Deja Vu

I apologize if I’ve used that post title before, but it fits here (and it’s all I can come up with until my caffeine kicks in). 

I had a funny feeling the other night.  I was climbing the stairs to help Alex get ready for bed when I had the feeling I’d been there before.  Not just the “oh geez, here we go again” feeling, but “this is starting to feel like home to me” feeling.  I’ve walked up the stairs a few times now and I know where they’re creakiest and how it feels to pull myself up the steps by the railings.  (I used to think railings on both sides was ridiculous; after yesterday, I’m grateful they’re there.)  I know how to walk so as to make the least amount of noise.  When I get to the top of the stairs, I know where things are. 

Granted, I’d take a bet that in 5 years, where things are now is not where they’ll be then.  We’re still fitting in, trying to find a system that works.  I don’t remember how long it took, when we moved into the condo, that it started to feel like home.  I think we lived among boxes for months.  My plan had been to empty one box per night, but that was before we could work remote.  Eventually it all settled out; some things stayed in boxes, some boxes got emptied, and some got thrown out.  It took a while before it was “what we’re accustomed to”. 

Yesterday, the boys had a school district half day and I spent a good portion of the afternoon emptying out boxes and straightening things up.  Until then, sitting at the dining room table, using my laptop, I started feeling closed in by the mountains of boxes behind me, so that’s where I started.  Now it’s a lot better; two people can walk, side by side, through the main path in the dining room, and you can even walk around the dining room table and not make contact with anything.  We couldn’t say that on Monday afternoon. 

It snowed yesterday, starting out as sleet but switching over to fat-flaked snow by the time we left the supermarket.  I knew how bad my parking space in the back was torn up (four inches of mud meets 4K pounds of car; my tires look like I went off-roading in a swamp) so I parked in front instead.  When it looked like things might get icy, I put on my sneakers and jacket and went to sweep up the walks.  (I did our neighbors’ walk too; they’re older and it seemed like the right thing to do.)  The boys saw me and put on their sneakers and jackets and went outside for a snowball fight.  Because now they can.  Back in the condo, there was room in the “back yard” but it was public space.  Now they have their own yard, and then ran all over it, throwing wet snow at each other.  I took pictures as I soaked in the atmosphere of feeling like I belong somewhere.

It’s starting to feel like home.

Word of Mouth

They say word of mouth is the best advertising.  Ask me about Hamilton National Mortgage or Nationwide Search and Settlement Services.  Go ahead, I dare ya.  I promise, I have a LOT to say.  (Go to my Contact tab for my email info.)

We’re Here

The move happened on Friday and we survived. It wasn’t easy, and as much as I appreciate the guy at work who’s been giving us the boxes from the paper cases, if I never see another one for the rest of my life, that’s fine with me. We can now eat at the kitchen table or the dining room table; the internet is up and running (thank GOD); I can walk to the pantry (which is really a closet in the dining room) and get my cooking supplies; I’ve made a few minor meals (boy do I love gas stoves); and I’ve run 3 loads of laundry and 1 load of dirty dishes. Heck, I even put the clean dishes away this morning because I had some time before I had to leave for work. AND I took a shower, got dressed, and put on my makeup. In the apartment I’d shower and dress, then eat breakfast, drink my coffee, take my vitamins, get the boys roused, check backpacks, check my email, goof off, THEN get my makeup on. This way seems much more efficient. Maybe it had something to do with a) I’m cutting back on my coffee consumption because my face is breaking out like it belongs on a 14 year old boy, and b) we left the breakfast foods back at the apartment. Guess what I’ll be doing this afternoon? 😉

Two things make me happy about the house (aside from the fact that John keeps teasing about how the “downstairs neighbors are complaining about the noise”; the downstairs neighbors are Tillie and Shadow, not Mary, her yapping dog and her leaking bathrooms). I’ve organized my bookshelf including a few cuddlies to make it homey, and I know where my yarn is. Okay, so there’s more yarn in storage. I told John, I probably have more yarn than AC Moore; when they get low in stock, they’ll be calling ME. But all my hardcover pattern books–I think–are neatly arranged on the bottom shelf, and the paperbacks and assorted hardcovers are sorted by content. I have a section for autism-related books, another for really good fiction, another for my writing how-to books, and another for Jenny Crusie.   (Which, of course, isn’t to say Jenny Crusie doesn’t write really good fiction;  I’m just saying, in my mind, she’s in a class by herself.)  Seriously, I have just about everything she’s ever written except for a few old Silhouette’s. I very proudly checked to make sure my copy of “Don’t Look Down” is still dually signed. It is. Yay me.

