Category Archives: Moving

Moving services vs. do it yourself moves

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we moved into our house! We closed on July 17th, the movers came on the 18th and moved the furniture and all the packed boxes, and we finished clearing out the rent house (and trying to clean it with a busted vacuum cleaner) on my birthday, the 19th. It was so nice to move into this house, knowing that we plan to be here for a long time. Even nicer to have someone do all the lifting for us.

Anyway, here I am loving the house and painting the nursery and I can’t help but think of how much easier this move was than my previous few moves. Well, yeah, the previous two were cross-country moves and this one was just across town, so that may have had something to do with it.

But man, do you remember my move from Amarillo to Florida? We loaded with help of family in Amarillo and then spent five days driving to the east coast of Florida. And when we got there, we had to unload the truck ourselves. Actually, Frank was back at work, so I unloaded most of it into my storage unit by myself, and some nice people at the storage place helped me with the furniture until Frank got off work. BEATING.

We did the move from Florida to Boise a little smarter. We still drove the truck ourselves, but we hired moving services on both ends to load and unload the truck. That wasn’t so bad (unless you consider that we moved cross-country with four animals), and if you can’t afford to hire movers or don’t trust other people to drive your stuff across the country (for us it was a little of both, but mostly the money), I cannot recommend enough hiring out the loading and unloading. You don’t want to drive exhausted, and you don’t want to unload the truck after you’ve driven cross-country for seven days (that’s how long our Florida/Boise move took—a very loooooong seven days).

The easiest of our moves was moving across town to this house. We hired movers, and I just got to direct them where to put everything. And then I actually had the energy to unpack my kitchen right away.

On the other hand, cross-country do-it-yourself moves make for great blogfodder. As you know.

Tour of the new house part 2

Part 1.

Okay, where were we? Ah yes. We just finished the kitchen and the ’80s wallpaper (some of it). Next is the livingroom. I like the livingroom. I mean, there’s work to be done in here, but it’s not so bad. For starters, I love the fireplace, which burns wood like a real fireplace. I love that–the smell and crackle of the wood fire. On the other hand, you can’t flip a switch and get the wood fire. That’s okay, though–that’s what husbands are for. I’m going to buy firewood this week so Frank can build me a fire, because we are apparently skipping fall and going right to winter after having a very hot September (it was in the 90s most of the month!). I might want to paint the mantel white or black, but I haven’t decided yet. And I’ve been inspired by sheila and have decided that the long wall there needs to be covered floor-to-ceiling in built-in bookshelves (except where the TV armoire will go in the center).

As you can imagine, I’ve already started ripping off the wallpaper.

Underneath the paper is a nicely textured wall (!!) and pale yellow paint.

Off the livingroom (and kitchen) is what is currently a reading cave and may have been a tiny dining room in the past.

All the bookcases are in there now, and I haven’t actually done any reading in there, but… you know. I could if I so wished. I’m pretty sure this fancy little decoration used to be a deadbolt, because this was the back door, and the gameroom is an extension.

What I do love about the door is that it’s pretty well soundproofed, since it used to be an external door. So sometimes Frank goes in the gameroom to write while I bang around in the kitchen with Buffy blaring on the TV so I can listen to slayage while I cook. And when Tarina visited, she went off to bed in the guest room one night, and Frank and I shut ourselves in the gameroom and karaoked for a while. Tarina never heard a peep. So that’s cool.

Oh, and this room, too, has wallpaper.

I sense a theme: Home is where the creepy heart wallpaper is.

Next is the gameroom, which I love.

Only… I don’t understand the color scheme. Blue trim, doors, moulding… white walls. Something a little backwards about that. I mean, I could understand if the walls were orange, because hey, BSU colors. But no, it’s white on country blue. Anyway, we have our office area when we first walk in, then the Wii/karaoke area, and then the other wing of the room is where the pool table will go once I’ve moved all the boxes out of that space.

The pantry is actually in the gameroom, and I’m glad it’s there. The house didn’t originally have one, so at least there’s one around the corner, even if it’s not in the kitchen. Do you love the valance on the back door? It’s blue/maroon with flowers and stuff. I might cover the walls in that fabric.

Here’s the powder room.


I’ll want to paint in here, replace the light fixture (not my style), and eventually replace the vanity, but it’s fine for now. Oh! And the floor–I don’t have a picture–is grey linoleum stick-on tiles with diagonal darker grey designs. The other bathrooms also have stick-on tiles, but they look fine. And the blue trim is all over the powder room, and the door is blue.

Next, we’ll tour the bedrooms.

Tour of the new house part 1

We’ve been here almost two months now, and it occurs to me that y’all haven’t even seen it! So I’ll take you on a little tour. I took all of these pics the day we closed and got keys, which is also the day before the movers brought all our stuff over from the rent house. I’ll also point out all the updates we’ll be doing (a little at a time so we can afford it). It’s a thirty-year-old house, and we think the extension and the wood laminate floors and the carpet are the only updates that were ever made.

This is the entryway. While I do feel a little old and wise with clouded eyes these days, I am not yet ready for the granny light. So that’ll be going away. Also, I want to either paint or replace the closet door (actually every door in the house) and paint the walls (actually, every wall in the house). But check out the peep hole. That is something I will be keeping in its as-is state. It’s like they always knew a really short person would live here, and it is perfectly SarahK-height.

