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 have a desk!

I remembered where we put the screws first thing this morning, as we were walking to Starbucks.  They were in the toolbox because OF COURSE they were in the toolbox.  Now I have a desk AND a chair and they’re both set up in my brand new office with lots of windows that would be letting in all the sunlight if we weren’t in the middle of a rainy day.

Also, the pod is gone, our own washer and dryer are hooked up, and now we just have to figure out how to arrange the rooms.  Also also, I still have to work full-time.  Where’s my lottery jackpot?

I’m sitting in a chair!

Our container was delivered today!  And five hours later, it was empty, and our house was full.  We have chairs and shelves and dishes and a couch and a TV and OH OUR BED HALLELUJAH, but you know what I don’t have yet?  A desk.  I have a chair and a table top and I have four legs for the table, but we can’t find the ziploc bag that has all the screws to connect the legs to the table.  We both remember putting them all in one bag (all the screws for both of our desks are together), and I remember taking it from John, and I think I remember making him look at where I was packing it, but neither of us remembers where that was.  We’ve opened every kitchen box and most of the living room boxes.  We’ve searched the car and we’ve searched the suitcases we packed in the car.  Hopefully it will turn up soon.

In the meantime, now that we have chairs, I can at least work with my laptop on my lap.  Which is how I’m typing right now.  It’s SUCH a nice change to have chairs.

Fleeting thoughts about traveling

  • Oh my god, I love being this close to an airport.
  • Maybe I should start booking two aisle seats, same row, for us when we fly.  Then I don’t have to sit in the middle seat, I get the aisle (always my first choice anyway), and we can still sit next to each other.  Of course, John won’t get the window, but I feel like I’ve spent enough years sitting in the middle for him to owe me this one.
  • I find airports to be peaceful places. As long as I’m not late.
  • Mosquito bites are the WORST.
  • That was not a travel thought. Stick to the theme!
  • I like travel size things, like the little containers of Advil and the little bottles of contact solution and the little packets of Benadryl that aren’t helping with the itching.
  • I hope the TV screen in the seat back shows our flight progress.
  • Holy mother of god the itching.
  • My seat mates won’t notice if I gnaw off my legs, right?
  • Maybe I can buy enough tiny bottles of wine to light the bites on fire.
  • Fire!
  • $&#*”&-@$&@

Lutheran Insulter

Apparently this website has been around since 2012, but it came to my attention today because next month is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Go here to check out the Lutheran Insulter.

Some favorites of mine:

“It is the old dragon from the abyss of hell who is standing before me!”

“You are a brothel-keeper and the devil’s daughter in hell.”

“You no longer have, as you did several centuries ago, a cunning devil spurring you on, but a palpable blockhead, a crude devil, who in his malice can no longer disguise himself.”

“Your words are so foolishly and ignorantly composed that I cannot believe you understand them.”

My friend Chastity wants to put that last one in her email signature.  She doesn’t think anyone will notice.

A Typical Day

Cross-country moves really screw with your daily routine.  Before we left Oregon, here’s what my day usually looked like:

5:45am: Alarm

6am: At my desk, 9am (eastern) meeting started.

6am – 9am: Work.  Coffee and toast around 7am.

9am – 10am(ish): Run in the park.  Maybe.  If not in this hour, then it happens after work.

10am(ish) – 2pm(ish): Work.

2pm(ish) – 6pm(ish): Run, if it didn’t happen at 9am.  Maybe a riding lesson.  Errands.  Read.  Your standard after-work stuff.

6pm(ish) – 9pm(ish): Dinner, TV, clean-up, shower.

9pm(ish): Bedtime.

Repeat.

Then we started the cross-country drive.  Over 6 days, we developed a pretty good routine.

7am: Get up and work out, if the hotel has a gym. Shower. Check out.

9am: Hit the road.  Breakfast and coffee somewhere.

9am to 2pm(ish): Drive drive drive.  Usually John took the morning shift.  Maybe lunch.

2pm(ish): Switch drivers.

2pm(ish) to 7pm(ish): Drive drive drive.  Usually I took the afternoons and evenings.  John got sleepy.

6 or 7pm: We figure out where we’re stopping for the night and John books us a hotel room.

7pm or 8pm: Check in to hotel, find dinner.

9pm or 10pm: Crash hard.

Repeat.

We knew exactly what had to come out of the car each night, and we knew exactly how to put everything back in the car each morning.  We listened to audiobooks (the first Ellis Peters monk detective book (good enough, but MAN it was slow-going), two MC Beaton Hamish Macbeth books – I love Hamish Macbeth), podcasts (mostly Hello from the Magic Tavern), and music (Sirius XM’s Pop Rock channel is good, and for Labor Day weekend, they had a road trip channel that was fun), and mostly stayed off the internet because we had basically zero reception nearly the whole way.

