Sunday, August 26, 2007

Done!

We got the last things out of the apartment and the storage unit today. It had seemed like it might be a big job, but it wasn’t at all. Either that or we’re just getting used to it by now.

While I went for a morning run, Dan took a big donation of clothes and books to Salvation Army. Then while I did a final wipe-down of things, he went to borrow a pickup from one of his professor friends. We loaded the pickup with the items in storage we were keeping, at which point Dan told me he didn’t want to keep the loveseat after all. I was annoyed because, what, now I’m supposed to buy seating for the garage apartment? But I was at that stage where I would do just about anything to avoid an argument so I told him to go on and donate it, if that was what he wanted to do.

So while he went to give Salvation Army the loveseat and bring the last of our boxes and a small table to the new place, I grabbed a few things and went home.

I was exhausted and hungry, so I was glad to get cleaned up, go have Indian buffet, and take a long nap.

This evening I went back to the old place for a few final things from the patio and for the cleaning supplies.

And that was it!

Dan wants to vacuum the carpet one last time tomorrow, so if we can get apartment management to do the walk-through, so much the better. Turn in the keys and be done with it. Otherwise we’ll have to schedule a time during the week for that, and it’s not easy for me to get away from the office at fiscal year end.

But regardless, there is nothing more that needs doing there. I’m so glad!

Tonight I cleared a space for a morning workout in the studio/garage apartment. I’ve got a lot of things to sort through back there, so it won’t be how I want it until mid-September or maybe even October. But I don’t care. I’m done with the old place and my new life can finally begin!


















This is in the study, which also doubles as a spare bedroom.

Today’s Workout
11 mile run

Friday, August 24, 2007

Glimpses of Normality

I’m starting to see glimmers of what my normal life here will be. I was able to work out after work on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, which was very nice. On Monday and Thursday I went to the fancy rec center. On Wednesday I ran to the rec center via an indirect one-mile route, did some speed drills on the quarter-mile indoor track, and then went home. Very nice.

Dan spent two days with one of his techie friends who lives a couple blocks over, getting our internet stabilized, so hopefully my connectivity problems are over. And today I was able to combine dropping off a completed project to the CIO with my walk home.

I went to our storage unit twice this week and there was a lot more in there than I had realized. I think we’re set for this weekend to be it, though. We’ve got a pickup we can borrow, so we should be able to pull up to the storage unit, load up and go. We need to do a run of stuff to the Salvation Army, one final wipe-down on the old place, and I think that will be it. If possible, I’d like to do a walk-through and turn in the keys on Sunday, but we’ll see how things go. Bottom line, I’m ready to be done with the place so I can get on with my life.

By this time next week, I’ll have a three-day weekend ahead of me and no more ties to the old apartment.

It’s about time!



Monday, August 20, 2007

A Bunny in the Study

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Almost Done!

While Dan did the windows, I did the floors at the old place. You can now eat off those floors, although I don’t particularly recommend it. We’ve brought over all the stuff we’re keeping except the patio furniture, which we'll bring over this week. We’ve also got bags and bags of stuff we’re giving to charity lined up along one wall in the living room. I’ll have to go over sometime this week and take those up the road to the Salvation Army store.

And that’s it on the apartment. We’ve got a table and loveseat in storage to bring over to the garage apartment, and I think there’s some books there, too. Not only can I clothe a third-world country with what I’m giving away, I could probably stock a few libraries too. Sheesh. But I guess if I’m going to collect things, books and clothes aren’t so bad. At least they’re useful and can be easily given away.

I’m rapidly working through the boxes in the house. There are no more boxes to unpack in the kitchen, and only two remaining in the living room. I got the shoes and winter closet organized, and got the bathroom organized for good measure. I also bought some rain boots today, so I’m ready for rainy days now. No more walking around puddles—I’ll just go right through them like a duck!

I’ve still got a lot of outstanding things to do, including getting my asthma meds renewed, and putting a new battery in the RX-7 and selling it. I want to do these things this week, if at all possible with fiscal year-end at the office making my life hell.