Off the entryway, we have the ridiculously large dining room. It’s a great size, actually. Fits all the dining furniture my in-laws gave us and has a spot for the piano as well. I like the light fixture in here okay, but I’m going to move it elsewhere (either the guest room or the entryway) and put a chandelier over the table. Also, do you see the light switches and baseboards? They’re beige, and I hate that, so those will be going white soon, and the walls will be going NOT white. You can’t see the miniblinds, but they’re your basic metal, and they’re mauve. Mauve. At least we have a granny theme going, right?

Here’s the view from the kitchen, looking back toward the entryway.

The diningroom flows into the kitchen, which is workable for now. Which is to say that we’ll save for several years and then remodel the whole thing to get me my dream kitchen. There’s plenty of space in the dining room, so I can take over some of that to expand a little, or the little reading nook (which you can see at the other end of the kitchen) can become part of the kitchen. Lots of options. But for now, I have enough cabinet space, though I’d really love to have more counter space. The light fixture overhead is okay and has to be a hundred times better than the fluorescent lights they apparently replaced. The light over the sink is embossed with roses, so. Well. I’m not crazy about the ceramic stovetop–the one at our rent house was great, but this one scratches easily and isn’t easy to clean. The sink is insanely shallow, and I’m of two minds about that–on the one hand, I can’t let dishes stay in the sink, or I’m putting them on the counter after about three dishes, and on the other hand, I can’t wash anything without splashing water all over the floor and behind the sink. I would like new cabinet facing, or maybe just to paint what’s there.

Here you can see the small wall better.

I didn’t realize until I was baking something in the oven that the oven is pretty runty. I might later decide to replace the microwave with a second oven and put a microwave above the stove or something. We just got the deposits from our rent house back, so we’ll be getting a new refrigerator with that money. It kinda sucks, though, because I measured everything, and we’re going to have to get a counterdepth fridge, and those have less space and cost several hundreds more. But we will get to put the one that came with the house in the garage, and I can’t tell y’all how excited I am about having two fridges. TWO! After the apartment-sized fridge of the rent house, it’ll be like upgrading from the little Fisher Price house to the Barbie dream house. I can have an entire fridge devoted to pickles!

I love the brick behind the sink, and I think the thing hanging over it is a window from a very old door. Love that too.

And I’m sure y’all noticed this atrocity:

That’s right, peepies. The last remaining cottages-hearts-baskets-roses wallpaper is pasted to my kitchen walls. Maroon, mauve, beige, and country blue, mmm baby. I don’t know if I can get rid of something so current.

Next I’ll show you the livingroom, reading nook, and gameroom.

House Saga

No, we still don’t have word on the house. I’ve been packing like the elves on December 23rd, and I’m almost to complete meltdown mode. I’ll get there soon, don’t you worry, my little bon bons.

I’m so glad we didn’t toss or give away our boxes from when we moved here. It’s saving me a ton of time. I pull out a box, it’s already labeled with exactly what goes in it. I tape up the box and go collect its items, and bam, I’m done. I also found a local place that sells packing paper in 25-lb bundles and for as cheap as I bought it online when we were moving from Florida. And no shipping charge. So that was nice.

Saving the boxes also saved us a lot of money. I’ll end up buying a few more boxes to hold things we’ve bought since we moved here, but other than that, all I’ve been buying is packing paper and packing tape. Nice.

i can almost see my countertops

Even though I made sure to bring only clean dishes with us (the dirty ones I just threw out — haha, just kidding, I washed them), I still didn’t like the fact that they’d all been in cardboard boxes, so I decided to rinse them all. Well. The big problem with that is that I didn’t have a volunteer to dry the dishes (ahem, Mr. J), so I was having to dry them all right after I rinsed each one, not having a dish drainer. I finally just bought one of those. But there are so many dishes, appliances, etc., that I can only do a few at a time or else I have to follow behind myself with a towel… So I just let them dry while I unpack boxes, which means it has taken a while. Anyway, long, boring story short, I’m almost there. And the best part is that I think I’ll actually have room for everything! I even have drawers for my aprons and towels and a whole entire drawer for entertaining / serving items. And that’s on top of having a very deep sink (yay!), awesome fixtures, beautiful cabinets made of actual wood, wood floors (or laminate, I don’t know, but they’re pretty), and awesome appliances. The dishwasher makes no noise, the microwave makes no noise, the range is great. The fridge is tiny, and there is no pantry, but there are enough great things about the kitchen to make up for those drawbacks.

I can’t wait to show y’all pictures. But first I have to find the beautiful countertops.

Ok. So we didnt get out of Florida on time.

Lemme tell you why, though I’m not sure I know, really.

We actually got to pick up the truck a day early, which helped us not go crazy on truck-packing day. The nice man at the U-Haul also gave us an extra 150 allowed miles, for which I was grateful, because I knew we would be going over our allotted mileage due to our diversion through Texas. That was Monday. We picked it up late in the afternoon and parked it in front of the house. This tipped off the neighbors that we were moving. We weren’t trying to hide it, but we’d been so busy that we just hadn’t been able to get around and tell the two neighbors we know (well, we know four, but the third had been out of town for a while and was still out of town, and the fourth is a snowbird and wasn’t yet in town) that we had decided to just go ahead and move.

So then Tuesday, the day the movers were coming, I made sure that all the boxes and bins in the house that were packed were stacked nicely in the den, and Frank broke down our bed (the other one was already broken down). We still had a long way to go to leave the house, but it just looked like we were so close. Close to insanity maybe. Close to leaving? Not so much.

