When I first walked into the house I just thought, "I can't do this." But I got busy and started cleaning. The first thing that hit me was the smell coming from the kitchen. But I couldn't deal with that first. The bedrooms, hall and one of the bathrooms are carpeted. I wanted to get the carpet cleaned early so it would have time to dry before we slept on it that night. So I started right off vacuuming. That helped a lot. I got the walls and ceilings free of cobwebs and the dead bugs off the floor. The kids all played outside all afternoon and had a blast. The kept Samuel with them which allowed me to be able to get a lot done with two hands! Then I shampooed the carpets. It's funny. After vacuuming I was thinking they weren't that bad after all. But they were a whole different shade of brown than I realized. We have no A/C out there so the floors dried quickly. The girls took Samuel in one of the bedrooms and played with him in there.
While shampooing the carpet in the second bedroom there was a curtain that kept getting in my way. Rather than be annoyed by it, I was so excited. I always pictured a house on a farm with the sun shining in and the curtains billowing in the breeze. That's what I was getting. I'd pictured prettier curtains, but this was a great start!
We had to go "to town" pretty quickly for diapers. I thought I'd packed some for the trip, but couldn't find them. Faith thought Sam was stinky so Roger rushed to the local store to buy diapers. It turns out Sam wasn't stinky. Faith had been smelling the water in the house. The water has been shut off for a couple years and the water heaters were full. So the smell of old water was really awful. We didn't need to run the hot water though since we never could turn on the gas to heat it.
Then there was that refrigerator smell from the kitchen. There was still some food in there and it had sat for 3 years without any problem. But they shut the electricity off several days before we had it turned on. There were bags of ice that melted and re-froze in a sheet at the bottom. A package of meat got thawed, rotted, and then re-frozen into the sheet of ice at the bottom. A seal on the door of the freezer is in bad shape so the smell kept escaping to the room. We haven't gotten to that one yet. I really wanted to just dispose of the whole unit, but that would be wasteful. I wiped down the outside and that helped. Next trip out there we're going to move it into the yard and hose it out. At least then it won't stink up the house.
The diapers in Coleman were more expensive than we're used to so we went to nearby Brownwood to do our grocery shopping. We drove 30 minutes to go to Walmart. But it was worth it. Everyone smiles at you there. Rather than pushing to get to the food first, people stepped out of the way and said excuse me. It felt more like being around real people there than it does in the Metroplex where everyone gets so rude and pushy. I even catch myself doing it at times here. If you are nice to someone here, others push their way in and you get stuck waiting forever. Same thing on the roads. It was a nice change of pace.
Our cleaning efforts were interrupted a couple of times that first day. Neighbors stopped by to introduce themselves!! Wow! I just didn't think that happened anymore. It was a welcome interruption.
Roger mentioned the swallows and the horned toad, but I think the swallows bear repeating. Anytime anyone needed a rest, we would sit in the living room and look out the window at the swallows. There are about 6 babies in the nest over the porch. There were 4 adults feeding them. It was fascinating to watch them. Especially in the evenings when there were lots of bugs out. People think I work hard taking care of 8 children. I think those swallows work harder with 6 babies. Fortunately for them, they mature more quickly. I'd be pushing my kids out of the nest much more quickly if I had to feed them that often. Not to mention regurgitating into their mouths. . .
We ate watermelon and spit the seeds into a corner near the house. We're hoping for some watermelon to sprout and grow. We'll see.
Chiggers are bad out there. We're all covered with bites. Except for Samuel. He was held most of the time and crawled around in the grass, too. But he doesn't have a single bite. The younger ones were exposed to chicken pox last week and should break out this week if at all. I don't know if I'll be able to tell the difference!
Oh, and we discovered that we can manage pretty well without a/c. The house was built to allow breezes to flow through, like most old houses were. Plus it's not as humid there and cools off at night. It got to 96 degrees Thursday and we were working hard all day. But we were fine. As a matter of fact, Walmart seemed way too cold to us.
Well, we are moving the refrigerator and freezer soon and there's some ice cream that needs to be finished first. . .