Tag Archives: moving

Oregon or Bust

April 1, 2015 (no fooling)

We left Oxnard at 2 pm Tuesday (March 31). Ken drove the whole way because the SUV + loaded trailer could get a little wibbly, and I have no practice in dealing with that.

We were two hours from our destination and making great time, having made our final gas/pit stop, when the left rear tire on the trailer gave up the ghost. It was 4:30 am and almost nobody was on the road, so Ken was able to get it to the shoulder safely, limp to the nearest exit, and then limp to a warehouse facility that had floodlights around it. One phone call to U-Haul and about an hour later, a repair guy came out, replaced the wheel in about ten minutes, and we were back on our way.

I will say that packing the case of toilet paper so that it was the first thing accessible in the trailer was a good idea. And I am grateful for the flashlight on my iPhone and the large rocks just off to one side of the road.


We got to the apartment around 8 am, I think. Ken was at work by 9, and it’s a 15-minute walk. So 17 hours on the road (including the tire issue and some very brief pit/gas stops). What follows is the ongoing blog I kept up throughout the day, because it amused me…

9 am. Ken has gone to work. I shower, set the alarm for 2 pm, slide into bed with the Kindle and read a couple of chapters of a Dresden File. Grimore finds his kitty stairs, gets on the bed, and finally, finally stops singing the Song of His People.

Somewhere between 9:15 and 10:35 am. Grimoire tries to wake me up. I pull the comforter over my head. He steps on my head with his enormous paw. I make some incoherent noise and he settles back down.

10:35 am. My mother calls. (I hadn’t muted the phone on the off chance Ken needed something.) I mumble something incoherent and hang up. I try to fall back asleep.

12:42 pm. Ken texts that he misses Grimmy and I already and wishes we could all curl up for a nap. What follows is this exact exchange:

Me: Garblzornk…
Ken: I’m too tired for Vogon poetry right now. Maybe later, my love…
Me: No tea. No milk. No will to live.
Ken: Do you have tea bags? That you can get to?
Me: i don’t know, do i?* fire bsd tree prtyy**

Understand that from my end, I have to close one eye and hold the phone approximately 6.3 millimeters from my other eye. I’m Mr. Magoo without my glasses on.

Also during this exchange, Grimoire attempted to get my attention by patting me on an exposed, sensitive portion of my anatomy. His claws need trimming. My responses was less than gentle.

A few minute later, as I am lying on the bed, having given up on falling back asleep and listening to the gentle rain on the leaves outside, I receive another text:

Ken: Come to the front door now, my love.

I wrap myself in a spare sheet, immediately turning into the female lead in a romantic comedy, and go to the front door. It’s raining and lovely. Did he tell me to look at the rain? Instructions unclear. I head back to the bedroom to find my phone and ask when the doorbell rings.

It’s Ken. He’s holding a cup of English breakfast and a small container of milk. Apparently there are tea/coffee facilities all over work (although he had to buy the milk somewhere). He tells me he loves me, kisses me, and dashes back off into the rain.

Although the tea is almost cold by the time I drink it, it’s the best-tasting tea ever.

Time to do some unpacking.

2:33 pm. Find my own tea stash. Unfortunately, have not yet found the electric kettle or a pot for boiling water. Or mugs.

2:37 pm. Do I own all these spices? When did that happen?

2:49 pm. [in Count von Count voice] Three! Three boxes unpacked! Ah ha ha!


3:15 pm. Run out of boxes to unpack. Have created ongoing list of things to find in storage and things to take to storage.

3:36 pm. Sitting in bathroom, playing a game on my iPad. (Do not judge me.) Struck by the sudden realization: Oh shit, I live here now.

(I stopped blogging after that.) Ken came home, we napped, and then went to the storage unit and unpacked the trailer and SUV…in the rain. Then we came back to the apartment to unpack what needed to go into the apartment, and an incredibly wonderful young man from an apartment across the way saw us and volunteered to help. So I lay on the bedroom floor with a stressed Grimoire until they were done. We tried to take him out to dinner a few days later, but somehow he ended up taking us out to lunch. (No, I can’t quite explain how that happened.) (Which reminds me, we still owe him dinner.)