Ok, the movers arrived and said that my packing and organization were the best they’d ever seen, so we would be easy. I told them to wait until they saw the storage rooms (of which I am so proud that I wish I’d taken pictures). So while they loaded the truck, I continued packing and Frank did other things like make sure our house here was all lined up, make sure everything was in order for the drive, talk to our realtor, run errands, all that. In the days leading up (and maybe even the day the movers arrived), I had also baked two trays of brownies and three loaves of bread, figuring I would bake the last loaf of bread at my mom’s house that weekend. I still hadn’t gone through any of our clothes to decide what went in suitcases and what went in spacebags. Frank packed the shoes in the gun safe (they are still sitting in the safe now!) with the shotgun and all but three of our handguns (two for me, one for Frank for the road trip). We actually almost forgot to have them load the safe onto the truck, because it was in a closet, and I couldn’t see it when I walked through the room, so of course I didn’t think of it until later.

The movers were appalled that we had only six moving blankets. Hey, I’ve never even used them before, so I didn’t know how many you needed. He said that he always tells his wife, who sets the appointments, to make sure everyone has two to three dozen blankets for this purpose. She didn’t tell me, but I suppose I should have researched it myself and asked y’all. Y’all would have known.

Anyway, we got to the storage rooms, and I immediately hit part of the storage facility’s gate with the giant truck, because I forgot to make a wide turn. Don’t worry, I was only going about five miles per hour, and I didn’t hit the actual gate, just the other end that the gate closes with, whatever that thing is. The truck was fine, and we’ll get to the gate thing later. Oh, also? I never again forgot to make a wide turn.

So we started at the storage rooms, and Frank was going to get more blankets, but they were so close to finished that we figured he wouldn’t get back from his hour-long round trip until they were done. Oh well, it’s only stuff. So Frank came to the storage facility and didn’t hear me when I mentioned that I had hit the gate. They loaded the storage room of boxes onto the truck first. Before they were even finished with those, I knew: there would not be enough room for all of our stuff. Frank and I went right to the storage room of furniture and started picking out what we wanted to keep and what we would have to leave.

The first words out of my mouth were, “We don’t need the cedar chest. The only reason I kept it was because it’s nice on the inside and could be repainted on the outside.” Frank was surprised until I told him that the X had given it to me for Christmas one year, so REALLY. I have no attachments to this thing. But I did feel bad about throwing it out, because I figured someone could use it, so we had the movers pack it on the truck so we could try to give it away. The first casualty of our move was our little black TV stand, which we had used as a stand for our electronics and a DVD holder. No biggie. Also, the two-drawer file cabinet was right out. The futon also had to go; this was the only piece of furniture that gave me a twinge, because I had sentimental attachments to it — Scott & Candace had given it to me. Of course, Scott has asked a number of times why I still have “that thing,” so I don’t think he’ll be offended. The mattress died in Amarillo anyway, because it was in the room with the swamp cooler, so it was just the frame. We were also fine with getting rid of the coffee and end tables. We need new ones as it is, and I don’t hate them, but I’m not in love with them either. The movers also put those on the truck so we could give them away. We had worries about the 31-inch TV and the 19-inch TV, too, but those got packed into the truck. The hanging punching bag made it onto the truck, but I had a feeling that would be departing us soon.

We tossed the TV stand and the file cabinet in the dumpster at the storage place. The futon, which was pretty beat up, was too big for the dumpster, however, so we had to stick that back in the storage room until Frank could come back with tools and take it apart completely.

I looked in the back of the truck before they closed the doors, and I knew that we had room for about ten more boxes. Well, roughly estimating, I figured we still had twenty boxes of unpacked things at home, PLUS the clothes. And that’s about the time I realized that we had a potential mess on our hands and were absolutely not getting out of town Wednesday morning. But we could surely make it out by afternoon. Right?

At some point during the storage run, I had to pee really badly. Perfect opportunity to check out the gate and tell the owner I had hit it. I peed first, because I knew it might take awhile (the gate thing, not the peeing), and then I told the manager that oh, by the way, I hit part of the gate when I came in. His eyes went huge, and we went outside to check it out together. It was bent out of place. Lurvely! To my great relief, he was able to bend it back into place, and the gate still closed easily, so no harm done, I apologized profusely, and he told me it was fine and not to worry about it.

After storage, we went home and continued packing. And packing. I didn’t even get to the sorting of the clothes that day. We finally gave up around 11 and went to sleep. Still thinking it was possible to get out of town by 1 Wednesday but also knowing that was most likely not going to happen. We slept on the floor, and I had a really hard time getting to sleep. Too much to do, too little cushion for my thighs. Eventually I did count sheep. I’m pretty sure one of them even kicked me in the head.

high praise!

If you picked Friday in the mm poll, you win high praise! Hooray for you!

We arrived yesterday around 3 p.m. The movers are here moving our stuff in, and after that we’re gonna return the truck and then walk the dog. It’s in the thirties here, I’m guessing. I can’t find my coat or my gloves. My fingers are practically frozen, because the doors are open while the furniture comes inside. And I have no complaints.

The house is awesome. It’s 600 square feet bigger than our Florida house. The neighborhood is adorable. And from the den and the gameroom, we have a spectacular view of the mountains! The gameroom is upstairs, so you walk in there in the morning and see majestic sights everywhere! I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it and show you lots of pictures. Our lease is nine months, but I told Frank I’m perfectly fine staying here longer.

More later. After we walk the dog and go see Frank’s grama, I’ll try to give you a good long update.

BTW, we’ll be unpacking for months.

hi yall!