Then we got to Providence and moved in to our empty house.  Since hardwood floors are not a comfortable place for sitting and I still have to work, we’ve had to develop a new routine.

7am(ish): Get up.  Run.  Breakfast at home (cereal – we did some basic shopping).

9am(ish): Arrive at the office, otherwise known as the Starbucks about five blocks away, to work where we can have internet, tables, and chairs.

9am(ish) to noon(ish): When I can work quietly, I work inside where there are outlets.  When I have to talk during a conference call, I pop outside, where I can speak loudly enough to be heard (and also where I mute for passing traffic).  Then back inside.  If I have a call with clients, I head back to the house to avoid the background noise.

Noon(ish) to 1pm(ish): Back home for lunch (sandwiches).

1pm(ish) to 5pm(ish): Same as the morning, back at Starbucks because chairs are a wonderful thing.

5pm(ish) to 9pm(ish): Clean the house or run errands or take a long walk (one afternoon we drove to Narragansett to find a beach) or otherwise kill time outside of the house, find dinner, bed.

Repeat.

And it is a routine – we’ve been doing approximately this for a week now.  The baristas at Starbucks recognize us, and a number of the regulars recognize us, too.  Oh, the regulars.  I don’t mean regulars in the sense of people who always go to the same place at the same time every day and order the same thing.  I mean the people who come to this Starbucks every day to work.  Like, every day.  And they stay all day.  I mean, it’s exactly what we’re doing, but we’re only doing this until our furniture gets here.  These people have been doing this for years.  One guy brings a power strip to get past the limited number of outlets and has been nice enough to let us use it.  So, you know, we’re making friends, but I’m not going to be too sad when I can go back to something resembling my Oregon routine again.

Somewhat less stressed, but still furniture-less

UPDATE: During our first phone call with PODS this morning (after an hour on hold), we found out that the company didn’t know where our container was.  They were going to find out and get back to us in an hour.  Two hours later, after no update, I called back.  After nearly another hour, I got the person who could actually tell us what was going.  While I was on the phone, NOT ON HOLD, she contacted someone in Logistics who called the truck driver and asked when they were arriving.  The truck with our container on it will arrive at the storage facility tomorrow.  Since they don’t know what time yet, they can’t schedule the delivery for tomorrow, and since we’re going out of town for the weekend, we can’t get our stuff until we get back.  BUT.  The delivery has been scheduled for Tuesday.

So the mystery of our missing stuff has been resolved, although not entirely because I was so relieved to get some answers that I didn’t ask all of the questions.  Why is it late in the first place?  Where is it right now?  Why are ALL OF YOUR SYSTEMS CENTRALLY MANAGED WHEN YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE A NATIONAL COMPANY?  I wouldn’t have asked the last question since the woman I spoke to is in customer service and not responsible for that part, but still.  I would like to know.

Disaster recovery systems are important

The cloud is not really in the cloud.*  I mean, I knew that – the cloud is really just a server farm (or several server farms) and thus entirely physical and subject to disasters like hurricanes and I’m mentioning this because we’re using PODS to move our stuff across the country and they’re based in Clearwater, FL, and apparently they got destroyed by the hurricane because their phone lines and EVEN THEIR WEBSITE have been completely down since Saturday.  (That run-on sentence was sponsored by my fear that our truck will not arrive tomorrow and we’ll be living on the floor for another week.)  Based on the phone message I heard on Monday, they had deliberately shut down the customer service center Friday to Monday to keep their employees at home, which makes sense.  I can understand and appreciate that.  But they said they’d be back up Tuesday.  They were not.  They still are not, and now it’s Wednesday.  I can’t get a live person, which, again, I can understand considering they’re probably literally underwater, but for the website to still be down?  I can’t log in to my account to see the status of my shipment.  I scheduled it to arrive tomorrow (Thursday, earliest day possible).  Is it still coming tomorrow?  I can’t check.  I can’t call anyone to check.  Local PODS storage facilities don’t have local numbers.  All numbers route to FL, where there are only unhelpful recordings and hang-ups, and all web URLs route to the Hurricane Irma page they put up.

