Peace and quiet

When we moved in to this house, it was still summer.  It was September, and it was hot, and we kept the windows open.  We used the portable AC in our bedroom at night.  Any noise from the AC or the fans we have was constant – white noise that masked traffic sounds and helped us sleep.

Then it got cold.  We turned on the heat.  The noise began.

That’s steam hammer.  We have steam heat, generated by a boiler in the basement, with radiators in every room.  That banging starts in the basement and echoes (loudly) through all four floors of the house every time the heat kicks on.  On top of that, high-pressure steam hisses out of each radiator’s vent periodically, also loudly.  Like, the hissing wakes us up at night.  We’ve taken to dropping the heat lower than we normally would at night so it won’t kick on and we don’t get scared out of bed thinking someone is coming after us with a pipewrench.

At first, we thought the banging and hissing might be happening because it was the first time the heat was running since last winter.  Maybe it would work itself out after a few days of keeping the heat on.  Maybe the water that is doing the actual banging would drain out on its own.  It didn’t.  The heat would kick on, the banging would start, and the people in my office, who could hear it clear as day on the other end of the conference line, wanted to know why I was working from a construction site.

We emailed our landlord on the 1st of November, and after 6, maybe 7, visits to the house by people with escalating levels of expertise, we THINK the problem has been resolved.  As of TODAY, the 30th of November.  Today, after several visits from the handyman and two different plumbers, they sent out an actual steam heating expert, who diagnosed the problem as bad return piping (which is what John diagnosed the problem to be a month ago after doing lots of internetting) and immediately fixed it.  And the crazy hissing?  It’s because all the high-pressure steam was only going to half the radiators, so they were getting twice the expected pressure and were attempting not to explode.  Since he fixed the piping, about 3 hours ago, we haven’t heard any banging.  Fingers crossed we can have quiet heat the rest of the winter.

It took a month to resolve, but ZERO DOLLARS from us.  Renting isn’t perfect, but this is a big perk.

Neighbors are doing it right

I keep a list of things I like about houses and might consider for our forever home (like tile floors or hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, skylights, Olympic sized bathtubs, wraparound porches, a creek at the bottom of an expanse of lawn, plenty of trees, window seats, a library with a ladder, first floor laundry, a mudroom, etc.).  At this point, the list is full of contradictory things, and a house that had everything probably wouldn’t stay upright, but at least I have a list of things to refer to when we actually start looking.

Anyway, there’s a house a few blocks from us with pretty stone wall and steps and a vine-covered railing.  I like it.  I want it.

Added to the list.

Hangin’ stuff

It’s time to hang pictures.  Some pictures.  Or at least we’ll start thinking about where pictures could go and we can lean them against the wall in the right room.  (Baby steps.)  Nearly everything we have (that we’re traveling with) is framed now, so we just have to make some decisions.  Except we’re likely to get more geeky art at the Rhode Island Comic Con this weekend (yay!), so maybe we don’t want to go poking holes in walls just yet.  We can wait another week, right?  And then another…while…before we get frames for the new stuff, and then some more time leaning pictures against walls while we work it out…  I’m sure we’ll have everything on the walls just in time for us to move again.

We’re rough.

Making progress

We are down to minimal boxes, guys.  The first floor has zero boxes left.  On the second floor, the only boxes left are the two wardrobe size boxes from our closet.  In the basement, there are a couple of boxes, tools and things we don’t use much, and the third floor has zero boxes!

I was thisclose to suggesting we get rid of every item of clothing we didn’t travel across the country with – that’s all we had to wear for two and a half weeks, and we did fine – but then I remembered that it’s been summer and fall is starting and winter is coming and I’m not in the mood to buy a whole new wardrobe.  Some new clothes, sure, but I can’t handle starting from scratch.  Plus, I like a lot of my fall and winter clothes.

Next step for the house: unpack the rest of the clothes and sort out our closet situation.  We have plenty of closet space, but we’re not sure how to organize it yet.

Step after that: hang stuff on the walls!  We are actually going to hang our stuff up EARLY.  For real.  We totally are.  I’ll show you.  Trust me.

