May 29, 2022

Bear in the Basket (and a life update)

Love this cutie!

All supplies from Essentials by Ellen from Ellen Hutson. 
- Berry Basket Die (planning on using this for Christmas....)
- Painted Flowers
- Strawberry Fields
- Casual Taglines
- Bear Ware Grand Tour

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! Disclosure: above supplies given to me by Ellen Hutson.

Life Update 

As you may remember, almost 4 years ago we moved from Northern Virginia to Dallas to live near our son. Living near our son has been terrific and the best decision we've made in a long time. Living in Dallas has not been terrific. I think, for us, the move came too late in life. We bought a house in Dallas in September 2018 - a lovely home in a gorgeous neighborhood. Nice people, nice house, nice neighborhood, but it never felt like home. I suspect most people our age who moved from Dallas to Northern VA would miss Dallas. It's what we get used to. 

During the worst of Covid, our son moved into the apartment above our garage, which was perfect. It was the first time in years since we saw each other every day and we got to know each other as adults. Such a wonderful time (except for living through the Covid years, which was awful in so many ways.)

Last summer, as we emerged from our Covid isolation funk, our son moved back to his place and we realized that we needed a change. So we sold our house last fall and moved to Plano, in about 20 miles north of Dallas. We are in a fantastic high rise apartment and love it. We feel more comfortable here. We still don't understand why but the reason doesn't really matter. Do we still miss Northern VA? Yes. Our friends are there and we will always be east coast people. It's a different culture here, but this is a good life. 

The place where our son works changed ownership last year, and we wondered if he would be transferred. When it became clear a couple of months ago that he would be staying in this area, we decided to look for a house. Our apartment is on the 13th floor with killer light and views and we don't want to leave it. But it is ridiculously expensive and we anticipate a sharp increase in rent when our lease ends. 

So, after looking at a LOT of houses, we signed a contract to buy a new home - it's under construction and should be ready just when our lease ends at the end of the year. It's 5 minutes from where we are now and the best part is that it is a block walk to a neighborhood with a lot of shops and restaurants. The downside is that the house has 2 floors. We were pretty determined to avoid stairs, but the only homes in that neighborhood are in this one development and they all have stairs. Otherwise, we love the place. At least we think we do - we bought it off of a floor plan! We've been in several of the homes in the development and like them, so we are confident this will work. 

Speaking of work...

At the beginning of 2022 I decided to work on a phobia I was developing - driving. It started during Covid and got worse when we moved up here because all the roads were new to me. So I got to work desensitizing my fears - driving farther on familiar roads and trying new ones a bit at a time.

I'm still anxious driving on new to me streets and go out of my way to stay on roads on which I feel comfortable, but I am so much better. I don't have to go to the grocery store at 7 am on Sunday mornings to avoid traffic. It's a work in progress, but it's better. No more panic attacks!

Speaking of panic...
Covid, Ukraine, Abortion, Guns, let's face it - it's a hot mess out there and the divisions make it so much more difficult. Like many of you, stamping is my escape. I try and stay engaged on social media (just Instagram) because the people are super nice and kind and the inspiration is outstanding. I also feel obliged to stay a bit informed with the news. Striking a balance between staying connected and protecting myself is a challenge. Would love to hear how you do it.

Thank you for reading this far! I hope to get back to writing again. We shall see.


Betty said...

Hi Joan - so fun to read your life update - I don't write very much personal on my blog, but wanted you to know I'm now living (since March) in Midlothian, TX which is south of Dallas - am in a senior living place - on 3rd floor with wonderful light, 3 bedrooms so one is my craft room and lots of amenities and best of all 15 minutes from my daughter in Cedar Hill. Am also becoming a little braver with driving but will probably never attempt the hugs interstates!

Hannelie said...

I love reading your life updates Joan... just as much as I love the beautiful cards you share on Instagram !
Love & Hugs from Abu Dhabi ♥

Vikki H said...

It's not easy to move at our age. Good for you adapting to change. We moved two years ago from a small rural town to Portland near our oldest son and his family. We downsized by more than half which is a bit much for my husband, not me. Unfortunately the only homes near Scott all had stairs. We'll probably move again after our youngest grand graduates from high school in 2028 to a one floor abode in WA which is a better tax situation. I'm glad you're blogging again because you write with as much style as you craft!!

Joan said...

I love seeing your cards and hearing about your life updates. I've enjoyed your blog for many years and have missed your writing.

Meg M. said...

Oh Joan, it's always good to hear your updates. I love this colorful card. I could sit and have a long talk with you over coffee after reading your post. I don't think I've struck a balance the past couple of years and I am suffering because of it. I am slowly trying to work back toward balance. It all feels so scary right now. I am most balanced when I avoid the news, remain creative, connect with people (who watch the news), and prioritize rest/movement/nourishment.

I hope that your new home brings comfort and that the stairs are manageable.

Jeanne H said...

I too am glad to hear from/about you. I've missed your writings. Your hiding bear is really cute. As for moving, thigs are the opposite here as my daughter is moving back near me after selling her place in CA. That will be wonderful. Good luck and best wishes for your new place.

I Card Everyone said...

Good to hear your news and hope that your new home will be everything you want and more, Joan! Think of those stairs as part of your exercise program - without the machine!
Can't wait to see some photos!
p.s. that bear! He finds himself in the best hiding places!

kramomma said...

Anxiety, I'm a piece of work! Discovered during COVID my dad's not my dad! Yep, did DNA for introvert doesn't do well with this discovery. place I have said I will never visit...Texas...uhm...2 new half siblings live there...NOPE, not going. Thanks for sharing your personal life, as well as the cards. Card making & donations are mental therapy for me. Faye

linf54 said...

Joan, I have always loved your cards and enjoyed your blog. Looking forward
to reading life updates!

Leslie Miller said...

Life updates... yours always seem to be especially interesting. Change is not such a bad thing when it's by choice. Your card is cute and looks like fun. The bear tucked into the flowers is the most adorable bit of whimsy. said...

Great blog post, Joan. Still follow you as well as on Instagram!
Enjoy all these changes and think how exciting it will be to have
a new house! Sharon

Deena Hopkins said...

Great to hear an update from you Joan! I'm happy you and Mike are still learning about yourselves and each other. Best of luck in your new house! I follow you on IG and look forward to all your adventures- crafty and otherwise!