Friday, May 23, 2008

Not A Show House

Welcome to House 2.0.

The Front Entry
Please greet our Matron d'Potty, LaGuz, as she awaits you on the stairway.

The Stairway
Turn right to the Kitchen
From the Kitchen, you walk through to the Dining Room
The Dining Room features a Conservatory

And a Musician's Gallery (where Sweetie with squawk with indignation throughout your meal, for your listening pleasure).
The Bar (this can be yours from Bed, Bath & Beyond for under $100, decorator items and liquor not included)

Stay Tuned for Part 2 -- the Living Room and Patio!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


a pot rack.

Now, if I can just find the box with my pots in it.

I also now have a begonia, a Confederate Jasmine, two catnips, two rosemaries, a lemon balm, and sproutings of basil, mint, dill, and thyme. Pretty soon the roses will come and I will have sticks in dirt with tags attached promising they will be beautiful roses when they grow up. The assorted bamboos and the teeny tea rose of The Husband's are recovering from the move, and his mini tomato plants are making with the teeny tomatoes even as I type.

I want to find my SIMS 2 disk so I can start dreaming about my next house.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I've been joking for a week or so that I am allergic to South Carolina. Sadly, it seems to be fact, not fiction. Sneezing, blurred vision, and constant congestion result from a few sniffs of the cool, fresh air. I am incredulous. I've never had allergy issues, and I was born and raised in the land of Molds, Spoors and Pollens.

We are going to try the Local Honey method, as soon as we find some Local Honey. The farmstand we frequent is out and has been for a while. Until then, there is Claratin. I should take some now, except I had some wine just a little while ago and I have to wait one hour before going swimming or something. It was on the box. It's the non-drowsy kind, so in typical fashion I start tipping over and hallucinating about bees about 1/2 hour after I take the pill, and perk up a little while later. It's ok. I like the breathing part, even if I'm doing it sleepy.

We are accomplishing House 2.0 rapidly -- boxes are being unpacked, curtains are going up, and we have plants on our teeny patio. Yes, I will post pictures as soon as I take some. It's hard to find a place to stand for picture taking -- anyplace you CAN stand seems to give the best view of nothing in particular. I'll work on it.

Right now

Friday, May 16, 2008


The Husband is back in Florida for a few days, so I'm alone in the new place. Mostly I take it easy. Well, I'm not doing the heavy hauling we have been. It is so nice not to move furniture.

Yesterday I unpacked bags of clothes, ironed, sorted, and found space in our closet. We installed a closet kit several days ago which almost doubled the space. We will now have the whole wardrobe cycle, but The Husband put more floor and some shelves into the attic, so we can get to all that. I did the rest of the clothes today. We'll have to use one of the guest closets to hang formal stuff I don't want to fold up, but that can't go into the closet.

It's so much more complicated now. I'll actually have winter clothes.

I also went through and did a big "What Not To Wear" thing on my closet. I've been watching the show a lot lately, and it inspired me to toss out stuff I haven't worn in years or stuff I really shouldn't wear. I now have a very nice selection of work and going out clothes, with a few "dressy casual" outfits. Of course, I still have my giant collection of baggy t-shirts and shorts, none of which would get Stacy and Clinton's approval, but they are great for unpacking boxes and hanging in the house.

Which is all I am doing. I haven't left the house to do more than move the car into the driveway after the PODS left. So we are officially moved in. I haven't quite worked up the courage/energy to get in the car and go anywhere, mostly because I still don't know where things are. There is a downside to The Husband knowing this area while I don't -- he not only tends to drive more, but when I do drive with him, he's constantly confusing me. For instance, the other day we drove from our house to campus to our storage unit, then we had to go back to campus. Did we go back the same way we came? NOoooooo, no no foolish mortal. We went another way. It seems we do that every time we have to make a round trip like that. HE says it's because the roads are all triangles. I think it's just another mental game. So I'm staying home. Gas is too expensive to go wandering until I figure out where things are.

Oh, and I'm going to get myself a map. Until then, I'm busy in the closet.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In the Order I Think of Things

Planters makes dark chocolate covered almonds now. Doomed, I am doomed.

l'Becs made a post about songs sung at funerals, which has me thinking about incredibly weird yet strangely appropriate music I want sung at my death party. At the moment, I'm leaning toward "Every Breath You Take" by the Police, just for the creepy ghost vibe.

