric Rival roasting oven

A food processor, a blender, and a brand-new coffee grinder

A Dirt Devil vacuum

A nonstick pancake griddle (no cord), another bowl, and a wire cooling rack

All these utensils

All these spices

And more! (not pictured): 
•  A 6-foot ladder
• A car charger for my phone
• A jump rope
• A lid for a rectangular cake pan (but I don't have the cake pan...oh well...I thought it would eventually unearth from the boxes, but it didn't.)

So $51 later, I have a chair and all this bounty. Is God not amazing in his dealings with me? All of this was stuff I needed and would not have been able to afford right away.

God knew He had a gift for me, and He told me about it, and he sent me out to get it. And while I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark, driving around looking for yard sale signs instead of looking up where the good sales were in the rich neighborhoods, He was perfectly guiding my steps.

OH! And the best part? He even gave me the money to get it. I would have had only about $10 cash, but that very morning I had found $100 that someone had hidden in my stuff...some anonymous donor who blessed me amazingly when I found it, and God used it to pay my yard sale bill. Amazing. Beautiful. (So thank you, if you're reading this and you know who you are! I found it! In perfect timing! Thank you!!!) It's like God says, "Hmmm, I want Rebekah to go to this yard sale. Let me send her out the door with some money." And I find money. In my own house. How bizarre is that??? God's ways are unpredictable! Can I just say--I LOVE WORKING FOR HIM!!!

The end.

P.S. If I had to buy all this stuff new, good grief! How much do you think it would cost???

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rocky Mountain National Park

These pictures are not the best, because they were taken with my chintzy little flip phone that was not cool even in 2009 when I got it...but it's either this or nothing, so enjoy as best as you can!

After our grueling 30+ hour drive, my brother and I unloaded the U-haul trailer the same day and then went to bed. But Monday and Tuesday, we got to go on some stimulating (and tiring) hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Monday I was completely disconnected from the electronic leash, as I didn't even have my phone with me. We parked at a Park & Ride and rode a shuttle up to Bear Lake. We went to see Bear Lake, which was kind of like "ho hum, look, there's water," and we were a bit traumatized by the massive numbers of people around, so we took the first side trail that presented itself and hiked to Bierstadt Lake, which we didn't even see because we went around it the short way rather than the long way.

Coming down from Bierstadt Lake, we descended in switchbacks down a steep incline that was covered with wildflowers. We could look up and see aspen trees on the ridge above us, and we could look out and see Rocky Mountain peaks all around us. It was nice because the trail was almost all downhill, and it left us conveniently at a shuttle stop. We boarded the shuttle and got off this time at the Glacier Gorge stop, hiked up to see the lovely Alberta falls, and then took a breathtaking (literally and figuratively) loop around to see Mills Lake, Lake Haiyaha, Dream Lake, and Nymph Lake, making our day's mileage total about 11.5 miles.

At Mills Lake, we were hot and tired from hiking, so we took a little rest. James hiked around the lake to where some rock cliffs came right up to the lake's edge, and he climbed up them and jumped from about 20 feet into the water. Some guys who arrived after us saw him and went over to do the same. James jumped three times and then came back shivering. The water was quite chilly, so we sat there to warm up for a bit and then continued on our hike.

When we got around to Lake Haiyaha, it was such a jewel of blue-green nestled in the mountains that I announced I wanted to swim across it. One dip of my toes in the water, however, convinced me otherwise, as this lake was even colder than Mills Lake had been. It was the kind of cold that you could wade in ankle deep and have to steel your will to remain in the water for 30 seconds, because your feet were turning so red and freezing so intensely. I think I made it to about 12 seconds.

So James and I climbed up on this big huge boulder, and he dove in, and I really wanted to. Finally, some people who were there decided to leave, and I decided to take the plunge.

The shock of hitting the water was indescribable. It wasn't like jumping into a cold pool and feeling that tingling feeling all over and thinking, "Oooh, this is cold." It was a shock that precluded all thought, all feeling. It created an inability to contemplate or analyze the situation. All that existed was pure desperation: Get out of the water. I got out and shivered on a rock until my clothes started to dry.

While I was sitting there, a family came up and the father climbed up on the same rock we had jumped off of. He was talking about taking a little plunge, and we told him we had done it.

"Do you have your sunscreen on?" he asked.

"Well, no, actually, I don't," I said. "I forgot it this time."

He said he was the president of the Denver dermatological society and happened to have some sample tubes of sunscreen on him, which he gave to us and told us some skin cancer facts while we rubbed it on. Evidently Colorado's rate of skin cancer is three times higher than the rest of the country.

Then he dove in, and agreed that it was cold.

We struck up a conversation and he told us that one of his favorite hikes was the hike to Chasm Lake, near Long's Peak. I found it on the map, and James and I decided to go there the next day.

