Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why Do People Hate Moving?

Call me weird, but I love moving. I find moving exciting. You get to stop living in one place and start living in another. You get to put all your stuff in a new space, and decide where it’s all going to go and how it’s all going to look. You get to go through your things and get rid of stuff that you never really used anyway. You get to wake up in a new bedroom, learn how the sun streams in across the walls, and walk along a new route to the kitchen sink for a morning glass of water. And then when you get into the new place, inevitably you need/want new furniture and get to go shopping. (I window shopped for a new couch last weekend and found a very nice couch. And for the small price of $7,000 it could be ours. Ha!)

I even like helping friends move. It’s fun to spend the day with all our friends helping the ones that are moving get their stuff into their new place. When you’re moving with a group of friends, you spend the day working together on getting all the boxes and all the furniture from one place to another. You end up joking around, secretly making fun of your friend’s stuff when they can’t hear you. You get fed pizza and beer, and at the end when the U-Haul is empty you inevitably have the first party in a friend’s new place. Overall, I find moves to be a lot of fun. Sure, moving all the stuff is exhausting, but it’s good exercise and it goes by quickly when you’re goofing off in the process.

There was one time when we helped a friend move when it wasn’t any fun at all. Just a few weeks before Todd and I got married some friends of ours were divorcing. We helped him move out of the place he shared with his wife. We rallied around our friend and helped him get his stuff out of the place and into the new one. It was a tense day because our friend was very sad at the prospect of his marriage ending. We were all very sad at the prospect of his marriage ending too. We silently formed a line of people from the door to the moving van, and we handed our friend’s boxes and belongings down the line, not really knowing what to say that would provide him with any comfort. We couldn’t exactly make fun of his stuff and crack jokes. We couldn’t exactly express excitement over his new apartment where he would unwillingly resume his bachelor life either.

We arrived at our friend’s new place, and began to haul his things up the winding staircase to the second floor. We couldn’t get the couches up the tight stairway, and took the landlord’s suggestion of bringing it through the window on the second floor. We backed the moving van to the side of the house, and used an elaborate pulley system that my MacGuyer-esque husband brought to haul the couch onto the roof of the van.

We tried stuffing the couch through the window and it wouldn’t fit.

We removed the window frame and tried to finagle it through the gaping hole in the side of the house to no avail.

Now what?

Our friend called his ex-wife to ask her if she wanted this couch, and she said no. We shoved the couch off the roof, and watched it fall to the ground. The wooden frame under the leather and the padding crumbled as the couch it the ground. With a dull thud the sofa collapsed into a pile of leather and cushions on the lawn. At the moment the couch hit the ground, the tension in the air dissipated. We stood on the roof of the moving van and doubled over with laughter. This was the first time we laughed all day long. We held our bellies, we wiped the tears off our cheeks, and we hooted and hollered over the broken couch. At the end of the day we left our friend with his boxes and his broken couch, trying to keep the tension in the air broken along with the sofa pieces on the grass.

Two years later we moved him into a new apartment with his girlfriend, another good friend of ours. We once again formed the line from the apartment door to the truck, and we passed our friends’ belongings to each other and filled the truck—laughing, joking, drinking beer and once again hopeful for our friend’s adventure in a new home with his new partner, and their new life together.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Anatomy of a Move Part 1

Todd and I are moving into the new house in just two weeks. We have lived in our current house for just over 6 years, and it's amazing how stuff accumulates in every nook and cranny when you've lived somewhere that long. You don't even notice it until you have to put it all into boxes.

We have packed up about 70% of our stuff and put it into storage so the house would show better. Now we need to get down to business and pack up the rest--our clothes, our kitchen stuff, the crap we've jammed into closets, the laundry/workshop room. Etc.