I'm debating whether or not to even do any unpacking today. The Husband is heading south for a couple of days, so I'll be alone in the new place until Sunday (a thought which does not fill me with glee). I'll be going at the end of the month (still less glee). I might be lazy today, at least until the guilt gets to me.

Speaking of guilt, I've been tagged by LazyGal.

What were you doing five years ago?
About the same stuff I'm doing now, only in a different latitude.

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
  • Unpack clothes
  • Ironing
  • Start some soup (as soon as I find the box with the pots in it)
  • Dishes
  • Work on editing (short story and stuff for work)
What are five snacks you enjoy?
  • Dark chocolate almonds
  • Rocky Road Ice cream in a glass of milk
  • Dark Chocolate/Cherry Kashi bar
  • Spinach Artichoke dip with bagel chips
  • Melted cheese on bread (it is just about perfection)
What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
  • Donate massively to animal rescue societies
  • Travel all over Europe and stay at whatever hotel I wanted
  • Get all the books on my Want to Read list (duh!)
  • Get my master's degree
  • Bring my friends/family along with me when I travel
What are five of your bad habits?
  • I scratch whenever and where ever I want to scratch.
  • I hate answering the phone
  • I'm lazy sort of covers everything else.
What are five places where you have lived?
  • Orlando, FL
  • Ocoee, FL
  • Miami, FL (North Miami Beach, for a summer, for school)
  • Eustis, FL
  • Seneca, SC
What are five jobs you’ve had?
  • Cashier at a convenience store
  • Janitor/Assistant at an Alzheimer day care center
  • Receptionist at a synagogue
  • Receptionist/Secretary/Office Supply Nazi at a graduate school
  • Executive assistant to a company president/owner
What five people do you want to tag?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another Stupid Thing

I've just heard it again -- some commercial selling something useless gets all excited about a "free gift" I'll get if I buy their silver electroplated, enamel embossed, commemorative toilet paper roll holder right now. Aside from the obvious annoying factors, let's look at that phrase. "Free Gift" opposed to, say, a gift I buy? Let's check the old reliable Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Middle English, from Old Norse, something given, talent; akin to Old English giefan to give
12th century
1 : a notable capacity, talent, or endowment
: something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation
: the act, right, or power of giving

Note that phrase "without compensation". That means a gift is only a gift if no compensation is expected or remitted -- in other words, a gift is automatically free.

Oxymoron. Stupid commercial writer not paying the slightest attention to the words and just wants to get that word "free" in somewhere, or else (and this is scary to me) worried that some potential customer doesn't understand what "gift" means. I blame the commercial writer for even thinking "free gift" makes sense and causing the confusion in the first place.

The Darling Buds of May

are shaking and shivering. It's windy and rainy today, which has limited moving activity.

Nothing to say but the news. We have a living room, sort of. We have two chairs and a love seat and a coffee table. That's all we can squeeze in. Oh, and an ottoman on pure optimism. Shelves are in place and hold a random collection of books, pictures, lamps, mop buckets, empty boxes, full boxes, and dust.

The PODS is about 1/2 empty, and the NEW storage unit is just beginning to fill. In a few weeks we will start shifting assorted items around between assorted storage units until we get all the delicate stuff into a climate controlled unit (my piano, paintings that won't go in here, books, that sort of thing) and the rest nestled snuggly into a regular unit, by which time I hope we will be back to just 2 storage units.

Oh, we have patio furniture. Yes, we bought one of those "all in one box" sets, assembled it, and snuggled it together on the patio. So, last night we had one fantastic thunderstorm to get it all nice and soaked. The thunder woke me up and made me ponder if the warning of a tornado was worth being annoyed by the weather radio until the announcement. There's really no place to go in this little house, which is NOT made of cinder block or brick and has no basement or safe room or even a decent closet on the ground floor. In truth, a strong wind and some hail would reduce this place to so many toothpicks and puffs of cat hair.

I'll just hope the storms don't come here. I really don't feel up to dealing with it. And what the hell is it with "Arctic Winds" and 58 degrees? It's MAY! I checked.

