Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Moving Along

March 13, 2014

We’re moving from NE Portland to SE next week. Midst the expected chaos of packing, sorting, cleaning, and getting rid of stuff, we’ve had time to reflect upon the things we will miss and the things we will certainly not miss in our current abode. Comparatively, the lists are a little unbalanced.

THINGS WE WILL MISS

A very private backyard. Enclosed almost completely with a freestanding garage and giant laurel hedge, the backyard made a nice little retreat. Also: there was a few square feet of grass where absolutely no one could see you, unless they were in the house. Scantily clad sunbathing days are gone.

A bathroom with lots of natural light. I actually made a greenhouse out of the sunny, south-facing expanse we had out of our bathroom window and it always seemed cheerful.

My raised beds. Sean, my dad, and I built four 2’x4′ raised beds last year and filled them with excellent organic compost and soil, and in them I had my best garden to date. 
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Our firepit. Another thing we built last year and thoroughly enjoyed, especially when having friends over for a few beers around the fire on warm summer nights.

Our neighborhood. It’s a nice place near parks and schools with lovely neighbors, within walking distance of a grocery store, theater, liquor store, and a few decent restaurants, and has easy access to the highway and airport.

It was our first house together. So, you know, sentimentality and all that malarkey.

 

THINGS WE WILL NOT MISS

Not having a dishwasher. HOLY CRAP ARE WE SICK OF HAND-WASHING DISHES. Especially because I cook a lot of awesome food and we both have busy schedules. Dishes pile up easily in this place, so washing them is an hour-long chore of dread. This will be a HUGE timesaver.

Mowing lots of lawn. Our new place has modest patches of grass in the back and front yards, with everything else being established beds of neat plants. I hate mowing and our current place, with large front and back yards AND long sidewalk strips of grass, was the worst. Add in a crappy electric mower and it was my most hated warm weather chore.

Having only one bathroom. Where everything you do is easily heard by anyone else in the house. (That part of hosting guests was always awkward.) And your husband camps out in there for what seems like hours. And two people getting ready at the same time was near impossible due to its tiny size.

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Fabby hogs the sink. AGAIN.

Not having a fan with our stove. There’s a nice layer of greasy dust on everything near the stove because the ventilation in the kitchen is A.) a window, or B.) a door.

Stinky cupboards. For whatever reason, the cupboards and drawers at our current place have a weird old wood, old cardboard funk to them. If anything has been in there for a long time, you need to wash it first before using it because you’ll then taste it in your wine or dinner. While packing I found a stash of paper plates I had kept in the back of one and I immediately threw them out.

Oil furnace heat. Spending somewhere between $700-1000 once a year to fill a tank of fossil fuels to heat your house is the worst. Granted it does heat the house quickly, and if the place is smelly for whatever reason (say, the garbage wasn’t taken outside early enough), a spritz of perfume in the intake vent did instantaneous wonders. However, fuck that inefficient, unsustainable, and expensive noise. Literal noise, because that shiz is loud.

Bad bathroom lighting. Despite me loving the natural light in the bathroom, it’s a pain in the ass for eyebrow plucking. And the small spotlights directly over the mirror create harsh shadows that point out every conceivable bump on your face.

Weird laundry system. The washer empties into a large sink basin. If you don’t watch it vigilently, the small drain could plug up, the sink could fill, and the whole thing overflows. It only happened to us twice, but you could never just put a wash on and go. Also, the dryer doesn’t vent outside the house. Instead it vents into a little plastic basket on the floor, in which you’re supposed to pour a little water to trap the inevitable lint. That… kinda works? As a result, the basement turns into a sweating sauna. Nice in the winter, awful in the summer. And lint covers everything, including the popcorn ceiling.

 

You could easily just summarize this entire post with FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. Because they are. But! What you can easily deduce from these lists: we’re really looking forward to our new house. Onward and upward!

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Roommates

May 11, 2011

It’s been almost 6 years since I lived with anyone other than cats, and while Sean and I are cohabiting rather gracefully (well, as much as two complete and utter goofballs can), there are a few things we have to learn to establish when living with another person that will regularly move things in places you don’t expect.

For instance, eggs. I have a ladies’ protein drink with almond milk and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast almost every weekday. You can probably then understand my utter delight now that I have free*, fresh, amazing eggs growing out of our pets’ butts right in my own backyard! Perfect!

So.

I’ll usually boil a few ahead of time and keep them in the fridge, just hanging out. Sean hadn’t quite caught on to the meaning of the random, unmarked eggs on the shelf in the fridge, and the other day he very nicely put them in a bowl with two fresh eggs he had just collected from the coop. Imagine my chagrin the next morning, rushing out the door, I go to grab an egg and find they had multiplied. 50% chance of cracking open a raw egg. Not going to risk it. The following text exchange then occurred over the course of the morning, leading to an absolutely different tangent:

Me: If you ever see an egg in the fridge that’s NOT in the egg carton, those are my hard boiled eggs. You added the fresh ones and now I can’t tell the difference. 😦     (Editor’s note: damn, I’m a bitch)

Sean: Oh honey I’m sorry I didn’t know 😦     (Editor’s note: great response!)