We’re in Nebraska. Almost to Wyoming. But it got dark, so we stopped. I love this precious little hotel! Pets welcome, it’s all done up for Christmas, and there’s a wonderful Mexican restaurant right across the street that worked with me in a most generous fashion so Frank and I could eat gluten-free dairy-free. They even checked the bottle of soy sauce that they use for their fajitas to make sure it didn’t contain wheat, and they made no fuss.

So today we drove across Kansas and into Colorado. I don’t know what y’all are talking about, Kansas being boring… I LOVED Kansas. When you’re used to seeing nothing but cabbage palms everywhere you look, I’m telling you — wide open spaces with oodles of hay and cattle and prairie and giant skies all over the place! Heaven. Then Colorado. COLORADO! We did take 385 up to Nebraska. We didn’t even see a mountain in Colorado (northeast tip), and it was breathtaking! Rolling hills, more cattle, more wide open spaces, clouds in the distance that looked like mountains from afar… SIGH. Just SIGH.

The sunrise in Kansas this morning was lovely, the sunset yesterday was nice. Today’s sunset in Colorado was just beautiful. Seriously, other than arthritis, I do not get why people retire to Florida.

So we’re almost to Wyoming and praying that the weather is with us the rest of the week. I’m budgeting two days for the remaining 836 miles. So if you chose Friday in the poll, you just may win high praise! But Saturday’s a good bet, too.

Remember when I said I hate Oklahoma?

Except the Pawnee Nation. I heart them. See, I locked the key in the U-Haul today, and Bobby from the tribal police had me back in within a half hour. Hey. 2900 miles — it was bound to happen at least once.

As for Kansas, much better roads. My opinion of Oklahoma’s roads did not change during the daytime driving.

Tomorrow we hit Colorado and hopefully Wyoming. One question: my mom says we should avoid looping around Denver at all costs due to the traffic, and I’m all for avoiding traffic. I think 385 takes us where we need to be (though we’ll have to do something with the guns for the small amount of time we’re in Nebraska)… is that an ok road to take? Also, what do we do when we get to snowy places? I don’t think the truck came with tire chains, and I don’t know how to use those anyway.

why doesnt Texas fall off into the Gulf of Mexico?

Because Oklahoma sucks.

Yes, old joke, I know, but so fitting. I’m still trying to figure out which state I hate the most: Mississippi or Oklahoma. I can give you a quick list of things/people who should be destroyed in the most efficient fashion possible.

* People who drive with their brights on and don’t click them off when other cars are approaching.
* The civil engineers and construction companies involved in the making of the roads of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
* Hotels that try to charge a fee of $25 per pet.
* The Indian Nation Turnpike in Oklahoma and the genius who designed it. Seriously, if I’m paying $9.75 to drive down a road, it should be lined WITH STREET LIGHTS!
* Heather Graham and her stupid giggle. That’s unrelated to this trip.

I would tell you more (and one day I will) but I’m so exhausted from today. I am never driving in the dark again. EVER.

p.s. Rowdi decided to escape and run onto the highway tonight. She didn’t get hit.

lets call it an “adventure”

We’re in Louisiana. If it can go wrong, it has. I’ll write more when I have time.

P.S. Do y’all know how much it hurts to have a cat claw the inside of your nose while ripping the glasses off your face? Also, what’s the previous world record on a dog chewing through a seatbelt and cutting it in two? I’m guessing Rowdi can top that.

Hi, yall!

Guess where we are!! Give up?
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three hours of sleep

We were only supposed to take a one-hour nap. I told Frank that wouldn’t happen. We slept with the lights on so we wouldn’t get too comfortable. That’s probably what kept our nap down to three hours.

And now we have five hours until the movers get here to load the truck. So I’m gonna go buy a hundred espresso machines and get back to work. I figure as long as enough is done for the movers to be able to access all the furniture, we’ll be fine. Right? RIGHT?

No. I am not freaking out. Yet.

and of course

the realtor just called to see if she could bring by a retiree couple in a half hour to look at the house. Hahahahahahahahaha. They’re in town for a very short period of time, of course. She’s gonna call and see if they’d like to see it Wednesday morning instead (um, y’all should see the disaster I’ve got going over here). Please let them want to see it Wednesday morning.

UPDATE: He wants to come see it dirty. Hahahaha.

UPDATE: The whole family came! Yeah. The older couple (snowbirds) would be buying the house. Their adult son and his wife and kid came, too. The whole family was so nice. I think the son was here on vacation, for today only. Anyway, that was wholly embarrassing. I did manage to bag up all the trash that was sitting in the floor in distinct piles waiting to be bagged (I just toss it all in a pile and bag it later — it’s faster that way, never having to fight with the bag to make sure the stuff goes in). I also cleaned the fresh cat puke off the garage floor (thank you Simple Green!), tossed out two cat litter boxes (we were going to chuck ‘em tomorrow anyway) and changed the other one and added two disposable boxes to the garage floor, sprayed air freshener in the garage, cleaned enough of the top of the stove that I could put my cooling pan of brownies over what I couldn’t clean fast enough, took the freshly baked bread out of the oven (at least there was that, right?), picked up pet fur, and even managed to put on a bra. Yay me! They seemed to like the house and were very interested in the golf course and the community benefits. They also asked about the neighbors — they’re snowbirds and have a house near here, but it seemed to me like they’re wanting to get into a community of retirees with a golf course. That sounds just like our community!

um, the movers come tomorrow??