Meanwhile, I am daydreaming at Jackson Perkins. I am going to have a little garden, one way or another. Currently, I am planning on a Don Juan, a Jubilee Celebration, a Christopher Marlowe, a Purple Tiger, a Cherries 'n' Cream, and whatever I can find that's blue. Space is highly limited and everything must go into a pot, but I can deal. I also have herbs growing in my little Aerogarden -- well, little sprouts of basil and thyme and dill. I am all gardenery.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I'm Tired, Sick and Tired of Love...

It takes forever to move into a new house. Tomorrow will be day 7. The kitchen is mostly assembled. I'm squeezing every inch of storage space I can get. We are looking at pot racks for the big, blank, useless wall at one end. The refrigerator is much smaller than the space it occupies, but a little TOO big for the average rolling storage rack to slide in beside it (by about 3 inches, darn it).

The bedroom is almost done -- we put in a closet kit to increase the very tight space. Now we just have to put all the clothes away, and figure out our shoe storage (not quite enough left over room in the closet -- did I mention it's a very tight space?) The bathrooms are getting organized, as is the laundry. Right now our living room is the real hell hole -- no furniture, and a lot of boxes. That's supposed to change today.

My legs are still hurting, especially my feet and ankles. I say 'feh' and I take my Aleve.

The Husband is getting his summer semester set up, the cats are finding all the best nap spots, and I have accomplished next to nothing today, which isn't productive but feels pretty good. I have made enough trips to Wal-Mart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Lowes, Target, and Circuit City to last me for a while. We are going to get some bookshelves out of storage today (yay!).

The PODS arrived yesterday. So far, neither of us has had the guts to open it. My piano must come out first, and we need help to move it -- he can't move it alone and I'm not much help. But we have to open it soon. Too much of my life is in there to wait longer.

The best thing has been the weather. Cool and breezy all day, with soft rain at night. That's hardly real. It's May and I'm not even THINKING about turning on the A/C. Incredible.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Talk Television

So little and yet so much to talk about. If you aren't me, most of what goes on is boring, but I'll tell you about it anyway because otherwise, I have nothing about which to talk. I'll start with the TV.

We had two TVs in the old house -- bedroom and family room. Pretty average for most households. The bedroom TV lived in a big armoir we bought second hand, while the family room flat screen lived on a large credenza style table. The credenza was repurposed for the new house as a hall table for all the stuff you drop when you come into the house. The old armoir is heading for consignment, and we have a new corner armoir for the flat screen.

Originally we weren't going to have a bedroom TV. The Husband had protested the whole bedroom TV idea for some time, and there was no good spot for a TV in the new room anyway. I was resigned to fulfilling my TV addiction downstairs. MIL loaned us a 13 inch set she had that she wasn't using so that I couldhave a TV upstairs to watch while I ironed (ironing being intolerable without distraction and me not wanting to haul clothes downstairs to iron and then back upstairs to put away -- see? Braims. I haz 'em). This TV would live near the laundry area, not in the bedroom. So, the big 29 inch TV would be given to a TV-less friend and all would be well.

There's no TV hook up in the hall where the laundry is. The nearest is in the bedrooms on either end of the house, neither of which is logically or easily available to the hallway. So, toss that idea. We discussed, among many things, just not having a TV upstairs or just having it on a DVD player. This didn't bother me. After hauling a few things up our new stairway, I didn't want the 2-ton TV from Heck upstairs anyway. It would be stored until the friend could get it.

Then, on the second night after the move, I hear sounds of anger and pain from the stairway. The Husband is hauling the 29 inch TV upstairs. I asked why. The answer received demonstrated the magic of marital communication -- in other words, neither of us knew what the other was talking about. Somehow, The Husband had hardwired into his head that I would die if we had no TV in the bedroom (as I have had a TV in my bedroom since age 3, when my dad won a little B/W set in a contest and my Mom put it on top of my dresser, that might be true.) I denied having demanded the TV upstairs. He denied my denial. We glared. Then his testosterone took over and he hauled it the rest of the way up. We then heaved it onto our chest of drawers, a large, almost 6 foot high piece of furniture we had wrestled upstairs earlier.