Me: Clif bar stolen in vengeance!

Sean: 😦 I’m so hungry…

Me: You brought your own food today! Baby. Plus I *did* buy them bars…     (Editor’s note: the intricacies of grocery shopping for two have yet to be ironed out)

Sean: My bars!!! Mine!!

Me: Your bars, your balls… MINE!

Sean: I have no balls

Me: In Soviet Siskiyou, I teabag you!

Sean: Is good for workers’ morale yes? Onward to beautiful socialist future!

Me: Balls rested gently on the forehead of each and every comrade!

Ahem.

Solution? My hard boiled eggs now sit in their own little designated bowl in the fridge. Fresh eggs always go directly into the egg carton. Done. Cohabitation is a slice.

*So far

On the other side…

May 9, 2011

… Of the Cascades, of The Dalles, of Hood River, of moving out of my house, of becoming a landlord… I have officially lived in Portland for a month now, with the vast majority of the recent stress and madness is in the rear view.

YES.

The months leading up to the move were painful, and while it hasn’t been peaches and cream since then (such as an ant infestation and the water heater dying within the first week my tenants moving in, and our dryer at the new place dying within the first week), the peace of coming home to this other adorable little house with my boyfriend, three cats, and now three chickens mitigates all of the stress.

Sure I now commute 2 hours every day and live in a more dreary climate (most depressing spring EVAR), but man, I dig it. The vicinity to everything happening in the city (such as the Timbers game the other night), the eclectic neighborhood, the amenities… hell, even going to the grocery store is a million times more fun because THERE ARE ACTUALLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE THERE. And people are fashionable! I know, I know. The Dalles is a fashion hub, what with its lone Maurice’s and the janky old JC Penney with the glory hole change rooms. But I actually see people who dress like I do! I don’t stand out like a sore thumb!

Did I mention the chickens? I love my chickens. Inherited with the house, our three hens are now named after the Golden Girls. Rose, the little red hen, is the most social and also the one who, up until we built them an enclosure, was most prone to wander the neighborhood. Ruth, the big sassy black hen, has the biggest mouth and will yell her little head off if the other two escape. Blanche is a orangey-buff hen with a black tail, and she’s the most reticent out of the girls. The first two will gladly stop, lower and flatten their backs to be pet. With Blanche it only happens every so often. But watching them take dirt baths or fight over worms or chase us around the yard is the most entertaining thing ever. I greet them every day by going out the backdoor and saying, “Hello ladies!” Barf-inducingly cute.

The cats have adjusted fairly well. The first few days were clearly traumatizing and I felt like an awful cat mom by moving them, but they’re tough. Even my nervous, anxiety-ridden cat hangs out in the open a million times more often than she used to, and has begun curling up with us every time we might sit down to watch TV.

And of course, living with Sean has been nothing short of great. For a guy who had only one pet growing up (a hamster named Jackie), he’s taken on caring for and cleaning up after 3 cats and 3 chickens remarkably well. SO MUCH POOP. But living with him has made the word home an entirely different thing, and we have the. best. time. together. Even chores are fun. It’s ridiculous.

After 5 weeks the house is almost completely decorated (quite sensationally so, if I do say so very biased myself), we’ve hosted a giant party and an intimate brunch, started cleaning up the yard and landscaping what will be an epic veggie garden, and have met a number of the neighbors. It feels so domestic. So idyllic. So nice.

Double You Tee Eff

March 15, 2011

How random was my evening?

I rushed home from work to sell my car, which was dead.

Spent an hour hanging out in the wind and the rain with a very patient woman who wants to buy my car, waiting for my dad to get jumper cables (the first pair were shitty and corroded, the second new pair functioning just fine).

Driving said car to the gas station to have the tires filled, where I inexplicably lied to avoid having to do it myself, instead crafting a story with the gas attendant about housesitting for an elderly couple who hadn’t driven their car in forever.

Then spending 2 1/2 hours over at my Baha’i, out of work pediatrician neighbor’s house, with whom I’ve only had fleeting across-the-street conversation, drinking gin and frescas, talking about the medical industry, politics, moving and life while she did yoga stretches and eating corned beef.

All before coming home to Skype my boyfriend.

That’s a hearty WTF if I’ve ever heard one.

Gratitude

March 14, 2011

I have been over and back on an emotional roller coaster in recent weeks with all the life changing going on, and tonight I stumbled upon a moment of clarity that literally brought me to my knees with tears running down my face.

Everything I’ve wanted to accomplish in my life thus far, I have done.

That simple sentence tore away at all the self doubt I’ve been riddled with over the last few months… I should have traveled more, I shouldn’t have bought a house, am I tying myself down with this or that, am I doing this right, or could I have done that better… I can doubt myself even in the most assured times, all the way down to the nit-picky stuff like missing a workout or forgetting a task at work.