But I’m seeing glimpses of the light at the end of the tunnel. My plan is to be done with everything associated with the move by the end of the month, and I’m right on track. Most of the time my attitude remains upbeat, although there are moments when it feels overwhelming. I’m finally getting caught up on my sleep again though, which helps a lot.

It also helps that I’ve been able to work out every other day or so, I’ve kept up with my fiction blog postings, and I’ve kept my nightly routine of yogi tea while reading my friends’ blogs and working on another fiction project I have going on. My progress has slowed considerably, but I do something on my creative projects each night. It keeps me grounded and reminds me why I’m doing all this. After all, the whole point of doing the unpleasant stuff in life is to get through to the good stuff.


















Part of my new kitchen. I just love those glass bricks!

The Move - One Week Later

One week in my new home, and in spite of all the move-related work still ongoing, I love it!

We’ve got all but a couple final things out of the old apartment, and after we scrub the floors and windows, we'll be ready to turn in the key.

Here at the new place, we’re still putting things away and trying to figure out what we want on the walls. I think we’ll end up buying a few things for the living room, and we’ll need another bookcase, but there’s nothing we need urgently.














I spent a couple hours tonight working on the garage apartment/exercise room. I didn’t realize until this move just how much exercise equipment I had! Bikes, weights, stretch tubing, bottles, gels, camelbaks, spare tubes, kickboards, fins, an aquajog belt, tennis rackets, boxing gloves, and scads of exercise books and spin videos. Then there’s all the camping and hiking equipment. It’s all got to fit somehow, and we still haven’t brought over the loveseat from storage so Dan can also use the room as a music room. I sure hope our finances never require we rent the apartment out, because I don’t know where we’ll put all that stuff in the house!

I love my new “commute” to the office, which gets me about two miles of walking each day. Even rainy days aren’t a big deal. I just take my ginormous umbrella. The other day there was flooding around town and we were advised not to leave campus due to high water. I was stuck at the office anyway, getting my boss ready for a meeting, but it was cool to know that I could go home anytime I was willing to brave a few puddles. Street flooding and traffic jams were of no concern to me!

I met my UPS guy and made arrangements for him to leave things on my porch if I’m not home. When I’m home, though, I can just leave the blinds open in my study and see him. I can also watch people walking home from their university jobs, just like I do. When I go for a run in the neighborhood, people smile and wave hello. Everyone either knows each other or figures it’s just a matter of time, since most people who live here work for the university. It’s a nice, cozy feeling.

I didn’t do much this week in the way of workouts because I’ve been tired, we went to the Rush concert on Tuesday, and I’ve had a lot to do around here. But I think next week I’ll be able to start settling into a schedule. I’m a creature of habit and my tolerance for disruption has a shelf life. I'm committed to August being a chaotic month, but I'll be glad when things quiet down and I'm back into a routine.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 30 minute run
Tuesday: no workout, but lots of walking
Wednesday: no workout- too tired
Thursday: 30 minute spin
Friday: scheduled rest day
Saturday: 10 mile run

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Moving Sucks

Well, we've still got some stuff left at the old place, but it's mostly little stuff and most of it is staged in the center of the living room for easy pickup-and-go. The bathroom and kitchen have been scrubbed, but we only made a token effort on the carpet. After 7.5 years it needs replacing, so no point doing more than a basic once-over.

Here at the new place, I've unpacked most of our stuff, but a few important things are still MIA, and it looks like we'll need some more pictures. I still need to hang the blinds in the laundry area, and my studio/exercise room is still just a place where we toss stuff we don't know what else to do with. But things are coming together nicely and the bedroom, study and living room have unbelievably soothing vibes. This whole house has a peaceful feel to it, in fact. It's intelligently designed, it's always cool, even during the current heat wave, and it just feels right in every way a house can feel right.

Tomorrow I'm going to try going to the university rec center after work and see how that plan works-- walk to work, exercise right after, then walk home.