Holy soccer balls, y’all! Okay, so the movers come tomorrow at noon. And the truck place just called and said we can pick up the truck today instead of tomorrow for no additional charge; we will definitely take advantage of that — will make tomorrow less nightmarish. And ok, so here’s the list of things I have to finish before tomorrow so we can spend all day tomorrow cleaning and such. I think we’re going to coordinate with neighbors or our realtor to have a cleaning crew and a carpet cleaning crew come in after Thanksgiving. That makes me feel better and takes away stress and tells me that it’s okay to not have everything perfect when we leave, because someone else is going to come in and take care of that. Which means, of course, that we will end up with enough time to actually do the cleaning.

  • Book hotels. Yes, I was going to do this last week, and I got down to the making reservations part, and if you’re booking through the pet friendly website, you have to pay the whole bit in advance, you don’t get to pay there. I tried going to the individual hotel websites, too, and nothing was happening for me there either. And well, we’re traveling with FOUR ANIMALS. That part just blows my mind still. So what if we have animal emergencies and don’t make it all the way to the stops we intend? No refunds, dude. Or what if we make it a lot farther and are like, well, we’d better just keep going and stay at the next town. AAAAACK. I have the trip laid out in five legs of 8.5 to 10 hours, so that should work, but I’m just worried since this is US. And guess what this week is? Thanksgiving. Which makes me think that by this point we’re just gonna end up sleeping in the truck or car or both because this is when everyone travels. Oh, and I can’t save this one for Tuesday after the truck is packed, because we lose internet tomorrow. And we don’t actually know what time tomorrow! We just know they’re picking up the modem and the DVR in the late afternoon. I don’t know if they’re stopping the service tonight at midnight or when they pick up the equipment.
  • Finish packing. Yes, those two storage rooms I filled with stuff over the last six months, and I’ve still done a weeklong pack of what we left in the house. Which is remarkably more than it seemed. If I finish packing the kitchen this morning (we bought freezer food yesterday to eat through tomorrow night), I’ll feel much better about everything. Most of the clothes are either packed in suitcases or space bags. I still have to pack the den closet and figure out how we’re transporting Mr. Shiny and friends. And I haven’t packed most of the tools yet. I’ve given away and thrown out soooo much stuff this year, so I just don’t understand how we can possibly have this much left!
  • Make three twoone more loavesloaf of bread (I made one yesterday) and one more pan of brownies (also made one of those yesterday).
  • Three or fourTwo loads of laundry. I’ve been doing this for several days, but I have so many categories. I’m going to ban us from wearing anything red, purple, denim, yellow, or delicate until we’re on the road, yo.
  • Figure out which wall hangings won’t fit in this giant wardrobe box I have for them. I have a plan for those.
  • Patch nail holes. Finish touchups around the ceilings! Wallpaper that island if we have time, which we won’t.
  • Change the address on our credit cards and our wonderful checking account (I’m so glad they have our bank in Idaho). Um, after we have a PO Box in Idaho.
  • Have the post office hold our mail until we have a PO Box in Idaho.
  • Bring in the stuff from the back patio.
  • Give our propane to the neighbors.
  • Coordinate with neighbors or realtor on the cleaning and carpet cleaning.
  • CleanSweep the garage floor.
  • Change the cat litter. Yes, it’s only for one day, and thank God we have disposable litter trays for the whole trip, but it really needs changing.
  • Unpack those three boxes that came with me from Texas. Yes, this is ridiculous, except that they have silverfish in them, and I am not transporting silverfish with us. I’ll probably be unloading everything directly into the trash or shredder, but it must be done, and that’s three fewer boxes to deal with there.
  • Get the iPod loaded with driving music — I can do this tomorrow after the truck is packed.
  • Finish loading into iTunes the few CDs that never got loaded.
  • Pack a case of CDs for Frank to listen to in the car.
  • Tape up the back of one of the walkies. I got them working, but one of them decided it didn’t want to stay together.
  • Vacuum and steam floors. Yes, we’ll have it professionally done, but what if someone comes to look before the pros get here?
  • Clean as much as possible. See above.
  • Do anything that requires the super-awesome ladder, since that will be loaded onto the truck at noonish.
  • Drop off a bag of food and clothes.
  • Run the dishwasher one last time. I’d better do that now.
  • Call my dad again about the family reunion since he never got me that info I asked for.
  • Load the last food bin for the trip.
  • Throw out the last of the fridge stuff.
  • Clean the shelves in the fridge (door and crispers are already clean).
  • Cook the bacon we have for the trip. Also buy the bacon, as apparently all the bacon is expired.
  • Decide which house we’re renting after Frank’s mom sees the last one on our list.
  • Clean the microwave.
  • Breathe. I hear it’s good to do that.

I’ll update y’all later. And if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, I’ll touch base Wednesday night from our first stop. Mwah.

hotels are going to love us!

Well, I have our travel route from Florida to Idaho mapped out. We would go the upper route through Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, etc., like we did last Thanksgiving (a beautiful drive), but since we’re hitting Austin before Amarillo, we have to pretty much use the coastal route all the way to Texas. That’s fine, we did that one before during our U-Hell trip from Texas to Florida. I don’t remember if I told y’all during that multiple-installment, never-finished saga about all of the Minerva-hiding that happened. No no, not the time when she hid herself so well under the seat in Pensacola that we thought she had gotten out of the truck through the cracked windows during the five minutes we were inside the Burger King using the bathroom and buying burgers — the incident that had me walking door to door, bawling, and asking the business employees whether they’d … *sniff* … seen a … *SOB* … calico running around. I was a mess. No no. Not that Minerva-hiding.

