Wild & Wonderful West Virginia

Friday, July 27, 2007


Must say Happy Birthday to my nephew, Carl Tyler, and to Don's Mom. Both of them had birthday's this week, and with my move and all I failed to mail cards or gifts. Don and I hope they both had a great birthday and hope they know how much we love and miss them!


Boy am I glad it is Friday! Don's first day of work was yesterday and I worked on unpacking. Today was very rainy and dreary so I slowed the pace a bit. It was like living in the clouds this morning. The fog was so thick that I didnt' even see the river view until after lunch.

This week went pretty good all things considered. The movers came on Tuesday around 10:00 a.m. and left around 5:30. Everything arrived pursuant to the inventory sheet and so far I have only found one broken margarita glass and a small scratch on my amish oak coffee table. I had to smile when I found these items, because it brought back memories of our move to Georgia. I had one broken margarita glass (from the same exact set) and a small scratch on my piano bench. Guess it is a moving tradition for the Richeys, huh? I have been kind of frustrated this week with the way my boxes were marked. I opened a box marked "lamp shades" and found the dog beds! I opened a box marked "pots and pans" and found part of Don's nightstand stuff, my rice steamer, some pictures frames and a picnic basket! I did laugh out loud at this box though:

I am pleased to report that there were actually cutting boards in the box!!

Stitch and Lilo are making the transition, slowly but surely. Stitch LOVES the river view and wants to be out on the deck or in the sunroom looking out towards the water. Here is a picture I made last Sunday night of the view. It is kind of blurry, but you get the effect:

The biggest challenge this week was the fact that my washer and dryer had, well lets say..connection problems. MY dryer had a four prong plug, and the house has a three prong outlet. SO...Don goes to Lowes, purchases a three prong dryer plug and gets home only to find out that the three prongs on the cord he purchased do not match the three holes in the outlet in this almost 70 year old house. Don drives back to Lowes only to find that they do not make a three prong dryer hose that matches our outlet. There were no employees around to help, however, Don did run into an electrician in that department who informed him that he needed to purchase a range cord, not a dryer cord, because of the age of our home. Thank goodness he found her and took her advice, because it worked perfectly! NOW...the washing machine issue...there is no drain line in my laundry room in which to insert the drain hose from the washer. This was very confusing, as Don and I knew that the previous owners obviously did laundry! We were having dinner with our neighbors on Tuesday night and they asked why we had inquired about a plumber. When we informed them that the house had no drain line for the washer they looked puzzled. Our new friend Connie asked "You mean there is no laundry tub in the basement?". I promptly replied "you mean a mud sink?". She said "what is a mud sink" and I replied "what is a laundry tub?". APPARENTLY we have no idea how to install laundry facilities in the South. I thought this sink was for bathing babies and puppies, and for cleaning my golf shoes! In West Virginia the "laundry tub" is for draining the washing machine! You hook the drain hose over the edge, secure it, and you place an aluminum mesh sleeve over the end to catch the lint. OH yeah...and I was also informed that you listen for the rinse water in the laundry tub because that is what you use to mop the floor of your basement. Don and I just looked at each other and couldn't believe what we were hearing! However, we did get all the supplies for this crazy contraption at Lowes and Don has it all up and working! See!

Oh yeah...after dinner when Connie was leaving she asked "Why do they call it a mud sink? You dont put mud in it do you?" That is promply when I started getting homesick.

My parents are coming this weekend and that always makes me feel better. Can't wait to post some pictures of the house as we get things in the proper place. I also hope to get a picture of the three fawns and doe that are living in the trees in our backyard. They are dining nicely on the plants, chestnuts and black walnuts in our yard!

Have a great weekend and stay in touch with us. Our emails and cell phones are all the same. We miss our friends and family so much.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Road Trip...Day Two...We Made It!!

I can hardly believe we are finally here! I am so tired and so overwhelmed by how much there is to get done. My household goods arrive on Tuesday, so I have tomorrow to get organized. I have been nonstop since we got here at 1:00 today. I still have to get some cleaning done and buy some groceries, I seriously have to get some sleep too!