Before I get into the guts of moving house. I had to show you this picture. Todd and I keep a dry erase marker in the bathroom, so we can write notes to each other on the mirror. I usually write reminders--like the one I wrote last Friday to remind him not to forget his sandwiches for his ski trip. He usually draws me funny pictures. Like this one:

Now, let's get into my new series, called "The Anatomy of a Move." On Sunday we went to the new house to do a walk through with the seller. We had a few unanswered questions, and we met with the seller to get some answers. I didn't take pics of the interior, because the seller still lives in the house and I didn't want to make him uncomfortable. So here are some pics of the outside.

This is our new street:
This is the front of our new house:

This is the deck on the back of the house:

And now we get to the actual guts of the move. This is the closet in our spare bedroom that needs to be packed. Believe it or not, this closet has been cleaned out, and unnecessary clothing has been donated:

This is our pantry. I imagine it'll take roughly 524 boxes to pack its contents. I don't think I'll be doing any grocery shopping until after we move. Canned peas and popcorn for dinner every night! YAY!

This is our spice/mug cabinet. That whole top shelf is all mugs. You know, for the time when I will have an entire army over for coffee:

This is our plate/glass cabinet. Our current kitchen only has 5 cabinets, and the others are being used for mixing bowls, pots and pans, and containers. So we only had 1 cabinet for our plates and glasses. I will be excited in the new house to have these in separate cabinets, and not have to move a bunch of glasses so I can get a plate. Oh, and looky here, more mugs:
This will be the hardest room to pack. The workshop room. Look at all this stuff that's hanging over the bench:

This is the toolbox. I think it weighs roughly a metric ton. It's on wheels so I am not sure we'll need to pack it all up. Still, lots of tools inside:

And then we have the random crap shelf. Believe it or not, this has been pared down quite a bit:

I think we're going to need more boxes.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Mystery Solved

Scene: Tuesday evening. Todd comes home from work, Beej has done the grocery shopping. Todd has requested that Beej buy 14 apples—two for the chicken dish he would be making that night, the other 12 for the applesauce he wanted to make. Beej has also bought 5 oranges and 5 pears to eat during the week. The fruit bowl is on the table, overflowing with fruit. Every time it is moved, apples and pears go rolling onto the table and floor.

Scene: Wednesday morning.
Beej: Hey, did you eat 2 of the pears? I ate one, and there are only 2 left.
Todd: No, I didn’t. I thought there were only two in there.
Beej: No, I bought only 2 green apples, that you used last night for the chicken. I know I bought 5. (Thinking to self, am I crazy? No, I distinctly remember buying 5.)

Scene: Thursday morning. Beej grabs the single remaining pear and eats it on the way to the gym, the second she’s eaten out of the original five. She returns two hours later, and sees that there are no longer a dozen apples in the bowl. There are seven. She scratches her head. She hasn’t eaten any of them and knows that Todd was saving them for the applesauce. Todd comes home from work.

Beej: Hey, did you eat any of those apples? I thought you were saving those for your applesauce.
Todd: No, I didn’t have any. (glances at bowl) What the hell? Where did they all go?
Beej: I have no idea.

Later on Thursday evening:
Griffen: Gak gak gak gak gak splat.
Todd: (looking at pool of dog vomit, laced with apple chunks) Well, now we know where the apples are going. I’ll bet your pears went that way too.

What is it with this dog, that I cannot possibly leave even the concept of food on a surface of my house without him downing it?


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pot Bellied Pigs!

This post has nothing to do with pigs, pork, bacon, or fat cops. It's valentines day and we are watching "The Truth About Cats and Dogs". There was one line of dialogue about a little pot bellied pig and immediately prior to it being uttered, I had just decided that the next thing I heard would be the title of my post.

Now that we have that out of the way, I thought you would all like to know that I thought Beej's last post about the disintegration of our house deal was wonderful. It was great except for the part that is totally wrong now that we have salvaged the deal again!! So, I know we have said this a half dozen times in the last six months... but, " WE ARE MOVING!!! YAY!!!"

In all seriousness, every legal document is signed and everything is in place. This is really happening and we are really excited!

