Showing posts with label Moving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moving. Show all posts

13 June 2014

All Cats Look Gray in The Dark

Now that we have traded in the trendy industrial neighborhood for a residential one, we run into typical residential issues. For instance our neighbors have cats, just like we do. And their cats are curious, just like ours are. So when they see the basement window ajar, to accommodate the hose pumping out the flooded basement, they venture inside to explore our home. And no doubt, help themselves to the cat food in the kitchen.

While the humans are very friendly towards the neighborhood pets, the animals are not. The older, grumpier cat in particular. Sandman howls at the intruders in a way that makes your hair stand up straight. Naturally this occurs in the middle of the night. And when he’s chased them off, he turns on the young, happy-go-lucky cat relatively new to our household and howls and hisses at him. Makes for long nights, I tell ya.

It has made me wonder if Sandman’s eyesight might be failing. I cannot discuss this with Ryan because he does not want to consider the fact that his boy is fourteen years old now, a most respectable age. But being an older cat comes with some problems. When he thinks no-one is looking, he obviously has trouble with jumping onto chairs. He has stopped hunting a while ago. He will walk straight at me but jump with four feet in the air when I call his name.

The other night he walked up to Fluffy ever so cautiously, with his ears flat against his head. When he was about a foot away from him, he visibly relaxed in an “Oh, it’s you” kind of way and walked off. That really convinced me he can no longer see very well. There is no visible sign of cataracts, or any other obvious eye problem. Perhaps I should perform some of the cat vision tests I found on the web. Yes, they do exist and no, they do not involve a chart.

Then again, we just moved into a new house where nothing is where it should be. And Sandman is not bumping into any boxes or furniture. Perhaps he’s just grabbing his chance to beat up the little pest that has forced him to share snuggles, attention, and food. I wouldn't put it past him. Most likely things will settle down when we unpack all those boxes and the house starts looking more like a home instead of a warehouse. It will certainly improve my mood.

04 June 2014

Back By Popular Demand

I was recently requested on Facebook to do a little blogging. I guess I should if I mean to keep this online diary somewhat up to date. And in truth, we have had some big changes around here since my last post. (My butt is all better, by the way, though it took a lot longer than seven to ten days.)

Big Change One

Santa Claus brought Lola a kitten for Christmas. She really, really, really wanted one and he caved, knowing that Sandman is still not a fan of her and she does love animals so. Fluffy, who also goes by the name Junior, is a cute little puffball. Contrary to what the book says about Birman cats, he is a very vocal cat. We try to train him to be quiet, by spraying him with water when he gets out of control, but it does us little good. He does seem to have developed a love for bathtubs and holds no grudges whatsoever about the water. Sandman has warmed up to him, after pouting for a little bit, and while they do not snuggle, they do play together every day.

Big Change Two

After many frustrating and fruitless attempts to find gainful employment in Milwaukee, I have finally returned to work. I too work for our friendly local cable provider now, just like my husband. After two weeks of intense training, I am learning the job on the job. I am in the quality control business now, where my attention to detail and somewhat anal tendencies are put to good use. It’s fun. I like my colleagues and for the first time in my life, I can ride my bike to work. Not that I have, but I could if I wanted to.

Big Change Three

We have moved. Again. As soon as it became obvious we would be staying in Milwaukee for a while, we started looking for a place of our own. Our apartment was fabulous, but the price tag was not, and there were a few other things as well. We bought a cute little house a couple of blocks down the street and we moved into it last weekend. You would think with all this moving experience we would know better than to underestimate the job, but no. However, it’s done and the place looks like a hoarder’s paradise. After three days of searching for it, I have finally located the missing coffee maker. Next on the docket is creating a path to the cable outlets so that our friendly local cable provider can transfer our services.

So much for the most recent adventures from the Southside. I am sure there is more, and who knows, perhaps I will be a little more disciplined in the future and post on a semi regular basis again. Maybe even include a few pictures. Just as soon as I can find my computer. And the charger. And my camera. And the cable to connect my camera to the computer…

10 July 2013

New Town, New Title

Five years Ryan promised me. Five years in this house. He gave me two. Which is still a record, I have to say. To be fair, he didn't really have a choice. His new job is in Milwaukee and that three hour commute from the Northwoods wasn't going to cut it. But that doesn't change the fact that once again we are moving and I still hate it with a passion.

Since we're going to the big city, we opted for the full on urban experience. We rented a loft. This country life I have fallen in love with has come to a temporary halt. Our goal is still a B&B in the middle of nowhere at some point in the future. But that's at least ten years from now and in the meantime we will go through life as city slickers.

We moved about half of our stuff, the essentials, to Milwaukee at the end of June. But if you recall, we had roughly 400 plants started for our garden this year. Since our loft comes with a 5,000 square feet roof deck with ample space for gardening, the slightly overgrown plants came with. Our U-Haul looked like a jungle.

What we are lacking at the moment is storage space. We no longer have a pantry, an attic, a basement, or a garage. Nor do we have dressers and a hutch. Those big pieces of furniture were left behind in favor of the plants. We are not sure if we should leave them up north for staging purposes or just get it all over with and rent another big truck.