UPDATE!  All of the above was written earlier today, when I had been trying to contact PODS for three days.  This evening, I checked again and the website was back up!  With a message saying their phone center is open again!  And that they’d be prioritizing existing customers!  Unfortunately, I didn’t see that until after their call center was closed for the day, but I logged in to our account (yay!) to find no new information (boo).  It says our POD is due to arrive at the local storage center before 9/13.  That’s today.  Did it arrive?  That step doesn’t say it was completed, but is that because there’s a backlog and they haven’t updated the system or did it really not arrive?  It also says they’re going to deliver the POD to our house on the 14th.  That would be tomorrow.  Will it happen?  I can’t say.  The night before they delivered it to us in Eugene, we got a phone call, and email, and an update on our account online giving us a three-hour delivery window.  I have not gotten any of those alerts, and it’s nearly 10pm.

It’s all a mystery that I hope will get resolved tomorrow.  More to come.

*If the computing cloud were actually in the real clouds, this hurricane would have REALLY messed with their systems.

Food that isn’t real food

John thinks I should write about how I tried Drake’s Devil Dogs today and how they transformed my life, but that wouldn’t be true, and I would never lie to you.  I did try one today, but it did not transform my life.  It tasted like every other chocolate and cream Hostess food I’ve ever had, and (don’t hate me) I gotta say those aren’t my favorite completely synthetic treats.  Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies are the winner for me (which is kind of odd, since I refuse to eat oatmeal cookies).  Runner up: Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.  Apparently, I prefer Little Debbie to Hostess.  Good to know.

 

We are predictable

We did it again.  We got our new library cards before we got our new driver’s licenses.  Took us three days this time.  It wasn’t more than three days in Eugene, I think, but we’ll never know since Twitter won’t let me look back that far and apparently I didn’t talk about it here.  Boo, Twitter.  The point is, duh, libraries are important to us.

That was our Saturday. We slept in, exercised, ate lunch, and then walked 5 miles to visit two libraries.  When we left the downtown branch, we walked by the convention center, where HasCon was going on. Hasbro is headquartered here, and there were a bunch of kids dressed up as My Little Ponies and GI Joes and other Hasbro stuff. It was cute.

Our Sunday included a visit to the Rhode Island Seafood Festival for lunch and music.

I had the best fried scallop sandwich from a food truck called Plouf Plouf. It was a good first weekend in Providence.

Made it!

We’re here, in our new home, and the massive drive is over. That is a relief (even though it was fun and I didn’t have to work much and we had no responsibilities and we were seeing things we’ve never seen before and where was I going with this?), but the celebration will have to wait until the cleaning is done.  The big rooms are all okay (bedrooms, living room, dining room), but the other rooms are gross. Both bathrooms are grimy and the kitchen is grimy and greasy. Every surface in the kitchen, including drawers and cabinets, is greasy and vaguely yellow. The crew that was in here painting when we saw the place a month ago cleaned up after themselves, but no one cleaned up after the previous tenant.

Wednesday night, we got in after dark, did a quick tour and unloaded the car, walked to dinner, and dropped by CVS for some cleaning stuff. Then we spent the next two hours on the bathrooms so we could shower before sleeping.  Today (Thursday), I worked most of the day, and John spent the afternoon de-griming the kitchen. New appliances, but it looks like the previous tenant spent his three years deep-frying everything he ate.  When I finished working, we headed to the nearest Target (in Seekonk, which in my head sounds an awful lot like a donkey’s heeHAW) to buy the stuff CVS doesn’t carry, like a mop, a bucket, a broom, and some heavier duty cleaning stuff.

At least the house is empty. This would be a whole lot harder with our stuff in it.  And the weather is lovely!  It’s not all bad.

Too many nights in hotels

Speaking of hotel oddities, there was this gem in the hotel in Wisconsin.

Too bad for the people in room 121.  Our room in Erie, PA is quite nice, although the bathroom door doesn’t close all the way. There’s always something. We’re in the type of hotel I stayed in the night I walked into a dresser and tore my toenail off (three years ago in Philadelphia) so I’m going to be extra careful when I get up in the middle of the night. My toenail has STILL not fully recovered.

Hotel oddities

We had two hotels in a row with soft water, which I HATE.  For two days, I felt like I was covered in soap that would never rinse off.  John’s parents’ house has soft water, but it’s never this bad.  Makes my skin crawl.

Oddly, both of those hotels had weird gym situations, too.  The one in Montana advertised a gym, but when we asked at the front desk, the guy said they have an agreement with a gym downtown.  When we’re ready to go, he can give us a key and direct us there.  It’s like 5 miles away.  We didn’t go.  The next night, in Minnesota, there was a gym in the building, but our room keys wouldn’t give us access.  We had to go get special keys made for access to the gym.  Why would you set up a gym for your guests and then not give them automatic access to it?  At least they had one, and once we could get in, it was nicer than the one in Bend – this one had a window.  And water.  And an A/C unit and a fan.  The one in Bend was like a cave.  A hot, sweaty cave with no windows, no water, and no fan.  Turns out I have expectations for a hotel gym.