I could feel the eye of Big Brother on me. The TV towered a good 2 feet over my head. I was ooked. The Husband was ooked. This was not going to work.

I'm not sure exactly how it happened, as we had another of those Magical Marital conversations, but the idea of a small flatscreen in the bedroom appeared and became a fuzzy, unspecific plan. As we drove yesterday to Circuit City to exchange something for the computer system, the TV came up as a more solid, reality based plan. One more time I voiced my assertion that the little TV would be fine. I could live with a 13 inch screen. He countered that, from the top of the chest, the 13 inch would be nearly invisible.

I got suspicious. Why was the man who denied any interest in television, who had not pulled the 13 inch to watch while in his student apartment for 4 months, who protested having a TV in the bedroom at all, suddenly hot for a new flatscreen? I still don't know for sure. Yes, I know that pleasing me is part of it, but only part.

So, we hunted down a 19 inch flatscreen. We found one at a reasonable price, about $330. Then, because we agreed to buy the floor model, the price dropped to $149. The Husband almost danced. The man loves his tech toys, and he loves a bargain. Combining the two brings him a level of pleasure rarely equaled.

So now the big TV sits on the bedroom floor until The Husband gets another testosterone rush and carries it down. The new flatscreen sits modestly on the chest. The Husband is playing music from the satellite system through it.

Talk Radio. Music Television. Life is interesting, even when it looks boring. I must unpack more boxes.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Still Life With Cardboard

Still unpacking. This could take a while. Those millions of boxes I packed are now all piling up in the garage, awaiting the moment I discover what the hell I packed in them.

The next time I hear someone complain about how Florida is just so flat, I will stick that person in a 4 cylinder van with an overloaded 14 foot trailer and 5 very unhappy cats on I-75 heading north from Wildwood. SOUTH Florida is flat. From Central Florida into Georgia, Florida UNDULATES. Every undulation feels like a freaking hike up Pike's Peak. Undulations cause the trailer to sway when the engine finally makes it near 70 MPH (speed limit on I-75, treated by the average driver as a faintly heard suggestion).

I don't ever want to hear a transmission make those noises again. I made the whole trip in a state of mild hyperventilation.

The "slow traffic keep right/faster traffic pass on the left" rule is also rather sketchy. I pissed off any number of people with my right lane behavior. In fact, I saw all manner of scary driving behavior, including lines of cars doing 80+ nearly touching bumpers. No one seems to remember that little trick about "stopping distance". I also saw an incredible near miss -- big trucks don't always maintain that all important stopping distance, either. This 18 wheeler (a Purple Kensington truck and trailer) skidded to a tire smoking stop behind a late model champagne Caddie. The Cadillac was fishtailing behind what looked like a Mini-Cooper that had apparently experienced a hallucination and pulled a sudden slow down in the left lane. I thought I was about to see bits of car flying around in front of me (I was just a little behind the truck, in the right lane) but the truck driver brought his rig to a halt about a foot behind the Caddie. If he hadn't, I'd have been next in line for creaming, because his trailer would have tipped right over on me.

I kept my distance from then on, struggling up every 2% grade at a slow enough pace that most people didn't try to stay close behind me.

All the cats made it with relatively little trauma. They are enjoying the new views and sticking rather close to us. At this moment a feline lays across my arms, leaving me just enough range of motion to type. None of them are having the slightest problem with stairs, so the proposed cat ramp The Husband and I had planned seems unnecessary. If anything, I need it. My knees, ankles and feet are saying things to me I've never heard before. None of it is complimentary.

We have internet and wireless set up, but the bed is still in pieces and The Padded Rock rests on the floor. Priorities and all, you know.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Transitional Stage

We closed on the house today.

Packing, as I should have expected, took a day and a half longer than planned, and required changing out trailers for a truck and a car tow, and a last minute desperation call for friends who could carry things.

Tomorrow we pack up the cats (who have been living on MIL's screened in porch and liking it) and head northward. The Husband will drive the truck with the tow. I'll be in the van with a 14 foot trailer. I'll be freaking out softly for about 9-10 hours, along with the cats.

Not that I haven't been freaking for weeks now.

I am so sore, but so relieved.