Tag Archives: garden

Abundantly green.

I sit watching a pile of leaves and twigs burn, while listening to sirens of a police apprehension gone wrong. Instead of worrying about the news heard via my ears and neighbor’s words, I’m enjoying the green of my yard.

Everything is sprouting, and today’s new garden discovery is lots of baby hostas in the funny shaped island garden.

I also discovered lots of poison ivy- which I’ve managed to pull most of it up today, wearing gloves of course. Yea! Although one vine snapped my face and another got my ankles. I’ve washed and washed and washed to avoid too much rash and will treat as needed if any appears (thank you Dawn dish-soap).

Anyway, I’m happy to share pictures of my pre-thinning seedlings, and all the other plants. I will thin the babies out in a few days…. ’cause I’ll definitely have the time, and thinning seedlings doesn’t have the same ramifications as thinning humans 😣😆.

Bad joke aside, I hope you’re as excited about things turning green again as I am. I know my kids enjoyed a lot of outside time today. Even my old lady kitty Priss got excited enough to venture outside for a nibble of grass.

May you enjoy time outside and good weather. May you feel safe and secure in your home. May you know that you are protected by God and the good, honest members of law enforcement. May you enjoy spring having sprung and everything turning green. May your pets and children also enjoy all these things as well.

Siva Hir Su

Sprouting.

2 nights ago we had a slight freeze. I had already started planting, so we covered all the gardens, even where they were mostly dirt. I didn’t want to take any chances. Luckily we were on top of that enough that only one plant was affected- 1 of 2 basil plants was frost bit enough it may not survive.

Otherwise everything survived and when we uncovered I was pleasantly surprised by more sprouts showing.

The pesky squirrels have eaten some of my bulbs, so I bought a just few more to start inside so I can fill in gaps as needed.

So far this is how things are coming along:

Existing plants coming back:


I’m so excited for all these beautiful plants I get to enjoy from previous owners and my therapist, but that’s not all!

The plants I started from seed and bulbs are sprouting! The darned squirrels got a few, but there’s still a lot coming up. Flowers and vegetables are all sprouting. I’m super excited. It may not look like much, just a lot of dirt, but if you look close you can see all the different sprouts. The baby plants, there’s lettuces, cabbage, onions, strawberry, and herbs (minus one frost-bit basil). I’m so excited to see things take off. I will have lots of pretty flowers and plants and almost as many edibles.

May you have exciting enjoyable sights. May your gardens and life sprout with all the good things. May beautiful things bless your experience. May you get to reap some benefits of those that came before you. May you have beautiful things that you didn’t have to work so hard for. May you get to enjoy nature and your life. May your days be blessed and fill of all kinds of beauty.

Siva Hir Su

Alone in my Gardens

YouTube notified me of this song after I had spent all day digging in dirt alone:

It fit very well. And I did need that time. It was overcast and cool, but I really needed the nature and peacefulness. I know I’m an empath, and sometimes my junk is literally having collected everyone else’s stuff. Sometimes it’s my own. Sometimes it’s a blend of both. Regardless, digging in the dirt or being in nature is soothing to my soul, as much as art or music are.

So I spent literally all day doing Gardens. My body hurts as much as ever, but my mind is calmer. I sat to eat dinner having gotten all but a few seeds in the ground. The simple act of consuming a meal brought my motion to a halt. I no longer desired anything but sleep. Except that I recognized how sore I was and deemed a bath as necessary before sleep could be accomplished.

I dumped 4 pounds of Epsom salts into the tub and now I soak. 30 min, maybe a bit longer in as hot as I can tolerate. It will soothe my sore muscles enough to function this week.

It was worth it though. My gardens will be beautiful when they grow. I got 9,000 steps just moving back and forth through our yard. Hoisting bricks and cinder blocks. Moving sticks and rocks. Not to mention all the dirt that I carefully filled every bed and planter with. The seeds was the easy part at the end of the day.

I planted fern bulbs gifted to me by my retired massage therapist. They had sprouted quite a few runners, so I stretched them out to cover a long section along the back of our house. It’s off the side of the porch in a narrow trench of dirt between the sidewalk and the house. They’ll be perfect there.