I sat on the couch and knitted last night. For a little while. I got up kind of late yesterday, got some sorting done (like my bookshelf), then laid down on the couch and snoozed for 5 minutes in front of the Eagles game. (What a surprise. I started working on the boxes around 9, and all of a sudden John came in to say it’s 12:30. Where did the time go?) I told myself I’d take a shower at halftime but instead I went to our room and organized that a bit more because otherwise it looked like a frat boy’s hotel room. Then I went to put Alex’s clothes in the closet because the pile of clean clothes on the floor was quickly becoming the pile of dirty clothes outside the wash basket. THEN I got in the shower. It’s not the best bathroom in the world, but it’s MINE.

That thought kept ringing in my head most of yesterday. This is OUR HOUSE. Okay, so it has a few glitches. Alex’s cable still doesn’t work (we’re not sure if it’s a bad connection or the DVD player crapped out; we switched the TVs and I found Alex’s plug-n-play Disney games, so he played with that most of yesterday) but the techie is coming back on Tuesday night. The downstairs shower only runs cold water, but the sink runs steaming hot water for John to shave with. We’re not sure when the trash comes but we think it’s tonight. (I hope so because we turned one of the packing boxes into a paper recycling box. Not one of the smaller boxes, either.)

I’d take more pictures but I’m never sure where I left my purse. There are some on Flickr, but things have changed since then.

I can’t wait ’til spring, when we can sit on the couch and cheer on the Phillies. We might just be settled in by then. 🙂

Moving

A long while back, I went to a headhunter to find a job.  We were chatting and she said three of the most stressful things people can go through in this modern age are changing jobs, relocating, and getting married.  She mentioned this because her daughter did all three at once.  Sounds to me like when I had all four wisdom teeth removed at the same time.  I did, however, live through it (and gain a terrific appreciation for hydrocodone) and I’m glad I had it done.  It wasn’t fun at the time but I’ve probably saved myself a lot of dental pain in the future. 

We’re almost there.  The move happens on Friday, three days ahead of schedule, since we’d originally planned on the 8th.  Cable and phone are scheduled to be switched over, and the movers will be there between 8 and 10.  I told John, since everything will already be at the house on Friday afternoon, we can probably take our after-moving showers in the house rather than the condo.  (Trust me, this moving is sweaty business.) 

I scraped the frost off my car this morning and I wondered how much frost we’ll get in the new house.  What’ll it be like walking out the back door, out the kitchen and down the walkway to where the car will be parked in an alley.  Having to go upstairs to wake the boys in two separate rooms.  (After what I saw in Alex’s closet last night, I’m very afraid of what it’ll be like, trying to open his bedroom door to get into his room to find, uh, wake him.  Yelling upstairs to get them to shake a leg, because we’ll have to leave a little early to get to the buses until we know what the new bus schedule will be. 

It’s all scary stuff.  I keep looking at the kitchen and the pantry/closet and as much as I like the new layout, I know it’s not going to stay that way.  Over time we’ll figure out what routine works and what doesn’t.  All unknown stuff that we can’t predict ’til we get there.  They say “getting there is half the fun”, but that’s not necessarily so.  Not when you’re turning your life upside down. 

I’m looking forward to when things settle out.  When the boys know where they put their backpacks and jackets.  When I can find the coffee without opening every cabinet.  When I get comfortable with my spot on the couch.  (I’m so used to being cloistered in my own little space; either the recliner or the busted-up loveseat was “my spot”, but the couch has SO much space, I’m either going to have to learn to share or learn to take up more room.  Given that I haven’t exercised in a while, the latter should be less of a problem.)  When I know, “I have to leave NOW or I’m going to be really late for work.”  When I can be home for fifteen minutes and know without a doubt where I left my purse/keys/work computer.  When the washer/dryer works without a hitch.  (Note to self:  find an Admiral repair person.) 

But I do love that house.  Okay, so when you turn the lights on, the kitchen looks like noon at the Mojave (I need to take out a few of those overhead lights), but it’s a warm, comfy place that feels like home.  My yarn is a few steps away, not a 1/2 hour drive to Colmar.  (I can’t wait to organize that mess.)  The boys have their own spaces that they’ve already started putting their distinct personal brand on.  (Alex’s room smells like bubble gum and BO.)  I’d bet money that they’ll still be going to each other’s rooms, saying, “Did you see such-and-such is on TV?”  (Alex won’t be forced to watch National Geographic anymore, nor will he be sitting in the bathroom with his CD player just so he can have some private time.)  And John’s basement is going to be a sports memorabilia paradise.  Cooperstown might just ask to borrow a few things.  😉  Which reminds me, I have some Christmas presents to order… 

I’m told I have a “new” reader.  Hi, honey!  🙂

UFOs part 2

Believe it or not, I’m actually getting anxious to start packing.  It might have something to do with calling the cable company.  The boys’ cable hasn’t worked in about 3 weeks–they’ve been watching their numerous DVDs to pass the time–and since Alex is home sick today, I figured I had the time to call Comcast and get it fixed so he’d have something to keep him occupied.  They couldn’t fix the problem over the phone so they’re sending a techie out (on Thursday) to look at the wires.  (Which makes no sense to me; our cable works fine, it’s just the one in the boys’ room that’s on the blink.)  When I thought of having a technician in the boys’ room, possibly having a cardiac event at the sight of that mess, I decided I’m ready to start boxing things up. 