I might even eat off the floor. Well, I COULD. I probably won’t.

John and I took Friday off work because we knew we’d be out really late Thursday night.  We ended up getting home around midnight, but until the Night Vale show ended, we didn’t know if we’d be spending the night in Portland or driving home.  Either way, work at 6am Friday morning would have been difficult.

You’d think, with a day off like that, that we’d spend it relaxing or doing something fun, but you’d be wrong.  We did sleep in a bit, and then we went to gym, but THEN, oh then – we cleaned.  We cleaned like our parents were coming to visit.  We started upstairs and worked our way down, room by room, windows, surfaces, floors, with a break from cleaning to hang a few pictures (the goat, the sign with our name on it, the comic book posters), and then back to cleaning.  We finished at 5pm, just in time to shower, have dinner, and then send John off to rehearsal tonight (8pm to 11pm – I will be sound asleep when he comes home).

Fun day off!  Still, the house looks great. I always forget how much easier it is for us to relax when everything is clean. I don’t notice the tension of the dirty house until it’s gone.

Gauntlets have been thrown

I like to be outside.  I like the fresh air, I like the scenery, I love the sky.  I just don’t like it when outside touches me.  Personal space, man.  I need it.  You know I take allergy medicine all year, and it does a pretty good job, but I run into minor problems if my skin touches vegetation.  Not all of it, and not all the time, but enough of it and often enough.  I wear gloves and kneel on a towel when I’m weeding because my skin reacts when grass (cut or not) and weeds touch it.  It goes away quickly, and it’s localized (thank goodness it doesn’t spread), but it happens every time.

So aside from weeding being an annoying chore to begin with, I have that to be careful of.  Bugs are the other part I can’t deal with, as (again) you already know.  The outside of our house here is covered in ants.  So far, we don’t have an ant problem inside, but they’re all over outside, and when I was weeding the other day, they kept getting on me.  It’s not a HUGE deal (I was wearing gloves and long sleeves and they were just ants and not the biting kind (I assume because I didn’t get bitten)), but I came inside to shower and change and I found an ant ON MY HEAD, CRAWLING IN MY HAIR.


Sorry, ants.  You started it.

Sitting in comfort

We bought a couch (on Sunday)!  And it arrived today!  And it’s comfortable!  Technically, it’s a double chair (not even a loveseat), but it’s big and it’s cushy, and it’s chocolate brown and kind of stripey/soft corduroy.


We thought about the couch (it was only $100 more), but it was enormous, even bigger than our old couch, and we are not making a purchase of that physical size again until we stop moving around.  This is plenty big enough for the two of us, even with those big cushions on it, and most importantly, it fit through the front door with no issues.

Proof we have furniture!

For those of you who aren’t on Twitter or Instagram, here are some pictures of the house with our furniture in it.  It’s not as neat and clean as it was Tuesday night, so you’ll have to live with three-day-old pictures.  Once our offices look less like disaster areas, I might post those, too.

Bathroom!  Obviously.


Living room!




Kitchen alcove!




This concludes the photographic tour of our new home.  Rooms not included have been cordoned off with a red velvet rope.  Even we are not allowed in them.

Good morning to me

John had a call this morning at 8:30 eastern, so the alarm went off at 5:15.  It rained all night, and it was raining when we woke up and ALL I WANTED TO DO was stay in bed and listen to the rain (and go back to sleep), but no.  I mean, I stayed in bed until about 5:40, but that wasn’t enough.  Now I’m sitting at my desk, which I have placed by a window, and I can see into our pretty backyard, through the rain.