On the other side of that same sidewalk I constructed my favorite-easy-cheap cinder-block planter. It’s the second time I’ve done this large scale, and both times I used found cinder blocks. The universe loves me, because not only were there enough cinder blocks to do that, but there were enough bricks to pave the dirt between the planters. No more muddy mess.

We also put lots of grass seed down to try and fix the rest of the muddy areas in the yard.

So far I have several different mystery flower bulbs left by the previous owner. I have Rose bushes planted by the previous owner. There is lots of the dark ivy ground cover (not English Ivy). There are a few shrubs I can’t identify yet, and some kind of perennial plant that is sprinkled about- I think some of them are volunteers, but I’m okay with that.

Then I’ve planted gladiolus bulbs, fresia bulbs, Iris bulbs, anemone bulbs, tigridia bulbs, renunculous bulbs, zennia seeds, bachelor button seeds, marigold seeds, Daisy seeds, cosmos seeds, lettuce seeds, spinach seeds, kale seeds, broccoli seeds, cauliflower seeds, cucumber seeds, chard seeds, okra seeds, several varieties of bean and pea seeds, chive seeds, white onion seeds, red onion starts, and cabbage starts.

I have one big circular planter left, which has some of those mystery plants in it, but around the mystery plants I’m going to put our zucchini and squash seeds. There’s also the oval planter which has volunteer violets in it right now, but will get herb seeds ASAP. We will have quite the gardens when they sprout and grow. I very much look forward to that.

With all of that I’ll leave you with pictures of my handy work. May you all have calming, grounding time to soothe your soul. May you have beautiful gardens or the ability to enjoy other’s gardens. May you feel safe and supported by the universe. May you stay healthy and have joyous days. May peace be with you.

Siva Hir Su

First Bulbs

Planted
Waiting
New hopes still dormant
Sun's rays warm
Water falls to nourish
Cold nights yet inhibit
Vulnerable aspirations
Anticipation of beauty
Expectations of growth
Excitement withheld
Too early to tell
Even small dreams can be destroyed
A countdown begun
Finite time
Easy to measure
Success or failure
Hope for the former
Mitigated by reality
Halfway is okay
Partial success still
Better Than
None at all
Cross fingers
Wait
Watch
Birds and squirrels
The only signs of life
Will the dirt become the beautiful garden
               -TC

Garden is started, but I’m short time and temper. I’m burnt around the edges and wishing I had a clone of myself. Or two or 3. I’ve added topsoil to the primary bed around our big tree in front and planted elephant ear bulbs and coleus bulbs around it. Smaller flower beds along our sidewalk have been started but not finished, gladiolus bulbs already in one side, but other bulbs have yet to be planted. I don’t have steam or time to finish this week, and hope my body will keep trucking. I must not be a good manager because every time I ask for things from Nathan I am disappointed by incomplete results and kids causing yet more trouble. There is only so much of me and because of Nathan’s health I’m trying to do my jobs, his responsibilities, and somehow fit self-care and self-gratification into it all to not hate the world.

May you all find that you are enough. May you have capable support. May your kids behave (or kids in your experience). May you have enough time for self-care and self-gratification. May you feel replenished occasionally enough to enjoy your life and your world. May you feel appreciated.

Siva Hir Su

If nothing else my garden is doing great. 

You may have noticed a lack of updates about the physicality of our lives. It’s because there is precious little to report. I’m doing my best to not be upset about that.  It is what it is. “I am where I am and it is ok. It has to be because it’s all I’ve got. ” – Abraham Hicks

It’ll sort out in time,  especially since I’m staying buoyant more and more. I’m going with the flow more these days than previous,  so it has to improve eventually.

Anyway, in the meantime.  I’m enjoying garden happiness.

Radishes & herbs. The thyme & parsley are doing the best,  but I’ve got a little cilantro and sage as well.

The beans and snap peas did so so. & everything else is right in the middle of its growing season. 

My flowers are starting to be pretty…

& I’m enjoying watching the birds on the feeders,  but I’m apparently not even a decent wildlife photographer. So you’ll have to take my word for it. 

I’ve seen cardinals,  bluejays, other jays, nuthatches, your usual chicadees and finches. Momma Carolina Wren nested in the birdhouse again this year. Gold finches & orioles. There’s some kind of small brown & rainbow esque bird I see occasionally,  and lots of woodpeckers of a variety.  I’ve seen some beautiful barn owls & I can hear a great horned owl every night. Though a schreech owl can also be heard at times.