You cannot imagine how horrible this day really was....well, not horrible in the true sense, but such bad karma was with me today. After getting a pretty good nights sleep in the hotel last night, we loaded the car and was ready to start our trip at 8:00. HOWEVER, I forgot and left the electric cooler plugged in my car last night. Yep, you guessed it. My car battery was dead. Thank goodness Don had his own car, a pair of jumper cables, and the good memory to recall at least one of the vehicle maintenance/repair procedures that Jay tried so hard to teach him growing up. We were up and running and on the road within minutes. I was pretty impressed, I must say. Of course, that was just the beginning.....

We arrived at the new house around 1:00. Our realtor, Anita, met us with the keys, garage door openers, an delicious lunch, some cool gifts and a much needed bottle of Merlot. (Which until this exact minute I had forgotten about, so it remains unopened for now). After we enjoyed lunch and showed the puppies around, we decided to pull the cars into the garage so we could unload. WELL....my garage at this house is MUCH SMALLER than the large garage I had in Georgia. I was pretty certain I had it licked, until CRUNCH...I ran the rear fender well into the brick column separating my side of the garage from Don's. For the record, this is the first major damage I have done to ANY vehicle during mine and Don's relationship. (I did hit the trim work on Don's mom's garage with my side mirror once, but it didn't hurt the car so that doesn't count). Check out the damage:

Not that bad you say? That is exactly how I feel! Don says about $1000 in repairs and is dying to get an estimate like tomorrow. "What?", I said. I think we best wait until I learn to manuever this new narrow driveway and garage before we start getting repairs. It might need more repairs if we get it fixed too soon, right? I did talk him into getting an estimate on having the driveway extended and a parking pad installed.

Poor Stitch was stressed from the move, ate a belly full of mint from the herb garden in the side yard while I was unloading (damaging) my car. He promptly came in the house and threw up on the newly cleaned carpet. Don was sure he probably ate some rat poison, but I calmly explained that the dog must be just as upset about the damage to my car as he was. I thought there for a while we were all going to throw up!

Things settled down, the neighbors on both side came over to introduce themselves and then I decided to take Lilo out for a potty break. She loves running in the soft grass and smelling the mint and basil in the yard. She took off on a full blown run towards the sunroom, launched herself up the steps and slammed smack dab into the sliding glass door! Reminded me of a windex commercial, only more scary. She hit so hard she feel backwards down the four steps and stood up staggering.....I thought..."won't be five minutes before she is throwing up on the carpet too!" Stitch was standing on the otherside of the glass when this happened and I was glad to see he was obviously feeling better because I swear he was smiling! Really!

Anyway...that is about enough excitement for one day. I gotta get some sleep so I can get some cleaning done and start organizing this mess. I promised my Mom I wouldnt work myself sick before she got here....I sure hope she hurries up....is it the 29th yet?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

ROAD TRIP! Day One....

Boy were we excited to see Warner Robins in our rear view mirror this morning. We left town about 10:30 and arrived at our hotel in Wytheville, Virginia at 5:30 p.m. Traffic was okay, the weather was great and once we crossed into the mountains in Virginia the view was fantastic!! The puppies did very well and are excited to be running free in the hotel room.

The mountains in Virginia really are beautiful. I took this picture getting off the exit to our hotel. That is Don and the puppies in the car in front of me!

I was young and immature when I lived here and apparently never really saw the true beauty of this State. The cool air when we got out of our car this evening was very refreshing. Don is anxious to get to the new house tomorrow, and so am I, but I have to say that I am more excited about the drive between here and there since I have never been this route before. I hear the view gets better the further north through West Virgina. Hopefully I can get some pictures. Don doesn't like me making pictures with my camera while driving. (wonder why, lol) My friend Opal tells me that Wheeling, WV is a very beautiful city. It is about 30 miles from our new home and I can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow.

My friend Barb called my cell phone and entertained me while I was on the road today. I am going to miss all my friends from Warner Robins, and hope that they will get a chance to come and visit soon. The next few weeks will be busy getting the house ready and getting Don settled in his new job. My son Jimmy called just as we got into the hotel room. He and Amy were headed for sushi, and I sure wish Don and I could join them. We can't wait for them to come and visit when they can.

Don went to pick us up some take out for dinner...can't wait to eat, shower and hit the sack! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers while we are on the road traveling. Hopefully we will have internet access at the house tomorrow night and I can update my blog.

Have a great Saturday night, I know Don and I will....Virginia is for lovers you know! (wink)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Loading Up!