It’s a cozy day for staying inside, and the advantage of starting work so early is that we’ll be done with our work day by 2 or 3pm (our time), and then we have the WHOLE afternoon to do other stuff.  Today’s chore is unpacking.  I think we might finish today, actually.  Tuesday night, after the movers left, we unpacked the entire kitchen and part of the living room.  in the living room, I unpacked boxes while John set up the TV and all its associated pieces (he had the important job).  Last night, between work and dinner, we took about an hour to finish unpacking the living room.  Tonight, we’ll focus on unpacking our clothes (which I imagine we’ll finish), and then we’re pretty much done.  It’ll just be a matter of arranging things to our liking.  We don’t have a linen closet at all, so we may buy a set of cheap shelves or maybe just another tote-type container like what I’m using for sweaters and workout clothes.  The arranging is how we’ll figure out what else we don’t have, and then we’ll decide what we can do without (there’s a shelf in an alcove in the bedroom – maybe we can use that as a linen closet) and what we absolutely have to buy.  We’re putting off the couch purchase.  Let’s let the spending from the move die down a little first.

I want a nap.

Settling in

It’s hard to settle in without furniture, but we’re trying.  John is calling flight schools and flying clubs, looking for one he likes.  I’ve made an appointment for a facial at Massage Envy (my first in MONTHS) and an appointment for a haircut (just a trim THIS time – my first in…a year?), and next on my list is finding a new doctor.

Our washer and dryer came, and I’ve done a couple of loads of laundry already, and it’s WONDERFUL.  Our very own machines, FULL SIZE, in OUR basement, which is way cleaner than the Annapolis basement, and I’m very happy about that.  Yay!

I’ll be happier when our stuff gets here.  But for now, the weather is nice, and I can do laundry!

First day

Yesterday was an odd day.  Good, but odd.  We had plenty to do, so we got up relatively early (woke up around 7:30), checked out of our hotel, and had a quick breakfast at Panera, conveniently located next to Sears and Target.

First, Sears for a washing machine and dryer, to be delivered Thursday.  The salesman suggested we buy fishing rods.  We didn’t.

Next, Target for an air mattress, a broom, a mop, Windex, Tilex, sponges, paper towels, toilet paper, and a shower curtain.

After that, back to the house to clean.  It looks great and was pretty clean to begin with (SUCH a nice change from our last place).  That took a couple of hours (and we’re considering becoming no-shoes-in-the-house people), and then we started walking.  We walked from the house to the library (the long way because we forgot where it was), with a stop at Noisette Pastry Kitchen for a couple of really good sandwiches.  The library is really nice, but a little frustrating since we can’t check anything out yet.  We walked back to the house after a while (it’s about a mile away), hopped into the car, and drove to Home Depot to make a copy of the house key (the property manager only gave us one).  Picked up dinner, came home.  Exciting.

The light was neat this afternoon as the clouds blew away (it was rained the first half of the day), so I took a few pictures during our walk to the library.




Not nostalgic

We spent last weekend in Norfolk visiting Brian and his family (Hi, Brian and family!).  It was really nice to see them and hang out (they make Norfolk FUN!), but I found on the drive in and the way out that I’m REALLY not nostalgic for that area.  We lived and worked there for two years.  We bought our first house there.  We adopted Roxy and Riley into that house.  I got out of the Navy there.  I got my first post-Navy job there.  There’s all that history, but when we drove around and through, my feelings were mostly of the I’m-glad-we-don’t-live-here-anymore variety.  There’s nothing WRONG with it.  It’s a perfectly nice place to live.  But.  I don’t think back on my Navy years with fondness (neither does John), and down there, where nearly EVERYONE is in the Navy or has a tie to it, it’s pretty much impossible to ignore.

The dogs are the one thing I AM nostalgic about, of course.  I miss them terribly, and it was nice to drive by our old house and remember them playing in the yard, but they spent most of their lives in the Ashburn house, so even that is somewhat overshadowed by the Navy presence.

We moved away 10 and a half years ago.  I’ve been out of the Navy officially for nearly 11 years.  My Navy phobia hasn’t waned.  Okay, “phobia” is too strong.  Discomfort.  Not going back there.

But the house – the house was good to us.  It appears to have lost ALL character in the last ten years (along with the bushes that used to be in front and flowered practically year-round), but let’s blame the owners for that.  Also, winter and brown grass and no leaves.