Tuesday morning, I was a bit sore from our hike, so we didn't get quite as early of a start, but we drove up to the Long's Peak trailhead to hike to Chasm Lake. It was going to be about 8.5 miles round trip to the lake, and I was already dragging by the time we had hiked 20 minutes. I said to James that he should go on ahead, and he said that he would get as far as he could and at 2:00 he would turn back.

I walked slowly up the hill. S.L.O.W.L.Y. The altitude and the steepness and just a general fatigue that was uncharacteristic of me made me wonder if I would get to the lake at all. Our friend the president of dermatologists had said that the first part of the hike was really boring but that you got up above the treeline very quickly, so I kept waiting to get there and wondering what "soon" meant. But I told myself that even if it took me longer, I would eventually get there. I walked, step. step. step. Maybe one step every 2 seconds. Really slow.

Finally I got up above the treeline and was graced with the following lovely views:

When I was about here, I was passed by a bunch of elderly hikers going down, followed by two rangers leading three llamas. I sat down to rest as they passed, and one of the hikers looked at my feet, clad in Chaco's sandals. "Nice shoes," he said in an ironic tone. "Oh, yeah, right," I responded in jest. They were all wearing rugged hiking boots, of course.

They passed by and I rested a little later to catch my breath and drink a sip of water. While I was sitting there, James came bounding down the path toward me. He had been to the lake and back already. Since he had the backpack, I took the opportunity to eat some lunch, and then we continued on uphill. It was like 4 miles straight uphill, and then a short downhill, and then another uphill clambering hands and knees up the rocks (not quite rock climbing, or rock climbing level negative-something).

As we were going on together, we met three people coming downhill. "Hey, I know those people," the father announced. It was the guy we had met at the lake the day before.

"Hey, fancy meeting you here," I said. "And I have my sunscreen on today."

"Good," he said.

"But--" his wife put in, in a kindly, almost hesitant tone, "those might not be the best shoes."

Oh boy, I'm probably labeling myself to everyone that passes as "Not From Around Here" by these shoes," I thought.

He pointed out "the diamond," a rock climbing face visible from where we were standing. He was a rock climber and had climbed it. He also recommended the Twin Sisters Peak hike for a future date.

"Well, have fun at the lake!" he said. "And beware of the marmots. Most aggressive marmots in Colorado."

Then we went on our way.

Little trail to the lake...getting closer!

A pool below the lake that we thought at first WAS the lake.

Chasm Lake. 

It was getting on in the afternoon by the time we got there, creating a bit of backlighting and shadows, but it would have been simply spectacular for photos at sunrise. One could camp overnight relatively nearby and make it here for the dawn sunlight that would have made these rocks look positively golden.

Looking backwards at the view. You can see a thin, light line along the hill at the left. This was the trail by which we approached. The ascent to this point was immensely satisfying, with ever-expanding views and nearby waterfalls and the fun rock climbing bit right before the lake. 

We didn't swim in this one.

And these shoes didn't give me a bit of trouble. Why don't some of these other hikers give them a try? (Although I did get quite the Z-shaped tan line on my foot)

One of the many marmots we sighted. He didn't exactly seem aggressive, but he certainly did seem completely unafraid.

There. Isn't he a cute little guy? 

On the way back down, I no longer had the problem of being winded and exhausted, so the two of us bounded and skipped all the way down the mountain like two little wild goats. It was fun. And then we went home. And then James had to sit in a plane the next day. I slept like 10 hours per night for the next couple of nights before I fully recovered. But I'd do it again!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Moving out and moving in

Ahhh... what a whirlwind. Time has flown and I have been busy.
I had to sort, de-clutter, and pack this. It was actually worse than this when I pulled everything out from the attic--there was literally no room to walk. Goodbye to my little room under the eaves with the orange wall and no window. Goodbye to (sometimes) sleeping in 98 degrees. Goodbye to after-dark chats with my sisters in the adjoining bedroom. Goodbye to the little orange half-door to the even hotter attic where all the junk usually stayed hidden. All my junk is gone, gone, gone. The clutter was oppressive and the fact that it is gone feels like freedom. (Now if I can only keep from accumulating more clutter...)

Hello to my new room. I have my own walk-in closet, my own bathroom, and a door to the patio. It's splendid.

So the bathroom needs a little love in terms of decoration, but we'll get there.

Working on the closet.

A little hideaway door at the back of the closet opens into this nice extra storage space for bins and winter clothes. 

Patio door

The patio that my door leads to

The dazzling view from the patio (gotta love the dinosaur and cow...)

The kitchen...can't wait to use this for hospitality! 

Regarding the kitchen, I have had little bit of shock in discovering all the things I didn't realize I needed until I wanted them and they weren't there. The first day it was salt. The second day it was a rolling pin, measuring cups and spoons, and baking powder. But thanks to Wal-Mart, Target, and some yard sales, I'm getting adjusted and equipped. 

It's such a risky, crazy, scary thing that I have done. I have no idea what is going to happen. Here I am. All I can do is be obedient. I am in the Lord's hands, going at His bidding and totally excited to see what the future holds.