The BIG truck arrived this morning at 8:30 and the crew of 4 is busy loading everything up. We were kind of concerned at first, because the truck already has 6600 lbs of household goods headed to Maryland to another Lt. Col.'s home, which will be delivered on Monday. This means my stuff wont arrive at at the new house until Tuesday. There were thoughts that they might have to bring my shipment on two trucks on two different days. Now that the driver has looked at everything, he is fairly certain it will all fit on the current 18 wheeler. He is still somewhat nervous about the neighborhood where we are moving being on top of the mountain and his being able to navigate this huge truck up the West Virginia back roads! I told him I know I couldnt do it, but I had faith in his abilities! I love the new logo on the moving trucks the contractors use to move Military families:

I thought this was very appropriate and it made me smile when I saw it first thing this morning. Makes you feel good to know how proud and honored these companies are to be moving our "Heros".

Stitch has not exactly enjoyed all the commotion this week. He is in a room where he can see the truck and the front door of the house. Every time one of the guys comes through the front door headed to the truck with a box or a piece of furniture he starts barking. I think he thinks they are stealing all my stuff! He is so funny! Both puppies have actually been awesome this whole week with the disruption. I know they will be as glad as we are when this move is finished and we are settled.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Moving is NOT like camping!

Somehow I thought it would be fun to get everything all packed up. Living in this chaos with a blowup mattress and limited amenities would be like camping, right? NOT! Day one of packing is over. The packers were scheduled to be here at 9:00 a.m. yesterday to get started. At 10:40 they finally showed up with some excuse about getting lost with the Mapquest directions. This part is definitely true. You absolutely cannot get to this house via Mapquest. It just isn't right and tells you turn on a road that simply doesn't exist any longer! Guess it takes a while to get the new roads and highways into the database. I have lived here 2 1/2 years and the new road was built about 8 weeks after we moved. So, I have to assume that it takes more than 2 years and four months for Mapquest to update their system. So much for technology, huh?

Don and I had a lovely dinner last night with my friend Mary Jo. She was SO MUCH help to me yesterday and I never could have accomplished what I did without her. I have to thank my friend Susan as well. Without her the relocation company would still be calling me and requesting my notarized signature. I am sure going to miss the wonderful support group I have here in Warner Robins.

Today is day Two of packing out. The movers said they would be here at 7:00 to unload my attic before the heat was unbearable. It is 8:24 a.m. and they just rolled in the driveway. Better late than never!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

One more day until packout begins....

I am exhausted already and this whole move has really just begun! My parents came over last Wednesday and helped me immensely! I am just about ready for the packers who will be here at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. Wouldn't you know they plan to start in the kitchen and in my craft room. I think that was preplanned by the powers that be so that I wouldn't be tempted to create instead of pack! The good news is I will not be doing much cooking either I guess. Don flys home today from Pittsburgh and is now officially the owner of two homes!

He closed on the new house on Friday the 13th...those of you who know me well know that I avoid certain numbers. I guess we have turned over a new leaf in the superstition department. We bought a house AND I actually wrote a check on Friday! I never do any banking on the 13th either. BUT, I had to take my parents to Creekside Catfish for dinner. That is one of my favorite places to eat in Georgia and I wanted to share it with them before I moved away. I think they liked it as much or more than Don and I. I will certainly miss Friday night catfish when I get to West Virginia.

Sorry I havent had much time for blogging this week. Plus, Don had the digital camera in Pittsburgh so I couldnt make or upload pictures. Oh yeah, remember the snakes in my water meter? Guess who lives in the bushes outside my master bedroom windows? I have affectionately named him "Chip". Not sure if "Dale" exists, but I will keep you posted! I thought I was moving to the land of pirates and penquins...not snakes and chipmunks!

Don also got some views of the Ohio River from the house on a clear day. The first shot is looking right and the second is looking left. Can't wait to enjoy coffee in the mornings overlooking the river.

Have to say "Good Luck" to my FIL Jay. Tomorrow afternoon is his thyroid surgery and I know he will do just fine. Can't wait until he is recovered and can come up and visit us.

Don just called and he has landed in Atlanta. On Friday after he closed on the house, our realtor "Anita" took Don to lunch and she brought along her sister who was visiting her from North Carolina this week. This morning when Don boarded his flight back to Atlanta he ran into Anita's sister again...she was seated right next to him on the same flight back to Atlanta!! It is just another sign!