I just hope I'm not too tired to work out. I've been going non-stop all weekend, up early, working into the wee hours, not even having time to eat. What's really scary is that we were living in 700 square feet, and we've filled 1300 square feet with furniture and stuff, no problem. Granted, the 700 sq/ft apartment was smaller than the duplex we had been in before, and we've continued to add to and upgrade our furniture so we'd be ready when the right place came along. But still, I'm thinking we defied at least three important laws of physics where we were living before, because I don't see how we got all this stuff in there.

But I shouldn't be surprised I defied the laws of physical space, since I've been a perpetual motion machine all weekend, which is also a supposed impossibility.

Doing the impossible is exhausting.

Pics tomorrow, if I've got energy left to take them!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Waiting...


















Waiting for Pixel to come explore the new house with me. What a scaredy-cat!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Moved In!

Well, we're mostly moved in. There's still a lot of small stuff at the old place, and of course I keep losing track of things here at the house. Right now I can't seem to find my asthma meds-- a bit of a problem, since I've been unable to breathe properly most of the day and now that it's bedtime, I know I'll have a hard time of it if I can't find them.

The cat has so far refused to come out of his carrier. Tidbit is a little more adventurous and has been poking her head in from time to time and stomping her foot, as if to say, "Hurry up!" But Pixel takes his own sweet time in everything.

More tomorrow, and pics coming soon!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

All Packed...














... and ready to GO!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Best-Laid Plans

Well, I knew something had to go wrong.

I confirmed the cutover dates on the electricity over and over. I made sure the water and gas switched over to us on the right day. I confirmed and re-confirmed the day and time Evil Comcast could come out and get our cable hooked up for internet access.

But the phone and DSL at the old place? Surely two calls were enough, right?

Uh, no.

I got home today to no internet, no phone, and nothing they can do about it. Oh, the lady who I spoke to was very apologetic about the confusion and wanted to help, but the best she could do was turn on the phone sometime Thursday. DSL restoration needed a three day lead time, and we're out on Friday.

Not worth the hassle.

I don't know how the phone people could've gotten so confused with my instructions to cut off old service on the 14th and start the new on the 9th with an overlap period where I would have service at both places.

I'm less upset about it now than I was earlier this evening, though. We had to bring some stuff to the house tonight, so it was no big deal to drop in at the office and get online. I've got a project I'm working on at home, so I'll have something to keep me busy while I have my evening tea. And the next 48 hours will be pretty serious crunch time on the move.

I have a pic of Tid, all packed up and ready to go, but it's in the camera at the old place, and I'm here at the office, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

If this is the only thing that goes wrong or gets confused, I'll be beyond grateful.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Garage Sale Run

After checking Craig’s List for area garage sales, I picked a few within the same general area, mapped a route with Google Maps Pedometer and set out this morning to see what I could find for the house. I was carrying $70 cash, a check, ID, and business cards. My plan was that if I saw something cheap that I liked, I would buy it, leave a card and arrange pickup after my run. If the item was expensive, I would pay by check or give a cash down payment, leave a card and make the same arrangement for pickup.

It was a brilliant plan and I felt sooooo smart!

Too bad the sales mostly sucked.

The first one I went to wasn’t on my list—I was just trotting along and saw a sign. There wasn’t much there except clothes and dishes, both of which I’ve got plenty of.

The first sale from my list was deep in the Rice Village area. The lady had an intriguing selection old books, some free, some only one or two dollars apiece. I was tempted by the 1896 encyclopedia set, but I envisioned the look on Dan’s face if I told him I had acquired yet another large, heavy non-essential to lug to our new home, so I passed. I think I’m going to regret it, too. Since there was nothing else that caught my eye, I went on my way.

The next sale was in the Museum District. It had some nice stuff, but once again nothing of any real use for my house. There were lots of lace curtains still in their original packages, but I’m not a lace girl. The grill they were selling was of a sort I might’ve been interested in for myself, but I had a vision of Dan getting manly and informing me that now that we had a proper yard and deck he wasn’t messing with no wimpy girlie grill. I found a heavenly vintage black ‘50s dress with taffeta underskirt, but I’m on a clothes-buying moratorium and besides, I already have a couple of vintage ‘50s dresses with taffeta underskirts that I don’t wear. Getting another would give Dan an excuse to roll his eyes and point out that I’ve got enough clothes to outfit a small country, so why do I need yet another dress?