I’ve seen kestrels, peregrines, gryfalcons, some kind of dark hawk I think might have been a Harris hawk. Oh, and lots of vultures, there are about a dozen within a mile of home and they’ll often fly as a group.  The houses have been buzzed many times. It’s really neat. 

We had to fortify the coop from a raccoon that ate a few chickens.  Opossums, rabbits, skunks,  and squirrels abound. I thought I felt the big kitty watching us at night for a couple of weeks,  but even that sensation is gone now & I never did catch sight of her. 
Otherwise, it’s just peaceful and I’ve taken advantage of that a few times now. More time for introspection in a positive way. 

Finally,  on another note,  my post from yesterday: something else occurred to me. “It’s not just me, it’s my whole life,  my whole family”. Yes,  that is who we are in a nutshell.  It’s good to know all of that about someone.  It’s good to meet someone’s family to get a clearer idea of things, an understanding of motivations,  how someone is likely to interact with others, and even how they were raised so to see how it might affect life decisions and really everything about a person. It helps to know how emotions are shown, or not; expectations that are built into family  dynamics,  communication skills/ interactions,  and even basic functions of daily life. 

I’d like that very much.  I’d like to know all of that and more. I know that’s complicated though and may or may not ever happen with anyone at this point. 

  I met Anya’s mom’s family when I was still just “the new girl”. They totally disregarded me as anything to be concerned with until Amy got sick.  Yet after Amy passed they finally accepted me as a mom figure in Anya’s life.  Things are mostly ok now. 

I met Nathan’s family early on and they liked me right away.  It did provide lots of clarity and understanding and still to this day does at times. 

Nathan met my family.  I think they liked him fairly well as an individual,  but they were very forthright in their dislike of me choosing to marry him.  He was too old, too black, too poor, and previously married with a child is always a bad idea.  To this day I know that my family dwells on my marrying him as having been a bad choice. Yet 14 years later, 8 of marriage,  I’m still in love with him,  even with all the struggles and woes. If I could change one thing it’d have been more money, a lot more.  If 2 things,  it’d be more time freedom.  Neither of those would have changed my relationship with Nathan,  only made it easier to enjoy more time with him doing more exciting and fun things.

I personally think that even if we’re  somewhat astranged from family- as in my case, we never really escape the fragments and remnants in our psyche. It’s definitely an ongoing connection that shapes who we are as people. I have already thought through introducing poly life partners to my family. It wouldn’t be easy, surely very complicated, and  I’m certain it’ll go over pretty much the same as it did with Nathan. However, I also feel my family would have the right to at least know,  they raised me, they need to see how their influences turned out. But more importantly,  my partners have a right to know that same information.  My partners have a right to know the complexity of what they are committing to, because I am a sum of all of my life experiences and family  interactions. My family is inherently part  of me,  for better or for worse. I hope that Nathan and I will one day have life  partner(s) willing to go through the uncomfortable experience of meeting my family, and the slightly less uncomfortable journey of meeting Nathan’s family. It would go miles for helping us all understand each other,  but it would also show they are guinenly committed to being a part of mine & Nathan’s family. That is priceless. 

Memorial Day, Gardens… contrast.

So the rest  of the weekend was an up, down, & all around,  kind of weekend.  We got very little accomplished since we had to take turns sleeping & keeping track of Ian.  He was his usual handful, but still cute.

Today I feel exhausted,  but I’m still going,  & very slowly finding buoyancy. I’m attempting to glean why it is that I can work through negative things in the public and work world,  letting them either bounce off  me or finding the silver lining.  Yet,  when it comes to home I struggle to do the same,  & the handful of negatives attempts to consume my world. I don’t have an answer yet. 

Examples:

Work: 

Today is Memorial Day, which most people have off, and I’m finding all my residents have their usual channels turned on,  but there’s extensive coverage of the Arlington service. I found myself wanting to gag due  to Trump & the propaganda that makes it’s way into the speeches. I find this year’s service to be a most distasteful way to honor the fallen. 