What a difference a mortgage makes

It’s amazing how much more relaxed I feel now that we’ve closed on the house.  It’s noticeable, apparently.  Several people at work have commented on it.  I was stressed about not having a contract on the house.  Then we got a contract, and I was stressed about our buyers not having a contract.  Then they got a contract, and I was stressed about packing and moving and timing and holding both deals together until closing.  That’s all over, we’re 100% moved, and I have fewer things to be stressed about.  It’s a wonderful thing.  AND I don’t have to worry about looking for a new job for a while.  Even better.  AND AND spring is coming.  It’s warmer, the days are longer, the sun is out, the birds are chirping* – I should stop before I jinx everything.

*Someone said that yesterday (the birds are chirping), and another coworker told us that her dad always said “the chirds are burping”.  Ruined forever (you’re welcome).  He also calls a parking spot a “sparking pot”, and it has rubbed off on her.  Dads are annoying that way, Dad.  Anyone: “What’s today?”  Me: “Friday.  Unless it rains.”  I do it EVERY TIME.


And a little more eeeeeeeeeeee!!!!  It’s done!  We are no longer homeowners.  We are ex-proud owners of a house.  Proud ex-homeowners.  Proud mortgage-free people.  There’s a little sadness (we were downright weepy yesterday evening when we went to say goodbye to our little house – 9 and a half years and both dogs and I’ll just stop right there), but it’s mostly glee.  Not even a little bit of oh-my-god-what-have-I-done (which is good, because my goodness it’s too late for backing out).

Our buyers continued to be annoying right up to the last minute, but they are no longer our problem, either.  Now I can think it’s funny instead of super-irritating.  Let me count the ways they are not normal.

1. They saw our house during an open house we hosted on a Sunday afternoon.  The following Saturday morning (around 10am), they showed up on our doorstep unannounced, wishing to take another look.  Who does that?

2. They made their initial offer, including a request that we carpet the entire second story (plus stairs) at our expense.  (We said no.)

3. They made their second offer, which included us paying their entire closing costs.  We negotiated that down.

Okay, so maybe #2 and #3 are somewhat normal.  They’re first steps in a negotiation – whatever.  We were still irritated.

4. A couple of weeks before closing, they asked us if they could store some things in the garage.  We said no.  (What if the deal fell apart?  We’re not babysitting their stuff.  Besides, at that point there was no room in the garage for their stuff.)

5. One week before closing, they asked if they could come in to get measurements for the carpet they’ll be installing.  Our agent would have to let them in.  We said okay.  (We’re not heartless.)

6. They asked if they could do the walkthrough at the same time.  We said no, probably not a good idea.  We weren’t entirely moved out, and the house hadn’t been cleaned yet.  (We didn’t want them to freak out over something stupid – we weren’t ready.)

7. We finished moving out (and cleaning) by Saturday night, and they did the walkthrough Sunday morning.  We went back to the house Sunday evening to take the trash out (from Saturday) and say goodbye to the house.  We walked in, moved through to the dining room, and hey!  Someone gave us a big TV, some boxes, a child’s easel, and a pair of longhorns mounted on a big plaque.  Yes, they took advantage of the walkthrough to move some things into the house they didn’t own yet.

Well, they own it now, and we’re 100% done with them.  Or we’ll be 100% done when the check clears.  We had a celebratory dinner tonight of pie and champagne.

Bring on Phase Two!

Customer Service Circus

Dad almost always has stories to tell of bad customer service.  Well, it’s my turn.  I went through my own emotional roller-coaster (excitement, rage, relief) with the Verizon FiOS people last Friday night (and I saved the chat log, just in case).

We had a choice of internet provider in the apartment (Comcast, who we have in the house, or Verizon FiOS).  After a little bit of research and some quick cost comparisons, we decided to go with Verizon AS LONG AS we could get comparable prices without signing a 2-year contract (or any contract).  All of the prices on their website seemed to indicate that a contract was required.  They have a live chat feature, so I clicked on that and Ronnie appeared to answer my questions.  The VERY FIRST THING I asked Ronnie was if we have to sign a contract in order to get residential internet services.  The answer was no (yay!).  So then Ronnie asked me some questions and recommended a package, and THEN he recommended a different package that has more services than we want BUT will save us $20 a month.  After that, I confirmed with him again that we would not have to sign a contract.  We would not.  Sold.