Grimoire did fantastically well, all things considered. He had his carrier to hide in, his sheepskin to lie on, and a litter box, as well as access to the front of the SUV. We did give him Kitty Xanax, which helped, although he still frequently sang us the Song of His People. Sometimes he napped on my lap or on the console between us. Sometimes he lay in the litter box. Sometimes he tried to squeeze into a hole between our stuff to get further back into the SUV, necessitating that I remove my seatbelt and dive after him before we lost him forever. It took him a few days to get acclimated to the apartment, and he still follows me from room to room, but he’s a happy boy because his people are here.  🙂

*The depth of my exhaustion is clear from the fact that I have given up on capital letters. Normally this would appall me.
**An attempt to quote Buffy’s “Fire bad; tree pretty.”


Intermarital communication at its finest

Aaaargh! When I told Ken yesterday he should rent a car, I meant rent a car at LAX to drive home (rather than wait for the shuttle). He thought I meant rent a car in Portland—and he thought it was a really smart idea because it’s cheaper to rent a car there for a round trip rather than rent a one-way car here to drive there on Sunday.

So instead him arriving at LAX at 3 pm and being home by 5 or so, he won’t be home ’til the middle of the night. I have things I need to talk to him about before I leave at 7:45 am—things that are in the house. We have stuff to do.

We’re both laughing about it, really. Wow, we’ve never had that kind of miscommunication before. Guess there’s always a first time!  😀

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Things to Do Today (a scary list)


• move all the boxes around the living room so there’s enough room for a massage table
• get a loooooong overdue massage (like, two years overdue)

• do laundry
• pack clothes for conference and travel to OR
• box up rest of clothes for apartment

• filing
• box up everything on my folding table “desk” except what I need at the conference and on the road

• walk to eye dr for Ken’s medical files, and to dentist for both our files

• paint stair rail
• paint bathroom window
• paint media room wall where the sofa rubbed against it
• pull up tape and paper in downstairs office
• put up curtain on utility porch

• practice 10-minute reading for conference
• finish putting product into Square software for use at conference
• read workshop handouts (if time)

• work email
• ideally work on one of two stories due April 1

• (evening) point at everything left in house and tell Ken whether it goes to the apartment or into storage

• everything else I’ve forgotten to list here  O.o

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Weird Things Found While Packing, Part IV

Hot damn, I made it to Part IV!

photo 2

What you see here is a GPS in the middle of the floor. The GPS in itself is not a Weird Thing Found While Packing, because Ken took fifteen of them to the electronics recycling place last week.

(For many years, he used this model for running motorcycle rallies. Because the GPSs were no longer being made, if one broke down, he’d pick up another on eBay and Frankenstein them together. Last long rally, he was running two simultaneously and had two spares in the saddlebags. So it’s not that weird that he had fifteen in various stages of repair.)

No, the really weird thing here is that the GPS is in the middle of the floor. It could not have fallen off the table and landed where I found it. It would have had to have leapt off the table, and those suckers are heavy, so I’m sure I would’ve heard it lemming itself to its doom.

Sadly, this story has an unexciting conclusion: when Ken got back from wherever he was that evening, he put the GPS there to remind himself to gather up the other fourteen to add them to the recycling pile

photo 3

This is our clawfoot bathtub.

photo 4

These are all the boxes that were in the bathtub when I got back from my workshop in Oregon.

The other night, Ken had been working super-hard moving boxes and whatnot, and he’d said on more than one occasion over the previous days that he wished he could take a bath. So while he was in the garage hauling large and heavy objects about, I took all the boxes out of the tub and cleaned the tub so he could have a nice soak.

And I found this:

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At first I thought it was a piece of the old linoleum that’s under the new floorboards in the downstairs office, from when the house was used as the Jack and Jill Nursery. But then Ken looked at it and realized it was a puzzle piece.

I have never seen this puzzle before. I swear to you.

I don’t know where this puzzle piece materialized from.

Think about that. Sleep well…if you can. But if you hear the faint sound of children laughing…

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Help me, Internet friends; you’re my only hope!

I’m back home from my workshop, and house packing continues apace. Next week (I think), Ken will be driving a second truck up to Portland, leaving us with only what’ll fit in the back of an SUV (air mattress and bedding, clothes, laptops, etc.). Most of the dishes are already packed except for a few for everyday use; those will probably go and we’ll be down to paper plates, and of course pretty much all of the cooking implements will be going as well.

I’ve already been working through foodstuffs we have in the house, because anything in the fridge and freezer will have to be given away or tossed in the end. While we can take dry goods with us (we’ll be in a temp apartment for a few months at least), we won’t have the space to haul tons of ingredients, so I’ve been working through those.