Monday, July 9, 2007


What a busy, productive and fun day I had today. My friend Mary Jo and I went to Hobby Lobby this morning and lucked into the best sale ever on Americana stuff....80% off!! I would make pictures of all the cool stuff I brought home, but Don has the digital camera in Pittsburgh with him this week. (I still haven't figured out the cell phone camera thing). Then Mary Jo and I had a great lunch at "Judy's Sandwich Shoppe" in Perry. I had a terrific Hawaiian ham and cheese sandwich on an onion bun and some of the best potato salad I have ever eaten. Thanks Mary Jo! Then it was home to my chores. I got my upright freezer defrosted and cleaned out, worked on my kitchen cabinets and made a few phone calls to get the utilities transferred into our name at the house in West Virginia. Guess what the lady at the water department at City Hall in Weirton told me on the phone?? She said "Mrs. Richey..there is a note on the computer to be sure and tell you that the meter reader has seen snakes around your water meter when he reads the meter in the Spring and Summer." I couldn't believe it. She said she wanted me to know so that if I were out working in the yard that I would be cautious around the meter. I don't even know where the meter is, but I sure intend to find out...quick! She said they come up from the river in the woods behind the house. That sure is A LONG WAY UP! I hate snakes and will now be terrified to enjoy my lawn!

My day was going pretty good then Don called from the insurance office in Weirton where he was securing our Homeowners insurance for closing. Somehow between my written quote on Friday and today the homeowners insurance was increased by $200 a year. Man was I angry. I had already written the check and sent it with Don along with the written quote. Unfortunately for Don we have figured out that filing an insurance claim on that little episode where he flooded my bath and master bedroom last year may have just come back to haunt us!

I am going to conduct a survey...with new carpets and hardwood floors in my new house, I am seriously considering posting this sign in my foyer. I would love for you to comment on this post and tell me if you would be offended by it.

I just worry with all the snow, ice and slush in the winter that things could get messy. Please be honest!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Not a Millionaire....

Don and I purchased three Millionaire Raffle Tickets for the Georgia Lottery. The drawing was last night and as expected, we didn't win. (I should say that Don DID expect to win and was quite disappointed!)LOL

The Saturday before we went to Pittsburgh to house shop, I took my last paint class with Sandy at Hobby Lobby. I still need to finish this project by painting my hummingbird on it. Maybe I will get time to do that soon.

I am looking forward to painting Christmas gifts this year once I get settled in WV in the new house. I am sad that I don't have a Hobby Lobby up there, so I will have to get used to the old back up "Michaels" and a store that will be new to me "JoAnns".

Sandy comes home today and so does Mary Jo! I have to pick Mary Jo up in Atlanta at the airport this afternoon and it will be good to get to see her and her son Matt. Seems like forever since I have seen all my friends. Things are so busy around here that even my hairdresser asked me to come to her shop this morning at 10:45 for a haircut...on a Sunday! I hope to get to see Sandy sometime this week! My parents are coming over and my Dad has some stuff to deliver to Sandy...AND we will be picking up my special gift that she and Steven gave me..I can't wait to post a picture and share it with you. It will go great in my new house. Don and I had SO much fun playing cards with Sandy, Steven, Kendall and Holland a couple of weeks ago. Those boys are so funny and so much fun to be with. We are going to miss the McTier's something awful. We hope they will make a family trip to WV to see us...I would love to take the boys to the City and show them around. Welcome home Sandy & Mary Jo, I have missed you guys!

Friday, July 6, 2007


Okay...SO. I don't particularly care for this look in my new kitchen. (It must be said that you know who does. Actually he likes the idea of the window look more than the Tuscan look I think).

I really don't want to have to wallpaper the entire kitchen, but I want to do something to bring my Americana country theme to the room, and throw in a few sunflowers as well. Keeping in mind that I would keep the faux wall of yellow and blue (that is wallpaper not paint), how about if I cover the Tuscan window with this country window?

I love the pip berry vine and the stars, and guess what...Don does too! Maybe add some real pip berry vines and sunflowers over the cabinets?