Today I want to box up my craft books.  It’s possible I won’t get past that job because a) I need WAY more boxes, and b) I’ll be having too much fun looking at this and that project.  But if I can get past that, I’ll think about boxing up my yarn, cleaning out the corner of the bedroom (to store the boxed up stuff) and maybe stacking up my books.  I don’t know what came over me but at this minute, it almost sounds like…FUN?!

UFOs

No, this blog isn’t about little green men from another planet.  I’ll address John McCain and his financial policies another time.

I was thinking about all that goes along with buying a house, moving, etc., and the more I think about it, the more I’m pretty sure I’m either going to have a panic attack or break out in hives before this is through.  (I did break out in something before the flight to Las Vegas.  I have no idea what it was, and it went down after we got there, but even now, that same spot on my arms flares up when I get agitated.)  I’ve seen Toy Story too many times to just chuck out all the toys the boys haven’t played with in years, but what’re we going to do with it all?  What about all the tiny little clothes I’ve gotten attached to?  The Cowboys sweatsuit my dad bought for Ryan when he was in Florida visiting my grandmother (now deceased)?  The t-shirt my grandfather (also now deceased) bought for Ryan after Ryan’s first hospital trip?  The cute little Spiderman sneakers Alex used to love? 

At the same time, I have some sloughing off of dead layers to do, myself.  I spent a large part of the weekend not packing but finishing up my unfinished objects (UFOs), and I did finish two plus I started and finished a third.  (I’ll have to start posting my projects on Ravelry.com, an online crafting community that Laura introduced me to.)  I’m delighted to not have as much stuff crawling around on the floor for John to trip on.  But I have more books than some small-town libraries (and definitely some books that most Alaska libraries wouldn’t shelve) and I’m not sure what the point is in keeping all of them.  There were a few Harvey Wallbangers in that collection.  I’ll have to decide what stays and what goes.  I also have stuff that dogs (long since deceased) shredded but I was too attached to the items to throw them out.  The scarf my grandmother got me.  The teddy bear my ex bought me; the dog ripped the eye out and gnarled the arm, and I don’t like my ex much but I do still love the teddy bear.  My personal baby blanket was a wreck even before that dumb dog decided to use it as a chew toy.  I could no sooner throw that out than I could throw out my laptop.  (Perish the thought!) 

When I left NY, I packed as much as I could and left what I had to, thinking I could go back and get the rest at a later date.  What actually happened was, I had boxes in my apartment that I learned to live around, but when I went back to NY, I found my ex had tossed out a LOT of my stuff.  Grade school yearbooks, clothes (especially all the baby clothes that I’d carefully boxed and labeled for sizes and seasons; baby clothes that had been mine when I was a little girl), movies, toys, a giant latch hook rug that my grandfather spent months making for Ryan; all beloved things that I didn’t want to lose.  I lost them.  It still hurts once in a while when I think about it too long, but then I sigh and tell myself, “I lost it all in the fire.”  There was no fire, but I can’t let myself think about what happened to it all.  It’s just too hard on my already overactive imagination. 

It’s all going to begin again soon.  I have to go into the boys’ room armed with boxes and trash bags, and I have to open the toy box that hasn’t been opened in years and cull the herd.  Only a few things will survive.  Among the survivors will be the Woody doll I got from a Burger King promotion; Ryan and his Woody doll were inseparable for years, and just like in Toy Story, even though Andy grew up, his mom never really did.  Don’t worry, Woody and Buzz.  You’ll be fine. 

I’m looking forward to having all my yarn and pattern books in one space, and I’m eager to see it all neat and organized.  But to get there, I have to put it all in one place.  I also have to look at all my teddy bears–did I mention I won a huge stuffed dog at Dave & Buster’s on Saturday when we took Alex out for an afternoon of fun and games?–and decide who gets displayed and who gets stored.  I’d rather review the future of my 401K than make that decision.  And the idea of seeing all my yarn in one place is a little nerve-wracking because I know my stash is embarrassing.  I’ll take pictures of it all when that happens. 

I told a friend today how nervous I was, how I just couldn’t bring myself to get that job started.  She reminded me of her favorite saying:  If you want something done, ask a busy person.  I’m usually pretty good once I reach that point, but I haven’t pushed myself to get there yet.  This weekend, though.  It has to start some time.  I’ll crack open a beer, pull my hair back and let’s get this party started.