But when you get down to the meat and potatoes of things, my life, which I occasionally picture as pretty straight and narrow, is perfect. It’s mine, it’s what I’ve wanted and what I’ve accomplished. To go to and graduate from college, to find friends that I truly click with and love, to have a loving and wonderful relationship with my family, to live in Italy and backpack Europe, to have a career I love, to live on my own and figure out who I am as a person before finding the person with whom I’d like to spend my life.

Hell, even more minor things like going on The Price is Right (something I always wanted to do since I was little), owning my own pets, dating a foreign man in a foreign country, learning to grow and cook my own food, climbing a mountain and owning my own home (on my own!) are on that list. There are a lot of “on my own“s there, and I think that’s key. I’ve developed my own person over the years without leaning too heavily on anyone. These are all things I’ve wanted for myself since I was young. That realization alone was staggering.

Now I’m about to move into a house with the man I love (also the first time I’ve ever lived with a significant other), and I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve earned it and feel absolutely thrilled about this new chapter in life and all that it holds.

All of this in stark contrast to so many people in the world who aren’t able to do and be what they love (for a myriad of reasons) leads me to cast aside all the doubt, the nit-picking, the anxiety and just be damn thankful for what I have, where I am and who I’ve become.

Everyone’s favorite chore: Moving!

March 11, 2011

As I’ve started the long and lengthy process of packing up my house, it amazes me how much crap I’ve filled it with in the 5 1/2 years I’ve lived there, and how much of it I haven’t touched in almost the same length of time. Living there on my own for the larger portion of my 20s has allowed my accumulation of things and subsequent lack of organizing these things go on for far too long.

Things found, categorized as surprising, “I forgot I had that!” or annoying:

  • 2 partial boxes of sander sandpaper inserts, 1 caulking gun, caulk and dropcloths from initial renovations (surprising)
  • My college acceptance letter and notebooks from my favorite courses (surprisingly elaborate, in retrospect) (I forgot I had that)
  • A giant plastic bin full of CDs and CD cases I rarely use anymore (annoying). I spent an hour last night sorting through those and reduced it down to one beer box.
  • A giant, 6″ thick stack of red foil sheets, obtained from a previous job, kept for potential future craft projects (I forgot I had that/annoying)
  • Mix CDs from various dudes I’ve dated (surprising)
  • Mix CDs I made ages ago, the track lists of which make me recoil in horror (annoying)
  • A ziplock bag full of foreign coins (surprising)
  • 3 almost identical containers of black acrylic paint, bought at very different times and all haphazardly thrown in the highly unorganized arts + crafts box (surprising)
  • Old costume jewelry of my great grandmother’s (I forgot I had that)
  • Various letters and photos tucked in between the books on my bookshelf (I forgot I had that)
  • A box of old floppy discs… with no appropriate disc drive (annoying)

floppy disc porn funny old school

Despite my initial horror at the concept of finally going through the contents of my relatively untouched closets, it’s been a fun experience, rediscovering a lot of these things. Sean helped me with it last weekend and got the biggest kick out of the leather day planner I kept for all 4 1/2 years of college. He’d flip through and find my doodles, to do lists, scores on tests, schedules for dances and dates… I was going to throw it out but he insisted I should keep it.

Moving day is exactly THREE WEEKS from today, and I’ve only really started packing the upstairs of the house, so I’m sure many more surprises and annoyances await.

 

The Five Year Life Change

November 4, 2010

Since I started high school, every five years I undergo some (semi) drastic change. High school for five years (it was Canada, where you’re in HS from grades 8-12), then college for five years (studying abroad + meandering through my studies = one extra year), then I almost immediately bought my home in The Dalles, where I’ve been living for the past five years content as can be alongside my sometimes thriving garden and my three fat and happy cats. So what’s next?

Portland, my friends. Finally, Portland.

The manfriend and I will be finally sharing one roof next spring. Sooo… it’s more like five and a half years, but dammit, for consistency it counts. But for us the 90 miles of distance and the weekend thing is getting old, so we’re crazy enough to be around each other for more than a couple days. Plus? He’s never lived with cats. WELCOME TO HAIR EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME, SEAN.

Well, you know, more than you have already.

Anyway, that means I’m undergoing several months of full on grown up shit. Potentially refinancing the house. Some double paned, energy efficient windows would be really nice, seeing as this 92 year old place and all of its quirky, cracked, single paned windows are drafty as hell in the winter. I’m also buying a hybrid car, partially because my current vehicle is on its last leg, partially because the fuel economy is AWESOME. Plus I hear that in Portland they throw Tofurky at you if you drive anything that gets less than 28mpg. Or something. Prepping this little place to become a rental is big on the list too. And finding a renter. And not being a complete douchebag of a landlord. And somehow finding the money for all of this…

So I’ve been mired in paperwork and research and quotes and investment strategies, which five years ago would have probably rendered me due for a bender. Ten years ago I probably would have crapped my pants. Fifteen years ago I would have no idea what half of those words or concepts meant.

Aww shucks, y’all. I’m growing up.