Gotta get to bed....my "Mom" a/k/a my personal shopper a/k/a my interior decorator, is gettng up early to shop for rugs for my new house and I promised to be waiting by the phone for further instructions. Then I am kissing hubby goodbye as he leaves to go back to Pittsburgh to close on our house, and then it is off to the wallpaper store. Mom, Dad, Don? Are we having fun yet?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Wallpaper Samples.....

Just window shopping and sharing some samples with my Mom:

Love the sunflowers for the Guest bath maybe?

I will keep looking around, but these are a few of my favorites so far. Any of you that have been in my home know what this is all about. I want to make the entrance floor of my new house all Americana. Which means I will need paint and wallpaper. Can't wait to see the finished product!

A Post for My Mom

Spoke to my Mom by phone this morning and we are working on ideas for decorating the new house. I also have received some emails from a few of you that are unable to figure out how to see the previous posts and are asking for me to repost a picture of the house. To the left of your screen under my picture holding the palm tree painting you can see links listed by month to my previous posts. If you click on them you can open up all the posts I have ever posted!

Mom - here is the window between the sunroom and the formal living room. I still think the windows Sandy painted would look great hanging in this space. Just need Dad to put up some hooks for me:

Here are all of the kitchen pictures I have:

Here are the pictures I have of the guest bath on the main floor:

Hey Dad - the hand railing outside these windows is what needs to be painted and/or water sealed to prevent them from rotting. I would like to paint them, Don kinda likes the look of the weathered wood and votes for just sealing them. What do you think?

I am going to look for wallpaper/border. Will post some samples either later tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully I will sleep better tonight and stop worrying about redecorating. I keep telling Don that "Operation Ivy" is the most stressfull move yet!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Sure hope everyone has a great Fourth! Looks like Macy Kate is having a great time, huh? Don and I will be busy preparing for our move today, but we plan to celebrate the 4th by having an all american meal...Hot Dogs!

Here are some pictures I took of Don at his new job. He finally gets his own parking space and his own private office!


They are painting his office this week (hopefully) and moving in his new desk, phone, computer, etc. We plan to hang all the great C-130 and aviator artwork we have collected over time just for this job! Don has lots of awards we want to put on the wall as well. We will be getting him a small refrigerator and microwave for his new office. He will be busy next week in Pittsburgh working on the new office, while I am here with my parents getting the house ready for the movers. Of course...ummmm....Mom & Dad? Don wants us to come to the office one day and hang all the pictures...he says he will take us to lunch across the street at Armstrongs as a reward for your hard work! Armstrongs is the local Italian food restaurant. If I keep making a list of things for my parents to do in West Virginia and Pittsburgh they wont make it back home until Halloween!!

Okay, I have to issue a retraction from one of my previous posts. Don's Dad DID NOT have surgery this week. He is still waiting on the results of his biopsy before they do anything else. I will keep you posted. Don and I are excited that they will be coming to West Virginia to visit. Hopefully they will get to come this summer depending on everyone's health and the weather I guess.

I think the only pictures I have left of the new house that I have not previously posted are of the inside of the garage:

I also wanted my Mom to see these pictures from the lower level that I want to make the master suite. These are pictures looking from the bathroom to the bedroom and of the stairwell. She was asking about the tile floor and carpet and these pictures show it well.

Hope everyone has a great day. Although we are happy to be getting ready for our move, we sure miss being at "Charlie Brown Park" with Alex and Jacob for the 4th. That is certainly one of my favorite memories of what once was family tradition for us.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Home Again!

We made it back home safe and sound, and the puppies were so excited to see us! Looks like the house was shown twice while we were gone. Still no offers at this time though. I am busy doing all the laundry from last week and Don is already at work. We have our briefing this morning with TMO to schedule our move. I got the completed inspecton report from the home inspector last night. In addition to the wall outlet problems there is also a gas leak from the space heater in the sunroom:

He also noticed that the vegetable sprayer hose under the kitchen sink has a slight leak when the faucet is turned on. All of these minor things will have to be fixed by the Sellers. He did recommend to me and Don that we install carbon monoxide sensors in the rooms with the gas fixtures and in all bedrooms, along with smoke alarms. Good Idea, huh?

Well I am off to see the movers and get them scheduled to haul this junk to West Virginia! Can't wait to get my parents up there and start decorating. We have some minor chores to do first....some painting, maybe wallpapering, etc.

Here are some pictures of the laundry area in the lower floor:

Have a good Tuesday and a Happy Fourth of July!