Thus, I’m already having trouble figuring out meals. I don’t want to be ordering pizza and eating frozen dinners for the rest of the month, and I can get sick of sandwiches pretty darn quick. We bought some “fresh” Von’s meals and they’re okay, but waaaay too salty (and 3.5 servings really equates to 2 servings for us).

So I need suggestions. I’ll be making my usual vat of brown rice before the steamer gets packed. What else should I lay in like that? What are some simple meals that don’t take much cooking/prep, don’t need too many cooking implements, and don’t take a lot of ingredients…yet are still reasonably healthy?

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Weird Things Found While Packing, Part III

I’m kind of pushing the definition of the title this time ’round, but dammit, if I can’t have three posts in this series, where’s the fun? Alas, I also don’t have a picture, because I’m in an airport on the way to Oregon Coast for a workshop. You’ll have to use your imaginations on this one.

Yesterday evening I removed my old, worn peacock-blue sparkly toenail polish with the dregs of a bottle of polish remover (yay, something we don’t have to pack), and then toddled back to my office to continue working. I noticed that my right big toe was hurting a tiny bit. Say, a 0.5 on the 1–10 scale. As if I’d had a small cut on my toe that I’d gotten polish remover in.

Finally I put on my reading glasses and, being a flexible lass, pulled my foot up towards my face.

A moment later, I pulled an inch-long splinter out from under my toenail.

I always thought I’d crumple under the bamboo-under-the-fingernails torture, but now I have hope. “Ha ha!” I’ll laugh, “it’s just a slight annoyance!”

Anyway, this also doesn’t quite fit the title, but we signed up for the Southwest credit card because Ken’s company won’t actually pay the moving bonus until his first paycheck, so we figured we’d rack up some flyer points by putting all the moving expenses on the card and then paying it off once the bonus comes through.

The cards arrived a couple of days ago.

As of yesterday, I cannot find mine.

It might be on my messy desk, or I might’ve accidentally stuck in it the file for that account, or maybe it’s in the lock box.

Thankfully Ken has his, since he’s renting a 24-foot truck, loading it up, and driving up to Portland next week to offload it all into a storage unit.

Meanwhile, today I cracked a raw egg in the sink instead of a hard-boiled one and nearly spilled my tea all over some nice man’s day planner (it went all over the seat between us), so I figured it’s only uphill from here, right?

Weird Things Found While Packing, Part II

Yay! A Part II!

This is our grandfather clock, which never worked, but hey, it’s groovy. It is not a weird thing found while packing.

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I don’t know why the photo is blurry, but I really don’t have time to take another.

Anyway, the stuff that normally lives on top of the grandfather clock—a big green ceramic pot with a squirrel on the lid from Korea, a brass bell from Korea, and a little gargoyle—have already been packed. I looked down from the stairs and noticed some small bumps where the gargoyle had been sitting. So I went down and ran my hand over the top of the clock.

This is what I found:

photo 1-1

That’s right, a pair of googly eyes. We have been #vandaleyezed. Ken swears he’s never seen them, but how did they get on the corner edge where the little gargoyle had been sitting? Did the gargoyle poop out googly eyes?

When I was little, I was terrified by (and yet curiously attracted to) a book by John Bellairs called The House With the Clock in Its Walls). (I still own it, and it still freaks me out. The cover is seriously weird. Hang on, let’s see if I can find it online. Yes! This! Is that not creepy?) (On the plus side, the interior drawings are by Edward Gorey. <3 )

Anyway, now I’m wondering if the grandfather clock is watching me. We may have to leave it behind…

Weird Things Found While Packing, Part I

At least, I hope this is Weird Things Found While Packing, Part I, because I’m looking forward to finding more weird things.

photo 2

I found this on my home office desk, but it turns out Ken found it in a book and put it on my desk, but it’s still weird. And hilarious. There’s a sticker on the back indicating it’s from Ex Libris Hay-on-Wye, a town in Wales of 37 (at the time we left) new and used bookstores. There’s a bookstore in the castle, and it was one of my favorite places in Wales. I took everybody who visited us there. I even had a favorite restaurant there. And the drive there was gorgeous.

photo 3

I also found this on my work desk, and I have no idea what this is. I mean, I know what it is, insofar as it’s a Post-It Note with pairs of numbers scribbled out, until that final number. But I have no idea what those numbers represent. I feel like I should call a codebreaker. Or was I trying to break a code? It’s just weird, man.