Ronnie sent me a link so I could start setting up my order, and he stayed online to walk me through it.  He told me exactly what to click and which ones to click on to avoid signing a contract.  He was very helpful, and I appreciated what he was doing.  I finished my order and he asked for my confirmation number so he could make sure I got what I asked for.  I gave him my confirmation order and asked him to verify that I did NOT just sign up for a contract.  His reply was: “Congratulations on successfully completing your Verizon order online and you’ve selected a 2 years’ contract for this great deal online today!”

Wait, what?  No no no no no.  I asked him to check again, and he confirmed that yes, I did indeed sign up for a 2-year contract.  Feeling some anger.  I said I want to change it immediately, and he tried to sell me on why it’s a good thing.  Anger turned into are you kidding me?  Then it turned out that HE COULDN’T FIX IT FOR ME.  I had to call someone else.  Maybe we should switch to the transcript now before my head explodes again.

Up to this point, the conversation was perfectly pleasant.

Ronnie(19:40:14): Choose the installation date of your new FiOS Internet and TV service per your convenience on the page and click on “Place Order” so you’ll get your order confirmation number on the next page.
Ronnie(19:40:40): And help me with your order confirmation number so I can double check that from my end too for you.
Zannah(19:40:52): [Confirmation number redacted]
Zannah(19:41:07): can you confirm that I did NOT just sign up for a 2-yr contract? Or any contract?
Ronnie(19:41:12): Thank you for providing.
Ronnie(19:41:22): Sure. Give me a moment please.
Ronnie(19:43:08): Thank you for waiting.
Ronnie(19:43:58): Congratulations on successfully completing your Verizon order online and you’ve selected a 2 years’ contract for this great deal online today!
Ronnie(19:44:28): You will receive an e-mail confirmation letter, within 24 hours, from Verizon. This e-mail will have your order details and your online order number which you can use to check your online order status.
Zannah(19:44:49): No, hold on.
Zannah(19:45:03): I was NOT going to sign a 2-year contract
Zannah(19:45:07): can you check that again?
Ronnie(19:46:49): I’ve checked and can confirm that you’ve selected a 2 years’ contract option; however, be assured as you’ll get the discounted price gurantee for the next 24 months and you might have not got some discounts with “No Contract” option which you’ve got with “Contract” option.
Zannah(19:47:29): then I want to change it immediately
Zannah(19:47:35): I specifically said that I did NOT want the contract option
Zannah(19:47:40): and I thought that’s what I selected
Zannah(19:47:43): how do I change that?
Ronnie(19:50:04): You’ll love everything about FiOS, and we’ll stand behind it with our Worry Free Guarantee. If you’re not happy you can disconnect within the first 14 days, and won’t be charged an Early Termination Fee.
Zannah(19:50:37): then disconnect me right now. I absolutely DO NOT WANT a 2-yr contract
Zannah(19:51:05): if you can’t change it, I want to cancel this entire order
Ronnie(19:52:30): No problem at all. Be assured! You’ll not need to cancel your amazing order. All you need to do is you’ll just need to call Verizon Business Office at 1-800 VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) and they’ll make the changes for you. They’ll make it from “Contract” to “No Contract” for you!
Zannah(19:52:42): are they open right now?
Ronnie(19:52:47): Be assured! Everything will be perfect for you!
Ronnie(19:53:37): I think they should open right now; however, if they’re closed for the day, that’s not a problem for you as you can call them tomorrow as well and can get it changed!
Ronnie(19:53:53): You can get it changed within next 14 days from today!
Ronnie(19:58:18): It was really nice talking to you and assisting you Zannah! I’ll be happy to assist you if you’ve anymore questions for me?
Zannah(19:58:47): I just need to get rid of the contract. I’m on hold with the Business Office now
Zannah(19:58:59): So I think we’re done here. Thank you.
Ronnie(19:59:25): Sure! Don’t worry at all about the contract part Zannah! It’ll be done by them for you!
Ronnie(19:59:30): Thanks for choosing Verizon. We appreciate your business.