Then I step back & voice my real thoughts with the tv on mute. Regardless of my views on the profitability and politics of the military machine, memorial day is about honoring those who died in service. Of those that died, many of them voluntarily chose to serve in good faith based on the knowledge and information they had. They felt it was their duty to help America in whatever battle they participated in,  that their military service benefited the greater good. Those that may not have had such a choice (draft, family pressure, poverty) still accomplished their duties faithfully and put the greater “good” over their own personal safety. Each and every one of them should be honored for being able to do that.  They are heroes not for the details of their demise, but for their desire and ability to put others and the greater society before their own wants, needs, and desires. They mastered,  even if briefly,  the ability to see themselves as merely a singly important piece of a larger interconnected puzzle and allowed themselves to do their duty to the best of their ability regardless of what the outcome might be.
I don’t know about you,  but I have yet to figure that out for myself.  I am ever concerned about how the next day, week, month, and year will play out; and though I don’t fear death itself,  I do fear the “but’s” and “why’s”and “what if’s” I die before accomplishing my goals. I have yet to be able to consistently do my job solely for others’ sakes. So, I take a moment to give gratitude for their selflessness. I also take time to focus on peace so that those of service can make their work actions be of peace. 

On the flip side home: 

I have a beautiful loving husband, 2 children,  & cuddly adorable cats, that I often see only as messy. Their mess turns into an affront against  me,  that they’re somehow doing it on purpose, just to get my goat. I have great difficulty seeing the positive side of why the mess happened in the first place.  I have trouble seeing their efforts to clean up, & sometimes even the love they show me isn’t enough to override my hyper-sensitivity to my experience of the physicality of the mess. I just don’t get what screw is still loose in my brain to cause that. *sigh*

It’s on the list.  I’ll fix it eventually.  I will get there. 

Back to the weekend.  I burned my fingers grilling chicken. 

 Ian was fussy,  tired,  wouldn’t drink anything,  would ask for 3 things before I could get the 1st accomplished. Changed his mind on food a hundred times,  chased chickens,  played in his sand box, played in puddles,  asked me what I was doing a thousand times. Played “mirror mommy” telling me I wasn’t listening to him,  telling me that I should not make him do certain things, swearing at me, and yelling back. Yet, he’d turn around and do something adorable like offer to help water plants, or feed the birds,  & bringing me the bamboo stakes when we adjusted fencing. He’s 2, I suppose it’s all part of the package.

When one of the younger roosters decided he should attack Ian repeatedly, I quickly got Ian some arnica & an ice pack, and then chased said rooster around the yard with the BB gun. I fired a dozen rounds, only one of which seemed to graze his leg & cause a limp.  I gave up when he fled down the road. I was hoping a coon would polish him off, but by dusk he was back. I’m still debating whether to butcher him or not. I suppose if he attacks Ian again it’ll have been decided for me. My son is definitely more important than an obnoxious rooster, especially when we have 3 others. This time I was close enough that Ian only suffered a few scratches & bruises, but I hate to think of what could have happened. 

So then, the fencing happened because I spent all day chasing our hens and Jennifer’s goats out of my garden.  I hope that my baby flower plants survive the chickens tramping them. The goats I managed to keep from doing any damage. Anyway,  the tire planters now have the mesh fence around them, & the bigger stretch has metal chicken wire around it now.

That being said, the garden is doing great.  I had so many radishes sprout that they were choking out the spinach & lettuces. I trimmed some, pulled some out,  & tried to transfer a few to another planter. We’ll see if those ones survive. Everything else is doing great as well.  If the weather keeps this up I’ll have bumper crops this year. That is happiness. 

We only got 1/4 of the mowing done and none of the laundry- c’est la vie. Onward ho.

Now for the pretties:



Cuteness:

Flowers:

 Everything else,  bumper bean crop is the top tier (thanks to the cats eating the chipmunk).


Carrots & cilantro:

Spinach & lettuce:

Cucumbers:

Half of my bumper bean crop:

Transferred radishes: 

Mmm kale:

Squashes galore:

Outside happiness.

Yesterday continued with happy.  I finished the garden finally.  The tires behind the swing now have an array of mellons and squashes and asparagus seeds. I noticed that all my previous seeds are sprouting as well.

I also finally got the hose into the  hose reel & our barbeque grill set up.

Added some decorations to the garden.  The only thing missing is the light string for inside the aquarium table.  Even built a small birdbath out of 3 plastic pots & a plastic bowl (& a handful of rocks for weight) – cost including glue $5… I love Dollar Tree.