On to the next sale.

The last one had a few electronics that caught my eye, and some nice pictures. But I think I have enough pictures, and until I move in I won’t know what I really need. As for electronics, I really do have enough. And by now I was dripping sweat so I didn’t want to pick over the clothes. There was a floor lamp that was kind of cool, but it didn’t look like it would fit my d├ęcor. I did end up buying a small rug, though, which I think will look exactly right in my kitchen. And for $5, if it doesn’t work after all, who cares?

After I paid for my rug, I got into a chat with a member of the civic association for the neighborhood putting on the sale. He and his partner are active in the community, fighting the developers who are indiscriminately tearing down the nice older homes of the Montrose area and putting up cheap overpriced construction in their stead. Boy, did we have a lot to talk about! It’s heartening to see people fighting for weird, funky Montrose, where you can be whoever you want to be, and it’s all cool.

I ran back to the bayou trails via Montrose, which is something I’ve never done in all these years I’ve been running through the neighborhood. I thought about how I’ll miss living in this area I’ve called home for more than two decades. But a house like the one I’m buying would cost four times as much in Montrose or the Heights. Out of my league, on my university management pay. I won’t be far away, though. And my little university faculty neighborhood has that same Montrose/Heights feel that I love—a sense of appreciation for the past and a willingness to live and let live.

Just before I got to the bayou trails, I stopped at a favorite cemetery on Montrose. It’s old and tucked in a funny little urban corner, like the cemeteries of New England. There’s a grave I like to visit, of two teenage girls who were killed in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. They were sisters, one almost sixteen, the other just turned thirteen. Their double stone has a poem on it about the storm that killed them, and how what was supposed to be a fun weekend holiday became an early death. I don’t know why I like this grave so much, but I’ve visited it off and on for as long as I’ve lived in the area, and I took flowers on the hundred-year anniversary of the storm.

I finished my run feeling like I was wrapping up a chapter in my life. I’ll still have close ties to Montrose and the Heights, and I’ll still do my shopping here and some of my running. But it’ll now be an area I visit, not the area I call home. The way it’s been trending toward cheap gentrification and phoniness over the last few years, there’s been less and less of what I moved here for in the first place. But people like the guy I talked to at the garage sale are fighting back, saving the old, the funky and the unique.

I hope they succeed. And it will be an interesting adventure to see where this next chapter in my life takes me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

My House - First Things

Busy, busy week! But in spite of all the late hours and hassles, I was able to get some things done for next weekend’s move. On Thursday my dad and brother came to my office around lunchtime and we went and saw the house. My father liked it a lot and that made me happy. He’s not good at faking enthusiasm, so I could tell from the way he gushed over it that he was in love.

And so are Dan and I.

Today I took a mid-day break to do a little shopping for the house, since there just wasn’t any other time to do it and our PeopleSoft servers were down anyway, limiting my effectiveness at the office. I bought rugs, blinds, a new shower curtain, a floor lamp and other things, then after I finished up my day at the office, I met Dan at the house. We had a great time putting things in place. Even with just a few rugs and small items, it felt like home. I was ready to go back to the apartment, throw everything into boxes and finish the move right then and there!

But of course that wasn’t possible. A cleaning service is going to give the place a thorough scrub-down next week, the evil bastards from Comcast will get us set up with internet access on Thursday, and our furniture will be moved in on Friday.

And that should do it! I’d like to have everything at the new place Friday and not have to return on Saturday for any stray stuff. My experience is that it’s just a lot easier to do a move that way—everything at once and be done with it.

With the new place feeling so right and so much like home already, I hope for this to be my final move, ever. For me, this is just that kind of house and that kind of community.

In other news, I saw my dad's Spain pictures last weekend and as soon as I have time to transfer them from the laptop to the desktop, I'll post a few. He had a fabulous time, and I'm so happy to see him doing fun things for himself, finally. He's always worked hard and lived frugally. He's earned the privilege of living a few dreams!