The Minerva-hiding of which I speak was the hiding that *we* did every night when we brought her in from the car and into our motel rooms. I felt like such an outlaw — wait until no one is looking and rush into the room, hiding the crate as much as possible. That was fun and a little stressful. Oh, and make sure you leave no traces of a cat behind. Yeah, a cat that sleeps with you. There was a roadside motel in Cisco, Texas, that allowed pets, but that was the only one we found on our drive.

Of course, that’s before I knew there were wonderful websites out there that will list only pet friendly hotels. My sister-in-law told me about such sites last Christmas. I’ve been using officialpethotels.com to help find our options in each town. It’s so much better than scouring the listings of all hotels and having to find out which ones are pet friendly. I just click on advanced search, tell the system the dates and cities I need, and tell them I also want high-speed internet (so I can tell you the saga as it occurs, of course), and I get a list of pet-friendly hotels with high-speed internet. I played around with the site yesterday — I guess I should start booking. I’m afraid of winging it and just showing up, since we’ll be traveling Thanksgiving week.

so here is the deal

We are just sitting here in Florida. The thought of going out and getting jobs here is ridiculous, because we can do that in Idaho, be where we want to be, and only have to make enough to cover rent, renters’ insurance, and increased utilities in order to be better off there than we are here. This sitting around waiting is getting us nowhere.

So last week, a lady at church said we should just pack up and move. I told her we would if there were a job or the house had sold, because it’s silly to just go with nothing in place. So then wRitErsbLock said if we want to put our faith in God, we should just go. We discussed that. And then I took a shower and came up with a plan. Showers are great for planning. I told Frank the plan (basically a timeline), and within a day or so we had decided to just dooooo it.

So we are.

We leave next week, will hit Texas for Thanksgiving and be in Boise before December. No sense just sitting around miserable in Florida when we can be at least somewhat better off in Idaho. As long as we make enough money to cover the rent, utilities, and insurance, we’re better off there anyway. Not to mention that it will probably be easier to get jobs if we’re local.

I’ve applied for an accounting job and also sent my resume to a temp agency. Frank also has two potential jobs in the works. One we’re waiting to hear a decision on, and the other Frank applied for over the weekend and did a phone interview today. I’m actually excited about doing accounting work again. I did say in my notes to the temp agency that I will absolutely not consider public accounting again and will even take lower-level jobs for less pay rather than do that to get the pay I want. I’m standing firm on the no-public thing this time. I loved my industry job many moons ago and am actually excited about the prospect of working in industry again. I love financial accounting and spreadsheets the way Hillary Clinton loves to eat the souls of little children.

Anyway, we’re packing and prepping and all that. The moving truck is booked. The movers who will load and unload the truck are booked. I’m having a hard time finding a maid service to do top-to-bottom clean, because, you know, next week is Thanksgiving. I still need to book carpet cleaning. And figure out things with my family. I think my mom is afraid Rowdi will eat the little children if we let her in the house while her family has Thanksgiving, and I know Rowdi will climb my mom’s 8-ft fence, no matter how tall it is, because it’s chain-link. I haven’t even gotten all of the details of my dad’s family reunion from my dad. Ack. This is why the blogging suffers right now. Please forgive, and stay tuned. Y’all know there will be some wacky stories up in here.

I’ll be in the moving truck towing my car (sounds familiar) with Sydney and Minerva, and Frank will be in his car with Rowdi and Omen. We’ll have walkies. And I’m going to have the video camera charged and ready at all times. Also the photo camera. I document for you.

Idaho, here we come

We leave Florida in less than two weeks. Wahoo!

Mayo Clinic

In January, after Dr. Ego (or was it Dr. Arrogant? Whichever one is the horrible gastroenterologist.) was so dismissive of my three years of illness, I called the Mayo Clinic again. They’d had me scheduled for December 2006, but we were going to be leaving town a few days after that, and I didn’t want to risk still being a patient when it was time to drive to Texas. So I cancelled. Anyway, in January, I called again and asked if I could get in. This time, instead of going through the neurology department, I went through gastroenterology. The lady who answered the phone said that someone from gastro would call me later that day to tell me if I would be accepted and to let me know how long the wait would be, because there is a wait-list for that department. I never heard a word from them. And then I met Dr. Awesome, and things got better, so I didn’t worry about Mayo anymore. Of course, things still aren’t fantastic. They’re heavily improved, but I still have some issues.

So suddenly this week, a package has shown up in the mail with my appointment time and instructions for check-in to Mayo Clinic. Out of the blue! Since I had never heard from them the day I called to get on the waiting list, I assumed that it just wasn’t happening, that someone had dropped the ball, my file had been lost. And now I have an appointment for evaluation in December. ???

This would be great, because I would go to see why I still have certain problems, intestinal as well as other kinds (Dr. Awesome is perfectly happy with me having diarrhea only 75% of the time, but, um, I’m not, as that means I will never again be able to go on a camping trip, an overnight hike, blah blah blah). But… It’s December, and it’s very possible we’ll be gone by then. More on that later. So I don’t know. If we’re still here, I’ll go, but as soon as we know we’re out of here, I’ll have to call and cancel again. I guess it couldn’t be helped since I never even heard that my file got to gastroenterology. *sigh*

no bites

So far we haven’t shown the house once. The realtor who was going to show it a few weeks ago never showed. Our lady touches base with us occasionally, and she’s had a few phone calls, but no serious lookers yet. The snowbirds have arrived, so I figure if the house doesn’t sell in the next few weeks, it may be on the market for a while. *sigh* Oh well, we’ll manage.