Please take a minute to complete the survey at the conclusion of this chat. Your feedback is important!

Oh, boy, did I take that survey.  I was on hold with the business office for nearly 20 minutes, but when I got through, the guy I talked to was super-helpful and nice.  He looked up my order and found that I actually had NOT signed up for a 2-year contract.  Then he added notes to the account to make it clear to anyone who looked at it that there is no contract.  The fall from rage to relief had me giddy.  I made sure to tell the new guy (Tom, I think) how helpful he was and to pass that on to his supervisor.  I needed to balance out the not-so-glowing report I gave Ronnie in the survey (and Tom deserved the praise).

Not a fun way to spend a Friday night.  Of course, I still don’t have internet service.  They’re coming during the day on Thursday to set us up.

Sharing walls

We are officially apartment-dwellers again.  We moved out of our last apartment (in San Diego) in July 2003 – it’s been almost 12 years since we’ve shared walls with other people (hotel rooms aside).  Our first two nights were uneventful.  Quiet.  It was actually better than a typical weekend night living across the street from a bunch of teenagers, so this may be an improvement, noise-wise.  When we woke up this morning, we could hear someone chipping away at the ice on and around their car, but our alarm had already gone off, so that wasn’t really disruptive, either.

I’ll take pictures soon.  The bedroom is almost free of boxes, and the living room is very close to looking like a living room.  I may never show you pictures of the other bedroom – it’s like a war zone in there.  We can’t even walk in the room.

The stairs (three flights) are not a problem when we’re not carrying lots of stuff.  (That part has SUCKED for moving.)  Grocery trips will have to be short and often, with only enough groceries capable of being carried in one trip, but that’s okay, too, and we now live across the street from a grocery store (and the two Wegmans locations are just as handy as they were).  We’re 7 tenths of a mile from our new boxing gym, so as soon as the ice goes away, we’ll be running there.  It’ll be nice to be able to run again.

Good things are happening!

Almost there

Emily and Sean are coming tomorrow to help us move the heavy stuff.  We’ll move the couch, the last two bookshelves, dining room table, coffee table, media center, dressers, and the bed into the apartment.  So basically, as of Saturday night, we will officially be living in the apartment.  And since we’ll have people to help, we need to get as much moved as possible, and that means we have to be ready, so we’ve spent nearly every waking moment packing things.  I’ve skipped yoga and zumba in the evenings, and we only went to boxing on Monday and Wednesday.  Tuesday morning, we got up, packed up the linen closet, and went to work.  When we got home Tuesday evening, we packed up the kitchen.  (We’ve been eating mostly takeout anyway – we can eat out of takeout containers for a few more days.)  Wednesday night, we started packing up the bedroom, and we finished that last night.  Tonight, we picked up the truck and packed up our bathrooms, and we’re pretty much ready.  All is going according to plan!

It’s a little sad – tonight is our last night to sleep here.  But it’s all in service of our grand plan and our very exciting future.  Yay the future!

Decision fatigue

We have to make a decision about every single thing in our house.  Does it come with us?  Do we store it?  Do we get rid of it? Sometimes the answer is easy, sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes we decide to take something to the apartment, knowing we’re just delaying the decision a few months.  It’ll be easier then, right?

We have a few projects scheduled for the spring and summer.  There are things we want to have while we travel that we don’t want to have to physically move.  Right now, there are two enormous boxes of CDs in the apartment.  CD project: rip every single of one of them so we have the MP3s.  Then give the CDs away.  Paperwork project: we both have boxes of paper (old school projects, letters, etc.) that need to be sorted through, organized, and filed.  We’ll buy more plastic file boxes – something better for storage than cardboard – and, depending on the type of paperwork, store that stuff in the storage unit or with John’s parents.