I still work in Green Bay two days a week. As long as the house is still ours, I sleep there on the floor. Every time I go back, I pack up a box or two, three, and bring them back with me. I also take advantage of the internet connection because that has not yet been set up in the new house. Nor has the phone.

The joys of starting over. Soon we will have it all organized again. Soon...

28 July 2011

Quickly, While I Can

We moved last weekend. Our house is in total chaos with various painting projects taking place in the dining room, living room, and kitchen. Random pieces of furniture are scattered about while the rest of our stuff is packed into the garage.

I cooked our first proper meal yesterday, not pizza or something heated up in the microwave, with the one wooden spoon I was able to find. We are still eating off paper plates, using plastic silverware and drinking out of disposable cups.

Lola and I are enjoying having some time off together. I paint; she plays with her stuffed animals, taking them for rides around the block. Every now and again we take a break to go grocery shopping.

For the time being, we are off line. No phone, no internet, no television. To keep you updated on our progress, I must visit the local bar. Our town is so small, we can walk everywhere. Also, there is no mail delivery here. We are now the proud owners of PO Box 281.

The house came with kitchen appliances but no washer and dryer. More so than buying this house, the purchase of our first proper washer and dryer makes us feel very grown up. After Ryan and I installed them, we grabbed a drink and hung out in the basement, admiring our new appliances. They make really cool noises when you turn them on and off.

I have one more coat of paint to go on the twenty seven kitchen cabinet doors. If I ever talk about painting kitchen cabinets again, someone please stop me. I don’t care how much money I am saving.

14 July 2011

Getting Started

Before we move into our new house next weekend, we thought we would take advantage of its empty state and do a little remodeling. Painting mostly. We thought about refinishing the floors and fixing up the attic in addition to painting but the contractor we talked to flaked on us. That's fine really. There is still more than enough to do.

The 'before' shots
Ryan has graciously allowed me to paint the kitchen cabinets. He is a bit of a wood snob, and doesn't believe in adding artificial color to wood. But in this case, I can do what I want. While I have been taking down thirty three cabinet doors and eleven drawers, taking off sixty six pieces of hardware, and cleaning everything, he has ripped out the charming drop ceiling and fluorescent light fixtures. We are taking out the carpet, too.

I am looking forward to showing you the 'after' pictures.

29 June 2011

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The house is ours! As of 9 o'clock this morning, Ryan and I are the proud owners of a sweet little Victorian home. The purchasing process took a little longer than expected due to competitive offers and leaky pipes.

This morning things went smooth, except for one thing: the length of my name. My name is so long, it does not fit on any of the official documents. I have been reduced to the fine print. Somewhere in an addendum to the offer to purchase it says that I too am a buyer.

At the closing however, my name was nowhere to be found. Supposedly they are going to type it in later, under my signature. Oh well, at least I have the keys...

04 June 2011

Winners Of Strange Contests

I just read on the Dutch news that the greater Eindhoven region has been awarded the Intelligent Community of the Year 2011 prize by the Intelligent Community Forum. For those of you who have never heard of Eindhoven; it is a large city in the south of Holland, and home to Philips headquarters, of television and light bulb fame.

I did not know this particular competition existed before I read that interesting bit of news. I do know people like to compete for the strangest titles and awards. Even in our family.

The other day when we were out and about looking for a place to live, we wandered around on a property and emerged covered in ticks. After the tick count was complete, Ryan came out the winner. I must have pulled fifteen ticks off him that afternoon, and at least ten off Lola. Strangely enough not a single one was found on me.

When it comes to bear sightings, we are all in agreement that Lola has seen more black bears these last two years than anyone else.

But where moving is concerned, I am the absolute winner. When we move into this cute little Victorian home later this month, it will be the twenty fifth time in my life that I have moved house. TWENTY FIVE MOVES. That's a little more than once every other year.

For the next five years, I am not going anywhere. Wild horses cannot drag me.

17 April 2011

The Finishing Touch

Every moving box should have a bow on top

12 April 2011


We're back in Crandon. Again. Living with my in-laws. Again. This time it was not the lack of employment opportunities that chased us away. No, we have left our house in Rhinelander because of mold. Dangerous levels of mold.

A couple of months ago, our basement flooded as the result of a burst pipe. Our landlady V. has not exactly been on top of fixing things, to put it mildly. The waterpark was handled quickly enough, but restoring things to the way they were has taken almost two months. We would call her every now and again, to let her know the carpet was still a mess, the base boards were still missing, and mold was starting to form.

Then the family room started to stink. To the point where you would hold your breath when you walked through it. We decided to do a little mold test. And sure enough, we hit a jackpot. When we informed our landlady, she told Ryan she was sending over some friends to assess the situation. As it turned out, her friend was a former health inspector and as soon as he walked in the door, he cried out: "This place reeks of mold! You have to leave, this is dangerous."

