Saturday, April 30, 2005

Silent Running

OK, this is it. I'm packing up the machine. For the next couple of days we're officially off the air. See you in Washington!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Allmost there.....

Kitchen, front room, dining room, bedroom: check!

We've been given a few days' reprieve, and our departure day is more likely to be Sunday morning at this point...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Moving Van: check

The movers came and went on Tuesday. It was a gruelling day that started at sunrise and went until the truck pulled away at about 5:20. We're now finishing the big cleanup; loading our pickups and putting the rest into storage with friends and family until we come down for Lizzie's wedding in June. Right now we are enjoying the peaceful "zen" of camping out in a pretty much empty house. We were planning on driving away tomorrow AM, but things are pushed back a bit and we may not be going until Sunday morning (there was a SNAFU with the dump trailer, to the tune of it never showed up today. Argggh.). A couple of teenagers from down the street will be coming tomorrow to help with the last of the hauling and toting (and throwing out, of course). I can't wait to be driving up I-5...

Sunday, April 24, 2005

It's Always Darker...

...before it goes totally black. Just kidding.

Tomorrow is the last day we have to pack before the movers come on Tuesday. Are we ready? Ha! We've spent roughly 50% of our packing time throwing out things that should have been thrown out years ago. Don't do this to your kids, parents: tidy as you go! Don't leave them a giant life-draining Jawa Sandcrawler of junk to deal with. Just say "no" to clutter!

We'll make it, but it's going to be a rugged 24 hours...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Quote of the Day

From Going Jesus, a quirky blog from a quirky Episcopalian:

We've had a 19" monitor sitting in the living room since I got my laptop. It was on the floor, just out of the way enough to keep walking past it every day. I finally moved it this week because I needed a new monitor at St. Ned's. The empty space it left has me wondering what else is in my way that I just step around. How long does it take for something to stop being annoying and just become the Way Things Are? (entire post here...)

How much junk in our lives is just "stuff we walk around"? We don't need it, use it, or really want just becomes a collector of dust and a burden to weigh us down. Moving every once in awhile is good for the soul if it does nothing more than force us to get rid of the excess baggage.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Combat Packing

OK, I'm starting to dream about felt pens, packing tape, and cardboard boxes. We're getting to that point where the chaos seems to be increasing and the panic is beginning to set it, but the reality is that we are almost on the downhill slope. You know, that point of having a cold where you start to sound really awful but you're actually feeling lots better. The garage is just about whipped into shape. A few more hours and the only things left in there will be things that the movers are going to load into the truck. Same goes for the lab/shed: Gordon has been kicking butt in there (he deserves a Combat Engineer medal, if there is such a thing, for that duty).

Only four more days of packing left. Can we do it? Yoda sez, "There is no 'try', there is only 'do'." OK, boss...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Plague o' Mosquitos

Here's something else I'm not going to miss: mosquitos. Yes, we have them in WA, but this is nuts! I think the abatement department has just given up on this neighborhood in Stockton, because this year, like last year, we are now swimming through swarms of them in the evenings. I'd have to move to a swamp in WA to have this many bugz. Last night I opened the door to let a cat in and looked at some light-colored fabric folded on a chair on the porch: there must have been 25 skeeters sitting there! Lazy bugs? Weird. After my hand smashed down there were perhaps only three or four lazy bugs. Take that.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Den: check!

Well, it had become more of a lean-to with a caving-in roof...but it had really been a working space back in the day (in fact we discovered some photographic evidence of this today). All mucked out: phew! There are some things we saved for the girls, like some old costume jewelry of grandma's, some sewing tools, and a rocking chair for the one with the new baby (gotta have a rocking chair). Most everything in there either went in the trash or the thrift store pile.

On to the garage (and kitchen, bathroom, office...etc.)

Garage Sale: check!

The leftover books went to the Library Friends Book Sale store last night. The rest goes to the thrift store or in the dumpster. Gordon's brother just left to drive back to Oregon. I think he is a bit put out about the whole process. The fact that the Ancestral Home is not as it once was completely flummoxes him (this is a guy who practically worships his past, especially his childhood...there are practically no other topics of conversation with him). The fact that it sold so quickly really threw him for a loop, too, as all his opportunities to attempt to influence Gordo's decisions at each step of the process were instantly bypassed. Let's just say big bro' does not move quickly on anything regarding money.

