Sunday, July 29, 2018

Greetings from the New Home!

The new and Permanent home! Packing, moving, and the subsequent digging out from under our mountain of material possessions was quite the project, but we're here and our stuff is settling in and I once more have a desk with a computer on it, so here's a sort of "summary" of what we did in June and July...

First, though, I LOVE this house. Really, really love it. And the neighborhood. And the neighbors! It's a marvelous neighborhood for walking Finn, and I've met oodles of friendly people who all say proper things about my sweet-if-dim boy. Lots of people walk here, or run, and they have dogs too, and they keep their dogs on leashes and clean up after them, and we admire each other's dogs and smile and wave, just like they do in friendly suburban neighborhoods in the movies or on tv. It's a hoot! And, speaking of "suburban," Oh my Gosh, but there is Wildlife here! Finn and I practically have to elbow our way through herds of large deer on our morning and evening walks, and I keep catching them devouring my hostas. The other day I was walking and saw four or five of them munching mangos that had fallen from a tree -- deer look Very silly with mangos sticking out either side of their little mouths. And not just deer. Flocks of Canada geese, and rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, hawks, songbirds, etc. I know I'll be complaining about all the hungry herbivores once I get some roses and perennials planted,but for now I'm enjoying them.

Some highlights of the last couple months (you are glad I couldn't post for the last two months, because it mostly would have been "unpacked more boxes, went back to Walmart for more cleaning supplies," etc.) have been...

The Fourth of July! After all those years of enjoying fireworks from the comfort of our front lawn Ed and I weren't going to bother getting in the car and seeking a fireworks display, but Travis felt like it was Important. So we did. The neighboring town was supposed to have a nice show, so we headed over, parked, and walked to a field where a crowd was seated in lawn chairs, with coolers and sparklers. We confirmed with a few people that this was where we'd see fireworks from, though the people we spoke with mostly said this was their first year in the area, but we were all pretty sure...

(you can't tell from the picture, but it was a Big field. Full of people. People new to the area!)

So we all waited. And it got dark. And finally the fireworks started going off. Nowhere near where we were sitting. I've never seen a crowd leap up and grab their lawn chairs, coolers, and babies so fast, and hustle down the road towards where they could see the fireworks show! It was really funny. And, amazingly, totally thanks to Travis's determination (refusal to listen to his mother, who was trailing behind him saying, "Honey, there's no Way we are going to get close enough before the show is over!"), we found a spot to watch them from. We sat down on a curb, at a fairly busy intersection. and saw a fine fireworks display. And laughed at ourselves for being part of such a big crowd of clueless newcomers to the area.

And the next day we celebrated Travis's twentieth birthday.

Not a lot of hooplah, but we went to see the dinosaur movie, which was exciting, and then we went and ate at a Mexican restaurant he picked. I can hardly believe my baby boy is twenty, but he is a fine fellow and I love him dearly.

And we Finally evicted the swamp monsters from the pool! Well, actually, we didn't. Chris-the-part-time-pool-guy did. And it wasn't easy, either. But the pool is now clear and not leaking noticeably, and Chris handed Ed the water test kit with his blessing and said he would see us again in the fall, when we are ready the cover the pool back up. And in the meantime we are actually using it more than I thought we might! The kids are willing to emerge from their lairs to join us for a splash, and floating around in an inflatable parrot/flamingo/green tube, beer in hand, is delightfully restful.

Finn, though, staying true to form, is unimpressed by my exhortations about how much golden retrievers love swimming. He circles the pool anxiously as I float happily around, whining and reaching out a cautious paw, hoping that I'll let him sit on my lap and we'll float together. Not likely. Katie keeps trying to teach him about swimming, and he can, when necessary, paddle himself to the steps. He prefers to be carried, though.

The other big news (leaving out that we managed to get Katie signed up for classes at the new high school, including a Shakespeare class, and she is excited about the school, and that Travis is registered at the new community college), is that my library is mostly done! Still needs trim to make the IKEA shelves look fancier and more "built-in," and a couch (I'm hoping to have the old jungle couch that Finny trashed at the old house reupholstered), and maybe a rug), but the shelves are up and the books are on them and the library bar is stocked and open for business!

The cats, who were never bothered by the moving clutter, LOVE this house and dash along the upstairs balcony railing as if they believe that thing about having nine lives. They watch the birds from the windows and tear chunks off the foam carpet pads, toss them about, and pretend to be usefully hunting mice. Or maybe they Are hunting mice. Who knows, with cats?

So, that's it. We're in, and I don't plan to move again until they heave me out in a box. Which I hope won't happen for quite a long time! Although, on a slightly related note, we've been shuffling back and forth between two very nice Episcopal churches in the area, trying to decide which one will suit us better. Today we were at the one with the pews & kneelers and the absolutely fabulous choir & organ. A happy "problem" to have. 

Saturday, June 02, 2018

The Pocket Paradise is Ours!

That dreamy house we looked at in my last post? We bought it! The sellers were eager to sell and as of May 25 that lovely, lovely house is ours! We are just So delighted with it.

So now we are moving. Which is... well, a bit of a pain in the neck. But the new place is so awesome and offers exciting new opportunities for the kids -- new community college with a "digital effects and animation technology" track, and a new high school for Katie that will offer a wider range of classes, plus we think a close friend of hers will be transferring there too -- and we don't plan to move again (I told Ed the other night that now I get what those people are thinking in the movies you see where a family moves into a new house and it soon proves to be Haunted by Malevolent Spirits. You-the-Viewer are thinking "Just get Out for goodness sake!," but the family just wipes the blood off the walls and ignores their rapidly approaching doom. But now I get it. They Moved. All their Stuff. And they would rather take their chances with the Forces of Evil than move again. I'm Sure our new house is Not haunted, but if it were I'd sooner tackle ghosts than pack all our stuff again!).

The new yard is, as I said before, not large, but the planting beds are nicely laid out and I am Really looking forward to playing in them. And I've already used my new Mower! It's electric, and an absolute Dream. Quiet and effective.

  (Here you see what is currently a thriving poison ivy and bramble bed. I hope it will soon be full of roses and flowers!)

And Ed's weeping willow! He had one in his yard when he was a kid.

The creek out back. Full of bricks proving that we are not the first to think a "sea wall" might save our yard from eroding away.

  (A more flattering picture from a month ago.)

My future library.

My laundry room!

And the sun room out back.

Katie's new art desk! It was in the laundry room, but we hauled it up the stairs to her art room.

And Katie at her dance recital.

The cats. They are looking cranky, but they love all the boxes!