And so we did. Well, I didn't do anything, I was living it up in Phoenix while all this went down. Ryan's parents kindly instructed their plumber to de-winterize their house and offered it to us. Ryan packed up Lola, Sandman, and a few other necessities and off to Crandon they went. In the meantime landlady V. called her contractor again and requested he finally finish up. When we returned to the house on Saturday, the guest room carpet had been cleaned and the family room smelled nice again. The base boards are still missing.

Now it could be just me, but fighting mold with a steam cleaner does not make a lot of sense to me. Moisture and warmth? Ideal growing conditions for mold. And that nice smell? Emptying a bottle of Fabreze could have accomplished that. We ran another mold test, in the family room this time, to be sure things had been handled properly. And until we were certain it was safe to live there again, we were staying put in Crandon.

When I spoke to V. to let her know of our plans she told me her friend felt he had exaggerated the smell. It wasn't really mold, it was probably just the dirty carpet in the guest room. Really? At that moment she lost all credibility with me. And when our little test kit started showing signs of life, we decided to move.

Where to? We don't know yet. What I do know is that I am really tired of moving. Really tired. I have far too much crap to be a proper nomad.

19 August 2010

Home Sweet Home

After two and a half months of being strung along by various lenders and a dysfunctional mortgage broker, it was decided that an immigrant with a limited credit history is not a wise investment at this time. The house we were hoping to buy will now be home to another family. That was disappointing of course, but we quickly recovered. We're flexible nowadays.

Instead we resorted to renting. One look in a local newspaper lead us to the lovely Courthouse District in Rhinelander and the house we moved into last weekend. The move was fairly painless, except for the heat and the humidity. Most of our stuff was still in bins and boxes and it was merely a matter of loading it into the big truck. With the help of my parents-in-law that task was accomplished in half a day.

We have plenty of space in our new home, a charming split-level from the sixties. We each have our own room: a proper bedroom for Lola, a music room for Ryan, a craft room for me, and an extra bedroom and bathroom for guests. All we have to do is unpack. For the first time in a loooong time, every bin and box will be emptied. Some of the bins have been stored for almost two years. It is so much fun going through everything, it's like Christmas come early.

30 November 2009

Tough Girl

We're here. Here is Crandon WI, population 1961. Make that 1964. Lola, Sandman, and I flew into Wisconsin last Friday. Ryan will follow in a little bit with a U Haul truck full of furniture and clothes. Lots of clothes. After a busy week of packing boxes and suitcases, visits from friends, and selling more antiques, I kissed my husband good bye, and left Washington for good. My Olympic Adventure has come to an end.

I have mixed feelings about Washington. When Ryan and I were driving back to Olympia after celebrating Thanksgiving with friends in Seattle, we were telling each other our happy Washington memories. There are so many. It is the place where I fell in love, became a wife and a mother, where I watched a bald eagle fishing not thirty feet away, where I camped in the rainforest, where I built a home.

Washington is also the place where I learned first hand about the harsher side of America. Where not one employer would give an experienced communications expert a chance. Where most companies cannot be bothered to reply to an application, or have the decency to tell you they hired someone else after interviewing you. Where no work means no health insurance. Where it is every woman for herself.

But that is not all I learned. I found out I am as tough as they come. I am resilient. I can rough it. I can start a fire from scratch. I can operate an excavator. I can go a year, or longer even, without buying clothes. I can give birth without pain medication. (As I write this, I remember how giving birth the old fashioned way empowered me. If I can handle that kind of pain, I told myself at the time, I can handle anything. And I have.)

I know from experience that over time the bad memories will fade and the good ones will remain. So will the life lessons of my Olympic Adventure. I will apply them to my new adventure. Whatever it is, I can handle it. Bring it on! Forged titanium indeed.

26 November 2009

Stellar Solace

Today's horoscope for Scorpios:

The links in your chain are straining under the weight of their load, but they will hold. You are forged titanium. You are built solid, from the ground up. No shortcuts, no alloys.

It may be a generic horoscope in today's paper, but I'll take it.

19 November 2009

Clearance Sale

There is a big empty spot in our kitchen where our beautiful antique cooking stove used to be. It was picked up last night by its new owners. For the remainder of our Olympic Adventure we will have to make do with a microwave, a pizza oven, a rice cooker, and one measly hot plate if we wish to eat.

The big Clearance Sale has begun. The weather does not allow for a yard sale, we do not have a garage, and there is not enough room in the barn for a barn sale. We are making do with Craig's List instead. So far we have been quite successful. In addition to the stove, we have sold our jetted claw foot bathtub and our riding lawn mower.

It saddens us to see everything go. Selling our stuff off makes leaving Washington and suspending this dream very real. The stove especially since it was the first item we stored inside our home and used on a daily basis. It fit the barn perfectly and literally leaves a void. But we tell ourselves everything is replaceable and there will be other cool stoves and bathtubs. And we can take our dream with us to Wisconsin and wherever else we will go.

We find solace in the fact that our things are going to good homes. The tub is on a barge right now, sailing to Alaska, to warm a lovely couple that knows all about roughing it. The lawnmower has been purchased by a church and is doing God's work. And the stove now lives in a converted granary to be cooked on by another European immigrant. Very cool. I know it is silly but it really matters to us. Ryan and I are such dorks.