I can't predict when I have the time to post a new blog, but check occasionally. I'm going to try at least weekly.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A proper, picture update at last!!!

Song of the day? “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran, of course. Though not constantly, it has been an earworm from time to time this past week, along with “Symphony” by Clean Bandit. Both awesome songs and no punishment at all. Hah!

Soooooo. Yeah. I promised a proper update this time round, didn’t I? Yes I did, so thankfully I have been maintaining a list of stuff that happened, rather than rely on my somewhat spotty memory this time around. (Good Sammi!). There has been quite a lot going on since my last proper blog, so sit down, if you’re not doing so already.

First off, I promised to tell about the move, didn’t I. Well, we moved. It was a helluva job, I’ll tell, in particular since we preferred not to rent the van for two days in a row, but rather a solid 24 hours (as in 23 hours and 57 minutes) and save ourselves fifty bucks or so.

It all started on Key Day, on which I dropped big brother off at work before six in the morning, so I could continue on to the new place where I was supposed to get the hidden key and then spent a few hours cleaning before my district manager arrived to go over the contracts with me. Well, first issue was that I couldn’t find the key where I thought it was supposed to be….grrr. Didn’t discover until at the end of the day that the “electricity shack” was another than the one I’d understood from the description. Hah. Anyway. My appointment with the district manager wasn’t until  11 o’clock, and it was 6:30 AM. I was no pleased, I assure you. Tried the garage door: nothing. The  pantry door: No cigar! And then, after deciding to do a walk-around, finally found a back door that hadn’t been locked properly. Success! I was in!

Got the car into the wonderfully empty garage and started unloading the first batch of boxes that filled up the entirety of the car. Took about an hour, after which I took my trusty vacuum cleaner and went through the house with a fine toothed comb. Floors, walls, horizontal and vertical surfaces were sucked clean down stairs in the following hour.

Next came the kitchen, of which I had taken about 75 percent in this first trip, so there would be cutlery, china, cookery stuff and even some food on this first day. Was done just before eleven with the ground floor but the district manager was late, and didn’t arrive until friggin 2:37 PM! Seriously. The only plus was that I had time to vacuum and clean the second floor too. The “minus” was that I was late meeting a friend who was going to view the new house with me, after I had arranged for a van at 5:25 PM.

The plan was that we’d pick up the van at the latest possible moment, so that we could also return it at the last possible moment. The advantage to this was that we’d be home five hours before nightfall, meaning that we had that amount of time  load up the first batch of furniture, do a quick trip to drop them off at the new place (in the garage)  early in the morning, and then have the remainder of the day to load up the rest and bring that over in a second trip.

The trick to this was to only load big, cumbersome stuff, not pay much attention to stacking properly because that would take time with loading and unloading (big brother didn’t much like this part, because he was still under the illusion that maybe if we packed it well, we’d be able to do it in one trip. We couldn’t. I know my dimensions from years of calculating and planning with construction, moving stuff, loading stuff and whatnot, and I could tell up ahead that there was no way in heck that our stuff was going to fit in one truck!) and time wasn’t something we had. 24 hours, remember.  So until 10:30 PM we loaded our behinds off, after which I was so friggin’ tired and achy I just sat down on the floor with a glass of wine and cried a little. Hah. Jeeeeeezzzz. That was a friggin’ long day. Started at 6:30, unloaded, cleaned, drove about for hours, ran about to make arrangements (missed lunch and dinner) and then loaded up for another five hours. I’d just about had it, I tell ya.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d arranged for the van and met with my friend, who loved nosing around a new place, just like me. So we spent a couple of hours together, after which we had to go pick up big brother and then quickly leave to get the van and bring her back home.

So then was the whole loading bit, after which we both crawled to our respective beds around midnight and passed out until six in the morning. There was just enough time to have breakfast and then we were on our way to the new place. Both in the van, this time, figuring we might as well use the Volvo in the second trip to get more stuff hauled.