At one point a tufted titmouse (little brown bird with crest like a jay) pointed out all the feeders were empty.  I went looking & discovered I was out of birdseed. So I opted to put out the last of my sewett & some oranges & grapefruit until I could make it to the store for loose seed. I even filled my hummingbird feeders. 

By the end of the day,  the solar lights came on & I decided it was a great evening to grill some food & relax by the fire. Nathan got me shnooked with one drink – apparently the new diet means I’m an extra lightweight. 

Ian did his best to help,  even carrying a log nearly as big as he is.

That being said,  I really enjoyed the mellow evening.  We ended up having grilled chicken (Nathan had veggie dogs),  grilled asparagus,  & grilled zucchini rounds… sitting by the fire listening to the bullfrogs croak, tree frogs and crickets chirping, & somewhere in the distance my favorite:  great horned owl hooting. It was wonderful. Blissful even. Still plenty of work to be done, but between my tattoo & my new outside arrangement I’m very content at the moment. Happiness is very good. Si va hir su.

Hard labor weekend…

So this weekend we finished filling the dumpster.  A fair amount of stuff from under the trailers didn’t fit, but the dumpster is overflowing.  

Burned the burnables- that was fun!

 I made a new fire pit so the old one could get the metal bits sifted out. 

Trampoline got moved where the main pile of trash used to be. 

Swing moved by the fire pit. Umbrella deployed over swing.  Aquarium turned table to one side of the swing (planning on putting lights in it). Ice bucket table on the other side of the swing. The tires behind the swing will be squash/watermellon/pumpkin planters, but I ran out of steam. That’ll have to happen next week sometime. 

Gardens got planted. Some stuff from last year’s garden came back:  bulbs,  sage, thyme, a small cilantro, parsley, yucca, & a few of the flowers.  I planted seeds in new dirt for everything else. View of Gardens from the swing:

Part of the yard got mowed & general cleanup started. It feels so much better out here! This is progress.  I love progress. 

Moved, still working.

Progress is slow at times, but any forward motion is still progress. I have to remind myself of that sometimes, because if things are not going as planned I stress because I have forgotten that sentiment.

We’ve moved into the not ready mobile home. It was a solution for wasting both time and money, however, it has pushed all of my buttons to the max. We’ve had excessive heat on top of the other stresses, so I’m having to distract myself as much as possible.

We have a friend in Smithville that has a pool, and she’s been kind enough to let us go swimming a couple of times, and follow swimming with a nice refreshing shower. I can’t tell you how much that alone has helped this week.

Work on home itself has nearly crawled to a halt. I have supplies for the next step, but it’s a matter of either working while it’s exhaustingly hot, or trying to save enough energy for when it’s not so ridiculously hot= neither of which we’ve managed to do successfully.

What we have gotten done though:

  1. The trash pile is shrinking. We’ve taken bags to local dumpsters that we got permission to use limitedly- as in a bag or 2 a day, not everything we have. We also took a load to the nearest Landfill, which happens to be in Saint Joseph. If it weren’t so far away, we’d have had more than one load hauled by now. Being it is a 50 min drive, I have to allow 5 hours to load, drive, unload, and drive back. Fortunately, it only costs $20 per load, so a few more of those and all the trash will be gone. That equals happiness!
  2. I have been able to get the garden decorated nicely. Now there are a multiplicity of bird feeders, both store bought and home-made. Momma bird, I’ve been told is a Carolina Wren, and she didn’t like me being so close to her house, but she’s enjoyed the feed once I was done!

     

     

  3. We got a new to us swing and trampoline and hauled them out. We haven’t set the trampoline up yet, because we want to put it where the trash pile currently is. The goal is to have that spot cleared out and cleaned up within the next couple of weeks, then the trampoline only takes about 30 min to set-up. Anyway, this is the swing, pardon the tote and towel. I snapped the picture after Ian had been playing in water in the tote like a kiddy pool. You’d think I would have just bought a little pool for him, but it’s been on the bottom of my priority list.20160611_180648
  4. I’ve harvested from the garden a couple of times. We’ve gotten lettuce greens of 2 varieties, kale of 3 varieties, Brussel-sprout greens, Beet greens, and raddish greens, beans/snap peas,  raddishes, spinach, and pok choy. The raddishes and beets went to flower, so I had to cut all of them way back, but I think they’re doing great otherwise. We have a small green caterpillar that has really enjoyed eating our spinach and pok choy, but I don’t mind sharing a little of our plentiful garden. I tried pulling one of the carrots, and it was too small to even count as a baby carrot yet, but growing heartily. We watered the garden several times, but I think it’s about time to provide some fertilizer to encourage growth. The herbs are slowly catching up with the rest of the garden, so the fertilizer would help that along nicely.