One of the ladies at church (who is not praying for us to stay here — not because she doesn’t like us, but because she knows we really want to go) said we should just pack our things, lock up the house, and move. We are both so tempted by the idea, because 1) we just want to get to Idaho and 2) when companies know you’re already there, it’s probably easier to find a job. And there is movement on the job front, just nothing definitive yet.

But we can’t do that, as appealing as it is. We already have a mortgage payment. No sense paying mortgage and rent if there’s no job there yet.

against us

Forget Orlando vacation home rentals. With people at church praying against our move, we are rolling a rock uphill and may still have our own house to stay in when the Harry Potter section of Universal opens in 2009!

Today one of the men at church said that we’ll just have to forgive the people at church if they’re praying for us to stay here. He said it kind of jokingly, but he’s not the first person who’s said the same. Every time I hear it, I say, “No, please. Do not pray against us. We really want to go. We’ll miss the church here, but we really need to settle down northwest of here.” Or something like that. I usually mention the stifling

I know they mean well when they say it, but the thought that people are out there praying against us is pretty disheartening. The good thing is, a lot of people are praying for us, too. I’d just prefer that all the prayers are trying to get us to Idaho. You know?

home shopping without me

Frank is going to Idaho this week. Wah! I mean, it’s good that he’s going, but I’ll miss him so. While he’s there, he’s going to try to meet with a realtor to go look at houses and neighborhoods. I’ve already been looking at houses online for a while (rent and buy), and I know which kinds of houses we can afford (no luxury homes — we’ll probably get a plain jane house and fix it up into a nice home like we did this one, except we’ll do even more, and we’ll do it over years, not months). And even though Frank will be able to pick out a good kitchen for me, we will want to go house shopping again together once we’re there (we can’t buy anything until we sell our Florida house, of course). That’s one of the exciting things about moving. The house shopping! It’s so cool we’ll get to shop for our first house that we pick out together.

I’ll still keep looking online so I’ll be able to add to the list of houses that we want to look at together. I have my eye on a couple that would be great for us, and we’d be able to stay in them for a long time. One of the best things about the houses up there are the gigantic pantries. Dream pantries, they are.

I’m so excited! Our move to Idaho is almost starting to seem real!

opting out

You know what ticks me off? I’ve submitted info for estimates with two moving companies. One of them allows you to opt in to receive partner company ads, etc. I did not check the opt-in box. The other one automatically adds you to their partner company list and gives you a link when they send you the first email where you can opt out.

I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO OPT OUT! I started to write them a very nasty email, but I toned it down a lot and asked them to reconsider their very inconsiderate policy. I also almost sent them an email right away that said, no, forget it, I will not do business with your company because of your spamming policies. I’m not a fan of spam, can you tell?

I also checked into PODS. Guacamole, peeps. I’m praying that the other estimates aren’t that high.

you know what I’m so excited about??

Winter clothes. Shoot, fall clothes. We went to storage and got all the winter clothes (winter for Florida, which means fall for everywhere else) I had packed away (due to not realizing that as soon as we’re away from the east coast and the gulf coast, we may have need for winter clothes in the winter and fall clothes in the fall). I’ve pulled the ones out of the Space Bags that we may need before our stuff arrives (should it arrive after we do) and what we’re going to wear on our drive (I can’t wait to be able to wear my baby blue IMAO tracksuit! It’s coming out as soon as we hit north Texas!).

Of course, now I have to go through and try everything on and make sure I can fit into any of it. We do have a hypothetical amount set aside every month for buying winter clothes (I don’t even have a winter coat! I have a fall coat, but nothing really warm for the winter!) since neither of us have any real winter clothes anymore. I don’t even have long underwear! That will be tops on my list, considering that Idaho is already cold (yay!).

We will, Lord willing, be arriving at a most optimum time for snuggling. Woohoo!

i might fall off the cliffs of insanity

Nonstop mayhem around here, folks. Taxes (yes, I waited until this weekend to start, and I’m still not going to finish on time. What?). Planning the move and the packing (which begins pronto, by the way — I’ve already printed our maps for the continuing moving adventures of the Js, bought snacks for the road trip, etc.). Suddenly multiple things have happened, and we need to leave here in… oh, about nine days. Need to find a place to live until the house is sold, and that’s hard — people don’t like to rent to four animals and two humans. Plus, rent plus mortgage will not be fun for our budget, so I’m still trying to work out the math. Maybe my part-time job here on the interwebz will pay off.

I’m so behind on snark at Snark Raving Mad! (for many reasons) that I’m thinking about just giving up on the shows before this week that haven’t yet made it to SRM!. Ack! Who wants to record our shows for us while we’re on the road and then send us tapes? Hopefully most of them will be available online. :)

I’ll let y’all know more when I know more… But for now, it’s all still up in the air. Things are very promising, though.

If you have need for plasma cutting tools, there’s a site for you to check out. ;-)

that little drive up the coast

We were in the car for about three hours today with our pack of wild animalsstray and formerly condemned animals.

By about an hour in, I was a tad frazzled. See, when we did this a few months ago with one dog and two cats, it wasn’t so bad. Sydney wanted to stay in the Sherpa so the evil dog couldn’t get her. Rowdi was calm and sweet, strapped into her little harness. And Minerva crawled around the car, mostly walking over to Rowdi so she could hiss, spit, and swat at her (we intervened). One of us humans sat in the front, one in the back between Rowdi and Minerva.