Had an “OMG” moment while we were driving. There was this massive smoke plume in the sky, from somewhere near the new place, and stayed there as we gradually approached in the busy morning traffic. I mean seriously, wouldn’t that be just our luck. We’re moving to a new place, only to find out that it burned down during the night for some inexplicable reason. But it wasn’t that. We were about 2 miles from the house when it became clear that the smoke was coming from some place on the other side of the road. Yes the plume was massive, but the fire wasn’t visible, despite several fire trucks screaming past as we made for our new home.

While loading took some five hours, unloading was done in one. Yay! Of course this was because could basically throw everything out the back, right into the garage, rather than bother hauling it into the house and its proper spot.

Before you know it, we were on our way back, only making a quick pit stop at a supermarket before we arrived at the old place and started loading again. Luckily, around noon, our nice neighbour came to help out, which was a good thing, otherwise we might not have made it. She also supplied lunch (also good because we were rapidly on our way of skipping lunch again) so we were actually done loading after two (as planned) and big brother on his way while I said our goodbyes and got into the car, now loaded to full capacity with my small jungle of plants. So cute. A car full of plants.

Be that as it may, unloading took an hour and a half this time,  for the simple reason that this was all the loose stuff, bits and pieces, bikes, boxes and whatnot. Again, just stuffed everything in the garage (gawd I love that place) and still had about half an hour to unwind, eat a bit, have a bathroom break and then had to be on our way to return the van with rush our well underway. Made the deadline with only three minutes to spare. *phew*

The first night we spend on mattresses on the floor. (Got a mail from the editor with the edited manuscript, which almost had me awake throughout the night, had I not been so exhausted.) But the next day I had the bedrooms set up before big brother returned from work. This was partly because cousin Ed came to help out with the unpacking bit, which did help, because I was pretty much running on fumes still.

So, what followed were a couple of weeks with me sorting out the house. It’s a nice and comfortable place. Reminds me a lot of the house we grew up in before moving to Spain. Same type of architecture and materials. Not my favourite style, but comfort goes a long way.
Got five bedrooms upstairs, two downstairs one of which is an en-suite. We use this as an exercise room,  which is rather cool, since we cancelled our gym passes.
A half bath downstairs, and another bathroom upstairs, with at the top an empty big attic that we’ve decided not to use.

I’d set my sights on a cute little room on the west side of the house, but since this house supplies so much space, I folded and got myself a 2nd hand double bed…which didn’t fit in the cute little room. The cute little one is now a very cute little guestroom. Hah. Since big brother had already picked the room with walls that had actually been stripped and painted white, I took the master bedroom of which I still had to strip all the walls and paint them (some pieces several times just to have the paint cover dark spots). But the bed fits in there just fine, giving me plenty of space.
Big brother also folded (due to space available) and got himself a double bed too. Hah! Ah, the luxury. I love having room to move around.


Guest room

Fitness room

Living Room

Didn’t start on the edit/revision until five days after the actual move. Dreaded it, I tell ya. But I did get to it, and worked on it like a lunatic (big brother, too, in what little spare time he had) for the past few weeks. Didn’t have much time for anything, especially not since my job started in the first week of July.

Which reminds me. Had my interview about a month ago now. Had a nice chat with my new team leader, who’s a very nice woman, despite being seriously overworked at the moment. It is funny how the work is still the same as last year. Still not enough people, still people working their butts off to get everything done on time and still all the old frustrations. But, there’s nice folks there, so I guess it is a matter of getting used to them and the way they work. I do miss my old team a bit, but I suppose that will pass. At the moment, also because I need to invest time in writing, and everything around that, I’m working three days a week, with a possibility of four. With an average of six hours on those days. That is plenty, since this is not something as simple as sitting at a desk, but more something that equals a two-hour cross fit workout.

Had a doctor’s visit. Got a referral for the hospital next month for that stupid varicose vein they missed two years ago. Not looking forward to that, but the darn thing is bothering me every now and then, so it is better to do something about it, I guess.