     

  5. Flowers are blooming too! I’ve got wild flowers, marigolds (calendula), fuscia, and poppies all in bloom. And I found out the blue flowers I referenced a couple of weeks ago is called spiderwort and is a medicinal wild flower!

     

  6. We’ve got wildlife galore. I put out feeders that are oriole and wren friendly. I’ve got some for finches, and wood peckers, and a general wild bird food. Mrs. Wren has built a home in the one bird house, and I’ve seen some other birds examining the 2nd bird house. I’ve seen cardinals, blue jays, vultures, Blue Herons, Owls, and Hawks. Something ate some of the lettuce, and we’ve seen King Snakes and lots of Deer. We even had several Luna Moths grace our presence during their week of mating! I love the nature here!

     

  7.  We went to haul water, and the tank didn’t quite fit on the utility trailer because of the dimensions of the 2 x 4 sides I built, so I threw together a frame out of 2 x  12’s for the tank to rest on. It worked perfectly and we’ve been able to haul water for the animals and Jennifer twice now.
  8. The ticks are horrendously bad this year, every time I went to work outside I found myself picking them off my legs left and right, and still ended up finding a couple later on. It was bad enough that when I told my friend Becky, she said chickens and guinea hens eat ticks. I was so sick of the ticks at that point, I said done, getting chickens ASAP! Jennifer knows someone that can get her 50 of them for almost nothing by next week. So today was building the coop day. I’m almost half done, and again using free scrap wood and bits that came from the house. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll function like every other chicken coop ever built. I wish there was  an award for ingenuity in using trash to build functional structures. Between the wood hutch and chicken coop, I think I’d win! I’ll post pics of the coop when it’s done (hopefully tomorrow evening= if it stops raining to finish it).
  9. Beyond that we’ve done laundry, I’ve worked at my contract buildings, I replaced the battery on my scooter, put the storage compartment back on the scooter, taken the van in for a tune up, and done all the regular tid=bits of everyday life that have always existed. I think that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

So, NOT the major home remodeling accomplishments that I’d hoped I’d be reporting by now, BUT we have done stuff. It’s still that forward motion I referenced earlier. I’ll just keep chugging away, and one day, it’ll be a great comfy cozy home. Just have to maintain my sanity for now.

Busy, busy bees!

We’re very busy getting situated.  So I’ll keep this update short.

Our garden has become our resting spot because it’s so beautiful. This is the view at dusk.

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Panorama view.

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It’s doing so well.

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Lush!

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Squashes, strawberries,  and greens, oh my!

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We even got the yard mowed.  Nathan did the back half once my thumbs blistered from pushing the mower.

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This blue flower is behind  the garden by the wild rose bushes.  I don’t know what it is, but it’s beautiful.

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That’s birdie sitting on the house she built her nest  in.  She didn’t like me being so close to hang wind chimes and another bird house,  but was too happy to investigate my work when I was done. I’m not sure what kind she is,  a friend suggested she’s a thrush,  but regardless she has a beautiful song.

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House plants are half moved. It’s even getting lush inside!

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SubFloor is half done. I even let Nathan use the nail gun this time :). We’ve started staging our stuff on the end the subfloor is done.  We’re going with an open shared space to get out of the apartment- I’ve wasted too much time and money trying to split between two  locations. Even though the trailer isn’t really ready,  it should speed things up significantly to be there all the time.

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Ian was glad to see his crib hadn’t really been taken away.  He proceeded to run around happily when he realized a lot of our stuff was there.

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I will be happier once the subfloor is actually done and plumbing is going in. That should be over this next week.  I work (job) Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday,  & then I can resume work on this project. Jennifer’s said we’re free to use her bathroom until plumbing is done. Needless to say I’m very appreciative,  but want that to be as short a situation as possible.

Wish us luck! Today & tomorrow is move out of the apartment and cleaning to get our deposit back!  I need every penny I can get. Cross your fingers for us!