I realize that this move is not going to solve all of our problems and make life a bed of roses, but there will be certain tangible improvements: no more police/fire sirens practically every night/morning, no more people racing up and down our street with sub-woofers blazing irritating non-music, no more yappy neighbor dog accross the street barking and barking at nothing, no more neighbor's house alarm going off at odd moments, and no more stench of un-buried dog poop in the yard adjoining our back yard in the Summer heat. I'll miss having a Trader Joe's within walking distance, but that's one of the few things I'm going to miss about living here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Red Letter Day

The movers will be loading us out on the 26th. Up until we signed the paperwork it wasn't quite real for me, just a lot of mess. Now we're in the pipeline and I'm really getting jazzed up! When I left Washington for Japan I hadn't really planned on spending 15 years in California. Funny how life is such an adventure if you're willing to take some risks.

Making it Real

Great blog entry by Holly Lisle on getting past the nitpicks to the soul of your subject, whether it be painting, writing, or whatever.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Scramble

We just heard from our selling realtor, and the people buying our place are being total hardbutts and will not allow us to remain on the premises even one hour after closing. I could understand this if they were waiting to move in, but they are developers wating to bulldoze the place. At this point any motivation I had to go the extra mile in cleaning up the property just went out the window with the rest of the dust bunnies. I think we'll just take that nice oak front door with us, too...and they can keep the cloudy shower curtain. Neeless to say, dusting and vacuuming are off the "to do" list until we're in the new place.

It's a good thing the current owners of our new place are just the opposite of the above individuals. They're letting us turn out the horses as soon as we get there, and the movers can just deposit all of our worldly goods in the nice new three-car garage. Luckily, my folks live about 8 miles away and have a huge place, so we'll just stay with them (as usual). Meanwhile the Roths are packing as fast as they can to move out so we can move in (they found a great place in Eastern WA at last)! Yes, it's a Chinese Fire Drill all around.

We meet with the movers tomorrow, and I'm hoping and praying they can get us on their schedule on such short notice! It's time for full-on packing mode....

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Book Pimp

What a relief! I'm not the only person who messes with the books on the shelves in bookstores to favor the work of authors I know...

Whole Lotta Lei

The pink jasmine outside our kitchen window is in its annual Spring frenzy of fragrant white stars, and this morning I finally got off my hinder and picked some blossoms to string leis. Occasion? None, really...although some friends are coming over to go out to the local Indian Restaurant with us tonight, and since it's probably our last "date" with them for awhile I guess that's as good an excuse as any to "put on the dog".
Eric the Red (aka "The Large") believes that ladders are built for two. He also enjoys crunchy baskets as a way of adding extra fiber to his diet.
The finished product: a box of four long, smelly white leis sitting in the fridge. I feel so it's back to packing...

Friday, April 08, 2005

A Silver Lining for Every Cloud...sort of

First, the bad news: we just found out that someone we once trusted stole over two grand from us several years ago...totally weird and creepy. The mysterious missing funds are now explained, but in an unfortunately sad way.

Now the great news: The wedding invites for Gordo's #1 kid just came in the mail! Yay! Funny how little pieces of paper make things "official". It's a western culture thing, I guess. Asians just laugh at our obsession with getting things in black & white. When I lived in Japan a buddy of mine there told me about going to see "Little Mermaid" (yes, this was a few years ago) and how the Tokyo audience roared with laughter when Ariel signed the contract with the Sea know, like it's a big deal or something (stupid gaijin).

Hm, that puts me again in mind of the person who stole from us for some reason. Feh...enough with the negative waves already, I hear wedding bells. Luckily, Liz is cool and I don't have to get her anything from here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Dumpster is Full

Here we go; it's major moving & mucking time...and all Gimli can do to help is play tree monkey. Let's just say I've never had to "rescue" him from a tree. If I believed in reincarnation (which I don't), I'd have to guess he'd been a squirrel or monkey in a previous life.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Weekend Warriors

Spent another day in sporting mode: horses and guns! Charge (literally)! Pictured: firing a flintlock carbine from horseback (as you can see, the horse is totally spooked...not.) Not pictured: "running at the heads" or "flailing at cabbages spiked on poles as you canter by". I actually hit one or two but felt like a weenie most of the time; dang sword was getting the better of my unconditioned wrist.

So what if only a few cavalry turned out, we still rode rings around the infantry...
The studly fellow on the right (in wide hat and leggings) is me in "Squire Bob" mode. (That's also "Bob" second from the left above)

Saturday, April 02, 2005

View from a Saddle

Got the bread baked yesterday...carted it to the "schola" early this AM. Spent the day looking at the world over a shaggy horse's head. I'm tired...and tomorrow will be more of the same. I actually hit the quintain at a canter today, so that made me happy!
Here's Gordon conditioning the horses to the smell of a just-fired wheel-lock pistol. Remember: real sports involve horses and/or weapons, everything else is just kids' games.