Got a problem with my shoulder for a bit. Don’t ask me why. It’s embarrassing. But I strained it, meaning that a lot of movements, and some sleeping positions in bed are not at all comfortable. Stupid effing loose joints. Always giving me trouble. Like just this week, while helping out at work with moving furniture. Some joker young man suddenly decided to prop one side of the couch we were carrying together on the floor, meaning I had to tilt along or drop it. I did the first, and almost broke my effing thumb in the process. Seriously. It popped right out of the joint in order to turn along with the couch and it hurt like heck, until I popped it back in. So now I have a swollen thumb that is not liking much activities, such as work. Grrrr.  That is the last time I move furniture with some amateur.

There were groceries, naturally. Can’t do without those, much to my regret. But I do try to limit that to once every two weeks, with a weekly outing for fresh produce and dairy products. Doesn’t always work, but trying it counts for something. Hah

Had a friend’s dog stay with me one day, which was fun, even though he was young and peed in the hallway, and the exercise room. Hah. And also had a couple of dogs stay for a couple of weeks because their mistress went on vacation to Finland. It has been lovely to have dogs afoot again, even though on work days it has been a hassle to have walk them when I’m pretty much bushed when I get home. But, the pros by far outweigh the cons. Nothing quite as lovely as cuddling up to a  cuddly dog at night…well, some things are, but…well, you get my meaning.


We did spend  a few days at our father’s place more than a month ago. We’d promised to move a shed from the back yard to the front, which took a little longer than expected.  The shed had had some “improvements” over the years, meaning that we had to scramble a bit to make things right again after we took it partially apart and moved it to the new spot. Luckily it wasn’t too big, so we only had to take off the roof before we could carry the thing. Big brother and I would have managed, had we been on our own, but littlest brother was there, and stepmother, so we did it four, meaning it was a little less of a hassle. But anyway. It took four days instead of two. Four days of which the last two were all but comfortable for me, since I somehow ended up stepping on a bamboo shoot and had a hole in my foot of about half an inch. Seriously. That hurt. Ended up having to replace part of the roof and several pieces of wall due to water damage and bugs, but it’ll hold for a while now, I am pretty sure. A bigger task than expected, nut we managed, and got to spend some time with our father. Nothing like working on a project together to bond. It was nice.
In the end we went home content with the efforts made. Were right on time, too, considering construction of our father’s new place started a week or so later…which was why stepmother wanted the shed moved.

 Did my last few days at my previous job before the move. The boss was really sweet about the whole thing and told me that if I ever needed a job again, I could call him up. Which is a very nice compliment, I think.

Had a very short touristy kind of trip and went to visit the pyramid of Austerlitz. Cool place, and totally worthy of conspiracy theory book. Hah

Our temporary cat:

And our daily visitor…one of four that roam about here in the area, together with a badger.

For social activities the time past was interrupted only by a dinner party at the old place with the neighbors, a dinner party with friends last week, and that just about sums it up, I fear.
Did have a lovely cooking experiment with zucchini, which worked out well visually and taste-wise, so, yay!

As for the new place…had to hang a door in the upstairs bathroom. For some reason it had been removed. Found a spare in the shed, which we cut off and fitted into the doorway. At least it works. Nothing quite as annoying as a bathroom without a door when you’re sharing a place. Oh, and we have a toolshed now. Yay!

And this is a pic of the old barn that goes with the property. Hah

The edit…well, I missed the deadline by two days, which isn’t too big of a disaster regarding the massive changes and the length of the manuscript. But still, it annoys me that I didn’t make it in time. Guess life got in the way of things again, the way it usually does. In the end, you can only do your best, can’t you?

Well, that about sums it all up, doesn’t it. At least the highlights. Yep. I am going to leave it at this and take the dogs for one of their last walks. Tomorrow their mistress will come to pick ‘m up.

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