And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


No, we're not still on the road, though we don't have any furniture yet. I'll post something meaningful shortly, including a list of "How You Know You're Back in New York Again," coauthored with Dave. In the meantime, since Blogger's template was doing screwy things with space, I searched out a new look and found one that I love. Hope y'all (okay, okay, "youse") like it, too. It was downloaded from Point of Focus, and I'll put a permanent link button to the site as soon as I can.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

On the Road Again . . .

(You're welcome for the earworm.)

The movers come tomorrow. Since we are cheap/temporarily poor, we opted to do all the packing ourselves this time around. So in theory, since we've had weeks and weeks of anticipating this day, we should be all done with packing and just kicking back and enjoying our last night of TiVo for a week or so.


I will say this -- the kids' rooms and the playroom are all completely done. The spa is disconnected from the house (and Dave is still in one piece and not electrocuted) and the washer and dryer and refrigerator are disconnected. The living room is packed except for the TV equipment for all the TV watching we're not going to do. The kids' clothes for the next week or so until we are reunited with our belongings has been selected and laid aside. Our closet is full of things that need to go into our van for the trip.

The rest? Not so much done. It's close to done, which is good, I think. But there are all kinds of dribs and drabs left all over the house. Did I ever tell you about the box we discovered in the attic in NY as we were packing to move here? It was labeled "Mystery Surprise Box," and it was all the dribs and drabs left from the move from our apartment in VA, six years prior. It hadn't even been opened. We found all kinds of fun things in there. I suspect we may be in for several versions of the "Mystery Surprise Box" during this move.

So we load everything tomorrow, and then we're staying at a hotel here in Mobile tomorrow night to recover and/or entertain the kids in the pool. A solid cleaning of the house and some touchup paint, and we're good to go. Friday, Chattanooga; Saturday, Roanoke; Sunday, Wilkes-Barre; and Monday, our new home -- Walden, NY. Unfortunately, we won't get cable hooked up until the following Thursday, so there may be some lag time here in the blog. I'll make an effort to fill the time with the painting of the new house.

So we're off -- two kids, two cats, and two slightly wild-eyed adults. Wish us luck, or at the very least, wish us a sense of humor and some quick-acting amnesia.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July

NOTE: I apologize in advance for all the digressing parentheticals. I try to control it, but sometimes it gets away from me.

Seeing as how it's our last Independence Day in the land of the uncivilized a place that doesn't restrict fireworks, Katie and I hit a "fireworks warehouse" today and spent way too much on mini-mortars, including a splurge on "giant flaming balls" launched from a tube that easily rival many professional fireworks displays of my youth. Anyway, I quite enjoyed myself, even though we had to start before it got truly dark because otherwise the kids would be even more of a mess than they currently are as they deal with us packing away all of their stuff! The kids were a bit more timid (leaving Dave and I, pyromaniacs that we are, scratching our heads wondering if they were switched at the hospital), but I think they liked it too. We were all about the gimmicky fireworks -- happy pagoda, climbing panda, racehorses, fire trucks, little tanks -- although we did bottle rockets and small fountains too. We even did a cool parachute guy, and then had to rescue him from the neighbor's yard. It was a good show, and certainly better than braving crowds and traffic for a too-late community show. Next year we'll do that, as in New York you're probably only allowed to hold up a lighter for 15 seconds or something.

Amusing scenes from our family:
(My mom wanted me to post this one.) After the closing (on Friday! Yay!) of the new house, I headed to Home Depot to buy paint and painting supplies, thinking I might get started on the kids' rooms (ha! I was mentally exhausted and ended up crashing on the inflatable mattress under the fan (no AC) for most of the afternoon). I very conscientiously locked the car with the keychain (I drove around with photos and valuables that I'd taken up there in Dave's car for 4 days, about which I was extremely paranoid) and then decided to open the trunk. Pushed the button, no trunk popping up. Darn it! Maybe I can do it manually. Push the unlock button. Nothing. No click. Car still locked. This is where I panic. (Funnily enough, I didn't try the panic button.)

Having been through this before, it only took a minute for me to hypothesize that the battery was dead in the keychain. And fortunately, I was at Home Depot, where they might have that kind of battery. And if they didn't, I did have my cell phone, and I could call AAA, although I'd feel pretty silly and I didn't want to waste that much time waiting for them. Argh! Stupid car! Stupid keychain! Argh!

There was some suspense while I searched for the right type of battery (and struggled to open the keychain in the first place), but HD came through, and they did have it. Whew! Now I don't have to call AAA to get me into the stupid car.

I called Dave that night and managed to work in a rant about his stupid car (which besides the keychain issue had been getting black goo of indeterminate origin all over my hands for the whole trip), and I told him about the events of the locking-out. His reply: "Couldn't you have used the key to unlock the doors?"

Oh. Yeah. Right.

And about Ian: Today the kids were riding their bikes, with helmets (good children!). Ian's bike ride was short-lived, but he kept his helmet on, despite his sweaty boy-head (yes, already, at 2.5 years old). He even came inside with it and kept it on for a while. As he headed out once again, I called to him, "Ian, don't you want to take your helmet off?" "No," he said distractedly, "it protects me from the aliens outside." And he exited. Dave: "Maybe we should line it with aluminum foil."

I laughed so hard I had to sit down. How early do you think they can diagnose paranoid schizophrenia these days?