Right now, at least, it means we don’t have to make those decisions.  Right now, I’m all for minimizing the number of decisions we have to make.  Right now, I’d like to be able to focus on what’s in front of me, one thing at a time, and not everything, but I don’t think that’s in the cards.  Actually, the big decisions about those things in particular (CDs, paperwork) HAVE been made.  We know exactly what we’re going to do with that stuff.  We just need the time to do it.  That helps.

Happy Birthday To Me

I’m officially rescheduling my birthday to some weekend with perfect weather in the spring.  Possibly late spring.  I definitely need a do-over.  One that involves wine.  On the one hand, yay – we got a lot of moving done, and that’s something I wanted.  On the other hand, it was maybe the WORST weekend we could have scheduled a move.  Let’s start with Friday.

Friday: My actual birthday.  My gym was closed, so there was no boxing.  John and I went to the normal gym, but eh – it wasn’t that much fun.  Then I stayed at work late, which is also no fun on your birthday.  Highlight #1 (during the day): Chastity took me out to lunch.  We went to the Cheesecake Factory and ate only appetizers and cheesecake.  Delicious.  Highlight #2: everything after I got home.  John picked up Indian takeout (yay!), so that was waiting for me when I got home, but even better, as I walked in the front door, I was enveloped in the smell of a cake baking in the oven.  Best smell in the world.  The smell was so good I wanted to dig myself a hole in the middle of the cake and go to sleep in it.  So for my birthday (the part that counts), I ate Indian food and cake while watching Stardust (I love that movie). That part was good.

Saturday: The forecast called for 5-8 inches of snow, but it wasn’t supposed to start until late morning or early afternoon.  We picked up our truck at 8:30 and were back at the house before 9.  The snow started before we got home.  We spent the next four hours carrying a bed, 10 bookshelves, and 54 boxes (all books and office stuff) from the basement out through the garage and up the ramp into the truck (thank goodness for the ramp), then back down the ramp and into the storage unit (which is only 2 miles from the house), all in below-freezing temperatures (I think it was in the single digits) and driving snow.  We had to keep sweeping snow out of the storage unit before we could put anything else down on the floor, and it was SO cold.  Three pairs of gloves were not enough to keep my fingers warm.  Getting the truck back to the house was treacherous (the roads were awful and windshield wipers on the truck didn’t actually touch the windshield – useless things), and then, to add insult to actual injury (we were sore and achy and I’m bruised all over my arms and legs from schlepping heavy stuff), we couldn’t get it into the driveway again until we shoveled the four inches that had accumulated so far.  We left the truck idling in the middle of the street while we cleared the driveway and sidewalks.  Then we collapsed.

Sunday: Weatherwise (hee – hi, Margaret!), Sunday was the complete opposite of Saturday.  The sun was shining and the temperature climbed into the 40s.  We still had to start the day with shoveling the four inches of snow that fell after we collapsed Saturday afternoon, but after that, we loaded the truck with a few more things for the storage unit and some stuff for the apartment.  The storage unit part was comparatively easy, but the apartment – whose idea was it to take the apartment on the 4th floor?  Sure, we’re in good shape, and on a normal day, three flights of stairs is no big deal.  But over and over?  Carrying odd-shaped and heavy boxes?  Really?  That was not fun.  We quit around 3:30 and returned the truck, then treated ourselves to cheeseburgers and fries at Cheeburger Cheeburger, with milkshakes to go.  It was around 5 or 5:30 when we got home, and after those two days, we were wiped out.  We showered, climbed into bed with our milkshakes, watched TV for a couple of hours, and went to sleep early.

Happy birthday to me!


Another step forward

I’m not sure if this should count as a whole step or a half step, but it’s definitely some kind of step in the right direction.  We signed a lease today!  We officially have an apartment, and we are going to officially start moving this weekend.  We also officially have a storage unit, so this weekend will be more about moving stuff in there, but I’m sure we’ll put something in the apartment.  Symbolism.  Plus we have to do the initial inspection and write down every scuff mark.  The future is almost here!