I carried a watermelon

We found a magic hotel in Minnesota.  We watched the very end of Dirty Dancing AND THEN IT STARTED OVER AGAIN.  Heaven.  I may never leave.  Also, it’s late, I’m tired, and I may be a little giddy.  Sitting on my butt in the car all day is exhausting work.

Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

Whoops, that was last night.  We left.  Spending tonight in Racine, Wisconsin.  Ooh!  Maybe A League Of Their Own will be on!

Movin’ right along

For those of you following along at home, Thursday night we drove from Eugene to Bend, OR.  Not terribly far, but we got a late start.  Friday, we drove from Bend to Pocatello, ID, a town I’d never heard of before picking it off the atlas page as a likely place to spend the night.  Saturday, which I think was yesterday (and figuring out what day it is is part of why I’m writing this down right now), we left Pocatello and headed north to Montana, clipping the very western edge of Yellowstone National Park along the way, which was REALLY neat.  I’m not a camper, so I never put seeing that kind of national park very high on my list of things I was likely to see.  Ever.  Happening upon it while trying to do something else was a nice surprise.

I suppose we could have put something more inspiring behind us, but it seems I didn’t take any pictures of the more spectacular views we drove by.  Short-sighted on my part.

Anyway, we found the mountainous pretty part of Montana first (which is how it always looks in our heads), but then we kept driving east and it got flatter and more desert-y.  It does indeed have a big sky, but the sky would have been bigger without the smoke haze.  Blue sky straight up, haze on every horizon.  Oh, well.  We’ll keep plugging east until we can get past all the fires.

A little friend

Updated with Instagram link.

When we moved to Oregon, Will and Christina gave us a keychain with a little 10th Doctor. Now that we’re leaving, Li’l DT is sharing our adventures.  In a fun twist, he has become OUR companion.

Most of the fun is happening in real time on my Instagram feed (which anyone can see online, without an account, by looking up zannah42 on Instagram.com), but I’ll probably compile the pictures here once we get there.

Here, I’ll make it easy for you.  Go here.  You’ll see the captions (because I always include captions) if you click on an individual picture.

Road Trip Day 1 – The Flames

When we left Eugene, the road ahead looked like this.

Not too much later (remember, we only drove for about two and half hours the first night), we could see smoke over the mountains in the distance.

Okay, so that one is not very much in the distance.  We’d heard there might be road closures due to forest fires, but we didn’t expect to see this, right from the road.

 

The traffic merged to one lane and there were fire trucks and firefighters and it was all very exciting and SO TOTALLY WEIRD.  All of my other pictures are big blurry messes, but there were individual trees burning like torches.  It’s one thing to know it happens and another to drive alongside.

Today (Day 2, or full Day 1) was uneventful.  Plenty of smoke haze on the horizon across the rest of Oregon and into Idaho, but no visible fires.  We may be taking a slightly more southerly route across Montana to stay on the interstate and get away from the smoke faster.  We’d like to drive away from the scratchy throats, please.

Road Trip Day 1 – The Movening

Yesterday and today were long, hard, and exhausting.  On the other hand, they’re over.  The pod was filled completely, although not without injury.  I bashed my forehead on the side while we were trying to maneuver the mattress in.  That was the least fun part (both the maneuvering and the head-bashing).  I’m okay, but I do have a lump.

We didn’t leave town until after 6pm and we only made it as far as Bend (2 and half hours or so), but we plan to do better tomorrow.  Leaving before 6pm would be a good start.

Say goodbye to the cute yellow house on the hill.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment, featuring flames.

POD Day

Today our POD arrived.  It’s enormous, and we spent a solid seven hours filling it.  Mostly there.  One last night in our bed, then the bed goes in the POD and we start cleaning the house AND THEN WE LEAVE TOWN.  It’s crazy how fast this all went (especially since last week time was crawling).

This is going to be short because I’m sitting on the floor in my totally empty office with my laptop on my knees, and I’m very uncomfortable.  Also, it’s crazy late right now because John and his former band-mates decided to go to the weekly funk jam tonight and maybe play together (for the last time – sob!).  They were all set to play in the third set, but the second set didn’t start until midnight (or nearly midnight), and nobody had the energy to stick it out.  The guys who did get to play were really good, though, especially James (the band’s bass player and also apparently the best regular at the funk jam).  The part we stayed for was totally worth it.  Except for the part where someone spilled beer down my leg.  That part wasn’t worth it.

So yeah.  It’s late.  I’m tired.  We move tomorrow!