Then came Omen.

Today Rowdi was still sweet. I didn’t even let Minerva out, because it would have been too distracting — last time, she kept lying on my shoulders or behind my back. So Minerva cried every second I wasn’t petting her. I had to drive with my left hand and keep one finger from my right hand inside Minerva’s crate at all times. If I moved her pillow to relieve my already battered wrist, she cried and/or violently tried to claw her way out of the kennel. Good thing I was wearing my wrist brace — she would have shredded the back of my hand.

Meanwhile, the Sherpa containing Sydney (it’s the only one we can get her into somewhat easily) sat on top of Minerva’s kennel. Sydney was fine until we were on the way home. At the beginning of the trip, Frank opened the zipper a little to give Sydney a treat so she wouldn’t squeak so pathetically. She immediately stuck her head out — just her head, it was really cute. She poked her head out occasionally if Frank ignored her for too long, but she was good. Then on the way home, Sydney just jumped right out of the Sherpa. Jumped right to the floorboard below Rowdi’s nose, completely oblivious to the big dog above her. Then she went back to the front seat (Minerva cryyyyyyying for me to let her out too), then jumped onto Frank’s lap in the back and crawled over him to lie on a box and the back of the seat. She actually, at one point, ignored Rowdi, walked over to Omen, and hissed at Omen. Then she went to higher ground. She stayed there until we were almost home, then started to crawl down. She first stepped one paw down onto Rowdi’s back, very slowly. Then she changed her mind and jumped right over the dog, back into the floorboard, back up to the console in the front, and crawled back into the Sherpa. “Zip it!” I said to Frank. Otherwise getting her back in at the house might have taken some doing.

And then there was Omen. She was the only one of the felines interested in treats (Rowdi will be interested on her deathbed). And cried when she wasn’t getting them. And cried between nibbles. And cried the entire. stinking. time. we were in the car. I do not exaggerate.

It was probably twenty minutes in when I said to my wonderful husband something along the lines of, “Ok, so the ideal thing would be to sell my car here, hire movers to move all our stuff, let them take this car, and then rent a Tahoe or a Suburban for the drive to Idaho. Because I cannot imagine this for however many days straight, in this tight a space.”

We had thought we might put Rowdi and Omen with Frank and put Sydney and Minerva with me. Omen’s a yeller in the car. Rowdi’s good, but left unchecked can start to fixate on kitties, kennels or no. Minerva has to be touched at all times by the driver, and if she’s out of the kennel, she’s all over the place as long as it is inconvenient to the driver. And Sydney — you just never know what’s going to happen with her.

Ack. By the time we turned around to go home, I found myself saying, over and over, “No, we’re not there yet. It’s about five seconds later than when you asked me five seconds ago. No, we’re not there yet…” I was talking to Omen and Minerva.

So. I’m thinking something with a nice size-12 “carbon footprint.”

a quarter tank of gas and three upset kittehs later . . .

The buyer was tired of looking at houses by the time they got to ours, so they didn’t come. They’ll call to reschedule.

happy thoughts

I don’t wanna jinx anything by telling y’all what’s going on, but I would surely appreciate your prayers and happy thoughts in our general direction.

There has been significant movement on the getting-out-of-Florida front. That is all I’ll say for now. :-)

P.S. Y’all know what that will mean… another season of wacky moving stories from Frank J. and SarahK. Rejoice!

packing again!

I’m so confident (and prayerful) that we’re going to sell this house in the next couple of weeks and Frank’s going to get a job in the same time frame. So I’ve started packing again. Not much is left. I packed a box of non-essential kitchen stuff yesterday, and tomorrow I haven’t decided if I’m going to pack office supplies and books, or half-pack non-winter clothes. Because I can’t fully pack those until we’re leaving Florida, since Florida has only the one season (hot and muggy). I can start emptying drawers, but packing things like sheets and towels? Already done, because all of our sheets and towels are in under-bed bins. I basically just have to label and inventory those. And tape up the sides right before we leave.

Well. I’ll think about that in the morning. I get to start Order of the Phoenix again tonight, because I finished GOF yesterday! And as soon as I’m all caught up on my TV snark on SRM!, I promise to get back on Deathly Hallows.

and another thing!

Don’t be lazy! Show me pictures of the inside of the house. Yes, the outside is important, too, show show me that, but seriously. If you have no pictures of the inside of the house, I just go right on ahead and assume that there is something dreadfully wrong.

it’s ok for you to live in a jungle

I get it. A lot of people LOVE to have greenery draped everywhere, fake ivy hanging down over everything. That’s fine for you. But it’s not my decorating style. A lot of people (including me) see that and get a little claustrophobic and start looking around for the macaws and jungle spiders.

So when I’m looking at houses online, or once we get to Idaho, when I go see one in person, I don’t wanna be looking at Tarzan’s playground. It’s very hard to visualize an un-cluttered house (which is what I desireneed) when you’ve got clutter hanging from the ceilings, hanging from the kitchen bar, sprinkled all over the kitchen island, green hanging from the curtains, green leaking into the bathtubs, green hanging from the ceiling fans…

Don’t get me wrong. I love greenery. Have a lot of it. But it *can* be tastefully done. It doesn’t need to look like you just walked into the middle of the room, set down the greenery bomb on the floor, ran outside, and waited for all the empty space in your house to die.

If you’re putting your house on the market, you really need to consider toning down the monkeygrass hanging from all your fixtures. It makes some people skip even looking at your pictures or reading your specs.

Thank you. This has been a public service announcement.