Everyone congratulate Beej!!!

Happy Valentines Day Wifey!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good
Right now my excellent husband is in the kitchen making me a batch of homemade sundried tomato pasta. In the winter Todd gets into a cooking kick, and gets very experimental in the kitchen. Last night he made me some baked chicken with orange, ginger and honey on it. Now he's rolling out the homemade pasta. He has also whipped up some homemade pizza dough, and I think he will throw me a pie for dinner tomorrow night. (I love that he knows how to throw the pizza dough in the air, all fancy like.)

The Bad
The deal on the house fell through. The seller backed out in a rather dramatic fashion that involved the tearing up of purchase and sales agreements. We are trying to figure out what we want to do next with regards to a house.

The Ugly
On Sunday we took a day trip to Okemo in Ludlow, VT on a bus organized by New England Action Sports. I brought my new ski boots that I bought two years ago and only skied on once before. The pain in my feet on the first run was excruitiating. I left Todd on the slopes, where he was having a great day without the tell-tale pain in his knees and went into the ski shop to see about getting them adjusted, then went out for another two runs. The pain returned, so I went back into the ski shop to get the linings heat molded. I stood with my knees bent for 15 minutes while I waited for the heat molding to solidify. When I took off the boots, I looked like I'd been in a car accident from the knees down.

For example, this bad boy on my calf:

Anyone want to buy a pair of nearly new Solomon ski boots? They don't fit me so well, but they've only been used twice.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

My dad just turned 70 yesterday. It's amazing to think of all that he's seen in the last 70 years. Dad was born in Poland in 1938, and grew up in post-war Poland. He has memories of his village under siege as the German and Russian fronts duked it out literally on his front lawn. He traveled to America when he was 23 years old so that he could start a new life. It took Poland three years to grant him a passport so that he could leave the country, so as a 20 year old he was already thinking of his future and how to make it better in the land of opportunity. He's watched his new country go through changes, and noticed how much his home country grew and changed every time he went back.

He met my Mom, somehow convinced her to marry him and they raised five kids. He worked himself to the bone so that all of us wouldn't go without and so that we would all go to college. He grew more tolerant over the years, as his children grew and went through their stages. Now he can sit back and watch his 11 grandchildren grow and go through their stages--and watch his children grow into adults, spouses and parents.

Dad, thanks for everything you've ever done for me.

Happy birthday.

This is me, Dad and Todd at the surprise birthday that my brothers, sisters and I threw for him on Saturday night:


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When Stalker-Like Obsession Becomes a Reality

We've had a running obsession with a house in a town near where we currently live. We’ve been trying to put together a deal with the seller of the house that would benefit both the seller and us. The root of the negotiation was that the seller wants us to pay a large sum of money for the house, and we want to pay a small sum. Over the course of the negotiation, an obsession was born.

This obsession involved driving by the house a billion times, and letting out long, sad, longing sighs as we idled on the edge of the street and stared at it with a single stream of drool collecting on our chins. Because Todd and I are also somewhat tech savvy, this bordering-on-unhealthy obsession also involved looking at the listing online over and over again, and even examining the house from the satellite view on Google maps (that is until we would eventually get side tracked when one of us wondered if Google Earth's cameras happened to pick up any nudist camps, and then we started to look for a view of unsuspecting naked people from outer space. Side note, we didn't see any so don't bother looking.)

Last Friday our offer was accepted by the owner and we signed the purchase and sales agreement. We're thinking we'll close on 14 March, but we're hoping for the very end of March.

And now we're frantically trying to sell our current house, and we've been running open houses and showings at a rate that has made us half-consider installing a revolving door on the front of the house. Hopefully this Sunday will be the magic one--keep your fingers crossed for us. If you want to move to Rhode Island, let me know. I know a GREAT house.

Also on the list of things we’re selling, we have a 2004 Nissan four stroke 9.9 outboard engine for sale. If you’re interested, please say so in the comments. (Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask, does it?)